Sunday, 17 March 2019 : Second Sunday of Lent (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Philippians 3 : 17 – Philippians 4 : 1

Unite in imitating me, brothers and sisters, and look at those who walk in our way of life. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. I have said it to you many times, and now I repeat it with tears : they are heading for ruin; their belly is their god and they feel proud of what should be their shame. They only think of earthly things.

For us, our citizenship is in heaven, from where we await the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Lord. He will transfigure our lowly body, making it like His own Body, radiant in Glory, through the power which is His to submit everything to Himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, you my glory and crown, be steadfast in the Lord.

Alternative reading (shorter version)

Philippians 3 : 20 – Philippians 4 : 1

For us, our citizenship is in heaven, from where we await the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Lord. He will transfigure our lowly body, making it like His own Body, radiant in Glory, through the power which is His to submit everything to Himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, you my glory and crown, be steadfast in the Lord.

Sunday, 27 January 2019 : Third Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 12 : 12-30

As the body is one, having many members, and all the members, while being many, form one body, so it is with Christ. All of us, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, have been baptised in one Spirit, to form one Body, and all of us have been given, to drink from the one Spirit. The Body has not just one member, but many.

If the foot should say, “I do not belong to the body for I am not a hand,” it would be wrong : it is part of the body! Even though the ear says, “I do not belong to the body for I am not an eye,” it is part of the body. If all the body were eye, how would we hear? And if all the body were ear, how would we smell?

God has arranged all the members, placing each part of the body as He pleased. If all were the same part where would the body be? But there are many members and one body. The eye cannot tell the hand, “I do not need you,” nor the head tell the feet, “I do not need you.”

Still more, the parts of our body that we most need are those that seem to be the weakest; the parts that we consider lower are treated with much care, and we cover them with more modesty because they are less presentable, whereas the others do not need such attention. God, Himself, arranged the body in this way, giving more honour to those parts that need it, so that the body may not be divided, but, rather, each member may care for the others. When one suffers, all of them suffer, and when one receives honour, all rejoice together.

Now, you are the Body of Christ, and each of you, individually, is a member of it. So God has appointed us in the Church. First Apostles, second prophets, third teachers. Then come miracles, then the gift of healing, material help, administration in the Church and the gift of tongues.

Are all Apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Can all perform miracles, or cure the sick, or speak in tongues, or explain what was said in tongues?

Alternative reading (shorter version)

1 Corinthians 12 : 12-14, 27

As the body is one, having many members, and all the members, while being many, form one body, so it is with Christ. All of us, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, have been baptised in one Spirit, to form one Body, and all of us have been given, to drink from the one Spirit. The Body has not just one member, but many.

Now, you are the Body of Christ, and each of you, individually, is a member of it.

Sunday, 13 May 2018 : Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Ephesians 4 : 1-13

Therefore, I, the prisoner of Christ, invite you, to live the vocation you have received. Be humble, kind, patient and bear with one another in love. Make every effort to keep among you, the unity of spirit, through bonds of peace. Let there be one body, and one Spirit, just as one hope is the goal of your calling by God. One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God, the Father of all, Who is above all, and works through all, and is in all.

But to each of us, divine grace is given, according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore, it is said : When He ascended to the heights, He brought captives and gave His gifts to people. He ascended, what does it mean, but, that He had also descended to the lower parts of the world? He, Himself, Who went down, then ascended far above all the heavens, to fill all things.

As for His gifts, to some, He gave to be Apostles; to others, prophets, or even evangelists; or pastors and teachers. So, He prepared those who belong to Him, for the ministry, in order to build up the Body of Christ, until we are all united, in the same faith and knowledge of the Son of God. Thus, we shall become the perfect Man, upon reaching maturity, and sharing the fullness of Christ.

Alternative reading (shorter version)

Ephesians 4 : 1-7, 11-13

Therefore, I, the prisoner of Christ, invite you, to live the vocation you have received. Be humble, kind, patient and bear with one another in love. Make every effort to keep among you, the unity of spirit, through bonds of peace. Let there be one body, and one Spirit, just as one hope is the goal of your calling by God. One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God, the Father of all, Who is above all, and works through all, and is in all.

But to each of us, divine grace is given, according to the measure of Christ’s gift. As for His gifts, to some, He gave to be Apostles; to others, prophets, or even evangelists; or pastors and teachers. So, He prepared those who belong to Him, for the ministry, in order to build up the Body of Christ, until we are all united, in the same faith and knowledge of the Son of God. Thus, we shall become the perfect Man, upon reaching maturity, and sharing the fullness of Christ.

Thursday, 10 May 2018 : Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Ephesians 4 : 1-13

Therefore, I, the prisoner of Christ, invite you, to live the vocation you have received. Be humble, kind, patient and bear with one another in love. Make every effort to keep among you, the unity of spirit, through bonds of peace. Let there be one body, and one Spirit, just as one hope is the goal of your calling by God. One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God, the Father of all, Who is above all, and works through all, and is in all.

But to each of us, divine grace is given, according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore, it is said : When He ascended to the heights, He brought captives and gave His gifts to people. He ascended, what does it mean, but, that He had also descended to the lower parts of the world? He, Himself, Who went down, then ascended far above all the heavens, to fill all things.

As for His gifts, to some, He gave to be Apostles; to others, prophets, or even evangelists; or pastors and teachers. So, He prepared those who belong to Him, for the ministry, in order to build up the Body of Christ, until we are all united, in the same faith and knowledge of the Son of God. Thus, we shall become the perfect Man, upon reaching maturity, and sharing the fullness of Christ.

Alternative reading (shorter version)

Ephesians 4 : 1-7, 11-13

Therefore, I, the prisoner of Christ, invite you, to live the vocation you have received. Be humble, kind, patient and bear with one another in love. Make every effort to keep among you, the unity of spirit, through bonds of peace. Let there be one body, and one Spirit, just as one hope is the goal of your calling by God. One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God, the Father of all, Who is above all, and works through all, and is in all.

But to each of us, divine grace is given, according to the measure of Christ’s gift. As for His gifts, to some, He gave to be Apostles; to others, prophets, or even evangelists; or pastors and teachers. So, He prepared those who belong to Him, for the ministry, in order to build up the Body of Christ, until we are all united, in the same faith and knowledge of the Son of God. Thus, we shall become the perfect Man, upon reaching maturity, and sharing the fullness of Christ.

Thursday, 29 March 2018 : Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Holy Thursday (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Corinthians 11 : 23-26

This is the tradition of the Lord that I received and that in my turn I have handed on to you; the Lord Jesus, on the night that He was delivered up, took bread and, after giving thanks, broke it, saying, “This is My Body which is broken for you; do this in memory of Me.”

In the same manner, taking the cup after the supper, He said, “This cup is the new Covenant in My Blood. Whenever you drink it, do it in memory of Me.” So, then, whenever you eat of this bread and drink from this cup, you are proclaiming the death of the Lord until He comes.

Sunday, 20 November 2016 : 34th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Christ the King and Closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Colossians 1 : 12-20

Constantly give thanks to the Father Who has empowered us to receive our share in the inheritance of the saints in His kingdom of light. He rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son. In Him we are redeemed and forgiven.

He is the Image of the unseen God, and for all creation He is the Firstborn, for in Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible : thrones, rulers, authorities, powers… All was made through Him and for Him. He is before all and all things hold together in Him.

And He is the Head of the Body, that is the Church, for He is the first, the first raised from the dead that He may be the first in everything, for God was pleased to let fullness dwell in Him. Through Him God willed to reconcile all things to Himself, and through Him, through His Blood shed on the cross, God establishes peace, on earth as in heaven.

Sunday, 29 May 2016 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we commemorate the great Solemnity of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi or Corpus Domini. On this great solemnity, which is traditionally also celebrated on the previous week Thursday, we celebrate the very centre of the mysteries of our faith, namely the fact that our Lord and God, had given Himself to us, through the offering of bread and wine which He transformed into the very essence and matter of His own Body and Blood.

And this perfectly summarises our faith in the Real Presence of God in the Eucharist, which we believe to be the complete and real transformation of those elements of bread and wine into God Himself, and not just some mere symbolic representations or memorial of what the Lord had done at the Last Supper. At every celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the priest did what Jesus Himself had done at that moment, when He gave His own Body and Blood for the salvation of all those who share in them.

But lest we misunderstand or think wrongly of it, we should look on the common misconception about the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Firstly, indeed the bread and wine which the priests offer in the same manner as the High Priest of God, Melchizedek had offered them, had been transformed completely in matter and substance to that of God Himself, and yet at the same time, visually they remain as bread and wine, and by taste, they still taste like that of bread and wine.

We tend to link and relate what our senses have received and felt with our understanding and comprehension on things that are around us. And that is why, indeed, it is not easy for us to understand and accept that the mere bread and wine is the very same as the Lord, Master and King of all the universe, including that all of us, and how the wholeness of that great Divine being is contained in His entirety, within that small piece of bread or within that small volume of wine.

But it is the same, with how the same Lord and God has become a humble and mere Man, the Lord and Master of all the universe becomes like one of His own creations. It is part of the great mysteries that is our faith, and requires all of us to overcome our doubts and our reluctance to believe in what our Lord has taught us, the truth which He brings us all.

If we read the Gospel today, what Jesus had done there, the famous miracle of the multiplication of the five loaves and two fish, where Jesus multiplied them to fill the stomachs of five thousand men and countless thousands other women and children, and yet still managing to gather twelve basketful of leftover bread, all of these are beyond our normal human comprehension, and yet it shows once again the reality of God, Who He is, and what He is going to do to us and show to us through His love.

By feeding the people, Jesus is showing Himself as a Shepherd, as a loving Father and Lover of us all, that He intends to give us good things and bless us, and through the same love, He established a new and everlasting covenant with us all, not with the blood of animals, goats, lambs or doves, but with the very Blood and essence of His own, the Precious Body and Blood of the Lamb of God, offered and given for us all for our salvation.

In the past, God has established His covenant with mankind many times, and renewed them many times, by the sealing of the covenant with the offering of the fats and blood of lambs and goats on the holy and blessed altars, just as what He had established with Adam, with Noah, with Abraham, Moses and all the other figures we knew from the history of our faith, but all these were imperfect offerings and serve only temporarily.

Indeed, as the Epistle to the Hebrews and in the other sources mentioned, when the priests offered the sin offerings of goats and lambs on the altar, they were offering these for themselves, as well as for the sins of the people who had been entrusted to their care. And no amount of animal blood offering and sacrifices can erase the great entirety of the sins and wickedness of all mankind. Only One can do so.

And that one source from where salvation came, was the Lord, and is the Lord our God Himself, Who by His own will and power, came to share in our own humanity, taking up the form of our own flesh and blood, so that by uniting us to Himself in spirit and in the essence of our creation, He may gather us all and bring us to share with Him the glory of His salvation, and the eternal life He brought with Him.

After all, what is more precious than the very Blood of the Lamb of God, Who is flawless and perfect, without blame and holy? It is the only one that can heal us all and free us all from our sins, from all of our faults and iniquities for all eternity. The saints and martyrs as represented in the vision of St. John in the Book of Revelations wore white robes that has been cleansed in the Blood of the Lamb, because they worthily share in the Body and Blood of our Lord, and have been tested, and their faith has been found true and worthy of God.

Thus, it is a reminder to all of us as well. Have we been faithful to God, and have we shared worthily in the Most Precious Body and Blood of our Lord? When we welcome the Lord Himself through the Eucharist into ourselves, in reality, the Lord Himself has come to dwell in us, and we become the Temple and House of our God. And if God dwells in us, certainly, we should make sure that this Temple, that is our body, our mind, heart and soul are clear from filth and fornication.

Henceforth, shall we all reevaluate our lives, all of our actions and deeds? Shall we all remember the things which we have done all these while? Have we kept our Temple of the Lord’s Presence that is our body, mind, heart and soul worthy and in good condition? If we truly believe that Jesus our Lord is truly present in the bread and wine which have been transformed into the very substance and essence of our Lord, should we not think many times before we even contemplate sinning before God?

And if any of us are to doubt Him because we think that in every sacrifice of the Mass, Christ is being made to repeat again and again the sacrifice for the salvation of our souls, as some of those who refused to believe has accused the Church of God, then we ought to know and understand that, the priests, whom God had called and chosen from among us, are all His representatives, who lead all the faithful to offer their prayers and offerings to God, and to unite it with the sacrifice made by our Lord at the Altar of Calvary.

This means that the Holy Mass and the Eucharist we celebrate there is the same sacrifice which Jesus our Lord made at Calvary, when on that day, He laid Himself to be hung on the cross between the heavens and the earth, that by that singular and ultimate offering, God may deliver us all from our sins and from our fate of damnation and annihilation into eternal life.

Therefore, from now on, let us all rejuvenate our devotion to our Lord in the Most Precious Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Most Holy Eucharist. Let us redouble our efforts in committing ourselves to He Who has given His all, even shedding His Blood for our sake. He has not even hesitated to lay down His life for us, so that we may live.

Let us all devote ourselves to Him and His cause, and from now on, do only things that are in accordance with His will and His ways, that our bodies and hearts, minds and souls may be free from sin and be a worthy House and dwelling place for our God, that we may find place in His salvation. God bless us all. Amen.