(Easter Sunday) Sunday, 27 March 2016 : Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Week, Easter Octave (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Colossians 3 : 1-4

So then, if you are risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on earthly things.

For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, reveals Himself, you also will be revealed with Him in Glory.

 

Alternative reading


1 Corinthians 5 : 6b-8

Do you not know that a little yeast makes the whole mass of dough rise? Throw out, then, the old yeast and be new dough. If Christ became our Passover, you should be unleavened bread.

Let us celebrate, therefore, the Passover, no longer with old yeast, which is sin and perversity; let us have unleavened bread, that is purity and sincerity.

Sunday, 4 August 2013 : 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Colossians 3 : 1-5, 9-11

So them, if you are risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on earthly things. For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, reveals Himself, you also will be revealed with Him in Glory.

Therefore, put to death what is earthly in your life, that is immorality, impurity, inordinate passions, wicked desires, and greed which is a way of worshipping idols.

Do not lie to one another. You have been stripped of the old self and its way of thinking to put on the new, which is being renewed and is to reach perfect knowledge and the likeness of its creator. There is no room for distinction between Greek of Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, foreigner, slave or free, but Christ is all and in all.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Romuald, Abbot (Gospel Reading)

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 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 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.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Mark 12 : 13-17

They sent to Jesus some Pharisees with members of Herod’s party, with the purpose of trapping Him by His own words. They came and said to Jesus, “Master, we know that You are truthful; You are not influenced by anyone, and Your answers do not vary according to who is listening to You, but You truly teach God’s way. Tell us, is it against the Law to pay taxes to Caesar? Should we pay them or not?”

But Jesus saw through their trick and answered, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a silver coin and let Me see it.” They brought Him one and Jesus asked, “Whose image is this, and whose name? They answered, “Caesar’s” Then Jesus said, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” And they were greatly astonished.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013 : 7th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

John 17 : 11b-19

Holy Father, keep those You have given Me in Your Name, so that they may be one, as We also are. When I was with them, I kept them safe in Your Name; and not one was lost, except the one who was already lost, and in this the Scripture was fulfilled.

And now I come to You; in the world I speak these things, so that those whom You gave Me, might have joy – all My joy within themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world, I do not ask You to remove them from the world, but to keep them from the evil one.

They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. I have sent them into the world as You sent Me into the world; and for their sake, I go to the sacrifice by which I am consecrated, so that they too may be consecrated in truth.

Saturday, 4 May 2013 : 5th Week of Easter (Scripture Reflection)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we who believe in Christ, and put our trust in His words, and place ourselves in His great love, do not belong to this world, which is owned by the evil one, with the sole intention of steering all of us away from the true path, that is the way of Christ. This they have done together by tempting the faithful ones in Christ, God’s sheep with the false promise of earthly pleasures and false joy and happiness.

Do not fear though, my brethren in faith, for Christ, our Lord Himself had also suffered such temptations and yet He won, because of His obedience to God His Father, and His unshakeable faith. We too ought to have that kind of faith and love for God, that we can deny the evil one, a passage into our hearts. Do not let the devil dwell inside us, but rather, let us put God at the centre of our very being, making our own body into a Holy Temple of His Presence.

God has made all of us His own, and gave Himself freely for our sake, giving His own flesh and blood that we can live eternally with Him in eternal joy and bliss. Not the temporary and false joy and happiness that this world can offer, but the lasting happiness of heaven. True happiness, and true joy, that the world cannot give, for there is only true joy when we are together and united with Christ our Lord and God, never again to be separated from Him.

The world hates the Lord, because it belongs to the devil, and therefore it will hate all of us too, who keep the faith in God strong. But if we remain faithful to the Lord, the devil and this world will have no power over us. We must keep our faith in God strong, and how to do this? By constant and healthy prayer life, to anchor ourselves in God, by being in constant direct line to God, we can keep ourselves from the power of evil. We also should receive the Lord regularly in deep devotion during the Mass, by attending Mass frequently, and devoutly receiving the Lord in the Eucharist.

The Eucharist, that is our Lord’s Precious Body and Blood will transform us into a Holy Temple of His divine Presence, as He enters our own unworthy bodies, and from the inside, He would transform us and made us worthy of Him, but only if our minds, our hearts, and our soul are open to Him and willing to accept Him.

Let us put our trust in God, who is our divine Master and Lord, who had triumphed over death, and who had won for us the fight against evil, and banish evil forever into the ultimate fate that awaits him, that is the lake of fire. Let us not fear evil and the world anymore, but continue to put our trust in God and love both Him and our fellow men. Keep our guard up, that the evil one will not ‘steal’ us from under God’s watch, but we need not fear if we stay in our faith in Him. God bless us all. Amen.

Thursday, 11 April 2013 : 2nd Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Stanislas, Bishop and Martyr (Scripture Reflection)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, we commemorate the memorial and feast of a great Saint, that is Saint Stanislas or Stanislaus of Poland, who proudly defied the King of Poland and chastised him for his improper behaviour in his governance. He earned martyrdom for his bravery and uprightness, and despite offers from the King for him to stand down his accusation and opposition, St. Stanislas remained firm in his morale standing and ideals, fearing neither death nor persecution.

Indeed, in Christ, the Son of God, had been given all the authorities in heaven and on earth, by God the Father, who entrusted to Him the authority as King of all the universe. In this, then, as we have observed in many situations, we see the conflict, that is ever present in obedience and authority, for in God we have our great and only true King, but in this world too, we see an earthly ruler either appointed to rule over us, or elected as a leader, and therefore in them too, lay a kind of authority vested in them and their office.

Who to obey then? The earthly ruler or the heavenly ruler? Our worldly king or the king of heaven, who is also our Saviour and our God? It is indeed difficult, especially because it is very often that the world does not conform to that of heaven, and the ideals of the teachings of God were often abandoned for the earthly pursuits of temporal fame, glory, and wealth, which many kings coveted and desired to possess.

King Boleslaw the Bold, who had slain Saint Stanislas, did exactly that, gathering authority and power to himself, and although he ruled rather well, but he often abused his powers at the expense of his subjects entrusted to him. That was why Saint Stanislas, one of the founders and pillars of the Church in Poland, which then had just recently converted to Christianity, stood up against the excesses of his king and his liege, disobeying the earthly ruler, so that he would not disobey the teachings of the Lord.

It is not that we should disobey our rulers in this world, appointed or elected to lead over us. But we must not take for granted whatever decisions and policies they had decided to select and impose over us all, but we must, in consultation with these rulers, ensure that they keep the teachings of God and maintain the justice that is of the Lord, in their rule, that they would not abuse the power and authority entrusted to them.

Christ, our King, was a humble and unassuming man, and indeed, exactly the opposite of the characteristics that a king would have according to the common people. He did not flaunt His authority and His power, but yet, when He exercised His authority in His teachings, it is undeniable that everyone could feel the great presence of His authority. Yet, many still refused to listen to Christ and follow His teachings, preferring the other ‘king’, that is the worldly king, the evil one, who deceived this world, and controlled the powers of this world, and used them against the works of Christ.

When we refused Christ and rejected His teachings and commandments, essentially we profess that our king is not the True King, who is Christ, but rather, the worldly king, that is the devil. When our rulers and those in the position of authority abused their power or neglected their duties, they too, profess that they follow the evil one, as kings modeled after this evil, instead of Christ, whom we should emulate indeed.

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us take this time to reflect, whether we had reflected Christ in our life through our actions, that especially when we are given responsibilities, power, or authority, whether we had exercised them with prudence and justice, as our king, Jesus Christ would, or whether we had abused the authority entrusted to all of us, preferring to follow the evil one instead, and causing pain to others through our actions.

Let us strive then, to be more like St. Stanislas, that we will not be afraid to stand up against injustice and abuse of power by the authorities, and that we will be brave to defend our faith in God as well. May God bless us with strength and courage, to continue the good works which had began in the apostles and continued down to us today. Saint Stanislas, pray for all of us, that we may truly be inspired by your life and your actions. Amen.