Sunday, 18 April 2021 : Third Sunday of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 3 : 13-15, 17-19

From Paphos, Paul and his companions set sail and came to Perga in Pamphylia. There, John left them and returned to Jerusalem, while they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. On the Sabbath day they entered the synagogue and sat down. After the reading of the Law and the prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent this message to them, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the assembly, please speak up.”

Paul spoke to them, “The God of our people Israel chose our ancestors; and after He had made them increase during their stay in Egypt, He led them out by powerful deeds. For forty years He fed them in the desert; and after He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He gave them their land as an inheritance.”

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Colossians 3 : 1-11

So then, if you are risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on earthly things. For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is your life, reveals Himself, you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Therefore, put to death what is earthly in your life, that is immorality, impurity, inordinate passions, wicked desires and greed, which is a way of worshipping idols. These are the things that arouse the wrath of God. For a time, you followed this way and lived in such disorders. Well then, reject all that : anger, evil intentions, malice; and let no abusive words be heard from your lips.

Do not lie to one another. You have been stripped of the old self and its way of thinking; to put on the new, which is being renewed, and is to reach perfect knowledge, and the likeness of its Creator. There is no room for distinction between Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, foreigner, slave or free, but Christ is all, and in all.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Most Holy Name of Mary)

Colossians 2 : 6-15

If you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, let Him be your doctrine. Be rooted and built up in Him; let faith be your principle, as you were taught, and your thanksgiving, overflowing.

See that no one deceives you with philosophy or any hollow discourse; these are merely human doctrines, not inspired by Christ, but by the wisdom of this world. For in Him, dwells the fullness of God, in bodily form. He is the Head of all cosmic power and authority, and, in Him, you have everything.

In Christ Jesus, you were given a circumcision, but not by human hands, which removed completely from you the carnal body : I refer to baptism. On receiving it, you were buried with Christ; and you also rose with Him, for having believed in the power of God, Who raised Him from the dead.

You were dead. You were in sin and uncircumcised at the same time. But God gave you life with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He cancelled the record of our debts, those regulations which accused us. He did away with all that, and nailed it to the cross. Victorious through the cross, He stripped the rulers and authorities of their power, humbled them before the eyes of the whole world, and dragged them behind Him, as prisoners.

Alternative reading (Mass of the Most Holy Name of Mary)

Galatians 4 : 4-7

But when the fullness of time came, God sent His Son. He came, born of woman, and subject to the Law, in order to redeem the subjects of the Law, that we might receive adoption, as children of God. And because you are children, God has sent into your hearts, the spirit of His Son, Who cries out : Abba! that is, Father!

You, yourself, are no longer a slave, but a son or daughter, and yours is the inheritance, by God’s grace.

Alternative reading (Mass of the Most Holy Name of Mary)

Ephesians 1 : 3-6

Blessed be God, the Father of Christ Jesus our Lord, Who, in Christ, has blessed us from heaven, with every spiritual blessing. God chose us, in Christ, before the creation of the world, to be holy, and without sin in His presence.

From eternity He destined us, in love, to be His adopted sons and daughters, through Christ Jesus, thus fulfilling His free and generous will. This goal suited Him : that His loving-kindness, which He granted us His beloved might finally receive all glory and praise.

Monday, 11 September 2017 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Colossians 1 : 24 – Colossians 2 : 3

At present, I rejoice when I suffer for you; I complete, in my own flesh, what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the Church. For I am serving the Church since God entrusted to me the ministry to make the word of God fully known.

I mean that mysterious plan that, for centuries and generations, remained secret, and which God has now revealed to His holy ones. God willed to make known to them the riches, and even the glory, that His mysterious plan reserved for the pagan nations : Christ is in you, the hope for glory.

This Christ, we preach. We warn, and teach everyone true wisdom, aiming to make everyone perfect, in Christ. For this cause I labour and struggle, with the energy of Christ working powerfully in me. I want you to know how I strive for you, for those of Laodicea, and for so many who have not met me personally.

I pray, that all may be encouraged. May you be established in love, that you may obtain all the riches of a full understanding, and know the mystery of God, Christ Himself. For, in Him, are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Saturday, 9 September 2017 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Claver, Priest (First Reading)

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

Colossians 1 : 21-23

You, yourselves, were once estranged, and opposed to God, because of your evil deeds, but now, God has reconciled you, in the human body of His Son, through His death, so that you may be without fault, holy and blameless before Him.

Only stand firm upon the foundation of your faith, and be steadfast in hope. Keep in mind the Gospel you have heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Thursday, 7 September 2017 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Colossians 1 : 9-14

Because of this, from the day we received news of you, we have not ceased praying to God for you, that you may attain the full knowledge of His will, through all the gifts of wisdom and spiritual understanding.

May your lifestyle be worthy of the Lord and completely pleasing to Him. May you bear fruit in every good work and grow in the knowledge of God. May you become strong, in everything, by a sharing of the glory of God, so that you may have great endurance and perseverance in joy.

Constantly give thanks to the Father, Who has empowered us to receive our share in the inheritance of the saints, in His kingdom of light. He rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son. In Him, we are redeemed and forgiven.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Colossians 1 : 1-8

Paul, Apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God, and Timothy, our brother, to the saints in Colossae, our faithful brothers and sisters in Christ : Receive grace and peace from God, our Father, and Christ Jesus, our Lord. Thanks be to God, the Father of Christ Jesus, our Lord!

We constantly pray for you, for we have known of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of your love for all the saints. Indeed, you await in hope the inheritance reserved for you in heaven, of which, you have heard through the word of truth. This Gospel, already present among you, is bearing fruit, and growing throughout the world, as it did among you, from the day you accepted it, and understood the gift of God, in all its truth.

He who taught you, Epaphras, our dear companion in the service of Christ, faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, has reminded me of the love you have for me, in the Spirit.

Friday, 22 April 2016 : Fourth Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 2 : 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

Behold the King I have installed, in Zion, upon My holy hill! I will proclaim the decree of the Lord. He said to Me : “You are My Son. This day I have begotten You.”

Ask of Me and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall rule them with iron sceptre and shatter them as a potter’s vase.

Now therefore, learn wisdom, o kings; be warned, o rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and fall at His feet; lest He be angry and you perish when His anher suddenly flares. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

Friday, 14 August 2015 : 19th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 135 : 1, 2, 3, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 24

Alleluia! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His kindness endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods, His kindness endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords, His kindness endures forever.

And He led His people through the desert, His kindness endures forever.

He struck down great kings, His kindness endures forever.

He gave their land as an inheritance, His kindness endures forever.

A heritage to Israel His servant, His kindness endures forever.

And He freed us from our oppressors, His kindness endures forever.

Saturday, 22 March 2014 : 2nd Week of Lent (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Today we heard the well-known parable of the prodigal son, which I am certain that at some point of your life, you have heard it at least once. In this parable, God is compared to a loving and forgiving father, whose younger son had gone wayward and lost, and when that son returned to him, the father rejoiced and welcomed him back with full of love.

And indeed our God is like that, and He is indeed our Father, who loves us and cares for us, whose thoughts are centred ever on us every day and every moment in time. He looks always onto us, and wants us to be once again reunited with Him. And we are the prodigal sons, and also like the elder son of the father.

For we all have sinned before God, and committing what is evil in His eyes, and very often in our lives, we have disobeyed His law and His will, and instead following our own desires and our own forged path, which we built on our desires as well as on the foundations laid down by Satan. We were corrupted by the world and brought away from the way of truth.

It is easy for us to relate with the younger son, for we know that in this world, there are plenty and indeed almost limitless availability for human pleasures and goodness to satisfy our desires and our greed for such things. And that was exactly what happened to the younger son, who squandered the hard-earned wealth of his father, which was his inheritance, on loose living.

I am sure that in one way or another, this also happened to us. We gave in to the increasingly aggressive world, which indeed increases its attacks on us and our faithful living, by multiplying the number of pleasures and goodness that it tries to bring to us, seducing us to a lifestyle that is signified by excessive consumption and blatant disobedience of God’s will.

In this world, it is increasingly difficult for us to live without being bombarded daily by the increasing amount of advertisements and promotions on the good things of this world, the amenities and joys of life, all the components of a materialistic and hedonistic lifestyle. How many of us are not aware of the offers on the latest gadgets and jewelries? How many of us are not aware of the lucrative deals being offered?

But the key message that we ought to know today is that, regardless of all these, we all have hope, because God who is our Father is always waiting for us, like the father of the prodigal son, ever eager to see his long lost son to return to his side. The prodigal and sinful son realised that he had sinned against God and his father, by committing all that he had done. And this is indeed a very important moment that we all have to note.

It is this realisation, and coupled by the desire to return to his father, which propelled the prodigal son on his difficult journey home, to return to the love of his father. But had the son not realised his sinfulness, even in his difficult times, he would just be dead in that foreign land, and his death would not have been mourned by any. He would have died among the animals, without honour and be shamed forever in darkness.

The same therefore will happen to us, if we do not realise the depth and gravity of our sins, and if we continue to walk in the path of the wicked, following our hearts’s desire rather than following the Lord our God. We will suffer for eternity in shame, regret and hopelessness in hell, where there will be no light, no pleasure, and no happiness but only sorrow, regret and darkness.

So it is important for us to realise our sins, know them, and seek God for absolution and forgiveness, humbly asking Him to forgive us and promise to change our ways and sin no more, just as the prodigal son sought the forgiveness of his father, and then be received back into the fullness of love that his father has prepared for him, which God too had prepared for us.

And lastly, we who have been saved by our baptism and faith in Jesus Christ, are also like the elder son. We have been deemed as righteous and we remain in the house of the father, God our Father because of our faith in His Son. But that does not mean that we have the right to condemn all those who are still wayward. Remember that we are all sinners who still need to be saved by the grace of God through our actions.

Instead, let us help one another, especially those who are still in the darkness. Let us bring them to the light of God, by showing it through our own deeds and actions, that they may believe in us, children of the light, that they too will follow our path, to become children of God.

May our Lord who loves us, and who forgives and welcomes His prodigal sons back to His side, continue to love us, watch over us, and guide us that we may always walk righteously and faithfully on His path. Amen.