Monday, 21 May 2018 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate for the first time the feast of Mary, in her aspect as the Mother of the Church. This celebration was just promulgated earlier this year by our Pope, Francis, in the recognition of the title and honour which Mary, the Mother of our Lord and God, has been accorded since the most ancient of times.

Since the earliest days of the Church, Mary has been recognised as a very important person in the Church, and definitely, if she has been recognised as the Mother of God, then it makes just perfect sense that she is also the Mother of the Church, for Jesus Christ, is the Head of the Church, and hence, because she is His mother, she is also the mother of the whole entire Church.

Today, we recall Mary’s role in the history of our salvation and in the history of the Church. Mary is mother of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and by that virtue she is the Mother of God, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at the moment of the Annunciation. Then, at the Pentecost, which we have just celebrated yesterday, Mary also received the Holy Spirit together with the other disciples of the Lord, at the moment when the Church was established.

And thus, Mary is a figure, by the virtue of her divine motherhood, and by the virtue of her pious and wholly dedicated life to God, is the mother of all of us, the mother of the Church of God. She is that perfect role model for all of us, as we look upon her examples in faith. She is, after all, the one who is the closest to her Son, the greatest one among all the saints, and our greatest intercessor.

This complements perfectly the role of St. Joseph, the foster father of Our Lord, who is known as the Protector of the Church. Just as St. Joseph protected the Holy Family and the young Jesus from harm, and thus, symbolically linked to his role as the Protector of the universal Church, then Mary, as the mother of the Lord and thus as the mother figure of the Holy Family, is the mother of the Church.

And how important is it for us to understand the role that Mary has as the mother of the Church? It is important, because by knowing her motherhood, we can be assured of her love, care and attention when we are in need and when we look to her for assistance. A mother will not abandon her child, no matter what sacrifices it may take her to do so. A mother who abandons her child or does not care about the child, is not worthy of being called a mother.

As such, she always looks upon us all, her beloved children, with great and tender care. In our Gospel passage today, we heard of how the Lord Jesus entrusted to her, St. John, His disciple, and then entrusted him to her care as well. Through this act, the Lord symbolically and in reality, entrusted to Mary, the whole Church, all the faithful to her care, and similarly, He entrusted her to us.

That is why, if we look throughout history of our faith, we can see just how many times Mary appeared to us, to the people, in Lourdes and Fatima, and in many other occasions, in order to remind us about the importance of being faithful to God, and how we need to have an interior conversion towards the Lord, and repent from our sins. Otherwise, because of our sins, it is likely that we will end up falling from our faith, and which mother wants to see her son or daughter lost from her?

That is again, why Mary is ever so active, at calling many of us to return to her Son, Our Lord Jesus and the salvation which He had promised all those who are faithful to Him. Now that we realise we have such a great ally on our side, a loving and caring mother, who is always rooting for us and caring for us, praying for us constantly at all times, then why should we not use this great opportunity given to us?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore ask Mary, our beloved mother and the mother of our Church, to pray for us and to continue to watch over us, that we will continue to be faithful to our calling as Christians, to be dedicated and to be committed in our faith, that we will not fall into temptation and into the path of sin. May the Lord bless us all, and may He continue to be with us, together with His blessed mother Mary, our loving mother. Amen.

Monday, 21 May 2018 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Mark 9 : 14-29

At that time, when Jesus and His disciples, Peter, James and John came to the place where they had left the disciples, they saw many people around them and some teachers of the Law arguing with them. When the people saw Jesus, they were astonished and ran to greet Him.

He asked, “What are you arguing about with them?” A man answered Him from the crowd, “Master, I brought my son to You, for he has a spirit, deaf and mute. Whenever the spirit seizes him, it throws him down and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth and becomes stiff all over. I asked Your disciples to drive the spirit out, but they could not.”

Jesus replied, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him to Me.” And the brought the boy to Him. As soon as the spirit saw Jesus, it shook and convulsed the boy, who fell on the ground, and began rolling about, foaming at the mouth.

Then Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” He replied, “From childhood. And it has often thrown him into the fire and into the water to destroy him. If You can do anything, have pity on us and help us.”

Jesus said to him, “Why do you say, ‘If You can?’ All things are possible for the one who believes.” Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe, but help the little faith I have.” Jesus saw that the crowd was increasing rapidly, so He ordered the evil spirit, “Dumb and deaf spirit, I command you : Leave the boy and never enter him again.”

The evil spirit shook and convulsed the boy and with a terrible shriek came out. The boy lay like a corpse and people said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him and the boy stood up. After Jesus had gone indoors, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not drive out the spirit?”

And He answered, “Only prayer can drive out this kind, nothing else.”

Alternative reading (Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church)

John 19 : 25-34

At that time, near the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister Mary, who was the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw the mother, and the disciple whom He loved, He said to the mother, “Woman, this is your son.” Then He said to the disciple, “This is your mother.” And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home.

Jesus knew all was now finished and, in order to fulfil what was written in Scripture, He said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of bitter wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a twig of hyssop, they raised it to His lips. Jesus took the wine and said, “It is accomplished.” Then He bowed His head and gave up the Spirit.

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.

Monday, 21 May 2018 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 18 : 8, 9, 10, 15

The Law of YHVH is perfect : it gives life to the soul. The word of YHVH is trustworthy : it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of YHVH are right : they give joy to the heart. The commandments of YHVH are clear : they enlighten the eyes.

The fear of YHVH is pure, it endures forever; the judgments of YHVH are true, all of them just and right.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart find favour in Your sight, o YHVH – my Redeemer, my Rock!

Alternative reading (Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church)

Psalm 86 : 1-2, 3 and 5, 6-7

He Himself has built it in His holy mountain; YHVH prefers the gates of Zion to all of Jacob’s towns.

Great things have been foretold of you, o city of God. But of Zion, it shall be said, “More and more are being born in her.” For the Most High Himself has founded her.

And YHVH notes in the people’s register : “All these were also born in Zion.” And all will dance and sing joyfully for you.

Monday, 21 May 2018 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

James 3 : 13-18

If you consider yourself wise and learnt, show it by your good life, and let your actions, in all humility, be an example for others. But if your heart is full of bitter jealousy, and ambition, do not try to show off; that would be covering up the truth; this kind of wisdom does not come from above, but from the world, and it is earthly and devilish.

Wherever there is jealousy and ambition, you will also find discord, and all that is evil. Instead, the wisdom that comes from above is pure and peace-loving. Persons with this wisdom show understanding, and listen to advice; they are full of compassion and good works; they are impartial and sincere. Peacemakers, who sow peace, reap a harvest of justice?

Alternative reading (Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church)

Genesis 3 : 9-15, 20

YHVH God called the man saying to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard Your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree I ordered you not to eat?”

The man answered, “The woman You put with me gave me fruit from the tree and I ate it.” God said to the woman, “What have you done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me and I ate.”

YHVH God said to the serpent, “Since you have done that, be cursed among all the cattle and wild beasts! You will crawl on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. I will make you enemies, you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”

The man called his wife by the name of Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.

(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.

Thursday, 1 January 2015 : Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Octave Day of Christmas and World Day of Prayer for Peace (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 2 : 16-21

At that time, after the angels appeared to the shepherds, they came hurriedly, and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in the manger. On seeing Him they related what they had been told about the Child, and all were astonished on hearing the shepherds.

As for Mary, she treasured all these words, and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds then returned, giving glory and praise to God for all they had heard and seen, just as the angels had told them.

On the eighth day the circumcision of the Baby had to be performed; He was named Jesus, the Name the angel had given Him before He was conceived.

Homily and Reflection :
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/31/thursday-1-january-2015-solemnity-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-mother-of-god-octave-day-of-christmas-and-world-day-of-prayer-for-peace-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Wednesday, 24 December 2014 : Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, Christmas Vigil Mass (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 1 : 1-25

This is the account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, Son of David, Son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, their mother was Tamar. Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron of Aram. Aram was the father of Aminadab, Aminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon.

Salmon was the father of Boaz. His mother was Rahab. Boaz was the father of Obed. His mother was Ruth. Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David, the king. David was the father of Solomon. His mother had been Uriah’s wife. Solomon was the father of Rehoboam. Then came the kings : Abijah, Asaph, Jehosaphat, Joram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah.

Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the deportation to Babylon. After the deportation to Babylon, Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel and Salathiel of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud, Abiud of Eliakim, and Eliakim of Azor. Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, and Akim the father of Eliud. Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar of Matthan, and Matthan of Jacob.

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and from her came Jesus who is called the Christ – the Messiah. There were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, and fourteen generations from David to the deportation to Babylon, and fourteen generation from the deportation to Babylon to the birth of Christ.

This is how Jesus Christ was born : Mary His mother had been given to Joseph in marriage, but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.

Then Joseph, her husband, made plans to divorce her in all secrecy. He was an upright man, and in no way did he want to discredit her. While he was pondering over this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and now she will bear a Son. You shall call Him ‘Jesus’ for He will save His people from their sins.”

All this happened in order to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet : ‘The virgin will conceive and bear a Son, and He will be called Emmanuel,’ which means God-with-us. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do, and he took his wife to his home.

So she gave birth to a Son and he had not had marital relations with her. Joseph gave Him the Name Jesus.

 

Alternative reading (shorter version)

Matthew 1 : 18-25

This is how Jesus Christ was born : Mary His mother had been given to Joseph in marriage, but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.

Then Joseph, her husband, made plans to divorce her in all secrecy. He was an upright man, and in no way did he want to discredit her. While he was pondering over this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and now she will bear a Son. You shall call Him ‘Jesus’ for He will save His people from their sins.”

All this happened in order to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet : ‘The virgin will conceive and bear a Son, and He will be called Emmanuel,’ which means God-with-us. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do, and he took his wife to his home.

So she gave birth to a Son and he had not had marital relations with her. Joseph gave Him the Name Jesus.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/23/thursday-25-december-2014-solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-the-lord-christmas-mass-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Monday, 22 December 2014 : Fourth Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we hear of two joyful and very grateful women, for what God had done unto them, as a sign of God’s faithfulness and grace to all those who had placed their complete trust in Him. The first woman is Hannah, the second wife of Eliakim and the mother of Samuel, the prophet of God and Judge over Israel. The second woman is none other than Mary, the mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ.

Both of them had been granted great graces by the Lord, and even more so for the second one, that is Mary. Hannah prayed before God with her whole heart and attention at the House of God as she was unable to have a child with her husband, and although he loved her more than Peninah, the other wife, but the latter bore him ten children while Hannah had none.

Peninah often ridiculed her and made fun of her because of her barrenness and inability to bear children. Distraught over this and deeply troubled, she had nowhere else to turn but to turn to the Lord, who succoured her and rescued her from her troubles. She was given her first son, Samuel, whom she dedicated and consecrated to the Lord to be His servant forever.

Hannah sought the Lord for help and she was truly sincere. And the Lord heard her and answered her prayers. This emotion of joy and happiness of having herself heard by the Lord is reflected in the Song of Hannah, which tone is similar to what Mary in the Gospel today sang, the song known as the Magnificat, a great expression of joy and praise to God, as reflected by the words of that beautiful hymn to the Lord.

In that, Mary thanked God for what He had done for those who trust in Him. It is not so much that God would punish those who are rich, privileged or with power. God does not discriminate between His people by their background, possessions or other attributes. All are equal before God, equally loved and with equal opportunities at receiving His bountiful mercy.

The key learning point from the Scripture Readings today is that God rewards those who are faithful to Him, and those who put their trust completely to Him. He rewards not those who boast of themselves, but instead He blesses those who boast of the Lord and His love. Indeed, what Mary did was truly boasting in the Lord, announcing before all the whole world, and we still continue to echo this song regularly in our prayers and devotions, in our observation of the daily Divine Office, that the Lord has done great things for His servants who entrust themselves to Him.

In our world today it is difficult for us to put our trust in the Lord, for it is often that we put our trust in ourselves first. We rely on things of this world first, on our own power and abilities before we put our trust in God. The tendency is for us to follow our heart’s desire rather than to listen to the Lord. Temptation of Satan in this world is truly plentiful, and he never runs out of tactics to trap us and bring about our downfall.

This coming Christmas is both therefore a challenge and opportunity for all of us. It is a challenge for us to break free of our mindset and enslavement to our desires and greed, and it is thus also an opportunity, for us to seek the Lord anew and rediscover our faith in God, through sincere and genuine celebration of this feast of Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

You see, brothers and sisters in Christ, how committed is the Lord in His desire to help us all, that He extends Himself as the perfect Gift for mankind, the gift of everlasting and true Love. The blessings which Mary sung about has been given to all of us freely without charge, as long as we believe and put our trust in Him. Yet it is also a challenge for us all, as it is not easy for us to break free from our dependence on this world and its various things.

Temptations will be aplenty, brethren, and it is now up to us to challenge ourselves as we approach Christmas. Let us ask ourselves, are we ready to welcome the Lord into our midst? Have our words, actions and deeds truly represent our nature as the children of God? Thus, from now on, let us all put our trust in God, commit ourselves to change our ways in accordance to what God had taught us. Be prepared and let us welcome the coming of Christ into our midst in this commemoration of Christmas with open minds, heart and soul. God bless us all. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/21/monday-22-december-2014-fourth-week-of-advent-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/21/monday-22-december-2014-fourth-week-of-advent-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/21/monday-22-december-2014-fourth-week-of-advent-gospel-reading/

Tuesday, 23 September 2014 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 8 : 19-21

Then the mother of Jesus and His relatives came to Him, but they could not get to Him because of the crowd. Someone told Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside and wish to meet You.”

Then Jesus answered, “My mother and My brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”