Sunday, 7 December 2014 : Second Sunday of Advent, Memorial of St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

2 Peter 3 : 8-14

Do not forget, beloved, that with the Lord, one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day. The Lord does not delay in fulfilling His promise, though some speak of delay; rather He gives you time because He does not want anyone to perish, but that all may come to conversion.

The Day of the Lord is to come like a thief. Then the heavens will dissolve with a great noise; the elements will melt away by fire, and the earth with all that is on it will be burnt up.

Since all things are to vanish, how holy and religious your way of life must be, as you wait for the Day of God and long for its coming, when the heavens will dissolve in fire and the elements melt away in the heat. We wait for a new heaven and a new earth in which justice reigns, according to God’s promise.

Therefore, beloved, as you wait in expectation of this, strive that God may find you rooted in peace, without blemish or fault.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/05/sunday-7-december-2014-second-sunday-of-advent-memorial-of-st-ambrose-bishop-and-doctor-of-the-church-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Sunday, 2 November 2014 : Feast of All Souls, 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or Black

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the Feast of All Souls, which means that we celebrate the memory of all those who have departed this life before us into the afterlife. The souls of the dead are separated from their bodies, and while their bodies sleep, their souls await the resurrection of the dead at the end of time, during the Last Judgment, when Jesus the King will come again and judge all the living and the dead, and this is part of our faith.

We believe that all the souls of the righteous will be judged by God to belong to Him, and as the Last Judgment shows, they will be counted among the saved ones, and be granted the eternal life and happiness which God had promised all of us. Meanwhile, the souls of the wicked and all those who had done evil in life, and never repented from those evils, will be cast into the eternal damnation and punishment in hell, with Satan and his angels.

Why do we then celebrate today, as the day of commemoration of all the souls who have departed this life? That is because, our Faith believes that, while the righteous ones and those who have done justly in life, will enter heaven directly, being found worthy of it, who are the saints, whose feast day we just celebrated yesterday, the solemnity and feast of All Saints. And those who are wicked and evil in life, they would be condemned to a state of eternal death and suffering, cast into hell and the lake of fire.

But how about those who were with sin, but yet also were righteous? Many of us are in this state, as we commit venial sins and sometimes even mortal sins, and yet in our lives we also commit things that are good and righteous in the sight of God? God is loving and merciful to us, brothers and sisters in Christ, and therefore, if we had been faithful and righteous in life, despite of our sins, we will not be cast into hell and suffer for eternity without hope.

That is because hell is reserved only for those who constantly refused to listen to the Lord and commit mortal sins, and other form of sins, one after another and failing to seek the Lord’s mercy. Hell is however, not exactly a place, but a state, in which we are separated from God and His love for eternity, without hope of redemption and salvation, as we ourselves have rejected the salvation in Jesus in the first place, through our actions.

The suffering is because of the unimaginable nature of losing God’s love and presence in our lives, which brought despair and sorrow so great that it is painful. This is certainly not the fate which God intended for all those who remain faithful to Him. But at the same time, for many of us, we are still not yet worthy of heaven, for the glory of heaven is reserved for those who are truly just alone, and sin has no place in the presence of God. Remember that God is just and His hatred against sin is as great as His mercy and love for us all.

Therefore, our Faith has the concept of what is called purgatory and limbo, in which the souls of the dead and all the souls of those who have not been baptised and yet are righteous among the nations, remain during their sojourn before they are worthy of heaven, suffering temporarily for the consequences of their sins. In the purgatory and limbo, the souls who are there are not without hope, unlike those who are in hell, but they also long for the happiness and joy of heaven which the saints enjoy, and that temporal separation from God, even though not permanent like those souls in hell, bring them great longing and great suffering.

Therefore, on this commemoration of the All Souls’ Day, we commemorate those souls of our brethren, who had departed before us, and we pray for them, asking also the intercession of the saints and imploring the Lord for His generous mercy, to be given to those souls who now suffer in purgatory, for the venial sins and other impurities which prevent them from truly being with God.

But at the same time, this occasion should also be a reminder for us who are still alive, that we should take heed of this fate of the souls suffering in purgatory, and even more so, that we take heed of what is going to happen to the wicked and those who embrace evil, who will be cast down into hell. We have to be vigilant in our own lives, and guard our actions, that evil will not have its way into us, and cause us to commit sin.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, our Church in fact consist not just all of us who believe in Christ in this world today, as this is just one component of the Church of God. We are the Church Militant, who are still living and walking on this world, fighting constantly and regularly in a spiritual battle against the forces of evil, and resisting all forms of sin, we ought to lead a righteous life, to guard against Satan and to be justified in our faith that we merit salvation.

But our Church also consists of the Church Triumphant, which consists of the holy saints, men and women who had been found worthy to merit the glory of heaven, and yet, as I have mentioned yesterday, and as we celebrated the feast of All Saints yesterday, they are still very much together with us, and they constantly pray for our sake, and being close to the throne of God, they are our intercessors, asking for God to show us His mercy and love.

And lastly, our Church also consists of the Church Suffering, namely the souls of the dead who are still in purgatory, suffering for their sins, on their path to heaven, and yet at the same time, they are again also very much still with us, as even death does not part them from us. They are all aware of their sins and how these sins had prevented them from directly enjoying the fullness of God’s promise and how they had suffered because of that.

Thus, they too are praying for our sake, imploring the Lord to send us reminders and strength, to overcome our evils and wickedness, while we still have time, and not to wait until it is too late for us. As at best, our sins will prevent us from being found worthy of heaven directly, and we will end up in purgatory just as they are now in purgatory, or even at worst, that we may end up falling into the endless pit of hell, without any way or hope of escaping it.

Therefore, on this day, we really should use the opportunity, to pray for our beloved ones, and also for every other souls who have departed this life, that the Lord will show mercy on them. We should ask the saints for their intercession, that they will also pray for the sake of the souls in purgatory, as well as pray for us too, so that all of us may be eventually found worthy by the Lord and escape suffering towards eternal life and salvation, together with them the saints, in the glory of heaven.

Let us commit all of us to prayer, that we pray for all the members of the Church, particularly all of us the Church Militant, fighting constantly against evil of this world, and those in purgatory, the Church Suffering. We should pray for one another and help one another to guard ourselves from wickedness, that God’s promised salvation will bear fruit in us, through our faith, our repentance and our devotion to Him.

Nevertheless, this day of All Souls remind us yet again, and the Scriptures also affirmed that we should have no reason to fear death, or fear the condemnation and suffering of hell at all. That is because, even though because of sin, our disobedience against God, we will die, but we will not die forever. Jesus our Lord Himself had made the ultimate proof, when He died on the cross for us, and then rose in glory and majesty, showing that He had conquered death.

Therefore, even as we remember the dead today, and even as we reflect on the nature and inevitability of death to all of us, we have to always remember and put our complete hope and trust in our Lord Jesus, our Risen Lord and Saviour. Through His death we have also died to our sins and to our past lives, and through His Resurrection we have been brought into a new life, a life that is justified by faith and by our love for God.

That is why the sacrament of Baptism is so important, just as the Scriptures mentioned, that through the waters of baptism, when we are immersed in it, we have been ‘drowned’ unto death, the death from our old lives, filled with sin, impurities and wickedness of our heart and soul, and we have been remade into a clean, pure slate, which the Lord transformed into a new life through His resurrection. We did not remain in death, but we rise with Him in glory, if we choose to follow Him faithfully and devotedly.

Death and sin has no say over us, brothers and sisters in Christ, if we remain faithful to the Lord, and if we put our trust solely in Him alone. The belief in the resurrection is central to our faith, and as long as we believe in this, we shall have the eternal assurance of life and salvation, which our loving God had made through Jesus His Son. The souls in purgatory and limbo also knows this, and they prayed ceaselessly for the end of their suffering, when their sins are made clean, and they once again reunite with their Lord. The Lord had indeed won the final victory over death.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, on this occasion today, let us first be reminded that the consequences of sin is death, and death is fatal for us, if we do not make the conscious effort to detach us from those sins, then we are in great danger of falling into eternal damnation. Let us not be deceived by our own glory and achievements, for remember that we are all mortals, and eventually whatever we have in this world, will mean nothing if we have not done them in the Name of God.

Let us instead, look upon the examples of the holy saints, who have put their trust in God, and walked in His path. They have abandoned their wicked past, and cast away their old lives of sin, and in return they received the glory of God, and the fullness of divine promise made through Jesus, our Lord. Following the examples of the saints is a foolproof and guaranteed path for us, that we may also become justified in our faith, and therefore be assured in our own salvation.

And lastly, let us never forget those who have gone before us, and those whom we have loved, who have predeceased us, and now who may be in purgatory, seeking to be united in complete fullness with God. We pray for them, and ask the saints for their intercession for the sake of these souls in purgatory and limbo as well, that they may be delivered from the suffering which they now endure for their sins.

May after their sufferings, their sins are cleansed and they may be brought into full and glorious unity with God, and may we one day also be with them, in the glory of heaven. Let us put our trust and faith ever in God, who is Lord of the living and the Judge of all, knowing that if we do so, death will not have its final say on us, and we will receive the fullness of our Lord’s promise of eternal life and happiness.

May all the souls of those departed in the Lord, receive the grace and love of God, rest in peace, the peace of Christ our Lord. And may we all who still walk in this world continue to walk faithfully in the way of our Lord, emulating the examples of the saints, that we all, together as one Church, Church Militant, Church Triumphant, and Church Suffering be one day be reunited fully in God’s glory when He comes again, and may we praise Him for eternity thereafter. Amen.

 

First Reading :
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/31/sunday-2-november-2014-feast-of-all-souls-31st-sunday-of-ordinary-time-first-reading/

Psalm :
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/31/sunday-2-november-2014-feast-of-all-souls-31st-sunday-of-ordinary-time-psalm/

Second Reading :
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/31/sunday-2-november-2014-feast-of-all-souls-31st-sunday-of-ordinary-time-second-reading/

Gospel Reading :
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/01/sunday-2-november-2014-feast-of-all-souls-31st-sunday-of-ordinary-time-gospel-reading/

Sunday, 2 November 2014 : Feast of All Souls, 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or Black

Matthew 11 : 25-30

At that time, on that occasion Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I praise You, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to simple people. Yes, Father, this is what pleased You.”

“Everything has been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.”

“Come to Me, all you who work hard and who carry heavy burdens, and I will refresh you. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest. For My yoke is good, and My burden is light.”

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/01/sunday-2-november-2014-feast-of-all-souls-31st-sunday-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

 

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Matthew 5 : 1-12a

At that time, when Jesus saw the crowds, He went up the mountain. He sat down and His disciples gathered around Him. Then He spoke and began to teach them :

“Fortunate are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Fortunate are those who mourn, they shall be comforted.”

“Fortunate are the gentle, they shall possess the land. Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.”

“Fortunate are the merciful, for they shall find mercy. Fortunate are those with a pure heart, for they shall see God.”

“Fortunate are those who work for peace, they shall be called children of God. Fortunate are those who are persecuted for the cause of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

“Fortunate are you, when people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil against you because you are My followers. Be glad and joyful, for a great reward is kept for you in God.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Matthew 25 : 1-13

At that time, Jesus told a story that throws light on what will happen in the kingdom of heaven : “Ten bridesmaids went out with their lamps to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were careless, and the others were sensible.”

“The careless bridesmaids took their lamps as they were, and did not bring extra oil. But those who were sensible, brought with their lamps flasks of oil. As the bridegroom delayed, they all grew drowsy and fell asleep.”

“But at midnight, a cry rang out, ‘The bridegroom is here, come out and meet him!’ All the maidens woke up at once, and trimmed their lamps. Then the careless ones said to the sensible ones, ‘Give us some oil, for our lamps are going out.'”

“The sensible ones answered, ‘There may not be enough for us and for you. You had better go to those who sell, and buy some for yourselves.'”

“They were out buying oil when the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him to the wedding feast, and the doors were shut. Later the other bridesmaids arrived and called out, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered, ‘Truly I do not know you.'”

“So stay awake, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Matthew 25 : 31-46

At that time, Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory with all His angels, He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be brought before Him, and as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, so will He do with them, placing the sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left.”

“The King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, blessed of My Father! Take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed Me into your house. I was naked, and you clothed Me. I was sick, and you visited Me. I was in prison, and you came to see Me.”

“Then the good people will ask Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and give You food; thirsty, and give You something to drink; or a stranger, and welcome You; or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and go to see You?'”

“The King will answer, ‘Truly I say to you : whenever you did this to these little ones who are My brothers and sisters, you did it to Me.”

“Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Go, cursed people, out of My sight into the eternal fire, which has been prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry, and you did not give Me anything to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not welcome Me into your house; I was naked, and you did not clothe Me; I was sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'”

“They, too, will ask, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, thirsty, naked or a stranger, sick or in prison, and did not help You?’ The King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you : whatever you did not do for one of these little ones, you did not do it for Me.'”

“And these will go into eternal punishment, but the just to eternal life.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Mark 15 : 33-39 and Mark 16 : 1-6

At that time, when noon came, darkness fell over the whole land and lasted until three o’ clock; and at three o’ clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have You deserted Me?”

As soon as they heard these words, some of the bystanders said, “Listen! He is calling for Elijah.” And one of them went quickly to fill a sponge with bitter wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to Him to drink, saying, “Now let us see whether Elijah comes to take Him down.”

But Jesus uttered a loud cry and gave up His Spirit. And immediately the curtain that enclosed the Temple sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The captain, who was standing in front of Him, saw how Jesus died and heard the cry He gave; and He said, “Truly, this Man was the Son of God.”

When the Sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salone brought spices so that they might go and anoint the Body. And very early in the morning of the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they came to the tomb.

They were saying to one another, “Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they looked up, they noticed that the stone had already been rolled away. It was a very big stone.

As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right, and they were amazed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified; He has been raised and is not here. This is, however, the place where they laid Him.”

Shorter version

Mark 15 : 33-39

At that time, when noon came, darkness fell over the whole land and lasted until three o’ clock; and at three o’ clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have You deserted Me?”

As soon as they heard these words, some of the bystanders said, “Listen! He is calling for Elijah.” And one of them went quickly to fill a sponge with bitter wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to Him to drink, saying, “Now let us see whether Elijah comes to take Him down.”

But Jesus uttered a loud cry and gave up His Spirit. And immediately the curtain that enclosed the Temple sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The captain, who was standing in front of Him, saw how Jesus died and heard the cry He gave; and He said, “Truly, this Man was the Son of God.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Luke 7 : 11-17

At that time, Jesus went to a town called Naim. He was accompanied by His disciples and a great number of people. As He reached the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; there followed a large crowd of townspeople.

On seeing her, the Lord had pity on her and said, “Do not cry.” Then He came up and touched the stretcher, and the men who carried it stopped. Jesus then said, “Young man, I say to you, wake up!” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

A holy fear came over them all, and they praised God saying, “A great Prophet has appeared among us; God, has visited His people.” This news spread throughout Judea and the surrounding places.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Luke 12 : 35-40

At that time, Jesus said, “Be ready, dressed for service, and keep your lamps lit, like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding. As soon as he comes and knocks, they will open the door to him.”

“Happy are those servants whom the master finds wide-awake when he comes. Truly, I tell you, he will put on an apron, and have them sit at table, and he will wait on them. Happy are those servants, if he finds them awake when he comes at midnight or daybreak!”

“Pay attention to this : If the master of the house had known at what time the thief would come, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Luke 23 : 33, 39-43

At that time, there, at the place called the Skull, He was crucified together with two criminals – one of His right and another on His left.

One of the criminals hanging with Jesus insulted Him, “So You are the Messiah? Save Yourself, and us as well!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Have you no fear of God, you who received the same sentence as He did? For us it is just : this is payment for what we have done. But this Man has done nothing wrong.”

And he said, “Jesus, remember me, when You come into Your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “Truly, you will be with Me today in paradise.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Luke 23 : 44-46, 50, 52-53 and Luke 24 : 1-6a

At that time, it was almost midday. The sun was hidden, and darkness came over the whole land until mid-afternoon; and, at that time, the curtain of the Sanctuary was torn in two. Then Jesus gave a loud cry, “Father, into Your hands I commend My Spirit.” And saying that, He gave up His Spirit.

Then intervened a member of the Jewish supreme council, a good and righteous man named Joseph. Joseph went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ Body. He then took It down, wrapped It in a linen cloth, and laid It in a yet unused tomb, cut out of a rock.

On the sabbath the women rested according to the commandment, but the first day of the week, at dawn, they went to the tomb with the perfumes and ointments they had prepared. Seeing the stone rolled away from the opening of the tomb, they entered, and were amazed to find that the Body of the Lord Jesus was not there.

As they stood there wondering about this, two men in dazzling garments suddenly appeared beside them. In fright the women bowed to the ground. But the men said, “Why look for the Living among the dead? You will not find Him here. He is risen.”

Shorter version

Luke 23 : 44-46, 50, 52-53

At that time, it was almost midday. The sun was hidden, and darkness came over the whole land until mid-afternoon; and, at that time, the curtain of the Sanctuary was torn in two. Then Jesus gave a loud cry, “Father, into Your hands I commend My Spirit.” And saying that, He gave up His Spirit.

Then intervened a member of the Jewish supreme council, a good and righteous man named Joseph. Joseph went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ Body. He then took It down, wrapped It in a linen cloth, and laid It in a yet unused tomb, cut out of a rock.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Luke 24 : 13-35

At that time, that same day as the resurrection, two followers of Jesus were going to Emmaus, a village seven miles from Jerusalem, and they talked about what had happened. While they were talking and arguing about what had happened, Jesus came up and walked with them, but their eyes were not able to recognise Him.

He asked, “What is it you are talking about?” The two stood still, looking sad. Then the one named Cleophas answered, “Why, it seems you are the only traveller to Jerusalem who does not know what has happened there these past few days.” And He asked, “What is it?”

They replied, “It is about Jesus of Nazareth. He was a Prophet, You know, mighty in word and deed before God and the people. But the chief priests and our rulers sentenced Him to death. They handed Him over to be crucified. We had hoped that He would redeem Israel.”

“It is now the third day since all this took place. It is also true that some women of our group have disturbed us. When they went to the tomb at dawn, they did not find His Body; and they came and told us that they had had a vision of angels, who said that Jesus was alive. Some of our people went to the tomb and found everything just as the women had said, but they did not find a Body in the tomb.”

He said to them, “How dull you are, how slow of understanding! Is the message of the prophets too difficult for you to understand? Is it not written that the Christ should suffer all this, and then enter His glory?” Then starting with Moses, and going through the prophets, He explained to them everything in the Scriptures concerning Himself.

As they drew near the village they were heading for, Jesus made as if to go farther. But they prevailed upon Him, “Stay with us, for night comes quickly. The day is now almost over.” So He went in to stay with them. When they were at table, He took the bread, said a blessing, broke it, and gave each a piece.

Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised Him; but He vanished out of their sight. And they said to one another, “Were not our hearts filled with ardent yearning when He was talking to us on the road and explaining the Scriptures?”

They immediately set out and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and their companions gathered together. They were greeted by these words : “Yes, it is true, the Lord is risen! He has appeared to Simon!” Then the two told what had happened on the road to Emmaus, and how Jesus had made Himself known, when He broke bread with them.

Shorter version

Luke 24 : 13-16, 28-35

At that time, that same day as the resurrection, two followers of Jesus were going to Emmaus, a village seven miles from Jerusalem, and they talked about what had happened. While they were talking and arguing about what had happened, Jesus came up and walked with them, but their eyes were not able to recognise Him.

As they drew near the village they were heading for, Jesus made as if to go farther. But they prevailed upon Him, “Stay with us, for night comes quickly. The day is now almost over.” So He went in to stay with them. When they were at table, He took the bread, said a blessing, broke it, and gave each a piece.

Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised Him; but He vanished out of their sight. And they said to one another, “Were not our hearts filled with ardent yearning when He was talking to us on the road and explaining the Scriptures?”

They immediately set out and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and their companions gathered together. They were greeted by these words : “Yes, it is true, the Lord is risen! He has appeared to Simon!” Then the two told what had happened on the road to Emmaus, and how Jesus had made Himself known, when He broke bread with them.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 5 : 24-29

At that time, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life; and there is no judgment for him, because he has passed from death to life.”

“Truly, the hour is coming and has indeed come, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and, on hearing it, will live. For the Father has life in Himself, and He has given to the Son also to have life in Himself. And He has empowered Him as well to carry out Judgment, for He is Son of Man.”

“Do not be surprised at this : the hour is coming when all those lying in tombs will hear My voice and come out; those who have done good shall rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 6 : 37-40

At that time, Jesus said, “Yet all those whom the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me, I shall not turn away. For I have come from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of the One who sent Me.”

“And the will of Him who sent Me is that I lose nothing of what He has given Me, but instead that I raise it up on the last day. This is the will of the Father, that whoever sees the Son and believes in Him shall live eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 6 : 51-58

At that time, Jesus said, “I am the living Bread which has come from heaven; whoever eats of this Bread will live forever. The bread I shall give is My Flesh, and I will give it for the life of the world.”

The Jews were arguing among themselves, “How can this Man give us flesh to eat?” So Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you, if you do not eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you. The one who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood lives eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

“My Flesh is really food, and My Blood is truly drink. Those who eat My Flesh and drink My Blood, live in Me, and I in them. Just as the Father, who is Life, sent Me, and I have life from the Father, so whoever eats Me will have life from Me. This is the Bread which came from heaven; not like that of your ancestors, who ate and later died. Those who eat this Bread will live forever.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 11 : 17-27

At that time, when Jesus came, He found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. As Bethany is near Jerusalem, about two miles away, many Jews had come to Martha and Mary, after the death of their brother, to comfort them.

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him, while Mary remained sitting in the house. And she said to Jesus, “If You had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You.”

Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection, at the last day.” But Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, shall live. Whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Martha then answered, “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who is coming into the world.”

Shorter version

John 11 : 21-27

At that time, Martha said to Jesus, “If You had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You.”

Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection, at the last day.” But Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, shall live. Whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Martha then answered, “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who is coming into the world.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 11 : 32-45

At that time, Mary, when she came to the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet and said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping, who had come with her, He was moved in the depths of His Spirit and troubled. Then He asked, “Where have you laid him?” They answered, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.

The Jews said, “See how He loved him!” But some of them said, “If He could open the eyes of the blind man, could He not have kept this man from dying?”

Jesus was deeply moved again, and drew near to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across it. Jesus said, “Take the stone away.” Martha said to Him, “Lord, by now he will smell, for this is the fourth day.” Jesus replied, “Have I not told you that, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone.

Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You for You have heard Me. I knew that You hear Me always; but My prayer was for the sake of these people, that they may believe that You sent Me.”

When Jesus had said this, He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Untie him, and let him go.”

Many of the Jews who had come with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw what He did.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 12 : 23-28

At that time, Jesus said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”

“Those who love their life destroy it, and those who despise their life in this world keep it for everlasting life. Whoever wants to serve Me, let him follow Me; and wherever I am, there shall My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him.”

“Now My soul is in distress. Shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour? But I have come to this hour to face all this. Father, glorify Your Name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified My Name, and I will glorify It again.”

Shorter version

John 12 : 23-26

At that time, Jesus said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”

“Those who love their life destroy it, and those who despise their life in this world keep it for everlasting life. Whoever wants to serve Me, let him follow Me; and wherever I am, there shall My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 14 : 1-6

At that time, Jesus said, “Do not be troubled! Trust in God and trust in Me! In My Father’s house there are many rooms; otherwise, I would not have told you that I go to prepare a place for you. After I have gone and prepared a place for you, I shall come again and take you to Me, so that where I am, you also may be. Yet you know the way where I am going.”

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 17 : 24-26

At that time, Jesus prayed, “Father, since You have given them to Me, I want them to be with Me where I am, and see the glory You gave Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”

“Righteous Father, the world has not known You, but I have known You, and these have known that You have sent Me. As I revealed Your Name to them, so will I continue to reveal It, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I also may be in them.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 19 : 17-18, 25-39

At that time, bearing His own cross, Jesus went out of the city to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew Golgotha. There He was crucified, and with Him two others, one on either side, and Jesus in the middle.

Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister Mary, who was the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw the mother, and the disciple whom He loved, He said to the mother, “Woman, this is your son.” Then He said to the disciple, “There is your mother.” And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home.

Jesus knew all was now finished and, in order to fulfill what was written in Scripture, He said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of bitter wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a twig of hyssop, they raised it to His lips. Jesus took the wine and said, “It is accomplished.” Then He bowed His head and gave up the Spirit.

As it was Preparation Day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross during the Sabbath, for this Sabbath was a very solemn day. They asked Pilate to have the legs of the condemned men broken, so that the bodies might be taken away.

The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other man, who had been crucified with Jesus. When they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead, so they did not break His legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced His side with a lance, and immediately there came out blood and water.

The one who saw it, has testified to it, and his testimony is true; he knows he speaks the truth, so that you also might believe. All this happened to fulfill the words of Scripture : ‘Not one of His bones shall be broken.’ Another text says : ‘They shall look on Him whom they have pierced.’

After this, Joseph of Arimathea approached Pilate, for he was a disciple of Jesus, though secretly, for fear of the Jews. And he asked Pilate to let him remove the Body of Jesus. Pilate agreed, so he came and took away the Body.

Nicodemus, the man who at first had come to Jesus by night, also came and brought a jar of myrrh mixed with aloes, about a hundred pounds.

Sunday, 2 November 2014 : Feast of All Souls, 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or Black

Romans 5 : 5-11

And hope does not disappoint us because the Holy Spirit has been given to us, pouring into our hearts the love of God. Consider, moreover, the time that Christ died for us : when we were still helpless and unable to do anything. Few would accept to die for an upright person; although, for a very good person, perhaps someone would dare to die.

But see how God manifested His love for us : while we were still sinners, Christ died for us and we have become just through His Blood. With much more reason now He will save us from any condemnation. Once enemies, we have been reconciled with God through the death of His Son; with much more reason now we may be saved through His life. Not only that; we even boast in God because of Christ Jesus, our Lord, through whom we have been reconciled.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/01/sunday-2-november-2014-feast-of-all-souls-31st-sunday-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

 

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Romans 5 : 17-21

If death reigned through the disobedience of one and only one person, how much more will there be a reign of life for those who receive the grace and the gift of true righteousness through the One person, Jesus Christ.

Just as one transgression brought sentence of death to all, so, too, One Man’s good act has brought justification and light to all; and as the disobedience of only one made all sinners, so the obedience of One person allowed all to be made just and holy.

The Law itself, introduced later on, caused sin to increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, and as sin caused death to reign, so grace will reign in its own time, and after making us just and friends of God, will bring us to eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Romans 6 : 3-9

Do you not know that in baptism which unites us to Christ we are all baptised and plunged into His death? By this baptism in His death, we were buried with Christ and, as Christ was raised from among the dead by the Glory of the Father, so we begin walking in a new life. If we have been joined to Him by dying a death like His so we shall be by a resurrection like His.

We know that our old self was crucified with Christ, so as to destroy what of us was sin, so that we may no longer serve sin – if we are dead, we are no longer in debt to sin.

But if we have died with Christ, we believe we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, once risen from the dead, will not die again and death has no more dominion over Him.

Shorter version

Romans 6 : 3-4, 8-9

Do you not know that in baptism which unites us to Christ we are all baptised and plunged into His death? By this baptism in His death, we were buried with Christ and, as Christ was raised from among the dead by the Glory of the Father, so we begin walking in a new life.

But if we have died with Christ, we believe we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, once risen from the dead, will not die again and death has no more dominion over Him.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Romans 8 : 14-23

All those who walk in the Spirit of God are sons and daughters of God. Then, no more fear : you did not receive a spirit of slavery, but the Spirit that makes you sons and daughters and every time we cry, “Abba! (This is Dad!) Father!”, the Spirit assures our spirit that we are sons and daughters of God.

If we are children, we are heirs, too. Ours will be the inheritance of God and we will share it with Christ; for if we now suffer with Him, we will also share Glory with Him. I consider that the suffering of our present life cannot be compared with the Glory that will be revealed and given to us. All creation is eagerly expecting the birth in glory of the children of God.

For if now the created world was unable to attain its purpose, this did not come from itself, but from the one who subjected it. But it is not without hope; for even the created world will be freed from this fate of death and share the freedom and glory of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pangs of birth. Not creation alone, but even ourselves, although the Spirit was given to us as a foretaste of what we are to receive, we groan in our innermost being, eagerly awaiting the day when God will give us full rights and rescue our bodies as well.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Romans 8 : 31b-35, 37-39

If God is with us, who shall be against us? If He did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not give us all things with Him? Who shall accuse those chosen by God : He takes away their guilt.

Who will dare to condemn them? Christ who died, and better still, rose and is seated at the right hand of God, interceding for us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Will it be trials, or anguish, persecution or hunger, lack of clothing, or dangers or sword?

No, in all of this we are more than conquerors, thanks to Him who has loved us. I am certain that neither death nor life, neither angels nor spiritual powers, neither the present nor the future, nor cosmic powers, were they from heaven or from the deep world below, nor any creature whatsoever will separate us from the love of God, which we have in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Romans 14 : 7-9, 10c-12

In fact, none of us lives for himself, nor dies for himself. If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. Either in life or in death, we belong to the Lord; it was for this purpose that Christ both died and come to life again to be Lord of both the living and of the dead.

For we will all appear at the tribunal of God. It is written : ‘I swear by Myself – word of the Lord – every knee will bend before Me, and every tongue shall give glory to God.’ So each of us will account for himself before God.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

1 Corinthians 15 : 20-24a, 25-28

But no, Christ has been raised from the dead and He comes before all those who have fallen asleep. A human being brought death; a Human Being also brings resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. However, each one in his own time : first Christ, then Christ’s people, when He comes.

Then the end will come, when Christ delivers the kingdom to God the Father. For He must reign and put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed will be death. As Scripture says : ‘God has subjected everything under His feet.’

When we say that everything is put under His feet, we exclude, of course, the Father who subjects everything to Him. When the Father has subjected everything to Him, the Son will place Himself under the One who subjected everything to Him. From then on, God will be all in all.

Shorter version

1 Corinthians 15 : 20-23

But no, Christ has been raised from the dead and He comes before all those who have fallen asleep. A human being brought death; a Human Being also brings resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. However, each one in his own time : first Christ, then Christ’s people, when He comes.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

1 Corinthians 15 : 51-57

So I want to teach you this mystery : although not all of us will die, all of us have to be transformed, in an instant, at the sound of the trumpet. You have heard of the last trumpet; then in the twinkling on an eye, the dead will be raised imperishable, while we shall be transformed.

For it is necessary that our mortal and perishable being put on the life that knows neither death nor decay. When our perishable being puts on imperishable life, when our mortal being puts on immortality, the word of Scripture will be fulfilled : ‘Death has been swallowed up by victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?’

Sin is the sting of death to kill, and the Law is what gives force to sin. But give thanks to God who gives us victory through Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

2 Corinthians 4 : 14 – 2 Corinthians 5 : 1

We know that He who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and bring us, with you, into His presence. Finally, everything is for your good, so that grace will come more abundantly upon you and great will be the thanksgiving for the glory of God.

Therefore we are not discouraged. On the contrary, while our outer being wastes away, the inner self is renewed from day to day. The slight affliction that quickly passes away prepares us for an eternal wealth of glory so great and beyond all comparison.

So we no longer pay attention to the things that are seen, but to those that are unseen, for the things that we see last for a moment, but that which cannot be seen is eternal.

We know that when our earthly dwelling, or rather our tent, is destroyed, we may count on a building from God, a heavenly dwelling not built by human hands, that lasts forever.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

2 Corinthians 5 : 1, 6-10

We know that when our earthly dwelling, or rather our tent, is destroyed, we may count on a building from God, a heavenly dwelling not built by human hands, that lasts forever.

So we feel confident always. We know that while living in the body, we are exiled from the Lord, living by faith, without seeing; but we dare to think that we would rather be away from the body to go and live with the Lord. So, whether we have to keep this house or lose it, we only wish to please the Lord.

Anyway we all have to appear before the tribunal of Christ for each one to receive what he deserves for his good or evil deeds in the present life.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Philippians 3 : 20-21

For us, our citizenship is in heaven, from where we await the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Lord. He will transfigure our lowly body, making it like His own Body, radiant in Glory, through the power which is His to submit everything to Himself.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

1 Thessalonians 4 : 13-18

Brothers and sisters, we want you not to be mistaken about those who are already asleep, lest you grieve as do those who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose; it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus. God will bring them together with Jesus and for His sake.

By the same word of the Lord we assert this : those of us who are to be alive at the Lord’s coming will not go ahead of those who are already asleep. When the command by the Archangel’s voice is given, the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, while the divine trumpet call is sounding.

Then those who have died in the Lord will rise first; as for us who are still alive, we will be brought along with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the celestial world. And we will be with the Lord forever. So, then comfort one another with these words.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

2 Timothy 2 : 8-13

Remember Christ Jesus, risen from the dead, Jesus, son of David, as preached in my Gospel. For this Gospel I labour and even wear chains like an evildoer, but the word of God is not chained. And so I bear everything for the sake of the chosen people, that they, too, may obtain the salvation given to us in Christ Jesus and share eternal glory.

This statement is true : ‘If we have died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure with Him, we shall reign with Him. If we deny Him, He will also deny us. If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself.’

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

1 John 3 : 1-2

See what singular love the Father has for us : we are called children of God, and we really are. This is why the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

Beloved, we are God’s children and what we shall be has not yet been shown. Yet when He appears in His glory, we know that we shall be like Him, for then we shall see Him as He is.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

1 John 3 : 14-16

We love our brothers and sisters, and with this we know that we have passed from death to life. The one who does not love remains in death.

The one who hates his brother is a murderer, and, as you know, eternal life does not remain in the murderer.

This is how we have known what love is : He gave His life for us. We, too, ought to give our life for our brothers and sisters.

Sunday, 2 November 2014 : Feast of All Souls, 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or Black

Psalm 26 : 1, 4, 7-9, 13-14

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.

One thing I ask of the Lord, one thing I seek – that I may dwell in His house all the days of my life, to gaze at His jewel and to visit His sanctuary.

Hear my voice when I call, o Lord, have mercy on me and answer. My heart says to You, “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. Abandon me not, o God my Saviour!

I hope, I am sure, that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Trust in the Lord, be strong and courageous. Yes, put your hope in the Lord!

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/01/sunday-2-november-2014-feast-of-all-souls-31st-sunday-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

 

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Psalm 22 : 1-3, 4, 5, 6

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters, He restores my soul. He guides me through the right paths for His Name’s sake.

Although I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are beside me : Your rod and Your staff comfort me.

You spread a table before me in the presence of my foes. You anoint my head with oil; my cup is overflowing.

Goodness and kindness will follow me all the days of my life. I shall dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Psalm 24 : 6 and 7bc, 17-18, 20-21

Remember Your compassion, o Lord, Your unfailing love from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, but in Your love remember me.

Free my heart of bitterness; relieve me of this distress. See my pain and sufferings, and forgive all my sins.

Deliver me from them; let me not be put to shame, for I have trusted You. Let integrity and uprightness be my protection, for all my hope, o Lord, is in You.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Psalm 41 : 2, 3, 5cdef and Psalm 42 : 3, 4, 5

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for You, o God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I go and see the face of God?

How I used to lead the faithful in procession to the house of God, amid shouts of joy and thanksgiving, among the feasting throng.

Send forth Your light and Your truth; let them be my guide, let them take me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You reside.

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my gladness and delight. I will praise You with the lyre and harp, o God, my God.

Why are you so downcast, my soul, why so troubled within me? Hope in God, for again I will praise Him – my Saviour and my God.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Psalm 62 : 2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9

O God, You are my God, it is You I seek; for You my body longs and my soul thirsts, as a dry and weary land without water.

Thus I have gazed upon You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.

I will bless You as long as I live, lift up my hands and call on Your Name. As with the richest food my soul will feast; my mouth will praise You with joyful lips.

For You have been my help; I sing in the shadow of Your wings. My soul clings to You, Your right hand upholds me.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Psalm 102 : 8 and 10, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18

The Lord is gracious and merciful, abounding in love and slow to anger. He does not treat us according to our sins, nor does He punish us as we deserve.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.

The days of mortals are like grass; they bloom like a flower of the field; but the wind passes over it, and it is gone, his field will not see him again.

But the Lord’s kindness is forever with those who fear Him; so is His justice, for their children’s children, for those who keep His covenant and remember His commands, for those who put them into practice.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Psalm 115 : 5, 6, 10-11, 15-16ac

Gracious and righteous is the Lord; full of compassion is our God.

The Lord protects the simple : He saved me when I was humbled.

I have kept faith even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” I have said in my dismay, “To hope in humans is vain.”

It is painful to the Lord to see the death of His faithful. O Lord, I am Your servant, You have freed me from my bonds.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Psalm 121 : 1-2, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” And now we have set foot within your gates, o Jerusalem!

There the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, the assembly of Israel, to give thanks to the Lord’s Name. There stand the courts of justice, the offices of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem : “May those who love you prosper! May peace be within your walls and security within your citadels!”

For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, “Peace be with you!” For the sake of the house of our Lord, I will pray for your good.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Psalm 129 : 1-2, 3-4, 5-6ab, 6c-7, 8

Out of the depths I cry to You, o Lord. O Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears pay attention to the voice of my supplication.

If You should mark our evil, o Lord, who could stand? But with You is forgiveness, and for that You are revered.

I waited for the Lord, my soul waits, and I put my hope in His word. My soul expects the Lord more than the watchmen the dawn.

O Israel, hope in the Lord, for with Him is unfailing love and with Him full deliverance.

He will deliver Israel from all its sins.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Psalm 142 : 1-2, 5-6, 7ab and 8 ab, 10

O Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; answer me, You who are righteous and faithful. Do not bring Your servant to judgment, for no mortal is just in Your sight.

I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on what You have done and consider the work of Your hand. I stretch out my hands to You, and thirst for You like a parched land.

O Lord, answer me quickly : my spirit is faint with yearning. Let the dawn bring me word of Your love, for in You alone I put my trust.

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. Let Your Spirit lead me on a safe path.

Sunday, 2 November 2014 : Feast of All Souls, 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or Black

Isaiah 25 : 6-9

On this mountain YHVH Sabaoth will prepare for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, meat full of marrow, fine wine strained. On this mountain He will destroy the pall cast over all peoples, this very shroud spread over all nations, and death will be no more.

The Lord YHVH will wipe away the tears from all cheeks and eyes; He will take away the humiliation of His people all over the world : for YHVH has spoken. On that day you will say : This is our God. We have waited for Him to save us, let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/01/sunday-2-november-2014-feast-of-all-souls-31st-sunday-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

 

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

2 Maccabeus 12 : 43-46

He took up a collection among his soldiers which amounted to two thousand pieces of silver and sent it to Jerusalem to be offered there as a sacrifice for sin. They did all this very well and rightly inspired by their belief in the resurrection of the dead.

If they did not believe that their fallen companions would rise again, then it would have been a useless and foolish thing to pray for them. But they firmly believed in a splendid reward for those who died as believers; therefore, their concern was holy and in keeping with faith.

This was the reason why Judas had this sacrifice offered for the dead – so that the dead might be pardoned for their sin.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Job 19 : 1, 23-27a

Job answered, “Oh, that my words were written, or recorded on bronze with an iron tool, a chisel or engraved forever on rock! For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He, the last, will take His stand on earth. I will be there behind my skin, and in my flesh I shall see God.”

“With my own eyes I shall see Him – I and not another.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Wisdom 3 : 1-9

The souls of the just are in the hands of God and no torment shall touch them. In the eyes of the unwise they appear to be dead. Their going is held as a disaster; it seems that they lose everything by departing from us, but they are in peace.

Though seemingly they have been punished, immortality was the soul of their hope. After slight affliction will come great blessings, for God has tried them and found them worthy to be with Him; after testing them as gold in the furnace, He has accepted them as a holocaust.

At the time of His coming they will shine like sparks that run in the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will be their King forever. Those who trust in Him will penetrate the truth, those who are faithful will live with Him in love, for His grace and mercy are for His chosen ones.

Shorter version

Wisdom 3 : 1-6, 9

The souls of the just are in the hands of God and no torment shall touch them. In the eyes of the unwise they appear to be dead. Their going is held as a disaster; it seems that they lose everything by departing from us, but they are in peace.

Though seemingly they have been punished, immortality was the soul of their hope. After slight affliction will come great blessings, for God has tried them and found them worthy to be with Him; after testing them as gold in the furnace, He has accepted them as a holocaust.

Those who trust in Him will penetrate the truth, those who are faithful will live with Him in love, for His grace and mercy are for His chosen ones.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Wisdom 4 : 7-14

The upright, even if he dies before his time, will be at rest. Honourable age does not depend on length of days, nor is the number of years a true measure of life. A man’s gray hair is understanding, and a spotless life is ripe old age.

The upright was pleasing to God, who loved him, and since he was living among sinners, he was taken up. God removed him lest evil impair his understanding and treachery seduce his soul. For the fascination of evil obscures true values and restless desire undermines a simple heart.

Though his life soon ended, he travelled far. Because his soul was precious to the Lord, he was quickly removed from the wickedness around him.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Lamentations 3 : 17-26

He has deprived my soul of peace, till I have forgotten happiness. Now I say, “Gone are my hopes and all my confidence in the Lord.” Recalling my affliction and homelessness is wormwood and gall. Thinking it over and over makes my soul downcast.

But this, when I ponder, is what gives me hope : YHVH’s love abides unceasingly. His compassion is never consumed; every morning it is renewed. And His love remains ever faithful. “My portion is YHVH,” says my soul. “On Him I shall rely.”

YHVH is good to those who hope in Him, to souls who search for Him. It is rewarding to wait in silence for the Lord’s salvation.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Daniel 12 : 1-3

At that time, Michael will rise, the Great Commander who defends your people. It shall be a time of anguish as never before since the nations first existed until this very day.

Then all those whose names are written in the Book will be saved. Many of those who sleep in the Region of the Dust will awake, some to everlasting life but others to eternal horror and shame. Those who acquired knowledge will shine like the brilliance of the firmament; those who taught people to be just will shine like the stars for all eternity.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Acts 10 : 34-43

Peter then spoke to them, “Truly, I realise that God does not show partiality, but in all nations He listens to everyone who fears God and does good. And this is the message He has sent to the children of Israel, the Good News of peace He has proclaimed through Jesus Christ, who is the Lord of all.”

“No doubt you have heard of the event that occurred throughout the whole country of the Jews, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism John preached. You know how God anointed Jesus the Nazarean with Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all who were under the devil’s power, because God was with Him; we are witnesses of all that He did throughout the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem itself. Yet they put Him to death by hanging Him on a wooden cross.”

“But God raised Him to life on the third day and let Him manifest Himself, not to all the people, but to the witnesses that were chosen beforehand by God – to us who ate and drank with Him after His resurrection from death.”

“And He commanded us to preach to the people and to bear witness that He is the One appointed by God to judge the living and the dead. All the prophets say of Him, that everyone who believes in Him has forgiveness of sins through His Name.”

Shorter version

Acts 10 : 34-36, 42-43

Peter then spoke to them, “Truly, I realise that God does not show partiality, but in all nations He listens to everyone who fears God and does good. And this is the message He has sent to the children of Israel, the Good News of peace He has proclaimed through Jesus Christ, who is the Lord of all.”

“And He commanded us to preach to the people and to bear witness that He is the One appointed by God to judge the living and the dead. All the prophets say of Him, that everyone who believes in Him has forgiveness of sins through His Name.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Revelations 14 : 13

I heard someone from heaven say, “Write this : Happy from now on are the dead who have died in the Lord. The Spirit says : Let them rest from their labours; their good deeds go with them.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Revelations 20 : 11 – 21 : 1

After that I saw a great and splendid throne and the One seated upon it. At once heaven and earth disappeared, leaving no trace. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before the throne while books were opened. Another book, the Book of Life, was also opened.

Then the dead were judged according to the records of these books, that is, each one according to his works. The sea gave up the dead it had kept, as did death and the netherworld, so that all might be judged according to their works. Then death and the netherworld were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. All who were not recorded in the Book of Life were thrown into the lake of fire.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had passed away and no longer was there any sea.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Revelations 21 : 1-5a, 6b-7

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had passed away and no longer was there any sea. I saw the new Jerusalem, the Holy City coming down from God, out of heaven, adorned as a bride prepared for her husband.

A loud voice came from the throne, “Here is the dwelling of God among mortals : He will pitch His tent among them and they will be His people; He will be God-with-them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There shall be no more death or mourning, crying out or pain, for the world that was has passed away.”

The One seated on the throne said, “See, I make all things new. It is already done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, I Myself will give the thirsty to drink without cost from the fountain of living water. Thus the winner will be rewarded : For him I shall be God and he will be My son.”

(Usus Antiquior) Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 2 November 2014 : Homily and Scripture Reflections

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about how important it is for us to practice our faith with real commitment and zeal, and not just empty words and proclamations. And we cannot be hypocrites in our faith, like the example which our Lord Jesus gave us, in the wicked and unforgiving servant, who was forgiven in his own debts, but did not forgive the debts of others whose debts are even smaller then his own debt.

How is the parable of the wicked servant, as told by Jesus, relevant to us? It is indeed relevant, as the actions of the wicked servant and the other servants, are all in fact representative of our own actions, and our own dispositions in life. The wicked servant was in fact representative of the Pharisees and the chief priests, whom the Lord rebuked for their actions in life. But this could also easily mean the same for us, as it is easy for us to follow in their footsteps too.

How is this so? That is because we have to first realise the fact that we are all sinners, and sin is like a debt, a debt which we owe the Lord. Not that the Lord owns sins and neither it is that the Lord is the One who gave us sin. No, it is not. Sin is the disobedience of mankind against the will of God, and therefore, it directly and indirectly refers to the lack of love and honour which we should have given and presented to God.

Thus, when we sin before the Lord, we owe the Lord the love and honour, which we should have given to Him, which we instead gave to Satan, the father of sin and lies. And the more we sin, thus the greater is our debt of love towards God, and the more we have to pay back, just as the wicked servant owed the master a lot of money, to the point that he was unable to pay it back.

And this is why our Lord Jesus came in, for He is the Word incarnate into flesh, the Son of God who had been sent into the world by the Father, so that by what He had done, via His ultimate sacrifice of love on the cross, He offered Himself as a worthy Lamb of God, the ultimate price to be paid for our sins, the whole mountains of our sinfulness, indeed! For the sum of all of our sins are indeed so great, that it may seem to us at first that they are insurmountable.

But what is impossible for men, is indeed possible for God. Nothing is impossible, and just as the master forgave all the debts of the wicked servant, the Lord Jesus also absolved the sins of mankind when He sacrificed Himself on the cross, and gave justification and salvation to all mankind. But then, it cannot stop here, just as the parable has a continuation.

The wicked servant also had his fellow servants who owed him money, far smaller in amount than what the wicked servant had once owed his master. Yet, he did not emulate the example of his master, and persecuted his fellow servant just for the sake of that small debt, which he refused to forgive. This is a reality of our faith, and one which may easily occur to us as well.

The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, no matter how much and how often they have hated Jesus and tried to undermine His works, were also forgiven their sins by Jesus, who even forgave them again on the cross, when He asked the Father not to take into account their actions filled with sin. And yet, despite this, they persecuted their fellow men, for their little sins, which according to them, taints a person and makes him or her unworthy of salvation. They were unbending in their rules and persecuted and ostracised the people for even the smallest matters of the Law.

And how about us, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is the same. We have also been forgiven our sins, but we do not follow the example of Christ in many if not most situations. How often can we remember that we do not forgive or take great offence at one another, even our own close family members, even for the smallest of matter? How often is it that we refused to forgive our brethren just because he or she had wronged us, and we remained in our anger and vengeance?

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, the readings today from the Scripture made it very clear to us, how we have to take heed of the Lord Jesus’ actions and teachings, that is to wear all the aspects of our faith upon us, to guard over the possible temptations and advances of the devil. The breastplate of faith is the core of our faith in God, in the One who had forgiven us our debts, and give us a new chance in life, which however will not be complete, if it is not accompanied by action filled with justice, love and truth.

This means that our actions must emulate the actions of Christ, and we have to forgive one another the mistakes which we have committed to each other. We have to show justice in our actions to our fellow men, and if the Lord had forgiven us from such a great debt and sin, who are we not to follow His examples, and instead be like the wicked servant who persecuted his fellow servant for so small a debt?

Let us take heed of this, lest we suffer the same fate as the wicked servant, who was thrown into jail, into the darkness, having to pay every cent of his debt. And as mentioned, the great extent of our sins is immeasurable and insurmountable, by us. And therefore, the result of disobeying the Lord and following the path of the wicked servant is eternal suffering, or hell.

We certainly do not want this, and thus, let us change our ways, and become better children and servant of our God, that we may be worthy of life together with Him, in full bliss and happiness, forever. Amen.