Sunday, 28 November 2021 : First Sunday of Advent (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

1 Thessalonians 3 : 12 – 1 Thessalonians 4 : 2

May the Lord increase, more and more, your love for each other and for all people, as He increases our love for you. May He strengthen you, internally, to be holy and blameless before God, Our Father, on the day that Jesus, Our Lord, will come with all His saints.

For the rest, brothers, we ask you, in the Name of Jesus, the Lord, and we urge you, to live in a way that pleases God, just as you have learnt from us. This you do, but try to do still more. You know the instructions we gave you on behalf of the Lord Jesus.

Sunday, 29 December 2019 : Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Colossians 3 : 12-21

Clothe yourselves, then, as is fitting for God’s chosen people, holy and beloved of Him. Put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience to bear with one another and forgive whenever there is any occasion to do so. As the Lord has forgiven you, forgive one another.

Above all, clothe yourselves with love which binds everything together in perfect harmony. May the peace of Christ overflow in your hearts; for this end you were called to be one body. And be thankful. Let the Word of God dwell in you in all its richness. Teach and admonish one another with words of wisdom. With thankful hearts sing to God psalms, hymns and spontaneous praise.

And whatever you do or say, do it in the Name of Jesus, the Lord, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as you should do in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not get angry with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, because that pleases the Lord. Parents, do not be too demanding of your children, lest they become discouraged.

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.

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.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018 : 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.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018 : 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.