Wednesday, 6 January 2021 : Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 2 : 1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in Judea, during the days of king Herod, wise men from the East arrived in Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We saw the rising of His star in the East and have come to honour Him.”

When Herod heard this he was greatly disturbed, and with him all Jerusalem. He immediately called a meeting of all high-ranking priests and scribes, and asked them where the Messiah was to be born.

“In the town of Bethlehem in Judea,” they told him, “For this is what the prophet wrote : And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, you are by no means the least among the clans of Judah, for from you will come a Leader, the One Who is to shepherd My people Israel.”

Then Herod secretly called the wise men and asked them the precise time the star appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem with the instruction, “Go and get accurate information about the Child. As soon as you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may go and honour Him.”

After the meeting with the king, they set out. The star that they had seen in the East went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the Child was. The wise men were overjoyed on seeing the star again. They went into the house, and when they saw the Child with Mary His mother, they knelt and worshipped Him. They opened their bags and offered Him their gifts of gold, incense and myrrh.

In a dream they were warned not to go back to Herod, so they returned to their home country by another way.

Sunday, 3 January 2021 : Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 2 : 1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in Judea, during the days of king Herod, wise men from the East arrived in Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We saw the rising of His star in the East and have come to honour Him.”

When Herod heard this he was greatly disturbed, and with him all Jerusalem. He immediately called a meeting of all high-ranking priests and scribes, and asked them where the Messiah was to be born.

“In the town of Bethlehem in Judea,” they told him, “For this is what the prophet wrote : And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, you are by no means the least among the clans of Judah, for from you will come a Leader, the One Who is to shepherd My people Israel.”

Then Herod secretly called the wise men and asked them the precise time the star appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem with the instruction, “Go and get accurate information about the Child. As soon as you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may go and honour Him.”

After the meeting with the king, they set out. The star that they had seen in the East went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the Child was. The wise men were overjoyed on seeing the star again. They went into the house, and when they saw the Child with Mary His mother, they knelt and worshipped Him. They opened their bags and offered Him their gifts of gold, incense and myrrh.

In a dream they were warned not to go back to Herod, so they returned to their home country by another way.

Sunday, 8 January 2017 : Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Matthew 2 : 1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in Judea, during the days of king Herod, wise men from the East arrived in Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We saw the rising of His star in the East and have come to honour Him.”

When Herod heard this he was greatly disturbed, and with him all Jerusalem. He immediately called a meeting of all high-ranking priests and scribes, and asked them where the Messiah was to be born.

“In the town of Bethlehem in Judea,” they told him, “For this is what the prophet wrote : And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, you are by no means the least among the clans of Judah, for from you will come a Leader, the One Who is to shepherd My people Israel.”

Then Herod secretly called the wise men and asked them the precise time the star appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem with the instruction, “Go and get accurate information about the Child. As soon as you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may go and honour Him.”

After the meeting with the king, they set out. The star that they had seen in the East went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the Child was. The wise men were overjoyed on seeing the star again. They went into the house, and when they saw the Child with Mary His mother, they knelt and worshipped Him. They opened their bags and offered Him their gifts of gold, incense and myrrh.

In a dream they were warned not to go back to Herod, so they returned to their home country by another way.

Sunday, 21 September 2014 : 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle, Catechetical Sunday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Isaiah 55 : 6-9

Seek YHVH while He may be found; call to Him while He is near. Let the wicked abandon his way, let him forsake his thoughts, let him turn to YHVH for He will have mercy, for our God is generous in forgiving.

‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, My ways are not your ways,’ says YHVH. ‘For as the heavens are above the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts.’

Friday, 8 August 2014 : 18th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Dominic, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Deuteronomy 32 : 35cd-36ab, 39abcd, 41

Their day of calamity is at hand, and swiftly their doom will come. The Lord will give justice to His people and have mercy on His servants.

Learn this now – that I alone am He; there is no god besides Me. It is I who give both death and life; It is I who wound and heal as well and out of My hand no one can deliver.

When I sharpen My glittering sword and My hand takes hold of judgment, I will deal out vengeance upon My foes and retribution upon those who hate Me.

Sunday, 13 July 2014 : 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Bible Sunday (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Romans 8 : 18-23

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.

Sunday, 5 January 2014 : Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany, a great feast commemorating the divinity and Lordship of our Lord and God Jesus Christ. On this feast we remember the faith of the great men from the east, the three wise men, or often known as the three ‘kings’, who come from a far-off land to honour and glorify the Saviour who was born in Bethlehem.

They came to praise the Lord, whose birth was foretold by the prophets, and whose birth was marked by the appearance of the great star in the heavens. The Light of the world had indeed come into this world, and no more appropriately marked by a sign of great light. That was why the wise men came to Him who is Lord, bearing with them great gifts worthy of our Lord Jesus.

The wise men brought with them the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These were great and precious gifts, each of which had a deep, symbolic meaning, each of which also highlighted the truth about Jesus, who is both King and Lord God of all, who came into this world, so that through Him all may be saved.

Gold is the offering fit for a king. Ever since ages past, due to its appearance and its rarity, gold had been used for many important purposes, especially as money or decorations, or as works of art. They were so precious that they fetched a great price, and this is true even until today. So why is gold given as a gift to our Lord? That is because He is indeed a King, the One and True King of all, the King of kings, whose authority encompasses all of creations.

In giving the Lord Jesus the gift of gold, the wise men honoured the Lordship and kingship of Jesus, of the authority and power which He wields over all things, in all of creations. They honoured the Lord as King of glory, the One from whom ultimately all power and authority originate from. The Lord’s power and rule is absolute, and this is what this gift of gold is meant to teach us.

Then frankincense, just as the incense we use at our celebration of the Mass, is meant to be used for worship. Frankincense is in particular the best and the greatest among incense, the best quality of all. And indeed, the gift of frankincense highlighted the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Lord and Almighty God, who alone is worthy of worship.

The Lord Jesus is divine, and this fact cannot be refuted or denied, despite the attempts of many to do so. Jesus is not just merely a holy man or a prophet, because He is truly far greater than all of that. He is the Logos, the Word of God made personal in Jesus, as the Divine incarnate. As such, He is one with God and is God, and through Him the world was created. He was present before the beginning of time and before all things came into being.

We should not have any other gods except God, and we should worship Him and Him alone. And Jesus is divine, and as such is worthy of worship, and indeed we are actually obliged to give Him the proper honour and worship. That is the message and understanding behind the gift of the frankincense to the baby Jesus, man but also fully divine at the same time.

But it is not all about majesty and glory that Jesus came into the world. The last gift of the three, that is myrrh, highlighted this reality. The myrrh is a precious material used to help preserve the dead bodies, and to prepare them for burial. It is indeed a weird gift, is it not? Who would give a baby a gift that is used to preserve and prepare a man’s burial?

But that is how wonderful the feast of Epiphany is, because just as the meaning of the word Epiphany, this feast marks the opening of our understanding to the true nature of our Lord Jesus Christ, that first He is King, as represented by the gift of gold; and that He is Lord and God, as represented by the offering of frankincense; and last but not least, the gift of myrrh, which symbolises the singular important event, for which Jesus Christ came into the world.

That event was the Passion of our Lord, when He suffered, persecuted, punished, and eventually died on the cross, all for the sake of the reparation of our sins. He died and was buried, and it is this burial which was highlighted by the gift of the myrrh. For it is important that the Lord Jesus die, that in His death, we too will join Him in dying to our old, sinful selves, and then risen in glory together with the resurrection of Jesus.

The gift of myrrh signified this great event, when our Lord made Himself the Lamb of sacrifice, to bear the sins of the world. He who is Divine was willing to come down into this world, and to suffer human rejection and condemnation, and to suffer a most humiliating death, that is death on the cross. All these so that we, the most beloved among those He had created, can be once again reunited with Him.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as the Epiphany and the gift and offerings of the three wise men highlighted the true nature of God and the centre important issues of our faith, let us all use this opportunity, to reflect on our own relationship with God. Have we realised the great love that God has for all of us? Do we then choose to obey and follow Him? Or do we instead prefer to reject Him and continue to walk in the darkness?

Christ is the Light of the world and He has come to liberate us from darkness. Just as the three wise men had followed Jesus from afar and came to worship and pay their obeisance to Him, we too should follow their examples. Offer God our love, obedience, and devotion, and offer Him the gifts from our hearts. Be faithful to God, and follow His ways, for in His love, He had given much love for us and show us how to lead a faithful life to Him, that we may be saved. God be with us all. Amen.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014 : Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God – Theotokos, World Day of Prayer for Peace (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today is a day of many blessings, a holy day, when we celebrate once again the important role that the Blessed Virgin Mary had on the plan of salvation of the world.today we celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Peace, but even more importantly for our faith, we celebrate today the Feast of the Theotokos, that is Mary as the Mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ.

Theotokos is the term in the Greek language, given since the earliest times of the Church to honour Mary, meaning the ‘Mother of God’. The Church and the faithful had, since the very beginning recognise the special role that Mary played in our salvation. Mary is a lowly and humble woman, but one who was destined to bear the Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ, who is none other than God Himself incarnate into man, to be one of us.

Therefore, to believe in the mother of the Divine, Mary, as the mother of God in Jesus, is to believe in the divinity of Christ Himself. Both of these beliefs are completely inseparable in nature. Christ is God just as He is man, He is the Son of God just as He is the Son of Man. We cannot believe in that Jesus is God if we do not believe that Mary is the mother of God.

Of course, in her motherhood of Jesus, this does not make her divine in herself, nor does this make her a goddess, as some enemies of the faithful and the false prophets have proclaimed. As the mother of God, Mary was made preeminent before all the other creations, over all mankind, save her own Son, Jesus, who is God and who existed before all ages, while Mary was created just as any other men and women.

Yet without Mary and her acceptance of the role which she had been given, we would not have Christ in our midst. Even though Jesus is Lord our God and was conceived wholly by the power of the Holy Spirit without human intervention, it was in the womb of Mary that the Saviour gestated for nine months before His entry into the world. It is through womb of Mary that the Saviour was born into the world.

That is the truth about our faith, that Jesus was born into this world as one of us, through Mary His mother, because through her womb, He was born. Many people over time would try to attack this fundamental part of our faith but they did not succeed. They would either attack the divinity of her Son, denying it and claiming that He was merely human and not divine, or by separating the humanity of Jesus from His divinity, and thus claiming that Mary was merely the mother of Jesus the Man and not the Mother of God.

No, brothers and sisters in Christ, we cannot fall into the same erroneous thinking as what was espoused by these people. We cannot deny the motherhood of Mary, who birthed the Lord and Saviour as the Mother of God, not that she is a goddess, just as we cannot separate the humanity of Jesus from His divinity. Jesus our Lord is fully and perfectly human just as at the same time He is also perfectly divine.

Many seemed to think in the erroneous ways because they were misinformed about the faith or misunderstood its true meaning. They failed to understand that in honouring Mary as the mother of God, we do not idolise or make a goddess out of her. We do not idolise or worship Mary, but instead honour her greatly as the blessed one among us, for having been the one chosen to bear the Saviour as He entered this world as a baby.

Mary is our role model, because she is truly obedient to God and she walked righteously in God’s way, without succumbing to the wickedness of the world. She is a person of love, peace, and faith. And that is why we glorify and honour her, as the greatest one among all those that God had created. God made her the first among all of us, so that we too may follow her example and be ever closer to her Son, Jesus.

Today we also celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Peace, which fits perfectly with today’s celebration on Mary as the Mother of God. Our world has forgotten peace and the values of peace, because mankind has given themselves up to the corrupting nature of the world. The world is filled with good things, but unbridled, they also feed our human weaknesses of greed and jealousy. Many of the wars in the past and even present, as well as the conflicts of the future will be fought because of mankind’s greed.

People fought over resources and material goods, and even siblings fought one another for their parents’ properties, often before even the latter’s departure from this world. Mankind always have their wants, and frequently they alwaiys desire more and more, and this is fueled by the world and the evil inside it. Mankind find it hard to satisfy their needs and therefore disregard the love they should show one another, and instead fight for their own benefits.

Wars, conflicts, and fightings are abhorrence of nature, because the devil has planted in us the seeds of division, pitting one man against another. We kill each other because hatred and greed has taken over our heart. We often allow the ways of this world to take us over, rather than to listen to the will of God, which exhorts us to seek peace and to love one another.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, even as we celebrate the coming of this new year of our Lord 2014, we should not forget that in the midst of all the celebrations and rejoicing, we should also seek for the peace and love in this world, that as we all pray for peace, we too lead the way for peace through our own actions, that we truly represent peace, love and harmony in all of our actions, our deeds, and our words.

May this day, the World Day of Prayer for Peace, then be a day where we all as one humanity, may reach out ever closer towards peace, following the examples of our role model in faith, Mary, the Mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, in her obedience to God, and her faithfulness in Him, showing it through her loving actions, that we too ought to follow. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners. Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.