Thursday, 23 June 2016 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Jeremiah 1 : 4-10

A word of YHVH came to me, “Even before I formed you in the womb I have known you; even before you were born I had set you apart, and appointed you a prophet to the nations!”

I said, “Ah, Lord YHVH! I do not know how to speak; I am still young!” But YHVH replied, “Do not say; ‘I am still young’, for now you will go whatever be the mission I am entrusting to you, and you will speak of whatever I command you to say. Do not be afraid of them, for I will be with you to protect you – it is YHVH Who speaks!”

Then YHVH stretched out His hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now I have put My words in your mouth. See! Today I give you authority over nations and over kingdoms to uproot and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Psalm after First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 103 : 1-2, 5-6, 10, 12-14, 24 and 35

Bless the Lord, my soul! Clothed in majesty and splendour; O Lord, my God, how great You are! You are wrapped in light as with a garment; You stretch out the heavens like a tent.

You set the earth on its foundations, and never will it be shaken. You covered it with the ocean like a garment, and waters spread over the mountains.

You make springs gush forth in valleys winding among mountains and hills.

Birds build their nests close by and sing among the branches of trees. You water the mountains from Your abode and fill the earth with the fruit of Your work. You make grass grow for cattle and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth.

How varied o Lord, are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all – the earth full of Your creatures. May sinners vanish from the earth, and may the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, my soul!


Alternative Psalm

Psalm 32 : 4-7, 12-13, 20, 22

For upright is the Lord’s word and worthy of trust is His work. The Lord loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of His kindness.

The heavens were created by His word, the breath of His mouth formed their starry host. He gathered the waters of the sea into a heap, and stored the deep in cellars.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord – the people He has chosen for His inheritance. The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole race of mortals.

In hope we wait for the Lord, for He is our help and our shield.

O Lord, let Your love rest upon us, even as our hope rests in You.

Friday, 13 February 2015 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Genesis 3 : 1-8

Now the serpent was the most crafty of all the wild creatures that YHVH God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say : You must not eat from any tree in the garden?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden, but of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden God said : You must not eat, and you must not touch it or you will die.”

The serpent said to the woman, “You will not die, but God knows that the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.” The woman saw that the fruit was good to eat, and pleasant to the eyes, and ideal for gaining knowledge. She took its fruit and ate it and gave some to her husband who was with her. He ate it.

Then their eyes were opened and both of them knew they were naked. So they sewed leaves of a fig tree together and made themselves loincloths. They heard the voice of YHVH God walking in the garden, in the cool of the day, and they, the man and his wife, hid from YHVH God among the trees of the garden.

Monday, 24 November 2014 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Andrew Dung-Lac, Priest and Companions, Martyrs (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Revelations 14 : 1-3, 4b-5

I was given another vision : The Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, surrounded by one hundred and forty-four thousand people who had His Name and His Father’s Name written on their foreheads. A sound reverberated in heaven like the sound of roaring of waves or deafening thunder; it was like a chorus of singers, accompanied by their harps.

They sing a new song before the throne, in the presence of the four living creatures and the elders, a song which no one can learn except the hundred and forty-four thousand who have been taken from the earth. These are given to follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They are the first taken from humankind who are already of God and the Lamb.

No deceit has been found in them; they are faultless.


Homily and Reflection :

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 : 6th Week of Easter (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we hear how privileged we are to have known the Lord, who had been revealed to us through the Apostles and the disciples of Christ, and through their successors, who continuously preach the Good News and make it known to us. The Greeks in today’s first reading and their predecessor did not have such a privilege, and for many generations, they had lived in darkness and in ignorance, not knowing the truth and the intention which God has for them.

I have once mentioned about the faith of the Greeks in the Hellenic era and earlier, and those of us who know the Greco-Roman mythology and the ubiquitous reference to their gods even to the modern era will know it quite well. There were many gods and goddesses in the Greco-Roman pantheon, each of whom represented an aspect of nature and the world, which they considered to be living and sentient as divines.

This was why the Hellenic people at the time worshipped those gods and built magnificent statues and temples for them, and also offered sacrifices in various kinds to these gods, and yet they did not truly know them. The same happened essentially everywhere else in the world, with the people worshipping aspects and events of nature as divine, and treated them as gods and goddesses.

But if you ask me, these obeisances and devotions are nothing more than mankind’s insecurities, fears, and desires that came forward and end up manifesting as these observations, these worships, and these gods with their stories and mythologies. The mythology and the story behind the gods are often mankind’s attempts to explain the natural phenomena around them and linking them to divine presence.

But these were crafted out of human understanding, and not because of any divine truth and revelations. And they were false, and they misled mankind to believe in the falsehoods, and who fed all these? The devil did. He is most pleased when mankind was misled by lies and misunderstandings, or the twisting of wisdom.

Mankind desires for the love from a superior being, someone whom they know to be the One, the Lord and God who created them, who cared for them, and who provided for them daily and filled them with His Spirit. But not everyone has an idea, of how to approach the Lord, or know how He is like, and that is why, so many people went wayward and away from the Lord, led by the lies of the devil.

God made Himself manifest first to the people of Israel, to Abraham and his descendants, to whom He revealed some of His truth and love, and which He continued to reveal over time through the prophets and the judges. Through them the people of God received more and more knowledge about God and His infinite love for us. But sadly, the people often did not remain faithful and they disobeyed Him despite knowing the truth.

That was why Jesus came into this world, to be the One, who not only revealed the fullness and perfection of God’s love and truth to mankind, but also to be the One through whose truth, made mankind worthy again of Himself, and by dying and by His resurrection, made the plain truth about Himself visible to all, and rose up from among mankind, His witnesses to proclaim that truth to all peoples, of all nations.

Today we are also urged, to cast away the lies, the veil of lies and darkness that still remain, if any, un our hearts and minds. If the people at the time of St. Paul failed to see God in His truth because their hearts were closed within a veil of darkness crafted by men, within layers of superstitions and false faith in tales and mythologies, then we in this world today suffer from the same thing, that is the darkening of our hearts and minds by the concerns of this world, that is by material possessions, and other forms of the pleasures of the flesh.

Let us all today be courageous and be firm in saying no to Satan, and rejecting all of his lies, so that we may finally pierce through the veil of darkness he has cast around us. May we be truly faithful and be good servants and children of God, and be worthy through our words, actions and deeds, which are always in the mold and following the example of Jesus our Lord and Saviour. God bless us all. Amen.

Friday, 23 May 2014 : 5th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 15 : 12-17

This is My commandment : Love one another as I have loved you! There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friends; and you are My friends, if you do what I command you.

I shall not call you servants anymore, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learnt from My Father.

You did not choose Me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in My Name, He will give you. This is My command, that you love one another.

Monday, 12 May 2014 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Sts. Nereus and Achilleus, Martyrs, and St. Pancras, Martyr (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are affirmed with the love of the Lord, who had given us that love through His gift of Jesus, His only beloved Son to us, as a fitting sacrificial victim and the intermediary between us sinners to He who is perfect in heaven. Through Christ all were made worthy of the Lord and were promised the glorious eternal life in heaven.

Yes, and this promise was extended to all mankind, to all the beloved creations of the Lord Most High, and not just to a certain group of people. If we read the Old Testament, it is very easy for us to have the misconception that the people of Israel, or the Jews, are the chosen people of God, whom the Lord chose over all the other nations.

God did choose the descendants of Jacob, and therefore, the descendants of Abraham, to be His first chosen, to be the ones to whom He first revealed Himself to, and the ones to whom He revealed His will and His love. But this does not mean that God excludes all the other nations from His love. He loved them equally just the same, just as we have our breath of life every single moments of our lives.

The shepherd, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd of all the people of God, did not choose favourites among His people. Indeed, He came first to the Jews, just as His Father had first chosen them to be His people. But this does not mean that His salvation is intended only for them to the exclusion and damnation of all the other nations.

He loves us all, and wishes us all to be saved, and therefore, that is why He commended the disciples to go and spread the Good News to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. That is His intention, and He desires that we all be reunited with God in eternal bliss of splendour and happiness. And thus, He sanctifies all mankind through His death and resurrection.

We must never be haughty and judge ourselves, just like the Jews who thought themselves of being worthy of salvation, because they misunderstood the intentions and actions of the Lord as one of favouritism, particularly the chief priests and the Pharisees. They judged themselves worthy and condemned others who did not share their opinions, to the point of persecuting Jesus and His followers in their ministry.

God showed His mercy to mankind, and He forgave them all, on the account of His love and dedication for them. The Lord is loving to all, and He readily shows His love for us all. He comforts us when we suffer and when we are sad, and He lifts us up when we fall down into despair and hopelessness. He shows His care for us without any discrimination.

Today we celebrate the feast of many saints, namely St. Nereus and Achilles, as well as St. Pancras, all of whom were slaves and servants of the Empress or Augusta of the early era Roman Empire. They were the servants of the wife of the Emperor Domitian or Domitianus, who was infamous for his great persecutions against the faithful and the Church, who carried out the one of the great persecution against the Church.

They were martyred in the defense of their faith, and they refused to recant their devotion and commitment to the Lord. They stayed faithful to the end and received holy martyrdom, and now they are revered by us in the Church as saints of the holy Church, worthy of heaven and interceding for our sake daily before the Lord.

In their example, we see how even the people considered to be unworthy by many in Jesus’ time can become saints and holy martyrs, by their following of the teachings of the Lord and by walking faithfully in His ways. Thus, we too should not be afraid and instead, walk courageously in the footsteps of these holy men to be also faithful disciples of the Lord and be courageous in our works, that we may bring even more souls to salvation.

May the Lord open our minds and hearts today, that we will learn to be inclusive and not to exclude others or be judgmental, and instead be humble in seeking the Lord’s forgiveness and love. May He guide us always that we may approach ever closer to His throne of mercy and to His loving embrace. Amen.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 : 3rd Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Deuteronomy 4 : 1, 5-9

And now, Israel, listen to the norms and laws which I teach that you may put them into practice. And you will live and enter and take possession of the land which YHVH, the God of your fathers, gives you.

See, as YHVH, my God, ordered me. I am teaching you the norms and the laws that you may put them into practice in the land you are going to enter and have as your own. If you observe and practice them, other peoples will regard you as wise and intelligent. When they come to know of all these laws, they will say, “There is no people as wise and as intelligent as this great nation.”

For in truth, is there a nation as great as ours, whose gods are as near to it as YHVH, our God, is to us whenever we call upon Him? And is there a nation as great as ours whose norms and laws are as just as this Law which I give you today?

But be careful and be on your guard. Do not forget these things which your own eyes have seen nor let them depart from your heart as long as you live. But on the contrary, teach them to your children and to your children’s children.


Sunday, 23 March 2014 : 3rd Sunday of Lent (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Be not stubborn and put our trust in God. Open our hearts and listen to God speaking in the depths of our hearts. Let Him come to us and make us once again to be worthy of Him. Be open to the words of God and do not harden our hearts against Him, and our salvation will surely come upon us and we will rejoice with God.

Do not be like the Israelites but rather be like the Samaritans, this is the message that we need to learn today. Not to be prejudiced over one race of people against another, so that is why we need to understand first the context and background that made up the scene in our Gospel reading today.

At that time, and ever since the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel, about seven centuries before the birth of Christ, the remnants of the Israelites, commonly called the Jews since then, had been at odds with the people who lived at the former territories of the northern kingdom.

These people had been brought in by the Assyrian conquerors to replace the people of the northern kingdom who had been mostly deported to the far away territories of the Assyrian Empire, and these people intermingled with the remnants of the people of the northern kingdom to form the people called the Samaritans, because they lived in the region of Samaria, the former capital of the northern kingdom.

The Jews despised the Samaritans because ever since their exile in Babylon, they had been largely faithful to the law of God, and under the leadership of the Pharisees, they became rather puritans in faith, that is they were very zealous and proud of their faith in God as well as their heritage of the faith and full observation of God’s laws. And the Samaritans stood in contrast to this, as they mixed their ancestors’ pagan rites with the faith of the Israelites in God.

So essentially the Jews and the Samaritans worship the same God, but they were at odds because of their differences, in how they worship the Lord their God. And in particular because the Jews and their faith believed that they were the only ones worthy of salvation because they were of God’s chosen people, and exclude others as pagans and unworthy of salvation, refusing to deal with them as much as possible.

Well, as we see from the Scriptures, we know that Christ was first sent to the Jews, to the chosen people of God, to tell them of God’s Good News of salvation. Yet, as we know, they refused to listen to Him, or just believed superficially without real substance of the faith.

Jesus’ own neighbours in His own hometown rejected Him, the Pharisees and the chief priests rejected Him, and the same people who believed in Him and put their faith in Him because of His miracles and healings called for His death and crucifixion on the cross. Yet, the Samaritans believed in what He said and followed Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as Jesus Himself said, that all who believes in Him will receive eternal life, we too will receive what He promised to the Samaritan woman if we genuinely believe in Him. And we should not be prejudiced against anyone based on their background either, and worst of all we should not claim to be righteous over another and condemn them for their supposedly ‘lesser’ faith.

Instead, let us help one another to believe more and more in God, and let us help one another to reach out to the Lord, that all of us may together be saved and may one day be together in heaven, all as the same children of the same God. Let us go together and worship the Lord as one. May God guide us and help us on our way. Amen.

Saturday, 15 March 2014 : 1st Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Deuteronomy 26 : 16-19

On this day, YHVH, your God, commands you to fulfill these norms and these commandments. Obey them now and put them into practice with all your heart and with all your soul.

Today YHVH has declared to you that He will be your God, and so you shall follow His ways, observing His norms, His commandments and His laws, and listening to His voice.

Today YHVH has declared that you will be His very own people even as He had promised you, and you must obey all His commandments. He, for His part, will give you honour, renown and glory, and set you high above all the nations He has made, and you will become a nation consecrated to YHVH, your God, as He has declared.