Thursday, 14 May 2015 : Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord and Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 1 : 1-11

In the first part of my work, Theophilus, I wrote of all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when He ascended to heaven. But first He had instructed through the Holy Spirit the Apostles He had chosen. After His passion, He presented Himself to them, giving many signs that He was alive; over a period of forty days He appeared to them and taught them concerning the kingdom of God.

Once when He had been eating with them, He told them, “Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the fulfillment of the Father’s promise about which I have spoken to you : John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit within a few days.”

When they had come together, they asked Him, “Is it now that You will restore the Kingdom of Israel?” And He answered, “It is not for you to know the time and the steps that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the earth.”

After Jesus said this, He was taken up before their eyes and a cloud hid Him from their sight. While they were still looking up to heaven where He went, suddenly, two men dressed in white stood beside them and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven, will return in the same way as you have seen Him go there.”

Sunday, 9 November 2014 : 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time, Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour and Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist at the Lateran (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 2 : 13-22

At that time, as the Passover of the Jews was at hand, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple court He found merchants selling oxen, sheep and doves, and money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the Temple court, together with the oxen and sheep.

He knocked over the tables and of the money-changers, scattering the coins, and ordered the people selling doves, “Take all this away, and stop turning My Father’s house into a marketplace!” His disciples recalled the words of Scripture : ‘Zeal for Your House devours Me like fire.’

The Jews then questioned Jesus, “Where are the miraculous signs which give You the right to do this?” And Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then replied, “The building of this temple has already taken forty-six years, and will You raise it up in three days?”

Actually, Jesus was referring to the Temple of His Body. Only when He had risen from the dead did His disciples remember these words; then they believed both the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken.


Homily and Reflection :

Thursday, 25 September 2014 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 9 : 7-9

At that time, King Herod heard of all this, and did not know what to think, for people said, “This is John, raised from the dead.” Others believed that Elijah, or one of the ancient prophets, had come back to life.

As for Herod, he said, “I had John beheaded. Who is this Man, about whom I hear such wonders?” And he was anxious to see Him.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Cornelius, Pope and Martyr, and St. Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Luke 7 : 11-17

A little later Jesus went to a town called Naim. He was accompanied by His disciples and a great number of people. As He reached the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; there followed a large crowd of townspeople.

On seeing her, the Lord had pity on her and said, “Do not cry.” Then He came up and touched the stretcher, and the men who carried it stopped. Jesus then said, “Young man, I say to you, wake up!” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

A holy fear came over them all, and they praised God saying, “A great Prophet has appeared among us; God, has visited His people.” This news spread throughout Judea and the surrounding places.

Thursday, 14 August 2014 : 19th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Matthew 18 : 21 – Matthew 19 : 1

Then Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how many times must I forgive the offenses of my brother or sister? Seven times?”

Jesus answered, “No, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. This story throws a light on the Kingdom of Heaven : A king decided to settle the accounts of his servants. Among the first was one who owed him ten thousand pieces of gold. As the man could not repay the debt, the king commanded that he be sold as a slave with his wife, his children and all his goods, as repayment.”

“The servant threw himself at the feet of the king and said, ‘Give me time, and I will pay you back everything.’ The king took pity on him, and not only set him free, but even cancelled his debt.”

“When this servant left the king’s presence, he met one of his companions, who owed him a hundred pieces of silver. He grabbed him by the neck and almost choked him, shouting, ‘Pay me what you owe!'”

“His companion threw himself at his feet and begged him, ‘Give me time, and I will pay everything.’ The other did not agree, but sent him to prison until he had paid all his debt.”

“Now his fellow servants saw what had happened. They were extremely upset, and so they went and reported everything to their lord. Then the lord summoned his servant and said, ‘Wicked servant, I forgave you all that you owed when you begged me to do so. Were you not bound to have pity on your companion, as I had pity on you?'”

“The lord was now angry, so he handed his servant over to be punished, until he had paid his whole debt.”

Jesus added, “So will My heavenly Father do with you, unless you sincerely forgive your brothers and sisters.”

When Jesus had finished this teaching, He left Galilee and arrived at the border of Judea, on the other side of the Jordan River.

Saturday, 31 May 2014 : Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the roughly three months period after the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus our Lord was visited by the Archangel Gabriel, when she conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Today’s feast of the visitation to Elizabeth by Mary and its relative date is based on the Gospels, through which we know that at the third month since the annunciation, the Blessed Virgin Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth who was then heavily pregnant with John the Baptist.

Mary is the culmination of the Lord’s long-planned plan for the salvation of all mankind, God’s beloved creations, and it is through her, that the Lord exercised His power and made available a new hope for all of us, through Jesus, the Son of God, and also Son of Man through Mary His mother, the fulfillment and perfection of the Law and the prophecies of the prophets about the Lord and Messiah who would come to save His people.

Remember in the Book of Genesis, early in the history of Creation when God created mankind and they disobeyed Him by listening to Satan instead of Him? God did not destroy mankind nor did He abandon them entirely even though they had been unfaithful. God foretold the coming of salvation which would come through the descendant of men, and also foretold is that while Satan the snake would latch to the feet of the sons and daughters of man, the woman would crush Satan the snake under her feet.

This woman is Mary, the mother of Jesus our Lord. Through her the salvation of all men came forth, and with her obedience and complete surrender to the will of God, mankind was saved. Satan had indeed had a great dominion and mastery over mankind for a very long time, and he reigned over fallen mankind with absolute tyranny and impunity. But in Mary, he knew that he would meet his end, and there he would be defeated in a total finality. Thus he feared Mary.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, Elizabeth and the baby inside her, St. John the Baptist knew this truth about Mary and the Son inside her, Jesus, the Son of God Most High. Elizabeth and John the Baptist were the ones who had been appointed and chosen by God to be the harbinger and the proclaimer of the Lord’s coming into the world as its Saviour.

If John the Baptist paved the way for Christ and introduced Him to the world, then Elizabeth his mother, as we heard in today’s reading, was the first to proclaim Mary the mother of our Lord, as well as Jesus her Son, to the world. Nevertheless, sadly, just as the people, in particular the Pharisees and the elders disregarded the call of John the Baptist to repentance and to welcome the Lord, nobody regarded Mary the mother of our Lord at that time either.

Such was indeed the situation and the simplicity with which our Lord came into the world. The elders and the Pharisees by their human wisdom and limited understanding failed to understand that the Messiah when He came would not be some sort of an all-conquering Lord who would judge all and bring glory to Israel. These people were looking at nothing sort of a miraculous appearance of a King who would liberate them from the Romans, but they missed entirely the gist of the plan of salvation.

For in the Lord, salvation means as we know it, the complete giving and surrender of Himself and His divinity to come down to us as a humble Man, born of Mary the virgin, the woman whom the Lord had promised to be the one to bear salvation for mankind from the hands and dominion of Satan. And Satan realise that with her, his days in power was numbered, and his doom was waiting for him.

We all, therefore, should rejoice just as Mary had rejoiced, filled with the Holy Spirit, in her song, which we now know as the Magnificat, a song filled with pure joy and praise for God who had made all things happen. And for Mary, and for us, there is no greater reason to celebrate than because of all these, we have been granted a new hope, a new light that pierced away the darkness that used to fill our hearts and our world, giving us a fighting chance to gain everlasting happiness in God.

Let us all renew our commitment to God, rejoice in Him who had come upon this world and saved it through His death. God is kind and loving, and He has shown His favour upon us. We need to return His love and kindness, brethren, that we will all remain in God’s grace and be worthy of the salvation which He had made available for us.

Let us also pray and ask for His beloved mother Mary, to intercede for us and help us that we too may be like her in the obedience and dedication that she had shown. Let us be dedicated in our faith and no longer be complacent in our lives. May God show His mercy and grace to us, and keep us always in His love. Amen.

Saturday, 31 May 2014 : Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 39-56

Mary then set out for a town in the hill country of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb.

Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit, and giving a loud cry, said, “You are most blessed among women, and blessed is the Fruit of your womb! How is it that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you who believed that the Lord’s word would come true!”

And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my Saviour!”

“He has looked upon His servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed.”

“The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name! From age to age His mercy extends to those who live in His presence.”

“He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.”

“He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned home.