Sunday, 12 April 2020 : Easter Vigil Mass, Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection (Fifth Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 55 : 1-11

Come here, all you who are thirsty, come to the water! All who have no money, come! Yes, without money and at no cost, buy and drink wine and milk. Why spend money on what is not food and labour for what does not satisfy? Listen to me, and you will eat well; you will enjoy the richest of fare.

Incline your ear and come to Me; listen, that your soul may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, I will fulfil in you My promises to David. See, I have given him for a witness to the nations, a leader and commander of the people. Likewise you will summon a nation unknown to you, and nations that do not know you will come hurrying to you for the sake of YHVH your God, the Holy One of Israel, for He has promoted you.

Seek YHVH while He may be found; call to Him while He is near. Let the wicked abandon his way, let him forsake his thoughts, let him turn to YHVH for He will have mercy, for our God is generous in forgiving. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, My ways are not your ways, says YHVH.

For as the heavens are above the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return till they have watered the earth, making it yield seed for the sower and food for others to eat, so is My Word that goes forth out of My mouth : It will not return to Me idle, but It shall accomplish My will, the purpose for which It has been sent.

Sunday, 12 April 2020 : Easter Vigil Mass, Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection (Fourth Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 54 : 5-14

For your Maker is to marry you : YHVH Sabaoth is His Name. Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel : He is called God of all the earth.

For YHVH has called you back as one forsaken and grieved in spirit. Who could abandon His first beloved? says your God. For a brief moment I have abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will gather My people. For a moment, in an outburst of anger, I hid My face from you, but with everlasting love I have had mercy on you, says YHVH, your Redeemer.

This is for Me like Noah’s waters, when I swore that they would no more flood the earth; so now I swear not to be angry with you and never again to rebuke you. The mountains may depart and the hills be moved, but never will My love depart from you nor My covenant of peace be removed, says YHVH Whose compassion is for you.

O afflicted city, lashed by storm and unconsoled, I will set your stones with turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will crown your wall with agate, make your gates crystal, and your ramparts of precious stones. All your children will be taught by YHVH, and they will prosper greatly. Justice will be your foundation; tyranny and the fear of oppression will never come near you.

Saturday, 20 April 2019 : Easter Vigil Mass, Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection (Fifth Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 55 : 1-11

Come here, all you who are thirsty, come to the water! All who have no money, come! Yes, without money and at no cost, buy and drink wine and milk. Why spend money on what is not food and labour for what does not satisfy? Listen to me, and you will eat well; you will enjoy the richest of fare.

Incline your ear and come to Me; listen, that your soul may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, I will fulfil in you My promises to David. See, I have given him for a witness to the nations, a leader and commander of the people. Likewise you will summon a nation unknown to you, and nations that do not know you will come hurrying to you for the sake of YHVH your God, the Holy One of Israel, for He has promoted you.

Seek YHVH while He may be found; call to Him while He is near. Let the wicked abandon his way, let him forsake his thoughts, let him turn to YHVH for He will have mercy, for our God is generous in forgiving. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, My ways are not your ways, says YHVH.

For as the heavens are above the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return till they have watered the earth, making it yield seed for the sower and food for others to eat, so is My Word that goes forth out of My mouth : It will not return to Me idle, but It shall accomplish My will, the purpose for which It has been sent.

Saturday, 20 April 2019 : Easter Vigil Mass, Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection (Fourth Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 54 : 5-14

For your Maker is to marry you : YHVH Sabaoth is His Name. Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel : He is called God of all the earth.

For YHVH has called you back as one forsaken and grieved in spirit. Who could abandon His first beloved? says your God. For a brief moment I have abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will gather My people. For a moment, in an outburst of anger, I hid My face from you, but with everlasting love I have had mercy on you, says YHVH, your Redeemer.

This is for Me like Noah’s waters, when I swore that they would no more flood the earth; so now I swear not to be angry with you and never again to rebuke you. The mountains may depart and the hills be moved, but never will My love depart from you nor My covenant of peace be removed, says YHVH Whose compassion is for you.

O afflicted city, lashed by storm and unconsoled, I will set your stones with turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will crown your wall with agate, make your gates crystal, and your ramparts of precious stones. All your children will be taught by YHVH, and they will prosper greatly. Justice will be your foundation; tyranny and the fear of oppression will never come near you.

Friday, 12 December 2014 : Second Week of Advent, Memorial of our Lady of Guadalupe (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (our Lady of Guadalupe)

Isaiah 48 : 17-19

Thus says YHVH, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel : I, YHVH, your God, teach you what is best for you; I lead you in the way that you must go. Had you paid attention to My commandments, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

“Your descendants would have been like the sand, and those born of your stock like its grains, their names never cut off nor blotted put from My presence.”

 

Alternative reading (Mass of our Lady of Guadalupe)
Isaiah 7 : 10-14 and Isaiah 8 : 10c

Once again YHVH addressed Ahaz, “Ask for a sign from YHVH your God, let it come either from the deepest depths or from the heights of heaven.”

But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask, I will not put YHVH to the test.” Then Isaiah said, “Now listen, descendants of David. Have you not been satisfied trying the patience of people, that you also try the patience of my God?”

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign : The Virgin is with Child and bears a Son and calls His Name Immanuel, for God-is-with-us.”

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/11/friday-12-december-2014-second-week-of-advent-memorial-of-our-lady-of-guadalupe-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Thursday, 8 May 2014 : 3rd Week of Easter (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we proceed on this Easter celebration, we have to always keep in mind the truth about Christ that we preach and which we have learnt through the teachings of the Church, in the living God, Jesus Christ, who had risen from the dead after He suffered and died for our sake on the cross, and that this God loves us so much by giving us this Saviour, through whom we may gain new life and complete freedom from the dominion of death.

Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ gave us the new life that is free from the fear of death and the damnation of the soul. This new life is a gift that He granted freely to all the faithful and to all those who keep the faith in God. And by the giving of Himself, freely and without coercion, to us through the sacrifice on the cross, and which He gave us also in the Holy Eucharist, He gave us life eternal.

The living bread which came down from heaven, the Lord Almighty and Eternal God, and yet One who willingly laid down His life for all of His beloved people. Through His gift of Himself, we gain life and one that is eternal. Yes, that is how important is the Eucharist to us, and we should never, ever take the Eucharist lightly, no matter what happens.

Sadly, many have failed to realise this, and they ended up getting further and further away from the salvation promised by God. They refused to listen to the Lord and His life-giving words, just as their ancestors had done long ago, much like the rejection of the elders and chief priests of the people of Israel against Jesus. They rejected this love and this perfect and total gift from the Lord for their own good, and instead took pleasures at the world and all that it had to offer.

That is why it is important for us not just to be complacent in our faith. We have to know the Lord’s commandments and His will for us, and not just knowing it, but also to understand it in its entirety. Otherwise, if we do not know His commandments, then we will be lost among the currents and the evils in this world, and we will perish.

At the same time, if we know the commandments of God but fail to understand them in its true meaning and purpose, then we will end up most likely like the Pharisees and the chief priests, knowing the Law and the details, and indeed too much on the details while failing to understand the purpose of the Law revealed through Moses, despite constant reminders by the prophets sent by the Lord, and at last, including Jesus Himself.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have to understand what God wants from all of us. God wants our love, first and foremost, that we dedicate ourselves completely to Him in love, and therefore gain His love and grace in return. That is what He gave us through Jesus His Son. God did not just come down into this world for nothing, and He came precisely for a specific purpose that is to bring mankind back to Him, which He accomplished through His death and resurrection.

Hence, brothers and sisters in Christ, we who believe in the Lord and in His will for us all mankind, it is now up to us all, to continue the good works began by the Apostles, to carry out the mission entrusted by God to them. We have been entrusted with this mission to enlighten the people who still live in darkness and return them into the light of God. Thus, it is imperative for us all to also be faithful and be dedicated in our lives to God, and hence we may bring mankind closer to God as Christ had done.

Brethren, let us proclaim the Lord and the life that He brings to us. Let us help one another to bring each other closer to God, and experience a genuine and complete transformation in our lives, that in all that we do, all of our words, actions and deeds will reflect who we are, the children of the Lord who is good and perfect in all things. God be with us all. Amen.

Monday, 5 May 2014 : 3rd Week of Easter (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Today brothers and sisters in Christ, we have to keep the truth, stand by that truth and stay faithful to that truth. And what is this truth? It is the truth proclaimed by Christ Himself when He taught the people and His disciples, about His mission, His nature, and the nature of God’s salvation. It is also the truth proclaimed by Stephen the first deacon of the Church in today’s first reading against those who refused to believe in the truth.

As we all should know, this world is not for Christ and His truth, and indeed the world which is filled with the evil one’s influences and darkness, opposed Christ at every turn and at every possible opportunities. This is why, there will be many hurdles and obstacles in the way of those who speak for the truth, and in the way of those who work and pledge themselves to the truth of Christ, which is what we are all, brothers and sisters in Christ are supposed to do.

What is this truth? This truth is plain and simple, which lay open and available in the entirety of the teachings of the Church. That God is one and indivisible, and loving in of His aspects. But He exists in three separate and yet equal divine persons, that is Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. The Father creates, the Son who is Word, blesses and carries out the work of the Father, and the Holy Spirit empowers and strengthens all. All three united in one, that is the essence of our faith in God who is the Trinity.

But that is not all, for God so loved the world and all of us His beloved creations who had fallen into sin and darkness, that He willingly laid aside His power and divinity in the person of the Son, who became incarnate into Man, to be one of us, through the Blessed Virgin Mary, and were born as Jesus the Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, fully divine and fully man.

Why? So that through the Son and His perfect obedience, He as the new Adam and the beginning of new life and new era, may cast away the veil and the darkness of mankind’s sins and rebellions, which began with the disobedience of the first Adam. That He became the perfect offering and sacrifice through whom the sins of mankind may be erased in its entirety and completeness, ridding them of the obstacle that barred them from returning to their loving Father.

Jesus spoke of Himself when He referred to the living bread of eternal life. That those who eat that bread will never die, not in a sense of literal death that we know of, that is the death of the physical body, which we all have to face at one point, at the very ends of our lives. What He referred to was the eternal death of the spirit, the total separation of our souls from the love of God, which is called hell, the state of hopelessness and eternal damnation.

This is what those who believe in Christ and His truth, will avoid in the end. They will not face this fate of eternal suffering. Although death may claim their bodies and their physical flesh, but it will not claim their souls, for their souls are pure and worthy of the Lord, and the Lord who loves us and gave Jesus for our sake will not let us to be claimed by death and sin. And in the end, even together with our bodies we will rise with Christ when He comes again at the end of time. Death has no power over any of us, as long as we believe sincerely and fully in God and His plan which He had revealed through Jesus.

It was the very same truth that Stephen the deacon had proclaimed to the people of God and to his prosecutors, the chief priests, the elders and the Pharisees and the Sadducees who themselves had been opposed to Christ since the very beginning. The same truth that they also refused to believe in, even after hearing them from Christ Himself, and then His Apostles and disciples, which includes Stephen.

Those people hardened their hearts against the Lord and participated actively in the resistance and hindrance of the good works of God in this world, deceiving many and preventing the salvation of many souls who remained lost to the darkness. And these are exactly who we should not become. We cannot refuse to accept the truth in God, and therefore, we must, without exception, receive the faith we received through the Church in its fullness.

And we have to be like Stephen too, who did not fear to state the truth, and preach the Good News, even against tough opposition and persistent rejection, for the sake of salvation of souls. Remember that the Lord loves all, even those who hated and rejected Him. He would not want them to be lost, unless if they continue to refuse to believe until it is far too late.

May God therefore guide us in our works, and encourage us with His strength, that we may carry out our duties, just as Stephen had done, in the footsteps of Christ, to preach His salvation to all the peoples of all nations with courage, for the sake of our salvation, all of us. May God guide us always as we walk in this path. Amen.