Saturday, 20 June 2020 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, the day after the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we celebrate then the feast of the Immaculate Heart of His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. This day, just as we have recalled the great love which God has poured out from His most loving Heart, we also recall the tender, compassionate and motherly love shown by Mary to her Son, her beloved One, from her Immaculate Heart.

We recall Mary’s great love for God, her faith and piety, her commitment to serve the Lord wholeheartedly, and how she loved her Son dearly from the moment before He was born, and even up to the way of the Cross, when Mary followed her Son faithfully as He picked up His Cross and bore that burden of the Cross with Him to Calvary. It must indeed have pained her a lot to see her Son treated in such a way, and suffered in such a terrible manner.

And this was what the man of God Simeon spoke of at the Temple when the Lord Jesus was presented there after His birth. Simeon told Mary, the mother of the Lord that her Son was a Sign that would be the cause for the rising and downfall of many, and then, prophesied that ‘a sword will pierce your own heart’. It was at that moment of great anguish and sorrow, seeing her own Son’s suffering and journey towards His death that the ‘sword’ pierced Mary’s Immaculate Heart.

This was a heart that beats with love and filled with genuine faith in God, a heart blameless and immaculate because Mary herself had been conceived without sin, and pure from any taints of evil and wickedness. Yet, this loving and gentle Immaculate Heart has to endure such bitter wound and hurt. But all these did not stop her from loving, and instead, she loved with even greater sincerity and effort. And the same love which she has shown to her Son, she has also showed to all of us.

The Lord has entrusted us all to the loving care of His own mother when from the Cross, at the moment of His suffering and death, symbolically entrusted St. John to Mary’s care, and also vice versa, Mary to the care of St. John. Ever since then, all of us have been truly blessed to have Mary, not just as a great saint and role model, but also as our own adopted mother, and we have all been placed under her loving care and embrace.

That was why we have had many moments when the Blessed Virgin Mary, our loving mother appeared to us in different occasions, most famous of which occurred in Guadalupe, in La Salette, in Lourdes, in Fatima among others. And in all occurrences, Mary, the loving Mother of God and our mother always emphasised on repentance and for all mankind to turn once again towards God, towards her Son and to be forgiven from all of our sins and be reconciled.

Having seen the pain and suffering, the sorrow and troubles her Son endured on the Cross, it is not surprising that first of all, Mary as a loving Mother would not have wanted her Son’s sacrifice for our sake to be wasted on account of our stubbornness and refusal to turn towards God and remain in sin. And of course, then as a loving mother to all of us, she also certainly does not want any one of us to be lost from her due to our sinful ways.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we must really consider ourselves truly fortunate, to have received such abundant love, care and compassion not just from the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, but even also from the Immaculate Heart of His own mother Mary, who is also our loving mother. Do we not want to listen to our mother’s loving words calling upon us to turn to her and from her towards Jesus Christ, her Son, Our Lord and Saviour?

Let us all therefore turn towards God with renewed faith, and devote ourselves from now on with greater zeal. Let us all commit ourselves to the path shown to us by our mother, Mary, through her loving Immaculate Heart, and follow this path faithfully to our complete reconciliation and forgiveness in God. O Blessed Mother Mary, help us all to be more like you in faith, and to share the love overflowing from your Immaculate Heart. Pray for us all sinners, and bring us ever closer to Christ, your Son, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Saturday, 20 June 2020 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 2 : 41-51

Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover, as was customary. And when Jesus was twelve years old, He went up with them, according to the custom of this feast. After the festival was over, they returned, but the Boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and His parents did not know it.

They thought He was in the company, and after walking the whole day they looked for Him among their relatives and friends. As they did not find Him, they went back to Jerusalem searching for Him, and on the third day they found Him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. And all the people were amazed at His understanding and His answers.

His parents were very surprised when they saw Him, and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Your father and I were very worried while searching for You.” Then He said to them, “Why were you looking for Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house?” But they did not understand this answer.

Jesus went down with them, returning to Nazareth, and He continued to be subject to them. As for His mother, she kept all these things in her heart.

Saturday, 20 June 2020 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Samuel 2 : 1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd

My heart exults in YHVH, I feel strong in my God. I rejoice and laugh at my enemies for You came with power to save me.

The bow of the mighty is broken, but the weak are girded with strength. The well-fed must labour for bread, but the hungry need work no more. The childless wife has borne seven children, but the proud mother is left alone.

YHVH is Lord of life and death. He brings down to the grave and raises up. YHVH makes poor and makes rich, He brings low and He exalts.

He lifts up the lowly from the dust, and raises the poor from the ash heap; they will be called to the company of princes, and inherit a seat of honour.

Saturday, 20 June 2020 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

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.

Saturday, 9 June 2018 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, just the day after the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, today we commemorate together the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Mother of God and Our Lord Jesus Christ. And why is this day special? That is because just as her Son’s heart is most sacred and holy, as He is God, Mary’s heart was also holy in a similar way, and immaculate, meaning pure and clean from corruption.

This is because Mary herself, according to our faith, has been conceived without sin, known as the Immaculate Conception of Mary. And because of this, unique among other men, Mary alone was free from the taints and corruptions of the original sin. And her heart, mind and whole being are therefore free from the corruption of sin and all sorts of wickedness that corrupt us.

But Mary was great and honoured, more than just because she is the Mother of God and not just because she has been conceived without sin. Mary was exemplary in her life, in how she led a prayerful and devout life, dedicated to purity and holiness, and in how she dedicated herself to the mission which has been entrusted to her, to be the Mother of God, guiding her child Jesus right from before He was born, to the time when she followed Him up to the hill of Calvary for His crucifixion and death.

Mary saw and witnessed many things throughout her life, especially those years when she brought up the Baby Jesus, having seen Him being worshipped and glorified by three Magi from the East, with strange and peculiar gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, which act as premonition to Who Jesus truly was and what His mission in this world would be. She has endured many things, including persecution and difficulty from those who desired to see the Lord Jesus destroyed.

She witnessed as mentioned in the Gospel passage today, the great wisdom of her Son Jesus, when He debated the intellectuals and teachers of the Law at the Temple of Jerusalem when He was merely just twelve years old. She heard Him saying peculiar things such as Him having to dwell in His Father’s house. Even though the Archangel Gabriel had told Mary that Jesus would be God’s own Son, but surely that fact must have remained a mystery to Mary.

Yet, she had great faith in the Lord, and put everything she had heard, all her uncertainties and questions into her heart, as the Gospel mentioned today. The heart of Mary is filled with love, and pure love for her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. And that love alone is enough for her to overcome all kinds of uncertainties, fears, concerns and all the questions she might have.

That is why, Mary followed her Son even to the foot of the cross, where she saw her Son suffered and died for the sake of all of us. She loved Him so much to the very end. And Our Lord entrusted all of us to her from the cross, as He entrusted His disciple St. John the Apostle to her. Then He also entrusted her to us all, by entrusting her to the same St. John, His Apostle.

Therefore, all of us have Mary as our mother, and her loving heart, and all the love she has shown to her Son, she has also shown to us, whom she had adopted as her own children. Let us have faith in God in the same way as she has been faithful, and let us follow her example in life, in how she have led her life filled with faith, commitment and devotion.

Let us all entrust ourselves to her, and let us all turn towards God with a renewed faith and devotion from now on. Mary, Mother of God, in your most Immaculate Heart, pray for us all sinners, that God will forgive us and welcome us all into His heavenly kingdom. Amen.

Saturday, 9 June 2018 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 2 : 41-51

Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover, as was customary. And when Jesus was twelve years old, He went up with them, according to the custom of this feast. After the festival was over, they returned, but the Boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and His parents did not know it.

They thought He was in the company, and after walking the whole day they looked for Him among their relatives and friends. As they did not find Him, they went back to Jerusalem searching for Him, and on the third day they found Him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. And all the people were amazed at His understanding and His answers.

His parents were very surprised when they saw Him, and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Your father and I were very worried while searching for You.” Then He said to them, “Why were you looking for Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house?” But they did not understand this answer.

Jesus went down with them, returning to Nazareth, and He continued to be subject to them. As for His mother, she kept all these things in her heart.

Saturday, 9 June 2018 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Samuel 2 : 1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd

My heart exults in YHVH, I feel strong in my God. I rejoice and laugh at my enemies for You came with power to save me.

The bow of the mighty is broken, but the weak are girded with strength. The well-fed must labour for bread, but the hungry need work no more. The childless wife has borne seven children, but the proud mother is left alone.

YHVH is Lord of life and death. He brings down to the grave and raises up. YHVH makes poor and makes rich, He brings low and He exalts.

He lifts up the lowly from the dust, and raises the poor from the ash heap; they will be called to the company of princes, and inherit a seat of honour.

Saturday, 9 June 2018 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

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.

Saturday, 4 June 2016 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on thus say we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. If yesterday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the loving heart of our God, then today, we celebrate the loving and tender heart of His mother Mary. Jesus and His mother Mary were inseparable and were very close, and thus, her heart is a reflection of her Son’s own Most Sacred Heart.

And in this we see how Mary was loving and kind, compassionate and filled with God’s love just as her Son showed us His everlasting love. She has shown great care and love for her Son, and the same love now she is showing to us as well. It was in that love that she endured great pain and suffering, to see with her own eyes how her Son Jesus suffered tremendously at the hands of His persecutors, as He went to save mankind through His crucifixion.

All these were foretold by the prophet Simeon, when Jesus was circumcised in the Temple eight days after His birth into the world. He said to Mary, that her Son would be a force of great change, through Whom the world and all mankind would come to see their salvation and hope. And at the same time, Simeon gave Mary a warning and premonition of what was to come. A sword would pierce her own heart.

And it was in seeing her own Son enduring His sufferings and carrying His cross to Calvary, even though He was blameless, innocent but charged with false charges, and mocked and rejected by the very people to whom He had been sent to, that her heart endured such a great pain, as mentioned by Simeon at the time of Jesus’ presentation at the Temple of God.

And in the Gospel today, which tells us about Jesus when He was only twelve years old, and went to the Temple of God in Jerusalem, surely we all know the story, how Jesus were left behind in the Temple, or rather, purposely staying behind at the Temple, the House and dwelling-place of His Father. And when Mary and Joseph returned to Jerusalem and found Him among the teachers and elders, she heard Him telling her about how He had to be in His Father’s house.

Anyone else who heard such things would have been scared, or become unsure and doubtful, or dismiss all these things as nonsense. But it was not so for Mary, for she kept everything in her heart, even things which she did not really understand. And just as at the time when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her in Nazareth, even though she did not understand everything, but she kept everything in her heart and put her complete trust in God and His plan.

How many of us have done what she had done, brothers and sisters in Christ? Certainly, very few among us would have done what Mary did. And it is not surprising considering that we mankind are creatures who often find it difficult to trust another, and we often trust and believe in only ourselves, and we act in ways that preserve ourselves and achieve our own wants and desires.

And that is why we often find it difficult to go forward in our journey towards the Lord, because we are by our nature tend to be distracted by many things, including all the temptations of this world that are hard for us to resist. We tend to sway and to be doubtful whenever we are presented with challenges that are against our faith in God.

This is where we should imitate the examples of Mary, the mother of our Lord. She was faithful despite all the things and experiences which she had encountered throughout her life. She placed all her trust in God, even though at times there were many things which she was unsure of. And she gave it all in the mission which God had entrusted her with, namely to be the mother and bearer of the Saviour of the world.

She loved her Son with all her might, even following Him wherever He went to. And when the disciples and the Apostles were scattered after Jesus was arrested by the Jewish authorities, it was Mary His mother who remained faithful and steady, watching by closely how the people rejected her Son and tortured Him, and condemned Him to death.

And for that faith and that love, indeed, Mary is truly worthy as the Mother of God, and as what we all believe in, as the Co-Redemptrix of mankind, through whose works and actions, the redemption of us all by Jesus our Lord was made perfect and complete. And He gave us the greatest form of help, by granting to us the gift of His own mother Mary.

He did this when He was hung between the heavens and the earth on the cross. He entrusted Mary to His disciple St. John the Apostle, and entrusted him to Mary as well. Through this act, He had entrusted His mother to us all mankind, and all of us to her care vice versa. And therefore, from then on, we have Mary as our guide to find the way to Jesus our Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us ask Mary our mother to pray for our sake, that as she has loved her Son, she too may love us and care for us sinners in danger of death and eternal damnation. Let us all through her help and guidance, find our way to the Lord and to the eternal life and salvation He has promised all those who keep their faith in Him. God bless us all. Amen.

Saturday, 4 June 2016 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 2 : 41-51

At that time, every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover, as was customary. And when Jesus was twelve years old, He went up with them, according to the custom of this Feast. After the festival was over, they returned, but the Boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and His parents did not know it.

They thought He was in the company, and after walking the whole day they looked for Him among their relatives and friends. As they did not find Him, they went back to Jerusalem searching for Him, and on the third day they found Him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. And all the people were amazed at His understanding and His answers.

His parents were very surprised when they saw Him, and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Your father and I were very worried while searching for You.” Then He said to them, “Why were you looking for Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house?” But they did not understand this answer.

Jesus went down with them, returning to Nazareth, and He continued to be subject to them. As for His mother, she kept all these things in her heart.