Saturday, 1 September 2018 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (First Reading)

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

1 Corinthians 1 : 26-31

Brothers and sisters, look and see whom God has called. Few among you can be said to be cultured or wealthy, and few belong to noble families. Yet God has chosen what the world considers foolish, to shame the wise; He has chosen what the world considers weak to shame the strong.

God has chosen common and unimportant people, making use of what is nothing to nullify the things that are, so that no mortal may boast before God. But, by God’s grace you are in Christ Jesus, Who has become our wisdom from God, and Who makes us just and holy and free. Scripture says : Let the one who boasts boast of the Lord.

Friday, 31 August 2018 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 1 : 17-25

For Christ did not send me to baptise, but to proclaim His Gospel. And not with beautiful words! That would be like getting rid of the cross of Christ. The language of the cross remains nonsense for those who are lost. Yet for us who are saved, it is the power of God, as Scripture says : I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and make fail the foresight of the foresighted. Masters of human wisdom, educated people, philosophers, you have no reply! And the wisdom of this world? God let it fail.

At first, God spoke the language of wisdom, and the world did not know God through wisdom. Then God thought of saving the believers, through the foolishness that we preach. The Jews ask for miracles and the Greeks for a higher knowledge, while we proclaim a crucified Messiah. For the Jews, what a great scandal! And for the Greeks, what nonsense! But He is Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God, for those called by God among both Jews and Greeks.

In reality, the “foolishness” of God is wiser than humans, and the “weakness” of God is stronger than humans.

Sunday, 5 February 2017 : Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
1 Corinthians 2 : 1-5

When I came to reveal to you the mystery of God’s plan I did not count on eloquence or on a show of learning. I was determined not to know anything among you but Jesus, the Messiah, and a crucified Messiah. I myself came weak, fearful and trembling; my words and preaching were not brilliant or clever to win listeners.

It was, rather, a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might be a matter not of human wisdom, but of God’s power.

Saturday, 27 September 2014 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Ecclesiastes 11 : 9 – Ecclesiastes 12 : 8

Rejoice, young man, in your youth and direct well your heart when you are young; follow your desires and achieve your ambitions but recall that God will take account of all you do.

Drive sorrow from your heart and pain from your flesh, for youth and dark hair will not last. Be mindful of your Creator when you are young, before the time of sorrow comes when you have to say, “This gives me no pleasure,” and before the sun, moon and stars withdraw their light, before the clouds gather again after the rain.

On the day when the guardians of the house tremble, when sturdy men are bowed and those at the mill stop working because they are too few, when it grows dim for those looking through the windows, and the doors are shut and the noise of the mill grows faint, the sparrow stops chirping and the bird-song is silenced, when one fears the slopes and to walk is frightening; yet the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper is fat and the caperberry bears fruit that serves no purpose, because man goes forward to his eternal home and mourners gather in the street, even before the silver chain is snapped or the golden globe is shattered, before the pitcher is broken at the fountain or the wheel at the mill, before the dust returns to the earth from which it came and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Meaningless! Meaningless! The Teacher says; all is meaningless!

Thursday, 4 September 2014 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 3 : 18-23

Do not deceive yourselves. If anyone of you considers himself wise in the ways of the world, let him become a fool, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s eyes. To this, Scripture says : “God catches the wise in their own wisdom.” It also says : “The Lord knows the reasoning of the wise, that it is useless.”

Because of this, let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you, Paul, Apollos, Cephas – life, death, the present and the future. Everything is yours, and you, you belong to Christ, and Christ is of God.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 2 : 10b-16

Because the Spirit probes everything, even the depth of God. Who but his own spirit knows the secrets of a person? Similarly, no one but the Spirit of God knows the secrets of God. We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God and, through Him, we understand what God in His goodness has given us.

So we speak of this, not in terms inspired by human wisdom, but in a language taught by the Spirit, explaining a spiritual wisdom to spiritual persons. The one who remains on the psychological level does not understand the things of the Spirit. They are foolishness for him and he does not understand because they require a spiritual experience.

On the other hand, the spiritual person judges everything but no one judges him. Who has known the mind of God so as to teach him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Monday, 1 September 2014 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 2 : 1-5

When I came to reveal to you the mystery of God’s plan I did not count on eloquence or on a show of learning. I was determined not to know anything among you but Jesus, the Messiah, and a crucified Messiah.

I myself came weak, fearful and trembling; my words and preaching were not brilliant or clever to win listeners. It was, rather, a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might be a matter, not of human wisdom, but of God’s power.

Thursday, 26 June 2014 : 12th Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Today, brothers and sisters in Christ, we continue further on the catechesis related to the end of the kingdom period in Israel and Judah, as God punished them for having disobeyed Him and gave them to the hands of their enemies. The king of Babylon, the famous Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem, the Holy City, and exiled many people including the king into the land of Babylon.

And in today’s Gospel, Jesus talked about the wisdom and the folly that happened in the building of a house. We all know very well what Jesus said, how those who built their house on sand will not be able go persevere and be swept away by the tides of water and waves, as well as by winds. Those who built their houses on firm ground will be able to resist and stand up strong against all the challenges mentioned earlier.

Jesus mentioned that those who built their houses on firm ground are those who listen to the Lord and His will, and not just that, but they also carry on to do the will of God and implement His teachings in their own lives. And those who ignore the word of God or fail to implement the way of the Lord in their lives, and instead depending on their own strengths and wisdom, are those who built their houses on sand.

It is very easy for us today to be tempted to follow our own heart’s desire, and be distracted to the point that we end up falling into the trap of the devil and weaken the very foundation of our faith. Our human wisdom and abilities, as well as experiences are extensive, but they are fallible and weak. And that is exactly why we are like those who build their houses on weak foundations if we rely on ourselves and on our strengths.

If we rely on the Lord and on His will for us, then our foundations will be firm and solid, and we will not easily be toppled by the forces that assail us. In our lives, we often encounter many different challenges and oppositions that seek to disrupt and destabilise our lives for the worse. If we do not have a firm hold on a strong anchor, we will be easily swept aside by the torrent and the storm, and we will fall into destruction.

Today, our society and even those within our Church are infected with this disease, also known as modernism and relativism, where those who are its proponents champion the modern development of human morality and human-established ideas and rules, at the expense of the truth that the Lord had conveyed to us through His Church and His faithful servants, the saints and the Apostles.

Many of us end up following what the world thinks is right, and we adopt the ideas and the morality as our own. This is the essence of relativism and modernism, where we do not challenge and question the developments of morality in this world that are independent of the truth in the Lord. Indeed, without the Lord, it is truly questionable if the morality of this world is a morality at all.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore, today we are asked to reflect, on whether we truly believe what we believe in. Do we truly have our faith in the Lord, and practice it faithfully and completely? Or do we prefer to follow the ways of the world? Let us all pray for the grace to be able to stand our ground strong in the faith, that we will not end up falling into the trap of Satan in the world.

May the Lord strengthen us, empower us, and guide us to Himself, and be with us through our journey in this life. God bless us all. Amen.

Sunday, 22 June 2014 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, Corpus Christi (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today is the day of Corpus Christi, or also known as the Solemnity of the Most Precious and Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we receive regularly into ourselves through the Holy Eucharist, by consuming the bread and wine which had been changed completely into that of the essence of our Lord Himself.

Today we celebrate this great reality of our faith, which is indeed the central tenet and focus of our faith in God. For we believe in God who out of His great and infinite love for us, dedicated for us none other than His own Son, Jesus Christ, that through Him and His giving of Himself, we mankind who suffer from the consequences of our sins, may be free.

It is essential and most imperative that we all believe in the gift of our Lord’s own flesh and blood, which He had repeatedly uttered to His disciples, and which He offered on the Last Supper and through the cross of suffering. And it is also imperative that we believe, as instituted on the Last Supper by Jesus Himself, He had passed down the same authority He had, unto the disciples, so that all of us the faithful may also receive the same Body and Blood that nourishes and saves.

There are many those who deny this fundamental truth of our faith, because they were misguided and misled by the lies and the powers of the evil one. He tricked them into thinking that among many others, how the Lord Jesus could not have possibly offered Himself again and again every time we celebrate the Eucharist in the Mass, and yet others said that the Mass and the Eucharist are merely memorials of what happened on the Last Supper. All these are lies, brethren, the lies of the devil designed to trap us and fool us.

First of all, the Lord did not repeat again and again His ultimate sacrifice on the cross every time the priests celebrate the Holy Mass and change the bread and wine into the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord. He did not die again and again for our sake every time we have the Mass and every time the memorial of His death is read in the Eucharistic Prayer.

Those who deny the Real Presence of our Lord in the Eucharist have the exact same arguments, but they lack a fundamental and most important piece, that is, each and every Mass said by the priest, the offering of the bread and wine, are all mystically and perfectly united to the one, singular and ultimate act of love which Christ had done on the cross for us.

Yes, brethren, the Mass which our priests, bishops and all those ordained celebrate validly and with the fullness of faith are all part of that same sacrifice which Jesus made on the cross that day, on the hill of Golgotha, suffering all of our sins and wickedness so that we may live and be saved from ultimate and eternal death in sin.

That is why, as Jesus Himself had given the authority to His Apostles, and from them our priests today, the Eucharist that we celebrate in the Mass, in the form of bread and wine, are truly transformed completely in form and substance into the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Upon the words of consecration by the priest, ‘This is My Body… and this is My Blood…’ The bread is no longer bread but the Body of our Lord, and the wine is no longer wine but the Blood of our Lord.

This is the truth that many conveniently had forgotten or had chosen to forget, thinking that in relying on their human wisdom and intellect they know it better than the Lord Himself and those whom He had appointed to be His ministers. Indeed, scientifically and in a passing glance, it is hard to believe that the plain bread of the communion host and the wine in the chalice had turned into the Real Presence of our Lord, but they do, and they were transformed completely and without doubt.

God gave the ancestors of Israel, food and drink to consume while they were journeying in the desert for forty years. He gave them even food from heaven, the honey-like manna, whom they ate regularly each day of their journey. However, they do not live and die, because these bread, heavenly as they were, they were not the living bread, of which there is only one, that is Jesus Christ, the Living Bread that brings life.

The Bread of life gave of Himself that we may live, and the Wine of salvation gave of Himself so that we may be cleansed of our sins and corruptions that separated us away from God our Father. This is the truth about our faith, and the reality that we all need to reflect on, and always keep in mind. Jesus did not joke or lie when He said that those who receive His Body and Blood will live eternally, for those who receive these, such as us, has been given the grace of having the Lord Himself present within us through our reception of the Holy Eucharist.

In our world today, and even in the Church, it is sad how so many people had lapsed in their reverence for the Real Presence in the Eucharist. While this may be contributed by different factors and reasons, the lack of reverence and understanding of the faith and the Lord’s intentions, but the drop in our respect and adoration for the Real Presence in the recent years and decades had been truly unacceptable.

Why, brothers and sisters? Because the Real Presence in the Body and Blood of our Lord in the Communion we receive is the concrete and real proof of the love of God for us. That He cared so much for us and devoted Himself so greatly for our sake, that He gave us no less than His own Son, to be our Saviour, and through the giving of His own Body and Blood, He made us His own and at the same time, we make Him ours as well.

And note the term Communion that we use, when we receive the Lord in the Eucharist into ourselves. This is because through the reception of the Body and Blood of our Lord, we are made one Body and one Spirit in Christ, that is all of us who believe and who worthily receive Him into ourselves, we have been united as one Body, by the common presence of the Lord in each and all of us.

The Holy Communion is not something to be taken lightly, brothers and sisters in Christ. Just recently we know that certain so and so tried to push for the restoration of Communion to the divorced and many other cases of improper behaviour of the faith. Yet, these people, who are still fighting for their cause, even those high in position within our Church, have truly misunderstood and lacked the knowledge of the importance of the Real Presence to us.

We cannot be a people lacking in love and grace indeed, but we must be caring and at the same time, we have to highlight the importance of this tenet of the transubstantiation, that is the real conversion of the bread and wine into the essence of our Lord, as something not just a memorial or an enactment, but as part of that same sacrifice on Golgotha, which the Lord had done out of His love for us, so that we may be saved.

From now on, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us take the Eucharist seriously, and let us begin to return the proper exaltation and adoration that we have to give to our Lord, in the Real Presence. Let us believe in Him and put our trust in Him, so that we may not be lost, but be saved in His infinite mercy and love. Let us help to remind one another, that because it is the Lord and really the Lord who we receive into ourselves, that we make ourselves worthy of Him as we receive Him, lest we suffer the terrible consequences of our lack of repentance and adoration.

May God in the Most Holy Eucharist, who gave us His own Body and Blood so that we may live, strengthen our faith by dwelling within us, and also turn those who had committed sin and things wicked in His eyes, that they may always long for Him and strive to repent from their sinfulness, and once again be reunited to us as one Body and one Spirit in Christ. Amen.

Thursday, 3 April 2014 : 4th Week of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

John 5 : 31-47

If I bore witness to Myself, My testimony would be worthless. But Another One is bearing witness to Me, and I know that His testimony is true when He bears witness to Me. John also bore witness to the truth when you sent messengers to him, but I do not seek human testimony; I recall this for you, so that you may be saved.

John was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were willing to enjoy his light. But I have greater evidence than that of John – the works which the Father entrusted to Me to carry out. The very works I do bear witness : the Father has sent Me.

Thus He who bears witness to Me is the Father who sent Me. You have never heard His voice and have never seen His likeness; therefore, as long as you do not believe His messenger, His word is not in you.

You search in the Scriptures, thinking that in them you will find life; yet Scripture bears witness to Me. But you refuse to come to Me, that you may live. I am not seeking human praise; but I have known that love of God is not within you, for I have come in My Father’s Name and you do not accept Me.

If another comes in his own name, you will accept him. As long as you seek praise from one another, instead of seeking the glory which comes from the only God, how can you believe? Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father. Moses himself, in whom you placed your hope, accuses you.

If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?