Friday, 13 May 2022 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are yet constantly being reminded of the salvation which has come to us through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, Who has come into our midst bearing the truth and love of God. We are reminded of this fact as we continue to progress through the season of Easter because as Christians we cannot just remain idle in our faith. Instead, all of us are called to evangelise in our own ways and within the opportunities and capacities presented to us. All of us have to embrace this calling to be faithful witnesses of the Lord’s truth and love in our respective communities, in today’s world.

As we heard from our first reading today, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, we heard of how St. Paul proclaimed all the works of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of all, Who had come amidst the Jewish people and as one of their own, in proclaiming the Good News of salvation. St. Paul spoke of all the wonders and works the Lord had done, and how although many of the people had rejected Him and condemned Him to death, but the Lord had risen from the dead, and how the Apostles including St. Paul himself had been preaching of all these truth and witnesses they had to all the people, calling on them to have faith in the Lord and to believe in Him.

St. Paul and the many other disciples of the Lord faced all the dangers and challenges faithfully and with dedication, knowing that God is with them, and that they were not labouring in vain, as the Lord Who knew all of their actions, would bless them and remember them, and though they might suffer and perish, but they would not face defeat as the Lord would lead them into the ultimate victory in the end. The sufferings of the Apostles and the many other disciples, the saints and many of the martyrs all remind us of just how difficult it is to follow the Lord, and how complicated it may be for us to commit ourselves as Christians, even in our own day as well. And yet, we must not lose heart because the Lord has reassured us of His providence and love.

As we heard in our Gospel passage today, the Lord Himself spoke to His disciples, reassuring them of the bounty and true joy that each one of them would enjoy in the end, despite the challenges and trials that they might have to endure for the sake of the Lord. The Lord told all of them that He would go before them to a place where they could and would not yet be able to go, a revelation of what would happen to Him afterwards, when He would be arrested, accused of wrongdoing, and punished to die a most humiliating death, dying and eventually rose from the dead as how everything had happened back then. And then the Lord would ascend to Heaven, to prepare everything for His disciples and beloved ones, preparing the places for all of them.

The disciples who had listened to the Lord and then witnessed everything coming to fruition and having seen what had happened, the Lord’s death and resurrection, and His ascension into glory, they all believed in Him and His truth. And with the strength and courage bestowed on them through the Holy Spirit, the disciples and followers of the Lord like St. Paul committed their whole efforts and lives to serve the Lord and to proclaim this same truth and love to more and more people. They went up against all those who refused to believe in the Lord and all those who persecuted the Lord and His followers, the Jewish authorities and the Roman government among many others.

The Lord’s disciples did not fear those persecution, trials and challenges, because they trusted in the Lord, and they knew that in the end, as I mentioned, they would be triumphant with God. The Lord would lead them all to the ultimate victory, and this same assurance had been given to us all as well. We have to put our faith in God and devote ourselves to the Lord in our lives and in our every opportunities. All of us must follow in the footsteps of the Apostles and continue to follow the Lord, and to devote ourselves to the many works and efforts of the Church, which had been done for the salvation of many more souls.

Today, we also celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, commemorating the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, at Fatima in Portugal, where Mary appeared to the three little shepherd children, Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia. Over a hundred years ago, during the height of the First World War in Europe, and during a time of intense persecution against the Church in Portugal, and just before the ascent of Communism throughout Russia and Eastern Europe, the three young shepherd children saw Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, appearing to them and asking them to spread her messages, a reminder to the world and all of the children of God, that they ought to return to the Lord and offend the Lord no more by their sins.

That is why, she, Our Lady of Fatima made appearances to the three shepherd children, through whom her messages were made clear to all of us through the Church. Her call for us is a reminder that all of us have been called to follow the Lord faithfully and to do His will. We are reminded not to veer away from the path that God has shown us, and to repent from our many sins that had led us astray from God. As the Mother of God and our own mother, as we have been entrusted to her by the Lord Himself, naturally she would be concerned with us and our fate, and having seen how her Son, Our same Lord Jesus Christ, had suffered for our sake, for our salvation, she would not want any of us to suffer eternal damnation due to our actions.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures and are reminded of what Our Lady of Fatima had said to the three shepherd children of Fatima that day and in her various apparitions afterwards, each one of us are called and reminded to turn towards the Lord anew with faith, and to face the many challenges and trials with confidence and trust in God. We must not let our fears to overcome us or to hinder us in any way in our path towards serving the Lord and in fulfilling the mission entrusted to us. Let us do our best to commit ourselves to the Lord’s mission, and may all of us be encouraged and strengthened at all times, and may God bless each one of us in our every endeavours and good works, now and always. Blessed Mary, Mother of God, Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us all sinners too. Amen.

Friday, 13 May 2022 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 14 : 1-6

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Do not be troubled! Trust in God and trust in Me! In My Father’s house there are many rooms; otherwise, I would not have told you that I go to prepare a place for you. After I have gone and prepared a place for you, I shall come again and take you to Me, so that where I am, you also may be. Yet you know the way where I am going.”

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through 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 2022 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 2 : 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

“Behold the King I have installed, in Zion, upon My holy hill!” I will proclaim the decree of the Lord. He said to Me : “You are My Son. This day I have begotten You.”

“Ask of Me and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall rule them with iron sceptre and shatter them as a potter’s vase.”

Now therefore, learn wisdom, o kings; be warned, o rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and fall at His feet; lest He be angry and you perish when His anger suddenly flares. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

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.

Friday, 13 May 2022 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 13 : 26-33

Paul said to the Jews in the synagogue of Antioch in Pisidia, “Brothers, children and descendants of Abraham, and you also who fear God, it is to you that this message of salvation has been sent. It is a fact that the inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognise Jesus.”

“Yet in condemning Him, they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath but not understood. Even though they found no charge against Him that deserved death, they asked Pilate to have Him executed. And after they have carried out all that had been written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb.”

But God raised Him from the dead, and for many days thereafter He showed Himself to those who had come up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They have now become His witnesses before the people. We ourselves announce to you this Good News : All that God promised our ancestors, He has fulfilled for us, their descendants, by raising Jesus, according to what is written in the second psalm : You are My Son, this day I have begotten You.”

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.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 : 5th 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, the thirteenth day of May we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, in commemoration of the very first Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the place known as Fatima in the countryside and remote place of Portugal near the city of Leiria. At that time, in the year of Our Lord 1917 was the third year of the First World War, or what was then known as the Great War. At that time, the War has raged on for three long years and many millions had perished in the battlefield, while many millions more were suffering from poverty, unemployment, hunger and famines, diseases among many others.

Then, on that one fine day, the thirteenth of May of that year, as three young shepherd children were walking in the fields, they saw the Apparition of a beautiful Lady which seemed to be a truly supernatural experience for them. Prior to this, they had also received three apparitions from the Angels of God, who had taught them several prayers and revealed some things to them. But beginning from the thirteenth of May, the Blessed Virgin Mother of God herself appeared to the three children.

Mary, later to be known as Our Lady of Fatima in honour of her apparition spoke to the three children and revealed to them the urging for everyone to pray the Holy Rosary and also devotion in order to bring an end of the Great War and also restore peace to the whole world. There had been too many conflicts and bitterness among men, and there had been way too many deaths. There had been too many tragedies and enmities among men. And there would be even more in the years and decades to come after that moment.

That was perhaps why Mary chose to appear to the three children of Fatima, St. Jacinta Marto and St. Francisco Marto, and Servant of God Lucia dos Santos. She appeared to them at that most difficult of moments to remind us all mankind that God would not abandon us all in our time of greatest need. And she herself appeared as a reassuring and loving Mother to calm us all down, and to help show us the way out of the darkness and into the salvation and liberation through her Son.

Our Lady of Fatima appeared every month, on the thirteenth of the month with the message calling on all people to be devoted once again to God and to turn away from their sinful ways, and in particular to pray the Holy Rosary devotion to help to bring peace and to seek God’s loving intervention and grace to turn away our misfortunes and to drive away all the darkness and destruction from the world. Our Lady of Fatima called the faithful to repent from their sins and to be devoted once again to God.

Many people came to believe in the words of the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin, and many would come to see the Apparition every month, led by the three children of Fatima. Soon, a crowd of hundreds and then thousands of people flocked to the Leiria and Fatima region, and the devotion quickly spread and became known. Eventually this would culminate in the great ‘Miracle of the Sun’ which happened at the last Apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, and was witnessed by tens of thousands of people.

Among the messages and revelations of Our Lady of Fatima was the renowned ‘Secrets of Fatima’, one of which involved the Consecration of Russia to the Blessed Virgin, as well as the prophetic revelation of how Pope St. John Paul II was almost assassinated over six decades later on the exact date of the first Fatima Apparitions, namely the thirteenth day of May. Through all these, the Blessed Mother of God wanted to reach out to all of us her children, out of her love and concern for us.

Through these revelations, Our Lady of Fatima revealed the bitter sorrow that we the faithful and the world had to face, just as the great scourge of Communism would rise in Russia in that very year, and gripped the whole world many tragedies that lasted many decades as Communism spread all around the world and led to many persecutions of Christians under their care. Many people suffered and had to practice their faith in hiding, evading the authorities and many were martyred as well.

Now that all these tragedies, challenges and difficulties encountered by many of our predecessors in the past century had become part of history, we are called then to turn towards the Lord once again through the guidance of His Mother Mary, Our Lady of Fatima. During the first five months in this year alone, we have encountered so many troubles and difficulties from all directions, particularly the still terrible coronavirus pandemic that is still raging all around the world.

At the time of the Great War, just not long after the Apparition of Fatima, one of the most deadly pandemics in the history of the world struck, caused by the influenza virus and known as the ‘Spanish Flu’, which ended up causing tens of millions of deaths during its more than two years of spread worldwide. Although comparatively the impact of the current coronavirus pandemic seemed to be much milder due to our vastly improved medical facilities and technologies, but people still died from the current pandemic and many more are suffering.

And this is coupled with all the other troubles, natural disasters like floods, volcanic eruptions among others, as well as other forms of difficulties that had come all around many communities. We certainly have heard how there are many people out there who are struggling to keep themselves, their families and their loved ones supported and afloat. Many of them had even lost their jobs or received temporary suspension of their work and pay, or being given significant pay cuts that made it difficult for them to take care of their families sufficiently.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is now that we are called to remember again the words of Our Lady of Fatima, calling on all of us to pray more fervently and be more devoted at all times. Amidst the difficulties and challenges we are probably facing and enduring right now, let us all have more faith in God, trust in Him more and worry less about many things in our lives that are beyond our control. Let us entrust ourselves to the Lord through His Mother Mary, Our Lady of Fatima.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all pray the Holy Rosary especially during this blessed month of May, the month of the Holy Rosary, following what Our Lady of Fatima herself had told us through the three children of Fatima. Let us all pray fervently and inspire one another to pray, that God, in His mercy, may be moved to help us and deliver us from our troubles. Let us all be hopeful in Him that as long as we have faith in Him, we have no need to fear anything, be it the terrible pandemic or anything. Instead, let us all live our lives to the fullest and exercise Christian virtues and charity wherever and whenever we can.

May the Lord be with us always, and may He, through the intercession of His Mother Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, deliver us all from our darkness and troubles, and lead us into a new light and a new existence in His love. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 : 5th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 15 : 1-8

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “I am the True Vine and My Father is the Vinegrower. If any of My branches does not bear fruit, He breaks it off; and He prunes every branch that does bear fruit, that it may bear even more fruit.”

“You are already made clean by the word I have spoken to you. Live in Me as I live in you. The branch cannot bear fruit by itself, but has to remain part of the vine; so neither can you, if you do not remain in Me. I am the Vine and you are the branches. As long as you remain in Me and I in you, you bear much fruit; but apart from Me you can do nothing.”

“Whoever does not remain in Me is thrown away, as they do with branches, and they wither. Then they are gathered and thrown into the fire and burnt. If you remain in Me and My words in you, you may ask whatever you want, and it will be given to you. My Father is glorified when you bear much fruit : it is then that you become My disciples.”

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.”

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 : 5th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 121 : 1-2, 3-4a, 4b-5

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” And now we have set foot within your gates, o Jerusalem!

Jerusalem, just like a city, where everything falls into place! There the tribes go up.

The tribes of the Lord, the assembly of Israel, to give thanks to the Lord’s Name. There stand the courts of justice, the offices of the house of David.

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.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 : 5th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 15 : 1-6

Some persons who had come from Judea to Antioch were teaching the brothers in this way, “Unless you are circumcised according to the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.”

Because of this there was trouble, and Paul and Barnabas had fierce arguments with them. For Paul told the people to remain as they were when they became believers. Finally those who had come from Jerusalem suggested that Paul and Barnabas and some others go up to Jerusalem to discuss the matter with the Apostles and elders.

They were sent on their way by the Church. As they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria they reported how the non-Jews had turned to God, and there was great joy among all the brothers and sisters. On their arrival in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the Church, the Apostles and the elders, to whom they told all that God had done through them.

Some believers, however, who belonged to the party of the Pharisees, stood up and said that non-Jewish men must be circumcised and instructed to keep the law of Moses. So the Apostles and elders met together to consider the matter.

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.

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.”