Thursday, 26 January 2017 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Timothy and St. Titus, Bishops (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Luke 10 : 1-9

At that time, the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples, and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place, where He Himself was to go. And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to His harvest.”

“Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know. Whatever house you enter, first bless them, saying, ‘Peace to this house!’ If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid, do not move from house to house.”

“When they welcome you to any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick who are there, and say to them : ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you.'”

Friday, 14 November 2014 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 John : 4-9

I rejoiced greatly on meeting some of your children who live in accordance with the truth, according to the command we have received from the Father. And now, I ask you, Lady – I write to you not a new commandment but that which we had from the beginning – I ask you : let us love one another.

This is love : to walk according to His commandments. And this is the commandment : that you walk in love as you have learnt from the beginning. Many deceivers have gone out into the world, people who do not acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ who came in the flesh. They are impostors and antichrists.

Take care of yourselves that you do not lose the fruit of your labours, but receive a perfect reward. Everyone who goes beyond and does not remain within the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who remains in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.


Homily and Reflection :

Wednesday, 19 March 2014 : Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Today we celebrate the feast day of one of the greatest saints in the Church, none other than St. Joseph himself, the protector and head of the Holy Family, husband and spouse of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, and the foster-father of Jesus Christ our Lord. Today is a great feast day because we are celebrating the feast of an important persona, whose role in our salvation in Jesus is perhaps second only to the Blessed Virgin Mary herself.

St. Joseph wedded the Blessed Virgin and became her protector and guardian. He was a carpenter at the small village of Nazareth in Galilee, and as history told us, he was already quite old at that time of her marriage to Mary, who was still very young, and it may be likely that it was not his first marriage. And Joseph was initially hesitant to marry her when he found out that she was with Child Jesus in her womb.

Even here the quality of St. Joseph was clearly visible, as he was an upright and virtuous person, who did not wish evil upon others but only good. He wanted good on others, even on Mary after she somehow ‘cheated’ him by being pregnant even before their marriage. But after Joseph discovered the truth through the angel of God, he married her and protected both her and her Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

St. Joseph certainly taught our Lord Jesus many things, just as other fathers do. St. Joseph, even though as a sort of stepfather to Jesus, loved Him as if He is his own son. With the guidance of St. Joseph, Jesus grew to a strong and loving man, as a well-mannered and God-loving Son of God.

Most likely, by the time Jesus began His ministry upon His baptism, St. Joseph had passed away due to his old age. Yet, what he had taught Jesus certainly helped Him during His ministry, and He knew about the world and its situation at the time, also likely through the tutelage of St. Joseph, who taught Him about it.

The example set by St. Joseph still inspires us today, first is to be obedient and have a strong faith to the Lord, as what he showed, obeying the Lord and playing his part in the scheme of God’s salvation. He obeyed the angel’s warning to bring Jesus out of harm when King Herod tried to kill Him. He was a loving father and an upright man, who followed God’s will and did his best to show it in his actions.

He certainly worked hard to provide for his family, for Mary his wife and for Jesus his adopted Son. That is why St. Joseph is also the patron saint of workers, showing them how to work hard and yet remain devoted to the Lord in his actions and deeds. He is truly a role model to all of us.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, the challenge to us now is that are we able to follow and walk in the footsteps of St. Joseph? Are we able to follow what he had done, in his virtue and righteousness? That is the challenge for all of us now. We do not have to emulate entirely what he had done, as it will not be easy to us. But we have to at least make the effort, is it not?

So, brethren, let us use this opportunity to reflect on our own life and our own actions, whether we have done what is righteous in the eyes of God, or whether we have failed to do so, either by ignoring His commandments and staying idle, or by committing sins and what is evil to God.

Let us change our ways for the better, that from now on we may live in God’s grace and be blessed by His presence among us. Let us resolve to remain always in the light of God and reject the darkness of Satan and the world. May God help us all and guide us to Himself. Amen.

Sunday, 16 March 2014 : 2nd Sunday of Lent (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

2 Timothy 1 : 8b-10

On the contrary, do your share in labouring for the Gospel with the strength of God. He saved us and called us – a calling which proceeds from His holiness. This did not depend on our merits, but on His generosity and His own initiative.

This calling given to us from all time in Christ Jesus has just been manifested with the glorious appearance of Christ Jesus, our Lord, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light in His Gospel.

Sunday, 17 November 2013 : 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Thessalonians 3 : 7-12

You know how you ought to follow our example : we worked while we were with you. Day and night we laboured and toiled so as not to be a burden to any of you. We had the right to act otherwise, but we wanted to give you an example.

Besides, while we were with you, we said clearly : If anyone is not willing to work, neither should that one eat. However we heard that some among you live in idleness – busybodies, doing no work. In the Name of Christ Jesus our Lord we command these people to work and earn their own living.


Wednesday, 23 October 2013 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John of Capestrano, Priest (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Once again, brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are reminded, just as in yesterday’s reading, the importance of being ever-ready, and preparedness in our lives, that when the Lord comes again unexpected, we will not be caught unprepared and unworthy. Sin is in particular something that we must always beware of, in our daily lives, that we be ever vigilant, against any commitment of sin that corrupts us and brings us away from the salvation in God.

All of us, brethren, had in fact been entrusted with much responsibilities by our Lord and God, and we had been made as stewards over God’s creations. Remember that when the Lord created mankind, He had commanded all creations to be within our sphere of responsibility. We are effectively made the stewards of this world, the caretaker of God’s creatures.

Yet as we all know, many of us are not always faithful to the Lord and His ways. Although we had been made stewards, the Lord is still our Master, and we have to follow Him and His ways, and not go our own way. That is essentially what many of us have done. We have cast away the words of the Lord and prefer to trust in our own human judgments and wisdom, rather than trusting in God.

Then, some of us also did not become good stewards of God’s creation, and we neglect our duties that we ought to do. We prefer to care and worry about ourselves, instead of giving ourselves to love and care for those entrusted to us. And remember that the more we had been given with, the more too will be expected from us. That is why, our possessions, our love, and our material goods can become both a great source of blessing and grace, as well as to be a vicious trap that blocks our path to the Lord our God.

We are often too happy with ourselves, with our comfortable life, that we end up forgetting about what we ought to do in our lives. It is completely not wrong for us to enjoy our lives and to gather or gain worldly things and possessions. It is, as I need to reiterate once again, the way that we use those gifts and graces the Lord had granted us, and our attitude towards others, which determine whether we are righteous or not.

Today we celebrate the feast day of St. John of Capestrano, a priest who lived in the early Renaissance Italy, who was once a secular noble and governor of the land. He relinquished his position and wealth after he received a calling, and together with the future St. Bernardine of Siena, he studied to become a priest, a monk, and a preacher, eventually joining the Franciscans.

St. John of Capestrano went on to preach in many different parts of Europe and Christendom as a whole, and his charisma is such that he always drew massive crowds, into tens of thousands and even over a hundred thousand people in some occasions, turning many back into the path of the Lord, and affirming many in the way of the Lord. In doing that, he had brought countless souls back on the path towards salvation in God.

St. John of Capestrano worked hard for the sake of the Lord even until his old age, preaching and urging the people to rise up and defend the true faith in God against any form of heresies and diabolical onslaught of the devil forces, especially in the pagan Ottoman Empire forces, which rose to prominence and power. He worked hard until he caught illness of the bubonic plague and died, ever still faithful and devoted towards the mission he had as the servant of God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, inspired by the examples of St. John of Capestrano, and also the examples of many other saints, who had worked hard for the glory of God, let us all then also follow in his footsteps, to be truly dutiful and faithful in our mission in this world, that is to be faithful, obedient, and loving servants and stewards of the Lord our God, as the steward over all creation.

May we all therefore be strengthened in our faith, and become ever more dedicated to the Lord our God, and through the intercession of St. John of Capestrano, we are made closer to our Lord and God. God bless us all. Amen.

Sunday, 13 October 2013 : 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Timothy 2 : 8-13

Remember Christ Jesus, risen from the dead, Jesus, son of David, as preached in my Gospel. For this Gospel I labour and even wear chains like an evildoer, but the word of God is not chained. And so I bear everything for the sake of the chosen people, that they, too, may obtain the salvation given to us in Christ Jesus and share eternal glory.

This statement is true :

“If we have died with Him, we shall also live with Him.”

“If we endure with Him, we shall reign with Him.”

“If we deny Him, He will also deny us.”

“If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself.”

Tuesday, 3 September 2013 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (Scripture Reflection)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we celebrate today the great feast of one principal saint of Christendom, none other than St. Gregory the Great, also known as Pope St. Gregory the Great who lived and reigned as Pope in the turn of the seventh century after the birth of Christ. He lived during the time of troubles, of the Dark Ages Europe, after the fall of the Roman Empire in Western Europe, with barbarians plundering the former lands of the Empire and settling in them as permanent settlers.

Even Rome and Italy at the time the birth of Pope St. Gregory the Great was under the authority and power of the Ostrogoths, one of the Gothic barbarian peoples who had settled in Italy after the fall of the Empire in the west. The Ostrogoths adopted the Arian heretic belief, and the predecessors of Pope St. Gregory the Great, as the Pope and the Bishop of Rome, worked hard to convert them to the true faith of the Apostles and reject their heretical beliefs.

Pope St. Gregory the Great lived through a time of great difficulties before he became Pope in 590 AD. The Ostrogothic kingdom went through a series of civil wars and internal conflicts, and together with the reconquest campaign by the Eastern Roman Empire, which saw Italy and Rome back at the hand of the Empire, had wrecked much of the local population, ravaged by warfare and deadly disease.

On the backdrop of these events, Pope St. Gregory the Great lived his early life and his adult years, and yet, he grew up to be a pious, zealous, and well educated man, who joined the religious life and became a monk. He was deeply devoted to Christ and immersed himself in his religious devotions as a monk, and prayed fervently and worked hard for the sake of God. Even after his election to the See of Peter, he remained the same, and continued his good works for the sake of God and God’s holy people.

Most importantly, Pope St. Gregory the Great reinvigorated the Church and its missionary efforts, in spreading the faith and the Holy Gospels to the pagan peoples and to the heretics who had walked away from the true path of God, the path of salvation. He sent many missionaries to the far ends of Christendom, to England through St. Augustine of Canterbury, and to other parts of Europe, converting many to the faith in God, and bringing many souls to salvation.

Not only that, Pope St. Gregory the Great was truly irreplaceable for his crucial role in the reform of the Church, particularly in its liturgy and rules of worship in the Mass. Both the Mass we have today, in all its forms, and the Divine Liturgy that our brethren of the Eastern Churches celebrate can trace their origins to the reforms and changes made by Pope St. Gregory the Great, the holy and great reformer Pope.

If you find the name Gregorian Chant familiar, yes, this wonderful music of worship is named after this great Pope, who reformed Church music in such a radical way, that it totally changed the landscape of divine song and songs of worship over the centuries even until today. To Pope St. Gregory the Great, the Lord our God in Jesus Christ is so great and glorious in heaven, and so profound is His might and power, that we ought to honour Him the best way we can with our abilities and senses, and hence, his reforms of the Mass and the Church music in the Gregorian chants.

Pope St. Gregory the Great gave much of his love and care for others, for the poor through charity, and for everyone through his dedicated and loving actions in Christ. He brought the Lord close to everyone through his own deeds and words, and indeed, through his copious writings. Many of Pope St. Gregory the Great’s writing remained and became source of inspiration for our faith, just as it had been during his time as Pope. He worked hard to defend the people against heresies and against the temptations of the devil, doing as much as he could to bring more and more souls towards salvation.

Yes, brethren, this great and saintly Pope truly is worthy of heaven, and he preached with the authority of Jesus Christ the Lord and Saviour of all, who is so mighty and all-powerful, that even the evil spirits obeyed Him, as we heard in the Gospel today. Even the devil would kneel before the Lord crucified, the Almighty Creator of all, for He is the light of the world, and no darkness would be able to stand before Him.

We are the children of light, brothers and sisters in Christ, and as long as we do the will of God, and follow His ways, we will always reflect His brilliant light, and the devil will have no power over us, for he is doomed to destruction and eternal torture, while we who are saved in Christ are fated to be in the eternal light of God and enjoy the fruits of our faith, the fruits of our salvation. Fear not, brethren, for our Lord and God who loves us, desires not our death and destruction, as what He truly wishes for us, is to live, and not just any life, but an eternal life filled with love and true joy in Him.

That was why He sent us many help along the way, all His saints, including Pope St. Gregory the Great, whom we talked about just before. Through their hard work, we have known the Lord our loving God, and through their labours, we have received the teachings of the Lord and grow to understand the extent of His great love and dedication to all of us. However, the work did not just stop there, brethren, as even today, much work awaits us, and we too are called to be the saints and the apostles of our own time.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore, inspired by the examples of Pope St. Gregory the Great, and by the love and sacrifice of our Lord, through which He showed us His infinite love, let us also be proactive, in all our dealings, all of our words and all of our actions, that we will always reflect the love of God with zeal, and therefore obey His will, that is to love, to love Him with all our hearts and all our strength, and do the same to our fellow brothers and sisters.

May the Lord our God who showed us His mercy and love, and who rebuked evil spirits from the hearts of men that we may be clean and pure and worthy of Him, bless us, strengthen us, and empower us, that we will be reunited with Him when He comes again in glory and bring us to eternal life with Him, forever and ever. Amen.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Thessalonians 2 : 9-13

Remember our labour and toll; when we preached the Gospel, we worked day and night so as not to be a burden to you. You are witnesses with God that we were holy, just, and blameless toward all of you who now believe. We warned each of you as a father warns his children; we encouraged you and urged you to adopt a way of life worthy of God who calls you to share His own glory and kingdom.

This is why we never cease giving thanks to God for, on receiving our message, you accepted it, not as human teaching, but as the word of God. That is what it really is, and as such it is at work in you who believe.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 : 20th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Pius X, Pope (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 20 : 1-16a

The story throws light on the kingdom of Heaven : A landowner went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay each worker the usual daily wage, and sent them to his vineyard.

He went out again at about nine in the morning, and seeing others idle in the town square, he said to them, ‘You also, go to my vineyard, and I will pay you what is just.’ So they went.

The owner went out at midday, and again at three in the afternoon, and he did the same. Finally he went out at the last working hour – the eleventh hour – and he saw others standing there. So he said to them, ‘Why do you stay idle the whole day?’ They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ The master said, ‘Go and work in my vineyard.’

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wage, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’ Those who had come to work at the eleventh hour turned up, and were each given a silver coin. When it was the turn of the first, they thought they would receive more. But they, too, each received a silver coin. So, on receiving it, they began to grumble against the landowner.

They said, ‘These last hardly worked an hour, yet you have treated them the same as us, who have endured the heavy work of the day and the heat.’ The owner said to one of them, ‘Friend, I have not been unjust to you. Did we not agree on one silver coin per day? So take what is yours and go. I want to give to the last the same as I give to you. Do I not have the right to do as I please with what is mine? Why are you envious when I am kind?’

So will it be : the last will be first, the first will be last.