Sunday, 19 August 2018 : Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

John 6 : 51-58

Jesus said to His disciples and to the people, “I am the Living Bread from heaven; whoever eats of this Bread will live forever. The Bread I shall give is My Flesh, and I will give it for the life of the world.”

The Jews were arguing among themselves, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” So Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you, if you do not eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you. The one who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood lives eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

“My Flesh is really food, and My Blood is truly drink. Those who eat My Flesh and drink My Blood, live in Me, and I in them. Just as the Father, Who is Life, sent Me, and I have life from the Father, so whoever eats Me will have life from Me. This is the Bread from heaven; not like that of your ancestors, who ate and later died. Those who eat this Bread will live forever.”

Sunday, 12 August 2018 : Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

John 6 : 41-51

At that time, the Jews murmured because Jesus had said, “I am the Bread Which comes from heaven.” And they said, “This Man is the Son of Joseph, is He not? We know His father and mother. How can He say that He has come from heaven?”

Jesus answered them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless he is drawn by the Father Who sent Me; and I will raise him up on the last day. It has been written in the Prophets : They shall all be taught by God. So whoever listens and learns from the Father comes to Me. For no one has seen the Father except the One Who comes from God; He has seen the Father. Truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.”

“I am the Bread of Life. Though your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, they died. But here you have the Bread from heaven, so that you may eat of It, and not die. I am the living Bread from heaven; whoever eats of this Bread will live forever. The Bread I shall give is My Flesh, and I will give It for the life of the world.”

Sunday, 5 August 2018 : Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

John 6 : 24-35

At that time, when the people saw that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. When they found Him on the other side of the lake, they asked Him, “Master, when did You come here?”

Jesus answered, “Truly, I say to you, you look for Me, not because of the signs which you have seen, but because you ate bread and were satisfied. Work then, not for perishable food, but for the lasting food which gives eternal life. The Son of Man will give it to you, for He is the One on Whom the Father has put His mark.”

Then the Jews asked Him, “What shall we do? What are the works that God wants us to do?” And Jesus answered them, “The work God wants is this : that you believe in the One Whom God has sent.” They then said, “Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe You. What sign do You perform? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert; as Scripture says : They were given bread from heaven to eat.”

Jesus then said to them, “Truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. My Father gives you the True Bread from heaven. The Bread God gives is the One Who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.” And they said to Him, “Give us this Bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life; whoever comes to Me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in Me shall never be thirsty.”

Friday, 15 April 2016 : Third Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 6 : 52-59

At that time, the Jews were arguing among themselves, “How can this Man give us flesh to eat?” So Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood lives eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

“My flesh is really food, and My blood is truly drink. Those who eat My flesh and drink My blood, live in Me, and I in them. Just as the Father, Who is life, sent Me, and I have life from the Father, so whoever eats Me will have life from Me. This is the Bread which came from heaven; not like that of your ancestors, who ate and later died. Those who eat this Bread will live forever.”

Jesus spoke in this way in Capernaum when He taught them in the synagogue.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 : Third Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it is sad today to witness the persecution and death of the first martyr of the Church and our faith, St. Stephen the Protomartyr, one of the original seven deacons who have been selected to be those who would serve the people of God and distribute the goods they share with one another, and minister to them in love.

But St. Stephen did not fear the persecution by the world or the threats and pressures laid upon him. He made a long and passionate speech to the Council, reiterating the truth of God, and how God has worked to bring salvation to mankind throughout history, how mankind have rejected Him, and how God Who still loved men, sent to us the Saviour in Jesus Christ.

St. Stephen courageously defended his faith and spoke the truth. He did not mince his words or held back the truth, even though doing so certainly would have brought about the anger and wrath of the Council members, and which means his own death and suffering at their hands. But he faced it all with grace, knowing that God would be with His faithful ones.

The Council members, made up of the high priests, the elders, Pharisees and Sadducees, and the teachers of the Law refused to listen to the truth that St. Stephen had spoken. These people were seeking the bread of this world, that is trying to satisfy their earthly needs. But in doing so, they lost sight of what they truly should have looked for, that is for the eternal Bread of Life.

And the Living Bread of God had come upon them, Jesus, the Saviour of the world, the Divine Word Incarnate into flesh, Who walked among us as we are, dwelling among us and showing to us the way to salvation and eternal life. And He was the One Whom St. Stephen had been standing up for, defending his faith and belief in Him, even though many others refused to believe.

Thus, this is the same challenge that our Lord Jesus Christ is presenting to all of us, as we continue to walk through this life in this world. Are we doing things so far merely in order to satisfy our needs, desires and wants, or are we looking for and seeking for something greater and beyond our mere needs and wants? The essence of being Christians is that we should take up the challenge and seek for the greater glory and true satisfaction that we can find in God alone.

Let us all therefore work together and strive to find the true happiness in God, by committing ourselves to obey the Lord and His laws, and to follow Him in all of His ways. We have no need to worry if we are not capable of doing it, as God did not call the great and the mighty to do His will, but instead He called on the weak and those who are struggling, and to them, if they are faithful, God will bestow great blessings and graces, as He had shown with St. Stephen.

Let us all reflect on our own actions and practices. Have we been truly faithful to God in all the things we say and do? Have we been insincere in our faith, or indifferent? If we want to be truly faithful to God, then we should really show it through our words and actions. St. Stephen had shown us the example, and we ought to learn from it. We do not have to do the same thing as he had done, but what we need to do is to change our lives for the better, and serve God with greater commitment from now on.

May God help us and strengthen our resolve in this journey, and may He help us to find our way to Him, and attain eternal life and redemption that can be found in Him alone. God bless us all. Amen.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 : Third Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 6 : 30-35

At that time, the Jews then said to Jesus, “Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe You. What sign do You perform? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert; as Scripture says : They were given bread from heaven to eat.”

Jesus then said to them, “Truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. The bread God gives is the One Who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.” And they said to Him, “Give us this bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life; whoever comes to Me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in Me shall never be thirsty.”

Monday, 11 April 2016 : Third Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Stanislas, Bishop and Martyr (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard about how God chastised the people who had followed Him, as they followed Him truly because they received good and great things from Him, from the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand men and many other women and children. They received those blessings, had their stomachs filled and were satisfied, and thus, they sought to have more of them.

But did their hearts and minds have God in them? It is likely that they did not have God in them. They were only following the whim of their desires. They liked to be thrilled and pleased by what they see and by what they had witnessed in what Jesus had done, but this kind of commitment is rather one-sided. When troubles come, many of them would be among the first ones to try to get out of trouble.

One example for this was clear, the Apostle Peter, whom at the time when Jesus was betrayed by Judas, and then arrested by the chief priests, wanted to have nothing to do with Him, and in his fear, doubt and uncertainty, although earlier on he had said that he would defend his Lord to the death and even to give his life for Him, but at the very moment when that faith was tested, he faltered and abandoned his Lord.

But this shows us all that God did not choose the perfect and the mighty to be His chief followers and disciples. Instead, He chose humble men like us, and fellow sinners like us. He called tax collectors and sinful people, and He dined with prostitutes and those whom the society had considered as hopeless and damned. But all of this is for the sake of the same outcome, that all of us may find our path out of our miserable past, and look forward to the salvation which God promised all those who are willing to commit themselves to Him.

Jesus told the people not to just look for the perishable bread of this world, but even more importantly, to look for the bread that will last forever. This is the Bread of Life, the Word of God Incarnate, which in Jesus, and through Jesus, the Bread of Life, lies our salvation and redemption from the eternal darkness and damnation that is awaiting all of us.

What does this all mean, brothers and sisters in Christ? It means that all of us should strive to be the best we can be in following our Lord, and commit ourselves wholly to His cause, regardless of what this may bring to all of us. Indeed, following God may not seem to be the best course of action, and many will question us and wonder why we even bother to ‘waste’ our lives and opportunities by devoting ourselves to God.

But I can assure you brothers and sisters in Christ, that the Apostles themselves had endured the same kind of ridicule and rejection from the world. They had to endure many sufferings and persecutions, rejection from the people and from the society, and yet, in all these, while they lost the bread of the world, the approval of the people and the world, but they gained for themselves the eternal Bread of Life through their faith and devotion in God.

Let us all realise that as we rejoice and celebrate together as one Church in this Easter season, that there are still so many things that we can do in order to be active and devoted disciples and followers of our God. Let us all devote our time and strength to be light and the reflection of God’s own light to brighten the way to our own brethren who are still struggling and living in the darkness of sin, and help ourselves to steady ourselves on the path to salvation.

May God help us and strengthen our resolve, so that in all the things that we do, we may always seek to become closer to Him and be inspired to live as He has lived, faithful and committed to God, obedient to all of His ways and laws. Let us all seek eternal life and redemption which can be found in Him alone. God bless us all. Amen.