Thursday, 3 January 2019 : Weekday of Christmas Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, Our Lord. On this day we focus our attention on the Name which is above all and every other names, as written in the Scriptures, the Name which was revealed by the Archangel Gabriel to Mary, His mother. This is the Name that every knee, in heaven, on earth and in hell, in all of the universe, must bend and give homage, when the Name is uttered and mentioned.

For the name of a person is a very important sign of his or her identity. It is a very major part of his or her identity, what makes up the persona of a person. It is something that makes us unique and stands out from others. And that is why, we also have the practice of naming ourselves and our children after the saints of God, as we want to emulate in our lives, the virtues and the good examples of the saints after whom we have been named, or whom we are naming our children for.

In the history of the people of God, the Name of God is something that is so holy and sacrosanct, that they could not and were not supposed to be able to decipher and to utter it, without committing blasphemy before God. The Holy Name of God, YHVH, is the symbol of His holiness and how He is almighty and great, perfect and holy beyond all comparison and comprehension. To utter His Name would be unthinkable for the people of Israel, and is actually a part of the Ten Commandments, that is, keep the Lord’s Name holy.

But God, in His so great love for us, has willingly decided to become One Who is tangible and approachable, has shown His love for us in the flesh and being, by adopting for Himself, and assuming for Himself, a human existence, that is united to His eternal divinity, in the person and Name of Jesus, the Saviour of the world, Our Lord and King. It is He, Who has been named as such, through Whom our salvation comes from.

That is why, brothers and sisters in Christ, we must not take our Lord’s Name lightly, or worse still, use them in profane and unbecoming way, as how many of us have grown accustomed to, in habits and expressions. There are those who use Our Lord’s Name in vain, when His Name was uttered without even the least bit of knowledge and understanding of the great significance and power behind this Name.

Indeed, God made Himself known to us, by incarnation in the flesh, in Jesus Christ, that we may know Him, and through Him, we are saved. It is by the power of His Name that we have been saved, for He has become our Saviour. But we must never again use His Name in vain, in how we just toss this Name around with contempt and lacking for respect for the One through Whom we have been saved.

Remember, brothers and sisters in Christ, that God had made Himself available to us, by revealing to us His Name, that all of us may know Him and love Him so deeply, that by sharing in His glory, His resurrection from the dead and triumph over evil and death, we may free ourselves from the power of the evil one. Upon the Name of Jesus, even the devil and all those who have reigned over us, must obey and admit their defeat.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, from now on, every time that the Holy Name of Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, is mentioned, let us reflect on this great love and saving grace we have received from Him, and commit ourselves to honour Him and to love Him all the more. Let us bow down and honour Him, every time His Name is uttered and mentioned, and glorify Him from now on. May God, in His Holy Name, bless us always and keep us from all evil. Amen.

Thursday, 3 January 2019 : Weekday of Christmas Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 1 : 29-34

At that time, the next day John saw Jesus coming towards him, and said, “There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world! It is He of Whom I said : A Man comes after me, Who is already ahead of me, for He was before me. I myself did not know Him, but I came baptising to prepare for Him, so that He might be revealed in Israel.”

And John also gave this testimony, “I saw the Spirit coming down on Him like a dove from heaven, and resting on Him. I myself did not know Him, but God, Who sent me to baptise, told me, “You will see the Spirit coming down, and resting, on the One Who baptises with the Holy Spirit.’ Yes, I have seen! And I declare that this is the Chosen One of God!”

Alternative reading (Mass of the Most Holy Name of Jesus)

Luke 2 : 21-24

On the eighth day, the circumcision of the Baby had to be performed; He was named Jesus, the Name the Angel had given Him before He was conceived. When the day came for the purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought the Baby up to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord, as it is written in the Law of the Lord : Every firstborn male shall be consecrated to God.

And they offered a sacrifice, as ordered in the Law of the Lord : a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.

Thursday, 3 January 2019 : Weekday of Christmas Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 97 : 1, 3cd-4, 5-6

Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wonders; His right hand, His holy arm, has won victory for Him.

The farthest ends of the earth all have seen God’s saving power. All you lands, make a joyful noise to the Lord, break into song and sing praise.

With melody of the lyre and with music of the harp. With trumpet blast and sound of the horn, rejoice before the King, the Lord!

Alternative reading (Mass of the Most Holy Name of Jesus)

Psalm 8 : 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

When I observe the heavens, the work of Your hands, the moon, and the stars You set in their place – what is man, that You be mindful of him; the Son of Man, that You should care for Him?

Yet You made Him a little less than a god; You crowned Him with glory and honour and gave Him the works of Your hands; You have put all things under His feet.

Sheep and oxen without number, and even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and all that swim the paths of the ocean.

Thursday, 3 January 2019 : Weekday of Christmas Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 2 : 29 – 1 John 3 : 6

You know that He is the Just One : know then that anyone living justly is born of God. See what singular love the Father has for us : we are called children of God, and we really are. This is why the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

Beloved, we are God’s children and what we shall be has not yet been shown. Yet when He appears in His glory, we know that we shall be like Him, for then we shall see Him as He is. All who have such a hope try to be pure as He is pure. Anyone who commits a sin acts as an enemy of the law of God; any sin acts wickedly, because all sin is wickedness.

You know that He came to take away our sins, and that there is no sin in Him. Whoever remains in Him has no sin, whoever sins has not seen or known Him.

Alternative reading (Mass of the Most Holy Name of Jesus)

Philippians 2 : 1-11

If I may advise you, in the Name of Christ, and if you can hear it, as the voice of love; if we share the same Spirit, and are capable of mercy and compassion, then I beg of you, make me very happy : have one love, one spirit, one feeling, do nothing through rivalry or vain conceit.

On the contrary, let each of you gently consider the others, as more important than yourselves. Do not seek your own interest, but, rather, that of others. Your attitude should be the same as Jesus Christ had :

Though He was in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking on the nature of a servant, made in human likeness, and in His appearance found as a Man.

He humbled Himself by being obedient to death, death on the cross. That is why God exalted Him and gave Him the Name which outshines all names, so that at the Name of Jesus all knees should bend in heaven, on earth and among the dead, and all tongues proclaim that Christ Jesus is the Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Friday, 30 November 2018 : Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Romans 10 : 9-18

You are saved, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and, in your heart, you believe that God raised Him from the dead. By believing from the heart, you obtain true righteousness; by confessing the faith with your lips, you are saved.

For Scripture says : No one who believes in Him will be ashamed. Here, there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; all have the same Lord, Who is very generous with whoever calls on Him. Truly, all who call upon the Name of the Lord will be saved.

But how can they call upon the Name of the Lord without having believed in Him? And how can they believe in Him, without having first heard about Him? And how will they hear about Him, if no one preaches about Him? And how will they preach about Him, if no one sends them?

As Scripture says : How beautiful are the feet of the messenger of Good News. Although, not everyone obeyed the Good News, as Isaiah said : Lord, who has believed in our preaching? So, faith comes from preaching, and preaching is rooted in the word of Christ.

I ask : Have the Jews not heard? But, of course, they have. Because the voice of those preaching resounded all over the earth, and their voice was heard, to the ends of the world.

Saturday, 17 November 2018 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

3 John 5-8

Beloved, you do well to care for the brothers and sisters as you do. I mean those coming from other places. They spoke of your charity before the assembled Church. It will be well to provide them with what they need to continue their journey, as if you did it for God.

In reality, they have set out on the road for His Name without accepting anything from the pagans. We should receive such persons, making ourselves their cooperators in the work of the truth.

Saturday, 25 August 2018 : 20th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Louis, and St. Joseph Calasanz, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints, Priests or Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Ezekiel 43 : 1-7a

The Man took me to the gate, facing east. Then I saw the glory of God of Israel approaching from the east, with a sound like the sound of the ocean; and the earth shone with His glory. The vision was like the one I had seen when He came for the destruction of the city, and like the one I had seen on the bank of the river Chebar. Then I threw myself to the ground.

The glory of YHVH arrived at the Temple by the east gate. The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court : the glory of YHVH was filling the House. And I heard someone speaking to me from the Temple while the Man stood beside me. The voice said, “Son of man, you have seen the place of My throne.”