Tuesday, 22 August 2017 : 20th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 26-38

At that time, in the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent from God, to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a virgin, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

The Angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean. But the Angel said, “Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a Son; and you shall call Him Jesus. He will be great, and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the kingdom of David, His ancestor; He will rule over the people of Jacob forever; and His reign shall have no end.”

Then Mary said to the Angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” And the Angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the Holy Child to be born of you shall be called Son of God. Even your relative, Elizabeth, is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child; and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible.”

Then Mary said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.” And the Angel left her.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 : 20th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 9 : 1-6

The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light. A light has dawned on those who live in the land of the shadow of death. You have enlarged the nation; You have increased their joy. They rejoice before You, as people rejoice at harvest time as they rejoice in dividing the spoil.

For the yoke of their burden, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressors, You have broken it as on the day of Midian. Every warrior’s boot that tramped in war, every cloak rolled in blood, will be thrown out for burning, will serve as fuel for the fire.

For a Child is born to us, a Son is given us; the royal ornament is laid upon His shoulder, and His Name is proclaimed : “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

To the increase of His powerful rule in peace, there will be no end. Vast will be His dominion, He will reign on David’s throne and over all his kingdom, to establish and uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time onward and forever. The zealous love of YHVH Sabaoth will do this.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017 : Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 39-56

Mary then set out for a town in the hill country of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leapt in her womb.

Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit, and giving a loud cry, said, "You are most blessed among women, and blessed is the Fruit of your womb! How is it that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you who believed that the Lord's word would come true!"

And Mary said, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my Saviour! He has looked upon His servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed."

"The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name! From age to age His mercy extends to those who live in His presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty."

"He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever."

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned home.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017 : Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Revelations 11 : 19a and Revelations 12 : 1-6a, 10ab

Then, the Sanctuary of God, in the heavens, was opened, and the Ark of the Covenant of God could be seen inside the Sanctuary.

A great sign appeared in heaven : a woman, clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant, and cried out in pain, looking to her time of delivery.

Then, another sign appeared : a huge, red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and wearing seven crowns on its heads. It had just swept along a third of the stars of heaven with its tail, throwing them down to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman, who was about to give birth, so that, it might devour the Child as soon as It was born.

She gave birth to a male Child, the One Who is to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre; then, her Child was seized, and taken up to God, and to His throne, while the woman fled to the desert, where God had prepared a place for her. Then, I heard a loud voice from heaven : Now has salvation come, with the power and the kingdom of our God.

Friday, 11 August 2017 : 18th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Clare, Virgin (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 16 : 24-28

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, "If you want to follow Me, deny yourself. Take up your cross and follow Me. For whoever chooses to save his life will lose it, but the one who loses his life, for My sake, will find it. What will one gain by winning the whole world, if he destroys his soul? Or what can a person give, in exchange for his life?"

"Know, that the Son of Man will come, in the glory of His Father with the holy Angels, and He will reward each one according to his deeds. Truly, I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death, before they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."

Saturday, 1 April 2017 : 4th Week of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
John 7 : 40-53

At that time, many who had been listening to these words began to say, “This is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some wondered, “Would the Christ come from Galilee? Does Scripture not say that the Christ is a descendant of David and from Bethlehem, the city of David? The crowd was divided over Him. Some wanted to arrest Him, but no one laid hands on Him.

The officers of the Temple went back to the chief priests, who asked them, “Why did you not bring Him?” The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this Man.” The Pharisees then said, “So you, too, have been led astray! Have any of the rulers or any of the Pharisees believed in Him? Only those cursed people, who have no knowledge of the Law!”

Yet one of them, Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier, spoke out, “Does our law condemn people without first hearing them and knowing the facts?” They replied, “Do you, too, come from Galilee? Look it up and see for yourself that no prophet is to come from Galilee.” And they all went home.

Saturday, 25 March 2017 : Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, the day which celebrates the moment when the Archangel Gabriel came into the world, to the poor village in Nazareth in the region of Galilee, proclaiming to a young virgin named Mary the Good News which mankind had awaited for a very long time.

On this day we remember that very moment when Mary conceived the Lord Jesus, Son of God Most High and Saviour of all mankind, the moment when she said yes to the Archangel Gabriel, the time when she obeyed the will of God with a perfect humility and devotion, with perfect love and commitment to God. And it was because of this yes, that the world has seen its Saviour and God’s long planned salvation has come to its fruition at last.

It was at this moment, at that time in Nazareth, that the Lord made into motion His long planned plan to save all of us. He has promised His beloved people again and again, that He would send forth His salvation towards them, and the Messiah, or the Saviour would enter into this world, and through Him all the people of God will find their way to the Lord and be saved.

It was thus why Jesus was born into this world, according to the words of the Scripture itself, that as the prophet Isaiah mentioned it in his book, that the new light has dawned upon the world, and all those who are living in the darkness, in this darkened world has seen a great, new light. That light is the light of Christ, Who is the true Light of the world.

God Himself had loved us so much to the point that He sent us none other than His own Beloved Son, the Divine Word Incarnate, God before all ages, Son of God and part of the Holy Trinity into this world, to become our Saviour. In order to do this, He became Incarnate into the flesh of us mankind, that as a Man, at the same time that He is Divine, He may share in our humanity, and lifting up all of our sins and unworthiness, He may bring upon us the reconciliation with God.

By assuming our flesh, through the will of God the Father and by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus the Son has united all of our humanity with Himself, as He became our great and true High Priest, offering for our sake and in our place, the perfect sacrificial offering for our sins and wickedness. It is because of His love for us that He had done all of these. He would not want us to fall into hell and damnation there, and therefore, He came into this world for our sake.

But all these were also made possible because of the obedience and the faith of Mary, who placed herself in the hands of God, trusting completely in His will and desires, obeying Him as one who is His servant and handmaiden, with the words, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me as He has willed it.” This basically means, “His will shall be done”, the example of perfect and total obedience. It was at that very moment that God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, became Man and took upon Himself the flesh and the nature of mankind.

Let us all ask ourselves in this time of Lent, during this season when we are supposed to spend time reflecting on our lives and take a step back, in order to reevaluate our actions and deeds in life. Are we able to be like Mary in our lives, in our deeds and works? Are we able to follow in her footsteps, in how she responded to the Archangel Gabriel?

Let us not think that just because Mary, the mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, has been conceived and born without the taint of original sin, therefore she is different from any one of us. She also experienced moments of doubt and uncertainty when the Archangel Gabriel suddenly appeared to her and declared to her that she would bear a Child, and the Child is none other than God Himself, and thus, she would become mother of God.

Who would not be surprised when the person heard such a shocking revelation? And yet, even though some doubts and uncertainties came to her in the beginning, as she asked the Archangel Gabriel for clarification on how such thing was possible, as she was still an unmarried virgin, she chose to place her trust in God, and surrendered herself completely to do the will of God.

It is often that we mankind like to do things our own way, and we prefer things to go according to what we have planned and prepared for. We do not like it when things do not go as what we wanted it, but unfortunately, more often than not, that is exactly what happened in reality. And when we tried to make things to go along what we wanted, that is when much bickering, struggles, infighting and animosity came about.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in this season of Lent, we are all called to reflect on the state of our souls, on our actions and deeds in this world that had led us into sin and disobedience against God. This is the time for us to find the way to the Lord, by discerning carefully what it is that we need to do in order to draw closer to the Lord our God. And there is indeed no better way to do so, than to follow in the example of Mary, the mother of God.

Let us all learn from the faith which Mary had in the Lord, putting her complete trust in Him, despite all the uncertainties and fears she had, but she remained faithful and obedient, even to the very end. She placed her faith in God, and she followed her Son all the way to Calvary, to the foot of the Cross, waiting patiently at the side of her Son as He completed the work of salvation for which He came into this world for.

May all of us be more like Mary in our ways, our actions, words and deeds. Let us all commit ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord, following the example of Mary and the holy saints of God, so that in all things, we may grow ever closer to God, particularly through this perfect opportunity of Lent, seeking forgiveness for all of our sins and wickedness, that we may find our way to the Lord and receive His grace forevermore. Amen.