Saturday, 30 January 2016 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)

Mark 4 : 35-41

At that time, on the same day, when evening had come, Jesus said to His disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” So they left the crowd, and took Him away in the boat He had been sitting in, and other boats set out with Him.

Then a storm gathered and it began to blow a gale. The waves spilled over into the boat, so that it was soon filled with water. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. They woke Him up, and said, “Master, do You not care if we drown?” And rising up, Jesus rebuked the wind, and ordered the sea, “Quiet now! Be still!”

The wind dropped, and there was a great calm. Then Jesus said to them, “Why are you so frightened? Do you still have no faith?” But they were terrified, and they said to one another, “Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 8 March 2015 : Gradual and Tract

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet


Psalm 9 : 20, 4

Exsurge, Domine, non praevaleat homo : judicentur gentes in conspectu Tuo.

Response : In convertendo inimicum meum retrorsum, infirmabuntur, et peribunt a facie Tua.

English translation

Arise, o Lord, let man not be strengthened. Let the Gentiles be judged in Your sight.

Response : When my enemy shall be turned back, they shall be weakened and perish before Your face.


Psalm 122 : 1-3

Ad Te levavi oculos meos, qui habitas in caelis.

Response : Ecce, sicut oculi servorum in manibus dominorum suorum.

Response : Et sicut oculi ancillae in manibus dominae suae ita oculi nostri ad Dominum, Deum nostrum, donec misereatur nostri.

Response : Miserere nobis, Domine, miserere nobis.

English translation

To You I have lifted up my eyes, You who dwell in heaven.

Response : Behold as the eyes of the servants are on the hands of their masters.

Response : And as the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress, so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until He has mercy on us.

Response : Have mercy on us, o Lord. Have mercy on us.

Friday, 6 February 2015 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 26 : 1, 3, 5, 8b-9abc

The Lord is my Light and my Salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the rampart of my life; I will not be afraid.

Though an army encamp against me, my heart will not fail; though war break out against me, I will still be confident.

For He will keep me safe in His shelter in times of misfortune; He will hide me beneath His roof, and set me high upon a rock.

I seek Your face, o Lord. Do not hide Your face from me nor turn away Your servant in anger. You are my Protector, do not reject me.

Friday, 30 January 2015 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 4 : 26-34

At that time, Jesus also said, “In the kingdom of God it is like this : a man scatters seed upon the soil. Whether he is asleep or awake, be it day or night, the seed sprouts and grows, he knows not how. The soil produces of itself : first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when it is ripe for harvesting, they take the sickle for the cutting : the time for the harvest has come.”

Jesus also said, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what shall we compare it? It is like a mustard seed which, when sown, is the smallest of all the seeds scattered upon the soil. But once sown, it grows up and become the largest of the plants in the garden, and even grows branches so big, that the birds of the air can take shelter in its shade.”

Jesus used many such stories, in order to proclaim the word to them in a way that they would be able to understand. He would not teach them without parables; but privately to His disciples He explained everything.

Monday, 26 January 2015 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Timothy and St. Titus, Bishops (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of two of the disciples of St. Paul, that is St. Timothy and St. Titus. Yesterday, we celebrate the feast of their benefactor’s conversion, that is the conversion of St. Paul after he met the Lord Himself on the way to Damascus. St. Timothy and St. Titus followed St. Paul in his journeys on different and separate occasions, and they helped him in the spreading of the Good News of God to the people.

St. Timothy and St. Titus were both made and appointed as bishops of the early Church, the successors of the Holy Apostles. They were among the first bishops of the Church, who were to continue the works of the Apostles and the first disciples of Christ, carrying with them the same mission which Jesus our Lord had given to His Apostles, that is to bring all mankind to God, and to bear to them the witness of the Good News of Christ, of His life, His works, His death and resurrection from the dead, and to baptise them in the Name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

In the first reading, we heard about how the Apostles passed on their mantle of leadership and service to the new generation of leaders, by the means of the laying of the hands on top of the heads of those who have been chosen as bishops, or overseers, that is those who had been entrusted with leadership in the Church, to become the leaders and shepherds of the people of God, overseeing the works of the priests and deacons in the areas given to them as their jurisdictions.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in the Gospel today from the Gospel according to St. Luke, we heard about how Jesus appointed the seventy-two disciples to be His servants and helpers, indeed to help the work of the Holy Apostles, by ministering to the people of God, preaching the Good News, healing the sick and those possessed by evil spirits, and to be shepherds to the people of God.

They were sent like sheep among wolves, to bring the Light of Christ among a people who dwelled in the darkness. And that also means that they have to endure dangers and persecutions while they conduct their mission, and they have to bare their own lives on the frontlines of the battle against the forces of darkness of this world. Such are the responsibilities these people bear for the sake of the Lord, and they have been chosen to bear those burden, that many would be saved.

St. Timothy and St. Titus, as well as the many other bishops and elders of the Church kept the faithful and the Church afloat amidst the difficult times, times of persecution and great martyrdoms of the people of God. Many bishops were martyred with their people, with the priests and the servants of God, but thanks to them, we have the faith which we received through our priests, and which they themselves received through the long chain of succession from bishops and priests and all the servants of God, passed on by the laying on of the hands.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us who heard these words of the Lord and the testimony of the faith of our predecessors ought to reflect, on what we need to do and what we can do to continue their works for the sake of the Lord and ultimately for the salvation of all mankind. We still have much work to do, and we should not remain idle, but we must be proactive in our faith.

This means that we have to live our faith with concrete and real actions. We have to love our brethren and help those who are in need. Practice our faith and let it be filled with genuine intention and not just for show or for garnering the praise of others. Let us all ask for the intercession of St. Timothy and St. Titus, that they may continue to inspire us, and pray for us, that our faith may be strengthened and become example for others to follow. May Almighty God be with us always. Amen.

Saturday, 17 January 2015 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony, Abbot (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the theme of today’s readings are similar and indeed is a continuation of yesterday’s readings. If yesterday we heard about the healing of the paralytic man by Jesus, showing God’s love and mercy for sinners, that is all of us mankind, then today we heard about the calling of Levi, the tax collector who followed Jesus and would later be known as Matthew, one of the Twelve Apostles and one of the Four Evangelists or the Writers of the Four Holy Gospels.

In this we can see that no one is beyond redemption and no one is unworthy of salvation. Salvation is offered freely by the Lord to all of us, and it is ultimately in our hands and in our decision to accept or to reject the salvation offered to us. If we accept His salvation and forgiveness for our sinfulness, then we have the potential, capacity and opportunity to become great servants of God, exalted and praised. On the other hand, if we choose to reject Him, then our share is suffering and pain everlasting.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we have to reflect on our own lives, and how we have responded to the call of Christ. Yes, our Lord has called us many times and He constantly wants to remind us to distance ourselves from corruption of this world and all forms of sins, so that we will not be tainted by its corrupting nature. Mankind are all by nature prone and vulnerable to the temptation and to the pull of sin. If we do nothing, then it is likely for us to stumble and fall into the deep pit of sin.

Sin, as I have often mentioned, is the sickness and disease of the soul. Sin makes us all sick and defiled, and if we continue to live with sin, then gradually we will be drifting further and further away from God and we will eventually be lost. Sin however does not have the final say on us, as Christ would prove, by His actions and deeds, through which He sanctified the race of mankind, bringing to them a new hope of liberation from sins.

Jesus came to offer us sinners new hope, by calling us to repent and to abandon our ways of life filled with sins. He came to call sinners back to His love and to convert a people who are wicked and turn them into the creatures of love, of gentleness and care, and of harmony and peace. Thus that was why He called Levi the tax collector, to follow Him and became one of His disciples, counted among the Twelve Apostles.

We may ask, why Jesus would bother to look for sinners and the lost sheep, wicked and sinful men. Why would He bother to go all the way into the depth of the filth and quagmire that is this world, the sole purpose of which is to rescue those who have been trapped in the quagmire and bring them to safety. In fact, do you know that Jesus our Lord let Himself be trapped in that quagmire, so that all of us trapped in it can use His Body to go to our safety?

And thus it is in the same way that our Lord Jesus Christ had gone to find the lowest and the poorest of all, the greatest sinners of all, that by bearing the full brunt of all their sins, He brought about the salvation of all who repented their sins and believed in Him. Those who repented and followed the Lord just as Levi had done, shall receive the forgiveness of their sins, and the eternal grace and blessing of God.

Therefore, today we are called by God to follow the example of Levi, that is to leave behind our lives of sin and embrace the love and mercy of God, following our Lord Jesus and accepting His salvation with our whole heart. That us what we ought to do if we are to attain a new life in Him, life that is free from sin, and in which we are no longer bound to death, which is the consequence of sin.

Today we also celebrate the feast of St. Anthony the Great, also known as St. Anthony of Egypt, one of the first monks of the Faith, namely those who chose to retreat from the worldly materials and possessions, retreating into secluded places and following a life filled with prayer and total devotion to the Lord. St. Anthony of Egypt followed this lifestyle after he reflected on the meaning of the words of Jesus, particularly, ‘Follow Me!’

Thus in order to seek the kingdom of heaven and the grace of God, St. Anthony practiced his faith by retreating from the world and all of its temptations, shunning all forms of sins and worldliness. But he did not have it easy. Temptations and the demons are always tempting him and attacking him, trying to make him fail in his devotion and holy way of life in following God. Nevertheless, St. Anthony persevered and through his intense devotion, many examples and works were made which inspired countless peoples and souls to also follow God with all of their heart.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we do not have to go to the extent of what St. Anthony had done, but at least we have to follow in his footsteps, just as Levi had done before Him, abandoning the life of sin which we have, and exchange it for the life in Christ. We have to live out our faith from now on, that is we have to truly mean what we believe in and not just to let it be empty words or profession of faith without meaning.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, from now on let us commit ourselves anew to the Lord, so that in all things we say and do, we will glorify God and give witness to Him, that others who see us may also believe in Him and be saved as well. God be with us all, now and forever. Amen.


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Wednesday, 7 January 2015 : Wednesday after the Epiphany, Memorial of St. Raymond of Penyafort, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 4 : 11-18

Dear friends, if such has been the love of God, we, too, must love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love comes to its perfection in us.

How may we know that we live in God and He in us? Because God has given us His Spirit. We ourselves have seen and declare that the Father sent His Son to save the world. Those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in them and they in God.

We have known the love of God and have believed in it. God is Love. The one who lives in love, lives in God and God in him. When do we know that we have reached a perfect love? When in this world, we are like Him in everything, and expect with confidence the Day of Judgment.

There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives away fear, for fear has to do with punishment; those who fear do not know perfect love.


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Monday, 5 January 2015 : Monday after the Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the works of God made real and manifest in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God incarnate as Man by the Holy Spirit, and who by the same Holy Spirit did many wonderful works that only God can do. And through Jesus, God exercised His mighty power, teaching and healing the people from their afflictions, bringing the Good News long awaited into full and complete fulfillment.

Yesterday was the Feast of the Epiphany, the commemoration of the moment when the Lord revealed Himself to His people, by the means of the gifts of the three Wise men or the Magi, who presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. In that celebration we continue to reaffirm our faith in our Lord Jesus who is Lord and King, who is God and one true God incarnate into flesh, and the One who was to suffer the consequences of sin so that we may be saved.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we know who is the Christ, and what He has done. The Gospel today precisely spoke about the things that Jesus had done, reaffirming the call of St. John the Baptist, calling the people to repent and to change their ways, so that they would sin no more but enter into the grace of God, thus becoming worthy of the salvation which Christ brought into the world.

Why would the Lord to bother with all these? Why would He come to save the stubborn people who continue to refuse His love, even until today? We know of how many people who were lost along the way, who preferred the ways of the world and succumbing to their heart’s desires and greed. Many lived a debauched life filled with wickedness, with no regard for the Law and commandments of God.

Yet, if we know of the Lord, we should know how much He treasures each and every one of us without exception, even for the greatest of sinners. He does not want to let even a single one of us to be lost without His effort to try to bring us all back to Him. That is why He put so much effort into the attempt to reunite us with Himself, to the point that He Himself came into the world, so that we will not be lost.

As we continue to proceed through our daily celebrations of life, we have to grow stronger and better in our realisation of the love that the Lord has for us all, and the mercy which He wants to show to us. It is too often that we lack the necessary gratitude and acknowledgement of what God had done for us. Thus in this time and season, we have to grow more dedicated and devoted to Him.

How do we do so, brothers and sisters in Christ? That is by practicing our faith genuinely through our actions and deeds. We cannot be true disciples of the Lord unless if we ourselves have already practiced our faith with real actions and deeds. If what we are doing contradict what we believe in, then our faith in the Lord is meaningless, but if we do what our faith had told us to do, then our faith will benefit us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in this world, there is still great darkness and many people are still lost in it, wandering around seeking for their Lord and God, and many were blinded by their own emotions, ego, greed, desire, jealousy, hatred and many others. Thus it is now entrusted to all of us, for us to continue the works of Christ in this world, proclaiming His salvation for all the peoples, and by our examples and actions, may we all be able to inspire more and more people to embrace the way of the Lord and abandon their old ways of sin.

May Almighty God, our Lord Jesus Christ, help us on our journey in this life, that we will always be able to stay faithful to His ways and remain steadfast in our faith to Him. May all the peoples find their ways to the Lord and be saved as one people, that we may rejoice together at the end of time, blessing His great Name. Amen.


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(Usus Antiquior) Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 28 December 2014 : Homily and Scripture Reflections

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Innocents, commemorating those children in Bethlehem who were slaughtered mercilessly by King Herod the Great, in his insecurity and fear that the promised King of Kings, Heir of David would dethrone him and made him to lose everything. He slaughtered all the infants and babies of age two and below, innocent as they were, in order to fulfill his own ambitions and desires. Thus, he had sinned greatly against God.

This feast of the Holy Innocents reminds us of our human nature. We are by nature often selfish and thinking only about ourselves and how to aggrandise ourselves. And in the process of that, we often bring harm and suffering to others, as we stride forth in our quest to bring more to ourselves, be it fame, human praise, wealth, influence, and many other things we often covet and desire.

In order to fully understand the story of the slaughter of the Holy Innocents we have to understand more about who King Herod the Great and why he did the deeds he had done. King Herod was an Idumean or a Nabatean, the group of people who lived to the south of the land of Israel. He was not even one of the Jewish people, but he was rewarded the kingship by the help of the Romans, who contracted the help of King Herod and his father to overthrow the previous ruler of Judea.

In exchange, king Herod had to pay his respects to the Romans who became his overlords, and Herod had to acknowledge their power and superiority over him, and thus he was no more than just a puppet king installed by the Romans. Yet his example then shows us how the greed and ambition of men can have no bounds. In the case of king Herod, he did all he could to preserve his own power and kingship, showing jealousy and hatred to all those who seek to challenge his authority.

But while Herod dwelled on earthly things and sought in vain to aggravate his own personal and worldly agenda, Jesus the true and one King of all showed that His kingship and authority is not one based on the ways of the world, but based on the goodness that is in Him. In this we can make a stark comparison between Herod and Jesus, and this comparison can also be extended into our own, personal lives.

While Herod was vain and power-hungry, Jesus was humble and contented. And while Herod used violence to project his authority, the Lord Jesus had no need for such a thing, as He made His authority clear simply by the clarity of His teachings and messages, and the truth which He preached and bore witness to. By His obedience, He brought mankind into the Light of God and many are saved through Him, while Herod committed a great sin trying to eliminate the One whom to him is none other than a potential rival.

Brothers and sisters, it is therefore a clear reminder to all of us, that as we live this life, we cannot strive to seek what is vain and what is worldly, in expense of the fate we are to have in the world to come. Christ Himself told His disciples explicitly, not to build for themselves wealth and power in this world, but build instead the guarantee and wealth in the world to come.

And how do we do this? We have to stop and reject the temptation to bring about our own benefit and selfishness at the expense of others. Otherwise, we will end up like king Herod, who committed a great sin of murdering the holy innocents of Bethlehem just so that he might satisfy his worldly desires and greed. And in the end, those who have committed wicked deeds will be punished, just as Herod died not long after that, and his kingdom divided among his sons, and eventually these were destroyed shortly after by the Romans.

Most importantly, he has to answer before God for what he had committed. The holy innocents gained the glory of heaven even though they were still very young, as they have suffered great persecution and martyrdom for the sake of the Lord. But Herod is likely to fall into hell for what he had committed. He is likely to suffer there for eternity without any hope for salvation.

Do we want this fate for us? Certainly not. I am sure that we want to avoid this as far as possible. But in order to do that, that is why we have to take the lesson from king Herod and his actions in slaughtering the holy innocents to our heart. We have to get rid of our selfishness and desires that often come in the way of our ability to follow the Lord with the whole of our heart.

As we still continue to proceed through this Christmas season, let us share the joy we have and the graces and blessings which we have received. Let the Lord’s love and grace permeate through all the peoples and all creations so that all of us together may be drawn closer to His ways and away from the selfish ways of the world. May Almighty God bless us and guard us, so that we may not succumb to our emotions and desires, the same one that had brought down Herod to damnation in his murder of the Holy Innocents. Holy Innocents of Bethlehem, pray for us! Amen.


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Friday, 26 December 2014 : Feast of St. Stephen, Protomartyr of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, the day after Christmas, is the feast of the protomartyr of the Faith, that is the first of those who have died for their Faith in God. He is St. Stephen, one of the seven deacons appointed to serve the people of God, sharing and giving the nourishment, and in charge of the Church’s charitable acts and works.

One might be wondering, why after the joy of Christmas, then we immediately go on to celebrate a tragedy, that is the death of a faithful and holy servant of God. But truthfully, if we have understood what Christmas is truly about, then this would not surprise us at all, and indeed, it would have fit perfectly into the order of things. Christmas joy and happiness is not about the glamour, the parties, the revelries and the things we do to make things look great, but it is truly about the Joy we have, for our God has given the perfect manifestation of His love for us and His faithfulness through Jesus.

Did Jesus come into the world to affirm His people and praise them? No, in fact, He did not mince His words, and His words are true, and filled with criticisms at those who have misinterpreted the Law, and worse still for those who even misled the faithful with their sinful ways. As such, as we all should know, Jesus did not have an easy time, and oppositions always came His way, particularly from the Pharisees and the chief priests who viewed Him as a rival to their power, influence and authority.

This is exactly what Jesus mentioned in the Gospel today. He mentioned how those who believed in Him will also suffer just as He had suffered. The world had rejected Him, and all those who placed their trust in the world also rejected Him. Then, the same too would also happen to all those who walk in the way of Christ. The world will also reject them and attempt to eliminate them, just as they had tried to eliminate Christ.

It is to say and highlight that following Christ is not an easy path, and it is certainly not for those who seek to be complacent and desire acceptance by the world. As St. Stephen had shown us, as well as many other martyrs of the Faith that followed in his footsteps, being faithful to God and obedient to His will is a tough one, and often life is placed on the line, and many lost their lives refusing to abandon their Faith in God.

Christ came into our world, incarnate as the Baby Jesus that we celebrate as Christmas, but many would not want to listen to Him and what He had come to tell them, because they were misled, they were deep in the lies of Satan and they embraced to much of worldliness that prevented them from realising the truth about themselves.

That is why when Christ came into the world and bring the truth to them, many found it difficult to accept what He had told them. The Pharisees and the elders of the people refused to listen to St. Stephen as well. St. Stephen spoke at length, telling them all about God and His wondrous works throughout the ages, and he highlighted how the stubbornness of the people of God prevented them from receiving the grace of God and understanding His will.

They closed their ears and covered them, while shouting and lusting for the death of St. Stephen. They tortured him and stoned him to death. This is a clear example of how mankind often refuses to listen to the truth and instead prefer to be buoyed and bought over by the lies of the devil. We are often distracted from the truth, and when the truth comes our way, we come up with a thousand excuses and more to deny that truth.

That is why, brothers and sisters in Christ, many of us live in denial, and we do not recognise our sinfulness before God. We tend to shut God out of our lives, and that is why many of us do not recognise the true value and meaning of Christmas. Christmas is about the coming of the Saviour, whose truth and love would dispel all falsehoods and lies, and we have to face the truth no matter how horrible and ugly the truth is.

Therefore, as we continue to rejoice in the joy of this Christmas season, let us also heed the examples of St. Stephen and the other holy martyrs, who had given up their lives for the Lord, in defense of their faith. They did not hide the truth, but reveal the entirety of the truth they have received from Christ. Therefore, we as the disciples and followers of Christ must also not mince our words, and we must not compromise on the Faith.

Let us preach the Good News of the Lord and the fullness of faith with complete trust and confidence in God’s providence. Practice the Faith through our words, actions and deeds, just like St. Stephen, who did not become angry or hateful to those who have condemned him to death, but instead like Christ, he forgave them and begged that their sins may not be counted against them.

Thus, foremost in our concerns should be the propagation of the unadulterated and unchanged Faith in all its fullness. We cannot be witness to half faiths, or else we witness for nothing. Instead, let us persevere, even against the opposition of the world, to be the bringer of the Joy of Christmas into the world. May Christ be with us all, His peoples and disciples, give us strength and renew our courage and resolve to live our faith with full effort and sincerity. God bless us all. Amen.


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