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

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 18 : 8-11

The Law of the Lord is perfect : it gives life to the soul. The word of the Lord is trustworthy : it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right : they give joy to the heart. The commandments of the Lord are clear, they enlighten the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is pure; it endures forever; the judgments of the Lord are true, all of them just and right.

They are more precious than gold – pure gold of a jeweller; they are much sweeter than honey which drops from the honeycomb.

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

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Matthew 5 : 17-19

Do not think that I have come to annul the Law and the Prophets. I have not come to annul them but to fulfill them.

I tell you this : as long as heaven and earth last, not the smallest letter or dot in the Law will change until all is fulfilled.

So then, whoever breaks the least important of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys them, and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the kingdom of heaven.

 

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

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 147 : 12-13, 15-16, 19-20

Exalt the Lord, o Jerusalem; praise your God, o Zion! For He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your children within you.

He sends His command to the earth and swiftly runs His word. He spreads snow like wool; He scatters frost like ashes.

It is He who tells Jacob His words, His laws and decrees to Israel. This He has not done for other nations, so His laws remain unknown to them. Alleluia!

 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 : Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Today is the celebration of the Annunciation of our Lord, that is the moment when it was announced to His mother Mary, that she is to bear the Saviour of the world within her. The Archangel Gabriel came to her to announce to her the Good News. Mary accepted the role she was to play in the salvation of the world.

And the moment she accepted her role, by her own words that she as the handmaid of the Lord obeyed all the will of God, then everything fell into place, and Mary became the Mother of God from then on. That was also the moment when Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, upon the acceptance of Mary.

That is why today is chosen by the Church to represent and celebrate the Annunciation, because today, 25 March, is exactly nine months before Christmas, the day when Jesus our Lord was born. Nine months is the time that a baby is in gestation within the womb of the mother. So today, we mark the beginning of our journey of expectation of the Lord at Christmas.

And now we are also progressing through Lent, as we prepare ourselves to remember and celebrate the most holy week in our year, the Holy Week, when Jesus went through the most important moments in His ministry, as He revealed His salvation to all mankind. This we also remember, and we recall His promise, that He will come again a second time, this time to bring eternal happiness to all for good.

Thus, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us heed the lessons we can gain from the Annunciation, in the devotion and obedience that Mary showed through her honest and pious answer to the Lord and in the obedience she showed to Him when the angel broke the news to her that she is to bear a Child, and therefore tp bear a huge responsibility.

But obedience and faithfulness are often not in the list of things that we do. We often follow our desires and thoughts more than recognising and following the Lord and His commandments. And it is very often for us to just pay a kind of lip-service to the Lord in our observation of the faith.

Simple example is, how many of us when we go for Mass, are actually there fully because we want to be with God, and that we want to spend time with Him in prayer and togetherness? How many of us attend the Mass meaningfully and seriously? Do we come to the Mass to seek the Lord? Or do we do so because we want to chit-chat with our friends or to look for someone in the congregation?

Yes, brethren, even something as simple as attending the Mass can be a chore to us if we are not solid in our faith and devotion to God. That is where we can learn from the Mother of our God, in her faith and solid confidence in God, that she accepted the role that had been entrusted to her, to be the bearer of the Saviour, the Christ.

Let us not be like king Ahaz or those like the Pharisees in their faith. Their faith was not genuine and true because although outwardly in words they mentioned and talked about obeying God, but inside their heart they have no God inside of them. They are like empty cans, looking good still on the outside, but inside they are really empty and unsightly.

Our faith in God cannot be like this, brethren, because we have to be sincere and genuine in our devotion, and that means, firstly we have to put our trust in God, but we also have to walk the talk, that is we have to practice our faith and make it living. We cannot just pay lip service to God, but we have to take the initiative and be proactive.

Let us all, brothers and sisters, keep this in mind that Jesus will come again, just as He had come before into this world. So, when He comes again, can we show to Him that our faith is genuine? Can we show Him that we obey the Lord and His commandments as His mother did? If we do so, and are able to show such things, then we will be fine.

May the Lord, whose coming is announced on this day of the Annunciation, continue to guide us, so that we may always walk in His path, never turning left or right. Amen.

 

Thursday, 20 March 2014 : 2nd Week of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 1 : 1-2, 3, 4 and 6

Blessed is the one who does not go where the wicked gather, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit where the scoffers sit! Instead, he finds delight in the law of the Lord and meditates day and night on His commandments.

He is like a tree beside a brook producing its fruit in due season, its leaves never withering. Everything he does is a success.

But it is different with the wicked. They are like chaff driven away by the wind. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous but cuts off the way of the wicked.

Sunday, 16 March 2014 : 2nd Sunday of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Matthew 17 : 1-9

Six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain, where they were alone. Jesus’ appearance was changed before them : His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became bright as light. Just then Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus.

Peter spoke and said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. If You wish, I will make three tents : one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

Peter was still speaking, when a bright cloud covered them with its shadow, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My Son, the Beloved, My Chosen One. Listen to Him.”

On hearing the voice, the disciples fell to the ground, full of fear. But Jesus came, touched them and said, “Stand up, do not be afraid.” When they raised their eyes, they no longer saw anyone except Jesus. And as they came down the mountain, Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone what they had just seen until the Son of Man be raised from the dead.

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.

Monday, 10 March 2014 : 1st Week of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 18 : 8, 9, 10, 15

The law of the Lord is perfect : it gives life to the soul. The word of the Lord is trustworthy : it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right : they give joy to the heart. The commandments of the Lord are clear : they enlighten the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is pure, it endures forever; the judgments of the Lord are true, all of them just and right.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart find favour in Your sight, o Lord – my Redeemer, my Rock!

Monday, 24 February 2014 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 18 : 8, 9, 10, 15

The law of the Lord is perfect : it gives life to the soul. The word of the Lord is trustworthy : it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right : they give joy to the heart. The commandments of the Lord are clear : they enlighten the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is pure, it endures forever; the judgments of the Lord are true, all of them just and right.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart find favour in Your sight, o Lord – my Redeemer, my Rock!

Sunday, 16 February 2014 : 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 118 : 1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34

Blessed are they whose ways are upright, who follow the law of the Lord. Blessed are they who treasure His word and seek Him with all their heart.

You have laid down precepts to be obeyed. O, that my ways were steadfast in observing Your statutes!

Be kind to Your servant, that I may live to follow Your word. Open my eyes that I may see the marvellous truths in Your law.

Explain to me, o Lord, Your commandments, and I will be ever faithful to them. Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law with all my heart.