Sunday, 28 May 2023 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Genesis 11 : 1-9

The whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved from east, they found a plain in the country of Shinar where they settled. They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them in fire.” They used brick for stone and bitumen for mortar. They said also, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top reaching heaven; so that we may become a great people and not be scattered over the face of the earth!”

YHVH came down to see the city and the tower that the sons of man were building, and YHVH said, “They are one people and they have one language. If they carry this through, nothing they decide to do from now on will be impossible. Come! Let Us go down and confuse their language so that they will no longer understand each other.”

So YHVH scattered them over all the earth and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel, because there YHVH confused the language of the whole earth and from there YHVH scattered them over the whole face of the earth.

Alternative reading

Exodus 19 : 3-8a, 16-20b

The Israelites camped there in front of the mountain, but Moses went up to God and YHVH called to him from the mountain, saying, “This is what you are to say and to explain to the Israelites : You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to Myself.”

“Now if you listen to Me and keep My covenant, you shall be My very own possession among all the nations. For all the earth is Mine, but you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” And He added, “This is what you are to say to the people of Israel.”

So Moses went and summoned all the elders of the people and related to them all that YHVH had commanded him to say. All the people responded with one voice, “All that YHVH has said, we will do.”

On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning and a dense cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast was heard. All the people in the camp trembled. Moses then made the people leave the camp to meet God and stand at the foot of the mountain.

Mount Sinai was completely covered in smoke because YHVH had come down in fire, and the smoke rose as from a furnace. The whole mountain shook violently, while the blast of the trumpet became louder and louder. Moses spoke and God replied in thunder. When YHVH had come down to the summit of Mount Sinai, God called Moses who went to the summit.

Alternative reading

Ezekiel 37 : 1-14

The hand of YHVH was upon me. He brought me out and led me in spirit to the middle of the valley which was full of bones. He made me walk to and fro among them and I could see there was a great number of them on the ground all along the valley and that they were very dry.

YHVH said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live again?” I said, “Lord YHVH, only You know that.” He then said, “Speak on My behalf concerning these bones; say to them : Dry bones, hear the word of YHVH! YHVH says : I am going to put spirit in you and make you live. I shall put sinews on you and make flesh grow on you; I shall cover you with skin and give you My Spirit, that you may live. And you will know that I am YHVH.”

“I prophesied as I had been commanded and then there was a noise and commotion; the bones joined together. I looked and saw that they had sinews, that flesh was growing on them and that He was covering them with skin. But there was no spirit in them.”

So YHVH said to me, “Speak on My behalf and call on the Spirit, son of man! Say to the Spirit : This is the word of YHVH : Spirit, come from the four winds. Breathe into these dead bones and let them live!” I prophesied as He had commanded me and breath entered them; they came alive, standing on their feet – a great, immense army!

He then said to me, “Son of man, these bones are all Israel. They keep saying : ‘Our bones are dry, hope has gone, it is the end of us.’ So prophesy! Say to them : This is what YHVH says : I am going to open your tombs, I shall bring you out of your tombs, My people, and lead you back to the land of Israel.”

“You will know that I am YHVH, o My people! When I open your graves and bring you out of your graves, when I put My Spirit in you and you live. I shall settle you in your land and you will know that I, YHVH, have done what I said I would do.”

Alternative reading

Joel 3 : 1-5

In the last days, I will pour out My Spirit on every mortal. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even upon My servants and maidens, I will pour out My Spirit on that day.

I will show wonders in the heavens, and on earth blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun will darken and the moon turn to blood, at the approach of the great and dreadful day of God.

Then all who call upon the Name of YHVH will be saved. For on Mount Zion there will be a remnant, as YHVH has said; in Jerusalem some will be saved – those whom YHVH will call.

Saturday, 19 November 2016 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Revelations 11 : 4-12

These are the two olive trees and the two lamps which are before the Lord of the earth. If anyone intends to harm them, fire will come out of their mouths to devour their enemies : this is how whoever intends to harm them will perish. They have the power to close the sky and hold back the rain during the time of their prophetic mission; they also have the power to change water into blood, and punish the earth with a thousand plagues, any time they wish.

But when My witnesses have fulfilled their mission, the beast that comes up from the abyss will make war upon them, and will conquer and kill them. Their dead bodies will lie in the square of the Great City which the believers figuratively call Sodom or Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. And their dead bodies will be exposed for three days and a half to people of all tribes, races, languages and nations who will be ordered not to have them buried.

Then the inhabitants of the earth will rejoice, congratulate one another and exchange gifts among themselves because these two prophets were a torment to them. But after those three and a half days, a Spirit of life coming from God entered them. They them stood up, and those who looked at them were seized with great fear. A loud voice from heaven called them, “Come up here.” So they went up to heaven in the midst of the clouds in the sight of their enemies.

Saturday, 23 May 2015 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

John 7 : 37-39

At that time, on the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me; and let the one who believes in Me drink, for the Scripture says : ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.'”

Jesus was referring to the Spirit, which those who believe in Him were to receive; the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into His glory.

Thursday, 25 September 2014 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the wisdom and power of God, which transcends far beyond even the greatest of human intellect, wisdom and understanding. There is none like God, and no matter what we try to understand and find out about God, it is truly futile if we do not first understand what He had done to us through Jesus His Son, the embodiment of God’s perfect love for all mankind.

For we are creations of the Lord, whom God made out of simple dust and soil, unto which He breathed His life-giving Spirit. Therefore, we are bound to the Lord who created us, and our lives are in His hands. He is the Lord of life, and One who has authority over life and death. Thus, whatever is His will for us, it will definitely happen to us, without any exceptions.

The problem with us and our world today is exactly that mankind are often too concerned and too worried about themselves, to the point that they are unable to look beyond their inherent selfishness and thus fall prey into the machinations of the evil one, who always prod us with more and more selfishness and temptations which would end up turning us further and further away from the way to the Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have often been too fixated on our prosperity and well-being, and in this modern day world, our lives have revolved around the concepts of material goods and material possessions, and if we look at the kind and the amount of the advertisements and promotions we see in our media, we can easily see that it is so easy for many of us to be devoured into the streams of greed and desire in the world.

Many of us try to look for more things in the world to satisfy ourselves, be it our desire, our curiosity or our sense of belonging, and our desire for love. But many of us failed to understand that we have to first seek the Lord before anything else. If we put God aside and instead seek the numerous things that satisfy our desires and pleasures in the world, then we lose our focus and our true purpose in this world.

We often occupy ourselves with thoughts and matters such as the desire to know more about God, and in our world today, we can see that there are increasingly more and more hostile groups of people who are adamantly opposed to the idea of God, and who contended that God does not exist, because they could not prove His existence and whether He truly is present with us and among us, and if He is as what our Faith had taught us.

This is all in fact because, as mankind grew to know more about the things around them, and as their curiosity accordingly grew, they became more and more revelling in their own sense of superiority and greatness, which was further helped by the culture and habit of competition in the society, where only the best can persist and prosper amid the increasingly more and more demanding world.

As such, men grew to care more and more about themselves and less about others, and they grew more and more detached from the Lord, thinking that it is their own efforts and achievements that had brought them to where they are now. People are fighting and toiling over possessions and prestige, and they strived to gain more and more fame and honour, that their names may be glorified among the people.

However, as the Scriptures tried to remind us, that all these pursuits are eventually futile, if we leave God behind in pursuit of all these. Ultimately, it is the salvation of our souls that matter, and as Jesus said that, it is meaningless indeed if someone is to gain the whole world just to lose his or her soul. Rather, indeed, it is better for someone to lose what he has in the share of the world, so that he may receive the salvation of the soul.

Therefore, brethren, let us all seek the Lord from now on with all of our hearts, and with all of our devotions and our dedications, that with all the strengths of our beings, we may bring glory to God and draw ever closer to His presence and love. May we learn to let go of the things that keep us away from Him, namely the excessive attachments to the things and pleasures of this world.

May Almighty God sharpen the edge of our humility and of our desire to seek Him with all sincerity and love, and dull the edge of our ego, our pride, our greed and our desire, so that we may learn to love Him unconditionally, just as He had once done unto us. Let us also love one another tenderly and with grace. That eventually we may let go of all things that keep our pride held high, and realise the love which God our Lord and Creator had given us through this life. God bless us all. Amen.

Sunday, 15 June 2014 : Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard the truth about the Lord our God from the Scripture readings, in which God revealed Himself to be a God of love and justice, who loved His people with all of His heart, showing mercy when we the people sin before Him, and is slow to anger when we commit something wicked in His eyes, and wicked as we are, He was willing to give it all in order to save us, and that was through the sending of His Son Jesus into the world in order to save it.

Today we celebrate this nature of our Lord, who is the Most Holy Trinity, one but three, and three but one. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the most intimate truth and nature of our Lord who loves us. And the three forms the Divine Persons of the One and only God, which is one God in His absolute singularity, but with three equal Divine Persons, the Father as the Creator and loving God, the Son as the Word and the Judge of all creations, and the Holy Spirit as the guide and the source of all life.

The Holy Trinity worked in perfect harmony with each other, in the Lord who made all things possible and existent. The Lord God had been ever-present since before the beginning of time and all things, and though He existed in perfect love and harmony, He wanted to have others to be with Him. Therefore, He created this universe, filled with all of its wonders, through the works of the Trinity who made them all possible.

The Father willed creation into being, and through His Word, the Son, who we know now as Jesus Christ, He spoke the word and creation was made. Then the Holy Spirit filled all things with life and beauty, and make creation to be as wonderful as we behold and see it now. Yet, behind all those beauty and apparent perfections, ever since the beginning of time, after mankind had been created, sin and imperfections had entered creation.

God is indeed loving, merciful and committed to us His beloved creations, and even more so because we are the greatest of His creations, being created in His own image, and He breathed life directly into us. We were the dearest of His creatures, and He called us children, just as we ought to call Him our Father. However, we have been tainted with sin ever since our ancestors disobeyed our loving God, by listening to the deception of the devil instead of the love of God.

Remember, brethren, that while the Lord is loving and forgiving, and slow to anger as described, but the Lord who is also good and perfectly good, will not stand evil or sin to be in His presence. That was why Adam and Eve, our first ancestors, was cast out of the Garden of Eden and could no longer live in the direct presence of God. They were no longer worthy to be in the presence of God because of their sins.

Then why do the prophets and leaders like Moses, Elijah and others did not dare to look up and face the Lord when He came to meet with them and talk with them directly. This was because of the fear that the Lord’s perfection and goodness reflected in His face would indeed be too much for our sinful selves to bear, and thus none dared to look upon Him.

But God, our Lord is loving and forgiving, and He wanted every single one of us His children to be reconciled with Him and be reunited with Him, so much so that He gave us His ultimate gift and love, in the person of the Son, Jesus Christ, who was Word, and is Word of God, but incarnated into flesh, the flesh of mankind, and to assume the humble aspect of humanity, fully man and fully divine.

The beginning of the Gospel of St. John clearly explained this occurrence, when the Word became flesh, and when God made Himself completely approachable by His beloved people. Through Jesus mankind saw directly the fullness of God’s eternal love for us, and in His face, we realise that we are truly beloved by Him, for we had been created in His very own image.

Jesus passed down the divine authority from the Lord to His own disciples, to forgive our sins and cleanse our faults, and made that forgiveness and mercy complete and perfect through the offering of His own self on the cross, and by becoming the Paschal Lamb of sacrifice, He made us worthy once again for the Lord, for those of us who accepted His sacrifice through our baptism.

When we were baptised, we were sealed with the Most Holy Name of the Sacred Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which signified that we had been marked as the possessions of God, and that from then on, we are part of the Lord’s grace and blessing. But yet, we cannot just remain idle, and instead we must have a living and vibrant faith, one that is inspired by the love of God, and which we use to the fullest, in order to bring goodness to one another, fellow brethren in the Lord.

Today’s celebration of the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity is a constant reminder that God loves us, and very much indeed that no matter how heavy our sins are, He is willing to forgive us, and from there, bring us all back into His embrace. And the mystery of the Holy Trinity is also part of the history of our salvation. The Lord our Father created us, and through His Word and Spirit, He made us be.

Then when we faltered, He promised us salvation through the Messiah, who was none other than the Son, who then took away the sins of the world through His death, and from Him and the Father came the Spirit that rejuvenated mankind and brought the wisdom and understanding of the truth to all of us. The actions of the Trinity were the concrete proof of the love and dedication that God has for us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is imperative for us to contemplate and reflect on our own lives and actions, whether we have been faithful and committed to the Lord, just as He had committed Himself to us? Have we been like what we are expected to be since the day of our baptism? We have been empowered by the Spirit and endowed with the gift of love from God, and there is indeed great potential inside each and every one of us.

However, this potential will forever remain just as that, a potential and useless if we do not make use of them and remain idle. We must cooperate and work together with the Lord, in order to benefit our lives and also the lives of those around us. We have to have a living and genuine faith, brethren, and we cannot just pay lip service to the Lord for our faith. Be committed, be dedicated, and let us all do our best to show our love to God, who had loved us first.

May the Most Holy Trinity, who had sealed us through baptism, continue to endow us with grace and blessings, that we may grow stronger in our faith and love for Him, and gain in the end of all things, the gift of everlasting life in heaven. God bless us all, now and forever. Amen!