Saturday, 6 April 2019 : 4th Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Jeremiah 11 : 18-20

YHVH made it known to me and so I know! And You let me see their scheming. But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I did not know it was against me that they were plotting, “Let us feed him with trials and remove him from the land of the living and let his name never be mentioned again.”

YHVH, God of hosts, You Who judge with justice and know everyone’s heart and intentions, let me see Your vengeance on them, for to You I have entrusted my cause.

Friday, 5 April 2019 : 4th Week of Lent, Memorial of St. Vincent Ferrer, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Wisdom 2 : 1a, 12-22

Led by mistaken reasons they think, “Let us set a trap for the Righteous, for He annoys us and opposes our way of life; He reproaches us for our breaches of the Law and accuses us of being false to our upbringing. He claims knowledge of God and calls Himself Son of the Lord. He has become a reproach to our way of thinking; even to meet Him is burdensome to us. He does not live like others and behaves strangely.”

“According to Him we have low standards, so He keeps aloof from us as if we were unclean. He emphasises the happy end of the righteous and boasts of having God as Father. Let us see the truth of what He says and find out what His end will be. If the Righteous is a Son of God, God will defend Him and deliver Him from His adversaries.”

“Let us humble and torture Him to prove His self-control and test His patience. When we have condemned Him to a shameful death, we may test His words.” This is the way they reason, but they are mistaken, blinded by their malice. They do not know the mysteries of God nor do they hope for the reward of a holy life; they do not believe that the blameless will be recompensed.

Thursday, 27 December 2018 : Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 2-8

At that time, Mary of Magdala ran to Peter, and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and she said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

Peter then set out with the other disciple to go out to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down and saw the linen cloths lying flat, but he did not enter. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and entered the tomb; he, too, saw the linen cloths lying flat.

The napkin, which had been around His head, was not lying flat like the other linen cloths, but lay rolled up in its place. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed.

Thursday, 9 November 2017 : Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 2 : 13-22

At that time, as the Passover of the Jews was at hand, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple court He found merchants selling oxen, sheep and doves, and money-changers seated at their tables.

Making a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the Temple court, together with the oxen and sheep. He knocked over the tables of the money-changers, scattering the coins, and ordered the people selling doves, “Take all this away, and stop making a marketplace of My Father’s house!” His disciples recalled the words of Scripture : Zeal for Your house devours me like fire.

The Jews then questioned Jesus, “Where are the miraculous signs which give You the right to do this?” And Jesus said, “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then replied, “The building of this Temple has already taken forty-six years, and will You raise it up in three days?”

Actually, Jesus was referring to the Temple of His Body. Only when He had risen from the dead did His disciples remember these words; then they believed both the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken.

Thursday, 9 November 2017 : Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Ezekiel 47 : 1-2, 8-9, 12

The Man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple and I saw water coming out from the threshold of the Temple and flowing eastward. The Temple faced the east and the water flowed from the south side of the Temple, from the south side of the Altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside, to the outer gate facing the east; and there I saw the stream coming from the south side.

He said to me, “This water goes to the east, down to the Arabah, and when it flows into the sea of foul-smelling water, the water will become wholesome. Wherever the river flows, swarms of creatures will live in it; fish will be plentiful; and the seawater will become fresh. Wherever it flows, life will abound.”

“Near the river on both banks, there will be all kinds of fruit trees, with foliage that will not wither; and fruit that will never fail; each month they will bear a fresh crop, because the water comes from the Temple. The fruit will be good to eat and the leaves will be used for healing.”

Alternative reading

1 Corinthians 3 : 9c-11, 16-17

But you are God’s field and building. I, as good architect, according to the capacity given to me, I laid the foundation, and another is to build upon it. Each one must be careful how to build upon it. No one can lay a foundation other than the One which is already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Do you not know that you are God’s Temple, and that God’s Spirit abides within you? If anyone destroys the Temple of God, God will destroy him. God’s Temple is holy, and you are this Temple.

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (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 and 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 profane 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.'”

Sunday, 27 September 2015 : Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 18 : 8, 10, 12-13, 14

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

They are a light to Your servant, in keeping them they win a great reward. But who can discern one’s own errors? Forgive the failings of which I am unaware.

Preserve me from wilful sin; do not let it get the better of Your servant. Then shall I walk blameless and innocent of serious sin.

Friday, 7 August 2015 : 18th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Sixtus II, Pope and Companions, Martyrs, and St. Cajetan, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs) or White (Priests)

Psalm 76 : 12-13, 14-15, 16 and 21

I remember the deeds of the Lord; I recall His marvels of old. I meditate on all Your work, and consider Your mighty deeds.

Your way, o God, is most holy. Is there any god greater than You, our God? You alone are the God who works wonders, who has made known His power to the nations.

With power You have redeemed Your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. You led Your people as a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 : 2nd Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 92 : 1ab, 1c-2, 5

The Lord reigns, robed in majesty. The Lord is girded with strength.

The world now is firm, it cannot be moved. Your throne stands from long ago, o Lord, from all eternity You are.

Your decrees can be trusted; holiness dwells in Your house day after day without end, o Lord.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015 : 6th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the story of Noah and how he and his family escaped the destruction of all the living together with the animals and creatures chosen to go with them on the ark they had created with the instruction from God. And in the Gospel today we heard about how Jesus chastised and rebuked His disciples for failing to see what He had done, which was essentially the manifestation of God’s love for mankind, by feeding those who were hungry with food and leaving them with satisfied stomachs.

Today’s readings talked about the mercy and love which God shows to all those who are faithful to Him and walk righteously along His path without diversion and corruption, those like Noah and his family, who feared God and loved Him, following His ways even though the rest of the world were following their own wicked and corrupted human ways and desires.

God regretted having created mankind, who was to be the greatest and most loved out of all His creations and yet, they failed when Satan tempted them and brought them to disobey the will of God. And as mankind carried on, tainted by sin, they continued to commit all sorts of wickedness that were born out of another sin which men had committed, that is the murder of Abel by his brother, Cain.

All the sins of mankind added up and indeed God’s patience has its limits. It is also a reminder for us all that God does not wait forever for us to continue to live in sin and ignore His love. Eventually all of us will die, brothers and sisters in Christ, at a time unknown to us. God alone knows the time and place where we are to die, and if we continue to sin before the Lord and refuse to change our ways until it is too late, then when the time comes, the share of the people who were destroyed by the Great Flood will be ours as well.

But God will show His mercy and love on those who listened to Him and who are righteous in their way of life, just as Noah and his family were. This is what God can promise us, and indeed if we are faithful, God will not disappoint us. His love will forever be with us and our descendants. He reminded us of these in the Gospel today as He spoke of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod, that is the corruption in these people which led mankind astray, the sins of pride and jealousy, of hatred and lust, and many others.

God will provide for all those who have put their trust in Him, and He will give them what they need, just as He gave the five thousand men and even more women and children, the food of bread until they are completely satisfied and even with spare to be collected. But more often that not, mankind trusts in their own devices and abilities, refusing to obey the Lord and walking down their own paths towards disobedience, rebellion and eventually destruction.

It is a lesson and reminder for us today, that we have to conform to the way of the Lord and discard all forms of our pride and haughtiness. There is still time for us, and while there is still time, it is crucial for us to find our way to the Lord as soon as possible before it is too late. And today we also celebrate the feast of the seven holy founders of the Servites, a religious order founded by the seven men who were once noblemen and merchants of the city of Florence.

The seven men left their family, wealth and possessions to retire in a religious and dedicated life to God in a mountainside. They left behind everything to give themselves in total commitment to the Lord, abandoning all forms of greed and human desire, and to bury all their pride and hubris, their prejudice and wickedness. And their example had become an example and inspiration for many others who followed in their footsteps.

It does not mean that we have to replicate what they had done and abandon everything we have in this life in order to dedicate ourselves completely to the Lord. Indeed, what they have done can be an option for us to follow on and what they have done set the example for many others to also lead a holy and devoted life free from sin. But what we all should do is truly to be true disciples of our Lord, and not believing just for the sake of believing or only pay lip service to Him, but with all of our heart and being let us love Him and follow His ways with all of our hearts.

May Almighty God be with us all and may He guide us in this life, so that we may free ourselves from the wickedness and sinfulness of this world, heeding His call and offer for mercy, that we may no longer be stubborn and hardened in heart, but become instead loving and caring towards one another. God bless us all. Amen.