(Holy Week) Saturday, 15 April 2017 : Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection, Easter Vigil Mass (Sixth Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Baruch 3 : 9-15, 32 – Baruch 4 : 4

Listen, Israel, to the commands of life, give ear so as to learn prudence. Why, Israel! Why are you in the land of your foes? Why are you growing old in a foreign country, contaminated by pagans, counted among those who go to the pit? You have abandoned the source of Wisdom. If you had walked in the way of God, peace would be your dwelling place forever.

Learn where is Wisdom, where is Strength and Understanding, that you may know, at the same time, where are length of days and life, light of the eyes and Peace. Who will find Wisdom’s dwelling? Who will enter her storage rooms? But He Who knows everything recognises her. He has found her in His own intellect. He Who created the earth, for all time, and has filled it with four-footed beings.

He Who sends the light, and it goes, Who recalls it, and trembling it obeys. The stars shine, full of joy, to keep their night watches. He calls them and they answer, “Here we are.” They shine with joy for their Creator. It is He Who is our God, no other can be compared with Him. He has found the way of understanding and has given her to Jacob His servant and to Israel His well-beloved. Then Wisdom was seen on earth and lived among humans.

She herself is the book of the commands of God, the law which endures forever. All who hold fast to her will have life but those who abandon her will die. Come back, Jacob, and embrace her, walk towards brightness under her light. Do not give up what is your glory or sell your privileges to any strange nation. We are fortunate, o Israel, for we know what pleases the Lord!

Thursday, 9 March 2017 : 1st Week of Lent, Memorial of St. Frances of Rome (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Matthew 7 : 7-12

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives; whoever seeks, finds; and the door will be opened to him who knocks.”

“Would any of you give a stone to your son, when he asks for bread? Or give him a snake, when he asks for a fish? As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?”

“So, do to others whatever you would that others do to you : there you have the Law and the Prophets.”

Sunday, 1 March 2015 : Second Sunday of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 115 : 10 and 15, 16-17, 18-19

I have kept faith even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” It is painful to the Lord to see the death of His faithful.

O Lord, I am Your servant, truly Your servant, Your handmaid’s son. You have freed me from my bonds. I will offer you a thanksgiving sacrifice; I will call on the Name of the Lord.

I will carry out my vows to the Lord in the presence of His people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, o Jerusalem.

(Usus Antiquior) Second Sunday of Lent (I Classis) – Sunday, 29 February 2015 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Violet

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

1 Thessalonians 4 : 1-7

Fratres : Rogamus vos et obsecramus in Domino Jesu : ut, quemadmodum accepistis a nobis, quomodo oporteat vos ambulare et placere Deo, sic et ambuletis, ut abundetis magis. Scitis enim, quae praecepta dederim vobis per Dominum Jesum.

Haec est enim voluntas Dei, sanctificatio vestra : ut abstineatis vos a fornicatione, ut sciat unusquisque vestrum vas suum possidere in sanctificatione et honore; non in passione desiderii, sicut et gentes, quae ignorant Deum : et ne quis supergrediatur neque circumveniat in negotio fratrem suum : quoniam vindex est Dominus de his omnibus, sicut praediximus vobis et testificati sumus.

Non enim vocavit nos Deus in immunditiam, sed in sanctificationem : in Christo Jesu, Domino nostro.

English translation

Brethren, we pray and beseech you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received of us, how you ought to walk, and to please God, so you also would walk, that you may abound the more. For you know what precepts I have given to you by the Lord Jesus.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that you should abstain from fornication, that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the passion of lust, like the Gentiles that do not know God, and that no man overreach, nor deceive his brother in business, because the Lord is the Avenger of all these things, as we have told you before, and have testified.

For God had not called us unto uncleanness, but unto sanctification, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015 : 1st Week of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Matthew 6 : 7-15

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “When you pray, do not use a lot of words, as the pagans do, for they believe that the more they say, the more chance they have of being heard. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need, even before you ask Him.”

“This, then, is how you should pray : Our Father in heaven, holy be Your Name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, just as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us. Do not bring us to the test, but deliver us from the evil one.”

“If you forgive others their wrongdoings, your Father in heaven will also forgive yours. If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive you either.”

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (our Lady of Lourdes)

Psalm 103 : 1-2a, 27-28, 29bc-30

Bless the Lord, my soul! Clothed in majesty and splendour; o Lord, my God, how great You are! You are wrapped in light as with a garment.

They all look to You for their food in due time. You give it to them, and they gather it up; You open Your hand, they are filled with good things.

You take away their breath, they expire and return to dust. When You send forth Your Spirit, they are created, and the face of the earth is renewed.

Alternative reading (Mass of our Lady of Lourdes)

Judith 13 : 18bcde, 19

My daughter, may the Most High God bless you more than all women on earth. And blessed be the Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has led you to behead the leader of our enemies.

Never will people forget the confidence you have shown; they will always remember the power of God.

Monday, 9 February 2015 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 103 : 1-2a, 5-6, 10 and 12, 24 and 35c

Bless the Lord, my soul! Clothed in majesty and splendour; o Lord, my God, how great You are! You are wrapped in light as with a garment.

You set the earth on its foundations, and never will it be shaken. You covered it with the ocean like a garment, and waters spread over the mountains.

You make springs gush forth in valleys winding among mountains and hills, birds build their nests close by and sing among the branches of trees.

How varied o Lord, are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all – the earth full of Your creatures. Bless the Lord, my soul!

Thursday, 5 February 2015 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the mission which Christ entrusted to His disciples, sending them two by two ahead of Him, in order to minister to the people of God and preach the Good News by words, deeds and actions. They were to be the extension of His hands’ works and to be the messengers of His words of truth.

Jesus came into the world with a clear message to all of us, that God welcomes all to His embrace and forgiveness. His mercy should never be too far for us to reach. He wants to make it available to all of us. And that was why He gave Himself as the Bridge that crosses the chasm between us and God our Lord and Father. Through Him, He brought us all into closer contact with our loving Father and make the truth about God known to all.

Many feared to seek the Lord because they feared His wrath and anger at their sinfulness and wickedness. But they failed to realise that while God was angry at them for their sins, He continues to love them without fail and without cease, no matter how sinful we are. It is that sin which separated us from His mercy and love, and thus a great barrier which all of us need to overcome.

And worse that many people even refused to accept the Lord who came to them, knocking at the doors of the hearts of many. They refused to receive the Lord for various reasons, but all of them stemmed from the same origin, that is our pride and our stubbornness. Yes, the same pride and stubbornness which had caused Satan to fall from grace into damnation, that same obstacle which will bring about our downfall too if we do nothing about it.

How many of us remain stubborn and unwilling to receive such rich graces of the Lord, which He poured freely upon us? He even became a willing sacrifice for all of our sake, by becoming the Lamb of sacrifice, laying down His own Body and shedding His own Blood to be the Redemption and Salvation for us all. He gave us His Body and His Blood freely, if we just would believe in Him and make Him as our Lord and Saviour.

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Agatha, a holy virgin, a faithful servant and a glorious martyr of the Faith. St. Agatha was a very devoted servant of God, and since her early youth she had given herself completely to the service of God, dedicating her purity and virginity to the Lord as an offering of herself. But she was pursued and disturbed apparently by a Roman centurion, a pagan army leader of the Roman Empire.

At that time, to be a follower of Christ would mean certain death and suffering, at a time of great difficulty known as the Decian persecution, when the Roman Emperor Decius commanded a great persecution of the Church and the faithful. Many of the faithful were tortured, imprisoned, scourged and met painful death defending their Faith and by remaining true to God and His salvation which He had revealed to us through Jesus His Son.

St. Agatha also endured many torture and scourgings, in the imitation of the Lord Jesus who also endured such horrendous torture and difficulties, rejection and humiliation so that by His suffering and death, He might liberate us all from death itself and bring us into life eternal. And indeed, St. Agatha with the many other martyrs of the Faith lost their earthly lives but gained in heaven a great new and everlasting life.

We too, brothers and sisters in Christ, can share in the same glory and bliss that the saints and martyrs had received. Let us all therefore cast far away all of our pride and vanity, all of our stubbornness and reluctance to seek the Lord, so that we may truly, with full humility, seek the loving heart of our God and find His mercy, that we may be made whole once again, and receive the fullness of His reward. God bless us all. Amen.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we hear today about how Jesus was rejected by His own people, because they doubted Him and questioned His teaching authority, for they did not truly know who He is. They failed to see beyond the lens and screen of their own prejudice, of their own human pride and greed, and that was why they were condemned for their ignorance and stubbornness.

Why did they refuse to believe in Jesus? That was because they saw Jesus growing up among them, walking among them and talking to them, interacting with them since He was merely just an Infant Child, until He grew up to be a strong, wise and blessed Man. For the time before He began His ministry, Christ laid low and led a simple life, one that was unassuming, as the Son of a carpenter, who is His foster-father, St. Joseph.

It was likely that Jesus Himself also followed in St. Joseph’s footsteps as a carpenter, and a carpenter, while a respectable and righteous job, is hardly a job that someone would equate with prestige, knowledge and power. Most if not all carpenters at the time of Jesus were illiterate, unable to read. The ability to read was greatly revered in the society, as this gave them the ability to interpret the words of the Scripture and teach the people of God on the Law.

And this was why the Scribes, the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees were so powerful and respected at the time of Jesus. They were the ones who had control over the teachings of the Law and the interpretation of the Scriptures. But the temptation of power, glory and human praise had darkened their minds and hearts. They did not allow the Lord to come into their hearts and dwell there, but instead, their hearts were filled with jealousy and greed.

Thus, this was why they rejected Jesus and sow hatred against Him. They opposed Him at every turn of the way. Indeed, all of us should be sad and ashamed at the amount of jealousy, ignorance and prejudice which we have shown Jesus, just as His fellow villagers in Nazareth had shown Him, and also the hatred, opposition, obstacles and persecution which the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law committed against the works of the Lord.

Their actions were truly a reflection of our own actions. We often shut the Lord out of our hearts and our minds, simply because we are too preoccupied with ourselves and with the things and concerns of this world. As such, we ended up becoming just like the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law and the villagers of Nazareth, who rejected Jesus and thus rejected the salvation which He offered.

We are often too caught up in the noise of the world that we fail to notice the Lord doing His works about us and around us. He performs His good works, miracles and wonders all the time, through those around us, and through the Church itself as well. It is therefore good for us all to reflect and think about our own lives. Have we been like the villagers of Nazareth, being cooped in our own prejudice and human weaknesses?

In the first reading, St. Paul in his letter to the Hebrews likened the actions of God like that of a father who chastises and guides his sons and daughters to the correct path. Thus the same is also applied to the actions of our Lord and God, who truly is our Father, the Father of all things and all creations. He cares for all of us and we are all His children.

In the current state, our stubbornness, our ignorance and our immersion in sin threaten the very safety and fate of our souls. Which father will let his son or daughter to fall into danger? That was why He sent us so many help and assistance, which He made true and real through Jesus, that we may all be saved. Shall we thus no longer be obstinate, but accept the gracious offer of our Lord’s mercy and love? May Almighty God be with us always, and may He awaken in us the love which we ought to have for Him. God bless us all. Amen.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 102 : 1-2, 13-14, 17-18a

Bless the Lord, my soul; all my being, bless His holy Name! Bless the Lord, my soul, and do not forget all His kindness.

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.

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.