Saturday, 20 April 2019 : Easter Vigil Mass, Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection (Seventh Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Ezekiel 36 : 16-17a, 18-28

The word of YHVH came to me in these terms, “Son of man, when Israel occupied her own land she defiled it by her way of life and her actions. I poured out My fury on them because of the blood they shed in the land and because they defiled it with their filthy idols. Then I scattered them among the nations and dispersed them in other lands. I judged them according to their conduct and their actions.”

“But when they were brought to other nations, My holy Name was profaned because others said of them : ‘The people of YHVH had to be exiled from His land!’ Then I was concerned for My holy Name, profaned by Israel among the nations where she had been dispersed.”

“Now you shall say to the people of Israel : It is not for your sake that I am about to act, but because of My holy Name that you have profaned in the places where you have gone. I will make known the holiness of My great Name, profaned among the nations because of you, and they will know that I am YHVH when I show them My holiness among you.”

“For I will gather you from all the nations and bring you back to your own land. Then I shall pour pure water over you and you shall be made clean – cleansed from the defilement of all your idols. I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you.”

“I shall remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I shall put My Spirit within you and move you to follow My decrees and keep My laws. You will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you shall be My people and I will be your God.”

Thursday, 23 August 2018 : 20th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Rose of Lima, Virgin (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Virgins)

Ezekiel 36 : 23-28

I will make known the holiness of My great Name, profaned among the nations because of you; and they will know that I am YHVH, when I show them My holiness among you. For I will gather you from all the nations and bring you back to your own land. Then I shall pour pure water over you and you shall be made clean – cleansed from the defilement of all your idols.

I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I shall remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I shall put My Spirit within you and move you to follow My decrees and keep My laws. You will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you shall be My people and I will be your God.

Friday, 13 January 2017 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)
Psalm 77 : 3 and 4bc, 6c-7, 8

Mysteries which we have heard and known, which our ancestors have told us. We will announce them to the coming generation : the glorious deeds of the Lord, His might and the wonders He has done.

They would teach their own children. They would then put their trust in God, and not forget His deeds and His commands.

And not be like their ancestors, stubborn and rebellious people, a people of inconstant heart whose spirit was fickle.

Friday, 31 October 2014 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are reminded yet again not to be hypocrites in our faith to God, and that our faith should move beyond just a mere observation of Laws and customs, which will be empty if they are not based on genuine love and care and concern which we ought to have for one another, and ultimately, the love we also ought to show to the Lord.

Our faith must be a living one, filled with love and action, and be filled with genuine understanding of the Laws of the Lord, knowing fully what God intended for us all, that is none other than our salvation, our prosperity and our good, and never to punish us without good reason and without first offering His mercy as a chance for us to repent from our sinfulness.

This was what Jesus had done, when He rebuked the Pharisees for their rigid and misunderstanding of the Faith and the Law of God, when they constantly and regularly opposed the good works of Jesus when He healed and restored many people even during the Sabbath, which was sacrosanct to the Pharisees and the elders of Israel, the puritan factions of the society of the people of God.

They often stood in the path of salvation of many, burdening the people with countless regulations and rules which they imposed very strictly on them, and on one count totalled an enormous six hundred and thirteen laws and rules, if not more, the regulations largely created by men to observe the norms and mores of the society, but in many of their applications, the Pharisees failed to understand the true meaning of the original Law as the Lord revealed to Moses.

Yes, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, the scribes and the elders of the people were often proud of their own achievement, in keeping the commandment of the Law and all of its rules, in particular the Pharisees. However, as they did these observances and fulfillments of the rules, regulations and the customs of the Law, they did not do them for the sake of the salvation of the people, but they did them often for their own glory and fame.

Thus, Jesus was angry with them and rebuked them, because in their irresponsible and selfish actions, they closed the path to salvation for many, just as they have closed it for themselves, by ignoring and disobeying the true commandment of God, that is love. What they loved is not God nor men, but they loved only themselves, the love of their own vanity and pride, and the love of their own selves.

Indeed, what Jesus wants from us has been aptly summarised by St. Paul in the letter he wrote to the Church and the faithful in Philippi, which exhorted the faithful people of God to live righteously, doing good works based upon love and commitment to God, and abandoning all forms of wickedness and vices and sin, and therefore live without blame and blemish in the sight of God. But this is not achieved through self-serving methods and hypocrisy of the Pharisees, but through real and concrete works of love.

What does that mean, brothers and sisters in Christ? That means, we have to work together as one community of the faithful ones in Christ. We are after all the members of His Church, the Body of Christ, and we are all justified through our actions as a member of the Church and thus as children of our Lord. We cannot have an empty faith and a faith that is merely words alone. The Pharisees’ faith are exactly that, and that did not bring them justification and salvation, and we can indeed do better than that.

We have to help one another, and give mercy and help to the ones who are suffering and in need, just as Jesus had done to many people who are afflicted with either physical or spiritual disabilities. Remember that Jesus once said, that whatever we did to the least of our brethren, the weakest, the least, the most ostracised and all, we did it for the Lord, and He who sees all, will reward us for our actions.

Therefore, brethren, let us from now on reflect on our own lives, and try our best to live out the most from our lives as children of God, and as the followers of our Lord who is Love. Let our faith be alive and vibrant, filled with love, care and concern for one another, and together, as the members of the Body of Christ, the Church, let us all seek together the Lord our God and be justified through our actions so that we may receive the eternal inheritance which He had promised all those who are faithful to Him. God bless us all. Amen.

 

First Reading : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/30/friday-31-october-2014-30th-week-of-ordinary-time-first-reading/

Psalm : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/30/friday-31-october-2014-30th-week-of-ordinary-time-psalm/

Gospel Reading : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/30/friday-31-october-2014-30th-week-of-ordinary-time-gospel-reading/

Friday, 31 October 2014 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Philippians 1 : 1-11

From Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to the saints in Philippi, with their bishops and deacons; to you all in Christ Jesus : May grace and peace be yours from God, our Father, and Christ Jesus the Lord.

I give thanks to my God each time I remember you, and when I pray for you, I pray with joy. I cannot forget all you shared with me in the service of the Gospel, from the first day until now. Since God began such a good work in you, I am certain that He will complete it in the day of Christ Jesus.

This is my hope for you, for I carry you all in my heart : whether I am in prison or defending and confirming the Gospel, you are with me and share the same grace. God knows that I love you dearly with the love of Christ Jesus, and in my prayers I ask that your love may lead you each day to a deeper knowledge and clearer discernment, that you may have good criteria for everything.

So you may be pure of heart and come blameless to the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of holiness that comes through Christ Jesus, for the glory and praise of God.

 

Homily and Reflection : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/30/friday-31-october-2014-30th-week-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Wednesday, 15 October 2014 : 28th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the distinction between the ones who lived in the flesh and in the Spirit, that is those who listen to the whim of their human weaknesses, namely pride, anger, jealousy, desire, arrogance, greed, ignorance, wrath, lust, dishonesty and many others, rather than to walk in the way which the Lord had designed for us.

The Lord had revealed His laws through Moses, with all the rules and regulations designed to help the people to control themselves and prevent themselves from succumbing to the desires and temptations of the flesh and the pleasures of the world, with which Satan constantly and daily assault us all mankind, in order to drag us into damnation together with him for eternity.

The Law of God, as exemplified by the Ten Commandments are a set of guides and rules to help the people of God as focus to lead them in life, just like a lighthouse with its light guides ships away from the shores and from dangerous and sharp rocks, so that they would not flounder and be wrecked on the reefs. Thus the purpose of the Law of God was not to punish, but instead to love the people of God, that is by showing how God loves them through such care that He gave them such guidance that they may not hurt themselves by doing something foolish in life.

Yet, many of the people refused to listen to and obey the laws, despite constant and repeated reminders by the Lord. They continued to persist in their rebelliousness, and they walked with pride, knowingly following the ways of Satan the deceiver, who lavished them with lies and temptations of the flesh. Like the tales of old, again using the example of the ships and the sailors who guide them through rough waters, Satan and his agents were like the legendary sirens who were told to be enchanters who lulled unaware sailors and ships with their songs, that they ended up wrecked on reefs and rocks and be lost.

The lull, the joy and the pleasures of Satan are dangerous, brothers and sisters in Christ, be it then, and be it now. He is always about and around us, looking for opportunities where we are at our most vulnerable. And if we are not careful, we may indeed be trapped by the devices of Satan and fall into damnation. Thus we have to be ever vigilant and be ready to guard ourselves against such vicious attacks.

And how do we best do this? This is by embracing the teachings of Christ and asking the Holy Spirit to be our guide, by entrusting ourselves fully to His love and shunning all things of the devil. That means we have to cast away all acts of fornication and corruption of our flesh, heart and soul, and begin to walk righteously in the sight of God. We have to practice our faith and commit fully to the truth and love of God, showing the faith we have in our words, actions and deeds.

And today, we celebrate the feast of a great woman and saint, whose life can be a model for us all, in living our faith. She is St. Teresa of Jesus, also known famously as St. Teresa of Avila, after the name of the city where she came from. St. Teresa of Jesus was recently made a Doctor of the Church, for her great and numerous works in faith, through which her writings and works became priceless inspiration source for many of the faithful.

St. Teresa of Jesus herself was born in Spain during the time of the early modern era Europe, at the time when the Church was about to be rocked greatly by the so-called Protestant ‘reformation’, where many of the faithful were led away by the lies and falsehoods of the agents of Satan, who infiltrated many hearts of the faithful and turned them against the efforts of the Lord through His Church.

Satan appealed to the people of God, to make themselves free from the Law of God through the Church, which had been seen by many as corrupted. Indeed, the Church leadership and hierarchy at the time had been seen as debauched and corrupt, much like the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law at the time of Jesus. They only fulfilled the Law on the superficial level, but in their hearts, they were corrupt and they served only their own desires.

But many people took matter to their own hands, and rather than listening to the words of the Holy Spirit, they followed the lies of Satan that caused even greater injury to the Church and to the faithful. They refused to help the Church and the faithful to get free from the entanglements of Satan, and instead they themselves became entangled even further.

This was where St. Teresa of Jesus entered the scene. Joining the Carmelites at a young age, St. Teresa of Jesus had always been noted for her great piety and devotion to the Lord, who made herself to belong completely to Christ our Lord. She wrote many books and writings which became model for many who came after her in the subsequent centuries, and she also received many visions about the Lord, and how we mankind ought to live our faith life. She eventually also became a leading figure of the Counter-Reformation efforts to return many souls to the Lord.

She suffered from many illnesses and diseases throughout her life as a religious sister, but she did not complain or become bitter because of that. Instead, she saw it as a suffering being suffered for the sake of the Lord. She also promoted the need for mankind to put themselves completely in trust to God, and to surrender themselves and subject themselves to the love of God.

This and many of her other teachings in her writings help mankind to find a clear path towards the Lord, avoiding all the efforts of the devil who constantly tried to turn mankind away from the path towards salvation and into damnation with him. Like the clear and bright light of the lighthouse, what St. Teresa of Jesus had written, had said and had done in her life, enduring suffering after suffering in joy with the Lord, and in her complete and undying trust in God, she showed us all, who still wander in the darkness of this world, how to reach our target and destination, that is the Lord our God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us today ask for the intercession of St. Teresa of Jesus and of other holy saints of God, that they may help intercede for our sake, and pray for us before the Lord, that we may follow their leads and examples, to avoid falling into the traps and devices of Satan and that we may also reject firmly all forms of fornications of the flesh, and begin to live according to the Spirit. May Almighty God guide us on our way, and lead us to Himself, that we may find our way to resist Satan and remaining true to our faith in God. God bless us all. Amen.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014 : 28th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Callistus I, Pope and Martyr (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard in the Holy Scriptures and the Gospel about the nature of the Law of God, and how we ought to keep it in faith, and how important it is to understand what the Law is all about, and how to best apply it in our lives. It also highlighted the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, who kept a superficial vigil and observance over the Law, but not understanding the true intent and meaning of the Law.

As is with any forms of laws, the Law of God is often bound to be misinterpreted and misused, especially when its meaning and purpose are not fully understood by those who enforce these laws. It is imperative that the people of God understand what the Law is all about, that is about love, and not just any forms of love, but the love which comes from the source of all love itself, that is God.

The Law is meant as the symbol and representation of love of God for us mankind, by giving us this set of guidance and pointers to help us to orientate ourselves in this world filled with temptations, darkness, evils, and impurities. The ultimate aim of the Law is indeed ultimately to keep us in God’s grace, and to bring us back to His love all of us who have sinned and walked away from Him.

But when those who were tasked to safeguard and apply the Law erred in their judgments and refused to listen to what the Lord had to say about them, then the Law lost its purpose, and ended up becoming a chore and a tedious thing for the people of God to maintain and keep. As a result, that was why Jesus criticised the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who were obsessed with the external applications of the Law rather than the holistic applications of the Law.

Being too engrossed in the external and superficial application of the Law is dangerous, as this ended up in the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law adopting an excessively strict and burdensome interpretation of the Law, which brought a great burden on the people of God, and sadly that this is done not in the spirit of true understanding of the purpose of the Law, ending in the observance of the Law just for the sake of observing it, which will bring no benefit but instead condemnation.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore today we are all urged to turn deep into the Law of God, all the rules and observances which we have known in the Church, and begin to appreciate them in complete fullness and find the true meaning and purpose of the Law, that is the love of God for us, and His great desire to reunite us with Himself, so that we may be free from sin and unworthiness, and gain the eternal inheritance He had planned for us.

Today we celebrate together as the Church, the feast of Pope St. Callistus I, also known as Pope St. Callixtus I, the leader of the early Church and a martyr of the faith under the persecution of the Roman authorities at the time. Pope St. Callistus I was once a slave, who managed to escape his slavery and eventually became a servant of the Lord and His Church. He suffered many times for his Christian faith, and he was sent to many punishments by the authorities for that.

Nevertheless, eventually when Pope St. Callistus I was chosen as the Bishop of Rome and the successor of St. Peter the Apostle, and as the Vicar of Christ, he extended a new outreached hand towards those sinners and those who had erred in their path, committing adultery and fornication, allowing them to return to the Church to seek God’s mercy.

There were indeed serious oppositions to this policy, and some including the Saint Hippolytus were firmly opposed to the policies of Pope St. Callistus I who was seen as being too lenient against the sinners. St. Hippolytus was thus elected as a rival Bishop of Rome and Pope, in opposition to Pope St. Callistus I. But despite the differences and the rivalry between them, God continued to exercise His good intentions upon the world through them, as they continued to minister to the people of God in faith. Eventually both of them would also meet their end in martrydom, in the defense of their faith.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the examples of the saints and the messages from the Holy Scriptures which we heard today, all call for us to reassess our own lives as well as our own actions and deeds. We have to remember that first, God is loving and merciful, and through the Law and rules which He had given us, He wants to bring us back to Him and be renewed in love, so that our sins may be cleansed, and we renewed and purified, may find justification and salvation in God.

However, at the same time, we cannot turn a blind eye on our sins and defects indeed. We cannot ignore them or to bypass them in our attempts to seek the Lord and find His mercy. For God hates and rejects sin and evil just as much as He loves and be merciful to all of us. Welcoming sinners is indeed important, and we should make it a priority to help sinners to come back to the Lord through Faith. However, this cannot be done at the expense of condoning sin or to reduce our contempt of sin.

Instead, brothers and sisters in Christ, from today onwards, if we have not done so before, let us all help one another so that we may remind ourselves of the sins we have committed, that we may repent from them and find our way to the Lord, seeking His mercy and forgiveness. Let us also from now on seek to understand the true meaning, purpose and intention of the Law of God, so that by obeying the Law in all its full meaning, we may gain the favour and the blessings of the Lord.

May Almighty God guide us always in life, and help us so that we may become ever better disciples and followers, rooted in love and abundant in charity and faith. God bless us all. Amen.