Saturday, 7 October 2017 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 26-38

In the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a young virgin, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

The Angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean. But the Angel said, “Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a Son, and you shall call Him Jesus. He will be great, and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the kingdom of David, His ancestor; He will rule over the people of Jacob forever, and His reign shall have no end.”

Then Mary said to the Angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” And the Angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the Holy Child to be born of you shall be called Son of God. Even your relative Elizabeth is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child; and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible.”

Then Mary said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.” And the Angel left her.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017 : Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 39-56

Mary then set out for a town in the hill country of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leapt in her womb.

Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit, and giving a loud cry, said, "You are most blessed among women, and blessed is the Fruit of your womb! How is it that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you who believed that the Lord's word would come true!"

And Mary said, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my Saviour! He has looked upon His servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed."

"The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name! From age to age His mercy extends to those who live in His presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty."

"He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever."

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned home.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 : Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate together the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which essentially commemorates the moment when Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus visited her cousin Elizabeth in the mountainous regions of Judea, travelling there to see how her cousin Elizabeth was doing, after hearing the miraculous news of her pregnancy at a very old age.

Elizabeth was then pregnant with St. John the Baptist, the herald of the Messiah, who was miraculously conceived after many years of unsuccessful marriage without any children between Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah. At the same time, Mary was bearing within her, the Lord and Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ, Who was conceived in her by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Divine Word and Son of God Who took up the flesh of man to be born of the Virgin, Mary.

That was why the feast of the Visitation happens after the feast of the Annunciation, when the Archangel Gabriel came to Mary to proclaim her the Good News of God, that she would become the mother of God. Upon the acceptance of Mary, as she said to the Archangel Gabriel, ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me as He willed it.’, the Lord was conceived in her womb.

Through these two simple, humble and yet pious women, the Lord had made the salvation which He had promised to His people for a long time into a reality. He had promised them from the beginning of time, from the time when mankind first fell into sin, by telling them that salvation will come to them through their descendant, through a Woman whom God will bless as the bearer of the Saviour.

Therefore, as we today celebrate this feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, all of us have to keep in mind, first of all, how the Lord has loved us so much and blessed us so much, that He has given us the best of all gifts possible, by the giving of His own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to be our Saviour and Liberator, that all of us may be freed from our sins.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in what we heard in the Gospel today, when Mary came to the house of Elizabeth, St. John the Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth was so joyful that he reacted with jubilation and his mother could feel his joy, knowing that the Lord and Saviour has come. In that manner, St. John the Baptist had done the first of his duties as the herald of the Messiah, announcing to all the coming of the Lord.

And Mary, filled with the Holy Spirit, sang the song of jubilation and praise, which we also know as the Magnificat. Such was her joy of having received the fullness of God’s grace by entrusting the salvation of the world through her, by the Child in her womb. This is the same joy we all should have, having received such great love and grace from God.

Secondly then, all of us should take note the way of life these two holy women had done, righteous and just throughout their lives, especially that of Mary, the mother of our Lord. She has faithfully committed herself completely to her Son, and to the mission which has been entrusted to her as the mother of God and Saviour.

She has faithfully walked the path, beginning from her acceptance at the time of the Annunciation, and then to the Nativity, when she had to give birth to her firstborn Son in a stable, and had to escape the persecution of king Herod. She has had the joy of following her Son as He grew from a Child to become the One through Whom the world was to be saved.

And she has to endure the greatest pain a mother can have, that is to see her own Son arrested, tortured, ridiculed, rejected by those to whom He had given Himself to in service and love, and ultimately dying on the cross. Yet, Mary remained faithful all the way, even to the foot of the cross and to the tomb. This is why she is our role model in faith, and all of us Christians should follow her examples in our life.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us from now on reaffirm our faith in God, and reaffirm our commitment to live a faithful life devoted to Him. Let us all draw closer to the Lord and always strive to do as what He had told us to do, as Mary and Elizabeth had done. And let us all always be filled with joy, knowing that through God, our salvation has come, and indeed, all of us should share that joy and truth with the whole world.

May the Lord bless us all and remain with us always, especially through times of challenges and difficulties, that we will not falter and fall into sin. May He continue to bless our works and guide us at all times, that we will always walk in His path. Amen.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 : Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Luke 1 : 39-56

Mary then set out for a town in the hill country of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb.

Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit, and giving a loud cry, said, “You are most blessed among women, and blessed is the Fruit of your womb! How is it that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you who believed that the Lord’s word would come true!”

And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my Saviour! He has looked upon His servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed.”

“The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name! From age to age His mercy extends to those who live in His presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.”

“He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned home.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 : Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (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.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 : Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Zephaniah 3 : 14-18

Cry out with joy, o daughter of Zion; rejoice, o people of Israel! Sing joyfully with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem! YHVH has lifted your sentence and has driven your enemies away. YHVH, the King of Israel is with you; do not fear any misfortune.

On that day they will say to Jerusalem : Do not be afraid nor let your hands tremble, for YHVH your God is within you, YHVH, saving Warrior. He will jump for joy on seeing you, for He has revived His love. For you He will cry out with joy, as you do in the days of the Feast.

I will drive away the evil I warned you about, and you will no longer be ashamed.

Alternative reading
Romans 12 : 9-16b

Let love be sincere. Hate what is evil and hold to whatever is good. Love one another and be considerate. Outdo one another in mutual respect. Be zealous in fulfilling your duties. Be fervent in the Spirit and serve God.

Have hope and be cheerful. Be patient in trials and pray constantly. Share with other Christians in need. With those passing by, be ready to receive them. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not wish evil on anyone. Rejoice with those who are joyful, and weep with those who weep.

Live in peace with one another. Do not dream of extraordinary things.

Thursday, 22 December 2016 : 4th Week of Advent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Luke 1 : 46-56

And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my Saviour! He has looked upon His servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed.”

“The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name! From age to age His mercy extends to those who live in His presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.”

“He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned home.