Monday, 14 May 2018 : Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Acts 1 : 15-17, 20-26

It was during this time that Peter stood up in the midst of the community – about one hundred and twenty in all – and he said, “Brothers, it was necessary that the Scriptures referring to Judas be fulfilled. The Holy Spirit had spoken through David about the one who would lead the crowd coming to arrest Jesus. He was one of our number and had been called to share our common ministry.”

“In the Book of Psalms it is written : ‘Let his house become deserted and may no one live in it.’ But it is also written : ‘May another take his office.’ Therefore, we must choose someone from among those who were with us during all the time that the Lord Jesus moved about with us, beginning with John’s baptism until the day when Jesus was taken away from us. One of these has to become, with us, a witness to His resurrection.”

Then they proposed two : Joseph, called Barsabbas, also known as Justus, and Matthias. They prayed : “You know, Lord, what is in the hearts of all. Show us, therefore, which of the two You have chosen to replace Judas in this Apostolic ministry which he deserted to go to the place he deserved.”

Then they drew lots between the two and the choice fell on Matthias who was added to the eleven Apostles.

Sunday, 13 May 2018 : Seventh Sunday of Easter, World Social Communications Sunday and Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 1 : 15-17, 20a, 20c-26

It was during this time that Peter stood up in the midst of the community – about one hundred and twenty in all – and he said, “Brothers, it was necessary that the Scriptures referring to Judas be fulfilled. The Holy Spirit had spoken through David about the one who would lead the crowd coming to arrest Jesus. He was one of our number and had been called to share our common ministry.”

“In the Book of Psalms it is written : ‘May another take his office.’ Therefore, we must choose someone from among those who were with us during all the time that the Lord Jesus moved about with us, beginning with John’s baptism until the day when Jesus was taken away from us. One of these has to become, with us, a witness to His resurrection.”

Then they proposed two : Joseph, called Barsabbas, also known as Justus, and Matthias. They prayed : “You know, Lord, what is in the hearts of all. Show us, therefore, which of the two You have chosen to replace Judas in this Apostolic ministry which he deserted to go to the place he deserved.”

Then they drew lots between the two and the choice fell on Matthias who was added to the eleven Apostles.

Thursday, 3 May 2018 : Feast of St. Philip and St. James, Apostles (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the feast day of two of Christ’s great Apostles, counted among the Twelve. St. Philip was the Apostle renowned for his great intellect and wisdom even prior to being called by the Lord, and he was the one credited in the Acts of the Apostles for the baptism of the Ethiopian official. Meanwhile, St. James the Apostle, the one known as St. James the Lesser or St. James son of Alpheus, was relatively little mentioned in the Scriptures, but was credited with many evangelisation work in various places.

In today’s first reading, St. Paul, another Apostle spoke a testimony of his faith in the Lord, telling the faithful in the city of Corinth about how the Apostles were the beginning and the foundation of the Church, as they witnessed the events surrounding the life of Jesus, His ministry, His marvellous works and miracles, His suffering and Passion, His crucifixion and death, and then, His glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven.

In the Gospel today, the Lord also spoke to His disciples and the Twelve Apostles, about Himself, and the truth about Himself, as the Messiah and the Son of God, the One promised to all of mankind by God ever since the beginning of time. But at that time, as St. Philip uttered to the Lord, “Show us the Father”, the disciples were still unable to comprehend all the things that the Lord had shown them, despite all the deeds and miracles He had done before them.

The Lord taught them and opened their eyes, and later on, after His resurrection, He sent them the Holy Spirit, Who descended on them and dwelled in them, giving them the strength and the courage to go on with their appointed mission, preaching the Good News of the Gospel to the people all over the world. They carried on God’s truth upon the people living in ignorance and darkness, and despite the challenges they faced, they remained strong and faithful.

But as we have seen, the Apostles were not strong people at the start, and neither were they very firm in their faith. They were once also ignorant, and many of them were called by the Lord from the most undesirable of origins, at least according to the standards of the time. Some of them were uneducated fishermen of the lake of Galilee, while others were murderers and rebels, and one was a tax collector.

Yet, it was not mankind who decided what one would become, as man often looked only at the superficial matters and not at the heart and the mind. But God looked inside the heart and the mind, and He saw in the Apostles, a heart with the capacity for faith, for hope and for love. It was all these qualities which eventually allowed them to be open to God working His power and wonders through them.

Now, all of us have to realise that each and every one of us as Christians must also walk in the same path as those Apostles had walked. They dedicated their whole lives to the Lord, caring for the needs of the Church and all the faithful. All of us are also called to this same mission, as the works of the Apostles are still ongoing and not yet completed. There are still more people out there who have not yet heard of the Word of God and the Good News of His salvation.

And how do we carry on our lives from now on then? It is not by going to the streets and preach openly about God. Rather, we must be thoroughly transformed in our lives, just as the Apostles had been, in all of our words, actions and deeds, so that, others may see us and believe in God through us. We are all called to be active disciples of the Lord, living out our faith through our daily actions.

Let us all draw ever closer to the Lord, and be ever more faithful, day after day, inspired by the courage and the faith of the Apostles. Let us all seek to love the Lord ever more devoutly, and find our way to bring greater glory of God through all we do in our lives. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

Thursday, 3 May 2018 : Feast of St. Philip and St. James, Apostles (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

John 14 : 6-14

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you know Me, you will know the Father also; indeed you know Him, and you have seen Him.”

Philip asked Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that is enough.” Jesus said to him, “What! I have been with you so long and you still do not know Me, Philip? Whoever sees Me sees the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me?”

“All that I say to you, I do not say of Myself. The Father Who dwells in Me is doing His own work. Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; at least believe it on the evidence of these works that I do. Truly, I say to you, the one who believes in Me will do the same works that I do; and he will even do greater than these, for I am going to the Father.”

“Everything you ask in My Name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Indeed, anything you ask, calling upon My Name, I will do.”

Thursday, 3 May 2018 : Feast of St. Philip and St. James, Apostles (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 18 : 2-3, 4-5

The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament proclaims the work of His hands. Day talks it over with day; night hands on the knowledge to night.

No speech, no words, no voice is heard – but the call goes on throughout the universe, the message is felt to the ends of the earth.

Thursday, 3 May 2018 : Feast of St. Philip and St. James, Apostles (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

1 Corinthians 15 : 1-8

Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, of the Good News that I preached to you and which you received and on which you stand firm. By that Gospel you are saved, provided that you hold to it as I preached it. Otherwise, you will have believed in vain.

In the first place, I have passed on to you what I myself received that Christ died for our sins, as Scripture says; that He was buried; that He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures; that He appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve. Afterwards He appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters together; most of them are still alive, although some have already gone to rest.

Then He appeared to James and after that to all the Apostles. And last of all, He appeared to the most despicable of them, this is to me.

Friday, 16 February 2018 : Friday after Ash Wednesday (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Matthew 9 : 14-15

At that time, the disciples of John came to Jesus with the question, “How is it, that we and the Pharisees fast on many occasions, but not Your disciples?”

Jesus answered them, “How can you expect wedding guests to mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The time will come, when the Bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then, they will fast.”