Saturday, 12 January 2019 : Saturday after the Epiphany (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 3 : 22-30

At that time, Jesus went into the territory of Judea with His disciples. He stayed there with them and baptised. John was also baptising in Aenon, near Salim, where water was plentiful; people came to him and were baptised. This happened before John was put in prison.

Now John’s disciples had been questioned by a Jew about spiritual cleansing, so they came to John and said, “Rabbi, the One Who was with you across the Jordan, and about Whom you spoke favourably, is now baptising, and all are going to Him.”

John answered, “No one can receive anything, except what has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before Him.’ Only the bridegroom has the bride; but the friend of the bridegroom stands by and listens, and rejoices to hear the bridegroom’s voice. My joy is now full. It is necessary that He increase, but that I decrease.”

Tuesday, 8 August 2017 : 18th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Dominic, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Numbers 12 : 1-13

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman he had married and they said, "Has YHVH only spoken through Moses? Has He not also spoken through us?" And YHVH heard.

Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than any man on the face of the earth. Yet suddenly YHVH said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, "Come out, all three of you, to the Tent of Meeting." The three of them came out.

YHVH came down in the pillar of cloud and, standing at the door of the Tent, called Aaron and Miriam. They both went out and He said, "Listen carefully to what I say, 'If there is a prophet among you, I reveal Myself to him in a vision and I speak to him in a dream. It is not so for My servant, Moses, My trusted steward in all My household.'"

"'To Him I speak face to face, openly, and not in riddles, and he sees the presence of YHVH. Why then did you not fear to speak against My servant, against Moses?'" YHVH became angry with them and He departed. The cloud moved away from above the Tent and Miriam was there white as snow with leprosy. Aaron turned towards Miriam and he saw that she was leprous.

And he said to Moses, "My lord, I beg you, do not charge us with this sin that we have foolishly committed. Let her not be like the stillborn whose flesh is half-eaten when it comes from its mother's womb."

Then Moses cried to YHVH, "Heal her, o God, I beg of You."

Monday, 9 January 2017 : Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Isaiah 42 : 1-4, 6-7

Here is My Servant Whom I uphold, My Chosen One in Whom I delight. I have put My Spirit upon Him, and He will bring justice to the nations. He does not shout or raise His voice, proclamations are not heard in the streets. A broken reed He will not crush, nor will He snuff out the light of the wavering wick. He will make justice appear in truth.

He will not waver or be broken until He has established justice on earth; the islands are waiting for His law. I, YHVH, have called You for the sake of justice; I will hold Your hand to make You firm; I will make You as a Covenant to the people, and as a Light to the nations, to open eyes that do not see, to free captives from prison, to bring out to light those who sit in darkness.

Alternative reading
Acts 10 : 34-38

Peter then spoke to Cornelius and his family, “Truly, I realise that God does not show partiality, but in all nations He listens to everyone who fears God and does good. And this is the message He has sent to the children of Israel, the Good News of peace He has proclaimed through Jesus Christ, Who is the Lord of all.”

“No doubt you have heard of the event that occurred throughout the whole country of the Jews, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism John preached. You know how God anointed Jesus the Nazarean with Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all who were under the devil’s power, because God was with Him.”

Thursday, 15 December 2016 : 3rd Week of Advent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Luke 7 : 24-30

At that time, when John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began speaking to the people about John. And He said, “What did you want to see, when you went to the desert? A reed blowing in the wind? What was there to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? But people who wear fine clothes and enjoy delicate food are found in palaces.

What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. For John is the one foretold in Scripture in these words : I am sending My messenger ahead of You to prepare Your way. No one may be found greater than John among those born of women, but, I tell you, the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

All the people listening to Him, even the tax collectors, had acknowledged the will of God in receiving the baptism of John, whereas the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, in not letting themselves be baptised by him, ignored the will of God.

Sunday, 26 June 2016 : 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Kings 19 : 16b, 19-21

YHVH said to Elijah, “And Elisha, son of Shaphat, from Abel Meholah, you shall anoint as prophet in your place.”

So Elijah left. He found Elisha, son of Shaphat, who was plowing a field of twelve acres and was at the end of the twelfth acre. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak over him. Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah and said, “Let me say goodbye to my father and mother; then I will follow you.”

Elijah said to him, “Return if you want, do not worry about what I did.” However, Elisha turned back, took the yoke of oxen and slew them. He roasted their meat on the pieces of the yoke and gave it to his people who ate of it. After this, he followed Elijah and began ministering to him.

Monday, 21 March 2016 : Monday of the Holy Week (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Isaiah 42 : 1-7

Here is My Servant Whom I uphold, My Chosen One in Whom I delight. I have put My Spirit upon Him, and He will bring justice to the nations. He does not shout or raise His voice, proclamations are not heard in the streets. A broken reed He will not crush, nor will He snuff out the light of the wavering wick. He will make justice appear in truth.

He will not waver or be broken until He has established justice on earth; the islands are waiting for His Law. Thus says God, YHVH, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spreads the earth and all that comes from it, Who gives life and breath to those who walk on it :

I, YHVH, have called You for the sake of justice; I will hold Your hand to make You firm; I will make You as a covenant to the people, and as a light to the nations, to open eyes that do not see, to free captives from prison, to bring out to light those who sit in darkness.

Monday, 18 May 2015 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of Pope St. John I, Pope and Martyr (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the gift of baptism and the Holy Spirit which was given to the people who had turned their hearts to the Lord and who had hearkened to the Lord’s calling. The Lord in the Gospel today also mentioned to His disciples how He would go away from their midst for a while during His Passion and death, and how the disciples would be scattered. And yet, at the same time, He also promised that He would overcome the world and all the plots and evils designed against Him.

And it is through the Holy Spirit that our Lord worked His wonders. He sent the Holy Spirit to all of us who believe in Him, so that with the Spirit dwelling in us, we may be encouraged and strengthened in our conviction and in our faith, that no matter the difficulties and challenges, we would find strength and conviction to persevere through the challenges and oppositions that we would likely encounter as part of our journey of faith.

As we embark on this last week of Easter, we are preparing for the great solemnity of the Pentecost Sunday, when the Lord finally sent His promised Advocate and Helper, the Holy Spirit to His disciples in the form of tongues of flames. Therefore, since today, we should have started our preparations to celebrate this great feast and this significant event in the history of our Church and our salvation in God.

The Lord Jesus was telling us to be careful and to be ever vigilant, that if we adhere to His ways and follow His commandments and teachings, it is often that we will come into clash with the ways accepted and common to this world. And as a result therefore, there will be a few or even many times when we may be ostracised, rejected, looked down upon and persecuted for our faith and for our faithful actions and ways.

Remember that Jesus had also said that if the world hates us all, then we must keep in mind that it had hated Jesus first. Therefore, indeed, it is often that we have to make a conscious choice and decision, on whether to follow and obey the Lord but at the expense of rejection and persecution by the world and its forces, even by our own friends and relatives, or should we succumb to those pressures and embrace the acceptable ways of this world but at the expense of our faith?

Obviously, we should do the former and not the latter one. Jesus said, ‘Do not build for yourself a treasury that will not last, a treasury that thieves could steal and which moths and the elements could destroy. Rather, we all should build a treasury that lasts forevermore. This means that, rather than seeking for the acceptance of the world and risk losing our souls, which will bring us only temporary respite, human acceptance and praise that do not last, we should rather be concerned about the salvation of our souls.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we gather together today in devotion to God, let us all be mindful of our actions and what we are doing in our respective lives. All of us have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit and the Lord Himself dwells within us, therefore, we all have to make sure that we are worthy bearers of our Lord’s presence, as the Temples of His holy presence and His dwelling in this world.

If we do not do as what He had commanded us, then it will indeed be scandalous and besmirching to the Holy Name of our Lord. If we truly belong to Him and if we want to be counted among His faithful, then we ought to act like one and do as He had taught us to do. And by doing so, then we will also be able to spread the Good News further as the Apostles had once done. This is the commandment that the Lord had given us, and we ought to take it seriously.

No one will take us seriously or believe in what we preach if we ourselves do not practice and do what we preach about. It is only when we show what we preach both through words and actions then we will be able to convince others to follow us and walk in the same path that we had walked. This is the essence of being a Christian. Our faith is not just about ourselves and about our own salvation, but it must include care and genuine concern for each other.

Brethren, let us remember that we are called to love not just the Lord only, as although that is the most important thing of all, but we must also show the same kind of love to our fellow brethren, to our brothers and sisters. May Almighty God bless us all and awaken in us the strength and courage to carry out the Good News of the Lord to all peoples through words and actions. May God be with us all. Amen.