Sunday, 6 October 2019 : Twenty-Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 17 : 5-10

At that time, the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” And the Lord said, “If you have faith, even the size of a mustard seed, you may say to this tree, ‘Be uprooted, and plant yourself in the sea!’ and it will obey you.”

“Who among you would say to your servant, coming in from the fields after plowing or tending sheep, ‘Go ahead and have your dinner?’ No, you tell him, ‘Prepare my dinner. Put on your apron, and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink afterward.’”

“Do you thank this servant for doing what you told him to do? I do not think so. And therefore, when you have done all that you have been told to do, you should say, ‘We are no more than servants; we have only done our duty.’”

Wednesday, 22 October 2014 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. John Paul II, Pope (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Popes)

Luke 12 : 39-48

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Pay attention to this : If the master of the house had known at what time the thief would come, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect.”

Peter said, “Lord, did You tell this parable only for us, or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Imagine, then, the wise and faithful steward, whom the master sets over his other servants to give them wheat at the proper time. Fortunate is this servant if his master on coming home, finds him doing his work. Truly, I say to you, the master will put him in charge of all his property.”

“But it may be that the steward thinks, ‘My Lord delays in coming,’ and he begins to abuse the male servants and the servant girls, eating and drinking and getting drunk. Then the master will come on a day he does not expect, and at an hour he does not know. He will cut him off, and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.”

“The servant who knew his master’s will but did not prepare and do what his master wanted, will be soundly beaten; but the one who does unconsciously what deserves punishment, shall receive fewer blows. Much will be required of the one who has been given much, and more will be asked of the one who has been entrusted with more.

 

Alternative reading (Mass for Popes)

John 21 : 15-17

At that time, after Jesus and His disciples had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” And Jesus said, “Feed My lambs.”

A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” And Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Look after My sheep.”

And a third time He said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was saddened because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love Me?” and he said, “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You.” Jesus then said, “Feed My sheep!”

Saturday, 12 July 2014 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

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

Matthew 10 : 24-33

A student is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. A student should be glad to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If the head of the family has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of the family! So, do not be afraid of them.

There is nothing covered that will not be uncovered, and nothing hidden that will not be made known. What I am telling you in the dark, you must speak in the light. What you hear in private, proclaim from the housetops.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but have no power to kill the soul. Rather be afraid of him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. For only a few cents you can buy two sparrows, yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father knowing.

As for you, every hair of your head has been counted. Do not be afraid : you are no less worthy than many sparrows! Whoever acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before My Father in heaven. Whoever rejects Me before others I will reject before My Father in heaven.

Saturday, 3 May 2014 : Feast of Sts. Philip and James, Apostles (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 18 : 2-3, 4-5

The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament proclaims the work of His hands. Day talks it over with day; night hands on the knowledge to night.

No speech, no words, no voice is heard – but the call goes on throughout the universe, the message is felt to the ends of the earth.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, those who had been given more, will be given more, and those who have little, and do not utilise it, will be thrown out, and what he has will be taken away from him. That is what Jesus often told His disciples, through various parables, one of which is what we heard today, on the parable of the ten pounds.

All of us have been given with the rich gifts from the Lord. These are the gifts of faith, hope, and love. But these seeds will not grow if we just let them be. Yes, we have to nurture them and make them grow, that they will bear fruits. And that is what the Lord our God desires from us all. In this manner therefore, we are reminded of the parable that Jesus had used to bring this point across to the people.

The pounds of silver are likened to the gifts, each of the servants were given equal amounts of them. This is like all of us, all of whom are the servants of God, were given the same gifts of faith, hope, and love, which initially lie dormant within us. What we do with these gifts determine what these seeds will become, either to grow and multiply fivefold, tenfold, more or less, or remain the same as how it was when God gave these gifts to us.

The last one speaks about the action of the third servant, who admitted to his master, that he had the silver pound hidden, in fear and in idleness, that when his master returned, the pound of silver remains as it was, that is the same silver pound. He was duly chided, punished, and cast out, as an unworthy servant, who had squandered the gifts that had been given to him, and let those gifts go to waste.

That is what we should not do, brothers and sisters in Christ, that is to let these gifts God has granted us to go to waste. It is a waste if we do not use these gifts for others, and keep them hidden within ourselves. We must open ourselves and nurture those gifts, by spreading them with real action, real dedication, and real commitment, to do the will of God, at the centre of which is, love.

How to make sure that we truly be fertile and grow well, into creatures of faith, hope, and love? That is by putting into concrete action, these three cardinal virtues of our faith. Faith, by being not afraid to stand up against things that are in opposition of our faith, the things that are against the laws and precepts of the Lord. This has been shown by the seven brothers and their mother, who died martyrs of the faith, by their perseverance against the threats and tortures dealt to them by the king, Antiochus Epiphanes, and the wickedness he promoted among the people under his rule, including that of Israel.

These brothers and their mother endured grievous sufferings for standing up for the Lord, and remaining true and upright to the laws dictated by the Lord to mankind. They did not give up even when the king offered them wealth, possessions, the glories of the world, and all the pleasures and the beauty that the world could offer them. Instead, they, one by one, faced death willingly and joyfully, for they know that their rewards would be great with God, in heaven.

This is the kind of the living faith that God wants us to have. Not in the way that we should lay down our own lives for the Lord, but in the way that we should follow closely what the Lord had taught us, and uphold all of those values and tenets, and do not steer away from them. Our dedication to God should be as strong, or aspire to be like them. We should not be easily swayed by the fear of difficulties that will definitely be in our path.

Then comes hope. Hope is not just an abstract concept, but something that can be made concrete, through none other that our own actions. Our actions can indeed bring either hope, or its opposite, that is despair, towards others. We have been given love by our Lord, who planted in us the seeds of hope, together with that of faith and love. Have our own actions then, reflect this hope? Have we uplifted others who are without hope? And bring new hope to those who are in despair?

These are the questions that we should ponder upon, as we act in our daily lives. Have we show hope to others in need of it? Have we actually put down others or dampen the hope of others? Let us reflect on them. And finally, we go to the last of all virtues, and the greatest of them all, that had also been placed by God in us. This is love.

What is love? Love is the greatest expression of one’s care and affection to another, and this is modelled after the acts of the One who showed the greatest love of all, towards us. Yes, our Lord Himself is love, and His love for us is so great, that indeed, He gave us Jesus, through whom He made manifest His long planned salvation for all of us, that we will not die, but live eternally with Him.

So we all, as the children of God, should also reflect love in all of our actions. We must profess love, just as we have professed faith and hope. Without love, our faith in God is empty and meaningless. Our faith must be alive, and that is through love, and through hope. Similarly, we cannot love without first having faith and love, or that love will be grossly incomplete. They are all intertwined, and all are gifts of the Lord Most High to us.

We have a choice, brothers and sisters. The Lord has given all of us gifts and entrusted in our hands. Just like the pounds of silver given to the servants of the master. The Lord is our Master. We have a choice, whether we remain idle and do not let these gifts to grow, or invest in them, allow them to develop, through concrete actions, based in those values, namely faith, hope, and love.

Therefore, brethren, let us make a decision, and indeed, let us decide decisively, to follow the expectations of our Lord, that is through concrete dedication of ourselves to others in our actions, words, and deeds. May the Lord continue to watch over us, strengthen us, and bless us. Amen.

Saturday, 5 October 2013 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are again reminded of the great love that God has for all of us, the most beloved of His creations, as beloved children of God. We have disobeyed against Him and thus committed great sin before His eyes, and yet He continues to love us without end, and He even unconditionally gave Himself for us, His life and all, through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

Through Jesus, mankind had been given a new hope, and a new light in Christ Himself, and they had been revealed a glimpse of heaven through Jesus, who showed them the path of salvation and new life, eternal life in God. He revealed the Lord’s long planned plan of salvation to His beloved people, to those who possessed the humility of heart to listen to the word of salvation, that is the Good News of Jesus.

To those who had listened to the Lord, and obeyed His commands, leading an upright and just life in this world, to those who had not gone astray in their path, the Lord had exalted them in glory, the glory of His majesty, and they become His beloved children, safe from the power of the devil, the great enemy and the deceiver of all.

The evil one was thrown down from heaven, where he was once the greatest angel of creation, and because of his pride, arrogance, and vanity, he was thrown down. He boasted that he would rise above the throne of God and rule over creation and yet he was made into nothing. He was struck, and not only once, but twice, by the power of God.

For Satan continued his rebellion, by ensuring that it is not just him and some of his fellow angels that fall into the sin of rebellion, but also mankind through the temptation of Eve by Satan-in-disguise, the deceitful snake. This made mankind to also fall into sin, and was cast out of heaven, of the beautiful garden of Eden God had prepared for them, His beloved.

It is in Christ and His coming into this world, that Satan was struck again, and this time for eternity, for all time. He was defeated with such finality, that he will not rise again, and his fate was sealed. For in Christ lies the fulfillment of God’s desire for mankind to be saved from the fate that awaits them that is death. In Christ is the final nail to the coffin of the devil, the final destruction of his rebellion, that mankind, whom Satan caused to fall into sin, now through Christ has the hope of redemption.

The anger of God was indeed aimed at us, but as much as He is angry with us, He remains loving and forgiving, and the fullness of His wrath is truly aimed at the deceiver himself, the devil, Satan, the old snake. It is His wish that all of us be freed from our bondage to that rebellious angel, one who thought that he is the greatest of all. We have been bonded to him ever since our forefathers chose to obey him instead of their true Master, the Lord our God.

That is why, brothers and sisters in Christ, we must not fear the anger of the Lord our God. Rather, let us use that knowledge of His anger as a warning and a reminder to all of us, how much the Lord loves us and cares for us, that He is angered by our trespasses and our indignant rebellion against His love. Yet, He is always merciful and His heart is always open and available to all of us, especially those of us who repent from our sinful ways and return back to He who loves us with all our sincerity and love.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, we should not fear the Lord anymore, and neither should we fear the devil, that great enemy of all. The former, is because He truly loves all of us, and punishes us or be angry with us, because He cares for us and our salvation, that we will not fall into eternal damnation, away from His love, out of which, there can be no escape. And the latter, because, through Jesus, the Lord had broken the chains that had enslaved us to the power of Satan. He had broken the chains of death through His own death on the cross. Christ had been triumphant, and He crushed the devil under His feet in glory.

Let us therefore, first, seek the Lord’s merciful love and forgiveness, baring all of ourselves and our hearts before Him, opening the deepest depths of our heart to Him. Let us then, allow His love to flow into us, and through us, that we be made into conduits of His love, through our words, deeds, and actions. We have to become the children of the light, and the children of love, that is God, and there is nothing better than our dedication to Him through our loving actions and words. May we continue to spread the love of God to all mankind. God bless us all. Amen.