Saturday, 5 November 2016 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)
Luke 16 : 9-15

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “And so I tell you : use filthy money to make friends for yourselves, so that, when it fails, these people may welcome you into the eternal homes. Whoever can be trusted in little things can also be trusted in great ones; whoever is dishonest in slight matters will also be dishonest in greater ones.”

“So if you have been dishonest in handling filthy money, who would entrust you with true wealth? And if you have been dishonest with things that are not really yours, who will give you that wealth which is truly your own? No servant can serve two masters. Either he does not like the one and is fond of the other, or he regards one highly and the other with contempt. You cannot give yourself both to God and to Money.”

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and sneered at Jesus. He said to them, “You do your best to be considered righteous by people. But God knows the heart, and what is highly esteemed by human beings is loathed by God.”

Friday, 4 November 2016 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White (Bishops)
Luke 16 : 1-8

At that time, Jesus told His disciples, “There was a rich man, whose steward was reported to him for fraudulent service. He summoned the steward and asked him, “What is this I hear about you? I want you to render an account of your service, for it is about to be terminated.'”

“The steward thought to himself, ‘What am I to do now? My master will surely dismiss me. I am not strong enough to do hard work, and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I will do : I must make sure that when I am dismissed, there will be people who will welcome me into their homes.'”

“So he called his master’s debtors, one by one. He asked the first debtor, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ The reply was, ‘A hundred jars of oil.’ The steward said, ‘Here is your bill. Sit down quickly and write fifty.’ To the second debtor he put the same question. ‘How much do you owe?’ The answer was, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ Then the steward said, ‘Take your bill and write eighty.'”

“The master commended the dishonest steward for his astuteness : for the people of this world are more astute, in dealing with their own kind, than are the people of light.”

Sunday, 13 December 2015 : Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, Memorial of St. Lucy, Virgin and Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or Rose (Gaudete Sunday)

Luke 3 : 10-18

At that time, the people asked John the Baptist, “What are we to do?” And John answered, “If you have two coats, give one to the person who has none; and if you have food, do the same.”

Even tax collectors came to be baptised, and asked him, “Master, what must we do?” John said to them, “Collect no more than your fixed rate.”

People serving as soldiers asked John, “What about us? What are we to do?” And he answered, “Do not take anything by force, or threaten the people by denouncing them falsely. Be content with your pay.”

The people were wondering about John’s identity, “Could he be the Messiah?” Then John answered them, “I baptise you with water; but the One Who is coming will do much more : He will baptise you with Holy Spirit and fire. As for me, I am not worthy to untie His sandal. He comes with a winnowing fan to clear His threshing floor and gather the grain into his barn. But the chaff He will burn with fire that never goes out.”

With these words and many other words John announced the Good News to the people.

Sunday, 8 November 2015 : Thirty-Second (32nd) Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 12 : 38-44

At that time, as Jesus was teaching, He also said to the people, “Beware of those teachers of the Law, who enjoy walking around in long robes and being greeted in the marketplace, and who like to occupy reserved seats in the synagogues, and the first places at feasts. They even devour the widow’s and the orphan’s goods while making a show of long prayers. How severe a sentence they will receive!”

Jesus sat down opposite the Temple treasury, and watched the people dropping money into the treasury box; and many rich people put in large offerings. But a poor widow also came and dropped in two small coins.

Then Jesus called His disciples and said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all those who gave offerings. For all of them gave from their plenty, but she gave from her poverty, and put in everything she had, her very living.”

Alternative reading (shorter version)

Mark 12 : 41-44

Jesus sat down opposite the Temple treasury, and watched the people dropping money into the treasury box; and many rich people put in large offerings. But a poor widow also came and dropped in two small coins.

Then Jesus called His disciples and said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all those who gave offerings. For all of them gave from their plenty, but she gave from her poverty, and put in everything she had, her very living.”

Saturday, 6 December 2014 : First Week of Advent, Memorial of St. Nicholas, Bishop (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Bishops)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the readings of the Holy Scriptures today have one clear theme, that is healing and reconciliation. The Lord our God came into the world as our Messiah, to release us from our bondage to sin, which is the disease and sickness of our soul, corrupting it and preventing us from sharing the joy in the Lord. Therefore, He came Himself, into the world out of His great love for us, to heal us from this affliction.

Indeed we have been sinful and wicked in our actions. Sin separates us from God, and it is the reason for mankind’s downfall from grace. Our ancestors, our forefathers and all of us, all mankind were created with love by God, not to suffer and die, but to live forever in complete harmony, joy and bliss with the Lord our God, to enjoy forever all of God’s wonderful creations. It was our pride, our greed and our sinfulness that caused us to disobey God, sin and therefore had to endure the punishment for our sins.

And yet, God did not intend to punish us forever for our sins. This is because, just as much as He hates our sins and all the wickedness which we have committed in our lives, He still loves us as much as He hates our sins. After all we are the most beloved of all His creations, created in His very own image. But this is where He wants us all to know His intentions, that is for us all to be healed from our afflictions, to be lost no more, and to return back to His loving embrace.

Yes, that means, while God loves us all, it does not mean that He condones our sinful ways, and He does not want us to remain in sin. Remember, what is at stake is none other than the salvation of our souls. If we do not make a difference and change our ways, then we are truly in great danger of losing our souls to eternal damnation and the suffering in eternal hell.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, that is why in the Gospel today, very importantly, we heard how Jesus commissioned His disciples and the Twelve Apostles to go out and be the witnesses and preachers of the Good News of the Lord. It was indeed just as what He had witnessed, that the people were like lost sheep, directionless, confused and confounded, like sheep without a shepherd. It is therefore our Lord’s priority to bring a new and clear direction to all the people, to guide them so that they will no longer be lost.

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas, also known by the name of St. Nicholas of Myra, who was a bishop in the approximately fourth century after the birth of Christ in Anatolia, what is now the Asian part of Turkey. St. Nicholas of Myra is also much more famously known as the source of inspiration for the ubiquitous Santa Claus, the elderly figure with red and white winter sweater, whom we know as the one who gives children numerous gifts at Christmas time.

Yet, what we think of Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, was truly a distortion, manipulated version of what St. Nicholas of Myra had once done. It was told that St. Nicholas of Myra loved children and often blessed them and gave them gifts. This seems to be where the legend of St. Nicholas of Myra evolved to what we now know as Santa Claus. Yet, unfortunately, what we have today is a false representation of the bishop and an attempt by the world to tempt us with materialism and human desires.

Christmas celebrations which we have now in our world, in the society around us is a celebration centred on human desires, on the culture of waste and excess. Christ is no longer at the centre of the celebrations but instead, what we have money and wealth at the centre of our joy. The perpetuation of the false image of St. Nicholas also helped to fuel our human desires, by promoting a culture of excess among us, and a culture of entitlement.

By feeding on our desires, the world is trying to fuel more and more demands for our greed and desire, and therefore helping to create a materialistic nature, where everything is done in order to satisfy our demands and our wishes, and a place where our greatest concern is how to satisfy ourselves. This is part of the sin which have separated us from our Lord and condemn us to a life in eternal suffering unless we change our ways.

Remember, brethren, our ancestors sinned before God because they were not able to restrain themselves and their desires. They chose to satisfy their curiosity and desire rather than to obey the Lord and therefore they were cast down from heaven. Hence, it is important for us to use this opportunity provided for us in life, particularly in this special season of Advent, the season of preparation for the coming of Christ, to change our sinful ways, sin no more and embrace the fullness of God’s love and mercy.

Do you know, brothers and sisters, that St. Nicholas of Myra once punched a heretic directly in the face for spreading his heresies? Yes, brethren, just as much as he loved children and was gentle towards them, he showed no mercy to those who had tried to mislead the people of God and lead them towards darkness. As a bishop, he had a great responsibility for the souls of the faithful entrusted to him, and that was exactly he did in order to fulfill that great responsibility.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we proceed further into the season of Advent, let us all realise that we are sinners, and we have not deserved the goodness of God, and yet He came to save us all and heal us from the afflictions of our sins. And therefore, let us all be thankful and be grateful for all that our Lord had done for us. Let us accept His generous offer of healing and mercy, and most importantly, sin no more and live in His grace from now on always.

And let us also realise, that all of us have the responsibility, as the followers of Christ, just as Christ sent His Apostles and disciples to the nations to preach the Good News to them and to find all the lost sheep and those lost to the darkness, therefore, all of us can also play our part in the Lord’s plan of salvation for all mankind.

Hence, that is why we need to be role models of the faith, by first changing our ways and abandoning all the wickedness we had done. We have to practice and live out our faith sincerely and devoutly, so that all those who see us may believe in the Lord and be saved together with us. Let us ask the Lord for the gift of courage and strength, so that inspired by the faith and examples of St. Nicholas of Myra, emulating his love and charity for others, and also his steadfastness in faith, we too may be worthy to receive eternal glory in Him. God bless us all. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/04/saturday-6-december-2014-first-week-of-advent-memorial-of-st-nicholas-bishop-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/04/saturday-6-december-2014-first-week-of-advent-memorial-of-st-nicholas-bishop-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/04/saturday-6-december-2014-first-week-of-advent-memorial-of-st-nicholas-bishop-gospel-reading/

(Usus Antiquior) First Sunday of Advent (I Classis) – Sunday, 30 November 2014 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Romans

Romans 13 : 11-14

Fratres : Scientes, quia hora est jam nos de somno surgere. Nunc enim propior est nostra salus, quam cum credidimus. Nox praecessit, dies autem appropinquavit. Abjiciamus ergo opera tenebrarum, et induamur arma lucis.

Sicut in die honeste ambulemus : non in comessationibus et ebrietatibus, non in cubilibus et impudicitiis, non in contentione et aemulatione : sed induimini Dominum Jesum Christum.

 

English translation

Brethren, knowing the time, that it is now the hour for us to rise from our sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than what we believed. The night is past, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light.

Let us walk honestly as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy, but all of you put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/28/sunday-30-november-2014-first-sunday-of-advent-feast-of-st-andrew-apostle-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Tuesday, 18 November 2014 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Peter and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Dedication of the Basilicas)

Luke 19 : 1-10

At that time, when Jesus entered Jericho and passed through the city, a man named Zaccheus lived there. He was a tax collector and a wealthy man. He wanted to see what Jesus was like, but he was a short man and could not see Him because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree. From there he would be able to see Jesus, who was going to pass that way.

When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, come down quickly, for I must stay at your house today.” So Zaccheus climbed down and received Him joyfully.

All the people who saw it began to grumble, and said, “He has gone as a guest to the house of a sinner.” But Zaccheus spoke to Jesus, “Half of what I own, Lord, I will give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay him back four times as much.”

Looking at him Jesus said, “Salvation has come to this house today, for he is also a true son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”

 

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dedication of the Basilicas)

Matthew 14 : 22-33

At that time, Jesus immediately obliged His disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowd away. And having sent the people away, He went up the mountain by Himself to pray. At nightfall, He was there alone. Meanwhile, the boat was very far from land, dangerously rocked by the waves, for the wind was against it.

At daybreak, Jesus came to them walking on the sea. When they saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, thinking that it was a ghost. And they cried out in fear. But at once Jesus said to them, “Courage! Do not be afraid. It is Me!”

Peter answered, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You walking on the water.” Jesus said to him, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water to go to Jesus. But seeing the strong wind, he was afraid and began to sink; and he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Jesus immediately stretched out His hand and took hold of him, saying, “Man of little faith, why did you doubt?”

As they got into the boat, the wind dropped. Then those in the boat bowed down before Jesus, saying, “Truly, You are the Son of God!”

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/17/tuesday-18-november-2014-33rd-week-of-ordinary-time-memorial-of-the-dedication-of-the-basilica-of-st-peter-and-the-basilica-of-st-paul-outside-the-walls-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Saturday, 15 November 2014 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops or Saturday Mass of our Lady)

Psalm 111 : 1-2, 3-4, 5-6

Alleluia! Blessed is the one who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commands. His children will be powerful on earth; the upright’s offspring will be blessed.

Wealth and riches are for his family, there his integrity will remain. He is for the righteous a light in darkness, he is kind, merciful and upright.

It will be well with him who lends freely, who leads a life of justice and honesty. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered and loved forever.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/13/saturday-15-november-2014-32nd-week-of-ordinary-time-memorial-of-st-albert-the-great-bishop-and-doctor-of-the-church-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Saturday, 8 November 2014 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)

Psalm 111 : 1-2, 5-6, 8a and 9

Alleluia! Blessed is the one who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commands. His children will be powerful on earth; the upright’s offspring will be blessed.

It will be well with him who lends freely, who leads a life of justice and honesty. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered and loved forever.

His heart is confident, he gives generously to the poor, his merits will last forever and his head will be raised in honour.

 

Homily and Scripture Reflection : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/07/saturday-8-november-2014-31st-week-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s Scripture and Gospel readings highlighted to us the nature of God’s love for us, and how He will provide us with everything we need, and even when we encounter difficulties in this life, we shall not be disappointed by our loving and dedicated God, who takes care of us in everything we need. Yet, mankind are difficult to satisfy, and even despite the numerous goodness that we had received, we always like to demand for more and want for more.

That is in our nature, because men are greedy by nature, and we have been exposed to this ever since our first ancestors were tempted by Satan and failed, who offered them the ‘ultimate’ prize, supposedly beyond what goodness they had received up to that time. The first men, Adam and Eve, lived in perfect bliss, harmony and joy in the Garden of Eden, filled with all of God’s blessings, intended to live happily for eternity.

However, Satan in the form of the snake tempted them with the possibility for them to know the mind of the Lord, that is to gain knowledge of things good and evil, by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which was forbidden by the Lord. Indeed, they had their reservations, but their tempted hearts was too much for them and they eventually succumbed to their desire and greed, wishing to have more than what they need.

In the end, they gained what they wanted, but they lost essentially everything. They were cast out of Eden and have to endure the sufferings of the earth, and they have to toil and work to sustain themselves. They were subjected to suffering and death because of the sin of their disobedience. Yet, mankind were slow to learn from their mistakes, and for ages past, countless peoples were lost because of their uncontrolled desire and greed.

Even today, we are still gripped and enslaved by our desire, which often ends up as our undoing. Many wars and conflicts, violence and hatred, destruction and chaos came about in our world because of our inability to control our desire, and instead we become controlled and enslaved by those desires. Many tyrants and those who committed great evils in the world were due to their inability to limit their pride, their arrogance, vanity and greed. In the process, they caused great damage and sorrow for many people.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the readings of today remind us that as the followers of Christ, we should throw far, far away all of these human desires and negative traits and emotions, so that we can truly walk in the way of the Lord and follow His will. That is because, as long as we are under the thrall of our desire and emotions, we tend to serve our own will and purposes rather than listening to God, or to follow His will.

Jesus had called many from among the people to be His disciples, and twelve of these were chosen to be the Apostles, the chiefs of His disciples. But, as the followers of Christ, they did not have an easy life. The world that is opposed to Christ would also oppose the works of His disciples, and it is into this hostile world that Jesus had sent His disciples, to spread the Good News of salvation to many who still have yet to see the light of God.

They were also told to bring just what is sufficient for themselves, and not to bring extra items for them. That is because, God will provide, and indeed, God would walk among them and assist them on their efforts to bring the people of God back into the light. As long as the disciples and the Apostles remained faithful to the Lord, they have nothing to fear from the world, for God would take care of them, and no matter what suffering the world could inflict on them, none of them could destroy or damage the soul, which is something that only God can do.

The same therefore also applies to all the servants of God today, our priests, bishops and all those who have been called and who responded by their dedication to the works which God had entrusted them with. But this does not mean that they should do all the work, and we can rest easy. In fact, we too should help and play our role in our own ability, to bring the Good News of the Lord to those who are around us.

Let us all thus strengthen our faith, through prayer, charity and good works, so that gradually we can liberate ourselves from the slavery to our desires, so that we can truly follow the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who said to the angel, that she is the handmaid of the Lord, and thus all of the will of God would happen to her, and our Lord Jesus Himself, who had said in His agony in the garden, that not His will be done but the will of His Father, and through whose obedience, our salvation was made possible, and we have hope of a new life in God.

May Almighty God sharpen the edge of our humility and obedience, as well as our faith, and dull the edges of our pride, desire, greed and selfishness, so that in our lives we may become more and more like Christ, following God in all of our ways, and proclaim Him through our words, deeds and actions. God bless us all. Amen.