Monday, 7 September 2015 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 6 : 6-11

At that time, on another Sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and began teaching. There was a man with a paralysed right hand, and the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees watched Him : Would Jesus heal the man on the Sabbath? If He did, they could accuse Him.

But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to the man, “Get up, and stand in the middle.” Then He spoke to them, “I want to ask you : what is allowed by the Law on the Sabbath? To do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” And Jesus looked around at them all.

Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored, becoming as healthy as the other. But they were furious and began to discuss with one another how they could deal with Jesus.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 : Wednesday within Easter Octave (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard of what happened to the two disciples on their way to the village of Emmaus, when they met the Risen Christ along the way. The two disciples met Jesus who then went on to change their hopelessness and despair into hope, and eventually to faith and understanding about the nature of Christ and His resurrection.

Once again, as we continue to progress through this Easter season, we are made aware of the truth about Christ and the nature of His mission of which He came with into this world. Easter is about the celebration of life, and the celebration of the liberation of mankind from their previous hopelessness and despair into the realm of hope.

The disciples on their way to Emmaus, arguing about the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the paralytic man begging at the gate of the Temple both represent our old lives, the ones that were filled with uncertainty, fear, helplessness and despair. Then, the Lord came to them and also through the disciples, the Good News and proclamation of the salvation of the Lord changed those who received the Word and believed in Him.

That was essentially what happened to the disciples walking towards Emmaus and to the paralytic man. They were changed and transformed when the Lord touched their lives and their hearts. Their infirmities, the afflictions of their body, heart and soul were healed and they were made anew in God. They received courage and healing, that is the healing of their sorrow and sadness, exchanged for joy and happiness.

Our attitude should also be like that of the paralytic man after he was healed by Peter and John through the authority given to them by Christ, as well as the two disciples who ran with joy and amazement from Emmaus back to Jerusalem to inform the other disciples of Jesus of the proof that He who died for us, is risen from the dead in glory, and that this is true.

We as children of God and members of His Church, having been liberated from sin through our baptism and having experienced the fruits of His resurrection, should be like them, changing our hearts and attitudes of apathy and laxity with ones that are filled with great love for God and zeal to spread His truth. We should rejoice like that of the paralytic man, of having been lifted up from death into life, and from a life in darkness into a life in the light of God.

As Christians, we have our mission granted to us through the Apostles and the other disciples of Christ, that is to spread the Good News to all the peoples of all nations, and this Good News is none other than, that the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God, who is with God, and who is the Word of God, having came down to us to be our Saviour, died for our sins, and by being the only sacrifice worthy to erase our sins, He rose from the dead in glory, that He became the light of hope to all the nations, conquering death and sin in a total and complete victory.

This is the hard truth of our faith, and we should not be discouraged to proclaim it to all, not just by word, but also through our deeds and actions. We must have the spirit and courage of the two disciples who went all the way back from Emmaus to Jerusalem, their hearts filled with excitement having seen the Risen Lord, to proclaim this Good News to others.

Let us all in this Easter season first rejoice for the gift and joy of life that we have enjoyed, and for the gift of new life that God had given us through sacred baptism, when we are sealed in His Name to embark on a new life towards holiness and perfection in God. Let us remember this on this Easter, to keep our lives always holy and worthy of God, and of course, as mentioned, to share this joy and the knowledge of the truth of God with all peoples, that they too may believe and be saved together with us.

May God bless us this Easter and bring us the abundance of graces that we may always be faithful to His will and continue to bring goodness and light to this increasingly darkened world. God be our light. Amen.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 : Wednesday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 3 : 1-10

Once when Peter and John were going up to the Temple at three in the afternoon, the hour for prayer, a man crippled from birth was being carried in. Every day they would bring him and put him at the temple gate called “Beautiful”; there he begged from those who entered the Temple.

When he saw Peter and John on their way into the Temple, he asked for alms. Then Peter with John at his side looked straight at him and said, “Look at us.” So he looked at them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I have I give you : In the Name of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, walk!”

Then he took the beggar by his right hand and helped him up. At once his feet and ankles became firm, and jumping up he stood on his feet and began to walk. And he went with them into the Temple walking and leaping and praising God.

All the people saw him walking and praising God; they recognised him as the one who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and they were all astonished and amazed at what had happened to him.

Friday, 17 January 2014 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony, Abbot (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White (Priests and Abbots)

Mark 2 : 1-12

After some days Jesus returned to Capernaum. As the news spread that He was in the house, so many people gathered, that there was no longer room even outside the door. While Jesus was preaching the Word to them, some people brought a paralysed man to Him.

The four men who carried him could not get near Jesus because of the crowd, so they opened the roof above the room where Jesus was and, through the hole, lowered the man on his mat. When Jesus saw the faith of these people, He said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some teachers of the Law, who were sitting there, wondered within themselves, “How can He speak like this, insulting God? Who can forgive sins except God?”

At once Jesus knew in His Spirit what they were thinking, and asked, “Why do you wonder? Is it easier to say to this paralysed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your mat and walk?’ But now you shall know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”

And He said to the paralytic, “Stand up, take up your mat and go home.” The man rose and, in the sight of all those people, he took up his mat and went out. All of them were astonished and praised God, saying, “Never have we seen anything like this!”

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White

Luke 7 : 11-17

A little later 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.