Sunday, 20 May 2018 : Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Acts 2 : 1-11

When the day of Pentecost came, the disciples of Jesus were all together in one place. And suddenly out of the sky came a sound like a strong rushing wind and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared tongues as if of fire which parted and came to rest upon each one of them. All were filled with Holy Spirit and began to speak other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

Staying in Jerusalem were religious Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered, all excited because each heard them speaking in his own language. Full of amazement and wonder, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? How is it that we hear them in our own native language?”

“Here are Parthians, Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and foreigners who accept Jewish beliefs, Cretians and Arabians; and all of us hear them proclaiming in our own language what God, the Saviour, does.”

Saturday, 30 May 2015 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sirach (Ecclesiastes) 51 : 12a-20

That is why I will give You thanks and praise and bless the Name of the Lord. In my youth, before I set out on my travels, I openly sought wisdom in prayer; before the Temple I asked for her and I will pursue her to the end of my days.

While she blossomed like a ripening cluster, my heart was delighted in her; my feet followed the right path, because from my youth I searched for her. As soon as I began listening to her, she was given to me, and with her, much instruction. With her help I made progress and I will glorify Him who gives me wisdom, for I decided to put it into practice and ardently seek what is good. I shall not regret it.

My soul has struggled to possess her. I have been attentive to observe the Law, and after my faults I have stretched out my hands to heaven and lamented my ignorance of her. My love of her increased and I found her in repentance. It was through her from the beginning that I learnt to possess my heart. She will not forsake me.

Thursday, 29 January 2015 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Hebrews 10 : 19-25

So, my friends, we are assured of entering the Sanctuary by the Blood of Jesus who opened for us this new and living way passing through the curtain, that is, His Body. Because we have a High Priest in charge of the House of God, let us approach with a sincere heart, with full faith, interiorly cleansed from a bad conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold fast to our hope without wavering, because He who promised is faithful. Let us consider how we may spur one another to love and good works. Do not abandon the assemblies as some of you do, but encourage one another, and all the more since the Day is drawing near.

Friday, 23 January 2015 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard two main things in the readings from the Holy Scriptures. The first, from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews spoke about the new covenant which Christ brought with Him and sealed with mankind, superseding the old covenant of God with Abraham and the people of God. And them the second, from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark, is the calling of the Twelve Apostles, whom Jesus made as the chiefs of His disciples.

Today’s readings talk about the change brought about by Christ, to establish at last the promises which He had made to His people over the millennia. After long ages and years of difficulty, conflict and disobedience by the people of God, finally He came to straighten things out and remade things anew. And this is to remind us also that while we are ever disobedient and unfaithful, but our Lord is ever faithful to us, to the point of coming down Himself to seal the covenant, the new covenant with all of us.

The old covenant of Abraham and God was set after he obeyed the Lord’s call, who called him from his ancestral lands, to follow where the Lord instructed him to go to. Abraham was faithful, and he followed the Lord throughout his life, and he was even willing to sacrifice his own son, as a sign of that undying and ultimate faith which he had to the Lord. And for that faith, God rewarded him and promised him the great and rich inheritance and blessings which He would provide him and his descendants if they remained true to their part of the promise and the covenant.

The covenant which God established with Abraham and His descendants had been broken many, many times, and just as their ancestors had done, they disobeyed the Lord and broke their part of the covenant. They forgot about the Lord, abandoned Him, found and worshipped other gods instead of the one true God. The people of God had been rescued and protected from various harm and liberated even from the Egyptians, and yet still they had the nerve to complain against God and rebel against Him.

That was why the wrath of God was against them, and He scattered them over the nations. But this does not mean that He wanted their destruction or annihilation, but rather that they may return to Him and turn back on the evils that they have committed. And that covenant, having been broken by the disobedience of the people of God, had become a useful and empty covenant, without use or benefit, and that is why He sent us our Lord Jesus Christ, to be the Mediator and the bearer of the New Covenant.

And what is this new covenant? If we look at the first covenant, God established that covenant following the faithfulness of Abraham in following His will, and upon the sacrifices of animals, lambs and goats, the blood of those animals, He established the first covenant, but being based on imperfect offering of animal blood, it is not a steady and firm covenant, and it is dependent on both sides of those involved in the covenant, and if one party does not fulfill their part of the covenant, then it would be null and void.

That is why our Lord Jesus Christ established the new covenant with us all, which was sealed not by a mere offering of bull’s blood and lamb’s blood, but by the very blood of the Lamb of God, Christ Himself, who let Himself to be led to the slaughterhouse by His enemies, and allowed Himself to be humiliated and scourged, to be wounded for our sins, and thus to die for the sins we have committed, for all the rebelliousness and disobedience which we have committed through all time.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we have to realise that we have all been given a second chance by our loving God. He has given us this new chance through the sacrifice of His Son, who died on the cross for us. Are we grateful for the wonderful gifts which He had given us? Have we been thankful for all the love and mercy He had shown us all?

If our answers for all these are no, then we should really rethink our lives and reflect deep in our lives. Do we see the Lord as our loving Father, and as the One who has provided us with all that we need? Do we see the Lord as our Saviour who had freed us from the debts of sin which weighed us down and prevented us from being liberated from the bonds of Satan?

Therefore, brethren, let us all from today on, renew our commitment to the Lord our God, be faithful to Him and no longer commit anything that is wicked in the eyes of the Lord. Let us all realise that with every sin we committed, we brought great pain and sorrow for our Lord who desires nothing else but our salvation and liberation from death, which is caused by our sins.

Let us all change our ways for the better, sinning no more and following what our Lord had shown us. May Almighty God be with us all, and may He guide us all to life eternal, through the loving sacrifice which He had shown to all of us. Amen.

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

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we continue through the second Sunday of the Advent season, and we go deeper into the preparation we are carrying out this Advent, to prepare ourselves for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today’s readings serve as a further reminder of the eventual coming of our Lord in triumph, just as He had once come into the world as one of us, as Jesus Christ the Son of Man.

Today’s readings spoke about the servant and messenger of God’s will, John the Baptist, the one who was sent by God ahead of Himself, to prepare the way for His coming and to prepare the people so that when He Himself came, they would be ready and more prepared to listen to His message and be called to salvation. This in itself, also carries the same meaning of ‘preparation’ which Advent is truly about, the preparation for the coming of Christ.

We can see that the Lord had planned everything well in advance, and indeed, the coming of John the Baptist had been prophesied long earlier by the prophet Isaiah and the other prophets, who spoke of him as the second coming of the prophet Elijah into this world, and as God’s messenger to open up His path. Indeed, John the Baptist had been prepared for this mission from the very beginning, just as his conception and birth was special.

The prophet Elijah, if we read the Old Testament in the Book of Kings, was the faithful servant of God and prophet, who strived to bring the people of God who had erred in their ways and rebelled against the Lord, to return to the way of the Lord and be reconciled to Him. The authorities, the kings of Israel and their servants often made his works difficult, and it was often that he was hounded and pursued for his faith to God.

Yet, the prophet Elijah never gave up nor did he abandon his calling. He ministered faithfully to the people of God, and he endured all the difficulties, calling on the people of God to repent and change their ways, and many responded to his call, although equally many of them rejected his call and continued in their sinful ways. He was then, at the end of his mission, brought up to heaven on flaming chariots, and was hidden from the view of men ever since, until his coming again into the world as John.

John was born with the spirit of Elijah on him, and thus he was prepared to continue the same ministry which God had entrusted to Elijah. Even many centuries after the first coming of Elijah, and after the terrible experiences of the Babylonian exile, the people of God was still filled with sin, and they were still following the wicked ways of their ancestors. Thus, what Elijah had once done to bring the people of God back, needed to be done again.

The Lord had, for a long time, promised his people that He will come to save them and bring them back to Himself. He had promised His salvation through the Messiah that He would send into the world. But in a world still filled with so much sin and wickedness, especially even among the people of God, the people of Israel and Judea, the coming of the Messiah would have been made much more difficult if it had not been well prepared beforehand.

Thus, God sent his servant John, the second coming of Elijah, into the world so that he might straighten the path for the Messiah, or the Christ when He came. And that was what St. John the Baptist did, he laboured in thankless works, reviled and rejected by the Pharisees, who criticised him and questioned and doubted the authority and authenticity of his actions.

Yes, just as the people and the kings of Israel rejected Elijah and persisted in their sins, the same too occurred to John the Baptist. The Pharisees and the elders refused to see their sinfulness and refused to repent, thus later on they would prove to be great enemies and stumbling blocks for our Lord as well. Nevertheless, many people responded to John’s call, giving themselves to be baptised in the Jordan and repented from their sins.

Today, we also celebrate the feast of a saint, whose life and ministry would closely resemble what St. John the Baptist had gone through. St. Ambrosius or St. Ambrose, known better as St. Ambrose of Milan, through his position as the Bishop of Milan, was a great saint, a great pillar of the Church, a holy servant of God, one of the original Doctors of the Church, and ultimately, a fierce and fearless defender of the true Faith.

St. Ambrose was born during the late era of the Roman Empire, and he lived during a time when the Faith had been accepted as part of the Empire, and was being followed by more and more of the people of the Empire. However, many of the faithful at that time were misled by the numerous heresies and perversions of the Faith, leading them into wicked sins, which St. Ambrose would help to counter.

Despite being known as the Bishop of Milan, one of the most influential posts at the time in the Church, St. Ambrose was not originally meant for a life in the episcopate or even priesthood. St. Ambrose was a very influential and intelligent person, and his great intellect helped him to master many learnings and he was soon appointed as the Imperial Governor of the region of Aemilia-Liguria, and he was a very popular governor, as he was truly very competent and dedicated.

There was a great division in the Church at Milan at the time, the capital of Ambrose’s governorate, and after the bishop of Milan at the time, who was one of the heretics, died, the succession was filled with great bitterness and feud. St. Ambrose went to the church where the election was held, to prevent fighting and chaos from breaking out.

There, he was acclaimed by all present to be the new Bishop of Milan, regarding to his piety and popularity among the people, his righteousness and upright nature. He was immediately then ordained as a priest and the episcopate. Immediately, as the Bishop, he forbade all the teachings of heresies in his domains, and he strived hard to spread the true teachings of the Faith to the people entrusted under his care.

St. Ambrose did not have it easy, as there were many oppositions and challenges which he had to endure and counter against throughout his ministry. In particular, the Dowager Empress and the young Emperor under her care were heretics and influenced by the teachings of heresy. St. Ambrose tried hard to bring them and many others to see the Light of the true Faith, and many repented, but not the Empress and many others.

St. Ambrose publicly denounced even the Emperor, the Dowager Empress and the other heretical accomplices they had. This indeed reminds us of what St. John the Baptist had done, brothers and sisters? He who opposed and denounced the Pharisees publicly as brood of vipers and evil. And also Elijah, who condemned kings who caused the people to turn against the Lord their God.

And St. Ambrose did not even fear to excommunicate a powerful and mighty Emperor of the mightiest Empire in the world. The famous Roman Emperor Theodosius the Great, who vanquished his enemies and gained supreme power over the whole of the Empire, even though he was pious and true to the orthodox faith, but he was implicated in his part in the great massacre of the civilians and innocents in the great city of Thessalonica.

St. Ambrose excommunicated the Emperor and condemned him greatly in public for his involvement in the massacre. Only after the Emperor repented and in great humility, taking off his Imperial garments, wearing sackcloth and making public confession for his sins and reaffirmation of his faith in God, then St. Ambrose forgave his sins, and welcomed him back into the Church of God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, what are the significance of what I have shared with you, on this Sunday’s readings, on the lives of Elijah, St. John the Baptist and St. Ambrose of Milan? All of them are about that all of us ought to make ample and sufficient preparation to prepare for the coming of our Lord. We cannot be complacent and unprepared, for remember, in the second reading today, St. Peter in his letter reminded us yet again, that the coming of the Lord will be like a flash, fast and unpredictable. If we do not prepare thoroughly, then we will be caught unaware and unprepared, and grim is our fate if that is the case.

How do we then prepare ourselves? We have to follow the examples of the holy and devoted servants of God, which we have already just heard. We have to stand up for our faith and truly practice it in our own lives. And then, we should not be afraid to point out the truth of Christ to others. After all, through our baptism, we have been called to be the witnesses of the Lord in this world, and as witnesses, it is only fitting that all of us do our part to evangelise the Good News, through our actions, so that all who see us may know the Lord through us and come to believe in Him.

It is important that all of us are prepared thoroughly for the coming of Christ, and thus it is also fitting that we should help one another in our preparations. We mist safeguard each other and keep one another in the faith in Christ, and in order to do so, we too should be prepared ourselves. Therefore, learn about the Faith we have in God, strengthen our devotion for the Lord and read always the Holy Scriptures with understanding.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, may this Advent be a great opportunity for us to renew ourselves, in our commitment to serve the Lord, and in our commitment to live our faith faithfully and genuinely, with love both for Him and for our fellow men. Let us follow the examples of the prophet Elijah, St. John the Baptist and St. Ambrose of Milan in their great courage to be witnesses of the faith. We too can be like them, and it is important that when the Lord comes again, as He had promised, He finds us ready, prepared, alert and awake!

May all of us become like the holy servants of God, and preparing the way for our Lord, just as those holy servants had done in the past. Let us bring the Good News of God and become witnesses of His to all the world by our actions, filled with faith and love, so that we may bring more souls to salvation, and make ready this world for the future coming of our Lord in glory, and He will reward us on the last day. God bless us all. Amen.

 

First Reading :

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

 

Psalm :

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

 

Second Reading :

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

 

Gospel Reading :

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

 

Epistle (Usus Antiquior) :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/05/usus-antiquior-second-sunday-of-advent-and-feast-of-st-ambrose-bishop-and-doctor-of-the-church-i-classis-sunday-7-december-2014-epistle/

 

Gospel (Usus Antiquior) :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/05/usus-antiquior-second-sunday-of-advent-and-feast-of-st-ambrose-bishop-and-doctor-of-the-church-i-classis-sunday-7-december-2014-holy-gospel/

(Usus Antiquior) Twenty-Fourth and Last Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 23 November 2014 : Epistle

Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Colossenses – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Colossians

Colossians 1 : 9-14

Fratres : Non cessamus pro vobis orantes et postulantes, ut impleamini agnitione voluntatis Dei, in omni sapientia et intellectu spiritali : ut ambuletis digne Deo per omnia placentes : in omni opere bono fructificantes, et crescentes in scientia Dei : in omni virtute confortati secundum potentiam claritatis ejus in omni patientia, et longanimitate cum gaudio, gratias agentes Deo Patri, qui dignos nos fecit in partem sortis sanctorum in lumine : qui eripuit nos de potestate tenebrarum, et transtulit in regnum Filii dilectionis suae, in quo habemus redemptionem per sanguinem ejus, remissionem peccatorum.

 

English translation

Brethren, we do not cease to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of the will of God, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all might according to the power of His glory, in all patience and long suffering with joy, giving thanks to God the Father, who had made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light, who had delivered us from the power of darkness, and had translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His Blood, the remission of sins.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/19/usus-antiquior-twenty-fourth-and-last-sunday-after-pentecost-ii-classis-sunday-23-november-2014-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Tuesday, 18 November 2014 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Peter and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Dedication of the Basilicas)

Psalm 14 : 2-3ab, 3cd-4ab, 5

Those who walk blamelessly and do what is right, who speak truth from their heart and control their words.

Who do no harm to their neighbours and cast no discredit on their companions, who look down on evildoers but highly esteem God’s servants.

Who do not lend money at interest and refuse a bribe against the innocent. Do this, and you will soon be shaken.

 

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dedication of the Basilicas)

Psalm 97 : 1, 2-3ab, 3c-4, 5-6

Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wonders; His right hand, His holy arm, has won victory for Him.

The Lord has shown His salvation, revealing His justice to the nations. He has not forgotten His love nor His faithfulness to Israel.

The farthest ends of the earth all have seen God’s saving power. All you lands, make a joyful noise to the Lord, break into song and sing praise.

With melody of the lyre and with music of the harp. With trumpet blast and sound of the horn, rejoice before the King, the Lord!

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/17/tuesday-18-november-2014-33rd-week-of-ordinary-time-memorial-of-the-dedication-of-the-basilica-of-st-peter-and-the-basilica-of-st-paul-outside-the-walls-homily-and-scripture-reflections/