Saturday, 17 July 2021 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Matthew 12 : 14-21

At that time, the Pharisees went out, and made plans to get rid of Jesus. As Jesus was aware of their plans, He left that place. Many people followed Him, and He cured all who were sick. But He gave them strict orders not to make Him known.

In this way, Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled : Here is My Servant, Whom I have chosen; the One I love, and with Whom I am pleased. I will put My Spirit upon Him; and He will announce My judgment to the nations. He will not argue or shout, nor will His voice be heard in the streets. The bruised reed He will not crush, nor snuff out the smouldering wick until He brings justice to victory, and in Him, all the nations will put their hope.

Friday, 16 July 2021 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Our Lady of Mount Carmel)

Matthew 12 : 1-8

At that time, it happened that, Jesus walking through the wheat fields on a Sabbath. His disciples were hungry; and they began to pick some heads of wheat, to crush and to eat the grain. When the Pharisees noticed this, they said to Jesus, “Look at Your disciples! They are doing what is prohibited on the Sabbath!”

Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did, when he and his men were hungry? He went into the House of God, and they ate the bread offered to God, though neither he nor his men had the right to eat it, but only the priests. And have you not read in the law, how, on the Sabbath, the priests in the Temple desecrate the Sabbath, yet they are not guilty?”

“I tell you, there is greater than the Temple here. If you really knew the meaning of the words : It is mercy I want, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent. Besides, the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Alternative reading (Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Matthew 12 : 46-50

At that time, while Jesus was talking to the people, His mother and His brothers wanted to speak to Him, and they waited outside. So someone said to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside; they want to speak with You.”

Jesus answered, “Who is My mother? Who are My brothers?” Then He pointed to His disciples and said, “Look! Here are My mother and My brothers. Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

Sunday, 29 December 2019 : Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 2 : 13-15, 19-23

After the wise men had left, an Angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, “Get up, take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod will soon be looking for the Child in order to kill Him.”

Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and left that night for Egypt, where He stayed until the death of Herod. In this way, what the Lord had said through the prophet was fulfilled : I called My Son out of Egypt.

After Herod’s death, an Angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, “Get up, take the Child and His mother and go back to the land of Israel, because those who tried to kill the Child are dead.” So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother and went to the land of Israel.

But when Joseph heard that Archilaus had succeeded his father Herod as king of Judea, he was afraid to go there. Joseph was given further instructions in a dream, and went to the region of Galilee. There he settled in a town called Nazareth. In this way, what was said by the prophets was fulfilled : He shall be called a Nazorean.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 11 : 27-28

At that time, as Jesus was speaking, a woman spoke from the crowd and said to Him, “Blessed is the one who gave You birth and nursed You!”

Jesus replied, “Truly blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it as well.”

Tuesday, 23 July 2019 : 16th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Bridget of Sweden, Religious (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Religious)

Matthew 12 : 46-50

At that time, while Jesus was talking to the people, His mother and His brothers wanted to speak to Him, and they waited outside. So someone said to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside; they want to speak with You.”

Jesus answered, “Who is My mother? Who are My brothers?” Then He pointed to His disciples and said, “Look! Here are My mother and My brothers. Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

Tuesday, 24 January 2017 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Mark 3 : 31-35

At that time, the mother and brothers of Jesus came. As they stood outside, they sent someone to call Him. The crowd sitting around Jesus told Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are outside asking for You.”

He replied, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” And looking around at those who sat there, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers. Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to Me.”

Sunday, 27 April 2014 : 2nd Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, Canonisation of Pope St. John XXIII and Pope St. John Paul II (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 2 : 42-47

They were faithful to the teaching of the Apostles, the common life of sharing, the breaking of bread and the prayers. A holy fear came upon all the people, for many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the Apostles.

Now all the believers lived together and shared all their belongings. They would sell their property and all they had and distribute the proceeds to others according to their need. Each day they met together in the Temple area; they broke bread in their homes; they shared their food with great joy and simplicity of  heart; they praised God and won the people’s favour.

And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Sunday, 19 January 2014 : 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time, World Day of Migrants and Refugees (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brethren in Christ, today we heard how every reading proclaimed the glory of God in Jesus, His Son, who came down upon us, incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who walked in this earth, and who went on a blessed ministry of healing and purification of the people of God, after He was baptised in the Jordan by John the Baptist.

John the Baptist, who was also the relative of Jesus, was sent ahead of Him, to be the one who was prophesied in the first reading today, in the Book of the prophet Isaiah, who prophesied that the servant of God would come, and through him, prepared for such a ministry from the womb of his mother, the Lord would be known to everyone.

And that was precisely what John the Baptist did. He was prepared for a mission for the sake of the Lord ever since he was still in his mother’s womb. John the Baptist went on to live in the desert and became a great voice that shouted in the wilderness, calling the people of God to repent and forgo their old, sinful ways. He called for the repentance of peoples and for them to mark their repentance with the baptism of water at the Jordan.

John the Baptist baptised people and they came to him, seeking forgiveness for their sins. He therefore prepared the way straight for the Lord, who came immediately after him, Jesus, the Son of Mary, his relative. And John the Baptist, despite his popularity and his following, did not succumb to the usual weakness of human pride and arrogance. Instead, he did what he was supposed to do, that is to prepare and welcome the coming of the Lord the Saviour.

He proclaimed the Lord to his own followers and to the people after he baptised Jesus and witnessed the events which confirmed to him that Jesus was indeed the One he had been waiting for, and the One indeed whom John had done all those hard work for. John did not complain or hold any grudge against the Lord, for having received all the good fruits and benefits of his hard works. Instead, he joyfully proclaimed the Lord to all.

John the Baptist, as is often said, is a role model for all of us Christians who believed in the Lord. He humbly acknowledged the superiority of the Lord, who grew in glory and majesty, while he declined in importance. Even after his own disciples complained about the fact, he told them the truth about Jesus, who He was and what great things He would do, for the salvation of all mankind.

We should follow the examples of John the Baptist, that we also be humble before the Lord, especially in full awareness of our sins and our unworthiness, despite which our Lord and God Jesus Christ still came to save us. John the Baptist showed us how to lead a Christian life. We cannot be Christians if we do not proclaim Christ in our life, be it through our words, deeds, or actions. We should be always ever ready to confess that Christ is the Lord and the Saviour, that all will also believe in Him, much as how John convinced his followers that Jesus is the Christ and the Lord.

But today, there are even many more things we should talk about, because today is the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, commemorating the many millions today who are refugees away from their homeland, because of war, because of hatred and injustice, and because of prejudice and lack of love among mankind. Also commemorated today are the migrants who had gone away from their homeland to a new land, often far far away, for many reasons, most important of which are for economic reasons and also to seek peaceful life away from warfare.

As mentioned in the prophesy of Isaiah in the first reading, the coming of the Messiah was also associated with the reunion of the people of God who had been scattered throughout the world in exile. The coming of Christ was supposed to bring forth the peace and harmony, which would see that mankind no longer hate or despise one another, but instead live in harmony and love.

Yes, that is what we expect will happen, when the Lord who had come in Jesus Christ and died for our sins, comes again for the second time, when He will come as a victorious and conquering king, to bring all those who are faithful to Him into His eternal kingdom, where there will be no more hatred, divisions, or violence. Nevertheless, for us who are in this world, who still live in this world before this time, unfortunately this world is still very much in a mess.

If you follow the world news, you will realise that in many parts of the world, if not most, there are still much hatred, violence, and prejudice which existed between mankind, between one person and another, and between peoples. The world is rife with rivalry between human interests, either for land, or for more natural resources, and for many other reasons, including greed.

People were driven from their homes and their land, because violence often still ruled the day. As we all know what had happened recently in places such as Libya and Syria, especially what is still happening now in Syria, where thousands upon thousands die because of the violence there, because of the disregard for human life, and hatred for the others, that is hatred against those considered to be different to one’s group and therefore abominable.

Men fought one another and slaughter the innocent, because love has yet to take root in them, and many parts of the world if not most are still subject to this evil. And the result was pain, sorrow, and death. Many had to be driven from their homes and the land which they had inherited from their forefathers, and which they had lived in so peacefully until recently.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the Lord is love, peace, and harmony, and He has given to us His peace and His love. While we await for His second coming in glory, it is actually our part to play, in order to bring peace and love to our brethren, especially to whom peace and love had been taken away, such as our migrant and refugee brethren. They need peace, as well as our love and care. For it is often that they lost everything when they were forced off their land, and they had nothing.

Therefore brethren, let us show our faith and dedication to the Lord who loves us all and wants us to be reunited to Him, by showing our love to the refugees and migrants of this world, especially if any of them are present in our societies. Let us not follow the trend of this world, that is to shun them and cast them out of our societies, making them into a ghetto of refugees and migrants. We should instead help them, and talk to them, and then we will understand better the difficulties they had faced.

Let us then not close our hearts to the plight of the migrants and refugees, and seek to welcome them as our fellow brothers and sisters, helping them in any way we can to help alleviate their sufferings. Let us proclaim the love of God to them and to all men, following in the footsteps of John the Baptist, who proclaimed Jesus as the Lord and Messiah to all people he taught.

May we all then proclaim the Lord as our God, as one people, and seek to heal any divisions, pains, or sufferings that exist among us, that we may let go of any hatred or negative feelings, and instead embrace the way of peace, the way of the Lord. May God bring us together, as fellow brothers and sisters in the unity of God’s loving family, and may we all be blessed forever. Amen!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013 : Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle (First Reading)

Ephesians 2 : 19-22

Now you are no longer strangers or guests, but fellow citizens of the holy people : you are of the household of God. You are the house whose foundations are the apostles and prophets, and whose cornerstone is Christ Jesus.

In Him the whole structure is joined together and rises to be a Holy Temple in the Lord. In Him you too are being built to become the spiritual sanctuary of God.