Tuesday, 20 February 2018 : 1st Week of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Matthew 6 : 7-15

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “When you pray, do not use a lot of words, as the pagans do; for they believe that, the more they say, the more chance they have of being heard. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need, even before you ask Him.”

“This, then, is how you should pray : Our Father in heaven, holy be Your Name, Your kingdom, come, Your will, be done on earth, as in heaven. Give us today, our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we forgive those who are in debt to us.”

“Do not bring us to the test, but deliver us from the evil one. If you forgive others their wrongdoings, your Father in heaven will also forgive yours. If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive you.”

Monday, 19 February 2018 : 1st Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Leviticus 19 : 1-2, 11-18

YHVH spoke to Moses and said, “Speak to the entire assembly of the people of Israel and say to them : Be holy for I, YHVH, your God, am holy. Do not steal or lie or deceive one another. Do not swear falsely by My Name so as to profane the Name of your God; I am YHVH.”

“Do not oppress your neighbour or rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning. You shall not curse a deaf man nor put a stumbling block in the way of the blind; but you shall fear your God; I am YHVH.”

“Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor nor bow to the great; you are to judge your neighbour fairly so as not to share in his guilt. Do not go about as a slanderer of your people and do not seek the death of your neighbour; I am YHVH.”

“Do not hate your brother in your heart; rebuke your neighbour frankly so as not to share in his guilt. Do not seek revenge or nurture a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself; I am YHVH.”

Wednesday, 14 February 2018 : Ash Wednesday (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

2 Corinthians 5 : 20 – 2 Corinthians 6 : 2

So we present ourselves as ambassadors in the Name of Christ, as if God Himself makes an appeal to you through us. Let God reconcile you; this we ask you in the Name of Christ. He had no sin, but God made Him bear our sin, so that in Him we might share the holiness of God.

Being God’s helpers we beg you : let it not be in vain that you received this grace of God. Scripture says : At the favourable time I listened to you, on the day of salvation I helped you. This is the favourable time, this is the day of salvation.

Sunday, 28 January 2018 : Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Deuteronomy 18 : 15-20

Moses said to the people of Israel, “He will raise up for you a prophet like myself from among the people, from your brothers, to whom you shall listen. Remember that in Horeb, on the day of the Assembly, you said : ‘I am afraid to die and I do not want to hear the voice of YHVH again or see again the great fire.’”

“So YHVH said to me : ‘They have spoken well. I shall raise up a prophet from their midst, one of their brothers, who will be like you. I will put My words into his mouth and he will tell them all that I command. If someone does not listen to My words when the prophet speaks on My behalf, I Myself will call him to account for it. But any prophet who says in My Name anything that I did not command, or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’”

Thursday, 25 January 2018 : Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Mark 16 : 15-18

At that time, Jesus told His disciples, “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation. The one who believes and is baptised will be saved; the one who refuses to believe will be condemned.”

“Signs like these will accompany those who have believed : in My Name they will cast out demons and speak new languages; they will pick up snakes, and if they drink anything poisonous, they will be unharmed; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”

Wednesday, 3 January 2018 : 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, on this day we celebrate the feast of Our Lord’s Most Holy Name, Jesus Christ, the Name He was given before His conception in the womb of His mother Mary, revealed to her by the Archangel Gabriel. His was the Name above every other names, the one and only Name with the power to save all of us mankind.

There is no other name with this power, for His Name, Jesus Christ, is the Name of God, the Divine Word Incarnate revealed unto us. No man or Angel has this same power and authority, and for that reason, we have to keep in mind that we should not make use of the Lord’s Name in vain, or worse still, desecrate the sanctity of His Holy Name by misusing it or even misrepresent it before others.

In the past, according to the traditions of the Israelites, the Name of God was not to be uttered or mentioned, as His Name was so holy that it could not be uttered by mere men. But through Jesus Christ, not only that God has revealed His image and appearance to us in the flesh, but He also revealed to us the truth about His Name. That is the Name and the only Name on which all creatures of the Lord, upon hearing it, will bow down and kneel in homage.

Yes, indeed, even Satan, the great enemy of all of us the faithful, and the one who had wanted to seize God’s throne in his pride, had to submit to the Lord’s authority as the Master and Creator of all things. At the Name of Jesus Christ, Satan himself had to submit, and bend the knee to Him, paying homage in utter powerlessness and incapacitation, as much as surely he loathes doing so.

That is why, as we heard the words of the Scriptures, taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in the city of Philippi, the Lord has exalted His Son, Jesus Christ, because of His humble and perfect obedience, having willingly accepted death, death on the cross for the sake of all of us mankind, by offering Himself as the perfect sacrifice for our complete and total reconciliation with Him.

This act of ultimate and perfect love shows all of us just how great and loving Our God is. And it is for the same reason that we adore Him and worship Him, as Our Lord, Master, Creator and King. It is why the Church instructs us all to bow our heads at every mention of the Holy Name of Jesus in the celebration of the Holy Mass. This act reminds us that through that Name alone, we have been saved, and not by any other name.

Yet, it is truly sad to know that in reality, in our world today, many of us no longer respect and hold the Name of the Lord sacred as we should have done. We just utter His Name in vain, using it in all sorts of circumstances, many of which less than ideal. We even used His Name in vulgarities and coarse language. That is not how we should be using His Name. And indeed, we should be ashamed and embarrassed, if only we know that even Satan has to bend his knee at the mention of the Name of Our Lord and Saviour.

Not only that we do not bend our knee and humbly worship Him, but in fact we proudly refused to acknowledge Him as Our Lord and Saviour, and preferred to walk in our own path rather than to follow His commandments and ways. As a result, we have fallen further into sin, the same sin which brought down Satan, once a great and mighty Angel of the Lord, who because of his pride, rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven.

It is ironic that while even Satan has to acknowledge God as his Lord and Master, but many of us mankind refused to do so. Instead, we persisted in our pride and hubris, and in our wicked ways, while God Himself has been so kind and so loving, to the point that He willingly laid down His life for our sake. That is the ultimate proof of God’s love for us, and each and every one of us should acknowledge that, by honouring and glorifying the Holy Name of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

It may be difficult and a weird experience for us to go through in the beginning, but believe me that, if we begin to appreciate the experience of bowing at every mention of the Holy Name of Jesus in the Mass, slowly but surely, if we do it with full understanding and awareness of how Jesus Our Lord has influenced our lives and how He has loved us greatly, we will grow to love the Lord all the more, and eventually, we will walk more and more faithfully in His ways.

That is the power that God’s Holy Name can have on us, and we have to realise this, brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all pay our due respect to the Holy Name of Our Lord and Saviour, and spend time to reflect on how great is the love that God has given to each and every one of us. Let us all seek to love Him all the more, and devote ourselves to Him. Amen.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018 : 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.