Tuesday, 13 December 2016 : 3rd Week of Advent, Memorial of St. Lucy, Virgin and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red
Zephaniah 3 : 1-2, 9-13

Woe to the rebellious, the defiled, the city that oppresses. She did not pay attention to the call nor accept the correction; she did not trust YHVH nor did she approach her God.

At that time I will give truthful lips to the pagan nations that all of them may call on the Name of YHVH and serve Him with the same zeal. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia they will bring offerings to Me. On that day you will no longer be ashamed of all your deeds when you were unfaithful to Me; I will have removed from your midst the conceited and arrogant and My holy mountain will no longer be for you a pretext for boasting.

I will leave within you a poor and meek people who seek refuge in God. The remnant of Israel will not act unjustly nor will they speak falsely, nor will deceitful words be found in their mouths. They will eat and rest with none to threaten them.

Sunday, 15 February 2015 : Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Quinquagesima Sunday (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we approach ever closer to the beginning of the Lenten season which will begin on this coming, the Ash Wednesday, today we celebrate the Quinquagesima Sunday, or the Seventh Sunday before Easter, as a reminder of the saving power and works of our Lord Jesus Christ, who had come unto this world and became incarnate as Man, that through His mission and works, He might bring healing to a sickened people.

Truly, the readings today, both that of the sixth Ordinary Sunday and the Quinquagesima Sunday are talking about the sickness of the flesh, and thus lead us all to understand that we are all, by our nature, sickened with sin, that is the sickness of the soul, or to link to the readings today even more closely, sin is the leprosy of the soul.

In the first reading, God stipulated the law regarding leprosy and what ought to be done to a person who has leprosy, to His people through Moses. Lepers ought to declare themselves as unclean and walk in shame, while at the same time they also must isolate themselves and exile themselves from the community of the people of God. They ought to remain outside the encampment where the people of Israel stayed in the presence of God.

At the first glance, this may seem to be very harsh and it may seem that God was punishing those with leprosy very severely. But in fact, the truth is that God desires their healing and salvation. If we read the entirety of the Book of Leviticus, and discern the meaning of what God had commanded to His people, we will find that for the case of leprosy, when those afflicted were cured of their condition, they have to present themselves to the priests who would then gave worthy sacrifice for the Lord and welcomed them back into the community of the people of God.

Thus, the same has happened to all of us mankind. We are all sick from the sickness of sin that affects our soul and tainted it. Sin is an abomination and filth that separates us from the loving embrace of our Lord and God, and sin has no place in His presence. Therefore, it would not indeed be too different from the lepers in the past, when Israel walked through the desert from Egypt to the Promised Land, that they were temporarily cast out of the society and had to wander in the wilderness beyond the confines of the camp of the faithful.

We have been separated from God and from being worthy of His salvation by the taint of sin, and as the Gospel of Quinquagesima Sunday also shows us, that blindness is another form of illness that we are suffering from. The blind man begged for Jesus to heal him, and in his faith, he was cured completely from his blindness. Here, there is again yet a clear link between what we heard and another story, when Jesus healed yet another blind man.

The blind man from his birth, who used to beg at the entrance of the Temple was healed by Jesus, and he gave thanks to God and testified to the glory of God, and yet, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law accused him of sinning and of committing the sin by having been healed on the Sabbath day. They cursed him and were angry against him, but indeed, that other story from the Gospel also yet show us how, all of us men are sick, sickened by sin.

For sin blinded our hearts and minds against the love and mercy of God, and also prevented us from recognising the good works of the Lord present around us. It was precisely just as what the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had done to Jesus and His works. They refused to recognise God’s love made evident and real through Jesus Christ, who was willing to endure the worst of sufferings and scourges, and bear the consequences of all of our sins with Him to the cross.

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, Christ brought about healing and justification to all those who believe in Him, in all those who have abandoned their old ways of sin and evil, and decided to follow Him and walk in His ways for the rest of their lives. This healing and cleansing is the healing of our soul and heart, as well as our mind and body from the corruption of sin and the desires of the world. He is the High Priest, who had offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice to reconcile us with God.

The sad fact is that, like the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, too many of us are still too proud to accept our sinfulness as a fact and reality, and too many of us are too haughty and prideful to seek for God’s forgiveness and to humble ourselves before His presence. It is also in our nature to boast of our abilities and greatness, as well as achievements, but not our shortcomings and failures, especially that of sin.

As we approach the season of Lent, and as later we are to celebrate the Most Holy Week of our Lord’s Passion, suffering, death and resurrection from the dead, all of which are part of His works to bring about our salvation and the deliverance of all those who put their trust and faith in Him, let us therefore reflect on our own lives and attitudes. Have we been truly faithful to the Lord, and have we been reflecting and be aware of our own sinfulness and wickedness in life that prevented us from being truly be with our loving God?

As St. Paul mentioned in his epistle we heard for this Quinquagesima Sunday, that our faith must be complemented with hope and love, the three cardinal and most important gifts of the Lord to all of us. If the three are not present together, then they are incomplete. And the greatest gift of all is indeed love, for it is love itself that drove our Lord to come down and to do His works to save us all. Sinners as we are, and unworthy as we are, He still loves us all very much.

Thus, we cannot say that we are truly faithful to the Lord, unless we imitate the love which Christ had shown to us all, who in His gentle and tender love had brought about our healing, the healing we receive so that our entire being are purged from the sickness of sin and evil. But we have to open our hearts to His love and mercy, and the best way to do this is to practice them in our own lives.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us be truly faithful to our Lord from now on, and show our thanks and gratitude for the love and mercy which He had shown us. Although we are sinners, unworthy and wicked, He was still willing to give Himself for our sake, and even to suffer and die for our sake. Let us all from now on be thoroughly transformed in faith, hope and love, that through these gifts which we exercise in our daily actions and deeds in life, we may grow stronger and more just in the eyes of our Lord, and be worthy for His eternal life. God bless us all. Amen.

Friday, 31 October 2014 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are reminded yet again not to be hypocrites in our faith to God, and that our faith should move beyond just a mere observation of Laws and customs, which will be empty if they are not based on genuine love and care and concern which we ought to have for one another, and ultimately, the love we also ought to show to the Lord.

Our faith must be a living one, filled with love and action, and be filled with genuine understanding of the Laws of the Lord, knowing fully what God intended for us all, that is none other than our salvation, our prosperity and our good, and never to punish us without good reason and without first offering His mercy as a chance for us to repent from our sinfulness.

This was what Jesus had done, when He rebuked the Pharisees for their rigid and misunderstanding of the Faith and the Law of God, when they constantly and regularly opposed the good works of Jesus when He healed and restored many people even during the Sabbath, which was sacrosanct to the Pharisees and the elders of Israel, the puritan factions of the society of the people of God.

They often stood in the path of salvation of many, burdening the people with countless regulations and rules which they imposed very strictly on them, and on one count totalled an enormous six hundred and thirteen laws and rules, if not more, the regulations largely created by men to observe the norms and mores of the society, but in many of their applications, the Pharisees failed to understand the true meaning of the original Law as the Lord revealed to Moses.

Yes, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, the scribes and the elders of the people were often proud of their own achievement, in keeping the commandment of the Law and all of its rules, in particular the Pharisees. However, as they did these observances and fulfillments of the rules, regulations and the customs of the Law, they did not do them for the sake of the salvation of the people, but they did them often for their own glory and fame.

Thus, Jesus was angry with them and rebuked them, because in their irresponsible and selfish actions, they closed the path to salvation for many, just as they have closed it for themselves, by ignoring and disobeying the true commandment of God, that is love. What they loved is not God nor men, but they loved only themselves, the love of their own vanity and pride, and the love of their own selves.

Indeed, what Jesus wants from us has been aptly summarised by St. Paul in the letter he wrote to the Church and the faithful in Philippi, which exhorted the faithful people of God to live righteously, doing good works based upon love and commitment to God, and abandoning all forms of wickedness and vices and sin, and therefore live without blame and blemish in the sight of God. But this is not achieved through self-serving methods and hypocrisy of the Pharisees, but through real and concrete works of love.

What does that mean, brothers and sisters in Christ? That means, we have to work together as one community of the faithful ones in Christ. We are after all the members of His Church, the Body of Christ, and we are all justified through our actions as a member of the Church and thus as children of our Lord. We cannot have an empty faith and a faith that is merely words alone. The Pharisees’ faith are exactly that, and that did not bring them justification and salvation, and we can indeed do better than that.

We have to help one another, and give mercy and help to the ones who are suffering and in need, just as Jesus had done to many people who are afflicted with either physical or spiritual disabilities. Remember that Jesus once said, that whatever we did to the least of our brethren, the weakest, the least, the most ostracised and all, we did it for the Lord, and He who sees all, will reward us for our actions.

Therefore, brethren, let us from now on reflect on our own lives, and try our best to live out the most from our lives as children of God, and as the followers of our Lord who is Love. Let our faith be alive and vibrant, filled with love, care and concern for one another, and together, as the members of the Body of Christ, the Church, let us all seek together the Lord our God and be justified through our actions so that we may receive the eternal inheritance which He had promised all those who are faithful to Him. God bless us all. Amen.

 

First Reading : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/30/friday-31-october-2014-30th-week-of-ordinary-time-first-reading/

Psalm : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/30/friday-31-october-2014-30th-week-of-ordinary-time-psalm/

Gospel Reading : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/30/friday-31-october-2014-30th-week-of-ordinary-time-gospel-reading/

Thursday, 30 October 2014 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the lamentation of Jesus on the evils that exist in the world, the forces of evil that prowl about seeking the destruction of all that is good, and the thwarting of all the good works of the Lord, designed to break mankind free from the tyranny of this force of darkness, represented by Satan and all of his fellow fallen angels, the demons.

But we also hear of the method on how to handle this great wickedness and evil, by the means of faith and zeal, and most importantly through the power of prayer, made in genuine devotion and love for God, which are our armour against the power and advances of the evil one. And therefore, we are not naked and defenseless against the attacks of the devil, for God is with us, as long as we put our trust in Him and live according to His teachings and love.

Today Jesus spoke of His upcoming suffering and death, the Holy Passion which He would go through in Jerusalem. He knew of the fate of the many prophets who had been sent to the people of God and to the Holy City, who were rejected, cast aside and were tortured for their faith and works by the people who adamantly refused to believe in them and in the One who sent them.

Why did Jesus lament on Jerusalem and her people? Not because He feared the suffering and death that was to come for Him, and not because He was complaining about the treatment which His prophets had received, and which He would soon receive as well, but it was because He was genuinely and utterly concerned about the wickedness with which the city of Jerusalem, which in fact referred to God’s people, had lived, and how if they continued in such actions, they would be lost to Him forever into death.

Yes, as Jesus had said, with the metaphor of a chicken, a mother hen trying to gather her chicks under the protection and care of her wings, so does the Lord try His best to bring all of His beloved people, that is all of us, under His love and protection. God never intended us to suffer the consequences of our sins, that is death and separation from Him, but He wants us to be reunited with Him in full reconciliation and love.

This however, would not be possible if we do not embrace the ways of the Lord and continues with our ways of living in sin and darkness. If we allow Satan to have his ways on us, indeed we are defenseless, naked and weak against his assaults on our body, mind, heart and soul, which he corrupts through sin, and which therefore will bring mankind into eternal damnation.

This is why we have to heed the words and teachings of St. Paul, where in his letter to the Church and the faithful in Ephesus, he said that we need to wear the complete and whole ‘armour’ of God. This armour is not a physical armour of medieval knights we often associate with, but the spiritual armour which God gives to all those who put their complete trust and faith in Him.

And this spiritual armour is powerful tool against Satan’s attacks, and as long as we hold up high the shield and keep the armour together, no attack from Satan, no matter how vile and wicked they are, will be able to penetrate the defenses to reach into the depths of our soul, and thus we will remain free from corruption, the corruption of sin and wickedness.

This armour consists of faith, justice, zeal, truth and the grace of salvation in God. We have to be mindful that we are in constant and ever continuous battle, a spiritual battle for the sake of our souls. What is at stake is no less than our very souls which will be under great harm if we are not aware of this spiritual warfare raging around us. The angels, our guardian angels are also fighting for us, against the forces of the devil sent to corrupt us. But we cannot leave them to fight alone, as most importantly is that we have to take an active role in this spiritual warfare.

Hence, we have to wear the spiritual armour of faith, that is the firm belief in the truth and love of God, not dividing our focus and attention to the distractions and the corruptions of the world, and not listening to the lies and sweet words of Satan and his angels. And then we also must wear the shoes of zeal, that in all of our words, actions and deeds, we have to always implement our faith, whatever we believe in, and put them into concrete action, done for our own salvation and for the salvation of those around us.

And it is also important that we wear the armour of justice and truth, as all of our actions must be just, especially when we deal with one another and when we interact with each other. We must uphold justice and truth in all the things that we do. The moment that we allow injustice, desires and falsehood to darken our actions, then we can say that we have failed to prevent the devil and sin from penetrating into the depths of our heart and soul.

If we want to seek salvation in God, therefore, we must be serious in our faith and devotion to God, and we must be ever ready and vigilant. And the way to do this, according to St. Paul is through devout and genuine prayer. Yes, genuine prayer and not just recitation of prayer without a clear intention from the heart. It is indeed possible for us to pray just for the sake of praying, but our heart is not focused at the Lord and instead on some other things.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all make it a habit to pray from our heart, to seek the Lord with all of the strength of our soul and heart, giving the best of our love as holy offering to God, who will then in turn affirm that love and strengthen our faith, giving us powerful armour and defense against all the possible assaults of the evil one and sin.

May all of us be strong amidst the persecution and the temptations of evil, and may we all be able to resist the temptations to follow Satan into our destruction, and let us all grow ever stronger in faith and love, and practicing them actively and regularly in our own lives, and show justice and mercy in all of our actions as well, that evil has no place in our hearts and we will be saved through the justification of our faith and actions. Amen.

 

First Reading : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/29/thursday-30-october-2014-30th-week-of-ordinary-time-first-reading/

Psalm : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/29/thursday-30-october-2014-30th-week-of-ordinary-time-psalm/

Gospel Reading : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/29/thursday-30-october-2014-30th-week-of-ordinary-time-gospel-reading/

Wednesday, 22 October 2014 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. John Paul II, Pope (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Popes)

Luke 12 : 39-48

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Pay attention to this : If the master of the house had known at what time the thief would come, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect.”

Peter said, “Lord, did You tell this parable only for us, or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Imagine, then, the wise and faithful steward, whom the master sets over his other servants to give them wheat at the proper time. Fortunate is this servant if his master on coming home, finds him doing his work. Truly, I say to you, the master will put him in charge of all his property.”

“But it may be that the steward thinks, ‘My Lord delays in coming,’ and he begins to abuse the male servants and the servant girls, eating and drinking and getting drunk. Then the master will come on a day he does not expect, and at an hour he does not know. He will cut him off, and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.”

“The servant who knew his master’s will but did not prepare and do what his master wanted, will be soundly beaten; but the one who does unconsciously what deserves punishment, shall receive fewer blows. Much will be required of the one who has been given much, and more will be asked of the one who has been entrusted with more.

 

Alternative reading (Mass for Popes)

John 21 : 15-17

At that time, after Jesus and His disciples had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” And Jesus said, “Feed My lambs.”

A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” And Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Look after My sheep.”

And a third time He said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was saddened because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love Me?” and he said, “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You.” Jesus then said, “Feed My sheep!”

Tuesday, 21 October 2014 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are presented with this clear message from the Scriptures, on whether we are ready to stand up for our faith and show a genuine, living faith to God, where it is founded on love and true devotion to God and not just mere lip service. And it was also highlighted the importance for us to be ever ready and be prepared, so that we may not lapse in the observation of our faith.

We know and we believe that our Lord Jesus Christ will come again at the end of time, at the time of His choosing, to judge all the living and the dead, in short to judge over all creations, whether they deserve eternal life and salvation, or whether they should be cast away into hell and eternal suffering. He has warned us of His coming, which will be completely unexpected for us, like a thief breaking into a house, and like a master of the house returning to the house without the knowledge of the stewards.

We have been given this world under trust from God, so that all of us are indeed stewards of creations and stewards of this world. We have been entrusted with the care of the living things and also things of the world around us, so that we may guard with care and love all the precious creations of God, and as we often forget, that we too have been appointed stewards and guardians of each one of us, our own brothers and sisters.

Yes, this means that we have to show love to one another, care for one another, and avoid all forms of vices or any acts that cause harm or disadvantage on others. We who have accepted Christ as our Lord and Saviour, and have been accepted into His Church by baptism, has indeed been made stewards, to take charge over this world and all its inhabitants, not by power but through love and through zealous conversion of those who still live in darkness.

The truth has been revealed to us through Christ, and therefore, just like the Apostles and disciples of Christ, we ought to become living witnesses of Christ to the world, and not just by showing an empty and superficial kind of faith, but faith that is lived through our loving actions, when we practice the faith taught to us from Jesus, and how we should carry ourselves in life, so that all who see us will immediately and instantly know that we belong to God.

And so that all who see our actions may also follow in our footsteps and examples, thus walking down together with us on the same path towards salvation. Do take note that our actions have great impact on others who are watching our behaviours and actions, as who will follow the Lord if the world is to see the wayward actions of those who professed to believe in Him?

That was also why Jesus was so critical on the actions and deeds of the Pharisees, scribes and the teachers of the Law, the supposedly educated and pious ones, the so-called leaders and teachers of the faithful in the matters of the faith, but they did not practice what they preached. They had empty faith and superficial faith, the kind which I have warned against just now, which is empty and meaningless, and does not bring about salvation, not just for ourselves but also for others around us.

The Pharisees imposed heavy and burdensome sets of laws upon the people of God, but the observations of such laws became merely ritualistic and empty, devoid of the original meaning of the laws, and in their actions, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law contradicted their own teachings and faith. They preferred human praise and fame, as well as maintaining their own earthly authority and power over the maintenance of the love of God. Indeed, the purpose of the Law is love.

Now, what we need to do is to ask ourselves sincerely, and look deep into our hearts and minds. Have our actions and deeds represent the actions of a faithful and devoted servant and steward of the Lord’s creations? Are we acting in a way that we are serving God and His people with fullness of faith and love? Or do we instead serve ourselves and succumb to our own human desires and greed, such as what the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had done?

Remember always, brothers and sisters in Christ, that we must always be ready for the Lord when He comes again. As I have mentioned, the time of His coming is known to Him alone, and no one will expect it when He suddenly comes again in His glory. Do we want to be counted among the unfaithful and the condemned just because we are not prepared, or that because we always like to postpone and delay things till the end, thinking that we still have time?

Of course we do not want such fate to happen to us, and therefore, brethren, if we have done what is just and righteous in the sight of God, then we should continue it faithfully and try to do even more, becoming even inspiration where possible, to inspire and lead others to also believe in the Lord and act as what we have done, that all may eventually be justified by their living faith.

If we have not begun to do what the Lord had asked from us to do, then there is no better time to start than now. Now is the time to begin, and do not wait! For the time is not infinite, and our time may be counted by days even now, by the Lord who is Lord over life and death. Never hesitate to begin now and change our lives for the better, for I can assure you that regret will indeed come too late to save us from our fate of destruction and damnation, if we do not change.

Let us ask our Father and loving God, the Almighty God to bless us and empower us, and to awaken within our hearts the love we ought to offer Him with all of our hearts, souls, minds and indeed with our entire beings. Let us prepare ourselves entirely, heart, mind and soul, to offer ourselves completely to the Lord, that He who sees our devotion may justify us in Himself and bring us into eternal salvation and life. Amen.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 84 : 9ab-10, 11-12, 13-14

Would that I hear God’s proclamation that He promise peace to His people. Yet His salvation is near to those who fear Him, and His Glory will dwell in our land.

Love and faithfulness have met; righteousness and peace have embraced. Faithfulness will reach up from the earth while justice bends down from heaven.

The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its fruit. Justice will go before Him, and peace will follow along His path.