Saturday, 13 October 2018 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

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

Galatians 3 : 22-29

But the Scriptures have declared, that we are all prisoners of sin. So, the only way to receive God’s promise is to believe in Jesus Christ. Before the time of faith had come, the Law confined us, and kept us in custody, until the time in which faith would show up. The Law, then, was serving as a slave, to look after us until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith.

With the coming of faith, we are no longer submitted to this guidance. Now, in Christ Jesus, all of you are sons and daughters of God, through faith. All of you, who were given to Christ through Baptism, have put on Christ. Here, there is no longer any difference between Jew or Greek, or between slave or freed, or between man and woman : but all of you are one, in Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Christ, you are of Abraham’s race and you are to inherit God’s promise.

Friday, 12 October 2018 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Galatians 3 : 7-14

Understand, then, that those who follow the way of faith are sons and daughters of Abraham. The Scriptures foresaw that, by the way of faith, God would give true righteousness to the non-Jewish nations. For God’s promise to Abraham was this : In you shall all the nations be blessed. So, now, those who take the way of faith receive the same blessing as Abraham, who believed; but those who rely on the practice of the Law are under a curse, for it is written : Cursed is everyone who does not always fulfil everything written in the Law.

It is plainly written that no one becomes righteous in God’s way, by the Law : by faith the righteous shall live. Yet the Law gives no place to faith, for according to it : the one who fulfils the commandments shall have life through them. Now Christ rescued us from the curse of the Law, by becoming cursed Himself, for our sake, as it is written : there is a curse on everyone who is hanged on a tree.

So the blessing granted to Abraham, reached the pagan nations in, and, with Christ, and we received the promised Spirit, through faith.

Thursday, 11 October 2018 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. John XXIII, Pope (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Popes)

Galatians 3 : 1-5

How foolish you are, Galatians! How could they bewitch you after Jesus Christ has been presented to you as crucified? I shall ask you only this : Did you receive the Spirit by the practice of the Law, or by believing the message? How can you be such fools : you begin with the Spirit and end up with the flesh!

So, you have experienced all this in vain! Would that, it were not so! Did God give you the Spirit, and work miracles among you because of your observance of the Law, or because you believed in His message?

Wednesday, 10 October 2018 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Galatians 2 : 1-2, 7-14

After fourteen years, I, again, went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and Titus came with us. Following a revelation, I went, to lay before them the Gospel that I am preaching to the pagans. I had a private meeting with the leaders – lest I should be working, or have worked, in a wrong way.

They recognised that I have been entrusted to give the Good News to the pagan nations, just as Peter has been entrusted to give it to the Jews. In the same way that God made Peter the Apostle of the Jews, He made me the Apostle of the pagans. James, Cephas and John acknowledged the graces God gave me.

Those men, who were regarded as the pillars of the Church, stretched out their hand to me and Barnabas, as a sign of fellowship; we would go to the pagans, and they, to the Jews. We should only keep in mind, the poor among them. I have taken care to do this.

When, later, Cephas, came to Antioch, I confronted him, since he deserved to be blamed. Before some of James’ people arrived, he used to eat with non-Jewish people. But when they arrived, he withdrew, and did not mingle anymore with them, for fear of the Jewish group. The rest of the Jews followed him in this pretense, and even Barnabas was part of this insincerity.

When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the Gospel, I said to Cephas publicly : If you, who are Jewish, agreed to live like the non-Jews, setting aside the Jewish customs, why do you, now, compel the non-Jews to live like Jews?

Tuesday, 9 October 2018 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Denis, Bishop and Companions, Martyrs, and St. John Leonardi, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Galatians 1 : 13-24

You have heard of my previous activity in the Jewish community; I furiously persecuted the Church of God and tried to destroy it. For I was more devoted to the Jewish religion than many fellow Jews of my age, and I defended the traditions of my ancestors more fanatically.

But one day, God called me, out of His great love, He, Who had chosen me from my mother’s womb; and He was pleased to reveal, in me, His son, that I might make Him known among the pagan nations. Then, I did not seek human advice nor did I go up to Jerusalem, to those who were Apostles before me. I immediately went to Arabia, and from there, I returned, again, to Damascus.

Later, after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to meet Cephas, and I stayed with him for fifteen days. But I did not see any other Apostle except James, the Lord’s brother. On writing this to you, I affirm before God that I am not lying. After that, I went to Syria and Cilicia. The churches of Christ in Judea did not know me personally; they had only heard of me : “He, who once persecuted us, is now preaching the faith he tried to uproot.” And they praised God because of me.

Monday, 8 October 2018 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Galatians 1 : 6-12

I am surprised at how quickly you have abandoned God, Who called you, according to the grace of Christ, and have gone to another gospel. Indeed, there is no other Gospel, but some people, who are sowing confusion among you, want to turn the Gospel of Christ upside down.

But even if we, ourselves, were giving you another gospel, different from the one we preached to you, or if it were an Angel from heaven, I would say : let God’s curse be on him! As I have said, I now say again : if anyone preaches the Gospel in a way other than you received it, fire that one! Are we to please humans or obey God? Do you think that I try to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, that the Gospel we preached to you is not a human message, nor did I receive it from anyone, I was not taught of it; but it came to me, as a revelation from Christ Jesus.

Saturday, 25 March 2017 : Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, the day which celebrates the moment when the Archangel Gabriel came into the world, to the poor village in Nazareth in the region of Galilee, proclaiming to a young virgin named Mary the Good News which mankind had awaited for a very long time.

On this day we remember that very moment when Mary conceived the Lord Jesus, Son of God Most High and Saviour of all mankind, the moment when she said yes to the Archangel Gabriel, the time when she obeyed the will of God with a perfect humility and devotion, with perfect love and commitment to God. And it was because of this yes, that the world has seen its Saviour and God’s long planned salvation has come to its fruition at last.

It was at this moment, at that time in Nazareth, that the Lord made into motion His long planned plan to save all of us. He has promised His beloved people again and again, that He would send forth His salvation towards them, and the Messiah, or the Saviour would enter into this world, and through Him all the people of God will find their way to the Lord and be saved.

It was thus why Jesus was born into this world, according to the words of the Scripture itself, that as the prophet Isaiah mentioned it in his book, that the new light has dawned upon the world, and all those who are living in the darkness, in this darkened world has seen a great, new light. That light is the light of Christ, Who is the true Light of the world.

God Himself had loved us so much to the point that He sent us none other than His own Beloved Son, the Divine Word Incarnate, God before all ages, Son of God and part of the Holy Trinity into this world, to become our Saviour. In order to do this, He became Incarnate into the flesh of us mankind, that as a Man, at the same time that He is Divine, He may share in our humanity, and lifting up all of our sins and unworthiness, He may bring upon us the reconciliation with God.

By assuming our flesh, through the will of God the Father and by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus the Son has united all of our humanity with Himself, as He became our great and true High Priest, offering for our sake and in our place, the perfect sacrificial offering for our sins and wickedness. It is because of His love for us that He had done all of these. He would not want us to fall into hell and damnation there, and therefore, He came into this world for our sake.

But all these were also made possible because of the obedience and the faith of Mary, who placed herself in the hands of God, trusting completely in His will and desires, obeying Him as one who is His servant and handmaiden, with the words, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me as He has willed it.” This basically means, “His will shall be done”, the example of perfect and total obedience. It was at that very moment that God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, became Man and took upon Himself the flesh and the nature of mankind.

Let us all ask ourselves in this time of Lent, during this season when we are supposed to spend time reflecting on our lives and take a step back, in order to reevaluate our actions and deeds in life. Are we able to be like Mary in our lives, in our deeds and works? Are we able to follow in her footsteps, in how she responded to the Archangel Gabriel?

Let us not think that just because Mary, the mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, has been conceived and born without the taint of original sin, therefore she is different from any one of us. She also experienced moments of doubt and uncertainty when the Archangel Gabriel suddenly appeared to her and declared to her that she would bear a Child, and the Child is none other than God Himself, and thus, she would become mother of God.

Who would not be surprised when the person heard such a shocking revelation? And yet, even though some doubts and uncertainties came to her in the beginning, as she asked the Archangel Gabriel for clarification on how such thing was possible, as she was still an unmarried virgin, she chose to place her trust in God, and surrendered herself completely to do the will of God.

It is often that we mankind like to do things our own way, and we prefer things to go according to what we have planned and prepared for. We do not like it when things do not go as what we wanted it, but unfortunately, more often than not, that is exactly what happened in reality. And when we tried to make things to go along what we wanted, that is when much bickering, struggles, infighting and animosity came about.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in this season of Lent, we are all called to reflect on the state of our souls, on our actions and deeds in this world that had led us into sin and disobedience against God. This is the time for us to find the way to the Lord, by discerning carefully what it is that we need to do in order to draw closer to the Lord our God. And there is indeed no better way to do so, than to follow in the example of Mary, the mother of God.

Let us all learn from the faith which Mary had in the Lord, putting her complete trust in Him, despite all the uncertainties and fears she had, but she remained faithful and obedient, even to the very end. She placed her faith in God, and she followed her Son all the way to Calvary, to the foot of the Cross, waiting patiently at the side of her Son as He completed the work of salvation for which He came into this world for.

May all of us be more like Mary in our ways, our actions, words and deeds. Let us all commit ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord, following the example of Mary and the holy saints of God, so that in all things, we may grow ever closer to God, particularly through this perfect opportunity of Lent, seeking forgiveness for all of our sins and wickedness, that we may find our way to the Lord and receive His grace forevermore. Amen.