Thursday, 15 August 2019 : 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.

Thursday, 31 May 2018 : 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 to her cousin, Elizabeth, in the mountainous region of Judea, a few months after the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her with the Good News that she would become the mother of the Saviour of the world and the Son of God, hence becoming the great Mother of God.

And today, we celebrate that moment when Mary visited Elizabeth and in that meeting, she recognised her as the Mother of God, as her own son, St. John the Baptist in her womb, leapt and kicked with great joy when Mary came to her house. Through this event, we see the very first time when the coming of the Lord was revealed to the people, as prior to this, only Mary herself was told this truth by the Archangel.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we are called to remember the great joy of Mary, who sang the famous hymn ‘Magnificat’, praising God for all the good things that He has done for His people, especially to Mary, whom God had chosen to be His vessel and His instrument for the salvation of the world. Through Mary, God has made Himself incarnate into the flesh, and became Man.

Through Mary, we have seen the great work of God, and the culmination of the long promised salvation that He has promised to all of us. Mary has also herself showed the example of how we ought to be, as a model Christian. She showed us all how to be obedient to God, and how we should walk in the way of the Lord. She entrusted herself completely to the Lord and gave herself completely to God’s will.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we are called to follow in the example of Mary, the mother of Our Lord. Mary showed all of us the way forward in our lives, and she showed us the importance of prayer and of listening to God. In the Magnificat, the hymn that Mary sang, was contained in essence a prayer to God, praising and thanking Him, and remembering all that He had done.

How about us, brothers and sisters in Christ? Have we led a good and prayerful life? Have we walked faithfully in God’s ways? Have we devoted our time, effort and attention to the Lord and put Him as the focus and the centre of our lives? If we have not done all these, then perhaps we should really spend some time to reflect and reevaluate our actions and lives.

Shall we turn ourselves towards God, and shall we learn to focus more on Him? Shall we spend more time in prayer, contemplation and focus on the Lord, that we, in the midst of our busy schedules and activities, will not lose our focus and our way? All of us are called to a holier and more prayerful life. All of us need to be holy just as the Lord is holy, in everything we say and do in our lives.

May the Lord be with us all, and may He empower us all to live worthily and filled with faith, every single days of our life. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

Thursday, 31 May 2018 : 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.

Thursday, 31 May 2018 : 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.

Thursday, 31 May 2018 : 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.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016 : 4th Week of Advent, Memorial of St. Peter Canisius, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Luke 1 : 39-45

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!”

Sunday, 31 May 2015 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday, and Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this great and solemn day, we celebrate together the wonderful occasion of the Trinity Sunday, on which day we commemorate and reflect together the very centre tenet of our faith, that is our faith in the Lord our God who is only One, but exists in Three Divine Persons, separate and equal to one another, and united with the perfect bond of love, in Oneness of God, the Triune Unity, Trinity that is bound together as one indissoluble Unity.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is the mystery of our Faith, which we all understand and indeed have to believe if we are to call ourselves as Christians. We believe that there is only one God, who created all the universe, all things that we know of, and all the living ones including us mankind.

And we also believe, that this one God has three different Aspects, all distinct from each other, namely the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, but which is united perfectly in love, as God that is only One. One but three, and three but one, this is the greatest mystery of our Faith, and yet it is also the centre of our faith.

For many ages, people have tried to bend this truth to their own selfish desires, by failing to understand the fullness of this mystery of the Trinity. Some trying to contend that because such feat is impossible, then God cannot be Three but One at the same time, and therefore, apostasy and heresy began to appear, apparently condemning the true Faith as those who worshipped many gods, because they thought that God is only one.

And therefore, the same people also did not recognise Jesus Christ, the Son of God as divine and Lord. Some thought that He was merely a creature, a creation of God, which means that He was no more than just a Man. And some also doubted the presence and the existence of the Holy Spirit. All these failed to understand how God works, and if they had read the Scriptures more deeply and carefully, they would have discovered the truth.

Just as we heard in the first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses spoke about God who created us, and who had cared for us so much with His boundless love, that no being had ever done the same before and after. And all these had its roots back to the foundation of the world and the whole universe, at the moment of creation, when God created everything out of nothingness, as narrated in the Book of Genesis.

The very first pages and the very first verses of the Holy Bible itself would have told us clearly of the nature of God, take for example, the whole account of the creation of the universe and the earth in the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis. There was once nothing, and the Spirit of God was in everything in that nothingness, and then, God willed everything into being, by His words, that is the words that leave His mouth and carried out His will into being.

The Spirit of God is in everything and by the Word, made everything to be. Remember that we believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and through the Son? This is how exactly it works. God the Father willed creation into being, and that will is made clear through His Word that proclaimed it to all the universe, and that Word is the Son, if we read the first chapter of the Gospel of St. John.

And the Spirit is then sent to all things, to make all things be, and to give life to all things. Remember what God said when He was about to create mankind in His image? He said, “Let Us make mankind in Our image, in Our likeness.” This is yet another proof of how God is a Trinity and yet a Unity, united in their actions in creating all things, included us all mankind.

God the Father created us with His will, and He achieved that by the Word He spoke, which is the Son, through which He let all creations to know His will, and by the Holy Spirit He made all things to be. The Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit all working together as one in perfect harmony. They cannot be separated from each other, and without one of the Trinity, the Divinity is not complete.

And that is how St. Patrick taught about the concept of God who is One and yet Three, as he evangelised to the then pagan peoples of Ireland, by using the symbol of the three-leaf clover, now one of the important symbols of that country. The three-leaf clover is also an important and widely used symbol to represent the Holy Trinity. Just as the three-leaf clover has three parts all connected together to form the whole body of the clover, and that they are not separable, or otherwise, it is no longer a ‘three-leaf’ clover, then it is the same with the Holy Trinity.

And just like a flame has three properties, of its matter, the shape and form of flame itself, the light that emanates out of the flame, and then the heat of the flame itself, it is the same with the Trinity. Without any one of these three properties, a flame is no longer a flame, and yet any of them represents the flame itself. No one can deny after seeing the light of a flame, or feeling the heat of the flame, or touching the matter of the flame itself can deny that it is a flame, and yet, each properties are distinct from each other.

Thus this is the great mystery of our Faith, is it not brothers and sisters? And yet, this is what we believe, and what we always profess and believe in, every time we mention the Holy Trinity in the Creed. I believe in God the Father Almighty, and then in His son, our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us on the cross and who will judge the living and the dead at the end of time, and then in the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life. 

Brothers and sisters in Christ, do we really mean what we say, every time we utter the words of the Creed? Or do we just repeat it meaninglessly and without understanding like a robot? It is important that we understand how important is our Lord for us, how much He had done for us, and just as the astonished Moses mentioned in the first reading we had today, indeed God had done so much for us.

God the Father had created us from nothingness, and from the dust He formed us and gave us life. And when we erred and went into sin, He ceaselessly loved us and cared for us, hoping for us to repent and change our ways so that we may not fall into eternal damnation. And He sent us none other than His Son, the Word of God made flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ, so that, by the offering of Himself, His own Flesh and Blood, He made us all partakers of the new Covenant He established with us, and those who believe in Him therefore has the path to eternal life.

And last of all, He sent us His Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and through the Son, to give us a new life, to renew in us the strength and courage in our faith, so that we may truly be brave to choose to walk with the Lord and obey Him in all things despite the opposition of the world. All these showed God’s care and love for us, that the Three parts of the Trinity all working together to secure our redemption and liberation from the darkness and deliverance into the Light.

May on this day, on this solemn feast of the Most Holy Trinity, all of us be awakened to realise the love which the Lord, our Creator, our Nurturer and our Saviour has for us, and enable us to walk righteously in His path from now on, that we may reject all forms of sin and cast out all forms of wickedness from our hearts. May the Most Holy and Blessed Trinity be glorified and be praised forevermore, in heaven and on earth. Glory to God, the Undivided Unity and the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, ever loving God of us all. Amen.