Thursday, 16 July 2020 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Gospel Reading)

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

Matthew 11 : 28-30

At that time, Jesus said to the people, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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 easy; and My burden is light.”

Alternative reading (Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Matthew 12 : 46-50

At that time, while Jesus was 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 My brother and sister and mother.”

Tuesday, 5 June 2018 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

2 Peter 3 : 12-15a, 17-18

As you wait for the day of God, and long for its coming, when the heavens will dissolve in fire, and the elements melt away in the heat. We wait for a new heaven and a new earth, in which justice reigns, according to God’s promise.

Therefore, beloved, as you wait in expectation of this, strive, that God may find you rooted in peace, without blemish or fault. And consider, that God’s patience is for our salvation. So then, dearly beloved, as you have been warned, be careful, lest those people who have gone astray, deceive you, in turn, and drag you along, making you stumble, and finally fall away.

Grow in the grace and knowledge of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ : to Him be glory, now, and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Monday, 4 June 2018 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Peter 1 : 2-7

May grace and peace abound in you, through the knowledge of God and of Jesus, Our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and piety. First, the knowledge of the One Who called us through His own glory and Might, by which we were given the most extraordinary and precious promises. Through them, you share in the divine nature, after repelling the corruption and evil desires of this world.

So, strive with the greatest determination, and increase your faith, with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with moderation, moderation with constancy, constancy with piety, piety with mutual affection, mutual affection with charity.

Sunday, 19 November 2017 : Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 25 : 14-30

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Imagine someone who, before going abroad, summoned his servants to entrust his property to them. He gave five talents of silver to one servant, two talents to another servant, and one talent to a third, to each, according to his ability; and he went away.”

“He who received five talents went at once to do business with the talents, and gained another five. The one who received two talents did the same, and gained another two. But the one who received one talent dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.”

“After a long time, the master of those servants returned and asked for a reckoning. The one who had received five talents came with another five talents, saying, ‘Lord, you entrusted me with five talents, but see, I have gained five more.’ The master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, since you have been faithful in a few things, I will entrust you in charge of many things. Come and share the joy of your master.'”

“Then the one who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you entrusted me with two talents; with them I have gained two more.’ The master said, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, since you have been faithful in little things, I will entrust you in charge of many things. Come and share the joy of your master.'”

“Finally, the one who had received one talent came and said, ‘Master, I know that you are a hard man. You reap what you have not sown, and gather what you have not scattered. I was afraid, so I hid your money in the ground. Here, take what is yours!’ But his master replied, ‘Wicked and worthless servant, you know that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered. You should have deposited my money in the bank, and given it back to me with interest on my return.'”

“Therefore, take the talent from him, and give it to the one who has ten. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who are unproductive, even what they have will be taken from them. As for that useless servant, thrown him out into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Alternative reading (shorter version)

Matthew 25 : 14-15, 19-21

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Imagine someone who, before going abroad, summoned his servants to entrust his property to them. He gave five talents of silver to one servant, two talents to another servant, and one talent to a third, to each, according to his ability; and he went away.”

“After a long time, the master of those servants returned and asked for a reckoning. The one who had received five talents came with another five talents, saying, ‘Lord, you entrusted me with five talents, but see, I have gained five more.’ The master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, since you have been faithful in a few things, I will entrust you in charge of many things. Come and share the joy of your master.'”

Saturday, 12 November 2016 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red
3 John 5-8

Beloved, you do well to care for the brothers and sisters as you do. I mean those coming from other places. They spoke of your charity before the assembled Church. It will be well to provide them with what they need to continue their journey, as if you did it for God.

In reality, they have set out on the road for His Name without accepting anything from the pagans. We should receive such persons, making ourselves their cooperators in the work of the truth.

Sunday, 13 September 2015 : Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

James 2 : 14-18

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, to profess faith without showing works? Such faith has no power to save you. If a brother or sister is in need of clothes or food and one of you says, “May things go well for you; be warm and satisfied,” without attending to their material needs, what good is that? So it is for faith without deeds : it is totally dead.

Say to whoever challenges you, “You have faith and I have good deeds, show me your faith apart from actions and I, for my part, will show you my faith in the way I act.”

Tuesday, 3 February 2015 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, and St. Ansgar, Bishop (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs) or White (Bishops)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we hear about the healing which Jesus performed to the woman who had bleeding in her for twelve years, and also the resurrection of the dead daughter of a synagogue official. And both of them have a great significance for us, as they were both saved and healed because of their faith.

The woman was healed from her bleeding because she believed that Jesus had the power to free her from her afflictions, while the daughter of the official was healed because her father also showed the same faith in the power and authority of Jesus. What Jesus told the woman is important, as He said that the woman’s faith had saved her. This showed that we must have faith in the Lord in order for us to achieve salvation.

However, people tend to interpret this differently, thinking and assuming that faith alone is sufficient for us to attain salvation and liberation from all of our afflictions. Some were misled by the confusion to think that we just need to have faith and to believe in the Lord, and then all of our problem will be gone, and all of our difficulties will cease. But this is a wrong idea, an erroneous thinking and a heresy planted in our minds by Satan.

Our Lord Himself, as the first reading from the Epistle to the Hebrews had testified, is the founder of the Faith we have now, not just because He preached what He had preached, and not just because of all the words and things which He had mentioned and taught to His disciples, but even more importantly, Jesus Himself practiced and made true what He had taught and preached in His own actions.

He persevered and suffered grievously for all of our sins, and He bore that cross that is our sins, holding onto it as He ascended the hills of Calvary, and every single wounds He received is our sins that He patiently and lovingly bore upon Himself. What does this mean, brothers and sisters in Christ? Our Lord loves us all very much, and He wants us all to be saved. He had faith in us all being able to overcome sin, but without action, everything would come to naught.

And that was why, He showed us all the example through His own action, that faith is never complete without action and deed to prove that faith, and without action based on that faith, the faith is essentially dead. The woman with bleeding believed in Jesus, but had she not taken the action to come through the numerous crowd and try her best to touch the cloak of Jesus, she would not have been healed.

It was also the same for the daughter of Jairus, the synagogue official. Had Jairus not make the effort to come down and seek the Lord Jesus, he would not have received the reward for his faith, even though he was indeed faithful to the Lord. Thus, our faith requires effort, a conscious effort and work, which is our faith made alive and real.

Indeed, we cannot profess that we are truly faithful to the Lord, if we had not done anything to show that we are indeed faithful. Therefore, let us all from now on, change our ways and be truly faithful, just as today we celebrate the feast of two saints of the Church, namely St. Blaise and St. Ansgar, the faithful servants of God, whose examples hopefully may inspire us all.

St. Blaise was renowned as the patron saint of throat diseases, and we know of him now primarily because of the custom of the blessing of the throat, also known as St. Blaise’s blessing, with two crossed candles on our throats. St. Blaise was once a physician that cured and healed diseases, but he then settled on in the greater service of God and His people and instead he became the physician of souls.

The works of St. Blaise in calling the people of God to repentance and to a holy lifestyle is a constant reminder to all of us, that we are all always afflicted with the disease of the soul, that is sin, and we have to seek remedy for this affliction, that is by seeking the Lord our God with faith, and by doing what He had commanded us to do, as doing good deeds for others around us is a panacea and medicine against the sickness of sin.

Meanwhile, St. Ansgar showed us that we have much to do as the fellow servants of God, in doing good for one another and in calling many people from the darkness of the world into the Light. St. Ansgar was truly experienced in this as he lived during the early Medieval era Europe, in the midst of the people still gripped by pagan worship and pagan gods, and he was indeed sent to those people to bring the Light of Christ upon them.

St. Ansgar tirelessly worked to bring the Good News and the truth of Christ to them. Amidst all the difficulties and challenges, he managed to convert countless souls and gained them for the Lord, for their own benefit as well. And this should inspire us all to take up the same cross, the same mission to bring more and more people to the salvation in the Lord.

May our Almighty God be with us all, guide us all in our ways that we may always be upright in His eyes and at the end of the days, may we all find salvation and justification in Him, the One who rewards all His faithful with the abundance of graces. God bless us all. Amen.

Friday, 30 January 2015 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we hear about the parables which Jesus taught to His disciples, which He taught to them as the way to understand the true meaning of the faith. In the various parables of Jesus, we can clearly see the rich discourse and meaning behind the stories and the tales which Jesus told His disciples and followers. All of these were crafted to suit the understandings of the people, who were mostly farmers, shepherds, fishermen and people from the poor strata of the society.

Many of these people were uneducated, and they were not able to read, and neither could they understand difficult and complicated concepts. Therefore, to lecture them on the Law of God and His many precepts would not go anywhere, as they would not be able to understand them a single bit if done this way. That is why, Jesus told them about God through the use of parables, through stories in which the farmers, shepherds and fishermen would be able to relate, as Jesus used terms and explanations according to what they did in their everyday works and lives.

Today Jesus talked about the parable of the kingdom of God being likened to a mustard seed that when planted grows to become a great tree, even though it was once the smallest of seeds. This is to clearly show how the kingdom of God is like. It is not just like some imaginary or utopian kingdom somewhere else beyond our reach. It is not just in our imagination, as the kingdom of God is truly real, and it is all within us all, the believers who are faithful to our Lord, who had brought His kingdom upon us.

The kingdom of God is like a seed planted within each and every one of us. But it will remain dormant as long as nothing is done to make sure that it grows and becomes vibrant and living within us. But if we indeed put the effort to make a difference, by throwing and casting away all that is evil, then we will allow the kingdom of God to grow within us.

What is the kingdom of God, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is not the same as any worldly kingdoms or realms. It is realised when all of us live according to the way of the Lord, that is love, peace, harmony and friendship between all the peoples, all of whom are devoted to the Lord their God, and their loving Father. The kingdom of God is where all of us lives together, all following and obeying the will of God, where no evil exists anymore, and where all of us are reunited with our loving God.

That was the figurative meaning of the mustard tree that Jesus had told His disciples. The mustard tree grows so large, that birds of the sky come and take shelter in its branches. Thus, the kingdom of God ought to grow wide and strong, and encompass all the peoples, all the creations of God, all mankind who had once been lost to God, to the darkness of this world.

In the first reading, St. Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews mentioned about us all having received the faith, and if we hold fast and stay true to that faith, then we shall have nothing to worry about. As long as we do not abandon the faith we have, and as long as we put our trust in God, our Lord will be our guide and protection. For if we look at the Gospel today, we have to note that our Lord had revealed to us His truth through what He had told His disciples in private.

What He had revealed to His disciples, and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we too have received through the Church, which preserved the fullness of the truth of our Lord. But there are many others who have yet to hear or to witness this truth, and they still remain engulfed in darkness. And it is our duty and obligation to bring the words of truth to them.

But we cannot be hypocrites of our faith, or else we will be like speaking babbles to the people. We have to therefore translate it into something that they would be able to understand, and that is our actions. That means, we have to make sure that we live according to our faith. We cannot be indifferent to others who need of our love, and we have to be proactive in loving others just as our Lord had loved us.

May Almighty God therefore guide us and show us the way, that we may all be examples and role models for all to see, and so that all of those who see us will come to believe in us, and put their complete trust in us, and thus be saved from eternal death. May God bless us. Amen.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the famous parable of the sower in the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ to the people. This parable told us of the gifts of God’s love in all of us, and what can happen to that gift, either be it for out own good, for our benefit, or whether it will become dead and useless, meaningless for the sake of our salvation. It is all truly entirely up to us, in our own actions in life, on what will become of the gifts which God had given us all.

In the first reading we are told of the action of God, who by the singular act of our Lord Jesus Christ had made the impossible possible for all of us. While we were once sinners who deserved only death and damnation, He had brought us out from the precipice of death, through the loving sacrifice of our Lord Himself, who had borne all of our sins at once, and carry that cross of sin, of shame and of damnation upon His shoulders to Calvary.

And by that act, we were all saved. Redemption was given to us and salvation is offered freely to us, if only we believe in what Christ had done for us, that is God’s love. And it is therefore, in this that we should see how God had planted His love within us all. Through Jesus, He had revealed unto us, the seeds of faith, the seeds of love, and the seeds of hope, which all of us, upon our acceptance of the Good News of the Gospels, receive from the Lord Himself, who is the Sower of those seeds.

But what we all should realise is that, those seeds need something to be able to grow. As all farmers should know, that Jesus was referring to them by that parable, so that they might be able to understand His intentions. That intention was that to show mankind how our faith requires an active participation and contribution by all of us without exception. And this is perfectly shown by the parable of the sower.

In rich soil, the seeds will prosper and grow well, and very well indeed, bearing many and many more fruits and results than what had been planted. Such will also be our reward, rich and plentiful, should we decide to walk in the way of the Lord. Our Lord and God will never disappoint us, and He will always guide us and be with us, just like the farmer taking care of its good crops. But bad crops He will uproot and destroy.

And even worse, for many people, the seeds would not even have the chance to grow and develop, for the various reasons summarised in the parable of the sower. For some, the seeds of faith, hope and love did not even manage to take root at all, unable to penetrate the hardness of the hearts of some of us. Yes, just as the Israelites in the past had hardened their hearts against God, and just as the Pharaoh had hardened his heart against the Israelites, so are many of us who have dwelled too long in our pride, in our prejudice, our greed and desires, so that we have no place for God at all within us.

And from among those whom the seeds had been sown in, there are those who are so concerned with worldly things, to the point that they are unable to fully commit to the Lord’s way and teachings. To them, the temptation of the world is too much and too good for them to ignore, and therefore, they gave in to the temptations of Satan, much like weeds growing around the crops and choking them to death, and thus they bore no fruit at all, and have no part in God’s salvation.

Today, we celebrate the feast of a great saint of the Church, that is of St. Thomas Aquinas, the great Doctor of the Church and the revolutionary philosopher saint who advanced greatly the Theology of the Church, by showing through his brilliant mind, the truth of God made real and concrete, and many understood the true meaning of their faith through his works.

St. Thomas Aquinas told us that there is much we do not know about the Lord, and that we can understand Him by observing what we have around us in the world, through the Church. St. Thomas Aquinas developed greatly the understanding on the nature of God, and what He had done for us through His various graces. And that is exactly by understanding the Lord, that we may grow stronger in faith and empower ourselves, that our lives will be made richer and the seeds of faith, hope and love our Lord planted in us may grow and be strong.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore, shall we seek to overcome the temptations of this world and cast out all forms of worldliness from our lives? Shall we seek to be closer to the Lord our God by striving to know Him better? Surely we all can put in more effort to be closer to our God and strive to live according to what He had told us.

Let us all therefore work hard to provide ourselves with the optimum environment and condition necessary for the faith in us to grow, for the hope in us to blossom, and for the love in us to bear forth great fruits. That is why, with the inspiration from St. Thomas Aquinas, we should all seek to understand our faith more deeply, by regularly reading the Holy Scriptures and learning the teachings of the Church.

By doing so, therefore we have strengthened the faith within us, and then we should bring forth that same faith, that same hope and love in our actions, and then truly that seed which had been planted in us will bear rich fruits that will be truly thirtyfold, sixtyfold, hundredfold and even more. May Almighty God witness the faith we have for Him, through what we have done to one another, and may He bless us always with His rich graces. God bless us all. Amen.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Angela Merici, Virgin (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Virgins)

Psalm 39 : 2 and 4ab, 7-8a, 10, 11

With resolve I waited for the Lord; He listened and heard me beg. He put a new song into my mouth, a song of praise to our God.

Sacrifice and oblation You did not desire; this You had me understand. Burnt offering and sin offering You do not require. Then I said, “Here I come!”

In the great assembly I have proclaimed Your saving help. My lips, o Lord, I did not seal – You know that very well.

I have not locked up in my heart Your saving help, but have spoken about it – Your deliverance and Your faithfulness; I have made no secret of Your truth and of Your kindness in the great assembly.