Sunday, 13 January 2019 : Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 40 : 1-5, 9-11

Be comforted, My people, be strengthened, says your God. Speak to the heart of Jerusalem, proclaim to her that her time of bondage is at an end, that her guilt has been paid for, that from the hand of YHVH she has received double punishment for all her iniquity.

A voice cries, “In the wilderness prepare the way for YHVH. Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley will be raised up; every mountain and hill will be laid low. The stumbling blocks shall become level and the rugged places smooth. The glory of YHVH will be revealed, and all mortals together will see it; for the mouth of YHVH has spoken.”

Go up onto the high mountain, messenger of Good News to Zion, lift up your voice with strength, fear not to cry aloud when you tell Jerusalem and announce to the cities of Judah : Here is your God! Here comes YHVH Sabaoth with might; His strong arm rules for Him; His reward is with Him, and here before Him is His booty. Like a shepherd He tends His flock : He gathers the lambs in His arms, He carries them in His bosom, gently leading those that are with young.

Friday, 18 September 2015 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Timothy 6 : 2c-12

Teach and stress these things. Whoever teaches in some other way, not following the sound teaching of our Lord Christ Jesus and true religious instruction, is conceited and understands nothing.

This one is crazy about controversies and discussions that result in envy, insults, blows and constant arguments between people of depraved minds and far from the truth. For them, religion is merely for financial gain.

In reality, religion is a treasure if we are content with what we have. We brought nothing into the world and we will leave it with nothing. Let us then be content with having food and clothing. Those who strive to be rich fall into temptations and traps. A lot of foolish and harmful ambitions plunge them into ruin and destruction.

Indeed, the love of money is the root of every evil. Because of this greed, some have wandered away from the faith, bringing on themselves afflictions of every kind. But you, man of God, shun all this. Strive to be holy and godly. Live in faith and love, with endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith and win everlasting life to which you were called when you made the good profession of faith in the presence of so many witnesses.

Thursday, 16 July 2015 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Mass of our Lady of Mount Carmel)

Matthew 11 : 28-30

At that time, Jesus said to the people, “Come to Me, all you who work hard and who carry heavy burdens, and I will refresh you. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest. For My yoke is good, and My burden is light.”

Alternative reading (Mass of our Lady of Mount Carmel)

Matthew 12 : 46-50

At that time, while Jesus was still talking to the people, His mother and His brothers wanted to speak to Him, and they waited outside. So someone said to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside; they want to speak with You.”

Jesus answered, “Who is My mother? Who are My brothers?” Then He pointed to His disciples and said, “Look! Here are My mother and My brothers. Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is for Me brother, sister or mother.”

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

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 46 : 2-3, 6-7, 8-9

Clap your hands, all you peoples; acclaim God with shouts of joy. For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared; He is a great King all over the earth.

God ascends amid joyful shouts, the Lord amid trumpet blasts. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!

God is King of all the earth; sing to Him a hymn of praise. For God now rules over the nations. God reigns from His holy throne.

Thursday, 19 March 2015 : Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2nd Anniversary of the Installation of Pope Francis, Vicar of Christ and Supreme Pontiff (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 88 : 2-3, 4-5, 27 and 29

I will sing forever, o Lord, of Your love and proclaim Your faithfulness from age to age. I will declare how steadfast is Your love, how firm Your faithfulness.

You said, “I have made a covenant with David, My chosen one; I have made a pledge to My servant. I establish his descendants forever; I build his throne for all generations.”

“He will call on Me, ‘You are my Father, my God, my Rock, my Saviour.’ I will keep My covenant firm forever, and My love for him will endure.”

Sunday, 1 February 2015 : Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Septuagesima Sunday (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 7 : 32-35

I would like you to be free from anxieties. He who is not married is concerned about the things of the Lord and how to please the Lord. While he who is married is taken up with the things of the world and how to please his wife, and he is divided in his interests.

Likewise, the unmarried woman and the virgin are concerned with the service of the Lord, to be holy in body and spirit. The married woman, instead, worries about the things of the world and how to please their husband.

I say this for your own good. I do not wish to lay traps for you but to lead you to a beautiful life, entirely united with the Lord.

Alternative reading (Epistle for Septuagesima Sunday – Usus Antiquior)

1 Corinthians 9 : 24-27 and 1 Corinthians 10 : 1-5

Brethren, do you not know that those who run in the race, all run indeed, but only one received the prize? So run, that you may obtain. And everyone who strives for the mastery, refrains himself from all things, and they indeed so that they may receive a corruptible crown, but we receive an incorruptible one.

I therefore so run, not as at an uncertainty, I so fight, not as one beating the air but I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection, lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway.

For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all in Moses were baptised, in the cloud and in the sea, and all did eat the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink, (and they drank of the spiritual drink that followed them, and the Rock was Christ). But with the most of them God was not well pleased.

Saturday, 26 April 2014 : Saturday within Easter Octave (Scriptures Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Today’s readings show us that we no longer have to fear or doubt in the truth of God. For if we stand by God and keep strong our faith, devotion and love for God, we will have everything and God will stand by us and provide us with all that we need. When we doubt, that is the moment of weakness which Satan can use to undermine our faith and our devotion to God, to the point that we may succumb to despair and commit things undesirable and wicked before Him.

This Easter, we celebrate the triumph of God over those who had arrayed themselves against Him, the celebration of the triumph of the good over evil, and the celebration of hope of new life over the old life, one that is decadent and filled with wickedness and sin. This Easter is a celebration of liberation and freedom, of mankind freed from the bonds of sin for eternity by the sacrifice of Jesus our Lord, and through whose resurrection we are made whole once again.

It is very difficult for mankind to let go of the temptations and impediments that were in place on our way towards God. It is very difficult for men to let go these goodness and pleasures that the world in particular are offering us daily. It is very difficult for many of us to let go of our desires, of our prejudices, of our judgments, and of our wants, for we are naturally, a creature tainted by the desires of this world and the desires of our flesh.

It is difficult for us to keep our faith in God, precisely because we are always tempted by sin, and at all times, doubt and fear are always in our minds. We cannot be truly close and intimate with God all because of our lack of total commitment and devotion towards the Lord, because we are unable to commit a hundred percent our attention and lives to God. Instead, we like to dwell in the world and be corrupted by the concerns and things of this world that inevitably lead us to sin.

That is why the elders of Israel, the chief priests, and those in the Sanhedrin of the people of God, supposedly the most learnt and the most educated of the people, opposed vehemently and firmly the presence and the works of God through Jesus, even though they naturally should have been the ones who would first welcome the Lord when He came. Instead, they became His enemies, and became those who attempted to derail the good works of the Lord by opposing in every situation and opportunities, the works of Jesus.

They failed to see reason and the truth of God in Jesus because their hearts had been hardened by sin, by the concerns of this world. Being people of influence and in the positions of power and privilege, they had forgotten their place and role in leading the people of God towards the Lord. Instead, they honoured power and glory, and craved for the people’s respect and praise towards them and did not tolerate any rival to their power and influence, leading to a vicious jealousy and hatred that grew so much, to the point that they even failed to see the truth in the Lord Jesus Christ, and ended up opposing and murdering the very One who would have rescued them from death.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this Easter, we are invited to throw far, far away all these impurities and unworthy behaviours as those that had been exhibited by those who opposed the works of Christ, in the Pharisees and the elders of Israel. We have this perfect opportunity to deny first ourselves, and then the desires of our flesh to seek the pleasures of this world over the approval of God. Let us not waste this golden opportunity to make ourselves anew and dedicate ourselves to a change for the better.

This Easter, let us remember, that the Lord had given His all for us, His love and dedication to the point of death. The cross! Remember always the cross, and how the cross is the ultimate manifestation of God’s love for all of us! And also the empty tomb! Remember that empty tomb, which signifies the victory that God had won for us, to liberate us from the certain defeat of death, and He who had won for us this new life, where we have no more need to fear from sin or death, but forever be filled with the hope of eternal joy in He who loves us.

May the Lord therefore guide us in this Easter season, as we grow stronger and stronger in our faith, and deeper in our devotion and love for God, that we will first always be faithful to Him, and then also be loving and good children and members of God’s family, always showing the Lord to be at the centre of our lives and actions. Let us follow the footsteps of the Risen Lord and His Apostles, and let us all bring the light of Christ to all the peoples, beginning from ourselves, and to those around us, and to the whole world! Let us share the joy of Easter! God bless us all. Amen.