Monday, 13 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the occasion of the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, celebrated every thirteenth day of the month of May, marking the moment when Our Blessed Mother Mary appeared at Fatima in Portugal to three young shepherd children, bringing forth with her the message intended for mankind, for the salvation and liberation of man through God.

Mary is calling all of us to follow her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, to repent from our sinful ways and from our wicked actions in life. She appeared several times over the few months in that same year before the three children, showing them visions of hell, and the warning of what would happen should mankind continue to live in sin. She gave the prophecies of what would happen, the suffering of many throughout the past century, due to the persecution of the Church and the faithful.

And today, we celebrate Mary, Our Lady of Fatima and remember her intense love for each one of us, that she appeared and showed her care and concern for us, as unless we make a change and difference in our lives, we will be lost forever to her Son, and to her as well. And God has entrusted us all to her, as her own children, just as He entrusted her to us as our own Mother. Which mother will not care for the well-being of her own children or be concerned about them?

That is why today, as we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, all of us are reminded to reflect on our lives and to think about how we have lived out our lives all these while. Have we been truly acting in a most Christian way in our daily living or have we instead been following the ways of the world all these while? We are challenged by the Lord to follow the good examples which His own mother Mary has shown us.

For Mary is the perfect disciple, one who has attuned herself so completely to the will of God, obediently following the will of God and submitting herself so perfectly, that she became the role model for each and every one of us Christians. She is so honoured and well-praised precisely because of her commitment to God, her devotion to do what God has willed and not of her own selfish desires in life.

That is why we are often so attached to Mary, for she is not just our Mother, but someone whom we can truly look up to in our daily living, as the example and the guiding light by which we can find our way towards God. And that is what we perhaps need to reflect today, as we continue to live our lives in this world. We should heed our loving Mother’s call and encouragement for us to turn away from sinful ways and to embrace wholeheartedly her ways, imitating her love and commitment for God in our own lives.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we continue to embark through this holy and blessed season of Easter, let us all draw ever closer to God, through His mother Mary, our role model, intercessor and our loving Mother, who has appeared so many times in the past centuries, calling on all of us her children to turn towards her Son in a new faith and in a new life that is no longer subjugated by sin.

Let us all be role model ourselves, in how we live up to our lives, filled with faith and commitment to love and serve the Lord with all of our might. Let us all devote ourselves, our time and attention towards Him, and let us all be ever more committed, day after day, to be His true disciples and to be more like His mother Mary, that others may come to believe in Him also, through our role model and examples. May God be with us always in these endeavours. Amen.

Monday, 13 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 10 : 1-10

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly, I say to you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. But the shepherd of the sheep enters by the gate. The keeper opens the gate to him and the sheep hear his voice; he calls each of his sheep by name and leads them out.”

“When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but rather they will run away from him, because they do not recognise a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this comparison, but they did not understand what He was saying to them.

So Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, I am the Gate of the sheep. All who came were thieves and robbers, and the sheep did not hear them. I am the Gate. Whoever enters through Me will be saved; he will go in and out freely and find food. The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I have come that they may have life, life in all its fullness.”

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Fatima)

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.”

Monday, 13 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 41 : 2-3 and Psalm 42 : 3, 4

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for You, o God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I go and see the face of God?

Send forth Your light and Your truth; let them be my guide, let them take me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You reside.

Then will I go to the Altar of God, to God, my gladness and delight. I will praise You with the lyre an harp, o God, my God.

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Fatima)

Psalm 44 : 11-12, 14-15, 16-17

Listen, o daughter, pay attention; forget your father’s house and your nation, and your beauty will charm the King, for He is your Lord.

All glorious as she enters is the princess in her gold-woven robes. She is led in royal attire to the King, following behind is her train of virgins.

Amid cheers and general rejoicing, they enter the palace of the King. Forget your fathers and think of your sons, you will make them princes throughout the land.

Monday, 13 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 11 : 1-18

News came to the Apostles and the brothers and sisters in Judea that even foreigners had received the Word of God. So, when Peter went up to Jerusalem, these Jewish believers began to argue with him, “You went to the home of uncircumcised people and ate with them!”

So Peter began to give them the facts as they had happened, “I was at prayer in the city of Joppa when, in a trance, I saw a vision. Something like a large sheet came down from the sky and drew near to me, landing on the ground by its four corners. As I stared at it, I saw four-legged creatures of the earth, wild beasts and reptiles, and birds of the sky.”

“Then I heard a voice saying to me : ‘Get up, Peter, kill and eat!’ I replied, ‘Certainly not, Lord! No common or unclean creature has ever entered my mouth.’ A second time the voice from the heavens spoke, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call unclean.’ This happened three times, and then it was all drawn up into the sky. At that moment three men, who had been sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were staying.”

“The Spirit instructed me to go with them without hesitation; so these six brothers came along with me and we entered into the man’s house. He told us how he had seen an Angel standing in his house and telling him : ‘Send someone to Joppa and fetch Simon, also known as Peter. He will bring you a message by which you and all your household will be saved.”

“I had begun to address them when suddenly the Holy Spirit came upon them, just as it had come upon us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said : ‘John baptised with water, but you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’ If, then, God had given them the same gift that He had given us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to resist God?”

When they heard this they set their minds at rest and praised God saying, “Then God has granted life-giving repentance to the pagan nations as well.”

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Fatima)

Isaiah 61 : 9-11

Their descendants shall be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a race YHVH has blessed.

I rejoice greatly in YHVH, my soul exults for joy in my God, for He has clothed me in the garments of His salvation, He has covered me with the robe of His righteousness, like a bridegroom wearing a garland, like a bride adorned with jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its growth, and as a garden makes seeds spring up, so will the Lord YHVH make justice and praise spring up in the sight of all nations.

Friday, 13 May 2016 : Seventh Week of Easter, Memorial of our Lady of Fatima (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we celebrate together the feast of our Lady of Fatima, commemorating that moment on this day, the thirteenth day of May, ninety-nine years ago in the year 1917, when during the height of the World War I and at the beginning of the time of great difficulty and persecution that would face Christian Russia, at the beginning of the Bolshevik Communist revolution, that the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, appeared to three young children in the village of Fatima in Portugal.

Our Lady appeared to them and asking them to devote themselves and pray to the Holy Trinity daily, and pray the Rosary regularly for the sake of the peace of the world, the end of the war and the return of love, compassion and harmony into the world. She asked the children to spread the devotion to their fellow countrymen and all those that they had encountered, so that hopefully many people would walk in the path of repentance towards the redemption in God, and that they may seek Him through her help.

She also passed on words of advice, and many revelations to the children, including three secrets which would contain the things that were to come to the world and to the faithful people of God. She foretold of the great tribulations that would come upon the world, as we could see in the rise of Communism in Russia and in many other countries which engulfed much of the twentieth century and even until today, where those who refused to believe in God persecuted the faithful and the Church, making even many martyrs out of them.

Through the revelations of our Lady of Fatima, indeed all of us should be able to see and to feel just how much love God is showing us all His beloved ones. He has shown us His great love through His mother, who is also our mother, and that is why she is always busy at work both at the side of her Son in heaven, praying and interceding for our sake, or in the world, to stir the hearts of mankind that they may repent and turn away from their sins.

Each Marian apparitions, most famous of which were in Fatima and Lourdes spoke about the need for mankind to change their ways, repenting their sins through acts of faith and devotion, that our faith in God may be strengthened, and we may receive the grace, the strength and the courage to live our lives with faith, and to reject and resist whatever temptations that come our way, trying to pull us away from the path towards God.

And one of the advice which the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of our Lord Jesus gave us was that we should pray the Rosary often with devotion and pure intentions, to help us in this spiritual warfare that is happening daily about us. And if we think praying the Rosary is repetitive and meaningless, that means, first of all, we may not be praying it right, and we in fact may not have gotten what prayer is all about, and we may also not realise the gravity of the spiritual battle happening around us and involving us.

Many of us when we pray, we do not pray in right way. We tend to think, wrongly, that prayer is a way for us to get help from God, and it is like a request booth through which we can plea, beg, ask and even demand grace and blessings from God. And that is why our prayer becomes less of that crucial conversation and interaction which we have with God, and became instead the litany and long list of wishes, requests and demands that do not do justice to what a prayer is truly about.

Instead, all of us should come to realise that prayer is a very powerful tool indeed, and not for us to merely get gratification and to satisfy our desires by asking the Lord all that we wished and wanted. Prayer is not just a unidirectional conversation where we do all the talking and expect the Lord to listen to us and to our petitions, as sadly most of us often believed. But rather, prayer is the time for us to spend a quiet and precious moment together with God, that we may speak with Him through the silence of our hearts, and that He too may speak to us deep in our hearts and minds.

As we honour our Blessed mother, Mary, the Lady of Fatima, and as we rejoice together knowing that the Lord had given us His own mother to be our mother as well, caring and loving for us, let us heed therefore her advice, as she had reiterated many times through her many apparitions including at Fatima, of the need for us all to undergo that tremendous change that begins from the heart. And the best way to that is through prayer and discipline.

Praying the Rosary regularly and meaningfully is a great method for us to quieten down our hearts and minds, allowing us to condition ourselves and tune ourselves away from the busy things of this world, shutting out all the noise, the temptations and all the distractions that often kept us away from truly being able to realise the way that God is reaching out to us, by speaking in the silence of our hearts.

Rather, let us all, in this month of May, which we should know as the month of the Holy Rosary, devote ourselves ever more to pray and pray the Rosary in many occasions with zeal and devotion, so that we may grow ever spiritually stronger. Remember, brethren, the devil and his fellow angels are out there like lions prowling about waiting to prey on us and to devour us, the sheep of the flock of the Lord, especially when we are distracted and lost our focus in the midst pf our busy lives.

Let us ask our blessed mother to intercede for us all, so that she may ask her Son to send His Angels to us to guard us against the enemy, and that we may be able to realise the gravity and the dangers of our sins, and thus make the conscious effort to change ourselves, repent and seek God’s forgiveness for our sins. May our Lord Jesus Christ, with the help of His Blessed mother Mary, our Lady of Fatima lead and guide us on the way to salvation and eternal life. God bless us all. Amen.

Friday, 13 May 2016 : Seventh Week of Easter, Memorial of our Lady of Fatima (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 21 : 15-19

At that time, after Jesus and His disciples had finished breakfast, He said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” And Jesus said, “Feed My lambs.”

A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” And Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Look after My sheep.” And a third time He said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”

Peter was saddened because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said, “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You.” Jesus then said, “Feed My sheep! Truly, I say to you, when you were young, you put on your belt and walked where you liked. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will put a belt around you, and lead you where you do not wish to go.”

Jesus said this to make known the kind of death by which Peter was to glorify God. And He added, “Follow Me.”
Alternative reading (Mass of our Lady of Fatima)

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.”

Friday, 13 May 2016 : Seventh Week of Easter, Memorial of our Lady of Fatima (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 102 : 1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab

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 the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His love for those fearing Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove from us our sins.

The Lord has set His throne in heaven; He rules, He has power everywhere. Praise the Lord, all you His Angels.

Alternative reading (Mass of our Lady of Fatima)

Psalm 44 : 11-12, 14-15, 16-17

Listen, o daughter, pay attention; forget your father’s house and your nation. And your beauty will charm the King, for He is your Lord.

All glorious as she enters is the princess in her gold-woven robes. She is led in royal attire to the King, following behind is her train of virgins.

Amid cheers and general rejoicing, they enter the palace of the King. Forget your fathers and think of your sons, you will make them princes throughout the land.