(Easter Sunday) Sunday, 27 March 2016 : Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Week, Easter Octave (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Colossians 3 : 1-4

So then, if you are risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on earthly things.

For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, reveals Himself, you also will be revealed with Him in Glory.

 

Alternative reading


1 Corinthians 5 : 6b-8

Do you not know that a little yeast makes the whole mass of dough rise? Throw out, then, the old yeast and be new dough. If Christ became our Passover, you should be unleavened bread.

Let us celebrate, therefore, the Passover, no longer with old yeast, which is sin and perversity; let us have unleavened bread, that is purity and sincerity.

(Easter Sunday) Sunday, 27 March 2016 : Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Week, Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 10 : 34a, 37-43

Peter then spoke to them, “No doubt you have heard of the event that occured throughout the whole country of the Jews, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism John preached. You know how God anointed Jesus the Nazarean with Holy Spirit and power.

He went about doing good and healing all who were under the devil’s power, because God was with Him; we are witnesses of all that He did throughout the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem itself. Yet they put Him to death by hanging Him on a wooden cross.

But God raised Him to life on the third day and let Him manifest Himself, not to all the people, but to the witnesses that were chosen beforehand by God – to us who ate and drank with Him after His resurrection from death. And He commanded us to preach to the people and to bear witness that He is the One appointed by God to judge the living and the dead.

All the prophets say of Him, that everyone who believes in Him has forgiveness of sins through His Name.

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Psalm after Sixth Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 18 : 8-11

The Law of the Lord is perfect : it gives life to the soul. The word of the Lord is trustworthy : it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right : they give joy to the heart. The commandments of the Lord are clear, they enlighten the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is pure; it endures forever; the judgments of the Lord are true, all of them just and right.

They are more precious than gold – pure gold of a jeweller; they are much sweeter than honey which drops from the honeycomb.

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Sixth Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Baruch 3 : 9-15, 32 – Baruch 4 : 4

Listen, Israel, to the commands of life, give ear so as to learn prudence. Why, Israel! Why are you in the land of your foes? Why are you growing old in a foreign country, contaminated by pagans, counted among those who go to the pit?

You have abandoned the source of Wisdom. If you had walked in the way of God, peace would be your dwelling place forever. Learn where is Wisdom, where is Strength and Understanding, that you may know, at the same time, where are length of days and life, light of the eyes and Peace.

Who will find Wisdom’s dwelling? Who will enter her storage rooms? But He who knows everything recognises her. He has found her in His own intellect. He who created the earth, for all time, and has filled it with four-footed beings.

He who sends the light, and it goes, who recalls it, and trembling it obeys. The stars shine, full of joy, to keep their night watches. He calls them and they answer, “Here we are.” They shine with joy for their Creator.

It is He who is our God, no other can be compared with Him. He has found the way of understanding and has given her to Jacob His servant and to Israel His well-beloved.

Then Wisdom was seen on earth and lived among humans. She herself is the book of the commands of God, the law which endures forever. All who hold fast to her will have life, but those who abandon her will die.

Come back, Jacob, and embrace her, walk towards brightness under her light. Do not give up what is your glory or sell your privileges to any strange nation. We are fortunate, o Israel, for we know what pleases the Lord!

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Genesis 1 : 1 – Genesis 2 : 2

In the beginning, when God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth had no form and was void; darkness was over the deep and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters.

God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘Day; and the darkness ‘Night’. There was evening and there was morning : the first day.

God said, “Let there be a firm ceiling between the waters and let it separate waters from waters.” So God made the ceiling and separated the waters below it from the waters above it. And so it was. God called the firm ceiling ‘Sky’. There was evening and there was morning : the second day.

God said, “Let the waters below the sky be gathered together in one place and let dry land appear.” And so it was. God called the dry land ‘Earth’ , and the waters gathered together He called ‘Seas’. God saw that it was good.

God said, “Let the earth produce vegetation, seed-bearing plants, fruittrees bearing fruit with seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth.” And so it was. The earth produced vegetation : plants bearing seed according to their kind and trees producing fruit which has seed, according to their kind. God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning : the third day.

God said, “Let there be lights in the ceiling of the sky to separate day from night and to serve as signs for the seasons, days, and years; and let these lights in the sky shine above the earth.” And so it was. God therefore made two great lights, the greater light to govern the day and the smaller light to govern the night; and God made the stars as well. God placed them in the ceiling of the sky to give light on the earth and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning : the fourth day.

God said, “Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth under the ceiling of the sky.” God created the great monsters of the sea and all living animals, those that teem in the waters, according to their kind, and every winged bird, according to its kind. God saw that it was good. God blessed them saying, “Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the waters of the sea, and let the birds increase on the earth.” There was evening and there was morning : the fifth day.

God said, “Let the earth produce living animals according to their kind : cattle, creatures that move along the ground, wild animals according to their kind.” So it was. God created the wild animals according to their kind, and everything that creeps along the ground according to its kind. God saw that it was good.

God said, “Let us make man in Our image, to Our likeness. Let them rule over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle, over the wild animals, and over all creeping things that crawl along the ground.” So God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it, rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky, over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

God said, “I have given you every seed-bearing plant which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree that bears fruit with seed. It will be for your food. To every wild animal, to every bird of the sky, to everything that creeps along the ground, to everything that has the breath of life, I give every green plant for food.” So it was.

God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. There was evening and there was morning : the sixth day.

That was the way the sky and earth were created and all their vast array. By the seventh day the work God had done was completed, and He rested on the seventh day from all the work He had done.

Saturday, 21 June 2014 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 6 : 24-34

No one can serve two masters; for he will either hate one and love the other, or he will be loyal to the first and look down on the second. You cannot at the same time serve God and money.

This is why I tell you not to be worried about food or drink for yourself, or about clothes for your body. Is not life more important than food, and is not the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow, they do not harvest and do not store food in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not less worthy than they are?

Can any of you add a day to your life by worrying about it? Why are you so worried about your clothes? Look at how the flowers in the fields grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his wealth was clothed like one of these.

If God so clothed the grass in the field, which blooms today and is to be burned tomorrow in an oven, how much more will he clothe you? What little faith you have!

Do not worry and say : What are we going to eat? What are we going to drink? or : What shall we wear? The pagans busy themselves with such things; but your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Set your heart first on the kingdom and justice of God, and all these things will also be given to you.

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Sunday, 6 April 2014 : 5th Sunday of Lent (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Romans 8 : 8-11

So, those walking according to the flesh cannot please God. Yet your experience is not in the flesh, but in the spirit, because the Spirit of God is within you. If you did not have the Spirit of Christ, you would not belong to Him.

But Christ is within you; though the body is branded by death as a consequence of sin, the spirit is life and holiness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus Christ from among the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies. Yes, He will do it through His Spirit who dwells within you.

 

Friday, 14 March 2014 : 1st Week of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 129 : 1-2, 3-4ab, 4c-6, 7-8

Out of the depths I cry to You, o Lord, o Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears pay attention to the voice of my supplication.

If You should mark our evil, o Lord, who could stand? But with You is forgiveness, and for that You are revered.

I waited for the Lord, my soul waits, and I put my hope in His word. My soul expects the Lord more than watchmen the dawn.

O Israel, hope in the Lord, for with Him is unfailing love and with Him full deliverance. He will deliver Israel from all its sins.

Friday, 14 March 2014 : 1st Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Ezekiel 18 : 21-28

If the sinner turns from his sin, observes My decrees and practices what is right and just, he will live, he will not die. None of the sins he committed will be charged against him; he will live as a consequence of his righteous deeds.

Do I want the death of the sinner? – word of YHVH. Do I not rather want him to turn from his ways and live? But if the righteous man turns away from what is good and commits sins as the wicked do, will he live? His righteous deeds will no longer be credited to him, but he will die because of his infidelity and his sins.

But you say : YHVH’s way is not just! Why, Israel! Is My position wrong? Is it not rather that yours is wrong? If the righteous man dies after turning from his righteous deeds and sinning, he dies because of his sins. And if the wicked man does what is good and right, after turning from the sins he committed, he will save his life. He will live and not die, because he has opened his eyes and turned from the sins he had committed.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the parable of the sower, where the sower spread the seeds which fell on different kind of medium and ground, and thereafter bear different kinds of results. In this well known parable, the Lord compared the different effects of the medium has on the seeds, with the reality of humanity and their faith to the Lord.

The seeds spread by the sower is the seed of faith, that has been given to us by the Lord. Each and every one of us were created by God, and His Spirit is within us, and in each of us we have been given faith. We have also been given the seeds of love inside each of us, and we have the capacity of love, as the children of God. But this faith is dormant, and the love in us is also dormant.

Yes, faith must not be kept dormant in us, or it is indeed dead. Our faith must be backed up by love, that is actions of love. And therefore, love itself cannot be dormant, but we have to share it with others via our actions, and therefore, make that love bloom through our action as well. However, we often have to deal with our environment, that is our surroundings and the world in which we live in.

This world is filled with many good things, particularly that of temptations and the allures of material goods. It is easy for us to be influenced by them, and losing our compass towards the Lord. Using the same analogy, these challenges can be likened to the weed growths that threatened the growing crops in the field. And they are also likened to thorns that choked the life out of the growing seed, as explained by Jesus.

The way of the world is indeed easier to be followed than the way of the Lord. But while the way of the world apparently is easier and filled with goodness, but it ends in darkness and suffering, whereas the way of the Lord may appear to be difficult and ridden with challenges, but in the end is happiness and joy of living in the glory of the Lord. Yet, many of us prefer the shortcut and did not want to experience suffering and hence opted to follow the path of the devil.

This is what we should not do, brethren. It does not mean that our lives should be entirely filled with difficulties and challenges, neither does that mean that we cannot enjoy this life at all. What is more important is that, whatever the things we experience in life, and all the choices that we have to make in life, make it with the full conscience that we ought to obey the Lord and follow His ways in all the things we do.

When it is time that we receive much blessing and joy, then be happy and rejoice, and most importantly, do not forget to give thanks to the Lord who had given us that blessing. Do not be too engulfed by the joy either, that we forget about others who are not as fortunate as us. Instead, whatever joy we have within us, share it with one another, especially those who have none of that joy.

And when it is time of difficulty and challenges, let us endure them with grace and patience, and asking God to be with us and to guide us through those difficult times, much as what our holy saints and martyrs had done in the past, when the world rose up against them, even crying out for their lives. Do not fear, for God is always with us. Nobody can destroy us forever, for we have been marked to belong to God.

And that is why it is important for us to also have a deep faith in God, that is faith with strong foundations. Again I would like to stress that faith cannot be just mere lip service or on documents. Our faith must genuinely come from the heart, and not just that, but overflowing with love that pours out from our heart. Without good roots, then our faith will wither just like the seeds that wither on the rocky soil.

Faith substantiated with much love is what we need, and that is the recipe for the fertile growth of the seed that God had planted in each one of us. This faith must be real and concrete, with genuine love and care that we have for each and every one of our brothers and sisters in faith. And in that way, our faith will indeed bear much fruits, together with our love in us, and we will become blessed and bountiful with God’s blessing.

Let us remember always brethren, that we all have our obligations as those who had committed ourselves to the Lord and His ways. Each of us can contribute in our own ways, and fulfill the will of God, through faith that is vibrant, dynamic, and strong, and founded on love, genuine and pure, that we may be productive and fruitful in the eyes of God, and He who sees all, will reward us. God bless us all, always and forever. Amen.