Tuesday, 9 February 2016 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Kings 8 : 22-23, 27-30

Then Solomon stood before the altar of YHVH in the presence of all the assembly of Israel. He raised his hands towards heaven and said, “O YHVH, God of Israel, there is no god like You either in heaven or on earth! You keep Your covenant and show loving kindness to Your servants who walk before You wholeheartedly.”

“But will God really live among people on earth? If neither heavens nor the highest heavens can contain You, how much less can this House which I have built! Yet, listen to the prayer and supplication of Your servant, o YHVH my God; hearken to the cries and pleas which Your servant directs to You this day.”

“Watch over this House of which You have said, ‘My Name shall rest there.’ Hear the prayer of Your servant in this place. Listen to the supplication of Your servant and Your people Israel when they pray in this direction; listen from Your dwelling place in heaven and, on listening, forgive.”

Monday, 8 February 2016 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Jerome Emiliani, and St. Josephine Bakhita, Virgin (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Virgins)

1 Kings 8 : 1-7, 9-13

Then Solomon assembled before him in Jerusalem the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, as well as the leaders of the ancestral houses of the Israelites, to bring up the Ark of the Covenant of YHVH from the city of David, which is Zion.

All the Israelites assembled near king Solomon in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month. When all the elders of Israel arrived, the priests carried the Ark of YHVH and brought it up together with the Tent of Meeting and all the holy vessels that were in the Tent.

After the priests and Levites had brought them up, king Solomon with the entire congregation of Israel that had assembled before him and were with him before the Ark, sacrificed so many sheep and oxen that they could neither be counted nor numbered.

Then the priests laid the Ark of the Covenant of YHVH in its place in the inner sanctuary of the House – the Most Holy Place – underneath the wings of the Cherubim. The Cherubim had their wings spread out over the place of the Ark, providing a covering above the Ark and its poles.

There was nothing in the Ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses placed there at Horeb, where YHVH made a Covenant with the Israelites when they came out of the land of Egypt. And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, such a cloud filled YHVH’s House that the priests could not continue to minister. Indeed, the glory of YHVH filled His House.

Then Solomon said, “YHVH has said that He would dwell in thick darkness. So the House I have built You will be Your House, a place for You to dwell in forever.”

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 : Wednesday of Holy Week (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Matthew 26 : 14-25

Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “How much will you give me if I hand Him over to you?” They promised to give him thirty pieces of silver, and from then on, he kept looking for the best way to hand Jesus over to them.

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare the Passover meal for You?” Jesus answered, “Go into the city, to the house of a certain man, and tell him, “The Master says : My hour is near and I will celebrate the Passover with My disciples in your house.”

The disciples did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover meal. When it was evening, Jesus sat at table with the Twelve. While they were eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you : one of you will betray Me.” They were deeply distressed, and they asked Him, one after the other, “You do not mean me, do You, Lord?”

He answered, “The one who dips his bread with Me will betray Me. The Son of Man is going as the Scriptures say He will. But alas for that one who betrays the Son of Man : better for him not to have been born.”

Judas who was betraying Him, also asked, “You do not mean me, Master, do You?” Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

Sunday, 13 April 2014 : Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, Holy Week (Passion Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Matthew 26 : 14 – Matthew 27 : 66

Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “How much will you give me if I hand Him over to you?” They promised to give him thirty pieces of silver, and from then on, he kept looking for the best way to hand Jesus over to them.

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare the Passover meal for You?” Jesus answered, “Go into the city, to the house of a certain man, and tell him, “The Master says : My hour is near and I will celebrate the Passover with My disciples in your house.”

The disciples did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover meal. When it was evening, Jesus sat at table with the Twelve. While they were eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you : one of you will betray Me.” They were deeply distressed, and they asked Him, one after the other, “You do not mean me, do You, Lord?”

He answered, “The one who dips his bread with Me will betray Me. The Son of Man is going as the Scriptures say He will. But alas for that one who betrays the Son of Man : better for him not to have been born.”

Judas who was betraying Him, also asked, “You do not mean me, Master, do You?” Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said a blessing and broke it, and gave it to His disciples saying, “Take and eat : This is My Body.” Then He took a cup, and gave thanks, and passed it to them, saying, “Drink this, all of you, for This is My Blood, the Blood of the Covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

“Yes, I say to you : From now on I will not taste the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink new wine with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

After singing psalms of praise, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, “You will falter tonight because of Me, and all will fall. For the Scripture says : I will strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered. But after My resurrection, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”

Peter responded, “Even though all doubt You and fall, I will never fall.” Jesus replied, “Truly I say to you : this very night before the cock crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said, “Though I have to die with You, I will never deny You.” And all the disciples said the same.

Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with Him, and He began to be filled with anguish and distress. And He said to them, “My soul is full of sorrow, even to death. Remain here and stay awake with Me.”

He went a little farther and fell to the ground, with His face touching the earth, and prayed, “Father, if it is possible, take this cup away from Me. Yet not what I want, but what You want.” He went back to His disciples and found them asleep, and He said to Peter, “Could you not stay awake with Me for even an hour? Stay awake and pray, so that you may not slip into temptation. The spirit indeed is eager, but the body is weak.”

He again went away, and prayed, “Father, if this cup cannot be taken away from Me without My drinking it, let Your will be done.” When He came back to His disciples, He again found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open. He left them again, and went to pray the third time, saying the same words.

Then He came back to His disciples and said to them, “You can sleep on now and take your rest! The hour has come, and the Son of Man will be handed over to sinners. Get up, let us go. Look : the betrayer is here!”

Jesus was still speaking when Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, who had been sent by the chief priests and the Jewish authorities. The traitor had arranged a signal for them : “The One I kiss, He is the Man; arrest Him.”

Judas went directly to Jesus and said, “Good evening, Master”; and he gave Him a kiss. But Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then they laid hands on Jesus, and arrested Him. One of those who were with Jesus drew his sword, and struck at the servant of the High Priest, cutting off his ear.

So Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place, for he who uses the sword will perish by the sword. Do you not know that I could call on My Father, and He would at once send Me more than twelve legions of angels. If Scripture says that this has to be, should it not be fulfilled?”

At that moment, Jesus said to the crowd, “Why do you come to arrest Me with swords and clubs, as if I were a robber? Day after day I was seated among you teaching in the Temple, yet you did not arrest Me. But all this has come about in fulfillment of what the Prophets said.” Then all His disciples deserted Him and fled.

Those who had arrested Jesus brought Him to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas, where the teachers of the Law and the elders were assembled. Peter followed Jesus at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the High Priest; he entered and sat with the guards, waiting to see the end.

The chief priests and the whole Supreme Council needed some false evidence against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. But they were unable to find any, even though false witnesses came forward. At last, two men came up and declared, “This Man said, ‘I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.”

The High Priest then stood up and asked Jesus, “Have You no answer at all? What is this evidence against You? But Jesus kept silent. So the High Priest said to Him, “In the Name of the living God, I command You to tell us : Are You the Messiah, the Son of God?”

Jesus answered, “It is just as you say. I tell you more : from now on, you will see the Son of Man, seated at the right hand of God most powerful, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Then the High Priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has blasphemed. What more evidence do we need? You have just heard these blasphemous words. What is your decision?” They answered, “He must die!” Then they began to spit on Jesus and slap Him, while others hit Him with their fists, saying, “Messiah, prophesy! Who hit You?”

Meanwhile, as Peter sat outside in the courtyard, a young servant-girl of the house said to him, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.” But he denied it before everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.”

And as Peter was going out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and told the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” Peter denied it again with an oath, swearing, “I do not know that Man.”

After a little while, those who were standing there approached Peter and said to him, “Of course you are one of the Galileans : your accent gives you away.” Peter began justifying himself with curses and oaths, protesting that he did not know Jesus. Just then a cock crowed. And Peter remembered the words of Jesus, “Before the cock crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went away weeping bitterly.

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people met together to look for ways of putting Jesus to death. They had Him bound, and led Him away to be handed over to Pilate, the governor.

When Judas, the traitor, realised that Jesus had been condemned, he was filled with remorse, and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying an innocent Man to death.” They answered, “What does it matter to us? That is your concern.” So throwing down the money in the Temple, he went away and hanged himself.

The priests picked up the money and said, “This money cannot be put into the Temple treasury, for this is the price of Blood.” So they met together, and decided to buy the Potter’s Field with the money, and to make it a cemetary for foreigners. That is why, to this day, that place has been called Field of Blood.

So what the prophet Jeremiah said was fulfilled : “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price which the sons of Israel set on Him, and they gave them for the Potter’s Field, as the Lord commanded me.”

Jesus stood before the governor, who asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “You say so.” The chief priests and the elders of the people accused Him, but He made no answer. Pilate said to Him, “Do You hear all the charges they bring against You?” But He did not answer even a single question, so that the governor wondered greatly.

At Passover, it was customary for the governor to release any prisoner the people asked for. Now there was a well-known prisoner called Barabbas. When the people had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Whom do you want me to set free : Barabbas, or Jesus called the Messiah?” for he realised that Jesus had been handed over to him out of envy.

As Pilate was sitting in court, his wife sent him this message, “Have nothing to do with that holy Man. Because of Him, I had a dream last night that disturbed me greatly.” But the chief priests and the elders of the people stirred up the crowds, to ask for the release of Barabbas and the death of Jesus.

When the governor asked them again, “Which of the two do you want me to set free?” they answered, “Barabbas!”

Pilate said to them, “And what shall I do with Jesus called the Messiah?” All answered, “Crucify Him!”

Pilate insisted,  “What evil has He done?” But they shouted louder, “Crucify Him!”

Pilate realised that he was getting nowhere, and that there could be a riot. He then asked for water, and washed his hands before the people, saying, “I am not responsible for His Blood. It is your doing.” And all the people answered, “Let His Blood be upon us and upon our children.”

Then Pilate set Barabbas free, but had Jesus scourged, and handed Him over to be crucified. The Roman soldiers took Jesus into the palace of the governor and the whole troop gathered around Him. They stripped Him and dressed Him in a purple military cloak.

Then, twisting a crown of thorns, they forced it onto His head and placed a reed in His right hand. They knelt before Jesus and mocked Him, saying, “Long life to the King of the Jews!” They spat on Him, took the reed from His hand and struck Him on the head with it.

When they had finished mocking Him, they pulled off the purple cloak and dressed Him in His own clothes again, and led Him out to be crucified. On the way they met a man from Cyrene called Simon, and forced him to carry the cross of Jesus. When they reached the place called Golgotha, which means the Skull, they offered Him wine mixed with gall. Jesus tasted it but would not drink it.

There they crucified Him, and divided His clothes among themselves, casting lots to decide what each one should take. Then they sat down to guard Him. The statement of His offense was displayed above His head, and it read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” They also crucified two bandits with Him, one on His right hand and one on His left.

People passing by shook their heads and insulted Him, saying, “Aha! You who destroy the Temple and in three days rebuild it, save Yourself – if You are God’s Son – and come down from the cross!”

In the same way the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the Law mocked Him. They said, “The Man who saved others cannot save Himself. Let the King of Israel now come down from His cross and we will believe in Him. He trusted in God; let God rescue Him if God wants to, for He Himself said, “I am the Son of God.”

Even the robbers who were crucified with Him insulted Him. From midday, darkness fell over the whole land until mid-afternoon. At about three o’clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabbacthani?” which means : ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’

As soon as they heard this, some of the bystanders said, “He is calling for Elijah.” And one of them ran, took a sponge and soaked it in vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave Him to drink. Others said, “Leave Him alone, let us see whether Elijah comes to His rescue.”

Then Jesus cried out again in a loud voice and gave up His Spirit.

Just then the curtain of the Temple sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after the resurrection of Jesus, entered the Holy City, and appeared to many.

The captain and the soldiers who guarded Jesus were greatly terrified, when they saw the earthquake and all that had happened, and said, “Truly, this was God’s Son.”

There were also some women there, who watched from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had seen to His needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

It was now evening, and there came a wealthy man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the Body of Jesus, and the governor ordered that the Body be given to him. So Joseph took the Body of Jesus, wrapped it in a clean linen sheet, and laid it in his own new tomb, which had been cut out of the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and left. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there in front of the tomb.

On the following day, the day after the Preparation for the Sabbath observance, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate and said to him, “Sir, we remember that when that Impostor was still alive, He said, ‘I will rise after three days.’ Therefore, have His tomb secured until the third day, lest His disciples come and steal the Body, and say to the people : He is risen from the dead. This would be a worse lie than the first.”

Pilate answered them, “You have soldiers, go and take all the necessary precautions.” So they went to the tomb and secured it, sealing the stone, and placed it under guard.

Alternative Reading (shorter version)

 

Matthew 27 : 11-54

Jesus stood before the governor, who asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “You say so.” The chief priests and the elders of the people accused Him, but He made no answer. Pilate said to Him, “Do You hear all the charges they bring against You?” But He did not answer even a single question, so that the governor wondered greatly.

At Passover, it was customary for the governor to release any prisoner the people asked for. Now there was a well-known prisoner called Barabbas. When the people had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Whom do you want me to set free : Barabbas, or Jesus called the Messiah?” for he realised that Jesus had been handed over to him out of envy.

As Pilate was sitting in court, his wife sent him this message, “Have nothing to do with that holy Man. Because of Him, I had a dream last night that disturbed me greatly.” But the chief priests and the elders of the people stirred up the crowds, to ask for the release of Barabbas and the death of Jesus.

When the governor asked them again, “Which of the two do you want me to set free?” they answered, “Barabbas!”

Pilate said to them, “And what shall I do with Jesus called the Messiah?” All answered, “Crucify Him!”

Pilate insisted,  “What evil has He done?” But they shouted louder, “Crucify Him!”

Pilate realised that he was getting nowhere, and that there could be a riot. He then asked for water, and washed his hands before the people, saying, “I am not responsible for His Blood. It is your doing.” And all the people answered, “Let His Blood be upon us and upon our children.”

Then Pilate set Barabbas free, but had Jesus scourged, and handed Him over to be crucified. The Roman soldiers took Jesus into the palace of the governor and the whole troop gathered around Him. They stripped Him and dressed Him in a purple military cloak.

Then, twisting a crown of thorns, they forced it onto His head and placed a reed in His right hand. They knelt before Jesus and mocked Him, saying, “Long life to the King of the Jews!” They spat on Him, took the reed from His hand and struck Him on the head with it.

When they had finished mocking Him, they pulled off the purple cloak and dressed Him in His own clothes again, and led Him out to be crucified. On the way they met a man from Cyrene called Simon, and forced him to carry the cross of Jesus. When they reached the place called Golgotha, which means the Skull, they offered Him wine mixed with gall. Jesus tasted it but would not drink it.

There they crucified Him, and divided His clothes among themselves, casting lots to decide what each one should take. Then they sat down to guard Him. The statement of His offense was displayed above His head, and it read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” They also crucified two bandits with Him, one on His right hand and one on His left.

People passing by shook their heads and insulted Him, saying, “Aha! You who destroy the Temple and in three days rebuild it, save Yourself – if You are God’s Son – and come down from the cross!”

In the same way the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the Law mocked Him. They said, “The Man who saved others cannot save Himself. Let the King of Israel now come down from His cross and we will believe in Him. He trusted in God; let God rescue Him if God wants to, for He Himself said, “I am the Son of God.”

Even the robbers who were crucified with Him insulted Him. From midday, darkness fell over the whole land until mid-afternoon. At about three o’clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabbacthani?” which means : ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’

As soon as they heard this, some of the bystanders said, “He is calling for Elijah.” And one of them ran, took a sponge and soaked it in vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave Him to drink. Others said, “Leave Him alone, let us see whether Elijah comes to His rescue.”

Then Jesus cried out again in a loud voice and gave up His Spirit.

Just then the curtain of the Temple sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after the resurrection of Jesus, entered the Holy City, and appeared to many.

The captain and the soldiers who guarded Jesus were greatly terrified, when they saw the earthquake and all that had happened, and said, “Truly, this was God’s Son.”

Sunday, 23 February 2014 : 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Leviticus 19 : 1-2, 17-18

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 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.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

2 Samuel 6 : 12b-15, 17-19

So David went to bring up the Ark of God from the house of Obededom to the city of David, rejoicing. After those who carried the Ark of YHVH had walked six paces, they sacrificed an ox and a fattened calf.

David whirled round dancing with all his heart before YHVH, wearing a linen ephod, for he and all the Israelites brought up the Ark of YHVH, shouting joyfully and sounding the horn.

They brought in the Ark of YHVH and laid it in its place in the tent which David had pitched for it. Then David offered burnt and peace offerings before YHVH. Once the offerings had been made, David blessed the people in the Name of YHVH of hosts, and distributed to each of them, to each man and woman of the entire assembly of Israel, a loaf of bread, a portion of meat and a raisin cake.

With this, all the people left for their homes.

Thursday, 16 January 2014 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

It was said indeed, that the people of Israel were fortunate, for among the many nations of this world, they had been chosen to be the people of God, after the Lord chose Abraham their forefather, for his upright life and righteousness. To his descendants therefore God promised many things that He fulfilled, giving them great numbers that spread throughout the world, and to Israel, the descendants of Jacob the grandson of Abraham, He chose to be a chosen people.

God chose His people among the many nations, and deliver them out of their suffering and slavery in Egypt with strong power and miraculous glory. He smote those who tried to destroy His people, by sending a deliverer to them in the person of Moses, who with his brother Aaron performed great miracles, that were plagues to smite the Egyptians, as well as to provide for the people of God with sustenance while they were in the desert.

God Himself set His commandments and laws before His people, through Moses, in the form of the Ten Commandments, written by God on two pieces of stone, which were then placed in a great container called the Ark of the Covenant. It was holy because the two stones inside bearing the words of the Commandments had been forged by God Himself. The Ark was to represent the divine presence in this world, God who walked among His people.

To the Promised Land He led them, into the land of overflowing milk and honey, where they were to enjoy endless happiness and joy, much like the glory allotted for our first ancestors Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, before they fell into sin. And yet, the people of God too did not remain faithful, but was even worse, by falling for the false gods and idols, first by worshipping the golden calf which they made, blaspheming that it was the golden calf that brought them out of Egypt.

And even though they were disciplined many, many times by the Lord, through plagues and attacks by their enemies, the people of God remained in their stubbornness. They rebelled against the Lord again and again, even complaining that they had much better life back in slavery in Egypt, and made complaints after complaints of their difficult journey that God made them wonder around the desert for forty years, until all the generation of rebels save for some who remained faithful would perish and not receive the reward of the Land of Promise.

However, as angry and wrathful as God was for the sins and the disobedience of His people, He still loved them beyond His wrath and anger. Yes, just as He still loves all of us despite His hatred for sins and our sinfulness. He did not abandon them or ignore them, when the enemies of His people came hard on them and made them suffer. He sent them judge after judge to lead His people and deliver them from their enemies.

Nevertheless, just as before, the people went back again to their rebellious and sinful ways right after they had been saved. They were like children given gifts by their parents without even showing gratitude. They spurned God’s love and persisted in their opposition against God’s will. They often did not listen to the words of the Lord or His judges, and did things evil and wicked in the eyes of God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, that was why God showed that He would abandon them and let them be destroyed if they continued in their rebellious way. The sons of the judge and priest Eli had led the people in their disobedience and wicked acts against God. The people of Israel was defeated in their battle against the Philistines, and the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the enemy.

This did not mean that God purposely wanted to destroy His people, but in His love for His children and His people, He wanted to remind them, a kind of shock therapy, reminding them how it would be like to have the Lord absent from their midst, marked with the loss of the Ark of the Covenant. God also punished the Philistines and they were terrified by the Ark among them, and therefore they were obliged to return the Ark to the people of Israel.

And in today’s Gospel we heard about Jesus our Lord went about healing the sick, those who fell ill with the abominable leprosy. He made the man clean and pure again from his leprosy. Jesus is the new Ark of the Covenant, one that is eternal and absolute. If the first Ark of the Covenant was the earthly Ark and which was lost when the First Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 BC.

Jesus is the new Ark as He made the new covenant between God and mankind, sealed by the sacrifice of Himself, with the outpouring of His Body and Blood on the cross, the perfect sacrifice and offering which He offered for the purification and our redemption of our sins, making us whole once again in God. And from the lessons learnt from the First Ark, we can understand more about the Eternal Ark that is Jesus, as well.

If we remain faithful to the Lord and keep Him always close to our hearts, then He will also bless us with His grace, and He will make our fortunes to grow plentiful. But, as with the First Ark, if we remain persistent and adamant in our rebellion against Him and refuse to acknowledge Him as our Lord and refuse His love, then He will leave us to our fate, that is destruction and eternal suffering, to suffer forever with Satan and his fellow fallen angels who were destined to suffer in the lake of fire.

Therefore, brethren, let us continue our efforts to remain faithful in the Lord, that we will continue to persevere to walk in His ways despite the temptations and challenges from the world. Through Jesus, God had made Himself available to all, and He dwells among us, for God is with us, and we will never be separated again from Him, if we ourselves keep our faith in Him alive and well.

May our Lord Jesus Christ, God who dwells among us, keep us in His love and embrace, that we will always belong to Him, and never have to fear again the consequences of our evils, that is death. May the Lord bless us and be with us all, forever and ever. Amen.