(Singapore – Solemn Pontifical High Mass) Tuesday, 14 February 2017 : 120th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd (14 February 1897), Solemnity of the Dedication of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd after 2013-2016 Major Restoration (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Nehemiah 8 : 1-4a, 5-6, 8-10

In the seventh month, all the people gathered as one man in the square before the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which YHVH had given to Israel. Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men, women and all the children who could understand what was being read. It was the first day of the seventh month.

So he read it before the plaza in front of the Water Gate from dawn till noon, before the men, women and those children who could understand. All the people were eager to hear the book of the law. Ezra, the teacher of the law, stood on a wooden platform built for that occasion.

Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was in a higher place; and when he opened it, all the people stood. Ezra praised YHVH the great God; and all the people lifted up their hands and answered, “Amen! Amen!” And they bowed their heads to the ground.

They read from the book of the law of God, clarifying and interpreting the meaning, so that everyone might understand what they were hearing. Then Ezra, the teacher of the law, said to the people, “This day is dedicated to YHVH, your God, so do not be sad or weep.”

He said this because all wept when they heard the reading of the law. Then he said to them, “Go and eat rich foods, drink sweet wine and share with him who has nothing prepared. This day is dedicated to the Lord, so do not be sad. The joy of YHVH is our strength.”

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Psalm after First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 103 : 1-2, 5-6, 10, 12-14, 24 and 35

Bless the Lord, my soul! Clothed in majesty and splendour; O Lord, my God, how great You are! You are wrapped in light as with a garment; You stretch out the heavens like a tent.

You set the earth on its foundations, and never will it be shaken. You covered it with the ocean like a garment, and waters spread over the mountains.

You make springs gush forth in valleys winding among mountains and hills.

Birds build their nests close by and sing among the branches of trees. You water the mountains from Your abode and fill the earth with the fruit of Your work. You make grass grow for cattle and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth.

How varied o Lord, are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all – the earth full of Your creatures. May sinners vanish from the earth, and may the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, my soul!

 

Alternative Psalm

Psalm 32 : 4-7, 12-13, 20, 22

For upright is the Lord’s word and worthy of trust is His work. The Lord loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of His kindness.

The heavens were created by His word, the breath of His mouth formed their starry host. He gathered the waters of the sea into a heap, and stored the deep in cellars.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord – the people He has chosen for His inheritance. The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole race of mortals.

In hope we wait for the Lord, for He is our help and our shield.

O Lord, let Your love rest upon us, even as our hope rests in You.

Monday, 5 January 2015 : Monday after the Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the works of God made real and manifest in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God incarnate as Man by the Holy Spirit, and who by the same Holy Spirit did many wonderful works that only God can do. And through Jesus, God exercised His mighty power, teaching and healing the people from their afflictions, bringing the Good News long awaited into full and complete fulfillment.

Yesterday was the Feast of the Epiphany, the commemoration of the moment when the Lord revealed Himself to His people, by the means of the gifts of the three Wise men or the Magi, who presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. In that celebration we continue to reaffirm our faith in our Lord Jesus who is Lord and King, who is God and one true God incarnate into flesh, and the One who was to suffer the consequences of sin so that we may be saved.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we know who is the Christ, and what He has done. The Gospel today precisely spoke about the things that Jesus had done, reaffirming the call of St. John the Baptist, calling the people to repent and to change their ways, so that they would sin no more but enter into the grace of God, thus becoming worthy of the salvation which Christ brought into the world.

Why would the Lord to bother with all these? Why would He come to save the stubborn people who continue to refuse His love, even until today? We know of how many people who were lost along the way, who preferred the ways of the world and succumbing to their heart’s desires and greed. Many lived a debauched life filled with wickedness, with no regard for the Law and commandments of God.

Yet, if we know of the Lord, we should know how much He treasures each and every one of us without exception, even for the greatest of sinners. He does not want to let even a single one of us to be lost without His effort to try to bring us all back to Him. That is why He put so much effort into the attempt to reunite us with Himself, to the point that He Himself came into the world, so that we will not be lost.

As we continue to proceed through our daily celebrations of life, we have to grow stronger and better in our realisation of the love that the Lord has for us all, and the mercy which He wants to show to us. It is too often that we lack the necessary gratitude and acknowledgement of what God had done for us. Thus in this time and season, we have to grow more dedicated and devoted to Him.

How do we do so, brothers and sisters in Christ? That is by practicing our faith genuinely through our actions and deeds. We cannot be true disciples of the Lord unless if we ourselves have already practiced our faith with real actions and deeds. If what we are doing contradict what we believe in, then our faith in the Lord is meaningless, but if we do what our faith had told us to do, then our faith will benefit us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in this world, there is still great darkness and many people are still lost in it, wandering around seeking for their Lord and God, and many were blinded by their own emotions, ego, greed, desire, jealousy, hatred and many others. Thus it is now entrusted to all of us, for us to continue the works of Christ in this world, proclaiming His salvation for all the peoples, and by our examples and actions, may we all be able to inspire more and more people to embrace the way of the Lord and abandon their old ways of sin.

May Almighty God, our Lord Jesus Christ, help us on our journey in this life, that we will always be able to stay faithful to His ways and remain steadfast in our faith to Him. May all the peoples find their ways to the Lord and be saved as one people, that we may rejoice together at the end of time, blessing His great Name. Amen.

 

First Reading : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/04/monday-5-january-2015-monday-after-the-epiphany-first-reading/

 

Psalm : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/04/monday-5-january-2015-monday-after-the-epiphany-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/04/monday-5-january-2015-monday-after-the-epiphany-gospel-reading/

Friday, 6 June 2014 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Norbert, Bishop (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the calling and the commissioning of St. Peter the Apostle, when the Lord Jesus talked to him, heart-to-heart on the shore of the Lake of Galilee after His resurrection. He asked Peter three times whether he loved Him more than anything or anyone else, and Peter affirmed his love and faith in Jesus. And Jesus gave him His sheep to care for, as His vicar on earth, which is the position inherited by our Pope today as the successor of St. Peter the Apostle.

For those of us who do not realise the significance of such an action by Jesus in today’s readings, Jesus asked Peter three times for his answer whether he loved Him is exactly because, for the same number of times, Peter had betrayed His Lord by denying Him on that night when Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin, that is the Council of the elders and the chief priests to be condemned to death.

Peter surely knew that the Lord did such when He asked for his love three times, that the Lord knew of His denial, and how he had fallen as a disciple of His, but yet when Jesus asked him and affirmed his love for Himself, Peter had truly been forgiven by the most merciful Lord, and from then on, became the greatest servant of the Lord, leading the flock of Christ as His vicar on earth.

Today we focus on the Lord in His merciful and loving aspect, just as He is caring to all of us. But He also revealed today that to be His followers and servants is definitely not easy, and various challenges will await us if we decide to remain true to His path, as St. Peter himself had been told and what truly happened to him at the end of his life, as well as what had happened to St. Paul, who had to endure prison and incarcerations after incarcerations.

Jesus told Peter himself how he would die at the hands of the godless, and those who refused to listen to the truth of Christ. This was in fact the same fate that awaits all those who went on to preach the Good News, including the other Apostles and disciples of Christ, and St. Paul himself. They all met their deaths in various ways, but nevertheless, through their death, they brought glory to God, and through them more and more people came to know of the Lord and be saved.

All of these bring about the reality about our faith. For too long we have indeed been complacent in our faith, and we often take a laid-back attitude about it, pretending that we have easy and blissful life all the time in this world. On the other extreme is also that we are afraid to seek the Lord and ask for His forgiveness whenever we have committed sins in our respective lives. We therefore become isolated and do not receive the Lord’s forgiveness and instead we fall into even greater darkness, committing even greater evils.

We have to realise, brothers and sisters in Christ, as today’s Scripture readings had highlighted it to us, that we have to accept the realities it presented to us, that first, God is loving and merciful, for to those who have the will and desire to love God, He will grant them pardon and rich blessings. And secondly, that His way is different from the ways of the world, and this is why, suffering and persecution will be a part of the lives of those who keep their faith in God.

But God is always with us, and He will guide us, if we remain faithful, and that He assured the disciples and the Apostles, and rich indeed would be their reward for keeping the faith in heaven. And today, brethren, we also commemorate yet another faithful servant of God, that is St. Norbert, a bishop of Germany, who lived during the middle of the Medieval era Europe, and was also known as St. Norbert of Xanten, for he was born in that city.

St. Norbert led a very holy and religious life, and a life of simplicity and humility, especially after an incident which almost took his life, which he attributed to divine protection, and ever since, he deepened further his spirituality and dedication to the Lord. He established and strengthened religious orders and helped to spread the teachings of the faith to many people, and gained great following in the process.

He was a great reformer of the Church and the faith, adamant and strong in his principles in reforming the Church for the better, especially after he was appointed as the Archbishop of Magdeburg, an important position in the Church. And in conducting and pushing forward with his reforms, he made many enemies, many of whom sent assassins after him. Nevertheless those attempts failed, and St. Norbert continued to carry out his good deeds and works until his passing from this world.

We have to realise, brethren, that we have many graces awaiting us if we allow God to come to us, and do not close ourselves to the loving hands of the Lord, which He extends freely to us, offering us forgiveness and everlasting love. May St. Norbert intercede for us, that we may be brought ever closer to reconciliation with our God, and receive great blessings in our lives. Let us also face the challenges and opposition in life with joy and happiness, knowing that God is always with us, His beloved children. God bless us all. Amen.

Friday, 9 May 2014 : 3rd Week of Easter (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the conversion of St. Paul that we heard in the first reading today. As we continue with the celebration of Easter, we learn more and more what the disciples of Christ did after Jesus had ascended back to the Father in heaven, including that of Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, who was once Saul, the archenemy of the faithful and the Church and the great persecutor and scourge of the same faithful.

The conversion of Saul was the great turnaround moment, when the great enemy and persecutor of the faithful, turned into the great champion of the faith, and the one to bring the light of God to many nations, and the one whose letters and writings made up the bulk of our New Testament today. And this also highlight an important facet of our faith, that no one is beyond redemption and forgiveness. There is always a chance for repentance while we are still in this world.

Yes, brethren, God does not hold back against us, and He gives us many chances after chances, and opportunities after opportunities to seek Him and return to Him after we have wandered away in the wilderness of this world. He gave us many opportunities and second chances to allow us to discard our old life of sin and embrace the new life of goodness and grace He offers us through Jesus His Son.

The same, He did for Paul, when He appeared to Saul, his former persona, on the way to Damascus. That moment, Saul was still filled with anger, anguish and much negative emotions, and filled with the lies of the world, misguided in his passion for the faith, and misunderstood the true intentions of the Lord because of his strict adherence to the Pharisees’ view of the world and the faithful.

In his mistaken zeal and passion, he hunted down many of the faithful and the saints, who went into hiding in fear of Saul and his ‘crusades’ against the faithful. At that time, being a follower of the Lord and meeting Saul means almost certain suffering and even possibly death. Saul himself took part in the stoning and death of Stephen, the first martyr of the faith. As such, you all can see how great were the sins that Saul had.

But remember, brothers and sisters in Christ, for God, there is no such thing as eternal grudge or total and complete hatred for the faults that we have made. As I had mentioned, He wants for us to try again, and attempt again where we have failed in this life. He wants us, just as what He had done to Saul, to be able to make a conscious and real change from our sinfulness into grace and love.

And remember, brethren, that we are all sick, all sick of this illness and affliction called sin! And it is this sin that makes us sick and unable to join our Lord in the glory and happiness He had prepared for us. It is also causing us to be blinded against the love and light of God. The blindness of Saul after he met the Lord on the way to Damascus is the symbolic representation of this blindness. His healing and the return of his sight by Ananias is then a representation of the revelation of truth.

Yes, for when we receive the truth and resolve to accept it fully and completely, in fact, we are healed of the blindness of our souls, that we are changed from the state of inability to recognise the good works of the Lord into one that is completely in tune with God and His grace. Such is the thing that had happened to Saul, the sinner turned repentant, and from there brought much goodness and graces to the people of God and the world.

We must never condemn or exclude sinners, brothers and sisters in Christ, as the examples shown today, truly show the true intention of the Lord for us. He desires us to be saved and to receive life, and not to suffer death. How do we gain life then, from the Lord? None other through the gift of His own Precious Body and Blood as He had mentioned in today’s Gospel.

Hence, brethren, let us from now on give all respect, honour and proper worship to the Lord, particularly in the Eucharist, which He had given us Himself, His own essence to us so that we may be saved. He has given us His life, His entire devotion to us, and so many opportunities for us to reform ourselves and return to His embrace. We must not waste this, and indeed, we should help one another to embrace the Lord’s mercy.

Remember, if we can overcome our fears and sins, we will be great in God, just as Saul did. Saul became Paul, an important tool for salvation of mankind in the hands of God, even though he was a great sinner. Never give up brethren, but let the Lord to work His graces through us, that we may be the channel through whom God may work even greater works in our world, and save more souls from damnation. God be with us all, just as He had been with Paul and his works. Amen.

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

Liturgical Colour : Red

Brothers and sisters in Christ! Today we begin the celebration of the holiest week of all the weeks in our year. There is no greater occasion than this week in our calendar, and that is why we call it the Holy Week, or the Week of the Lord’s Passion. Why so? That is because during this week itself we celebrate the Lord’s greatest works in this world, that is manifested through His suffering, death and ultimately, His resurrection from the dead.

This week commemorates the time when the Lord finally came forth to bring His long planned salvation, the long-awaited rescue for mankind finally came, through Jesus and the events that He set in motion, to bring forth finally the salvation and eternal rewards God had promised His people since the day of Adam, when he became the first man to fall into sin.

This day is the day commemorating the beginning of that solemn week, when Jesus embark towards His goal, that is also known as the Passion of the Christ, which is why this day is also known as Passion Sunday, marking the beginning of the Passion of Jesus, which He went through out of His great and unfathomable love for us, so great that indeed, in His passion and love, He was willing to give up even His own life for us, and shed His Blood for our sake.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, that is why today some of us may ask, why do we commemorate both the glorification and the death and suffering of Jesus at the same time? Why do we commemorate the glory of Jesus when He entered Jerusalem with a great procession with palm fronds and leaves, only to have the Passion reading heard afterwards? Why so?

Yes, all these are related brothers and sisters in Christ, for Jesus as He headed towards Jerusalem, He perfectly knew that He would be glorified and welcomed just as the prophet Zechariah had prophesied that the promised King would come to Jerusalem riding on a donkey, and in that occasion, Jesus was glorified and acclaimed as the promised King and Saviour long foretold by the prophets. Yet, the very same people would in less than a week, betrayed Him for the powers of the world, and cried out for His death.

Jesus knew all of these, and yet He pressed on, and that is His love for us, the passion that He has for all of us, and this is why we call this momentous event, the Holy Passion of our Saviour. He marched on to His death without fear, knowing that by laying down His life, He became that perfect sacrifice, through which all mankind, that is all of us, are made righteous and worthy of new life in God.

Jesus is the promised Saviour, the Son of David, as the heir and descendant of that faithful king and servant of God, the fulfillment of God’s promise to mankind since the beginning of time. Jesus Christ is the One long awaited and One promised to Adam and Eve, the first mankind.

After Satan tricked both of them in the form of a snake, God promised them that even though Satan would follow through and haunt and dominate mankind for ages, a deliverer would come through the descendant of Eve, that is Jesus, and the woman through whom the Saviour was to be born of, would crush the snake under her heels, and this refers to Mary, the mother of Jesus our Lord and Saviour.

And God promised Abraham that He would make him great among mankind and among the nations, and He would make Abraham the father of many nations, and to David his descendant, God promised an everlasting rule of His descendant on the throne of His people Israel, and all these were fulfilled in Jesus, the Son of David, Son of Abraham, Son of Man, and the Son of God, Divine incarnate into flesh.

That is why the people hailed and welcomed Jesus as He entered the city of Jerusalem, the heart of the kingdom of Israel. He came as a King, the One and true King of God’s people, and the King over all the kings and the kingdoms of the world. But He did not come as a proud and boastful King, and instead, He came knowingly of His ultimate purpose, to be the ultimate servant King, to give up His own life for the life of His beloved people.

Today, as we begin this holy week when Jesus finally began His last week on earth as the Messiah born as a human, and as we cheer Him as the King of kings, as the Son of David, let us also remember what He came into this world for, that is to rescue us, and this He did out of His undying love for us. Remember how He loved each and every one of us that He was even willing to suffer the consequences of our sins in our place, and die for us.

Therefore, as we continue to proceed into this holy week, this holy time, let us use this perfect opportunity to think about our actions, on whether we have been good and faithful servants of our Lord, or whether we have been disobedient and rebellious in our ways, just as the people of God had been. Remember always, that Christ died for our sake, and He went through all that suffering and death just so that we will not have to suffer for eternity the suffering of hell.

God offered His love freely for us, and He laid down His passion freely for us, and it is our part, to accept or to reject this generous offer. Should we then reuse this? After what our Lord had gone through for us? Let us therefore think twice and more than twice from now on, every time we are seduced by the temptations of Satan to sin against the Lord. Let us think well of the consequences of our actions, for the Lord, and even more so, for ourselves.

Let us never be separated again from God, and as we embark on this journey through this sacred time, let us appreciate what Jesus our Lord and King had done for us. Never again take His love and kindness for granted. May this holy week be truly holy and beneficial for us, that we may draw ever closer to God who loves us. Amen.

Saturday, 12 April 2014 : 5th Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Ezekiel 37 : 21-28

You will then say to them : Thus says YHVH : I am about to withdraw the Israelites from where they were among the nations, I shall gather them from all around and bring them back to their land. I shall make them into one people on the mountains of Israel and one king is to be king of them all. They will no longer form two nations or be two separate kingdoms, nor will they defile themselves again with their idols, their detestable practices and their sins.

I shall free them from the guilt of their treachery; I shall cleanse them and they will be for Me a people and I shall be God for them. My servant David will reign over them, one shepherd for all. They will live according to My laws and follow and practice My decrees. They will settle in the land I gave to My servant Jacob where their ancestors lived. There they will live forever, their children and their children’s children. David My servant will be their prince forever.

I shall establish a covenant of peace with them, an everlasting covenant. I shall settle them and they will increase and I shall put My sanctuary in their midst forever. I shall make My home at their side; I shall be their God and they will be My people. Then the nations will know that I am YHVH who makes Israel holy, having My sanctuary among them forever.