Sunday, 2 February 2014 : Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 2 : 22-40

When the day came for the purification according to the law of Moses, they brought the Baby up to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord, as it is written in the Law of the Lord : ‘Every firstborn male shall be consecrated to God.’ And they offered a sacrifice, as ordered in the law of the Lord : ‘a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.’

There lived in Jerusalem at this time a very upright and devout man named Simeon; the Holy Spirit was in him. He looked forward to the time when the Lord would comfort Israel, and he had been assured, by the Holy Spirit, that he would not die before seeing the Messiah of the Lord.

So he was led into the Temple by the Holy Spirit at the time the parents brought the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the Law. Simeon took the Child in his arms, and blessed God, saying, “Now, o Lord, You can dismiss Your servant in peace, for You have fulfilled Your word and my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You display for all the people to see.”

“Here is the Light You will reveal to the nations, and the glory of Your people Israel.”

His father and mother wondered at what was said about the Child. Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, His mother, “Know this : your Son is a sign, a sign established for the falling and rising of many in Israel, a sign of contradiction; and a sword will pierce your own soul, so that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”

There was also a prophetess named Anna, daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. After leaving her father’s home, she had been seven years with her husband, and since then she had been continually about the Temple, serving God as a widow night and day in fasting and prayer. She was now eighty-four.

Coming up at that time, she gave praise to God, and spoke of the Child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.

When the parents had fulfilled all that was required by the law of the Lord, they returned to their town, Nazareth in Galilee. There the Child grew in stature and strength, and was filled with wisdom : the grace of God was upon Him.

Alternative Reading (shorter version)

Luke 2 : 22-32

When the day came for the purification according to the law of Moses, they brought the Baby up to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord, as it is written in the Law of the Lord : ‘Every firstborn male shall be consecrated to God.’ And they offered a sacrifice, as ordered in the law of the Lord : ‘a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.’

There lived in Jerusalem at this time a very upright and devout man named Simeon; the Holy Spirit was in him. He looked forward to the time when the Lord would comfort Israel, and he had been assured, by the Holy Spirit, that he would not die before seeing the Messiah of the Lord.

So he was led into the Temple by the Holy Spirit at the time the parents brought the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the Law. Simeon took the Child in his arms, and blessed God, saying, “Now, o Lord, You can dismiss Your servant in peace, for You have fulfilled Your word and my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You display for all the people to see.”

“Here is the Light You will reveal to the nations, and the glory of Your people Israel.”

Friday, 3 January 2014 : Weekday of Christmas Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 1 : 29-34

The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him, and said, “There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! It is He of whom I said : A Man comes after me, who is already ahead of Me, for He was before me. I myself did not know Him, but I came baptising to prepare for Him, so that He might be revealed in Israel.”

And John also gave this testimony, “I saw the Spirit coming down on Him like a dove from heaven, and resting on Him. I myself did not know Him, but God, who sent me to baptise, told me, ‘You will see the Spirit coming down, and resting, on the One who baptises with the Holy Spirit.'”

“Yes, I have seen! And I declare that this is the Chosen One of God!”

 

Alternative Reading (Mass of the Most Holy Name of Jesus)

 

Luke 2 : 21-24

On the eighth day the circumcision of the Baby had to be performed; He was named Jesus, the Name the angel had given Him before He was conceived. When the day came for the purification according to the law of Moses, they brought the Baby up to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord.

As it is written in the law of the Lord : “Every firstborn male shall be consecrated to God.” And they offered a sacrifice, as ordered in the law of the Lord : a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.

Friday, 19 July 2013 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Exodus 11 : 10 – Exodus 12 : 14

Moses and Aaron had worked all these marvels in the presence of Pharaoh, but YHVH had made Pharaoh obstinate and he would not let the people of Israel leave his country.

YHVH spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt and said, “This month is to be the beginning of all months, the first month of your year. Speak to the community of Israel and say to them : On the tenth day of this month let each family take a lamb, a lamb for each house. If the family is too small for a lamb, they must join with a neighbour, the nearest to the house, according to the number of persons and to what each one can eat.”

“You will select a perfect lamb without blemish, a male born during the present year, taken from the sheep or goats. Then you will keep it until the fourteenth day of the month. On that evening all the people will slaughter their lambs and take some of the blood to put on the doorposts and on top of the doorframes of the houses where you eat.”

“That night you will eat the flesh roasted at the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat the meat lightly cooked or boiled in water but roasted entirely over the fire – the head, the legs, and the inner parts. Do not leave any of it until the morning. If any is left till morning, burn it in the fire.”

“And this is how you will eat : with a belt round your waist, sandals on your feet and a staff in your hand. You shall eat hastily for it is a passover in honour of YHVH. On that night I shall go through Egypt and strike every firstborn in Egypt, men and animals; and I will even bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt, I, YHVH!”

“The blood on your houses will be the sign that you are there. I will see the blood and pass over you; and you will escape the mortal plague when I strike Egypt. This is a day you are to remember and celebrate in honour of YHVH. It is to be kept as a festival day for all generations forever.”

(Easter Sunday) Sunday, 31 March 2013 : Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Week, Easter Octave (Scripture Reflection)

Alleluia! The Lord is Risen! He had conquered death through His glorious Resurrection, and victory over death. He triumphed over Satan, who had tried to end His mission on this world by condemning Him to death through the people and crucifying Him, but all to no avail. Satan failed to realise that in crucifixion lay the very key to our redemption by Christ, who became our Paschal Lamb, through whom we are made whole and worthy of God.

Yes, just as the lamb was sacrificed and the blood marked the doorposts of the people of Israel in Egypt, Christ had shed His blood on the cross, and this blood marked all of us as His chosen people, whom He would protect against certain death, and bring into life in Him. For the blood marked the people of Israel apart from their Egyptian masters, so that the angel of the Lord passed over them when they killed the firstborn sons of the Egyptians, animals and humans alike.

Therefore, in Christ, lie our new Christian Passover, for all of us deserved death for our sins and our sinful ways, and through the rebellion of our forefathers, since the days of Adam and Eve, who disobeyed the Lord and ate the fruits of the tree of knowledge. But although we deserved death, God loves us so much that, He could not bear us to face death and separation from Him.

That is why, God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who became man like us, and was born in the flesh through Mary, His mother. He is the Lamb of God, that became the Paschal Lamb, that is the lamb of sacrifice for our sins, but not like any other lamb. Being divine, and yet lowering Himself as a human, He alone is worthy to redeem all mankind from their sins. His Precious Blood that flowed down from the cross washed down evil and sin in those who believed in Him, and who has faith in Him and believe in His Resurrection.

Let us firmly reject Satan and his lies, and reject his temptations on us with worldly goods and desires, just as our Lord rejected his approaches in the desert. Remain true to our mission just as Christ was obedient unto death on the cross. That through our faith we will be rewarded with resurrection into life just as Christ was resurrected. Let us renew our commitment to serve the people of God and make the Holy Spirit that God had given us through baptism and confirmation to bear much fruit in both ourselves and in our fellow men.

Let us strive to become truly the people of God in this blessed Easter season. Let us make full use of this season of Easter, both in our great joy in the resurrection of our Lord, and as well as to share this joy that we have, with others around us, that they too will learn of the great joy of all Christians, that is the Lord crucified had been risen from the dead, and through that resurrection, all of us are saved, and had our life restored to us.

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us keep on praying that God will continue to bless us everyday of our lives, and may He guide us as we embark on the new year after this Easter season, that from today onwards till the next year when we celebrate Easter again, we can make this year a truly fruitful and blessed year. Also in the spirit of the Year of the Faith, let us also strive to strengthen our faith in the remaining half a year of the celebration of this Holy Year.

I wish everyone a happy and blessed Easter, and may the Risen Christ our Lord shine His face upon all of you, to share in the glory of His Resurrection. Amen!

(Holy Thursday) Thursday, 28 March 2013 : Mass of the Lord’s Supper – Cena Domini, Holy Week (First Reading)

Exodus 12 : 1-8, 11-14

YHVH spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt and said, “This month is to be the beginning of all months, the first month of your year. Speak to the community of Israel and say to them :

“On the tenth day of this month let each family take a lamb, a lamb for each house. If the family is too small for a lamb, they must join with a neighbour, the nearest to the house, according to the number of persons and to what each one can eat.”

“You will select a perfect lamb without blemish, a male born during the present year, taken from the sheep or goats. Then you will keep it until the fourteenth day of the month. On that evening all the people will slaughter their lambs, and take some of the blood to put on the doorposts and on top of the doorframes of the houses where you eat.”

“That night you will eat the flesh roasted at the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. And this is how you will eat : with a belt round your waist, sandals on your feet and a staff in your hand. You shall eat hastily for it is a passover in honour of YHVH.”

“On that night I shall go through Egypt and strike every firstborn in Egypt, men and animals; and I will even bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt, I, YHVH! The blood on your houses will be the sign that you are there. I will see the blood and pass over you; and you will escape the mortal plague when I strike Egypt.”

“This is a day you are to remember and celebrate in honour of YHVH. It is to be kept as a festival day for all generations forever.”

Saturday, 2 February 2013 : Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Gospel Reading)

Luke 2 : 22-40

When the day came for the purification according to the law of Moses, they brought the Baby up to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord : “Every firstborn male shall be consecrated to God.” And they offered a sacrifice, as ordered in the law of the Lord : “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

There lived in Jerusalem at this time a very upright and devout man named Simeon; the Holy Spirit was in him. He looked forward to the time when the Lord would comfort Israel, and he had been assured, by the Holy Spirit, that he would not die before seeing the Messiah of the Lord. So he was led into the Temple by the Holy Spirit at the time the parents brought the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the Law.

Simeon took the child in his arms, and blessed God, saying, “Now, o Lord, you can dismiss your servant in peace, for You have fulfilled Your word and my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You display for all the people to see. Here is the light You will reveal to the nations, and the glory of Your people, Israel.”

His father and mother wondered at what was said about the child. Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, His mother, “Know this : your Son is a sign, a sign established for the falling and rising of many in Israel, a sign of contradiction; and a sword will pierce your own soul, so that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”

There was also a prophetess named Anna, daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. After leaving her father’s home, she had been seven years with her husband, and since then she had been continually about the Temple, serving God as a widow night and day in fasting and prayer. She was now eighty-four. Coming up at that time, she gave praise to God, and spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.

When the parents had fulfilled all that was required by the law of the Lord, they returned to their town, Nazareth in Galilee. There the Child grew in stature and strength, and was filled with wisdom : the grace of God was upon Him.”

 

(Alternative reading (shorter version) : Luke 2 : 22-32)

When the day came for the purification according to the law of Moses, they brought the Baby up to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord : “Every firstborn male shall be consecrated to God.” And they offered a sacrifice, as ordered in the law of the Lord : “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

There lived in Jerusalem at this time a very upright and devout man named Simeon; the Holy Spirit was in him. He looked forward to the time when the Lord would comfort Israel, and he had been assured, by the Holy Spirit, that he would not die before seeing the Messiah of the Lord. So he was led into the Temple by the Holy Spirit at the time the parents brought the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the Law.

Simeon took the child in his arms, and blessed God, saying, “Now, o Lord, you can dismiss your servant in peace, for You have fulfilled Your word and my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You display for all the people to see. Here is the light You will reveal to the nations, and the glory of Your people, Israel.”