Friday, 8 June 2018 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Hosea 11 : 1, 3-4, 8c-9

I loved Israel when he was a child; out of Egypt I called My Son. Yet, it was I Who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; yet, little did they realise that it was I Who cared for them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with leading strings of love, and I became for them as One Who eases the yoke upon their neck and stoops down to feed them.

My heart is troubled within Me and I am moved with compassion. I will not give vent to My great anger; I will not return to destroy Ephraim, for I am God and not human. I am the Holy One in your midst: and I do not want to come to you in anger.

Friday, 12 June 2015 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, World Day of Prayer for the Sanctity of Priestly Life (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate one of the great feast days of the Church, where we commemorate one of the great aspects of our Lord, namely that of His most loving Heart, which He has for all of us. The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus our Lord is filled with perfect love, just as God Himself is Love, and this love is the perfect and unconditional love which our Lord had for us, so much so that He was willing to lay down His life for us sinners and bring us by that to our salvation.

On this day, we celebrate the love of God which had been made evident through Christ. The crucifixion and its aftermath as we heard in today’s Gospel reading is the culmination in God’s everlasting love and good works for us. But since the beginning of time we have seen how great is the love that God has for us His people. It all began with our creation, when God created us and gave life to all of us.

Indeed, for God to show such great love for us, in creating us and giving life to us is already a love great enough, and yet, when we fell into sin, He continued to show even more love and compassion for us, by giving us chance and mercy after He had punished our ancestors for their sins. When Cain murdered his brother Abel, God punished him by having him pursued all his life for having committed such a sin, but He also gave him help by preventing others from killing him.

When mankind have sinned greatly against Him, He did not destroy them outright, but He tried to find the good in mankind. That was how He rescued Noah in the Ark that He commanded Noah to build, so that what is good in mankind, could be preserved. And when mankind sinned in their pride by building up the Tower of Babel, He scattered them and confused their languages, and yet, He also planted the seed of reunion and salvation through His chosen one, Abraham, whom He called out of the nations to be His own.

He did this so that He may one day bring all of His peoples back to Himself and reunite them once again as one people. He blessed Abraham and his descendants, and brought them to great blessings. When they suffered in Egypt in slavery, He heard them and showed forth in might His power to liberate them and brought them to the Land which He had promised to their ancestors.

And when they disobeyed and walked away from His covenant and His love, He punished them hard, and made them to wander in the desert for forty years, causing almost an entire generation of sinners to pass on, before their descendants were finally found worthy to enter into the Promised Land. But God also showed them mercy and love by feeding them with the bread from heaven and the food of angels, with water that is sweet and crystal-clear from the earth itself, even in the middle of the desert.

And despite their continuous and constant disobedience, God remains ever obedient and loving. He shows His mercy from time to time, by rescuing His people through the means of His prophets and messengers, whom He had sent into the world in order to reveal to them the path to salvation in God. This He had done again and again, until the point of time when He truly revealed the fullness of His Heart’s intentions through Christ.

For the Heart of God is filled with so much love and compassion for us that He was willing to come Himself and give us the ultimate hope for rescue and redemption. Through Christ He had established the unshakeable and permanent bridge between Him and ourselves. So that all who believe in Him and in His Most Sacred Heart filled with love for us, may be saved and be brought into our everlasting life and happiness.

The devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is a clear reminder for us all, of the love which God had shown us, the ultimate and perfectly selfless love through His suffering and death on the cross. And indeed, we pray to Him and trust in His Most Sacred Heart, that God in His unfailing love will not cease to love us and forgive us our sins when we repent and change our ways.

There is still time, brothers and sisters in Christ, for us all to accept the love of God and be forgiven. If only that we all realise how much God has loved us and how He is willing to cast aside our sins and allow us to begin anew again. The problem is that many of us do not realise this fact. We are either too proud to admit our sins and faults, or we are too fearful to approach the Lord.

We must not be either of this. We have to realise how loving God is, and therefore not to be afraid to seek His forgiveness, as He will not punish us without good reason. Our punishment comes because we have not turned from our ways and continued to repeatedly sin against Him, just as what the people of Israel had done in the past, by repeatedly refusing to repent, and by continuing to disobey His Laws and commandments.

At the same time, we must also realise that we cannot also be too proud to admit our sins. Many of us are not willing to admit that we have committed sin or made mistakes because we think that we are always in the right. Let us all make the effort to throw away our hubris and pride, and to open our hearts with humility, to approach the throne of our Lord’s merciful love.

Today on this Solemnity of our Lord’s Most Sacred Heart, let us all remember the love which His Heart had poured down unto us throughout the ages, both to us and to our ancestors. Let us all find the courage to approach His loving and sacred Heart, to entreat and move Him to show mercy to us when we have gone astray and sinned before Him and men alike.

Let us all also grow stronger in our trust to the Lord, as all who put their trust in Him shall never be disappointed. Remember that the Lord said to His disciples and to the people, “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest? This is exactly what will be ours if we keep our faith and devotion to His Most Sacred Heart alive and strong.

If we adhere strongly to the Most Sacred Heart of our Lord, then His love will be with us, and all of us will be strengthened and encouraged by knowing that He is always there with us and for us. No matter what evil or challenges we are going to encounter, we will always keep true to Him, and if we do our part faithfully, in the end, God and His love will bless us and give us the eternal inheritance He had promised us.

Let us never cease to entreat and look upon the Sacred Heart of Jesus, knowing that our Lord who have saved us with His life, had generously offered us His salvation, shown by the outpouring of the blood mingled with water when His Heart was pierced with a lance after His death. This is a symbol of God’s love, that by His death, He purifies us with His living water and His Blood, and that as God and Man united in Jesus, He made us all worthy, and as the Paschal Lamb of sacrifice, His offering to redeem us has been accepted.

May our Lord continue to love us as He has always loved us so far, and may He forgive us our trespasses day by day, as we commit ourselves ever more strongly to Him and to His ways. May Almighty God in His Most Sacred Heart always find the good in us so that we may be found worthy and receive the fullness of His grace. O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us! Amen.

Friday, 12 June 2015 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, World Day of Prayer for the Sanctity of Priestly Life (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 19 : 31-37

At that time, as it was Preparation Day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross during the Sabbath, for this Sabbath was a very solemn day. They asked Pilate to have the legs of the condemned men broken, so that the bodies might be taken away.

The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other man, who had been crucified with Jesus. When they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead, so they did not break His legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced His side with a lance, and immediately there came out blood and water.

The one who saw it, has testified to it, and his testimony is true; he knows he speaks the truth, so that you also might believe. All this happened to fulfill the words of Scripture : Not one of His bones shall be broken. Another text says : They shall look on Him whom they have pierced.

Friday, 12 June 2015 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, World Day of Prayer for the Sanctity of Priestly Life (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Ephesians 3 : 8-12, 14-19

This grace was given to me, the least among all the holy ones : to announce to the pagan nations the immeasurable riches of Christ and to make clear to all how the mystery, hidden from the beginning in God, the Creator of all things, is to be fulfilled.

Even the heavenly forces and powers will now discover through the Church the wisdom of God in its manifold expression, as the plan is being fulfilled which God designed from the beginning in Christ Jesus, our Lord. In Him we receive boldness and confidence to approach God.

And now I kneel in the presence of the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth has received its name. May He strengthen in you the inner self through His Spirit, according to the riches of His glory; may Christ dwell in your hearts through faith; may you be rooted and founded in love.

All of this so that you may understand with all the holy ones the width, the length, the height and the depth – in a word, that you may know the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge, that you may be filled and reach the fullness of God.

Friday, 12 June 2015 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, World Day of Prayer for the Sanctity of Priestly Life (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 12 : 2-3, 4bcd, 5-6

He is the God of my salvation; in Him I trust and am not afraid, YHVH is my strength : Him I will praise, the One who saved me. You will draw water with joy from the very fountain of salvation.

Praise to the Lord, break into songs of joy for Him, proclaim His marvellous deeds among the nations and exalt His Name.

Sing to the Lord : wonders He has done, let these be known all over the earth. Sing for joy, o people of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

Friday, 12 June 2015 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, World Day of Prayer for the Sanctity of Priestly Life (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Hosea 11 : 1, 3-4, 8c-9

YHVH said, “I loved Israel when he was a child; out of Egypt I called My Son. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; yet little did they realise that it was I who cared for them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with leading strings of love, and I became for them as One who eases the yoke upon their neck and stoops down to feed them.”

“My heart is troubled within Me and I am moved with compassion. I will not give vent to My great anger; I will not return to destroy Ephraim for I am God and not human. I am the Holy One in your midst and I do not want to come to you in anger.”

Saturday, 28 June 2014 : 12th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr, and the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady or Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary) or Red (Martyrs)

Lamentations 2 : 2, 10-14, 18-19

Without pity YHVH has shattered in Jacob every dwelling. He has torn down in His anger the ramparts of Judah’s daughter. He has thrown her rulers and her king to the ground, dishonoured.

The elders of the daughter of Zion sit in silence upon the ground, their heads sprinkled with dust, their bodies wrapped in sackcloth, while Jerusalem’s young women bow their heads to the ground. With weeping my eyes are spent; my soul is in torment because of the downfall of the daughter of my people, because children and infants faint in the open spaces of the town.

To their mothers they say, “Where is the bread and wine?” as they faint like wounded men in the streets and public squares, as their lives ebb away in their mothers’ arms. To what can I compare you, o daughter of Jerusalem? Who can save or comfort you, o virgin daughter of Zion? Deep as the sea is your affliction, and who can possibly heal you?

Your prophets’ visions were worthless and false. Had they warned of your sins, your fate might have been averted. But what they gave you instead were false, misleading signs.

Cry out to the Lord, o wall of the daughter of Zion! Oh, let your tears flow day and night, like a river. Give yourself no relief; grant your eyes no respite. Get up, cry out in the night, as the evening watches start; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to Him for the lives of your children, who faint with hunger at the corner of every street.