(Easter Sunday) Sunday, 27 March 2016 : Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Week, Easter Octave (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 117 : 1-2, 16ab-17, 22-23

Alleluia! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His loving kindness endures forever. Let Israel say, “His loving kindness endures forever.”

The right hand of the Lord is lifted high, the right hand of the Lord strikes mightily! I shall not die, but live to proclaim what the Lord has done.

The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing and we marvel at it.

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Psalm after the Epistle)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 117 : 1-2, 16-17, 22-23

Alleluia! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His loving kindness endures forever. Let Israel say, “His loving kindness endures forever.”

The right hand of the Lord is lifted high, the right hand of the Lord strikes mightily! I shall not die, but live to proclaim what the Lord has done.

The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing and we marvel at it.

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Psalm after Fourth Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 29 : 2, 4-6, 11-13

I extol You, o Lord, for You have rescued me; my enemies will not gloat over me.

O Lord, You have brought me up from the grave, You gave me life when I was going to the pit. Sing to the Lord, o you His saints, give thanks and praise to His Holy Name.

For His anger lasts but a little while, and His kindness all through life. Weeping may tarry for the night, but rejoicing comes with the dawn.

Hear, o Lord, and have mercy on me; o Lord, be my protector. But now, You have turned my mourning into rejoicing; You have taken off my sackcloth and wrapped me in the garments of gladness.

And so, my soul, no longer silent, now sings praise without ceasing, o Lord, my God, forever will I give You thanks.

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Psalm after Third Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Exodus 15 : 1-6, 17-18

I will sing to YHVH, the glorious One, horse and rider He has thrown into the sea. YHVH is my strength and my song and He is my salvation. He is my God and I will praise Him; the God of my father, I will extol Him.

YHVH is a warrior, YHVH is His Name. The chariots of Pharaoh and his army, He has hurled into the sea; his chosen officers were drowned in the Red Sea.

The deep covers them; they went down like a stone. Your hand, o YHVH, glorious and powerful, Your right hand, o YHVH, shatters the enemy.

You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of Your inheritance, the place You chose to dwell in, o YHVH, the sanctuary prepared by Your hands. YHVH will reign forever!

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Psalm after Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 15 : 5, 8-11

O Lord, my inheritance and my cup, my chosen portion – hold secure my lot.

I keep the Lord always before me, for with Him at my right hand, I will never be shaken.

My heart, therefore, exults, my soul rejoices; my body too will rest assured. For You will not abandon my soul to the grave, nor will You suffer Your holy One to see decay in the land of the dead.

You will show me the path of life, in Your presence the fullness of joy, at Your right hand happiness forever.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013 : Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle (Psalm)

Psalm 116 : 1, 2

Alleluia! Praise the Lord, all you nations; all you peoples, praise Him.

How great is His love for us! His faithfulness lasts forever.

Friday, 21 June 2013 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious (Scripture Reflection)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, our faith in the Lord is possibly the greatest treasure that we will ever have in this world. What is treasure? A treasure is something that we find precious and really have a substantial meaning and value to us, either in financial terms or in any other terms. Basically, it is something very valuable to us, and presumably we will want to have it and keep it from losing it.

But, if we notice, in our world today, too many people are enamoured with treasure, so much, that they become obsessed with it. Treasure in this means worldly treasure, the treasure of wealth, possessions, goods, and amenities, that come with our world today and all its conveniences. All of these materialisms widespread in our world today, can easily be seen in the amounts of the advertisements in our television programmes, and in the internet media.

These advertisements take advantage of our human desire, of our greed and desire to have more of the material goods and pleasures that this world can offer in its various forms. Not that this is bad, brothers and sisters in Christ, as a tempered desire for possessions and wealth may indeed be beneficial if not necessary for mankind at times. We do need money and certain goods in order to lead a good normal life in our world today. What matters is however, do we really seek what we need? Or do we seek so much more than what we need, that it becomes a kind of greed?

When Christ mentioned that in the treasures lie our heart, He was not further than the truth. Indeed, our heart certainly lie with our treasures. Imagine a man with an enormous wealth stored inside a safety box inside his house. Certainly he will do all that he can in order to ensure that the treasure ‘chest’ remain safe from all external threats, such as thieves and even maybe natural disasters. He would not have done such things if his heart had not been with the treasure.

But what Christ had rightly warned us is that, these kind of wealth are temporary. my brothers and sisters. They are not permanent, nor will they remain with us forever. We will not bring our wealth and possessions with us to the afterlife, be it to heaven or hell, because in heaven we have no need for such possessions, because the Lord alone is our possession, and we will have enough, and in hell, no amount of material goods will be able to alleviate the ultimate suffering of the separation of man from God.

Another example I would like to bring to your attention is the recent curious cases of entire life savings being destroyed by termites that managed to get into the safely kept money, and almost brought disaster to the old lady who had saved the money. The bank kindly replaced most of the money for her, but this gives us yet another reminder that these possessions are not permanent, nor will they be able to withstand natural forces, just as Christ had mentioned.

And yet another case, where a safety box in a bank in India was thought to be untouched and safe, but in fact a colony of termites managed to find their way inside and destroy whatever it was that were kept inside that safety box. Nothing of this world lasts, brothers and sisters in Christ.

That is why, Christ told us, to seek the true treasure of our lives, that is God, because God, unlike the worldly material possessions can never be subjected to rust and the natural forces of destruction, termites or whatsoever. If we keep faithful to God’s covenant with us, keep His commandments at all times, God will belong to us, and we too will belong to God. This divine possession is lasting and eternal, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

Yes, of course, we are free to seek to obtain possessions and treasures of this world, but always remember that in doing so, let us always remember that in God, we have the true treasure, such that we will never be led astray by the worldly treasures or even overcome by our greed and human desire, that we fall into sin and be led away from God, which will end likely in eternal damnation in hell. No amount of our wealth in this world will be able to save us or alleviate our suffering in hell, my brethen.

Today, we commemorate the feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a former noble youth from Italy, from the very renowned Gonzaga family of lords, dukes, and kings. But despite being the firstborn of the family, and therefore was entitled to inherit all the titles he was entitled to, with all its possessions and wealth, that many of us even today can only dream of, he was awakened to the true treasure of this life, that is the Lord.

He forsook all the privileges he had and his inheritance, seeking to become a religious, dedicating his entire life and entire being to the Lord. He forsook the inheritance of the powerful and the wealth of the world to seek a nobler and greater purpose in life, that is the Lord, and to serve the people of God. Yes, many opposed his decision, especially his father, who was completely surprised and angered by his decision. Nevertheless, in the end, St. Aloysius Gonzaga managed to be what he wanted to be.

Although unfortunately, St. Aloysius Gonzaga died early in his early twenties, in his short life, he had shown us the virtue of seeking the true treasure of our life. No, this does not mean that all of us should enter the monasteries and embrace the ascetic lifestyle of monks, and neither we should impoverish ourselves by selling all the things that we have. Yes, some of us can do that, if they do choose to do so, but what matters is, to look beyond the material and the pleasures of this world, in seeking the real treasure that will never be depleted, and that will never be lost.

No matter how much money and possessions that we have, eventually, they can run out. No matter how much pleasures we have in our lives, they can also run out, and we can also become bored of such possessions and pleasures, because they are not the true treasure. The love of God, that is our true treasure, will fill us and renew us, such that we will never be empty again. He will fill us and make us whole. God is always with us, if we too, love Him and remain in His grace. Amen.