Tuesday, 16 December 2014 : Third Week of Advent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Matthew 21 : 28-32

At that time, Jesus went on to say, “What do you think of this? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said to him, ‘Son, go and work today in my vineyard.’ And the son answered, ‘I do not want to.’ But later he thought better of it and went. Then the father went to his other son and gave him the same command. This son replied, ‘I will go, sir,’ but he did not go.”

“Which of the two did what the father wanted?” They answered, “The first.” And Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you : the publicans and the prostitutes are ahead of you on the way to the kingdom of heaven. For John came to show you the way of goodness, and you did not believe him; but the publicans and the prostitutes did. You were witnesses of this, but you neither repented nor believed him.”

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/15/tuesday-16-december-2014-third-week-of-advent-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 : 3rd Week of Lent (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Jesus in the fulfillment of the law of old, and He made the old covenant of God complete. He fulfilled God’s promise to Abraham, David, and all His people, including even to Adam and Eve, our first ancestors. Jesus then made a new covenant with all of us, whom He had chosen to be the partakers of that new covenant, which He sealed with His own blood.

Thus, that is the message that Christ brought with Him, as written in the Gospel today, to bring completion to the Law of God, and to teach all the children of God, all the true meaning of God’s Law likely long forgotten by the people, many generations after it has been revealed through Moses, the servant of God.

Over the generations, the true meaning of the Law had been lost, as they were told from mouth to mouth down the generations. Over time, those in charge of protecting the Law changed the law as they saw fit, and they corrupted the true law and turn it into something else. That is why Jesus came, and why He apparently changed the Law, that is because the law itself was no longer the same Law which God had given through Moses.

Jesus came to fulfill the Law, to make it true and pure once again, He explained the truth about the Law and its real purpose, thus bringing the people of God once again to true obedience to God. True obedience to God does not mean blind obedience or extremist attitudes, which in fact blocks the path to salvation, because the people were distracted from truly obeying God, and instead serve mankind’s purposes.

That is how it is important for us not to follow our own wisdom and intelligence in understanding and following our faith. Often this had led to misunderstandings and corruption of the true faith, becoming something that is misshapen and evil instead of something that is good.

Jesus had fulfilled the past covenant, and in its place, is a renewed and upgraded covenant, which He made with all of the human race. This new covenant promised us eternal life and salvation in Jesus if we stay faithful to Him by actively fulfilling our part of that covenant. This new covenant was brought to us through the shedding of His blood, that we are made once again worthy and cleansed of our sins.

This He conveyed to us through His Apostles and disciples, who in turn passed the teachings and the knowledge of the new covenant through the Church over the centuries and millennia, until this very day. Therefore in the Church, there exists a deposit of faith which keeps our faith in God like an anchor, preventing us from corrupting it and causing what had happened to the people of God and the past covenant.

Many people over the centuries had given in to the temptations of the world, the temptations of power and glory, to establish their own invalid and heretical ‘churches’ and gatherings, breaking apart the unity of the Church and bringing many to sin and condemnation by splitting them away from the deposit of faith that is in the Church of God, One and only Church.

They followed their own ways, and interpret God’s message as they like, in their own limited human wisdom and understandings, which resulted in various interpretations and teachings that no longer bring salvation to those who believe in them, just like what had happened to the people of God at the time of Jesus, and their misunderstandings about what the law of God truly means.

Brothers and sisters, therefore, today let us reflect on these readings and how important our faith is to us. May our Lord Jesus Christ continue to guide us, and strengthen our faith and devotion to Him through the Church, that we may keep His new covenant with us at all times, and seek to understand it through the teachings of the Church, that we will not falter or fall away. Be with us, Lord Jesus, and love us all, always. Amen.

 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014 : 6th Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are called to reflect on our lives and on our attitudes towards our faith. Have we seen our faith as something that needs just to be there as a belief? Or have we seen it as something that constantly need to be kept alive by active contributions and works? That was what St. James in his letter in today’s first reading tried to tell us about the faith.

Our faith cannot be dormant or be based on mere words or letters of the word. Our faith must be supported with a strong foundation, that is the foundation of love and devotion to God. And in order to do that, we have to act, and be active in love. Remember what Christ had told us? That we ought to love one another, especially those who are least and weakest in our societies?

St. James was particularly condemned and shunned by the Protestant heretics, who held firm to their false and twisted idea of sola fide and sola scriptura, that is the firm belief that only the Holy Scriptures is correct and the only thing to be followed, and more importantly, sola fide, that means faith is sufficient, certainly by literal understanding of the words of Christ, when He said to some, that their faith had saved them.

Yet, they had truly missed the point by their extremely literal understanding of the true meaning of God’s message. Faith is important, and indeed we have to put our complete faith and belief in the Lord, but faith cannot be merely that, meaning just faith. We do not have true and living faith if we just merely say, Lord, Lord, I believe in You, and keep ourselves to reading the Holy Bible all day long without action.

Action, that is action based in love, is an integral part of our faith, and therefore, an integral part of our salvation in Jesus. We cannot separate action of love from faith in love itself, for God Himself is Love, and Jesus is the embodiment of that Love. God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son, Jesus Christ, that all who believe in Him will not die, but receive eternal life.

Faith is important, but can we believe in Love, that is the love of God, if we ourselves do not practice love in our words, deeds and actions? If our actions are instead based on hatred, prejudice, jealousy, and many other negative influences, then are we not contradicting our own faith in the Lord? And does that not mean that we have actually no faith in God?

That is precisely why the path of those who believed in salvation by faith alone is wrong, because many of them in their blind zeal to prove and fight for their version of the faith, they sowed much hatred, prejudice, and jealousy among themselves against the truth that is in God and in His Church. But again, they are not the only ones that are in the wrong, because we ourselves too often do not truly follow what the Lord wants from us.

We are often ignorant of our own faith, and we treat our faith as nothing more than a profession of the Creed and attendance at the Mass every Sundays. We do not truly practice our faith, and in our own daily habits and activities, we often do not reflect the love of God. This ignorance of our faith is something that we have to avoid at all cost, for again, I would like to remind you that this kind of faith is dead, and will do us no good before God.

Practice our faith, brothers and sisters in Christ, and put love in all of our words, actions and deeds. Put what the Lord had revealed and taught to us into real action. As Jesus had said, let all of us love one another, all of our brothers and sisters, children of the same God just as much as we care and love for ourselves. And of course, love God with all of our hearts and our strength.

But loving God does not mean for us to keep ourselves enclosed in our own world of desire for salvation, for doing that will mean selfishness. Loving God can be much more concretely professed, by following what He told us! Yes, that is to love our brethren, especially those who are the last, the lost, and the least. And Jesus Himself said that whatever we had done for them, we did them for God.

Hence, brothers and sisters in Christ, shall we heed what St. James had called us to do, and indeed challenged us to do? Shall we change our perspective on our own faith in God? Shall we from now on make our faith in God truly vibrant and alive? We have to make our faith in God concrete through actions, and that is actions based on love.

May our Lord Jesus Christ guide us and bless us with wisdom and understanding, that we may realise how important it is to love, and how crucial it is towards our salvation. May God continue to be with us and walk with us, that we may continue to love Him and devote ourselves to Him with full, living faith. God bless us all. Amen.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Memorial of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red (Martyrs)

Mark 2 : 23-28

One Sabbath Jesus was walking through grainfields. As His disciples walked along with Him, they began to pick on the heads of grain and crush them in their hands. Then the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Look! They are doing what is forbidden on the Sabbath!”

And He said to them, “Have you never read what David did in his time of need, when he and his men were very hungry? He went into the house of God, when Abiathar was High Priest, and ate the bread of offering, which only the priests were allowed to eat, and he also gave some to the men who were with him.”

Then Jesus said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Master even of the Sabbath.”