Dedication and Prayer for those who had passed away in various circumstances

St. Augustine of Hippo once said, “He who sings prays twice.” Thus, with the limitations and the resources I have, I would like to dedicate these in prayer for the sake of those who had gone before us in various circumstances.

I would like in particular to commend someone who was known to me and who just passed away due to accident a few days ago, and I also would like to commend in prayer those who have perished and suffered from various persecutions and torture throughout the Middle East conflict, as well as any victims of injustice and violence throughout the world. And lastly, all others who had also passed away before us, and who now keep us in their prayers before God.

May God hear our prayers and guide their souls into His presence and kingdom in heaven, that they may receive eternal rest and glory at His side. And pray for us, brethren! Pray for us sinners who are still walking about in this world.

 

In paradisum (translation: “Into paradise”)

Lyric:

In paradisum deducant te Angeli;

May the angels lead you to paradise;

 

in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres,

upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you,

 

et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem.

and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.

 

Chorus angelorum te suscipiat,

May the ranks of angels receive you,

 

et cum Lazaro quondam paupere aeternam habeas requiem.

and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.

 

 

Amazing Grace

Lyric:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall profess, within the vail,
A life of joy and peace.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 : 20th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John Eudes, Priest (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in today’s readings are the continuation of the messages of the Scripture from yesterday, and we continue to talk about how worldly possessions may hinder us from truly reaching out to the Lord. The difficulty for the rich which Jesus mentioned, for them to enter the kingdom of heaven, is itself not because of the rich status or the fault of the wealth or material possessions, but in fact because of our innate weakness and proneness to the tempting power of those possessions.

Essentially, those possessions keep us away from the Lord because they rob the focus of our hearts, hijacking our hearts and minds which should really be thinking and focusing on the Lord and all of His goodness, and instead we think more and more of our wealth and possession, to the point that we eventually worry more and more about them, on how we can gain more of them and how we can safeguard them.

We mankind are easy to be tempted if we do not take the steps to actively prevent this temptation. Ever since the days of Adam and Eve, when they were tempted with knowledge and greatness by the lies of Satan, we mankind had been exposed to the works of evil in this world, which threaten to pull us deep into the pit of damnation just as our ancestors had been trapped in those lies of Satan that brought us away from our divine inheritance.

The first reading today talked about how God proclaimed His judgment and prediction on the fate of Tyre, which was a great city of the land of Sidon, of the Phoenicians, a great seafaring nation, which built colonies far and wide, and the progenitor of the later Carthaginian Empire. Tyre is the mother city of the Phoenicians who were great navigators, traders and merchants who built their cities strong with wealth, and Tyre the foremost among them. The rich purple dye of the rulers and Emperors of Rome were named Tyrian purple after the wealth of the city in which this dye originally came from.

Tyre had all reasons to be overconfident, as it had a great influence, mighty and powerful over the seas. In addition to that, the city was built on a nature island off the coast of what is today Lebanon, and therefore is naturally protected against any enemies and forces arrayed against it. Nevertheless, it is in this arrogance and power that ended up in their downfall.

What the Lord spoke of, became true when the Greek King, Alexander the Great conquered the city of Tyre after a long siege, and the city never regained its power, prominence and glory. Therefore, it had been cast down and its power was broken, never to recover. And therefore the same will also eventually happen to us, if we depend on our human power, as well as on our desire for wealth, glory and fame.

It is important for us to realise that wealth, possession, fame, achievement in life and greatness are often not the answers for our lives, and they are neither the solutions for which we can live our lives in a better and more meaningful way. It is too often that mankind had been destroyed by all these, as they are unable to resist their greed and desire and end up destroying themselves.

Today we celebrate the feast of St. John Eudes, a priest of the Lord who founded a religious congregation, the Congregation of Jesus and Mary. He took a vow of chastity at a young age, and then proceeded to join the religious life fully dedicated to the Lord. Under his actions, numerous good works had been done for the sake of the Lord by St. John Eudes himself, who worked hard to serve the people of God and spread the Word of God to many people around him.

St. John Eudes was especially intrigued by those around him who lived in sin and in the darkness of the world, particularly prostitutes who were common in that age. Therefore, St. John Eudes worked hard to help those who were destitute and weak in faith, and through his religious congregation, he endeavoured to advance the preparation and education of priests and all those who devoted themselves to the Lord, that they may do better works for the sake of God and His people.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, people like St. John Eudes and many others who had given up everything, all glory, wealth and fame that they may be true servants of the Lord are our role models. They have resisted the temptations of the flesh and that of the world, so that they are no longer governed by the whim of their desire, but instead by the will of God speaking inside them, guiding them in life to bear much fruits of their good works in the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, is it not right indeed, that we should truly follow in their footsteps? We should all use these opportunities given to us, so that we may free ourselves from the unending pull of desires and human greed, and instead begin to live wholly and completely in the grace and love of God. Let us all ask St. John Eudes for his prayers and intercession, that we too may serve God and His people just as he had once done.

May Almighty God be with us all, in our lives, that we may do good works for the sake of all those around us, particularly those who are weak, destitute and downtrodden. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 13 July 2014 : Holy Gospel

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew

Matthew 5 : 20-24

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus discipulis suis : Nisi abundaverit justitia vestra plus quam Scribarum et Pharisaeorum, non intrabitis in regnum caelorum.

Audistis, quia dictum est antiquis : Non occides : qui autem occident, reus erit judicio. Ego autem dico vobis : quia omnis, qui irascitur fratri suo, reus erit judicio.

Qui autem dixerit fratri suo, raca : reus erit concilio. Qui autem dixerit, fatue : reus erit gehennae ignis. Si ergo offers munus tuum ad altare, et ibi recordatus fueris, quia frater tuus habet aliquid adversum te : relinque ibi munus tuum ante altare et vade prius reconciliari fratri tuo : et tunc veniens offeres munus tuum.

English translation

At that time Jesus said to His disciples : Unless your justice is greater than that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

You have heard that it was said to them of old : You shall not kill, and whoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you, that whoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgement.

And whoever insults his brother, shall be in danger of the council, and whoever shall shall : you fool, shall be in danger of hellfire. If you therefore offer your gift at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has anything against you, leave there your offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to your brother; and then you shall come to offer your gift.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 9 : 32-38

When they had just left, some people brought to Jesus a man who was dumb, because he was possessed by a demon. When the demon was driven out, the dumb man began to speak. The crowds were astonished and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”

But the Pharisees said, “He drives away demons with the help of the prince of demons.”

Jesus went around all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom, and He cured every sickness and disease. When He saw the crowds, He was moved with pity, for they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd.

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are only few. Ask the Master of the harvest to send workers to gather His harvest.”

Friday, 27 June 2014 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, World Day of Prayer for the Sanctity of Priestly Life (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 4 : 7-16

My dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Those who do not love have not known God, for God is Love.

How did the love of God appear among us? God sent His only Son into this world that we might have life through Him. This is love; not that we loved God but that He first loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

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

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

We have known the love of God and have believed in it. God is Love. The one who lives in love, lives in God and God in him.

Sunday, 22 June 2014 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 6 : 51-58

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.”

Wednesday, 18 June 2014 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 6 : 1-6, 16-18

Be careful not to make a show of your righteousness before people. If you do so, you do not gain anything from your Father in heaven. When you give something to the poor, do not have it trumpeted before you, as do those who want to be seen in the synagogues and in the streets, in order to be praised by the people. I assure you, they have already been paid in full.

If you give something to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your gift remains really secret. Your Father, who sees what is kept secret, will reward you.

When you pray, do not be like those who want to be seen. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues or on street corners to be seen by everyone. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. When you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father who is with you in secret; and your Father who sees what is kept secret will reward you.

When you fast, do not put on a miserable face as do the hypocrites. They put on a gloomy face, so that people can see they are fasting. I tell you this : they have already been paid in full already. When you fast, wash your face and make yourself look cheerful, because you are not fasting for appearances or for people, but for your Father who sees beyond appearances. And your Father, who sees what is kept secret, will reward you.