Wednesday, 6 May 2015 : 5th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 15 : 1-8

Jesus said to His disciples, “I am the True Vine and My Father is the Vinegrower. If any of My branches does not bear fruit, He breaks it off; and He prunes every branch that does bear fruit, that it may bear even more fruit.”

“You are already made clean by the word I have spoken to you. Live in Me as I live in you. The branch cannot bear fruit by itself, but has to remain part of the vine; so neither can you, if you do not remain in Me.”

“I am the Vine and you are the branches. As long as you remain in Me and I in you, you bear much fruit; but apart from Me you can do nothing. Whoever does not remain in Me is thrown away, as they do with branches, and they wither. Then they are gathered and thrown into the fire and burned.”

“If you remain in Me and My words in you, you may ask whatever you want, and it will be given to you. My Father is glorified when you bear much fruit : it is then that you become My disciples.”

Saturday, 14 February 2015 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Cyril, Monk and St. Methodius, Bishop, Patron Saints of Europe (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard of the fall of mankind and how mankind had been tainted by sin and evil, because of their disobedience against the Lord’s will and commandments, which He had established with them earlier on when He created them. Sin came into the hearts of men due to the vulnerability of us all mankind against the temptations which Satan arrayed against us.

Mankind received the punishment for their disobedience, and at first it might seem that they would forever be condemned and sundered from the goodness and the graces intended for them from the beginning of time. Yes, God intended not harm for us, but happiness, joy and everlasting fulfillment in Him, as the Garden of Eden was to show us all. Life before sin was perfect and complete, where mankind have all the things that they needed, and above all else, they had their Lord with them, who gave them all that they would ever need.

But mankind fell into the temptation of the evil one, who played upon our natural desire and curiosity, and when he offered our ancestors the opportunity to become equal with God, by getting beyond our boundaries and disobey the Lord, we forever therefore, all of mankind, had been tainted by that rebellion which Satan has brought upon us all mankind. Satan himself had fallen into evil because of his own pride and vanity, which he then passed on to mankind.

And by our nature, it is difficult to satiate our desire and wants. And ever since we ate of the tree of knowledge of the good and evil, our desire to know more and have more for ourselves only increased. And in that, we committed ever more sins, and ever greater in wickedness. How many times we can recognise greed and desire behind the actions of men when they sought to gain more in terms of material goods as well as other things?

And that is why our Lord want to liberate us from our slavery to our desires and wants. He came to show us that all that we need truly is to be faithful to our Lord and put our complete trust in Him, and He will provide us with all the things that we will ever need. He is our Lord, our Creator and our loving Father, and as such, He knows every one of us, in all that we need and in all the things we do.

He cares for all of us, and through Jesus, He made it all clear to us. The feeding of the hungry four thousand men in today’s Gospel tells us all about how God cares for our needs. We all naturally get hungry and we want to eat, and our Lord provided them with food, from the seven loaves of bread He gave His grace and power, and made the bread sufficient for all of them to eat until full.

Yet, one bad trait of mankind is our inability to know the limits to our desires. We always desire for more and more, and the more we are given, even more things we desire for ourselves. The people of Israel when they were on their way from Egypt out of their slavery and into the Promised Land, complained and protested against the Lord that the food that they had when they were in Egypt was much better, even though God had made large birds to come and provide them with those as food, and also with even the bread from heaven itself, that is the manna.

And God also provided them with sweet and crystal-clear pure water which He made to pour out from the earth itself. Such was the love and care that God had poured upon His beloved people, that He gave the best of all things to them. But they spurned that love and rejected Him, complaining and resisting with obstinate hearts. And destruction and ruin were what they deserved.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of St. Cyril and St. Methodius, the holy saints and servants of God who were the evangelisers of the Faith in many countries and areas now known as Eastern Europe. They standardised the language used in those regions, the languages used for the means of the Church. And using those languages and the Scriptures translated into those languages, they managed to bring many people who used to be in the darkness and bring them into the light of our Lord.

St. Cyril and St. Methodius should both give us an inspiration to carry on the knowledge which we have received on the love which our God has for us, to more and more people who have yet to receive it, to those who have yet to witness it, and to all those who still lay in the darkness of the world. They have brought the light of Christ and bring about their salvation.

So much and so great is God’s great love for us that He sent us His faithful servants and called them from the world to bring about our salvation and safety. Thus, shall we all cast aside all of our pride, our greed and our stubbornness, and then carry up our cross and follow Christ our Lord? He has provided us all freely with the salvation that He bought for us through His sacrifice and death on the cross.

May Almighty God bless us all, guide us all on our way, and protect us from harm of the evil one, and while awakening in us the love which we all ought to have for Him. Let us all be thankful and grateful for the rich love and mercy which our Lord had shown us, and be grateful for all He had provided us, knowing how to say enough when we have enough for us, for what we need. God be with us all. Amen.

Friday, 9 January 2015 : Friday after the Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are reminded of the purpose of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ into this world. He came not just for nothing or just to save the righteous ones, but even more importantly, from the story of the healing of the leper, we should know that Jesus came into the world in order to save the weak, the sinners, the wicked and all those who have been lost to Him.

Remember that Jesus Himself said to the Pharisees to rebuke them? He said that He came into the world not to save the righteous nor the healthy, but to save those who need His help, those who are separated from His love, and all those who are far away from His grace. He came as a doctor to heal the illness of the sick, and for our case, this illness and sickness is sin, the taint and corruption on our body and soul that prevented us from receiving the grace of God.

In short, Jesus desires for us to be forgiven from our sins, to be cleansed from our iniquities and sins, and to be made whole again, so that no one will be lost in the end. All those who are lost will be brought back together again, so that in the grace of God they may be saved. That is the meaning and intention of God’s love, which He freely offers to all those who seek Him and who are willing to listen to His urgings and calls.

But all this cannot happen without our part to play, and we need to do something on our part ourselves. God offers us His salvation and grace freely, but if we are not responsive and unreceptive to His offers, then it will be useless for us. We will not be part of God’s salvation. We must be receptive and also take the initiative to allow the work of God to take place in ourselves, so that God’s salvation may come to work for us.

Jesus Himself said that if we need anything, we only have to ask and it shall be given to us, and we just have to knock at the door, and the door will be opened for us. That is the truth, and God is generous with His love. The problem is of course that many of us for various reasons refuse to do these, and therefore shutting ourselves out from the richness of God’s grace.

Many of us are too proud to ask for God’s help, or to lower ourselves to seek God’s mercy and forgiveness, and that is why many of us are still lost in the darkness of this world, and many of us continue to sin because we are too proud and haughty, thinking too highly of ourselves to humbly beg for the forgiveness for our sins. And on the other hand, many of us are also too afraid to ask for God’s help because we fear His punishment, His anger and His wrath, and hence, again we continue to live in sin.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, if any of us are among these two groups of people, then we should indeed reflect, on the love of God, which He had shown through Jesus and through His loving sacrifice on the cross, the torture and sufferings He went through for our sake. We should open wide the doors of our heart to allow the Lord to come into us and to transform us from being the creatures of evil and sin into the people of the Light.

Therefore, let us all show love in our actions, loving one another and caring for each other, forgiving one another of the faults and mistakes we have done to each other. We have to live out our faith with real action, and we have to open up ourselves to the Lord, not to enclose ourselves within our pride and fear. Do not let pride prevent us from seeking out to the Lord and seeking His forgiveness for our sins. And of course, we should not allow our fear to come in the way of our seeking of the love of God.

May our Almighty and loving God be with us always, that we may not lose our way as we find our way towards Him and His salvation. May all of us grow stronger in faith and love, so that in all things we say, do and act, we may have the love of God in us. Let us throw far, far away all forms of pride and fear from our hearts and embrace God with love. God bless us all. Amen.

First Reading :
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/08/friday-9-january-2015-friday-after-the-epiphany-first-reading/

Psalm :
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/08/friday-9-january-2015-friday-after-the-epiphany-psalm/

Gospel Reading :
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/08/friday-9-january-2015-friday-after-the-epiphany-gospel-reading/

Thursday, 8 January 2015 : Thursday after the Epiphany (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 4 : 19 – 1 John 5 : 4

So let us love one another, since God loved us first. If you say, “I love God,” while you hate your brother or sister, you are a liar. How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your brother whom you see? We received from Him this commandment : let those who love God also love their brothers.

All those who believe that Jesus is the Anointed, are born of God; whoever loves the Father, loves the Son. How may we know that we love the children of God? If we love God and fulfill His commands, for God’s love requires us to keep His commands.

In fact, His commandments are not a burden because all those born of God overcome the world. And the victory which overcomes the world is our faith.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/07/thursday-8-january-2015-thursday-after-the-epiphany-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Sunday, 2 November 2014 : Feast of All Souls, 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or Black

Matthew 11 : 25-30

At that time, on that occasion Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I praise You, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to simple people. Yes, Father, this is what pleased You.”

“Everything has been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.”

“Come to Me, all you who work hard and who carry heavy burdens, and I will refresh you. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest. For My yoke is good, and My burden is light.”

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/01/sunday-2-november-2014-feast-of-all-souls-31st-sunday-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

 

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Matthew 5 : 1-12a

At that time, when Jesus saw the crowds, He went up the mountain. He sat down and His disciples gathered around Him. Then He spoke and began to teach them :

“Fortunate are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Fortunate are those who mourn, they shall be comforted.”

“Fortunate are the gentle, they shall possess the land. Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.”

“Fortunate are the merciful, for they shall find mercy. Fortunate are those with a pure heart, for they shall see God.”

“Fortunate are those who work for peace, they shall be called children of God. Fortunate are those who are persecuted for the cause of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

“Fortunate are you, when people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil against you because you are My followers. Be glad and joyful, for a great reward is kept for you in God.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Matthew 25 : 1-13

At that time, Jesus told a story that throws light on what will happen in the kingdom of heaven : “Ten bridesmaids went out with their lamps to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were careless, and the others were sensible.”

“The careless bridesmaids took their lamps as they were, and did not bring extra oil. But those who were sensible, brought with their lamps flasks of oil. As the bridegroom delayed, they all grew drowsy and fell asleep.”

“But at midnight, a cry rang out, ‘The bridegroom is here, come out and meet him!’ All the maidens woke up at once, and trimmed their lamps. Then the careless ones said to the sensible ones, ‘Give us some oil, for our lamps are going out.'”

“The sensible ones answered, ‘There may not be enough for us and for you. You had better go to those who sell, and buy some for yourselves.'”

“They were out buying oil when the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him to the wedding feast, and the doors were shut. Later the other bridesmaids arrived and called out, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered, ‘Truly I do not know you.'”

“So stay awake, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Matthew 25 : 31-46

At that time, Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory with all His angels, He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be brought before Him, and as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, so will He do with them, placing the sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left.”

“The King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, blessed of My Father! Take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed Me into your house. I was naked, and you clothed Me. I was sick, and you visited Me. I was in prison, and you came to see Me.”

“Then the good people will ask Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and give You food; thirsty, and give You something to drink; or a stranger, and welcome You; or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and go to see You?'”

“The King will answer, ‘Truly I say to you : whenever you did this to these little ones who are My brothers and sisters, you did it to Me.”

“Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Go, cursed people, out of My sight into the eternal fire, which has been prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry, and you did not give Me anything to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not welcome Me into your house; I was naked, and you did not clothe Me; I was sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'”

“They, too, will ask, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, thirsty, naked or a stranger, sick or in prison, and did not help You?’ The King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you : whatever you did not do for one of these little ones, you did not do it for Me.'”

“And these will go into eternal punishment, but the just to eternal life.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Mark 15 : 33-39 and Mark 16 : 1-6

At that time, when noon came, darkness fell over the whole land and lasted until three o’ clock; and at three o’ clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have You deserted Me?”

As soon as they heard these words, some of the bystanders said, “Listen! He is calling for Elijah.” And one of them went quickly to fill a sponge with bitter wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to Him to drink, saying, “Now let us see whether Elijah comes to take Him down.”

But Jesus uttered a loud cry and gave up His Spirit. And immediately the curtain that enclosed the Temple sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The captain, who was standing in front of Him, saw how Jesus died and heard the cry He gave; and He said, “Truly, this Man was the Son of God.”

When the Sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salone brought spices so that they might go and anoint the Body. And very early in the morning of the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they came to the tomb.

They were saying to one another, “Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they looked up, they noticed that the stone had already been rolled away. It was a very big stone.

As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right, and they were amazed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified; He has been raised and is not here. This is, however, the place where they laid Him.”

Shorter version

Mark 15 : 33-39

At that time, when noon came, darkness fell over the whole land and lasted until three o’ clock; and at three o’ clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have You deserted Me?”

As soon as they heard these words, some of the bystanders said, “Listen! He is calling for Elijah.” And one of them went quickly to fill a sponge with bitter wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to Him to drink, saying, “Now let us see whether Elijah comes to take Him down.”

But Jesus uttered a loud cry and gave up His Spirit. And immediately the curtain that enclosed the Temple sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The captain, who was standing in front of Him, saw how Jesus died and heard the cry He gave; and He said, “Truly, this Man was the Son of God.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Luke 7 : 11-17

At that time, Jesus went to a town called Naim. He was accompanied by His disciples and a great number of people. As He reached the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; there followed a large crowd of townspeople.

On seeing her, the Lord had pity on her and said, “Do not cry.” Then He came up and touched the stretcher, and the men who carried it stopped. Jesus then said, “Young man, I say to you, wake up!” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

A holy fear came over them all, and they praised God saying, “A great Prophet has appeared among us; God, has visited His people.” This news spread throughout Judea and the surrounding places.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Luke 12 : 35-40

At that time, Jesus said, “Be ready, dressed for service, and keep your lamps lit, like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding. As soon as he comes and knocks, they will open the door to him.”

“Happy are those servants whom the master finds wide-awake when he comes. Truly, I tell you, he will put on an apron, and have them sit at table, and he will wait on them. Happy are those servants, if he finds them awake when he comes at midnight or daybreak!”

“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.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Luke 23 : 33, 39-43

At that time, there, at the place called the Skull, He was crucified together with two criminals – one of His right and another on His left.

One of the criminals hanging with Jesus insulted Him, “So You are the Messiah? Save Yourself, and us as well!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Have you no fear of God, you who received the same sentence as He did? For us it is just : this is payment for what we have done. But this Man has done nothing wrong.”

And he said, “Jesus, remember me, when You come into Your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “Truly, you will be with Me today in paradise.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Luke 23 : 44-46, 50, 52-53 and Luke 24 : 1-6a

At that time, it was almost midday. The sun was hidden, and darkness came over the whole land until mid-afternoon; and, at that time, the curtain of the Sanctuary was torn in two. Then Jesus gave a loud cry, “Father, into Your hands I commend My Spirit.” And saying that, He gave up His Spirit.

Then intervened a member of the Jewish supreme council, a good and righteous man named Joseph. Joseph went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ Body. He then took It down, wrapped It in a linen cloth, and laid It in a yet unused tomb, cut out of a rock.

On the sabbath the women rested according to the commandment, but the first day of the week, at dawn, they went to the tomb with the perfumes and ointments they had prepared. Seeing the stone rolled away from the opening of the tomb, they entered, and were amazed to find that the Body of the Lord Jesus was not there.

As they stood there wondering about this, two men in dazzling garments suddenly appeared beside them. In fright the women bowed to the ground. But the men said, “Why look for the Living among the dead? You will not find Him here. He is risen.”

Shorter version

Luke 23 : 44-46, 50, 52-53

At that time, it was almost midday. The sun was hidden, and darkness came over the whole land until mid-afternoon; and, at that time, the curtain of the Sanctuary was torn in two. Then Jesus gave a loud cry, “Father, into Your hands I commend My Spirit.” And saying that, He gave up His Spirit.

Then intervened a member of the Jewish supreme council, a good and righteous man named Joseph. Joseph went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ Body. He then took It down, wrapped It in a linen cloth, and laid It in a yet unused tomb, cut out of a rock.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

Luke 24 : 13-35

At that time, that same day as the resurrection, two followers of Jesus were going to Emmaus, a village seven miles from Jerusalem, and they talked about what had happened. While they were talking and arguing about what had happened, Jesus came up and walked with them, but their eyes were not able to recognise Him.

He asked, “What is it you are talking about?” The two stood still, looking sad. Then the one named Cleophas answered, “Why, it seems you are the only traveller to Jerusalem who does not know what has happened there these past few days.” And He asked, “What is it?”

They replied, “It is about Jesus of Nazareth. He was a Prophet, You know, mighty in word and deed before God and the people. But the chief priests and our rulers sentenced Him to death. They handed Him over to be crucified. We had hoped that He would redeem Israel.”

“It is now the third day since all this took place. It is also true that some women of our group have disturbed us. When they went to the tomb at dawn, they did not find His Body; and they came and told us that they had had a vision of angels, who said that Jesus was alive. Some of our people went to the tomb and found everything just as the women had said, but they did not find a Body in the tomb.”

He said to them, “How dull you are, how slow of understanding! Is the message of the prophets too difficult for you to understand? Is it not written that the Christ should suffer all this, and then enter His glory?” Then starting with Moses, and going through the prophets, He explained to them everything in the Scriptures concerning Himself.

As they drew near the village they were heading for, Jesus made as if to go farther. But they prevailed upon Him, “Stay with us, for night comes quickly. The day is now almost over.” So He went in to stay with them. When they were at table, He took the bread, said a blessing, broke it, and gave each a piece.

Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised Him; but He vanished out of their sight. And they said to one another, “Were not our hearts filled with ardent yearning when He was talking to us on the road and explaining the Scriptures?”

They immediately set out and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and their companions gathered together. They were greeted by these words : “Yes, it is true, the Lord is risen! He has appeared to Simon!” Then the two told what had happened on the road to Emmaus, and how Jesus had made Himself known, when He broke bread with them.

Shorter version

Luke 24 : 13-16, 28-35

At that time, that same day as the resurrection, two followers of Jesus were going to Emmaus, a village seven miles from Jerusalem, and they talked about what had happened. While they were talking and arguing about what had happened, Jesus came up and walked with them, but their eyes were not able to recognise Him.

As they drew near the village they were heading for, Jesus made as if to go farther. But they prevailed upon Him, “Stay with us, for night comes quickly. The day is now almost over.” So He went in to stay with them. When they were at table, He took the bread, said a blessing, broke it, and gave each a piece.

Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised Him; but He vanished out of their sight. And they said to one another, “Were not our hearts filled with ardent yearning when He was talking to us on the road and explaining the Scriptures?”

They immediately set out and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and their companions gathered together. They were greeted by these words : “Yes, it is true, the Lord is risen! He has appeared to Simon!” Then the two told what had happened on the road to Emmaus, and how Jesus had made Himself known, when He broke bread with them.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 5 : 24-29

At that time, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life; and there is no judgment for him, because he has passed from death to life.”

“Truly, the hour is coming and has indeed come, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and, on hearing it, will live. For the Father has life in Himself, and He has given to the Son also to have life in Himself. And He has empowered Him as well to carry out Judgment, for He is Son of Man.”

“Do not be surprised at this : the hour is coming when all those lying in tombs will hear My voice and come out; those who have done good shall rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 6 : 37-40

At that time, Jesus said, “Yet all those whom the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me, I shall not turn away. For I have come from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of the One who sent Me.”

“And the will of Him who sent Me is that I lose nothing of what He has given Me, but instead that I raise it up on the last day. This is the will of the Father, that whoever sees the Son and believes in Him shall live eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 6 : 51-58

At that time, Jesus said, “I am the living Bread which has come from heaven; whoever eats of this Bread will live forever. The bread I shall give is My Flesh, and I will give it for the life of the world.”

The Jews were arguing among themselves, “How can this Man give us flesh to eat?” So Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you, if you do not eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you. The one who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood lives eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

“My Flesh is really food, and My Blood is truly drink. Those who eat My Flesh and drink My Blood, live in Me, and I in them. Just as the Father, who is Life, sent Me, and I have life from the Father, so whoever eats Me will have life from Me. This is the Bread which came from heaven; not like that of your ancestors, who ate and later died. Those who eat this Bread will live forever.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 11 : 17-27

At that time, when Jesus came, He found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. As Bethany is near Jerusalem, about two miles away, many Jews had come to Martha and Mary, after the death of their brother, to comfort them.

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him, while Mary remained sitting in the house. And she said to Jesus, “If You had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You.”

Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection, at the last day.” But Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, shall live. Whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Martha then answered, “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who is coming into the world.”

Shorter version

John 11 : 21-27

At that time, Martha said to Jesus, “If You had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You.”

Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection, at the last day.” But Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, shall live. Whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Martha then answered, “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who is coming into the world.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 11 : 32-45

At that time, Mary, when she came to the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet and said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping, who had come with her, He was moved in the depths of His Spirit and troubled. Then He asked, “Where have you laid him?” They answered, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.

The Jews said, “See how He loved him!” But some of them said, “If He could open the eyes of the blind man, could He not have kept this man from dying?”

Jesus was deeply moved again, and drew near to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across it. Jesus said, “Take the stone away.” Martha said to Him, “Lord, by now he will smell, for this is the fourth day.” Jesus replied, “Have I not told you that, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone.

Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You for You have heard Me. I knew that You hear Me always; but My prayer was for the sake of these people, that they may believe that You sent Me.”

When Jesus had said this, He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Untie him, and let him go.”

Many of the Jews who had come with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw what He did.

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 12 : 23-28

At that time, Jesus said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”

“Those who love their life destroy it, and those who despise their life in this world keep it for everlasting life. Whoever wants to serve Me, let him follow Me; and wherever I am, there shall My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him.”

“Now My soul is in distress. Shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour? But I have come to this hour to face all this. Father, glorify Your Name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified My Name, and I will glorify It again.”

Shorter version

John 12 : 23-26

At that time, Jesus said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”

“Those who love their life destroy it, and those who despise their life in this world keep it for everlasting life. Whoever wants to serve Me, let him follow Me; and wherever I am, there shall My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 14 : 1-6

At that time, Jesus said, “Do not be troubled! Trust in God and trust in Me! In My Father’s house there are many rooms; otherwise, I would not have told you that I go to prepare a place for you. After I have gone and prepared a place for you, I shall come again and take you to Me, so that where I am, you also may be. Yet you know the way where I am going.”

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 17 : 24-26

At that time, Jesus prayed, “Father, since You have given them to Me, I want them to be with Me where I am, and see the glory You gave Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”

“Righteous Father, the world has not known You, but I have known You, and these have known that You have sent Me. As I revealed Your Name to them, so will I continue to reveal It, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I also may be in them.”

Alternative reading (Mass for the Dead)

John 19 : 17-18, 25-39

At that time, bearing His own cross, Jesus went out of the city to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew Golgotha. There He was crucified, and with Him two others, one on either side, and Jesus in the middle.

Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister Mary, who was the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw the mother, and the disciple whom He loved, He said to the mother, “Woman, this is your son.” Then He said to the disciple, “There is your mother.” And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home.

Jesus knew all was now finished and, in order to fulfill what was written in Scripture, He said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of bitter wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a twig of hyssop, they raised it to His lips. Jesus took the wine and said, “It is accomplished.” Then He bowed His head and gave up the Spirit.

As it was Preparation Day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross during the Sabbath, for this Sabbath was a very solemn day. They asked Pilate to have the legs of the condemned men broken, so that the bodies might be taken away.

The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other man, who had been crucified with Jesus. When they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead, so they did not break His legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced His side with a lance, and immediately there came out blood and water.

The one who saw it, has testified to it, and his testimony is true; he knows he speaks the truth, so that you also might believe. All this happened to fulfill the words of Scripture : ‘Not one of His bones shall be broken.’ Another text says : ‘They shall look on Him whom they have pierced.’

After this, Joseph of Arimathea approached Pilate, for he was a disciple of Jesus, though secretly, for fear of the Jews. And he asked Pilate to let him remove the Body of Jesus. Pilate agreed, so he came and took away the Body.

Nicodemus, the man who at first had come to Jesus by night, also came and brought a jar of myrrh mixed with aloes, about a hundred pounds.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are presented with this clear message from the Scriptures, on whether we are ready to stand up for our faith and show a genuine, living faith to God, where it is founded on love and true devotion to God and not just mere lip service. And it was also highlighted the importance for us to be ever ready and be prepared, so that we may not lapse in the observation of our faith.

We know and we believe that our Lord Jesus Christ will come again at the end of time, at the time of His choosing, to judge all the living and the dead, in short to judge over all creations, whether they deserve eternal life and salvation, or whether they should be cast away into hell and eternal suffering. He has warned us of His coming, which will be completely unexpected for us, like a thief breaking into a house, and like a master of the house returning to the house without the knowledge of the stewards.

We have been given this world under trust from God, so that all of us are indeed stewards of creations and stewards of this world. We have been entrusted with the care of the living things and also things of the world around us, so that we may guard with care and love all the precious creations of God, and as we often forget, that we too have been appointed stewards and guardians of each one of us, our own brothers and sisters.

Yes, this means that we have to show love to one another, care for one another, and avoid all forms of vices or any acts that cause harm or disadvantage on others. We who have accepted Christ as our Lord and Saviour, and have been accepted into His Church by baptism, has indeed been made stewards, to take charge over this world and all its inhabitants, not by power but through love and through zealous conversion of those who still live in darkness.

The truth has been revealed to us through Christ, and therefore, just like the Apostles and disciples of Christ, we ought to become living witnesses of Christ to the world, and not just by showing an empty and superficial kind of faith, but faith that is lived through our loving actions, when we practice the faith taught to us from Jesus, and how we should carry ourselves in life, so that all who see us will immediately and instantly know that we belong to God.

And so that all who see our actions may also follow in our footsteps and examples, thus walking down together with us on the same path towards salvation. Do take note that our actions have great impact on others who are watching our behaviours and actions, as who will follow the Lord if the world is to see the wayward actions of those who professed to believe in Him?

That was also why Jesus was so critical on the actions and deeds of the Pharisees, scribes and the teachers of the Law, the supposedly educated and pious ones, the so-called leaders and teachers of the faithful in the matters of the faith, but they did not practice what they preached. They had empty faith and superficial faith, the kind which I have warned against just now, which is empty and meaningless, and does not bring about salvation, not just for ourselves but also for others around us.

The Pharisees imposed heavy and burdensome sets of laws upon the people of God, but the observations of such laws became merely ritualistic and empty, devoid of the original meaning of the laws, and in their actions, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law contradicted their own teachings and faith. They preferred human praise and fame, as well as maintaining their own earthly authority and power over the maintenance of the love of God. Indeed, the purpose of the Law is love.

Now, what we need to do is to ask ourselves sincerely, and look deep into our hearts and minds. Have our actions and deeds represent the actions of a faithful and devoted servant and steward of the Lord’s creations? Are we acting in a way that we are serving God and His people with fullness of faith and love? Or do we instead serve ourselves and succumb to our own human desires and greed, such as what the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had done?

Remember always, brothers and sisters in Christ, that we must always be ready for the Lord when He comes again. As I have mentioned, the time of His coming is known to Him alone, and no one will expect it when He suddenly comes again in His glory. Do we want to be counted among the unfaithful and the condemned just because we are not prepared, or that because we always like to postpone and delay things till the end, thinking that we still have time?

Of course we do not want such fate to happen to us, and therefore, brethren, if we have done what is just and righteous in the sight of God, then we should continue it faithfully and try to do even more, becoming even inspiration where possible, to inspire and lead others to also believe in the Lord and act as what we have done, that all may eventually be justified by their living faith.

If we have not begun to do what the Lord had asked from us to do, then there is no better time to start than now. Now is the time to begin, and do not wait! For the time is not infinite, and our time may be counted by days even now, by the Lord who is Lord over life and death. Never hesitate to begin now and change our lives for the better, for I can assure you that regret will indeed come too late to save us from our fate of destruction and damnation, if we do not change.

Let us ask our Father and loving God, the Almighty God to bless us and empower us, and to awaken within our hearts the love we ought to offer Him with all of our hearts, souls, minds and indeed with our entire beings. Let us prepare ourselves entirely, heart, mind and soul, to offer ourselves completely to the Lord, that He who sees our devotion may justify us in Himself and bring us into eternal salvation and life. Amen.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014 : 28th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Callistus I, Pope and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)

Galatians 5 : 1-6

Christ freed us to make us really free. So remain firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. I, Paul, say this to you : If you receive circumcision, Christ can no longer help you.

Once more I say to whoever receives circumcision : you are now bound to keep the whole Law. All you who pretend to become righteous through the observance of the Law have separated yourselves from Christ and have fallen away from grace.

As for us, through the Spirit and faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. In Christ Jesus it is irrelevant whether we be circumcised or not; what matters is faith working through love.