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

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 54 : 5-14

For your Maker is to marry you : YHVH Sabaoth is His Name. Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called God of all the earth. For YHVH has called you back as one forsaken and grieved in spirit. Who could abandon His first beloved? says your God.

For a brief moment I have abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will gather My people. For a moment, in an outburst of anger, I hid My face from you, but with everlasting love I have had mercy on you, says YHVH, your Redeemer.

This is for Me like Noah’s waters, when I swore that they would no more flood the earth; so now I swear not to be angry with you and never again to rebuke you. The mountains may depart and the hills be moved, but never will My love depart from you, nor My covenant of peace be removed, says YHVH whose compassion is for you.

O afflicted city, lashed by storm and unconsoled, I will set your stones with turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will crown your wall with agate, make your gates crystal, and your ramparts of precious stones.

All your children will be taught by YHVH, and they will prosper greatly. Justice will be your foundation; tyranny and the fear of oppression will never come near you.

Sunday, 20 March 2016 : Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, Holy Week (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Isaiah 50 : 4-7

The Lord YHVH has taught me so I speak as His disciple, and I know how to sustain the weary. Morning after morning He wakes me up to hear, to listen like a disciple.

The Lord YHVH has opened my ear. I have not rebelled, nor have I withdrawn. I offered my back to those who strike me, my cheeks to those who pulled my beard; neither did I shield my face from blows, spittle, and disgrace.

I have not despaired, for the Lord YHVH comes to my help. So, like a flint I set my face, knowing that I will not be disgraced.

Friday, 26 September 2014 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Cosmas and St. Damian, Martyrs (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)

Ecclesiastes 3 : 1-11 (or Qoheleth 3 : 1-11)

There is a given time for everything and a time for every happening under heaven : A time for giving birth, a time for dying; a time for planting, a time for uprooting. A time for killing, a time for healing; a time for knocking down, a time for building.

A time for tears, a time for laughter; a time for mourning, a time for dancing. A time for throwing stones, a time for gathering stones; a time for embracing, a time to refrain from embracing. A time for searching, a time for losing; a time for keeping, a time for throwing away.

A time for tearing, a time for sewing; a time to be silent and a time to speak. A time for loving, a time for hating; a time for war, a time for peace. What profit is there for a man from all his toils?

Finally I considered the task God gave to the humans. He made everything fitting in its time, but He also set eternity in their hearts, although they are not able to embrace the work of God from the beginning to the end.

Monday, 12 May 2014 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of Sts. Nereus and Achilleus, Martyrs, and St. Pancras, Martyr (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)

Psalm 41 : 2-3 and Psalm 42 : 3, 4

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for You, o God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I go and see the face of God?

Send forth Your light and Your truth; let them be my guide, let them take me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You reside.

Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my gladness and delight. I will praise You with the lyre and harp, o God, my God.

Thursday, 17 April 2014 : Chrism Mass on Maundy Thursday (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 88 : 21-22, 25 and 27

I have found David My servant, and with My holy oil I have anointed him. My hand will be ever with him and My arm will sustain him, no enemy shall outwit him nor the wicked oppress him.

My faithfulness and love will be with him, and by My help he will be strong. He will call on Me, “You are my Father, my God, my Rock, my Saviour.”

Saturday, 15 March 2014 : 1st Week of Lent (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we all belong to God, just as He had mentioned it in the first reading we heard today. Just as He had claimed Israel to be His chosen ones, to be His chosen people, we too, in the new covenant that Jesus had established with all mankind, have been made to be the people of God, and consecrated to Him in His love.

And as He Himself mentioned, that those who belong to Him ought to be like Him in our actions, words and deeds, that we may reflect Him in all the things that we do. And therefore, we should follow all of His commandments and laws He had revealed to us through the prophets as written in the Scriptures, and through Jesus His Son.

We are God’s children, and like all children do, we ought to follow what our parents are doing, imitating them in their actions, deeds and thoughts. And as God our Father and Lord is Love Himself, we too have to love then, and love just as God loved us. And the commandments of God itself is love, designed to help us to be able to better love one another and to love and dedicate ourselves to God.

And in love, this love is not the kind of love that we often know in this world. There are many kinds and forms of love, but true and genuine love does not equate with lust and desire for pleasure, and neither can it be associated entirely with the love that someone express for another, between a man and a woman, or love that exists between those who had already loved one another in the first place.

Instead, true and genuine love means to love without discrimination and conditions. It is an unconditional love which we offer to all. Genuine love means to do what Christ had told us to do, that is to love even our enemies and pray for them, that they too may know love through the power of our prayer and the example of our unconditional and genuine love.

Yes, brethren, too often we have tried to fight fire with fire, and adding even more fuel to the fire, which ends up in everything being destroyed. And that is what usually happens, when we try to confront hatred and violence with even more violence. Everything will be destroyed and crushed in the end. That is what will happen if we response to someone’s hatred and enmity with even more enmity and hatred from our side.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, that is why it is important for us to instead fight the fire with water, to cool down the fire and let it die down, that in the end everything may be calm again, and through the water, the barren and burnt ground may once again hold life in it. The same therefore, we should practice in our own faith. We have to confront hatred and enmity with love, even if the other side does not yet love us.

Counter their curses with blessings, and show them that we can bring to them a valuable piece of truth, that hatred and violence does not solve everything, and instead will bring things to complete disarray and destruction. Love is the way out of things, as well as peace. We have to always remember this whenever we act.

Make peace with one another and love, and let us all come together in devotion to God in love. Let us show those who still linger in darkness and in the shadow of hatred, that love is the way, and may our actions based in love and forgiveness, help them to get out of the darkness and into the light that together, we may be saved. God be with us all, to the end of time. Amen.

Monday, 10 March 2014 : 1st Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Leviticus 19 : 1-2, 11-18

YHVH spoke to Moses and said, “Speak to the entire assembly of the people of Israel and say to them : Be holy for I, YHVH, your God, am holy.”

Do not steal or lie or deceive one another. Do not swear falsely by My Name so as to profane the Name of your God; I am YHVH.

Do not oppress your neighbour or rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning. You shall not curse a deaf man nor put a stumbling block in the way of the blind; but you shall fear your God; I am YHVH.

Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor nor bow to the great; you are to judge your neighbour fairly so as not to share in his guilt. Do not go about as a slanderer of your people and do not seek the death of your neighbour; I am YHVH.

Do not hate your brother in your heart; rebuke your neighbour frankly so as not to share in his guilt. Do not seek revenge or nurture a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself; I am YHVH.

Sunday, 23 February 2014 : 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Leviticus 19 : 1-2, 17-18

YHVH spoke to Moses and said, “Speak to the entire assembly of the people of Israel and say to them : Be holy for I, YHVH, your God, am holy.

Do not hate your brother in your heart; rebuke your neighbour frankly so as not to share in his guilt. Do not seek revenge or nurture a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself; I am YHVH.

Sunday, 16 February 2014 : 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Our Lord is perfect, and He is good in all of His doings and dealings. He came to straighten our path, and make good again our status, that we will be shown the way to true salvation in God. For we mankind over time had grown to be lax, proud, and disobedient. Instead of following what God wants from us, we tend to walk on our own path, and ignore all of His calls towards us.

That was why we veered away from God’s path, and walked towards damnation with the devil. The devil was only very glad that we would come towards him instead of the Lord, and that was why he lured us even more towards himself, that just as he is to suffer, we also will suffer with him. We twist the law of God to suit our own purposes.

That was why Jesus came to straighten things out, to clarify what the Lord truly wanted from each one of us. The Pharisees, the scribes and teachers of the Law had abandoned the true meaning of the law of God, for their own version of the law, twisted with human pride, arrogance and ignorance. They filled the law of God with many corruptions and unnecessary burdens that they piled up on the people.

They hid the law behind layers after layers of unnecessary and burdensome rituals and observations, and they themselves revelled in the glory they have gained and the praise given to them by the people for their supposed piety and observation of the law. They therefore prevented the people of God from realising the true meaning of the law, deceiving the people.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this world did not know Christ and they have rejected Him, even among His own people, and foremost of all those of course were the Pharisees and their parties. This was because there was no God in their hearts. Their hearts were filled with things and pleasures of this world. The world today is no different. The allures and pleasures of this world had corrupted many, and closed their hearts away from God.

These things distract us from God and what He wants from us. As often mentioned, what God wants from us is not blind or meaningless obedience and obeisance. What God wants from us is love and faith. He wants from us devotion and true and unbridled love. That was why He gave us Jesus, as a proof of His love and to teach His love to us.

The Lord Jesus explained that the laws that God had given to mankind should not be taken just at the face value or be taken from granted. The law of God is all about love, just as God Himself is Love. And this love is to love one another as fellow children of God and loving God Himself who is our Father. And it is this truth that Jesus came for, not to destroy or obliterate the old laws revealed to Moses, but to straighten it and clarify the meaning behind it.

Jesus came to perfect the law of God revealed to Moses. He came to erase all the corruptions of the world added over the centuries by the people of God in their ignorance and arrogance, and bring the law once again to its true purpose. Yes, the law of God as I have often mentioned, was not meant to enslave God’s people or to punish them.

Brethren, let us all heed the call of our Lord delivered to us through Jesus, that we should return to His fold, and seeking God and His love rather than our own glory and prestige as the Pharisees had done in the past. Let us focus on loving the Lord and following His ways, making sure that first of all we seek to understand what God wants from each one of us.

Let us dull the edge of our pride and arrogance, and sharpen the edge of our humility. We should seek the wisdom of God and trust in His words rather than in the words of men. Lead a good and pure life, and seek what is good instead of what is wicked in the eyes of the Lord. Do not commit sin as Jesus had said, and avoid any licentiousness and evil.

Be pure and holy just as our Lord is holy. Be good and faithful in His ways and listen to Him when He speaks to us. God spoke to us in the silence of our hearts, but silence is a rare occasion these days. Our world is too noisy with distractions and allure of pleasures and filled with temptations that keep us away from the Lord.

Let us therefore then take the time for God, and spend some time with Him regularly. Seek Him, and ask Him what He desires from us. He wants our love, obedience with clear understanding, and devotion. Time is one of the things we can certainly spend for His sake. If we remain in Him and keep ourselves faithful, we will be strong against whatever temptations of sin or any attempt by the devil to derail us from the path of salvation.

Keep ourselves free from sin, for sin is the gateway to destruction and eternal damnation. Sin prevents us from receiving the grace of God. May our Lord therefore strengthen the faith and love inside of us, that we may resist sin and remain in the favour of God. May He bless us all forever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, 18 January 2014 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

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

Today brethren, we heard about how God had chosen Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin, to be the king over His people Israel, and how He instructed Samuel, His prophet and servant, to deliver His will to Saul and later on, to let it be known to the people.

He anointed Saul through His servant Samuel, that Saul be filled with His own Spirit bearing power and authority, that He be granted wisdom and power, which came from God, to lead the people of God through righteous life and obedience to the Lord, and make sure that the people of God faithfully keep the laws and commandments of God without turning from them or abandoning them.

But sadly, Saul, and many other kings of Israel did not remain faithful to God, and followed their own ways and desires, in ruling the people, misusing the power given to them and the authority entrusted to them. They became tyrants and abusers of power, serving their own needs and desires instead of serving the people of God.

The people of Israel were eventually lost and were scattered all over the world, after their kingdoms of Israel and Judah were destroyed by their enemies. They went into exile, and only a portion would eventually return to their Promised Land, and began anew, trying to once again obey the will of God and not walk the path of sinfulness as their ancestors had under the rule of the corrupt kings.

God resolved to show His infinite love for His people and for all mankind, the most beloved of all His creations, by sending to us His ultimate form of love, that is, Jesus Christ, His own Son, the Logos, the Word of God, who was made man, by the power of God, and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus, as Lord, is the true King of all, for God is the true King over all creations, the Lord and King over all the universe. From God all authority and power comes.

But Jesus showed all of us, that true kingship is not one based on the abuse of power or tyranny. Even though He was Lord of all and King of all kings, and have all the power and authority He needed, He never showed them off or used them to push things to His advantage. The kingship of Jesus is one of true service for His people, to care and love them very, very much, so much that He even was willing to lay down His own life for them.

He also came to seek the lost and the ones without hope. He came to bring light to those who live in the darkness, especially those who were deeper and even deeper in darkness. That was why, when He came, He sought those who were sinful and considered the troubles of the society, the hated enemies of the people. Yes, people such as tax collectors, prostitutes, and those possessed by illnesses and the evil spirits.

Jesus came to bring them to the comfort of the light of God, and to show that they too deserve redemption, even more so because they were so deep in the risk of damnation. He also made the point that these people were truly capable of great deeds and great piety, even more than those who outwardly showed brilliant faith, but inside were not as brilliant as they seemed to be.

That was why, He as the King who has authority over us, and who is like a father to all of us, came to correct things as well as perceptions of the society, that we should not judge others based on their appearance or their deeds in the past. Yes, the likes of Saul, who was very tall and handsome, who seemed like the perfect choice for a regal king, and yet failed miserably, and the likes of the Pharisees, who outwardly showed faith in God but in their hearts there were no love for God, but only for themselves.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are called by our King, our Lord Jesus Christ, to be the beacons of light shining the way for those who have been lost in the darkness of this world. Let us imitate Jesus and seek out those who have been condemned and villified by the society, those ostracised and hated. Let us not hate or be prejudiced against them, but instead embracing them, that we show to them the love of God, that they too may believe and therefore be saved together with us.

May the Lord put in our hearts, the courage to embrace the least of our brothers and sisters, especially those who are looked down upon by the society, and those who are unloved and rejected. May God be with all of us, that together, we may help one another to find a way to seek the light, our King, the One and only True King, Jesus Christ our Lord and God! Amen.