Wednesday, 7 January 2015 : Wednesday after the Epiphany, Memorial of St. Raymond of Penyafort, Priest (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are presented with the truth proclaimed in the Scriptures and the Gospel, that our Lord is with us and He dwells among us, even now, as He had been, and will ever be. He will always be with us, as long as we remain faithful to our love for Him. He is ever faithful, ever graceful and ever providing for us, a loving and gentle Lord who cares for every single one of His people.

In the Gospel, we heard about Jesus walking through the storm on the water while the boat that the disciples boarded was battered with the winds and the waves, threatening to sink them. They were frightened and were filled with fear, and the sight of Jesus walking on the water towards them frightened them even more, and this was because they lacked the faith, which they should have in Jesus.

The disciples of Christ were always with Him, helping Him in His works and ministry, following Him wherever He went to, and became His faithful servants and helpers in proclaiming the Good News of God. What is this Good News? It is exactly what the First Reading today from the Letter of St. John had revealed to us, that the Lord had sent His Son into the world, and by the dwelling of the Son in the form of the flesh of Man, He is with us.

For Christ is the purest and most concrete manifestation of God’s love for us, the love that has become real and tangible, which we can see and feel with our senses. He came so that He may dwell within us, and thus the love of God may also dwell in us and we would know what love truly is. True love is just as what God had shown us through Jesus, the loving sacrifice He had committed, giving up His own life in exchange for ours, and through that act, gained new life for us all.

True love does not demand returns, and it is unconditional by nature just like what Jesus had done for us. We are sinners and tainted, wicked and undeserving of life and salvation, and yet, Jesus died for us while we were still sinners, as we are still today. He did not hesitate to do so, even though He must have fully known the kind of suffering and pain He would have to go through in order to achieve our salvation and liberation from sin.

The readings of this day teach us that we have God on our backs, and He will support us and provide for us, as long as we are faithful to Him, and as long as we are faithful, we do not have to worry about anything. We worry because we start to lose our faith in God and our firm faith in Him is being undermined. By what? By our own sense of insecurities, by our insatiable desires, and by many other things that distract us from our attention and focus towards the Lord.

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Raymond of Penyafort, the Master of the Dominican Order or also known as the Order of Preachers. St. Raymond of Penyafort had been very faithful and devoted to the Lord from the beginning, from his youth, and he dedicated much of his life in the service of God, to the conversion of sinners and the salvation of the lost sheep of the Lord.

St. Raymond of Penyafort led a simple but dedicated life, one that was filled with the love and concern for the people of God who were still lost to the darkness. Thus, in accordance of the part he played in the Dominican order, or the Order of Preachers, St. Raymond preached about the Faith to many people, especially those who have yet to accept Christ, Jesus our Lord, as their Lord and Saviour. Through his words, he changed their hearts and helped them to allow themselves to open their hearts to God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in our world today there are many people who remain blinded against the love of God, for their heart’s desires, their pride, their greed, their vanity and others often come in between them and their ability to recognise the love of God. Thus, by understanding what we had heard today in the Gospel and the Scriptures, and by witnessing the examples of St. Raymond of Penyafort and his dedications, let us all also do the same, helping one another especially those who are still lost in the world.

Therefore, let us from now on redirect our energies and efforts, that we may lead others from a life of vice and sin, not knowing the Lord and His love, into one that is firmly founded on the foundation of God’s eternal love. Let us all help each other to reach out to the Lord, and may our loving God, the Almighty Father, also guide us, help us and remain with us always. Amen.

 

First Reading : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/06/wednesday-7-january-2015-wednesday-after-the-epiphany-memorial-of-st-raymond-of-penyafort-priest-first-reading/

 

Psalm : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/06/wednesday-7-january-2015-wednesday-after-the-epiphany-memorial-of-st-raymond-of-penyafort-priest-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/06/wednesday-7-january-2015-wednesday-after-the-epiphany-memorial-of-st-raymond-of-penyafort-priest-gospel-reading/

Friday, 7 November 2014 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard the parable of the wicked and dishonest servant, whom the master punished for his dishonesty with his properties. Jesus told this parable to the people, so that they may understand that, the ways of this world are diametrically opposite to the ways of the Lord. And in the first reading, St. Paul told us how there are many those who did not follow the way of the Lord, as the enemies of the Lord, and there are then others who walk in the way of Christ.

It was mentioned that those who did not put their trust in God think only of earthly things, and their belly was their god. And this is indeed what the unfaithful and dishonest servant had done, as he was first of all, serving his own purposes and desires. The dishonest servant was not honest in his activities, and he was clearly not faithful to the charge given to him by his master.

It is likely that what the dishonest servant had done, that he was reported to his master, was exactly what he is doing afterwards to save his own neck. He lied to his master even more, corrupting the funds which is supposed to be under his care and responsibility. A steward is charged with taking care of his master’s wealth and property, and he is supposed to oversee all transactions done in his master’s name.

Thus the debts which the master collects from the people, were the responsibilities of that dishonest steward. And what did the steward do, according to Jesus? He was not trying to defend his innocence or try to do something good to atone for his mistakes. Instead, what he was doing, was exactly what he knew how to do, that is the wicked way of corruption. He went about to secure his own livelihood after his firing from his job.

He made the debts of those who owed money and things to his master to become lesser, for what purpose? It is so that when he was out of job, he would have people who were grateful for what he had done, even though it was wicked and dishonest, so that he would be taken care of properly. And this is indeed the way of the world, how the people of this world commonly act, to preserve their own well-being and safety, over that of the concerns for others, and over the principles of justice and righteousness.

But are we children of this world? Yes, we once were children of this world, and we lived according to the ways of this world. But ever since we were baptised in the Lord, and when we were immersed in the holy water of baptism, we were made the children of God, and as the children of God, we are no longer bound to the ways and customs of this world, but we are bound to the ways of the Lord.

And what the wicked servant had done, will not save him when he goes to face the Lord for judgment. Why is this so? It is indeed right that when Jesus said that the children of this world is good with the ways of the world, and indeed they do, for they know how to deal with the world. But all these are useless when we talk about the life that is to come. These ways may endear us to the world and its inhabitants, but it is not right and good in the sight of God.

Instead, the actions that conform to the desires of this world are contrary to the ways of the Lord, and they bring about condemnation rather than safety. Remember what Jesus said in one of the occasions? He said that it is better for us to build up and store riches for the afterlife, the world that is to come, rather than to build up wealth for ourselves in this world.

Why is this so? That is because whatever we have in this world, we will not carry over into the next life, that we will have with the Lord. Nothing that we have in this world, all the riches and wealth will help us to attain the glorious promises of God. Instead, what will truly help us on our way, is by obeying the will of God and His teachings, that is to love, to be merciful and forgiving, and to be faithful.

And we also have to be righteous and just in all judgments and in all the dealings we make with others. We must have love in all of our actions, and indeed if we have love, we would not even do anything that cause any discomfort for others and benefit only ourselves, which is exactly what the dishonest steward had done. Many people corrupted the funds in this world, which would have gone to help the poor and the less fortunate, and instead, they corrupted the funds to serve their own purposes and made themselves richer at the expense of others.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore what the master of the house praised the unworthy and dishonest servant was because that his cunning had saved him from the troubles of this world, and indeed, through what he does, he will certainly do well and thrive in the world. However, it does not secure him the passage to the life that is to come. To cheat and to be dishonest, and to be infatuated with money and possession are behaviours that will lead to damnation, or eternal death in hell.

Therefore, we are all presented with a clear choice. Should we strive to do well in this world, by being cunning, selfish and filled with desires? Or should we rather focus on building up our wealth in the life to come? Certainly, the answer is clear, that we have to do the latter. It does not mean that we have to reject or shun the world completely, but rather that we have to mind our actions, that they be based not our own human and personal desires, for wealth, possessions or anything else, but based on love which we ought to show first for God, and then also to our fellow brethren, our neighbours.

We cannot serve both God and money, and we cannot be both devoted to the Lord and to the possessions we have. Rather, what we should do is that, whatever blessings and graces we have received in the possessions we have, and what excess we have with us, we should dedicate it to helping those around us in need.

May Almighty God therefore awaken in us the love which we need to have, that in our actions, we may grow less and less selfish, and become ever more selfless. We hope that at the end of the day, we will be able to gain justification through our actions, and be found worthy of the glory of heaven, through what we have done well in this life, in accordance with the will of God. Amen.

 

First Reading : 
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/06/friday-7-november-2014-31st-week-of-ordinary-time-first-reading/

Psalm :
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/06/friday-7-november-2014-31st-week-of-ordinary-time-psalm/

Gospel Reading : 
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/06/friday-7-november-2014-31st-week-of-ordinary-time-gospel-reading/

Friday, 7 November 2014 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 16 : 1-8

At another time, Jesus told His disciples, “There was a rich man, whose steward was reported to him for fraudulent service. He summoned the steward and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? I want you to render an account of your service, for it is about to be terminated.'”

“The steward thought to himself, ‘What am I to do now? My master will surely dismiss me. I am not strong enough to do hard work, and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I will do : I must make sure that when I am dismissed, there will be people who will welcome me into their homes.'”

“So he called his master’s debtors, one by one. He asked the first debtor, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ The reply was, ‘A hundred jars of oil.’ The steward said, ‘Here is your bill. Sit down quickly and write fifty.’ To the second debtor he put the same question, ‘How much do you owe?’ The answer was, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ Then the steward said, ‘Take your bill and write eighty.'”

“The master commended the dishonest steward for his astuteness : for the people in this world are more astute, in dealing with their own kind, than are the people of light.”

 

Homily and Reflection : 
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/06/friday-7-november-2014-31st-week-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

(Usus Antiquior) Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of St. Lawrence, Martyr (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 10 August 2014 : Homily and Scripture Reflections

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard how we must cast away from our bodies and our hearts all things that are evil and filled with wickedness. We must make a conscious effort to get rid from ourselves all evil and wicked desires of the flesh, in order for us to be able to fully understand and appreciate what we need to do so that we may attain salvation and eternal life in God.

In the Gospel, Jesus reminded us this fact by first saying that there will be plenty of obstacles, both from the inside of us and from the outside, namely from those who refused to receive God and His ways, and those who collaborated with Satan to undermine mankind like us, that we may be damned and destroyed together with him. Jesus warned us, and St. Paul warned the faithful in Corinth to keep themselves pure and holy in all actions and things to avoid damnation.

Jesus showed this not just by mere words but also through direct action, showing it by casting out those merchants and defilers that had made impure the Temple of God in Jerusalem. Yes, as mentioned, the House of God and House of prayer had been made into a house of impurities, of money and illicit transactions, all designed to bring more wealth and profits to those merchants who cheated the people of God from their possessions.

Those merchants were truly wicked in their actions, using the opportunity presented by the people who were sincerely devoted to God to steal their money from them by inflating the prices of the sacrificial animal victims and through money exchange services, and while the people became poorer, the merchants became richer and richer. The priests and the Pharisees did nothing and in fact supported these merchants because part of the income ended up in their pockets, ensuring their cooperation in sin.

Those merchants and wicked priests of the Lord are truly the representation of the wickedness and evils that exist in us, in many different and various forms, but in which all of them have the same effect, that is the corruption of the House of God, the Temple in which the Holy Spirit resides. Yes, we all should know that all of us are the Temples of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies are the Temple in which God resides.

God resides in us and He is in us when we have been accepted into His Church, and through the waters of baptism He purified the interiors of this Temple, making it into a suitable throne and place of residence for Him within us. But this does not guarantee us salvation, as faith alone without works is insufficient and meaningless without good works to ensure our salvation. We can still sin and do bad things in contrary to our baptismal promises.

Satan is never quiet, brothers and sisters in Christ, and he will always be at work to convert us to his cause, to spread his lies to us that we believe in him and his lies rather than the truth that is in the Lord. Even those priests of the Lord and the Pharisees who supposedly knew about the Lord, were the ones who in fact gave themselves in completely to the hands of Satan.

If we are lax in our devotion and in our faith, as well as in how we live our lives, then our bodies which are the Temples of the Holy Spirit will be defiled, and a House of God and House of prayer will no longer be as what they should be. Brothers and sisters, this must not happen, and we should heed both the warnings of our Lord and St. Paul His servant, renewing our pledge that we should live our lives in accordance to the ways of the Lord.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all work together and do our best to strengthen our faith within us, and the way is by strengthening our spiritual defenses, firstly through prayers, namely by having a good and healthy prayer life, and then through love and charity, by serving the people of God with sincere and genuine love and dedication.

May Almighty God help us on our endeavours, and continue to watch over us day by day, as we continue in our daily spiritual battle against the forces of Satan and the darkness in this world. Let us trust always in the light and the love of our God. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 3 August 2014 : Holy Gospel

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke

Luke 16 : 1-9

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus discipulis suis parabolam hanc : Homo quidam erat dives, qui habebat villicum : et hic diffamatus est apud illum, quasi dissipasset bona ipsius. Et vocavit illum et ait illi : Quid hoc audio de te? Redde rationem villicationis tuae : jam enim non poteris villicare.

Ait autem villicus intra se : Quid faciam, quia dominus meus aufert a me villicationem? Fodere non valeo, mendicare erubesco. Scio, quid faciam, ut, cum amotus fuero a villicatione, recipiant me in domos suas.

Convocatis itaque singulis debitoribus domini sui, dicebat primo : Quantum debes domino meo? At ille dixit : Centum cados olei. Dixitque illi : Accipe cautionem tuam : et sede cito, scribe quinquaginta.

Deinde allii dixit : Tu vero quantum debes? Qui ait : Centum coros tritici. Ait illi : Accipe litteras tuas, et scribe octoginta.

Et laudavit dominus villicum iniquitatis, quia prudenter fecisset : quia filii hujus saeculi prudentiores filii lucis in generatione sua sunt. Et ego vobis dico : facite nobis amicos de mammona iniquitatis : ut, cum defeceritis, recipiant vos in aeterna tabernacula.

English translation

At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable, “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and the same who was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods, and he called him and said to him, ‘How is it that I hear this of you? Give an account of your stewardship, for now you can be steward no longer.'”

“And the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do, because my lord took away from me the stewardship? To dig I am not able, and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I will do, that when I shall be put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.'”

“Therefore calling together every one of his lord’s debtors, he said to the first, ‘How much did you owe my lord?’ But he said, ‘A hundred barrels of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.'”

“Then he said to another, ‘And how much did you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred quarters of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.'”

“And the Lord commended the unjust steward, for as much as he had done wisely. For the children of are wiser in their generation than the children of light. And I say to you, make unto yourself friends of the mammon of iniquity, that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.”

Thursday, 31 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Ignatius Loyola, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 13 : 47-53

Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a big fishing net let down into the sea, in which every kind of fish has been caught. When the net is full, it is dragged ashore. Then they sit down and gather the good fish in buckets, but throw the worthless ones away.”

“That is how it will be at the end of time; the angels will go out to separate the wicked from the just, and to throw the wicked into the blazing furnace, where they will weep and gnash their teeth.”

Jesus asked, “Have you understood all these things?” “Yes,” they answered. So He said to them, “You will see that every teacher of the Law, who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a householder, who can produce from his store things both new and old.”

When Jesus had finished these parables, He left that place.

Friday, 4 July 2014 : 13th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Portugal (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints)

Amos 8 : 4-6, 9-12

Hear this, you who trample on the needy to do away with the weak of the land. You who say, “When will the new moon or the sabbath feast be over that we may open the store and sell our grain? Let us lower the measure and raise the price; let us cheat and tamper with the scales, and even sell the refuse with the whole grain. We will buy up the poor for money and the needy for a pair of sandals.”

YHVH says, “On that day I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your festivals into mourning and all your singing into wailing. Everyone will mourn, covered with sackcloth and every head will be shaved. I will make them mourn as for an only son and bring their day to a bitter end.”

YHVH says, “Days are coming when I will send famine upon the land, not hunger for bread or thirst for water, but for hearing the word of YHVH. Men will stagger from sea to sea, wander to and fro, from north to east, searching for the word of YHVH, but they will not find it.”