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

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 103 : 1-2, 5-6, 10, 12-14, 24 and 35

Bless the Lord, my soul! Clothed in majesty and splendour; O Lord, my God, how great You are! You are wrapped in light as with a garment; You stretch out the heavens like a tent.

You set the earth on its foundations, and never will it be shaken. You covered it with the ocean like a garment, and waters spread over the mountains.

You make springs gush forth in valleys winding among mountains and hills.

Birds build their nests close by and sing among the branches of trees. You water the mountains from Your abode and fill the earth with the fruit of Your work. You make grass grow for cattle and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth.

How varied o Lord, are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all – the earth full of Your creatures. May sinners vanish from the earth, and may the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, my soul!

 

Alternative Psalm

Psalm 32 : 4-7, 12-13, 20, 22

For upright is the Lord’s word and worthy of trust is His work. The Lord loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of His kindness.

The heavens were created by His word, the breath of His mouth formed their starry host. He gathered the waters of the sea into a heap, and stored the deep in cellars.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord – the people He has chosen for His inheritance. The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole race of mortals.

In hope we wait for the Lord, for He is our help and our shield.

O Lord, let Your love rest upon us, even as our hope rests in You.

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

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

Psalm 20 : 2-3, 4-5, 6-7

The king rejoices in Your strength, o Lord, and exults in Your saving help. You have granted him his desire; you have not rejected his request.

You have come to him with rich blessings; You have placed a golden crown upon his head. When he asked, You gave him life – length of days forever and ever.

He glories in the victory You gave him; You shall bestow on him splendour and majesty. You have given him eternal blessings, and gladdened him with the joy of Your presence.

Saturday, 2 November 2013 : Solemnity of All Souls (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Violet or Black

John 6 : 37-40

Yet all those whom the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me, I shall not turn away. For I have come from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of the One who sent Me.

And the will of Him who sent Me is that I lose nothing of what He has given Me, but instead that I raise it up on the last day. This is the will of the Father, that whoever sees the Son and believes in Him shall live eternal life; and I will raise Him up on the last day.

Saturday, 19 October 2013 : 28th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John de Brebeuf, St. Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs, and St. Paul of the Cross, Priest (Scripture Reflection)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs) or White (Priests and the Mass of our Lady)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, God is so faithful to all of us, even when we are unfaithful. He keeps His promise even when we stray away from His path and erred before Him. He is truly faithful and devoted to us, that He sent us salvation in Christ, through whom He made this whole world complete once again, in the. Blood of the slaughtered Lamb of God.

He is faithful to the promise He made to man, and to Abraham His servant. Even if He wanted to break that promise, He could not have done so, that is because it is His nature to be faithful and true to the promise, indeed, any promise that He had made to all of us. There is no instance at all, where the Lord had broken any of His promises, that is the covenants He had made with us.

Covenants are made between two parties, brethren, and if one side break their part of the covenant, that covenant is broken. That is precisely what had happened, we and our ancestors are the ones who had broken the covenant the Lord had made with us, through our rebelliousness, stubbornness, and sinfulness, beginning from Adam our forefather and Eve, his wife, tempted by Satan to disobey God, right down to us sinners, who sin daily and do things abhorrent in the eyes of God.

Yet, the Lord who punishes those who has done evil, is also loving, and despite us having trespassed against Him, in His love, He continues to embrace us, and hope for us to return to Him. That is why, through Christ His Son, He willed to reconcile us to Himself, and reestablish the covenant that had been broken, and at the same time fulfill the promises He had made to us and our ancestors.

Lord Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all God’s promises to mankind, and the One who marked the ultimate and infinite nature of God’s love and the perfection of the divine covenant. God promised man that He will send a deliverer through a woman, a descendant of Eve, the first woman, and the promise that while the snake, the deceiver would bite the children of the woman, that is Satan, will have power over mankind for a time, but the woman, from whom the Saviour came from, will crush the head of the snake, that is Mary, through whom Christ was incarnated into Man, will end the tyranny of Satan, through the death and resurrection of her Son, Jesus, God incarnate into Man.

God also fulfilled the promise to Abraham, by truly making his children as innumerable as the stars. The descendants of Abraham spread wide and numerous, and then, He also fulfilled it through Jesus, in making the descendant of Abraham great, everlasting through Christ, the descendant of David, and therefore of Abraham, through Mary His mother and Joseph, His foster-father.

To David, God had promised that He would establish his descendant on the throne of Israel forever, and that is fulfilled completely through Jesus, the son of David, and at the same time, the eternal and Almighty God. To Jesus will be given the eternal kingdom of glory, and He will be exalted by all creation, by all the angels, for He had broken the power of death, overcome it, and through His resurrection, He had made the whole world pure once again, from the taints of original sin, and bring mankind back towards the Lord.

Yet, many of us spurn and reject this expression of pure and unadulterated love. We prefer to mingle and linger in our sinfulness rather than opening ourselves to God’s infinite mercy and love. We love the darkness of Satan more than we love the Lord who is light and the true guide of our lives. That is because we perceive the lies of Satan as things good and enjoyable, while fearing the anger of the Lord because of our sinfulness. That anger however, is precisely because we refuse to turn away from evil, and continue committing what is evil in the eyes of God. If only that we turn ourselves back towards Him, He who is faithful and loving will surely welcome us back into His embrace.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the holy saints and martyrs of the Universal Church. We commemorate today, the feast of St. Isaac Jogues, St. John de Brebeuf, and their companions, who were martyred in North America, during a time of great evangelisation and missionary work in that country. At that time, most of North America, as was the rest of the New World were still largely populated by the natives of the continent, who looked suspiciously on the activity of the missionaries like the two saints.

Yet, St. John de Brebeuf and St. Isaac Jogues, together with many of their missionary companions, most of which were Jesuits, continued to work hard for the sake of the Lord, gaining converts among the pagan native populations. The hard work of the saints gained the conversion of even the entire Huron native American nation after long years of work in the bitter cold of Northern American winter conditions.

But rivalries between the native American tribes were common at the time, and the saints and their companions were caught in the midst of a vicious and terrible inter-native American tribal rivalry, which saw the Iroquois pagan natives completely defeating and eradicating the Hurons whom the saints had converted to the cause of the Lord. The saints were captured, tortured and mocked for their faith. Yet, they remained firm and devoted to the Lord, and they met their end at the hands of their torturers.

Therefore, brethren, we ought to be inspired by their example, the example they have made in their deep faith and devotion in God, that is in the One who has been promised to us mankind, to be our Saviour and salvation, as the deliverance freeing us from the tyranny of death and evil. Let us not be fearful to express our faith in God, and rather, as St. John de Brebeuf, St. Isaac Jogues, and their companions had done, show that faith through our actions, through our love and dedication to both our fellow men, as well as to God our Lord and Father.
May the Lord strengthen our faith, empower us, and bless us with His Holy Spirit, that our faith in Him will ever grow strong and never grow dim. Amen.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 : 20th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Pius X, Pope (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 20 : 2-3, 4-5, 6-7

The king rejoices in Your strength, o Lord, and exults in Your saving help. You have granted him his desire; You have not rejected his request.

You have come to him with rich blessings; You have placed a golden crown upon his head. When he asked, You gave him life – length of days forever and ever.

He glories in the victory You gave him; You shall bestow on him splendour and majesty. You have given him eternal blessings, and gladdened him with the joy of Your presence.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013 : Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

2 Peter 1 : 16-19

Indeed, what we taught you about the power and the return of Christ Jesus our Lord was not drawn from myths or formulated theories. We ourselves were eyewitnesses of His majesty, when He received glory and honour from God the Father, when from the magnificent Glory this most extraordinary word came upon Him : “This is My beloved Son, this is My Chosen One.”

We ourselves heard this voice from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. Therefore, we believe most firmly in the message of the prophets which you should consider rightly as a lamp shining in a dark place, until the break of day, when the Morning Star shines in your hearts.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013 : Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 96 : 1-2, 5-6, 9

The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the distant islands be glad. Clouds and darkness surround Him; justice and right are His throne.

The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim His justice, all peoples see His glory.

For You are the Master of the universe, exalted far above all gods.

Monday, 5 August 2013 : 18th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major (Scripture Reflection)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Mass of the Dedication of a Basilica)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we hear today of the Lord’s great kindness and compassion to us, His great love to us, that He provides for us daily what we need in our lives. He is our Father, who created us from dust and gave life to us. Yet, He did not just stop there and leave us to our own devices. He continues to care for us, nurture us as we grow, giving us His love that pours out from His heart.

He shows us compassion whenever we are hungry, whenever we are without love, whenever we are oppressed unjustly, and whenever we are under great distress. He is a loving Father who always makes Himself available to all of us. Never will He leave us without help. In His own mysterious ways, He sends us many help along the way in our lives, whether we realise it or not.

He gives us food, the physical food and nutrition we need for our survival, the sustenance of our physical bodies, the same way Christ had fed the five thousand men, and many more women and children. We receive these food through our parents, our families, our friends, and even those whom we buy the food from. He truly works His grace for us through various ways. Have we realised this, and realised His great love for us?

However, He does not only provide us with physical food to sustain us, but also the spiritual food of His love, the spiritual food of His words, which He gave us through Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. He poured His love into our hearts, that we may not only be physically satisfied, but also spiritually satisfied and whole. That is why we must take good care of our spiritual health. Remember always the rebuke Christ made to Satan when He was first tempted in the desert, that men does not live on bread alone, but from every Word that came from the Lord, that is our spiritual sustenance.

The Lord does not forget us when we are in trouble, nor will He turn us away when we come to Him to seek His help. He sent Moses to deliver His beloved people, Israel, from slavery and suffering in Egypt, delivering through Moses His wrath to Israel’s slave masters, the Pharaoh and the Egyptians. He delivered them through the Red Sea and gave them even food from heaven, the divine manna. Who else may claim that their God feed them with food that came from His own table in heaven?

He also delivered the people of Israel from the threat of utter destruction, by sending an unlikely deliverer, in Judith the widow, who courageously went through the enemy’s camp and slaying the enemy commander with God’s power and grace. He gave power to the weak to bring down the proud and the powerful, and giving freedom to His people living in fear and oppression under tyranny of evil. He does not forget His people, but instead walks among them and support them all the time of their lives.

And most important of all, there is no great gift and providence our Lord had given all of us, without exception, than the gift of Himself, through Jesus Christ His Son, the Word of God made flesh, who descended into the world to become our Saviour, our great Redeemer. Just as the people of Israel was under the tyranny of the Pharaohs, and later under Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who sent his general Holofernes to destroy them, so did all of us fall under the tyranny of evil, of sin, and of Satan, our jailor.

He sent us Jesus to be our Saviour, to be the One who broke forever the chains of sin that kept us bound to death that was our fate. It is not that we will not die, but we will no longer suffer eternal death, that is eternal separation from God who is life, if we put our trust in Jesus our Lord and accept Him as our Saviour.

He offered His salvation to all by the outpouring of His love to all of us, the ultimate nourishment for us and our souls, that He gave us through His disciples, the Most Precious Body and Blood of His own Body, in what we now know as the Most Holy Eucharist, that we regularly receive at the Holy Mass in the Holy Communion. Now truly, we should all be able to see and realise how great the love that God has for all of us, His children!

Today, brothers and sisters, we also commemorate the memorial of the dedication of Basilica of St. Mary Major or Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. This basilica is one of the four Papal Basilicas, and one of the most important sites of Christendom. This basilica was dedicated to the Mother of our Lord, our Blessed Virgin Mary herself, who is also the protector of the city of Rome. Our current Pope Francis went to visit the Basilica to ask for the Lady’s protection and intercession for his Pontificate on the day after his election as our Pope.

You see, brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all blessed that the Lord Himself cared so much about all of us sinners in this world, that He sent to us not only His Son, Jesus to be our Saviour, but also even earlier on, His mother Mary, to be our greatest intercessor before her Son, to be our greatest defender and help, when we are in the darkest depth of sin and evil. That is because the best way to the Lord is indeed by Christ, through Mary His mother. Mary is an example to all of us through her numerous deeds and righteousness, and her dedication to her Son, our Lord Jesus and the love she has for all mankind.

Remember that Christ had entrusted His mother to John, His beloved disciple and vice versa. In this way, Christ did not just give Mary to John, nor did He just give John to Mary to care for one another, because in fact, Christ, through John, gave His own mother to all of us, all mankind, without exception! Mary is our great intercessor, as she pleads for our sake, for our case, before her Son in heaven.

Remember again what happened in Cana, in the wedding, when Christ politely rejected the request to perform His first miracle to help the wedding couple in trouble because they ran out of wine. Yet, at the urging and persistence of Mary, in her own words, asking the servants to follow whatever the Lord said, He eventually helped and performed His first miracle, to the relief of the couple.

Yes, the same can also happen to us, brothers and sisters, as the Lord Himself had said, that if we want something, we should ask for it, and we should knock the door, if we want the door to be opened for us. He is generous for mercy, forgiveness, and love, but only if we ask Him, and persistently ask Him. He will give us all that we need, and provide us with everything we need, be it food, physical or spiritual, and other things that we require. Where does our mother, Mary come in this? She is, as I had mentioned, our greatest intercessor, the greatest of all saints, and the one nearest to the throne of mercy, to the throne of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through the intercession of Mary, we can be closer to God, and through her, many souls can be saved and enter the kingdom of heaven. That is why, brothers and sisters, it is important for us to promote the devotion to the Blessed Virgin, our mother and the mother of our God. Ask her for help and for her intercession for our sake before her Son, and our prayers will be heard.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, today, and henceforth, let us remember always the kindness and love God had showered us with, all the blessings He had given all of us. Let us always thank Him for the daily bread and blessings He had given us, remembering His love, and His dedication for us, that He even gave Himself to us, that we may live and have eternal life with Him in the glory and bliss of heaven. God bless us all. Amen.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Ignatius Loyola, Priest (Scripture Reflection)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today, Christ reminded us in the readings, how precious is the Lord to us, how wonderful is His kingdom, that is for us to inherit as eternal reward, if we remain faithful to Him who always loves us. The Kingdom of God is truly a precious and priceless gift to all, that everyone should indeed focus their attention on, as in the allusion made by Christ, that the kingdom of God is likened to a precious and top-quality pearl, so much so that one should sell all they have, just that they can own that wonderful and beautiful pearl.

So beautiful and perfect is the entire glory of God, that as stated in the first reading today, when Moses talked to the Lord face-to-face in the fullness of His glory and majesty, he would be bathed in His perfect and wonderful light, such that his face became the countenance of the Lord Himself, brilliant and radiant like the sun. Such was the glory of God reflected on the face of Moses, that he was compelled to hide his face by the means of the veil, so great is such glory that no one but Moses was allowed to see.

Our Lord Jesus Christ too was glorified on the mountaintop when He was transfigured from His human persona, and revealed the fullness of His glory and majesty. He revealed Himself to Peter, James, and John who were present at His Transfiguration. In that event too, we saw the same thing that had happened to Moses, in how Jesus Himself was transfigured into a figure of perfection and brilliance, except that the light itself came from Christ Himself, not because it was a reflection of God’s glory and majesty as in the case of Moses.

Why is this very important, brothers and sisters in Christ, that we listened to the word of God on how Moses faced God face-to-face? And why I mentioned Christ and His Transfiguration? That is because, brothers and sisters in Christ, we have been made in the image of God, that is our very face and countenance is a reflection of the very image of our God, the Creator Himself. We have the face of the Lord, but yet, we are not perfect as the Lord is perfect.

We were once perfect, in the early days of creation, when Adam and Eve still walked the Gardens of Eden, when they were still pure and without blame. After they had followed the devil instead of the Lord, they had lost sight of the treasure that the Lord would have given them for eternity. Mankind would have had no need to suffer, the suffering that is because of our sin and our rebellion against the Lord. Yet, we are the most beloved ones of the Lord, created in His own image, and He loved us still even after we had been corrupted by the sins our fathers had committed. That was why He sent Jesus Christ to the world, that man may be reunited once again with Him.

In our world, the devil has many tools to steer us away from the true path towards the Lord. There are many things that he can use, in order to continue his subversion of mankind, just as what he had once done to Eve and to Adam. He offered Eve the knowledge of things good and evil, and the tempting suggestion that eating the fruit of the forbidden tree would make her God’s equal. These are the same things he can utilise in our world today, to make us falter in our journey of faith.

We must set our focus right, on the true treasure that is the Lord and His love, and not be distracted by the false and temporary treasures of the world, such as wealth, properties, pleasure, and many other thing this world offers us, and our world offers us as things that we should all pursue. It is not that it is wrong to have money, wealth, and pleasure, because it is perfectly fine for us to have these, if these would help us to live in our increasingly challenging world. We do need money and worldly goods to be able to live on and survive.

What is important is that we do not become distracted by them, that we lost track of our real treasure, that is God. So precious is this wealth to us that we all should be motivated to seek it, and the wealth and treasures we have in this world should be directed to help us to obtain the real treasure. We do not have to go to the extent of selling everything in order to get that true treasure, but certainly, we need to put in effort in order to gain our true treasure and reward in God.

Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, the priest and founder of the Jesuit order, the largest religious order and movement in our Church today, of which our current Pope, Pope Francis, is a member of. St. Ignatius Loyola was born in Spain to a family of noble, who inherited much wealth and affluence in the society. St. Ignatius Loyola was destined to be a great knight and noble, and participated in much activities that the nobles used to do at that time.

St. Ignatius Loyola was born to a life of privilege, to a life of wealth and sufficiency, with all the things that all of us surely would have craved for. He was brought up to be a knight, seeking valour and fame through all his activities, seeking ever greater fame as he grew up, participating frequently in battles and duels in order to gain more fame and power. Yet, as he progressed on through life, he grew unsatisfied by these ‘treasures’ that he had.

St. Ignatius Loyola eventually left all that he had and abandoned the inheritance, the fame, and the glory he had once had, and instead, became the knight of Christ. Therefore, he no longer served himself, his own ego, his own pride and glory, but instead he gave it all to serve the Lord our God. Christendom then was in great turmoil, with people leaving the Church to the Reformation heresy every day. More and more left the Church tempted by the devil and his tools in this world, those who rebelled against the Lord and His Church.

That marked the beginning of the Jesuit order, which was first established by St. Ignatius Loyola and several of his companions. The Jesuit order rapidly grew and spread throughout Europe and Christendom at the time, combatting heresies and evils of the world, converting many back to the true faith, and stemmed the tide of destruction caused by the Reformation. The Reformation itself might have had good intentions, but in its implementation, it was a disaster for the faith, for God’s people, for the Church of God.

That was what the Jesuits, under the leadership of St. Ignatius Loyola was trying to combat and fight, in the Name of the Lord, which was the reason behind their name, that is the Society of Jesus. They, who had found the true treasure in God, and truly treasure this treasure, the priceless treasure, sought to ensure that others too can find their true treasure that is the Lord our God, and not to be misled by the devil into the chasm of damnation in hell, because of their heresy and transgressions against the true faith, as was rampant during the time of St. Ignatius Loyola.

The Jesuits are still active today, and together with many other religious orders, they work to continue the good works started by St. Ignatius Loyola and many other saints, so that more and more souls may be saved and prevented from falling into the traps of Satan. The hard work by St. Ignatius Loyola and his successors ensured that many are saved and received their true treasure in God, their eternal reward of everlasting life in the bliss of heaven.

We too, brothers and sisters in Christ, can do our part to bring more souls and indeed, ourselves to the Lord and His salvation, by ensuring that we keep our focus right, that is to focus ourselves on the real treasure that is the Lord our God, and do not become distracted by the world and all its temptations. Instead, let us use whatever graces and blessings that had been given to us, in wealth and other things, that we may use them as best as possible, to help us to achieve the real treasure of our lives. May St. Ignatius Loyola intercede for us that the Lord will always keep us strong in our struggle against evil and keep us in His embrace and favour, always, forever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, 2 June 2013 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Corpus Christi (Scripture Reflection)

Brothers and sisters in Christ! Today we celebrate a great mystery of our faith, that is the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, or Corpus Christi, in which God gave His own flesh and blood for us to consume, that He may live in us, and we in Him, that we can gain eternal life through Him. He gave up Himself that we may live, that we have a share in His death and His glorious resurrection.

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist is the centre to our faith, and the Real Presence of Christ our Lord in the consecrated bread and wine is what makes our faith truly Catholic. That is because we believe that in the Holy Mass, whenever the priest offers the bread and wine and consecrate it before the Lord, in the same words that Christ had used on the Last Supper, the bread and the wine truly become the Real Body and Blood of our Lord, and not just a purely symbolic or memorial reenactment of the Last Supper, but a real transformation of the material of the bread and wine, into the Body of Christ.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, what we receive in the Eucharist is the real Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave us His Body to eat and His Blood to drink, and therefore, as the Eucharist is divine, being the essence of God Himself, we must treat it with the greatest deference and respect. For this is the God who came down to us as man like us, and died for us, by shedding His blood, the Blood of the Lamb of God, that all mankind may be saved.

The Lamb of God had been slaughtered, and He did not resist, nor did He protest against His unjust sentence of death, even though He is without sin, because without His death, without His sacrifice, as the only completely perfect sacrificial lamb, there is nothing that can match the severity of all the sins of all mankind combined together. Only Christ, God incarnate as man, has this power and authority over sin, and by His sacrifice, we are made pure again, white as snow.

But Christ did not give us His Body and His Blood in the Eucharist without reason, ever since He gave His disciples the first Eucharist in the Last Supper, and as He had always mentioned, that those who eat that Bread, the Bread of Life, and drink from the cup of salvation, will gain eternal life, because Christ Himself would dwell within all of us, and we would then have a share in His glorious resurrection, and therefore eligible for salvation. Only if we accept Christ, live according to His commandments, and receive Him in the Eucharist, then we gain the fullness of salvation.

As Christ would dwell within all of us who receive Him in the Holy Eucharist, our bodies must be worthy of Christ, of God who is good and perfect. We may be lowly and weak mortals, but as long as we keep our faith in God and strive to do only what is good in the eyes of the Lord, we are worthy of Him. Remember the saying, that our body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit? That is because the Lord Himself through His Real Presence in the Eucharist has been willing to come to us, through the bread and wine transformed that we consume, that He would then dwell in us forever more.

That is why, we must not defile our bodies and minds with sin and corruption of evil, because our very body itself has become the very Temple of God, where the Lord resides, just very much like the Temple of Jerusalem, at the time of King Solomon, when God was willing to come down and reside in the Temple built by Solomon, and His presence overwhelmed all the people who witnessed it, so great is His majesty and power.

The Lord had decreed that no filth of evil and sin should enter the Temple, and there were large dedicated places where the people can wash and purify themselves prior to entering the Holy Temple, so that they would not defile the place physically and spiritually with the filth of their sin. It is kind of parallel to how we purify ourselves with the holy water as we enter the church building at the holy water font, and seal ourselves in purity, with the Name of the Holy Trinity and the sign of the victorious cross, in which we rebuke evil and reject Satan, and therefore, would then enter the holy place of God and preventing us from defiling that Holy Temple.

The same therefore, should apply to all of us. Ever since the Lord is willing to dwell within all of us, through His Real Presence in His Most Holy Body and Blood, we have become the new Tabernacle, the new Temple of the Lord, each one of us, who had been baptised, and who had received the Eucharist in good standing in the faith through the Church. We must therefore respect the same with regards to ensuring the purity of our own beings, that we, as the Temple of God, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, will not be defiled by our human weaknesses and sin.

St. Paul, in the same book as our second reading today, in his first letter to the people of Corinth, confirm this, that our bodies are indeed the Temple of the Holy Spirit, as the Holy Spirit also dwell within all of us who have received the Spirit, ever since the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles in Pentecost. Thus, our bodies became ever greater in terms of the need to maintain its purity, against the evils of the world, and against the temptations of the evil one through worldly pleasures and desires, that corrupts and bring darkness to our otherwise pure and holy Temple, where God resides.

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, our God has indeed dwelled within each one of us, and this is symbolised by yet another great event in the history of salvation, when Christ gave up His Spirit and died on Calvary, when He finally shed His own life and blood, for the redemption of all mankind. At that moment, the veil that separated the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant and the Lord Himself supposedly reside, from the rest of the Temple in Jerusalem, tore in two pieces from top to bottom, at the moment when Christ died on the cross.

That moment, when the veil was torn, was a defining moment. It symbolises that the Lord is no longer limited to just that holy space within the Temple in Jerusalem, as He had been, ever since He chose to dwell at the Temple, since the time of the King Solomon of Israel. Through the tearing of that veil, God made His new covenant, which He proclaimed in the Last Supper, complete, with all mankind.

That new covenant is the redemption offered by the death of Christ on the cross, through which we receive His Body and His Blood, given freely to all of us. So that, ever since, Christ, who is God, dwells within all of us who receive Him in the Eucharist, ever since the time of the Apostles, who was commanded by Christ Himself to continue the celebration of the Eucharist, in memorial of His Sacrifice on Calvary.

But beware, brothers and sisters in Christ, this is where exists a danger in misunderstanding the meaning of Christ, when He said about the Eucharist as a memorial. Many wrongly interpreted it as the sign that the celebration of the Eucharist is nothing more than a memorial, a symbolic celebration and imitation of the real sacrifice on Calvary. That the bread and wine that we consume are mere bread and wine, and not the Body and Blood of Christ.

Beware, brethren, that we do not fall into confusion and falsehoods spread by the evil one. For within that Eucharist, within the bread and the wine, Christ is present, really present, in His complete being, and that is what we call and know as the Real Presence of God in the Eucharist. We believe that our priests, with the same authority that Christ had given to the Apostles, in the consecration of the offerings of bread and wine, bring about the complete transformation of that bread and that wine, to become the Most Precious Body and the Most Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, some of us may ask, why then the bread still look like bread, and the wine still look like wine? And there seems to be no change in the physical appearance or substance of the bread and wine? That is exactly the wonder of the mystery of our faith in Christ. Because, yes, the bread and wine’s outside appearance remains that of physical bread and wine in shape, but it has in fact been completely transformed into the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in what we call as transubstantiation, because there is a real change or ‘trans’ in the substance of the bread and the wine, into the flesh and blood of our Lord.

Remember! That Christ Himself often repeated that those who did not partake in His flesh and His blood, those who did not receive His body and blood, will have no part in Him, and will not have eternal life. Only those who willingly, and in worthy state receive the Lord into themselves, through the Eucharist, will gain the eternal rewards from Christ, that is eternal life and glory with Him in heaven. That is why, brothers and sisters in Christ, it is very important that we take the Eucharist seriously, that from now on, we begin to participate more in the Mass and in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, that we truly understand our faith, and why we have to regularly receive our Lord in the Eucharist.

The Body and the Blood of Christ, each is Christ complete in themselves, that means, if we only receive the Body, that is the ‘bread’ or the Blood, that is the ‘wine’ we do not receive half of Christ, but in fact, we have received the fullness of Christ in each of them. When we receive either the Body of Christ or His Blood, we receive Christ in His fullness, in His glorious majesty and power, into ourselves. That is why, brethren, we must be worthy! We must be worthy to have the Lord dwell within us, as His Temple!

Remember that if we willingly and knowingly receive the Lord when we are in the state of mortal sin, we will be damned instead of being saved, because we did not keep our house in order, and did not receive the Lord properly and worthily. That is why, brothers and sisters in Christ, keep our bodies, our Temple of the Holy Spirit, away from fornication and corruption of sin. Keep ourselves pure, as best as we are able to, and welcome Christ every time we receive Him in the Eucharist, that He will see that our ‘house’ that is our heart, in good order, and therefore reward us with His grace and blessings.

If we had sinned and in the state of mortal sin, which prevents us from truly accepting the Lord into ourselves, into our defiled Temple, that is our being, we must first abstain from receiving the Eucharist, from receiving our Lord. What we must do is indeed, first to ask the Lord for His mercy and forgiveness, and seek a priest to be forgiven from our sins. Remember that to our priests, God has given the authority to absolve sins, if only we ourselves are humble and willing enough, to admit our own sinful nature, and seek to return once again to God’s love and embrace. Only once we have been absolved, then we can receive the Lord again, and He will once again dwell within us, transforming us from inside with His love.

Let us reflect on the mystery of our faith, that is the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ on this sacred occasion, that from now on, we will increase our dedication for our Lord, really present in the Blessed Sacrament, in the form of His Body and His Blood, which He had given freely, so that we may live, and we may share in Him, the fruits of eternal life and salvation. God bless us all, now and forever more. Amen!