Saturday, 24 January 2015 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the works of Jesus which had brought about redemption and salvation to mankind. Many people did not understand at first what He had done. Even those among His own family thought that He was not right in His mind, as the Gospel today would show. But all this just show us how little mankind could comprehend the minds of the Lord.

While mankind were still by their earthly and worldly desires, while the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law were still obsessed by the worldly laws and human laws they have made, our Lord Jesus Christ had brought the truth of God into the world, dispelling all of the lies of the devil, who tried to mislead us away from the truth of the Lord in Jesus.

What we have to realise, brothers and sisters in Christ, is that we have to know what our Lord had done for our sake, to liberate us from the clutches of Satan, from the chains of sin that binds us to suffering and death. The devil, Satan, by nature will definitely not want to let us to be released from our bonds to him, that is the bonds of everlasting suffering and eternal death, that is the fate of Satan.

For Satan had rebelled against God in his vanity and pride, and as he was cast down and condemned, together with many of his fellow rebel angels, thus, he wanted to bring us down as well, God’s most beloved and most perfect creations, the race of mankind. And that was why he brought down our first ancestors, by tempting them and luring them into sin, and to disobey the Lord, our God.

It is the love of our God, our loving Father which had made Him to send His Son, Jesus Christ, a part of Himself in the Holy Trinity, the Word made Flesh, for our salvation and liberation. Yes, it is to liberate us from the chains of sin, from the bonds that bound us to the rebellion of Satan, that is the sins of pride, greed, jealousy, wrath, sloth and many other vices we committed in this life.

And by the shedding of His Blood and the scourging of His own Body, Christ our Lord brought new life to us all, by His perfect and selfless sacrifice, bearing the sins which we should have borne, up the hills of Calvary, bearing that cross of sin and shame, and transformed it into the cross of victory and triumph against evil. This is our faith, and this is what we believe in. The world may not believe in us and it may ridicule us just as they had done to Jesus, but the truth remains, that the love of our Lord had saved us.

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Francis de Sales, a holy bishop and the renowned founder of the Salesian religious order, and also a Doctor of the Church for his many and various works that helped to anchor the truth of God among the faithful ones of God in His Church. St. Francis de Sales was a brave and courageous defender of the faith, as the Bishop of Geneva, during the greatly turbulent times of the false Protestant ‘reformation’, the heresy brought by the confusion of Satan, designed to tempt and misled mankind to follow the path of sin.

St. Francis de Sales was a humble and hardworking servant of God and of His Church, humbly taking on the responsibilities which had been given to him, and carried them out with great patience and zeal. He preached the truth of God to the countless multitudes of people who had been misled by Satan, and managed to bring many back to the one true Faith and reconciled them to the Church.

Despite of the difficulties and the ridicules he faced, as well as the numerous threats against his life, St. Francis de Sales persevered, and through his many works, devotions, and writings, he became a great inspiration for many, as the light in the darkness for countless souls lost in the lies of Satan, bearing the Light of Christ to them, in order to guide them to return to the truth of Christ.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, inspired by the examples of St. Francis de Sales, we should be walking in his footsteps, to live our faith faithfully and devotedly, through real actions and commitment to God. We should no longer be afraid to proclaim the truth of the Lord, for He had given Himself, selflessly sacrificing Himself on the cross for our sake, that we may receive salvation through Him. Let us all be glad, for the love of God is with us, and let us ensure that many more souls can be brought back to the Lord, through our works. God bless us all. Amen.

Saturday, 25 October 2014 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

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

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s Scripture and Gospel readings are very clear in that they gave us great and precious advice on how to live our lives and how to be faithful to our Lord and God. The readings showed how God is not an unjust and cruel God who is only concerned about punishing us for our sins, nor would He unjustly punish us without good reason.

God is loving and merciful, and He is willing to welcome us back into His love. Indeed, it is not just that He is willing to do so, but He indeed wants to bring us back into His embrace, and thus He sent us Apostles, disciples, messengers, prophets and other helpers endlessly to be our guides and to help us to orientate ourselves, to avoid being recaptured by the hands of Satan and by the power of sin and to help us to live righteously and justly according to the will of God.

But, this is not the only thing we need to know about the Lord. Our Lord and God is indeed loving and merciful, but at the same time, He is also just and a hater of all forms of sins. I have often mentioned this before, and I would like to repeat it again, for the benefit of all the faithful who hear this message. This is because many of us seem to fall under the lie and delusion that God is loving and merciful only, overlooking the other aspects of Him that we need to understand if we are to achieve salvation in God.

We live in a time when our sensitivities towards sin had been diluted and weakened, and the culture of death and wickedness that is in the world, and which is continuing to change the world in accordance to what Satan wishes, is harming us all, brothers and sisters in Christ. Many of our fellow men were ensnared in the web of deception and temptation set up by the devil, who is and will always be active and about to bring about the downfall of as many souls as possible.

While in the past, sin is sin and being sinful brought about great regrets and repentance, now people often no longer regard their sinful acts as something wrong or something to be regretted. Their casual attitude towards sin is harmful, and that was also why they have committed even more and more sin in their lives. Many have the misconception that God understands them and will forgive them no matter what their sins are, but they were really completely wrong, and if they continue in this attitude, they are in great danger, both soul and body.

The lack of apprehension and disgust towards sin by men, especially in the world of our time is truly unbelievable and dangerous. Instead of seeking God’s mercy and repent for even the smallest sins that we have, we continue to commit sin and disregarding God’s laws and commandments, doing as we like in this life, thinking that God will forgive us in the end because of His love.

But we have to remember, brothers and sisters in Christ, that the Lord hates sin in all of its forms and sin is the greatest barrier that separate us from the love of God. As long as the taints of sin remain on our selves, on our body and soul, and we do not repent from those sins, we cannot approach and be one with our Lord and God. That is because, despite of His love and mercy, grace for all of us can only be achieved if we take concrete steps and actions to truly commit ourselves to the Lord.

Thus, that is why the Church, as the guardian of the Faith as it was given to us by Christ through His Apostles, kept the stance on having mercy only when the sinner is truly repentant and desire true forgiveness of sins, not by an easy path, but through gracious devotion to the way of the Lord and by acts of reparation to repay the debts of sin which the sinner had incurred against the Lord.

There are indeed pressures from this world and all who are aligned with Satan and the forces of darkness, as we recently witnessed in the recent Extraordinary Synod on the Family, which had just been concluded at the end of last week. The social media and media in general, in all of their various forms aired their opinions pushing for the agenda to destroy the Faith and the Church, which was advocated by even some within the Church.

Yes, it is the advocation of false and deceiving mercy to sinners, and the notion that the Church tolerates sin, that is most dangerous, not just for those who have committed those grievous sins, but even for the righteous within the Church of God. If we allow this corruption and debauchery of the world to make its way into the Faith and the Church, we are bringing ruin and disaster upon ourselves.

God reminds us through Jesus that He always wants to give us chances and opportunities, as what Jesus told in His parable of the fig tree that did not bear any fruit and was barren. The fig tree was given another chance by the Lord, who gave it another chance to redeem itself, before it is given up for cutting and burning. Thus, in the same way God had given us chance, and even many chances for us to repent and become better, and abandon our sinful ways.

Therefore, it is imperative for all of us to put our complete trust in Jesus Christ our Lord, the root of Faith, the One who is our anchor in our faith and life. Just as St. Paul had written in his letter to the Church and the faithful in the city of Ephesus, he pointed out that the Lord Jesus came to this world to rescue us and to give us new hope, through sincere repentance and humility to seek God’s mercy.

If we do these, then Christ, whose death has washed away our sins and whose resurrection from the dead offer us new hope in life, will bring us from the shadow of death and into the liberated life in God. Mercy cannot be separated from repentance, or otherwise the mercy will be false mercy and bring harm instead of goodness.

Hence, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all detach ourselves from the impurities of this world and purify ourselves in faith. May Almighty God bless us with faith and His love, and may He help us to guard us from the depredations of sin. May all of us get closer to the Lord and put all of our trust to Him, and with Him as our anchor in life, let us all humbly seek His mercy and sincerely offer our repentance to Him, that He may justify us in our repentance and faith. God bless us all. Amen.

Monday, 29 September 2014 : Feast of the Holy Archangels St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate a great feast day of the Church, that is the feast of the Holy Archangels of God, and primarily of which, is the Prince of all heavenly hosts, the leader of all the angels of God, that is St. Michael the Archangel, the faithful servant of God and one of the seven holy Archangels serving before the throne of God, the vanquisher of Satan, who defeated the forces of evil and all the fallen angels, and cast them out of heaven.

The Holy Archangels, three of whom were named, St. Michael the prince and leader of angels, St. Gabriel the messenger and the voice of God, and St. Raphael the healer and the mercy of God, all of them represent the different aspects of God, and they are the greatest servants of the Lord, sending and giving His messages to all whom the Lord wills to reveal Himself to.

The Archangels of God are also the chiefs of our protectors, the leaders and the ones in charge of our guardian angels, and all the angelic hosts and forces of heaven, who are locked in constant and regular combat and battle against the forces of darkness, led by the prince of evil, that is Satan. Satan desires nothing but for our destruction, for in his jealousy of the Lord, he desires to destroy all that is dear to God, especially all of us mankind, the greatest and the most beloved of all His creations.

Satan himself was once a great Archangel, and in fact was once the mightiest, most beautiful and the greatest of the angels of the Lord, created with such perfection and beauty, and with such might and authority, that the bright and mighty Archangel, Lucifer, was filled with great pride about himself. But it is this same pride which became his greatest undoing and became rightly, as the greatest sin of all.

For in his pride, he chose to rebel against God and His love, thinking that he is mightier than his own Creator, the Lord of all the universe. The creation failed to realise that despite all of his power, might and beauty, and despite all of his perfections, that he is still merely a creature, and not the Creator. And he is still nothing compared to the Lord of all, who is perfect in all things that He has, and He truly has everything.

Satan, who was Lucifer, the lightbringer, boasted that in his majesty, glory and power, he would raise his throne above the throne of God, and thus rule over all creations. He brought many of his fellow angels into sin and darkness, what we now know as the fallen angels. But his pride is his undoing, and instead of rising up in glory, he was thrown down in shame. The one who led the hosts of the faithful angels was Michael the Archangel, who was made the chief of all the angelic hosts.

St. Michael the Archangel was made the chief of all heavenly angels and all the heavenly hosts not because he was great and mighty, nor because he was proud and beautiful as Lucifer or Satan was, but because he obeyed the will of God fully and completely, as an obedient servant of God Most High. It was said that St. Michael always trembled before the presence of God, not because he was fearful or afraid, but because he knew that he was in the presence of the Lord and Creator of all the universe, and he is nothing before Him.

That was why, God rewarded him such as to make him chief of all the heavenly hosts, as a great protector and role model for all of us the faithful. Remember that Jesus always said that the mighty would be humbled, and the humble would be glorified? This is the exact thing that had happened. Lucifer was cast down for his pride, to suffer for eternity the torture of hell and the lake of fire, while Michael the humble was raised to a position of honour.

St. Gabriel the Archangel and St. Raphael the Archangel also followed and obeyed the will of God in their own way, listening to God in all things and carrying out His will into the world. St. Gabriel the Archangel delivered the Good News of the Lord to Mary in Nazareth, while St. Raphael was sent to the family of Tobit the Israelite exile, and to help exorcise the demon Asmodeus from Sara, the soon-to-be wife of Tobit’s son, Tobias.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we rejoice together as one to celebrate the feast of St. Michael the Archangel and his fellow Archangels, let us all realise our frailty and our prone nature towards sin, and how we can follow the examples of the holy Archangels to lead our lives to come into closer relationships with our God. Let us heed the examples of the holy angels of God, who fought day and night at all times to protect us from the depredations of the evil one and his forces.

Evil is never at rest, brethren, for Lucifer, fallen and shamed, as Satan had enmity on us mankind, and this was why he tempted our first ancestors into sin, so that through that disobedience we might also follow in his footsteps, and therefore end up in eternal suffering and destruction. But the Lord clearly does not want this to happen, and that was why He sent us Jesus His Son to be our Saviour and Redeemer.

And the angels constantly are on guard against the attacks of the evil one, but they certainly cannot fight on their own. We too should take part in this fight and resistance against the evil forces, and thus rebuke the devil who is trying to set us up against the Lord. Therefore, let us all reflect on our own actions, so that we may know how to be a true follower of Christ and thus gain salvation through Him.

May all of us be able to cast away our pride and arrogance, knowing full well that all of us are sinners who are unworthy of God’s love and presence, for our disobedience and the disobedience of our forefathers, but it is the love of God our Lord and Father, who made us whole again, by sending us love Himself through Jesus, who shed His life so that we may live once again, not just any life, but life supported by the love and the grace of God.

Let us be like the holy Archangels, obedient and faithful, always listening to God in all things, faithfully carrying out His will. And what is God’s will for us? None other than so that we can love, first that is to love God Himself, with all of our hearts, with all of our souls and with all of our minds and strengths, and then to show the same love to our brethren around us, in particular those who are in the greatest need.

May Almighty God guide us on our ways, so that we may find our way towards Him, not by pride or arrogance, nor through our power and might, but through our sincere desire to be reunited with Him, and to seek His mercy and love, so that, with the help of the angels and the holy Archangels of God, St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael, with His Blessed Mother and His saints, we may attain salvation and eternal life, in the loving grace of God, leaving Satan to suffer by himself with his fellow rebel angels, for eternity, while we enjoy the fruits of our good labour in this world.

St. Michael the Archangel, and all the holy Archangels and angels of God, pray for us, and protect us in battle, that we may always triumph against anything that the devil, Satan, that old snake and deceiver has put in our path, that we may rebuke him and profess our faith and love for the Lord our God. Amen.

Monday, 15 September 2014 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 30 : 2-3a, 3bc-4, 5-6, 15-16, 20

In You, o Lord, I take refuge, may I never be disgraced; deliver Me in Your justice. Give heed to My plea, and make haste to rescue Me.

Be a rock of refuge for Me, a fortress for My safety. For You are My rock and My stronghold, lead me for Your Name’s sake.

Free me from the snare that they have set for Me. Indeed You are My protector. Into Your hands I commend My Spirit; You have redeemed Me, o Lord, faithful God.

But I put My trust in You, o Lord, I said, “You are My God.” My days are in Your hand. Deliver Me from the hand of My enemies, from those after My skin.

How great is the goodness which You have stored for those who fear You, which You show, for all to see, to those who take refuge in You!

(Usus Antiquior) Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Double Major Feast, II Classis) – Sunday, 14 September 2014 : Holy Gospel

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

John 12 : 31-36

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus turbis Judaeorum : Nunc judicium est mundi : nunc princeps hujus mundi ejiciatur foras. Et ego si exaltatum fuero a terra, omnia traham ad meipsum. Hoc autem dicebat, significans, qua morte esset moriturus.

Respondit ei turba; Nos audivimus ex lege, quia Christus manet in aeternum : et quomodo tu dicis : Oportet exaltari Filium hominis? Quis est iste Filius hominis?

Dixit ergo eis Jesus : Adhuc modicum lumen in vobis est. Ambulate, dum lucem habetis, ut non vos tenebrae comprehendant : et qui ambulat in tenebris, nescit, quo vadat. Dum lucem habetis, credite in lucem, ut filii lucis sitis.

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to the multitude of the Jews, “Now is the judgment of the world, and now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself.” Now this He said, signifying what death He should die.

The multitude answered Him, “We have heard out of the Law, that Christ abided forever, and how could You say that, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up?’ Who is the Son of Man?”

Jesus therefore said to them, “Yet a little while, the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, that the darkness would not overtake you. And he who walked in the darkness knows not where he goes. While you have the Light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light.”

Saturday, 13 September 2014 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of a great saint of the Church, one of the Four Great Doctors of the Church, and one of the most brilliant minds ever to come from the Church in the Eastern parts of the Roman Empire at the time. St. John Chrysostom is this saint, who was the Archbishop of the great See of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire during the early fifth century after the birth of Christ.

St. John Chrysostom was born from a relatively unknown parentage, and it was disputed whether his mother was a pagan or a Christian. In any case, St. John Chrysostom was baptised when he entered adulthood, and it was discovered that he had a great intellectual mind, and he easily went through his studies of literature and philosophy.

However, as time progressed, St. John Chrysostom turned more and more towards the Lord and dedicated his life to His service. His sermons and speeches were greatly influential and inspirational, based on the deep understanding and comprehension of the Gospels and the fundamentals of faith, through which he gained his title of Chrysostomus, which literally means ‘golden-mouthed’.

St. John Chrysostom preached in many parts of the Empire, and in one occasion his sincere and passionated plea to the pagans who were accused of the defilement of the statues of the Emperor in the city of Antioch brought thousands and more to see the error of their ways, and thus, they were received into the Church and was spared both the punishment and persecution by the Emperor, and even more importantly, they evaded the punishment and destruction of the soul by receiving the salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Even after St. John Chrysostom had been appointed as the Archbishop of Constantinople, one of the most prominent position in the Church, in fact just second after the Pope in Rome himself, St. John Chrysostom remained humble and dedicated in his service to the people of God, the sheep entrusted to him. St. John Chrysostom rejected the extravagant and lavish ways of the society at the time and pushed for a true Christian community founded on love.

He did not fear even to oppose the mighty and the powerful. When the Empress Aelia Eudoxia lived extravagantly, he greatly criticised her for her way of life and actions. Together with his enemies, the Empress plotted together and managed to cast St. John Chrysostom into exile, which would indeed have ended his works for the Church, but the people of God were incensed, and divine wrath itself soon manifested in a great earthquake and fire that devastated many parts of the capital.

But even after St. John Chrysostom was recalled back to his mission in the Church, the Empress continued to defy the way of the Lord, as she continued to live extravagantly and even installed a silver statue of herself near the cathedral of St. John Chrysostom, purposely to provoke him into action. And indeed, St. John Chrysostom denounced the Empress again, and as her punishment, she died during childbirth.

But St. John Chrysostom continued to suffer as his enemies continued to plot against him and persecuted him. He was sent again into exile and died before he was able to return to shepherd his sheep again at Constantinople. Nevertheless, his legacies lasted long after him, even until today. He was credited for his many works and sermons that inspired many of the faithful and even many saints who came after him.

And his works also resulted in one of the rites used in the Eastern Church even until today, as the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, one of the most solemn liturgical rites of the Church, designed solely for the glorification of the Lord. Thus, this holy man and servant of God is the one whose life and actions we celebrate on this day as we gather together.

How is this related to the readings of the day? Very much related indeed. This is because as Jesus said in the Gospel, that good fruits can only be produced by good and healthy trees, vice versa. Bad and rotten trees can only produce bad and rotten fruits. Thus, St. John Chrysostom, that good tree, produce only good fruits for the benefits of the faithful. Similarly this is also the case for the other saints, the holy servants of God.

And he listened to the word of God intently, placing them into the depths of his heart, and most importantly, he acted on them, and from there brought about much good for the Church and for the faithful ones in the Lord. Thus, his actions were the representation of the man who built his house on solid rock foundation, and therefore had no need to fear the storms or any forces arrayed against it.

On the other hand, those who refused to listen to the word of God were like those who built their houses on unstable ground, on weak foundations that are easily swept away by winds and waves, and therefore representing the actions of the wicked ones opposed to the works of St. John Chrysostom, namely the Empress and his rivals, who were engrossed so much in the ways of the Lord, that they failed to even see that what they were doing was their own undoing.

And St. Paul in his letter to the faithful in the city of Corinth clearly and zealously stated that we who are faithful ought not to have any share in the communion with demons, that is with Satan and his allies, the forces of darkness in the world. Instead, we who are the children of God should be like St. John Chrysostom, in how he worked hard with zeal to bring the word of God to many of God’s people so that they may achieve salvation.

How do we know if we have made a communion with the Lord or with the evil one? It is basic and simple indeed. We have to first be aware that all of us who are in the Church of God are part of one Body, that is the Body of Christ, which is the union of all who shared in the Body and Blood of Christ, who had worthily become part of the Body of Christ, Christ is in them and they are in the Lord. It is inconceivable that a part of the Body of Christ should be flawed with the darkness of evil.

Thus if we commit evil, just as what those people mentioned earlier had done, in preserving their own vanity, concerned only for their own prosperity and in slandering others, worse that is to even put an obstacle on the works of the servant of God. In doing these evils, they committed sin before the Lord, and therefore entered into communion with the devil. For the devil too, rebelled against the Lord because of his pride and vanity.

Therefore, as we are part of the Church of God, and we have become the children of God, let us all realise that all of us must act therefore as how a child of God should behave. Listen to the Lord, work on what we believe in and practice our faith in our lives. Love one another and love the Lord just as much as we love ourselves. If we do all these, we will be surely be granted favour by the Lord.

May Almighty God therefore grant us His grace, that He may empower us to live according to what St. John Chrysostom had once done. Let us all treasure this communion we share with one another, the communion and unity as the one Body of Christ, those who have received the Most Precious Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Keep us, Lord, on the path towards salvation, and let us not to fall into evil. Amen.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate together the love of God for us mankind, which He had shown by giving us Jesus, His own Son to bring this world and all mankind into salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven. And today we heard how Jesus performed His miracles, casting out demons and healing the sick as He ministered to the people of God, doing many good works.

Jesus showed us hope and strength by showing that evil and death has no power over us, and over all those who had put their trust in the Lord. Those who trust in the Lord will never be disappointed, for God will care for them and protect them, all the days of their lives. And through Jesus we have been given the Spirit of God, that is the Holy Spirit, who passed through the Son from the Father, and who revealed to us the truth about our Lord and God.

Those who belong to the spiritual world, that is the Spirit of God and the holy angels who serve the Lord, all are beyond our ability and physical senses to be able to detect them and know them, and yet through the Spirit and the revelations given to us through the Church, we know that they are there, and they are around us, and within us, that is the Spirit of God which had been placed in us.

And even the evil spirits, the allies and the servants of Satan, which we witnessed in the men possessed at the time when Jesus was ministering in Capernaum, knew Jesus and understood His true nature fully, for they too, once belonged to the same order of angels that served the Lord. They followed Lucifer, the evil one who fell and be trapped in his own pride, and entered into a rebellion against God, and thus they were together cast away from heaven.

God is truly loving towards us, and we are truly the most beloved and the greatest among His creations, created in the very image of God and be awakened with the very Spirit that came from the breath of God. Do you notice this? The Lord Himself breathed life into us through His Spirit, that dwelled in us and made us whole. Yet, we too fell when our ancestors followed Satan into his rebellion by listening to Satan and disobeying the will of God.

But the Lord gave us such a grace, that we are given another opportunity through life to redeem ourselves, and through the sending of many prophets and messengers that carried on the will and word of God to us, which all are aimed at our salvation and redemption from destruction and eternal damnation that is our fate. Yes, the fate of all who had defied the will of God and rebelled against His love is death, and yet, the Lord wanted us to know that we have no need for fear, as long as we put our complete trust in Him.

Satan and his angels, the evil spirits, were not given a second chance, and indeed, they remained in their rebellion and hatred of the Lord and all of His creations, that they are truly beyond any form of redemption. It is not the same for us humans, for God had made us special and to be the greatest and most beloved of all of His creatures.

Satan who tempted and made our ancestors to fall into sin certainly did not remain quiet and passive throughout this. In fact, he had marshalled all of his forces in the world and beyond, and he launched strikes after strikes at us mankind, so that more and more may fall with him and to suffer together in eternal damnation and separation from God. But the Lord who knows all and who created all had other plan for us.

He showed that He is truly in control, and He cast out the demons to show it clearly to them and to men, that in God, everything is possible, and that He is truly the One whom everyone ought to praise and worship. All honour belongs to God and to Him alone. And if He cares for us and loves us beyond everything else, then we are truly blessed, for we share in the Lord, the promise of salvation which He had made to us through Jesus.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, we all need to come to a greater realisation that God is with us, and that He has placed within us His Spirit, so that we may know the great works of Jesus, and by listening to the readings from the Holy Scriptures today, we are made aware of the assurances given to us by the Lord, who promised to protect us and guide us on our way, rebuking forever and rejecting forever the power and authority of Satan, the great enemy of all who are living.

Satan is afraid of the Lord, and he rightly did so, because he already knew his fate and the futility of his endeavour, for he goes up against none other than the Lord and Master of all the universe, and even Satan himself and all of his allies are bound and answerable to God and His authority. And he knew of his ultimate fate, that is destruction, eternal agony and suffering that await him, and thus, he and all of his angels feared the Lord greatly, for they knew that it is in Him that their doom will come. Jesus is the great Judge, the last Judge of all who would judge all creations at the end of time.

May our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen in our hearts, our desire to know more about Him, so that we may truly discern about His presence around us, and therefore bringing all of us to greater wisdom and understanding in the Holy Spirit of God. Let us reject Satan with all of our hearts, our strengths and our minds. If we have any trouble, let us all remember that, if we call on the Holy Name of Jesus with full faith, no evil may stand against us. May Almighty God instead bring you to triumph and victory in His Name. God bless us all. Amen.