(Holy Week) Thursday, 13 April 2017 : Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
1 Corinthians 11 : 23-26

This is the tradition of the Lord that I received and that in my turn I have handed on to you; the Lord Jesus, on the night that He was delivered up, took bread and, after giving thanks, broke it, saying, “This is My Body which is broken for you; do this in memory of Me.”

In the same manner, taking the cup after the supper, He said, “This cup is the new Covenant in My Blood. Whenever you drink it, do it in memory of Me.” So, then, whenever you eat of this bread and drink from this cup, you are proclaiming the death of the Lord until He comes.

Sunday, 14 August 2016 : Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 39-56

At that time, Mary then set out for a town in the hill country of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb.

Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit, and giving a loud cry, said, “You are most blessed among women, and blessed is the Fruit of your womb! How is it that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you who believed that the Lord’s word would come true!”

And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my Saviour! He has looked upon His servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed.”

“The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name! From age to age His mercy extends to those who live in His presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden.”

“He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty. He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned home.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 : 12th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Genesis 13 : 2, 5-18

Now Abram was very rich in flocks, silver and gold. Lot who went with Abram also had flocks, cattle and tents. The land was not sufficient to allow them to stay together, for their possessions were too great for them to live together.

A quarrel arose between the herdsmen of Abram’s flock and those of Lot. The Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land at the time. Abram said to Lot, “Do not let there be a dispute between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and yours, since we are brothers! Is the whole land not there before you? Let us part company. If you go to the left, I will go to the right; if you go to the right, I will go to the left.”

Lot looked up and saw the whole valley of the Jordan : how well it was watered! Before YHVH destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, this was like one of YHVH’s gardens, like the country of Egypt, on coming to Zoar. Lot chose for himself all the Jordan valley and journeyed eastward. In this way they separated from each other.

Abram settled in the country of Canaan while Lot lived among the towns of the plain and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were wicked, sinning greatly against YHVH. YHVH said to Abram after Lot had left him, “Raise your eyes and look from where you are, towards the north, the south, the east and the west; all the land you see I will give to you and your descendants forever.”

“I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; if the grains of the dust can be counted, then your descendants may be counted. Come, travel through the length and breadth of the land, for it is to you that I am giving it.”

So Abram moved his tent and came to live by the oak of Mamre at Hebron. There he built an altar to YHVH.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Corinthians 3 : 4-11

This is how we are sure of God, through Christ. As for us we would not dare consider that something comes from us : our ability comes from God. He has even enabled us to be ministers of a new Covenant no longer depending on a written text but on the Spirit. The written text kills, but the Spirit gives life.

The ministry of the Law carved on stones brought death; it was nevertheless surrounded by glory and we know that the Israelites could not fix their eyes on the face of Moses, such was his radiance, though fleeting. How much more glorious will the ministry of the Spirit be!

If there is greatness in a ministry which uses to condemn, how much more will there be in the ministry that brings holiness? This is such a glorious thing that in comparison the former’s glory is like nothing. That ministry was provisory and had only moments of glory; but ours endures with a lasting glory.

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/

Sunday, 26 October 2014 : 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we come together as one family of the Church of God, and we listened to the words of the Scripture and the Gospel. And today we heard how it was shown to us the truth and the heart and core of what is the Law of God, which God had revealed to His people through Moses, His servant. The basics of this Law is the set of ten commandments we know as the Ten Commandments.

The Ten Commandments is the basic tenets of the faith which God revealed to mankind so that they might follow in the ways which the Lord was to show them, that is the way of love. Before the revelation of the Ten Commandments, mankind did not have a standard set of rule that governed them, and as a result each one acted as it pleased them and as they liked, more often than not, not in accordance with the will of God and thus wickedness reigned over mankind.

And this Law was given through Moses to the people of God, to be a guide to them and in how they lived their lives. The Ten Commandments was written on two slabs of stone, written by God Himself, as a covenant which God renewed with the descendants of Abraham. And this covenant is a covenant of love, made upon love which God has for mankind, and as our part of the covenant, we also have to love Him back in the same way as He had loved us.

What is a covenant exactly? It is the promise and contract that is established between two parties, and it is legally and completely binding in nature. Both sides who have committed to a covenant must remain faithful to it, and as we all know, our Lord is forever ever faithful, and He never walked away from His promise. After all, He fulfilled completely His promises to His servants Abraham, David and all Israel, and the perfect fulfillment of His promises was through Jesus.

It is we mankind who often renege on our part of the covenant. God had first made His covenant with Adam, the first man and his wife Eve, the first woman. To them He gave authority and stewardship over all of the earth and over all of creations. And yet, they disobeyed despite God’s love and care for them, and they chose to put their lot with Satan and listened to their personal human desire rather than listening to God and obeying their part of the covenant between God and mankind.

And Abraham was faithful, this son of Adam who was righteous among the nations, that God renewed His covenant with men through Him, and he was blessed beyond all other men for his faithfulness and righteousness, walking faithfully in the way of the Lord. And yet, it was his descendants who yet again reneged against the Lord, committing evil after evil, with the treatment they showed to Joseph in jealousy and how they sold him into slavery out of that jealousy and hatred they had.

But God was patient, and He continued to love His people despite of their unfaithfulness and disobedience. Indeed, He wanted to show them His love, which He had shown them for generations after generations, but spurned by the people who did not listen to the Lord nor realise the extent of His love for them. He thus sent His servant Moses to liberate them, and to lead them to the promised inheritance for them, and bring them to know His Law, the Ten Commandments revealed through Moses.

But was the people faithful? No! As soon as they were freed from the land of Egypt they continued in their disobedience, complaining and disobeying God, creating idols after idols and embracing fornications after fornications of their bodies and souls. And they were indeed punished for their disobedience, for embracing the ways of the world and for worshipping false idols. But God again did not give up on the people He loved so much, and as He had done through the prophets, He revealed the final act of love He had for us.

Yes, that act is through Jesus, whom the Father sent to the world in order to save it and to bring all of us, the partakers of the covenant of God, into a new hope through the new covenant which Christ had established in His love. Yes, and that is why He explained to the Pharisees, the true meaning of the Law which is love. The love of God for men, and the desire of God to see us saved and freed from our state of sin due to our breaking of the promise of the covenant.

The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law were puritans and extremists in the way of their faith, as they observed the Law very strictly, imposing a very strict set of rules, regulations, habits and behaviours which they forced onto the people of God. This was because the basic tenets of the faith, the Ten Commandments and the sets of laws and regulations which God had revealed through Moses had been twisted in their meaning and purpose by them, those shepherds and leaders who had been entrusted with teaching authority but misused them for their own gains.

The observations of their Law had become unmerciful in nature and they persecuted others just because they thought that those who did not adapt their puritan and extremist beliefs were unworthy and ought to be condemned. They condemned the one whom Jesus healed, the blind man from birth, just because he defended the Lord and told the truth about Him, a truth which the Pharisees and the scribes failed to see.

Remember again what the Lord told Moses and the people of Israel in the Book of Exodus in the first reading today? God made it clear to them that in the observation of the Law, one must act with the core of love in all purposes, and not anger, injustice, prejudice, and less so jealousy and other negativities which cause us to exercise the Law imprudently, just as the Pharisees had done.

Why the Ten Commandments of the Lord again? Why should it be that we should not kill, we should not steal, we should not covet others’ possessions? Why is it that we ought to honour our father and mother, loving our God and having no other gods beside Him? That is all because we all need to know love, and realise what is love all about, that is to give ourselves completely and totally to the love of God, avoiding all these actions which does not lead us to love and life, but indeed to hatred and death.

When we kill, we do not have love in us, and when we steal from someone, we do not have the love we ought to have for that brother or sister of ours, and when we covet someone else’s possession, it is impossible for us to love that person when we at the same time have any negativity towards the person. And how can we love if we cannot even love our parents, and foremost of all, if we cannot even love our God and devote ourselves entirely to Him?

We should take heed of what St. Paul had written to the Church and the faithful in Thessalonica, where he praised them for their ways and how they had changed their ways of old, of pagan worship and idol worship, of fornication and sin, into the way of the children of God, and walk righteously in the path of the Law. They obeyed the Law, not just because they have to obey it, but they understood the importance and the true meaning of the Law, that is love. We should indeed follow their examples and do the same.

Indeed, God did not give us the Law to torture us or to make our lives more difficult. The Law was intended to guide us, and guide us back from our waywardness and our rebellious tendencies, back to His loving embrace. And God also gave us a new chance through Christ, whose death and resurrection renewed for us a new covenant which He established with us. And remember that Jesus came not to destroy the Law but to perfect it, by revealing the true intention of the Law, which is indeed Love!

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, we all have a choice today. We can choose to continue our lives as usual, and we can do things as we like and as we wished it. We can also choose to live our lives following the rules and regulations as established by the Church and our Faith, following them just for the sake of following those laws and rules. But what will all these bring us? Nothing! Nothing indeed, other than harm and destruction.

So what is the other choice that we have? We can choose to understand the Law, as what we have heard and discussed here, that is to know the love in the Law of God. Indeed, the Law is very simple, as at the heart of it is love, and first, the first three commandments are all about loving God, and loving Him from the very bottom and depth of our hearts, with the whole might of our minds and with the full attention of our souls. That means we should not be partial in our faith, and we either accept the fullness of faith in God or we reject it, as we cannot believe in just parts of what we need to believe, and remember that we cannot serve God and another master.

But we must also love one another, in the same way that we have loved God and in the same way as we have loved ourselves. It is easier for us to love ourselves than to love others, and indeed we have often serve ourselves and our own purposes often at the expense of others around us. Thus, shall we learn from what God had taught us, that we need to put away our ego and begin to learn to love one another sincerely and earnestly, loving them just as we love ourselves?

Let us all pray to our Almighty God and Father, that He will continue to guide us in our lives, so that we may not lose sight on the true goal of our life, that is to reach Him and be reconciled with Him in love, through the love we show to Him and also through the love and the mercy we have shown to our brothers and sisters, following the examples of the saints of the past, and to exercise love and mercy in all of our judgments and actions. God bless us all. Amen.

 

First Reading : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/24/sunday-26-october-2014-30th-sunday-of-ordinary-time-first-reading/

Second Reading : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/24/sunday-26-october-2014-30th-sunday-of-ordinary-time-second-reading/

Gospel Reading : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/24/sunday-26-october-2014-30th-sunday-of-ordinary-time-gospel-reading/

Friday, 10 October 2014 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we are given a plain, clear and stern warning, that we have a clear choice in life, whether we choose to obey the Lord and His will and walk in His ways, or we can choose to walk in the ways of this world, following the whim of our desires and wants in life, and thus we gain the enjoyment of this worldly life, but we lose out in the life of the world to come.

Those who are not righteous and who allow themselves to be taken over by the lies of Satan will perish, and the curse of sin will be with them. They will not have any part in the inheritance of the Lord, the promise of eternal life and happiness which He had revealed through Jesus and sealed through the loving sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. And all who believe in Him will be saved.

That is because, brothers and sisters in Christ, that we have fallen into sin and evil ever since the very first time when we disobeyed the Lord, and through that we have lost our right to receive the inheritance which God had promised mankind. Men were not made to suffer the consequences of sin and suffer death and pain. Men were destined for happiness as the greatest and most beloved of God’s creations, but instead, in the free will which He had given us, we chose to pick the temporary pleasures of the flesh rather than the eternal pleasure of the soul.

But God did not give up on us, for He is indeed our loving Father and Creator, who would not suffer to see us fall into eternal damnation with the devil who had brought us to our downfall. Instead, He gave us a new opportunity through the covenant which He had made with Abraham, our father in faith and the father of many nations. The faith and devotion which he showed in life had gained justification and righteousness for him and those who are his descendants.

However, being descendants of Abraham by virtue of birth does not guarantee us salvation, as Jesus once rightly said to the people of Israel who were defiant against Him, that even God could raise the children of Abraham from mere rocks, when they boasted of their status and their supposed privilege as the children of Abraham. That was because while they claimed to be children of Abraham by birth, their actions suggested otherwise. Abraham himself would be ashamed to have them as his descendants!

As the Holy Scriptures had mentioned, that all of us mankind who have done God’s will and obeyed Him in the things which He had asked from us, even though we may not be counted among the tribes of Israel, but if we have done as God had commanded us, just as Abraham had done, then we deserve and are indeed counted together among the children of Abraham, and hence we will also deserve the inheritance promised by God to us.

God also renewed the covenant which He had first established with Abraham, after his descendants reneged on their part of the covenant due to their unfaithfulness, and in order to fulfill the promise made to men at the beginning of time, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and God, as our Saviour. Christ became the hope to all who remain faithful in the Lord and reject the ways of Satan.

For Jesus Christ followed the will of God His Father perfectly, and obeyed even until suffering death, for the sake of all of us mankind. That while the old Adam and the descendants of Abraham disobeyed God and spurned His love, the new Adam, that is Christ, is perfect in obedience and love for God, so that through Him mankind is made well again, and worthy of the inheritance promised to them, because Christ had taken flesh, and the Word was made Man.

Nevertheless, as we can see in the Gospel, there are always dissenters who refused to believe in the truth of Christ and they preferred to follow the whims of their flawed humanity, and preferred to be lead by the lies and comforts promised by Satan, just as their ancestors had done before. This was what happened, when the Israelites refused to believe in the miracles of Jesus, accusing Him of casting out demons by the power of demons because in their hardened heart, they failed to see Christ as He was.

Thus, brothers and sisters, the readings of this day serve as a stern reminder to all of us, that we should keep all of our ways within what the Lord had instructed us, and we should not allow ourselves to be bought off by the tricks and the lies of Satan, who will tirelessly indeed continue his assaults on us, to wrench us away from the safety and salvation in God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

If we stay faithful, and do all that is good and righteous, then we will be counted among the children of Abraham, and the Lord who had established His new covenant with us, by the shedding of His Blood on the cross, will make us inheritors of our promised rewards. However, if we do not remain faithful and turn our back on Him, then He will also turn His back against us, and we will be cast away from His presence into eternal damnation.

Lastly, Jesus our Lord also reminded us of a very important fact, when the people accused Him of using devil to fight against other devils. He pointed out how a house will not be able to remain standing if it is divided against each other. Thus, if all of us the children of God are not able to remain united, either because of hatred, jealousy, prejudice, arrogance or many other lies and evils Satan planted in our hearts, then we are in great danger to succumb to the assaults of Satan against the people of God.

Thus, let us today renew our commitments to the Lord, that we will be truly faithful to Him, and that we will work together as one whole community of the Church, to resist together and rebuke Satan together as one. May Almighty God guard us always, protect us from the evil one, and awaken in us the faith of our father in faith, Abraham, His faithful servant, that we may all partake fully in the inheritance promised to us. God bless us all. Amen.