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

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 18 : 8-11

The Law of the Lord is perfect : it gives life to the soul. The word of the Lord is trustworthy : it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right : they give joy to the heart. The commandments of the Lord are clear, they enlighten the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is pure; it endures forever; the judgments of the Lord are true, all of them just and right.

They are more precious than gold – pure gold of a jeweller; they are much sweeter than honey which drops from the honeycomb.

Thursday, 27 March 2014 : 3rd Week of Lent (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Brothers and sisters, today we learn again another lesson, as Jesus went around to teach the people of God, that we must not be doubtful in our hearts and even more importantly, we should not be quick to cast baseless accusations, especially if they are made out of poor judgment and idea on our side.

It was truly horrifying to see how the people of God, who had been graced with the presence and witnessing the Lord Himself in action, could ever condemn and criticise Him by saying that what great deeds He had done, was done by the power of the evil one and the other spirits.

They saw the miracles performed by Jesus, and all the things He had done, and yet they refused to believe, and all the teachings that Jesus had made, should all have been very clear to them, showing them the true nature of God’s laws and ways. This is because of their hardened heart, which they kept indignantly even against the love God had shown for them.

The same can be compared to how their ancestors behaved in the desert, the same generation of people who saw the Lord doing great deeds in bringing the Ten plagues to crush the Egyptians and liberate them from their slavery. They also witnessed how God split open the sea to let them pass and pour the waters over their enemies. They received even food from heaven and crystal clear, sweet water from the rocks, and yet they complained and complained.

These people were so stubborn because they did not keep the Lord in their heart but Satan! They were so influenced by the things of the world that instead of thanking God for His very obvious guidance and kindness along the way, they dared to say things such as life was better in Egypt, with food and drinks, even though they were in slavery! What they thought are in the realm of human greed and desire, that nothing God gave them is likely to be ever enough.

The same therefore happened to the people at the time of Jesus, as there were many factions, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the scribes, and many others, including the common people. These people were obsessed with power and the influence they had on the people, and they were loath to give them up or even share them with someone who is technically an outsider, like Jesus.

Jesus showed them that their stubbornness and hard-heartedness ought to be taught a lesson, that they should not be so stone hearted as if to defy the works of the Lord, putting obstacles in His way, and worse still, blaspheming against God through their indignant attitude, calling the work of God as the work of Satan.

Shall we also be like them? Shall we be indignant and refuse to listen to the Lord because of our own human interests, and greed for power? If we do so, then we will have no part in the salvation offered by the Lord. We have to cast out our pride and our greed, especially for power, that we may lower ourselves and understand what God has given us, in Jesus, His Son, the manifestation of His everlasting love.

May the Lord open our hearts, and help us to understand better His love, that we too may love Him the same way. Let us all devote ourselves more to the Lord, and promise Him that we will stay forever loyal and faithful, no matter what. God bless us all. Amen.

Thursday, 20 March 2014 : 2nd Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Jeremiah 17 : 5-10

This is what YHVH says, “Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings and depends on a mortal for his life, while his heart is drawn away from YHVH! He is like a bunch of thistles in dry land, in parched desert places, in a salt land where no one lives and who never finds happiness.”

“Blessed is the man who puts his trust in YHVH and whose confidence is in Him! He is like a tree planted by the water, sending out its roots towards the stream. He has no fear when the heat comes, his leaves are always green; the year of drought is no problem and he can always bear fruit.”

“Most deceitful is the heart. What is there within man, who can understand him? I, YHVH, search the heart and penetrate the mind. I reward each one according to his ways and the fruit of his deeds.”

Monday, 24 February 2014 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

James 3 : 13-18

If you consider yourself wise and learnt, show it by your good life and let your actions, in all humility, be an example for others. But if your heart is full of bitter jealousy and ambition, do not try to show off; that would be covering up the truth; this kind of wisdom does not come from above but from the world and it is earthly and devilish.

Wherever there is jealousy and ambition, you will also find discord and all that is evil. Instead, the wisdom that comes from above is pure and peace-loving. Persons with this wisdom show understanding and listen to advice; they are full of compassion and good works; they are impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow peace reap a harvest of justice.

Sunday, 9 February 2014 : 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 111 : 4-5, 6-7, 8a and 9

He is for the righteous a light in darkness, He is kind, merciful and upright. It will be well with Him who lends freely, who leads a life of justice and honesty.

For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered and loved forever. He has no fear of evil news, for his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.

His heart is confident, he gives generously to the poor, his merits will last forever and his head will be raised in honour.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we hear on the importance of being ready, being prepared at all times, and most importantly to plan before anything. How is this then relevant to our faith? It is everything! This is because we cannot be idle nor should we be ignorant and lazy in our faith, that we neglect to do what the Lord expects from all of us, from each one of us.

The commandments and the laws that God had given us mankind, are what. He wants from us, not to be mere relics and symbolisms, but in fact as living laws that we all obey and follow with every actions, with every words, and with every deeds we do. Indeed, with every breath we take, we ought to be obedient to God and His laws.

We cannot ignore these laws, and we cannot dismiss them, as they are our guide so that we will not lose our way in this world, and through the obstacles and difficulties that bar our path towards the Lord our God. The laws can be likened to the strategies that one should take, in dealing with the troubles and the enemies that lay themselves on our path.

Without a good plan, as Jesus said in His parable on the houses and the king’s war to the people, there can be no success or good outcome. Such reckless actions without planning will only bring about failure or even getting lost in the way, being without any guidance. Good planning will ensure that we truly know what we are to do, or expect what will come about in the future.

These laws and commandments God has given us, and revealed in its completeness in Christ, are the laws of love, which guide us on our expected behaviours. That we ought to love one another just as we love and care for ourselves, that we truly reflect the Lord as God’s beloved children. Yes, brethren, just as God is Love, so we too should be children of love, expressing through our own actions, words, and deeds, the acts of love, kindness, and compassion.

Jesus today urged all of us, as He urged His disciples and the people who followed Him, to be more proactive in our faith, that we take the responsibility to plan and prepare for our salvation in Him. That we do not take it easy and become complacent in this world. That we are prepared for any contingencies, and any kind of trouble that may come in our way.

Why so, brothers and sisters in Christ? That is because there are, as I mentioned, many obstacles and enemies that lay themselves on our path to God, and that this path will not be an easy path, but a path filled with sorrow and challenges. We who have been made righteous in God, through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, are not automatically out of danger. For as long as we remain in this world, we are always under threat from the evil one, Satan, the deceiver, and his forces of darkness.

The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross has broken Satan’s hold and dominion over all of us. Ever since our Lord bared all, suffered and died for the sake of us all, and redeemed us from our original sins, Satan no longer has any authority over us. Nevertheless, he is loath to allow all of us to be lost to God forever. That is why, just as He had tempted Jesus in the desert in a vain attempt to prevent his defeat at the hands of God, he will definitely also tempt all of us with all the things in his disposal.

This can be likened to how a house without preparation will end up in disrepair, and a king without preparation will likely to lose his war. We are the builders of that house, and we are like that king. We have to plan ahead and be prepared, so that we will not end up in the situations I had just mentioned. To achieve this, we precisely need to follow what the Lord Himself urged us to, that is to be obedient to His laws, that is to love!

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to love, and not just any love, but love tenderly. It is not easy to love, but it is indeed what we need to do, to prepare us and to ensure that we have a well-planned journey towards the Lord and the eternal reward and glory He has prepared for us all. Hence, brethren, let us then resolve from now on, that we will strive to love, first our God with all of our strengths, and then to love our neighbours, all our fellow brothers and sisters, children of the same God, also with all of our heart.

May the Lord guide us and continue to watch over us, as we progress through this path towards salvation. God be with us all. Amen.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 12 : 35-38

Be ready, dressed for service, and keep your lamps lit, like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding. As soon as he comes and knocks, they will open the door to him.

Happy are those servants whom the master finds wide-awake when he comes. Truly, I tell you, he will put on an apron, and have them sit at table, and he will wait on them.

Happy are those servants, if he finds them awake when he comes at midnight or daybreak!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 39 : 7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 17

Sacrifice and oblation You did not desire; this You had me understand. Burnt offering and sin offering You do not require. Then I said, “Here I come!”

As the scroll says of me, I come. To do Your will is my delight, o God, for Your law is within my heart.

In the great assembly I have proclaimed Your saving help. My lips, o Lord, I did not seal – You know that very well.

But may all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; and may all who love Your saving grace continually say, “The Lord is great.”

Tuesday, 15 October 2013 : 28th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 11 : 37-41

As Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked Him to have a meal with him. So He went and sat at table. The Pharisee then wondered why Jesus did not first wash His hands before dinner. But the Lord said to him, “So then, you Pharisees, you clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside yourselves you are full of greed and evil.”

“Fools! He who made the outside, also made the inside. But according to you, by the mere giving of alms everything is made clean.”

Friday, 4 October 2013 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Baruch 1 : 15-22

You will say : May everyone recognise the justice of our God but, on this day, shame and confusion befit the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem – our kings and princes, our prophets, and our fathers, because we have sinned before the Lord.

We have disobeyed Him and have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God, nor have we followed the commandments which the Lord had put before us. From the day that the Lord brought our ancestors out of the land of Egypt until this day, we have disobeyed the Lord our God and we have rebelled against Him instead of listening to His voice.

Because of this, from the day on which the Lord brought our ancestors out of the land of Egypt, so as to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, the evils and the curse which the Lord pronounced by Moses, His servant, have dogged our footsteps right down to the present day.

We did not listen to the voice of the Lord our God speaking through the words of the prophets whom He sent to us, but each one of us followed his perverted heart, serving false gods and doing what displeases the Lord our God.