Friday, 16 April 2021 : 2nd Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 5 : 34-42

But one of the members of the Council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law highly respected by the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin. He ordered the men to be taken outside for a few minutes and then he spoke to the assembly.

“Fellow Israelites, consider well what you intend to do to these men. For some time ago Theudas came forward, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. But he was killed and all his followers were dispersed or disappeared.”

“After him, Judas the Galilean appeared at the time of the census and persuaded many people to follow him. But he too perished and his whole following was scattered. So, in this present case, I advise you to have nothing to do with these men. Leave them alone. If their project or activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. If, on the other hand, it is from God, you will not be able to destroy it and you may indeed find yourselves fighting against God.”

The Council let themselves be persuaded. They called in the Apostles and had them whipped, and ordered them not to speak again of Jesus Saviour. Then they set them free. The Apostles went out from the Council rejoicing that they were considered worthy to suffer disgrace for the sake of the Name. Day after day, both in the Temple and in people’s homes, they continued to teach and to proclaim that Jesus was the Messiah.

Thursday, 15 April 2021 : 2nd Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 5 : 27-33

So the High Priest and his supporters brought the Apostles in and made them stand before the Council and the High Priest questioned them, “We gave you strict orders not to preach such a Saviour; but you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend charging us with the killing of this Man.”

To this Peter and the Apostles replied, “Better for us to obey God rather than any human authority! The God of our ancestors raised Jesus Whom you killed by hanging Him on a wooden post. God set Him at His right hand as Leader and Saviour, to grant repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We are witnesses to all these things, as well as the Holy Spirit Whom God has given to those who obey Him.

When the Council heard this, they became very angry and wanted to kill them.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021 : 2nd Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 5 : 17-26

The High Priest and all his supporters, that is the party of the Sadducees, became very jealous of the Apostles; so they arrested them and had them thrown into the public jail. But an Angel of the Lord opened the door of the prison during the night, brought them out, and said to them, “Go and stand in the Temple court and tell the people the whole of this living message.” Accordingly they entered the Temple at dawn and resumed their teaching.

When the High Priest and his supporters arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin, that is the full Council of the elders of Israel. They sent word to the jail to have the prisoners brought in. But when the Temple guards arrived at the jail, they did not find them inside, so they returned with the news, “We found the prison securely locked and the prison guards at their post outside the gate, but when we opened the gate, we found no one inside.”

Upon hearing these words, the captain of the Temple guard and the high priests were baffled, wondering where all of this would end. Just then someone arrived with the report, “Look, those men whom you put in prison are standing in the Temple, teaching the people.” Then the captain went off with the guards and brought them back, but without any show of force, for fear of being stoned by the people.

Sunday, 28 October 2018 : Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, Apostles (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Hebrews 5 : 1-6

Every High Priest is taken from among mortals and appointed to be their representative before God to offer gifts and sacrifices for sin. He is able to understand the ignorant and erring for he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he is bound to offer sacrifices for his sins as well as for the sins of the people.

Besides, one does not presume to take this dignity, but takes it only when called by God, as Aaron was. Nor did Christ become High Priest in taking upon Himself this dignity, but it was given to Him by the One Who says : You are My Son, I have begotten You today. And in another place : You are a Priest forever in the priestly order of Melchizedek.

Saturday, 21 June 2014 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

2 Chronicles 24 : 17-25

After the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came to pay court to the king, and the king now turned to them for advice. The Judaeans abandoned the house of YHVH, the God of their ancestors, for the worship of sacred trunks and idols and God’s anger fell on Judah and Jerusalem because of their guilt.

He sent them prophets to bring them back to YHVH, but when the prophets spoke, they would not listen. The Spirit of God took control of Zechariah, son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood up before the people and said, “God says this : Why are you disobeying the commandments of YHVH? You cannot prosper. You have abandoned YHVH and He will abandon you.”

They then plotted against him and by order of the king stoned him in the court of YHVH’s House. King Joash forgot the kindness of Jehoiada, the father of Zechariah, and killed Jehoiada’s son who cried out as he died, “Let YHVH see and do justice!”

When a year had gone by, the Aramean army made war on Joash. They reached Judah and Jerusalem, and killed all the officials among the people, sending back to the king of Damascus all that they had plundered from them. Though the Aramean army was small, YHVH delivered into its power an army of great size for they had abandoned Him, the God of their ancestors.

The Arameans wounded Joash and when they withdrew they left him a very sick man; and his officers, plotting against him to avenge the death of the son of Jehoiada the priest, murdered him in his bed. So he died, and they buried him in the City of David, though not in the tombs of the kings.

Friday, 20 June 2014 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Kings 11 : 1-4, 9-18, 20

When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, saw that her son had died, she was determined to wipe out all the descendants of the king. But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash, her nephew, and brought him away from among the king’s sons who were about to be killed, and put him with his wet nurse in the bedroom.

Thus she hid him from Athaliah, so that the boy was saved. And Joash remained hidden in the House of YHVH for six years while Athaliah reigned over the land. In the seventh year, Jehoiada the chief priest, summoned the officers of the royal guard and of the Carites to the House of YHVH. After concluding a pact with them under oath, he showed them the king’s son.

The commanders of the guards did what Jehoiada the priest had told them to do and they showed up with all their men, those who were to go off duty on the sabbath as well as those who were to come on duty on that day.

Jehoiada entrusted to the officers the spears and shields of king David which were in the House of YHVH. And then the guards stood from the southern corner of the house to the north, surrounding the altar and the House of YHVH.

Then Jehoiada, the priest, brought out the king’s son, crowned him and put the bracelets on him, then proclaimed and consecrated him king. All clapped their hands, shouting and crying out, “Long live the king!”

When Athaliah heard the noise of the people, she approached the crowd surrounding the House of YHVH. The king was standing by the pillar, according to the custom, and the officers and the trumpeters were with him. The people were filled with joy and they were blowing trumpets. On seeing this, Athaliah tore her clothes and cried out, “Treason, treason!”

Jehoiada the priest commanded the officers, “Surround her and bring her out to the courtyard, and kill anyone who tries to defend her.” He gave this order, because he thought, “She should not die in the House of YHVH.”

They brought her out, and when they reached the palace of the king by the horses’ entrance, there they killed her.

Jehoiada made a covenant between YHVH and the king and the people so they would be the people of YHVH. All the citizens went to the temple of Baal and destroyed it. They broke the altars and the images into pieces, and killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, before his altar. Then Jehoiada, the priest, posted guards over the House of YHVH.

All the citizens were happy and the city was at peace. Now regarding Athaliah, she had died by the sword in the king’s palace.