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

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 10 : 34a, 37-43

Peter then spoke to them, “No doubt you have heard of the event that occured throughout the whole country of the Jews, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism John preached. You know how God anointed Jesus the Nazarean with Holy Spirit and power.

He went about doing good and healing all who were under the devil’s power, because God was with Him; we are witnesses of all that He did throughout the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem itself. Yet they put Him to death by hanging Him on a wooden cross.

But God raised Him to life on the third day and let Him manifest Himself, not to all the people, but to the witnesses that were chosen beforehand by God – to us who ate and drank with Him after His resurrection from death. And He commanded us to preach to the people and to bear witness that He is the One appointed by God to judge the living and the dead.

All the prophets say of Him, that everyone who believes in Him has forgiveness of sins through His Name.

Thursday, 13 November 2014 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 145 : 7, 8-9a, 9bc-10

The Lord gives justice to the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free.

The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord straightens the bent. The Lord loves the virtuous, but He brings to ruin the way of the wicked. The Lord protects the stranger.

He sustains the widow and the orphan. The Lord will reign forever, your God, o Zion, from generation to generation. Alleluia!

 

Homily and Reflection : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/12/thursday-13-november-2014-32nd-week-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

(Usus Antiquior) Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 21 September 2014 : Homily and Scripture Reflections

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, God is merciful just as He is loving. He is Love Himself, the embodiment of perfect love and mercy. Why so? That is because He showed His ultimate love for all of us, by dying on the cross, so that through His death, He might open a new path for us, a path filled with hope and love, which leads directly to the Lord our God.

He gave us all who believe in Him, His own Body and Blood, the flesh and the matter of which became for us life-giving food and drink. This is because Jesus Himself is the Lord of all life, and the Lord over life and death. Hence, this is why we heard about the son of the widow of Naim, who died and was resurrected by Jesus, as a sign for all to see. This is to put yet another emphasis that in God there is life and hope of eternal life, and if we put our trust rather in ourselves or in the world, then there is little hope for us.

We have to get rid of the numerous obstacles that lie on the path between us and the Lord, namely our pride, our arrogance, our greed and our desires, as these will eventually lead us into committing evil against others around us, through jealousy, selfishness and other forms of actions not befitting our status as the children of God. However, in order to remove these obstacles, great effort is needed.

Mankind had been tainted by sin ever since our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, the first man and the first woman, first sinned against God by listening to Satan the deceiver and the traitor, instead of listening to the loving and life-giving word of our God. Hence, they were cast out of Eden, and the promise of life eternal and joy was lost from them. They had to endure sufferings of the world as a punishment for their disobedience, just as their descendants would suffer as well.

But this is not what God intended from us, as He never intended suffering and death for us. He Himself wants us to be living and living in glory and love with Him, for eternity in the glory of heaven, which He had intended and prepared for us. He is forever faithful, even to the ones like us and our ancestors, who had blatantly left and abandoned Him behind for the company of Satan and the darkness of the world.

The faithful Lord and God cannot avoid but to act, so that His most beloved creations, whom He had created at the last day, from His own image and with His own breath that gave them life may not be lost to eternal death, but be brought back into life. That is why, He gave us Himself through Jesus, His Son, who came into the world, not to condemn it or to judge it, but to bring it into life and salvation.

And He particularly looks for sinners, that means those who are still lost in the darkness, and this is why He rebuked the Pharisees by saying that He was sent not to the healthy ones but to those who are sick, that they may be healed. This refers to the sickness of the spiritual body, that is of our soul. And if we are sick spiritually, namely that if sin taints our body and soul, we will not be worthy of salvation and also the inheritance God has promised us.

Jesus our Lord therefore came to heal us from our afflictions, both body and soul, to make us anew and renew our lives, so that we may be found worthy of entry into the kingdom of God. We ought to be grateful for this love and dedication which our Lord had shown us, even unto death, and death on the cross, bearing our burdens, that is the great burdens of sins which we have committed.

He is the Lamb of God, who willingly gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice, so that as He carried that burden up the hill to His crucifixion, and through His death, we may be liberated from those burdens and thus gain justification through Him. We too will have our own burdens in life, if we choose to follow Christ. Remember that Jesus said to His disciples? That if anyone want to follow Him then they must carry their cross and follow Him?

But we cannot carry our burden alone, brothers and sisters in Christ, as alone we are unable to survive the great burden that awaits us. Instead, we ought to share the burden we have with one another, so that as St. Paul instructed the faithful in the Epistle reading we heard today, we may be justified together and receive salvation together as one united people, and together as one Church we are blessed by God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all embrace each other in faith, in hope and in love, that all of us may together shore up each other’s burden in life, going through suffering and persecution together, resisting the temptations of the flesh and of the world, and rebuking Satan who tries day after day to tempt us into sin. Let us realise the great love which our Lord has for us, and His eternal desire to free us from our afflictions and our burdens that is sin and death.

May Almighty God be with us always, and may He guide us so that we together as the Church of God may find our way towards the salvation He had promised us and made concrete through Jesus and His loving sacrifice on the cross. May He strengthen our resolve to love Him, regardless of the opposition and difficulties we may encounter if we choose to walk in His path, and also that may our solidarity and companionship be ever stronger, that we may find in each other, a strong support in our crusade against evil.

God bless us all, and may He bless all of our endeavours, that we may also bear witness to His Holy Gospels and the Good News He had proclaimed, so that more souls may be saved, through our works and dedications. God be with us all, till the end of time. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 21 September 2014 : Holy Gospel

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke

Luke 7 : 11-16

In illo tempore : Ibat Jesus in civitatem, quae vocatur Naim : et ibant cum eo discipuli ejus et turba copiosa. Cum autem appropinquaret portae civitatis, ecce, defunctus efferebatur filius unicus matris suae : et haec vidua erat : et turba civitatis multa cum illa.

Quam cum vidisset Dominus, misericordia motus super eam, dixit illi : Noli flere. Et accessit et tetigit loculum. Hi aurem, qui portabant, steterunt. Et ait : Adolescens, tibi dico, surge. Et resedit, qui erat mortuus, et coepit loqui. Et dedit illum matri suae.

Accepit autem omnes timor : et magnificabant Deum, dicentes : Quia Propheta magnus surrexit in nobis : et quia Deus visitavit plebem suam.

English translation

At that time, Jesus went into a city called Naim, and there went with Him His disciples, and a great multitude. And when He came nigh to the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and many people of the city were with her.

And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” And He came near and touched the bier, and those who carried it stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother.

And there came a fear on all of them, and they glorified God, saying, “A great Prophet has risen up amongst us and God had visited His people.”

(Usus Antiquior) Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 7 September 2014 : Homily and Scripture Reflections

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the words of the Holy Gospel in which we heard about how Jesus Christ our Lord have made full ten lepers who were cast out from the society of their time because of their leprosy, and yet only one out of the ten healed lepers, a Samaritan, returned to Lord Jesus and gave thanks to Him, showing the faith that he had.

And in the Epistle we heard how St. Paul reminded the faithful in the Church in Galata on the inheritance of Abraham, and what God had in store for mankind, the descendants of Abraham, the father of nations, and who are also the children of God. St. Paul mentioned how the Lord tried to bring mankind back to His grace and love, and how He cared for these wayward children of His, that He desires to heal them from their afflictions, that is none other than sin.

For if the Gospel today talked about the healing of the ten lepers, who suffered from the physical condition called leprosy, then all mankind are also afflicted with leprosy, namely the leprosy of the soul, the corruption of our beings by sin and evil. These sins and darkness in the world are blemishes that keep us away from the goodness and perfection in the Lord, and prevent us from truly seeking Him and finding our way to Him.

We have to first understand, the importance and how leprosy was a serious condition and affliction for the people of Israel at the time. It was a contagious disease, one that caused someone to feel numb in the extremities of the organ, and eventually lose those limbs, be it fingers, toes, or even limbs without feeling the pain. And the leprosy disease also caused a visible change to the appearance of the parts that it infected, which allow others to tell of someone suffer from leprosy.

We now know that this condition is caused by a virus that affects and attacks the nervous system and the skin, which caused the symptoms shown above. And as such, this is also why this disease is contagious, as it can spread from one person to another. This disease was therefore seen by the society as a sign that someone is unclean and that these people should be cast out from the society to prevent them from infecting others.

Thus, if we look at the laws of Moses, in which the Lord made evident His Law and precepts to the people through Moses His servant, one dealt specifically with the issue of leprosy and what to do with those who were afflicted with them, the lepers. These people ought to leave their homes and their communities, and wonder away in the wilderness and the desert until they are healed, that is until when they no longer show a symptom of the disease.

If we look at it further, the purpose of the Law may seem to be quite harsh on the people, although indeed we can see how it is useful and beneficial for the society as a whole, as if not for this law and regulation, then more people might be affected and more lives might be lost, and thus the whole society itself might be affected. It is therefore there for a practical reason.

However, it over time led to the persecution and total rejection of these people afflicted with the disease, that even after they have been healed, the stigma would remain. In essence, this is no different from when in other societies, those who suffer from infectious diseases, some of them sexually transmitted, became a stigma in the society, and this stigma remains with them even if they are to be cured. They are ostracised and cast out of the society.

Thus, what Jesus today wanted to tell us is that all of the children of God are beloved by the Lord, as St. Paul mentioned, that everyone are the descendants of Abraham, and just as God had made the covenant with the faithful Abraham and his descendants, we too will enjoy the fruits of that covenant as long as we remain faithful to the Lord. And therefore, we should not be judgmental or be proud of our own achievements and goodness over others’ apparent lack or disabilities.

Lepers were highly looked down upon by the Jews of Jesus’ time, and the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law in particular had very low opinion on them. They were not welcome at the Temples and people fled in fear when a leper came towards them or even when a leper was merely in the vicinity. But Jesus did things differently, and He did not mind at all to be approached by the ten lepers, who openly asked the Lord for mercy and healing, and that He granted them, making them whole once again.

He blessed them and made them whole, for indeed He had authority over all things, even all diseases and afflictions of the body and soul. But what is interesting is what came next after Jesus told them to go and present themselves to the priests. They were not immediately made clean and whole by Jesus, but they were made clean as they proceeded to the priests. Yet, as they realised their wholeness and healing, only one out of the ten turned back and give thanks to the Lord, to Jesus, who is Lord and God.

How many times is it in our lives that we are given goodness and blessings by the Lord, and we did not give Him thanks? And instead we spite Him and became angry at Him whenever we did not get what we wanted. We always demanded the Lord to listen to our pleas, and even to our desires and wants, and yet we never stopped to listen and to give thanks to Him whenever He did something good to us.

In this, the ten lepers were different, in that only one of them were truly made clean and whole by Jesus our Lord, that is the Samaritan. The Samaritan recognised what God had done for him, and consequently, returned to give thanks first in joy to the Lord, and rejoice together with Him, while the other nine lepers went happily on their way, thinking that they have been made clean.

The other nine lepers represented many of us in this world, who are still often plagued not by the leprosy of the body and the skin, but by the leprosy of the soul, that is sin! And indeed, mankind are truly vulnerable to this leprosy of the soul, which is equally if not more contagious than the physical leprosy. Desire, greed, pride, arrogance, anger, wroth and other negative emotions and things in life are only some of the aspects of this leprosy.

Thus the nine other lepers did not return to give thanks, because in the leprotic state of their hearts and souls, their pride and selfishness grew strong, and therefore they were loath to lower themselves to give thanks to God for their healing. Instead, they gave in to their joy and pleasure, and forgot about God, just as many of us often did. We often became so engrossed in our joy and in the pleasures of the world, so as to forget the love of God, who so generously gave us everything we need.

And lastly, why the Samaritans are always portrayed on the good side? If we remember last Sunday’s readings on the Good Samaritan helping the man attacked by bandits on the way from Jerusalem to Jericho, while the priest and the Levite walked pass him by, and then link it to today’s readings on the grateful Samaritan, then we can see indeed, that Jesus wanted to make an example to others.

As we all should know, the nation of the Samaritans, known as the region of Samaria, was once the heart of the northern kingdom of Israel. It was where the ten tribes of Israel, the lost ones of the Lord were plucked out of their homes and cast into exile by the King of the Assyrians, who destroyed the northern kingdom seven centuries before the birth of Christ.

In their place, many nations conquered by the Assyrians were resettled on the area, together with some leftovers of the ten lost tribes of Israel. They intermingled and eventually became known as the Samaritans, based on where they resided in, in the land of Samaria. The Jews were the descendants of the exiles of the kingdom of Judah, the southern kingdom, who were jealously and proudly proud of their orthodoxy and in their vigilance in maintaining the faith of their fathers.

As such, they despised heavily the Samaritans to the point that no one ought to talk to them, and they were considered as pagans, barbarians and lesser than humans, to the point that they were seemingly condemned to oblivion and damnation, while the Jews thought of themselves as the chosen race of God and thus the only ones worthy of salvation. What Jesus did and what the example of the Samaritan served to break all that prejudice and false ideas.

As St. Paul put it clearly, that transgressions and sin had caused our separation from the Lord and His love, and it is this love that made God to send no one else other than Jesus, His own Son to be the Saviour of all mankind, to make whole again an entire people tainted by sin. It was stressed that salvation comes through the Mediator, who is Jesus Christ our Lord, who through His sacrifice on the cross had made us worthy, but only to those who believe in Him.

And the Samaritan believed, and he returned to give thanks, acknowledging what God had done for him, and in that he was saved. The others did not believe what God had done to them through Jesus, and as many others, including many of us whose actions do not represent our status as the children and servants of God, and therefore we are in danger of being cast out of salvation which God reserved only for those who truly believed and those who truly loved the Lord with the fullness of their heart and soul.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we gather together and celebrate with the Lord His sacrifice on the cross, let us all examine our own actions and deeds in this life. We have to ask ourselves, on whether we have lived according to the way the Lord had pointed to us, or whether we acted more like the nine other lepers who gave in to their carnal desires and to the temptations of the world? Shall we not rather do our best to resist the corruption of this leprosy of the soul that is sin?

Remember brethren, that this world is full of challenges, and although our divine inheritance is waiting for us, the covenant which God had established with us through Jesus, but we cannot be complacent. We must be ever vigilant, that our faith should remain strong and that we remain closely guarded against all the lies and temptations of the evil one, that we may not fall into damnation. Remember the Lord always in all things, giving Him thanks when it is due, for all the goodness He had showered us with.

May Almighty God clean us and make us whole once again, casting out the leprosy of our soul, that is sin which tainted our heart and mind, so that our body and soul cleansed, we may together rejoice in the Lord and be accepted with fullness of gladness and joy at the end of our road, when the Lord welcomes us back into His loving embrace, to enjoy the inheritance He had promised us through Jesus. Let us all do our best to live righteously and courageously, and to proactively protect ourselves and avoid committing any forms of sin that mag corrupt our soul. May God bless us forever and ever. Amen.

Monday, 14 July 2014 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Camillus de Lellis, Priest (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is easy to misunderstand what Jesus meant when He said that, He did not come to bring peace into the world, but conflict and discord. It is easy to misinterpret what Jesus meant and find contradiction with it, if we do not understand what He truly meant in His words. In fact, Jesus mentioned the apparent contradiction that exists always between Him and His ways, with the ways of this world.

The contradiction and all the opposition is the cause behind the discord and disunity that will exist between those who follow Christ and those who follow the ways of the world, which is really the ways of Satan, rebelliousness and disobedient behaviour against the Lord and His gracious order and kindness. This contradiction arises because the Lord cannot possibly tolerate the ways of those who are openly in rebellion against His will.

This is the meaning of why the Lord came not to establish an everlasting peace, but to unearth the discord and opposition of the world against Himself. It is not to be until the end of days, when the Lord will judge all creations and cast away all things wicked and evil away from His presence for eternity, then there will be a true, genuine and everlasting peace.

Therefore, we have to be vigilant and be careful in our life, for we need to know that this world did not welcome Jesus with peace and honour, and thus they will neither treat us in a different way. Discord and hatred will enter into the hearts of men when they are confronted with the truth of Christ among them, and families therefore can even be split, when there are some in the family who decide to abandon the wicked ways of the world and follow the Lord.

These had happened in the past with many families of martyrs in the early days of the Church. Many saints, especially holy women, who lived in a family who still worshipped the pagan gods in the Roman Empire, were asked to choose between God and their life, and they chose to die rather than abandoning their faith in God. They suffered grievous torture and persecution, and yet they did not give up.

Many in this world, especially as we know in our world today, do not welcome Christ and His teachings. More and more people move further away from the teachings of the Lord and fall deeper into the traps of Satan. It may not be obvious at first, but this world today is increasingly hostile to us, where the teachings of the Church and the central moral tenets of our faith are constantly under attack.

It is sad that many of the faithful are either unaware of this truth, and how many of them do not stand with God and His Church on various issues, and rather stand by the world and its ways, for various reasons. Some did so out of ignorance, while others purposefully did so in order to be accepted into the world, so that they will not be ostracised or rejected.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, shall we make a difference? Shall we be the new light in this darkened world? Let us no longer fear but be strong and be courageous to defend our faith. It may not have to end like what happened to the martyrs of the early Church, but it is doubtless that our lives will not be easy if we choose to walk in the way of the Lord. Yet, it is the path to righteousness and is rich in rewards.

Today we also celebrate the feast of St. Camillus de Lellis, an Italian priest of the late Renaissance period, who was an army member and fought in the wars that engulfed Italy at the time. Having seen great human sufferings and sickness throughout conflicts and many other unfortunate occurrences, he was truly touched by God, and repented from his ways of war and violence, and from then on sought to help mankind as best as he could.

Although it was not easy, but St. Camillus de Lellis tried his best to help those who suffer both physically from sickness, as well as spiritually and mentally from sin and other impurities of the world. He did not live long and always suffered from various afflictions, and yet he was truly a champion of peace, of love, and ultimately of the faith in the Lord. He truly practiced his faith with zeal and dedication.

Therefore, let us stand with our God, and let us stand with one another welcoming our Lord through our welcome for Jesus. Let us follow Him and vow to no longer following the path of evil. Following St. Camillus de Lellis, may we also become true bearers of peace and champion love for one another.

May God Almighty help us to keep us away from the evil one, and so that we may be ever faithful. May He make us wonderful testimony bearers of the faith, that more and more people will come to believe in the Lord, and bring true peace into this world. Amen.

Monday, 7 July 2014 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 9 : 18-26

While Jesus was speaking to them, an official of the synagogue came up to Him, bowed before Him and said, “My daughter has just died, but come and place Your hands on her, and she will live.” Jesus stood up and followed him with His disciples.

Then a woman, who had suffered from a severe bleeding for twelve years, came up from behind and touched the edge of His cloak; for she thought, “If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned, saw her and said, “Courage, my daughter, your faith has saved you.” And from that moment the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the excited crowd, He said, “Get out of here! The girl is not dead. She is only sleeping!” And they laughed at Him. But once the crowd had been turned out, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up. The news of this spread through the whole area.