Thursday, 25 May 2017 : Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Ephesians 1 : 17-23

May the God of Christ Jesus our Lord, the Father of Glory, reveal Himself to you and give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation, that you may know Him. May He enlighten your inner vision, that you may appreciate the things we hope for, since we were called by God.

May you know how great is the inheritance, the glory, God sets apart for His saints; may you understand with what extraordinary power He acts in favour of us who believe. He revealed His Almighty power in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and had Him sit at His right hand in heaven, far above all rule, power, authority, dominion, or any other supernatural force that could be named, not only in this world but in the world to come as well.

Thus has God put all things under the feet of Christ and set Him above all things, as Head of the Church which is His Body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all.

Thursday, 25 May 2017 : Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White
Psalm 46 : 2-3, 6-7, 8-9

Clap your hands, all you peoples; acclaim God with shouts of joy. For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared; He is a great King all over the earth.

God ascends amid joyful shouts, the Lord amid trumpet blasts. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!

God is King of all the earth; sing to Him a hymn of praise. For God now rules over the nations, God reigns from His holy throne.

Thursday, 25 May 2017 : Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Acts 1 : 1-11

In the first part of my work, Theophilus, I wrote of all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when He ascended to heaven. But first He had instructed through the Holy Spirit, the Apostles He had chosen. After His passion, He presented Himself to them, giving many signs that He was alive, over a period of forty days He appeared to them and taught them concerning the kingdom of God.

Once when He had been eating with them, He told them, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the fulfilment of the Father’s promise about which I have spoken to you : John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit within a few days.”

When they had come together, they asked Him, “Is it now that You will restore the Kingdom of Israel?” And He answered, “It is not for you to know the time and the steps that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the earth.”

After Jesus said this, He was taken up before their eyes and a cloud hid Him from their sight. While they were still looking up to heaven where He went, suddenly, two men dressed in white stood beside them, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up at the sky? This Jesus Who has been taken from you into heaven, will return in the same way as you have seen Him go there.”

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 : 6th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard how the Lord guided His Apostle, St. Paul, who went to various places across the Roman Empire in order to preach His truth to the people, and today we heard the part when St. Paul went to the region now known as Greece, the venerable ancient city of Athens, which was then known to be a centre of learning and science, the centre of ancient wisdom and understanding, the heart of philosophy and intellectual studies.

St. Paul went to a people who had long history of scientific knowledge and discovery, and who came after a long line of famous philosophers and thinkers, who made Athens their home. These people believed in their pagan gods, the gods of nature, of the sky, lightning, the seas and the earth, and all other natural phenomena, which we may be more familiar of as the Greek pantheon of gods and goddesses.

It must have been quite a challenge for St. Paul to have come to the Areopagus, the place where the Greek philosophers gathered to debate about many things, including the matters of the supernatural, about their gods and goddesses. And there came St. Paul bearing the truth to them, the truth about the One and only Living God, the True God Who created all things, and rejecting the falsehoods of their pagan gods.

But St. Paul persevered through, revealing the folly of worshipping gods and idols which were made of human creations, and were made out of gold, silver and all forms of human craftsmanship, and not something that transcends the world itself. He revealed the truth about the Lord, Who was still unknown to those pagan peoples, but through St. Paul and his teachings, they came to know of the Lord and His salvation.

St. Paul showed the philosophers the emptiness and the futility of worshipping the elements of nature, which are merely creations and products of the creation by the Creator. If those things which had been created were truly amazing that mankind came to worship them as gods and idols, then truly, all the more and all the greater is the One Who had created all of them.

That is why all of us worship the Lord our God, for He is the one and only true God, from Whom all life came from, and from Whom all things were created, including each and every single one of us. He has come into this world, by His own accord, in order to reveal Himself to us all, that through that revelation all of us might finally see His truth and learn to accept His light, and live no longer in the darkness.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is too often that we mankind refused to follow the Lord, especially because we have hardened our hearts against Him. We placed our trust in our own might, in our own intellect and in our own abilities, to the point that we could not comprehend the truth of the Lord, as what some of the people at the time of St. Paul had done.

Yet, as we heard from the readings, some of the philosophers were intrigued by what St. Paul had said, and wanted him to explain more about the Lord to them. It was from this moment that the foundation of the faith in that region began to be established and strengthened. It was the willingness of the pagans to open their hearts to the Lord, which allowed Him to enter into their hearts and turn them towards the way to salvation.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we should heed this example, and also turn ourselves completely and wholeheartedly towards the Lord. Let us all believe in Him, our Lord and Creator with all of our heart, with all of our strength and might, so that we may draw ever closer to Him, and not be distracted by the temptations found in this world, so that we may find our way to the salvation in our God. May God bless us all. Amen.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 : 6th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
John 16 : 12-15

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “I still have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. When He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into the whole truth. He has nothing to say of Himself, but He will speak of what He hears, and He will tell you of the things to come.”

“He will take what is Mine and make it known to you; in doing this, He will glorify Me. All that the Father has is Mine; because of this, I have just told you that the Spirit will take what is Mine, and make it known to you.”

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 : 6th Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White
Psalm 148 : 1-2, 11-12, 13, 14

Alleluia! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the heavenly heights. Praise Him, all His Angels; praise Him, all His heavenly hosts.

Kings of the earth and nations, princes and all rulers of the world, young men and maidens, old and young together.

Let them praise the Name of the Lord. For His Name alone is exalted; His majesty is above earth and heaven.

He has given His people glory; He has a praise to His faithful, to Israel, the people close to Him. Alleluia.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 : 6th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Acts 17 : 15, 22 – Acts 18 : 1

Paul was taken as far as Athens by his escort, who then returned to Beroea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible. Then Paul stood up in the Areopagus hall and said, “Athenian citizens, I note that in every way you are very religious. As I walked around looking at your shrines, I even discovered an altar with this inscription : To an unknown God. Now, what you worship as unknown, I intend to make known to you.”

“God, Who made the world and all that is in it, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, being as He is Lord of heaven and earth. Nor does His worship depend on anything made by human hands, as if He were in need. Rather it is He Who gives life and breath and everything else to everyone.”

“From one stock He created the whole human race to live throughout all the earth, and He fixed the time and the boundaries of each nation. He wanted them to seek Him by themselves, even if it were only by groping for Him, succeed in finding Him. Yet He is not far from any one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being, as some of your poets have said : for we too are His offspring.”

“If we are indeed God’s offspring, we ought not to think of divinity as something like a statue of gold or silver or stone, a product of human art and imagination. But now God prefers to overlook this time of ignorance and He calls on all people to change their ways. He has already set a day on which He will judge the world with justice through a Man He has appointed. And, so that all may believe it, He has just given a sign by raising this Man from the dead.”

When they heard Paul speak of a resurrection from death, some made fun of him, while others said, “We must hear you on this topic some other time.” At that point Paul left. But a few did join him, and believed. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus court, a woman named Damaris, and some others. After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.