Friday, 3 January 2020 : Weekday of Christmas Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 97 : 1, 3cd-4, 5-6

Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wonders; His right hand, His holy arm, has won victory for Him.

The farthest ends of the earth all have seen God’s saving power. All you lands, make a joyful noise to the Lord, break into song and sing praise.

With melody of the lyre and with music of the harp. With trumpet blast and sound of the horn, rejoice before the King, the Lord!

Alternative Psalm (Mass of the Most Holy Name of Jesus)

Psalm 8 : 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

When I observe the heavens, the work of Your hands, the moon, and the stars You set in their place – what is man, that You be mindful of him; the Son of Man, that You should care for Him?

Yet You made Him a little less than a god; You crowned Him with glory and honour and gave Him the works of Your hands; You have put all things under His feet.

Sheep and oxen without number, and even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and all that swim the paths of the ocean.

Thursday, 2 January 2020 : Weekday of Christmas Time, Memorial of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 97 : 1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4

Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wonders; His right hand, His holy arm, has won victory for Him.

The Lord has shown His salvation, revealing His justice to the nations. He has not forgotten His love nor His faithfulness to Israel.

The farthest ends of the earth all have seen God’s saving power. All you lands, make a joyful noise to the Lord, break into song and sing praise.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020 : Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and World Day of Prayer for Peace (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 66 : 2-3, 5, 6 and 8

May God be gracious and bless us; may He let His face shine upon us, that Your way be known on earth and Your salvation among the nations.

May the countries be glad and sing for joy, for You rule the peoples with justice and guide the nations of the world.

May the peoples praise You, o God, may all the peoples praise You! May God bless us and be revered, to the very ends of the earth.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019 : Seventh Day within the Octave of Christmas, Memorial of Pope St. Silvester I, Pope (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 95 : 1-2, 11-12, 13

Sing to the Lord a new song, sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless His Name. Proclaim His salvation day after day.

Let the heavens be glad, the earth rejoice; let the sea and all that fills it resound; let the fields exult and everything in them; let the forest, all the trees, sing for joy. Let them sing before the Lord.

He Who comes to judge the earth. He will rule the world with justice and the peoples with fairness.

Monday, 30 December 2019 : Sixth Day within the Octave of Christmas (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 95 : 7-8a, 8b-9, 10

Give to YHVH, you families of nations, give to YHVH glory and strength. Give to YHVH the glory due His Name.

Bring gifts and enter His courts. Worship YHVH with holy celebrations; stand in awe of Him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, “YHVH reigns!” He will judge the peoples with justice.

Sunday, 29 December 2019 : Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 127 : 1-2, 3, 4-5

Blessed are you who fear the Lord and walk in His ways. You will eat the fruit of your toil; you will be blessed and favoured.

Your wife, like a vine, will bear fruits in your home; your children, like olive shoots will stand around your table.

Such are the blessings bestowed upon the man who fears the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion. May you see Jerusalem prosperous all the days of your life.

Saturday, 28 December 2019 : Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 123 : 2-3, 4-5, 7b-8

Had not the Lord been on our side, when people rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive; such was their anger against us.

A bit more and the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away.

The snare was broken and we were freed. Our help is in the Name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

Friday, 27 December 2019 : Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 96 : 1-2, 5-6, 11-12

The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the distant islands be glad. Clouds and darkness surround Him; justice and right are His throne.

The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim His justice, all peoples see His glory.

He sheds light upon the upright, and gladness upon the just. Rejoice in the Lord, you who are blameless, and give praise to His holy Name.

Thursday, 26 December 2019 : Feast of St. Stephen, Protomartyr (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 30 : 3cd-4, 6 and 8ab, 16bc and 17

Be a Rock of refuge for me, a Fortress for my safety. For You are my Rock and my Stronghold, lead me for Your Name’s sake.

Into Your hands I commend my spirit; You have redeemed me, o Lord, faithful God. I will rejoice and be glad in Your love, for You have seen my affliction.

Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, from those after my skin. Make Your face shine upon Your servant; save me in Your love.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019 : Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, Christmas Masses (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, after about four weeks of Advent, all of us finally reach this moment of the day of Christmas when we celebrate the birth of the Lord and Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ. Today is indeed a day of great joy that finally after the long wait, the world has finally seen its Saviour, a long awaited moment and a new hope dawning on us mankind. Christmas is indeed the celebration of Christ, through Whom all of us have the reason to rejoice.

And everything was because of God’s love for each and every one of us, that beautiful and enduring love through which God made the impossible to be possible, that mankind, once fallen and condemned to damnation and destruction by our sins, could be saved and brought into a new existence through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour. Through Him all of us received the fullness of God’s love and wonders, which manifested fully in our midst through Christ.

That is why we celebrate this Christmas, and why we need to prepare ourselves throughout the season of Advent so that we may be able to celebrate it worthily. And why is that so? That is because many people today have forgotten what Christmas actually means and its true significance for us. For the duration of the season of Advent, we have continuously touched on the topic of how Christ has been forgotten and removed from the focus and emphasis that He should have received.

Instead, what we have and often see all around us this time of the year, is the celebration of greed and human selfishness, feeding our desires and wants, focusing on all the celebrations and glamours, all the paraphernalia and glitters, gifts and presents, all things except the One Whom we ought to be celebrating about, Christ, the true joy and meaning of Christmas. What we have is instead a secularised, materialistic celebration of human greed.

As Christians, brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us today are challenged and called to embrace the true meaning and nature of Christmas, especially in how we celebrate Christmas in our homes and within our families and communities. Are we celebrating Christmas as how the rest of the world celebrates it? Are we having all the parties and merrymaking, while leaving. Christ out of all the joy altogether?

What does Christmas truly mean for each and every one of us? Is it about the holiday that we are getting? Is it about the happiness of seeing so many coloured lights and blings all around us? Is it about all the songs and Christmas hymns, all the food and things we usually enjoy and are associated with the joyous Christmas season? Well, yes, we can celebrate and enjoy all these, but it is very important and indeed crucial that we remember the very heart and reason of Christmas in all of our joy and celebrations.

At the heart of our celebrations, we must remember that it was because of the works that the Lord has done for our sake, that we can rejoice and be happy in the first place. If not for the Lord having loved us so much that He was willing to embrace our humanity, the Divine Word and Son of God becoming the Son of Man in the flesh, there would have been no Christmas, and there would be no reason for us to celebrate, or to hope.

As Christians, all of us must know what Christmas is truly all about, and how Christmas fits in the greater scheme of things, within the whole history and framework of God’s salvation. Christmas is not just like any other birthdays, and it is not just celebrating any person’s entry into this world, for Christmas when celebrated on its own has no real meaning and purpose. It is exactly because we know what the One Whose birthday being celebrated in Christmas would be doing through His life and ministry that gave Christmas its full meaning and purpose.

What does this mean, brothers and sisters in Christ? It means that Christmas has a truly special significance, because the One born today over two millennia ago in the small and humble town of Bethlehem in Judah was not just any baby, but is the One promised by God to be the Saviour for all of His people, as the prophet Isaiah spoke of Him, as the Prince of Peace, the Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Divine Word Incarnate.

And even still, if not for what this Saviour of ours has experienced through His life and at the culmination of His earthly mission, the fullness of significance of Christmas would not be here with us. Christ willingly endured sufferings and pains in His Passion, taking up His cross and being condemned to death although He was without fault or sin, and therefore bore upon Himself all of our sins and punishments for those sins.

All these happened precisely so that He may save us from our fated destruction because of our sins, the sins of our ancestors who have disobeyed God and walked down the path of sin. Just as He saved His people Israel from their slavery in Egypt and made them to be His own, thus through Christ, God has saved us from our slavery to sin, and made us all to be His own beloved people.

It was that same Child born at Christmas day over two millennia ago Who eventually fulfilled all that God has said to be, and promised to His people, the King Who came into this world to redeem His people, by embracing our humanity, and uniting His humanity to our own, that by sacrificing Himself on the Cross, He gave us the sure pathway to redemption and the fullness of forgiveness, mercy and grace in God.

This is the Good News that God has revealed to us, and which He has sent to us through Christ His Son. And yet, this Good News, which mankind had awaited for so long, and ought to rejoice at, has often been forgotten these days, because the world was simply too busy and too distracted to recognise Him and to understand all that He has done for our sake. That is why so many of our Christmas celebrations and all that we see around us are bereft of Christ.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, having discussed in quite some details on the importance and meaning of Christmas, what is it that we then should do? Perhaps we should indeed look at the way how we celebrate Christmas, whether we have been celebrating it in the wrong way, that is as how we often see and perceive it in our world today, empty of its true meaning and purpose, Christ not being at the centre of all the celebrations and merrymaking.

If we have not been celebrating Christmas in the right way, it is still not too late for us, brethren, as the Christmas season has just begun today. Perhaps, this is a timely reminder for us to keep our Christmas observation and celebration to be centred on Christ, its namesake and true meaning. And how do we do this? We can do this by making our Christmas less about ourselves, our desires and all, and instead, share the joy and love we have, especially with our less fortunate brethren.

We must know and understand that not everyone can celebrate Christmas as we do, and there remain many out there who are not able to be joyful or to celebrate in this Christmas joy and festivities, either because they do not have the means to do so, those who are poor and marginalised, all those who have to struggle even to meet their daily needs. And there are also those our brethren who are living in places where being a Christian can mean great suffering and even death.

Hence, even as we rejoice this Christmas day and season, we are all reminded not to be overboard in our celebrations and in our festivities, and rather than spending excessive amounts of money and resources on making an extravagant Christmas celebration, let us instead spare some for those who have less or little, and share our joy and blessings with them in whatever way we can.

In fact, sometimes sharing our joy does not mean giving gifts or money or anything of value. Often what people need is time, love and genuine attention, things that often cannot be bought or obtained by money or wealth. How many of us are so busy preparing for Christmas and forgot to actually spend quality and meaningful time with our loved ones and immerse ourselves in the true joy of Christmas?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today therefore, as we celebrate Christmas, we are all challenged first of all to put Christ back in the centre of our every Christmas joy, merrymaking and celebrations, and then, we are also called to be mindful of those around us who can be part of our joy and celebration as well. Ultimately, Christmas is a celebration of love, joy, hope and peace, a celebration that is universal, and we should share this joy whenever we can.

Let us all therefore return to the true meaning and joy of Christmas, putting Christ right at the heart of everything we do and enthrone Him in our hearts as the King of all of us, and let us all be witnesses for the Lord through our worthy and meaningful celebration of Christmas, that by showing how our Christmas joy was indeed about Christ and our joy of having received salvation through Him, we may bear witness to this truth to many more people whom we encounter in life.

May God bless us and our Christmas celebrations, and may He be there with our families so that all of us may indeed celebrate with true meaning and purpose, glorifying God and giving Him thanks for all the loving things He has done to us, and for the rich and generous mercy He has shown us that He gave us Christ as our Lord and Redeemer as we celebrate it this Christmas. May all of us have a most blessed and wonderful Christmas season. Amen.