(Easter Sunday) Sunday, 27 March 2016 : Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Week, Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 10 : 34a, 37-43

Peter then spoke to them, “No doubt you have heard of the event that occured throughout the whole country of the Jews, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism John preached. You know how God anointed Jesus the Nazarean with Holy Spirit and power.

He went about doing good and healing all who were under the devil’s power, because God was with Him; we are witnesses of all that He did throughout the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem itself. Yet they put Him to death by hanging Him on a wooden cross.

But God raised Him to life on the third day and let Him manifest Himself, not to all the people, but to the witnesses that were chosen beforehand by God – to us who ate and drank with Him after His resurrection from death. And He commanded us to preach to the people and to bear witness that He is the One appointed by God to judge the living and the dead.

All the prophets say of Him, that everyone who believes in Him has forgiveness of sins through His Name.

Thursday, 24 March 2016 : Chrism Mass (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this occasion of the Chrism Mass, we all gather together, all the priests with their respective bishops and superiors in the dioceses around the world. On this day, all those who have dedicated themselves to the Lord in either religious life or sacred priesthood renew their promises and vows to the Lord, and at the same time, the holy oils are blessed, the chrism, where the Chrism Mass got its name from.

All those who are baptised in Christ, and all those who have placed themselves on the path of God’s salvation, they all have received the anointing of the holy oils upon their forehead, as these holy oils have been blessed by God Himself through His holy priests. And it is these priests too who have also been anointed with the same holy oils, when they receive the sacrament of the Holy Orders, to become the dedicated and committed servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And to them the Lord has given them the same authority as He had given to the Apostles, to His disciples and faithful ones, whom He had charged with the care of the people and the flock which He had gathered in the Name of His Father. Just as David has been chosen by God to lead His people Israel as His chosen king, and he has been anointed with oil by Samuel the prophet and judge, so therefore, our priests, bishops and all who have received the Sacrament of the Holy Orders have been blessed and chosen by God. God had called them, and they have responded with faith and sincerity.

And today, all of us gather together to remember our priests and to keep them always in our prayers as they made the efforts anew, to renew together with their bishops, and also with the whole Universal Church, the vow and promise which they had made at the moment of their consecration as God’s holy and dedicated priests. And this time it is especially crucial that we pray for them and ask for our Lord’s protection over them.

Why is this so? That is because, challenges and difficulties are always out and about, seeking to challenge our Church, bringing it problems and putting obstacles in her path, and our priests and all the faithful servants of the Lord, and the workers of the fields of the Lord are at the forefront of the Church and its works, and consequently, they are the ones who are braving those challenges.

There are many difficulties facing our priests, from how they work, to what they preach to the people of God, and to even how they live their daily lives. They are in fact carrying the cross of Christ as long as they are faithful in following the commandments of God. And what is that for, brethren? It is for our own benefit and for our own salvation. They are the shepherds that God had appointed to be in charge of all of us, to lead us on the path to reach Him and the salvation in Him.

It is not easy to become a priest, and it is not easy to remain as one and staying true as one. It is just as what our Lord had said, that while the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers and workers to gather the harvest are few, and just as He asked His people to pray for the Father to send the labourers to the harvest, thus, this is what He also wanted from us, that we pray for God to send young people to join the vocation to the priesthood, to listen to God calling them in their hearts and to choose the way of dedication and commitment to God and to His people.

We too should listen to the word of God speaking deep in our hearts. It is often that we are called by the Lord to follow Him, and yet we are not willing to follow Him because of the various reasons that we have. We like to make excuses or even closing our ears and our minds, our hearts and our feelings from the Lord. And this is exactly why it is becoming ever more difficult from time to time for our Church, as there are fewer and fewer people ready to commit themselves and their lives in the service of God.

Therefore, today, as we reflect on this occasion of the Chrism Mass, let us all commit ourselves anew in our own ways. If we want to devote ourselves wholly to God, then we should take the first step and have the courage to devote ourselves and our entire beings to serving the Lord, taking up the crosses we have, and bravely enduring the challenges, to lead and guide our brethren to the Lord as His shepherds.

And if we are not to follow the Lord in the way of His chosen priests and ministers, then all of us still have our obligations as Christians, to live a good and devout life, filled with faith and obedience to God and His commandments and laws. Then, all of us who choose that path should indeed devote ourselves to help the Church and to help one another in seeking God and His salvation.

Let us all realise in each and every one of us, the role and the responsibilities we have for God and for our fellow brethren. Let us follow the Lord and do what we can to be ever obedient to Him, and to do His good works in all of our lives. May God be with us all, and bless us always. Amen.

Thursday, 24 March 2016 : Maundy Thursday, Chrism Mass (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 4 : 16-21

At that time, when Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, as He usually did. He stood up to read, and they handed Him the book of the prophet Isaiah.

Jesus then unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written : “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me. He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed and to announce the Lord’s year of mercy.”

Jesus then rolled up the scroll, gave it to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. Then He said to them, “Today these prophetic words come true, even as you listen.”

Thursday, 2 April 2015 : Maundy Thursday, Chrism Mass (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 4 : 16-21

At that time, when Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, as He usually did. He stood up to read, and they handed Him the book of the prophet Isaiah.

Jesus then unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written : “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me. He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed and to announce the Lord’s year of mercy.”

Jesus then rolled up the scroll, gave it to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. Then He said to them, “Today these prophetic words come true, even as you listen.”

Monday, 9 March 2015 : 3rd Week of Lent, Memorial of St. Frances of Rome, Religious (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Luke 4 : 24-30

At that time, Jesus said to the people of Nazareth, “No prophet is honoured in his own country. Truly, I say to you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens withheld rain for three years and six months and a great famine came over the whole land.”

“Yet, Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow of Zarephath, in the country of Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha, the prophet, and no one was healed except Naaman, the Syrian.”

On hearing these words, the whole assembly became indignant. They rose up and brought Him out of the town, to the edge of the hill on which Nazareth is built, intending to throw Him down the cliff. But He passed through their midst and went His way.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we hear today about how Jesus was rejected by His own people, because they doubted Him and questioned His teaching authority, for they did not truly know who He is. They failed to see beyond the lens and screen of their own prejudice, of their own human pride and greed, and that was why they were condemned for their ignorance and stubbornness.

Why did they refuse to believe in Jesus? That was because they saw Jesus growing up among them, walking among them and talking to them, interacting with them since He was merely just an Infant Child, until He grew up to be a strong, wise and blessed Man. For the time before He began His ministry, Christ laid low and led a simple life, one that was unassuming, as the Son of a carpenter, who is His foster-father, St. Joseph.

It was likely that Jesus Himself also followed in St. Joseph’s footsteps as a carpenter, and a carpenter, while a respectable and righteous job, is hardly a job that someone would equate with prestige, knowledge and power. Most if not all carpenters at the time of Jesus were illiterate, unable to read. The ability to read was greatly revered in the society, as this gave them the ability to interpret the words of the Scripture and teach the people of God on the Law.

And this was why the Scribes, the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees were so powerful and respected at the time of Jesus. They were the ones who had control over the teachings of the Law and the interpretation of the Scriptures. But the temptation of power, glory and human praise had darkened their minds and hearts. They did not allow the Lord to come into their hearts and dwell there, but instead, their hearts were filled with jealousy and greed.

Thus, this was why they rejected Jesus and sow hatred against Him. They opposed Him at every turn of the way. Indeed, all of us should be sad and ashamed at the amount of jealousy, ignorance and prejudice which we have shown Jesus, just as His fellow villagers in Nazareth had shown Him, and also the hatred, opposition, obstacles and persecution which the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law committed against the works of the Lord.

Their actions were truly a reflection of our own actions. We often shut the Lord out of our hearts and our minds, simply because we are too preoccupied with ourselves and with the things and concerns of this world. As such, we ended up becoming just like the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law and the villagers of Nazareth, who rejected Jesus and thus rejected the salvation which He offered.

We are often too caught up in the noise of the world that we fail to notice the Lord doing His works about us and around us. He performs His good works, miracles and wonders all the time, through those around us, and through the Church itself as well. It is therefore good for us all to reflect and think about our own lives. Have we been like the villagers of Nazareth, being cooped in our own prejudice and human weaknesses?

In the first reading, St. Paul in his letter to the Hebrews likened the actions of God like that of a father who chastises and guides his sons and daughters to the correct path. Thus the same is also applied to the actions of our Lord and God, who truly is our Father, the Father of all things and all creations. He cares for all of us and we are all His children.

In the current state, our stubbornness, our ignorance and our immersion in sin threaten the very safety and fate of our souls. Which father will let his son or daughter to fall into danger? That was why He sent us so many help and assistance, which He made true and real through Jesus, that we may all be saved. Shall we thus no longer be obstinate, but accept the gracious offer of our Lord’s mercy and love? May Almighty God be with us always, and may He awaken in us the love which we ought to have for Him. God bless us all. Amen.

Sunday, 21 December 2014 : Fourth Sunday of Advent, Memorial of St. Peter Canisius, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Luke 1 : 26-38

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a young virgin, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

The angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean. But the angel said, “Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a Son, and you shall call Him Jesus.”

“He will be great, and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the kingdom of David, His ancestor; He will rule over the people of Jacob forever, and His reign shall have no end.”

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the Holy Child to be born of you shall be called Son of God. Even your relative Elizabeth is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child; and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible.”

Then Mary said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.” And the angel left her.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/19/sunday-21-december-2014-fourth-sunday-of-advent-memorial-of-st-peter-canisius-priest-and-doctor-of-the-church-homily-and-scripture-reflections/