(Easter Sunday) Sunday, 27 March 2016 : Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Week, Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 1-9

Now, on the first day after the Sabbath, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning while it was still dark, and she saw that the stone blocking the tomb had been moved away. She ran to Peter, and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and she said to them, “They have taken our Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have laid Him.”

Peter then set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down and saw the linen cloths lying flat, but he did not enter.

Then Simon Peter came, following him, and entered the tomb; he, too saw the linen cloths lying flat. The napkin, which had been around His head, was not lying flat like the other linen cloths, but lay rolled up in its place.

Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed. Scripture clearly said that He must rise from the dead, but they had not yet understood that.

 

Alternative reading

Luke 24 : 1-12

On the Sabbath the women rested according to the commandment, but the first day of the week, at dawn, they went to the tomb with the perfumes and ointments they had prepared. Seeing the stone rolled away from the opening of the tomb, they entered, and were amazed to find that the body of the Lord Jesus was not there.

As they stood there wondering about this, two men in dazzling garments suddenly appeared beside them. In fright the women bowed to the ground. But the men said, “Why look for the living among the dead? You won’t find Him here. He is risen. Remember what He told you in Galilee, that the Son of Man had to be given into the hands of sinners, to be crucified, and to rise on the third day.” And they remembered Jesus’ words.

Returning from the tomb, they told the Eleven and all the others about these things. Among the women, who brought the news, were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. But however much they insisted, those who heard did not believe the seemingly nonsensical story.

Then Peter got up and ran to the tomb. All he saw, when he bent down and looked into the tomb, were the linen cloths, laid by themselves. He went home wondering.

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

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 24 : 1-12

On the Sabbath the women rested according to the commandment, but the first day of the week, at dawn, they went to the tomb with the perfumes and ointments they had prepared. Seeing the stone rolled away from the opening of the tomb, they entered, and were amazed to find that the body of the Lord Jesus was not there.

As they stood there wondering about this, two men in dazzling garments suddenly appeared beside them. In fright the women bowed to the ground. But the men said, “Why look for the living among the dead? You won’t find Him here. He is risen. Remember what He told you in Galilee, that the Son of Man had to be given into the hands of sinners, to be crucified, and to rise on the third day.” And they remembered Jesus’ words.

Returning from the tomb, they told the Eleven and all the others about these things. Among the women, who brought the news, were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. But however much they insisted, those who heard did not believe the seemingly nonsensical story.

Then Peter got up and ran to the tomb. All he saw, when he bent down and looked into the tomb, were the linen cloths, laid by themselves. He went home wondering.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015 : Tuesday within Easter Octave, Memorial of St. John Baptist de La Salle, Priest (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard two stories from the Scriptures. Our first reading, the reading from the Acts of the Apostles showed us how the Church of God was born, through the testimony which Peter showed the people in Jerusalem at the time of the Pentecost, and converted three thousand people who gave themselves to be baptised.

And in the Gospel from the Gospel according to St. John, we heard about the story of how Mary Magdalene, the faithful woman who was among the chief female disciples of Jesus, who grieved because she thought someone had stolen the body of Jesus, only for Jesus Himself to show Himself to her, as a proof that His body was not lost or stolen, but instead He had risen in glory, in Body and Spirit, just as the prophets had foretold about Him.

All these showed us that while once we were unsure of what is to become of us, and while we were once sorrowful and grieving because of our sins and wickedness, but because Christ is risen from the dead, we can rejoice once again, because we now know that death does not have the final say over us. We have no need to fear death, because death is just the beginning of a new life filled with joy and happiness with God, and not the end.

Through baptism, we have died to our old selves, our sinful past and our wicked nature, and we have been brought into a new life founded upon the Law and precepts of the Lord. Through baptism we have shared in the death of our Lord Jesus, cast away all of the impurities of our old selves, and then share in the resurrection of our Lord, reborn anew in a body of grace and filled with the light of God.

But one thing we cannot forget is that, while we all have been saved and made whole, there are many others who are still left behind in the darkness, and many of them do not know the way to go in order to reach the Lord their God. Thus they remain lost in the darkness, condemned and forsaken. Many remained lost and many have not yet heard the Good News of our Lord and His truth. Many remains unloved and uncared for, even rejected by the society for their sins.

Today we celebrate the feast day of St. John Baptist de la Salle, a French priest who lived a few hundred years ago, who was the founder of the order of the Brothers of Christian Schools, missionaries and people dedicated to the service of God and His people, especially in the field of Catholic education, educating countless masses and people throughout the world.

St. John Baptist de la Salle was from a privileged background and had a wonderful career as a priest and canon of the Cathedral of Rheims, a well-respected position and assured career, but he heard a higher call and decided that there was still so many things he could do in order to help all those people who were poor, lowest and least in the society, many of whom have not been saved due to their sins and wickedness.

And by what he had started then, many people and many souls had been saved from the brink of disaster, rescued from the darkness and brought into the light. We too should follow in his footsteps and realise how much we can do in order to change the fate of so many others around us. We cannot be apathetic to their cause, for we are all brethren in the same Lord.

And did the Lord Jesus not command His disciples to spread the Good News of salvation to all of the world? Yes, this He did, and it is therefore, our duty and obligation, for us to preach the Good News of God and carry it far and wide. Thus, let us make this Easter more meaningful by using it to deepen our faith and devotion, through real action in bringing the Good News of God to those who have yet heard it, so that they too may be saved. God bless us all. Amen.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015 : Tuesday within Easter Octave, Memorial of St. John Baptist de La Salle, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 11-18

At that time, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb; and as she wept, she bent down to look inside. She saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet.

They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I do not know where they have put Him.” As she said this, ahe turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognise Him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and answered Him, “Lord, if You have taken Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will go and remove Him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned, and said to Him, “Rabboni!” – which means Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and say to them : ‘I am ascending to My Father, who is your Father, to My God, who is your God.'”

So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what He said to me.”

Monday, 6 April 2015 : Monday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 28 : 8-15

At that time, after the women left the tomb of Jesus at once in fear, yet with great joy, and they ran to tell the news to His disciples. Suddenly, Jesus met them on the way and said, “Rejoice!” The women approached Him, embraced His feet and worshipped Him.

But Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid! Go and tell My brothers to set out for Galilee; there they will see Me.”

While the women were on their way, the guards returned to the city, and some of them reported to the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests met with the elders, and decided to give the soldiers a large sum of money, with this instruction, “Say that His disciples came by night while you were asleep, and stole the body of Jesus. If Pilate comes to know of this, we will explain the situation and keep you out of trouble.”

The soldiers accepted the money and did as they were told. This story has circulated among the Jews until this day.

Friday, 19 September 2014 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Januarius, Bishop and Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)

Luke 8 : 1-3

Jesus walked through towns and countryside, preaching and giving the Good News of the kingdom of God. The Twelve followed Him, and also some women, who had been healed of evil spirits and diseases : Mary called Magdalene, who had been freed of seven demons; Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward; Suzanna, and others who provided for them out of their own funds.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 11-18

Mary stood weeping outside the tomb; and as she wept, she bent down to look inside. She saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet.

They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I do not know where they have put Him.”

As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognise Him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and answered Him, “Lord, if You have taken Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will go and remove Him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned, and said to Him, “Rabboni!” – which means Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and say to them : I am ascending to My Father, who is your Father, to My God, who is your God.”

So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what He said to me.”