Saturday, 4 March 2017 : Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Memorial of St. Casimir (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Isaiah 58 : 9b-14

If you remove from your midst the yoke, the clenched fist and the wicked word, if you share your food with the hungry and give relief to the oppressed, then your light will rise in the dark, your night will be like noon. YHVH will guide you always and give you relief in desert places.

He will strengthen your bones; He will make you as a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins will be rebuilt, the age-old foundations will be raised. You will be called the Breach-mender, and the Restorer of ruined houses.

If you stop profaning the sabbath and doing as you please on the holy day, if you call the sabbath a day of delight and keep sacred YHVH’s holy day, if you honour it by not going your own way, not doing as you please and not speaking with malice, then you will find happiness in YHVH, over the heights you will ride triumphantly, and feast joyfully on the inheritance of your father Jacob. The mouth of YHVH has spoken.

Friday, 3 March 2017 : Friday after Ash Wednesday (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Matthew 9 : 14-15

At that time, the disciples of John came to Jesus with the question, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast on many occasions, but not Your disciples?”

Jesus answered them, “How can you expect wedding guests to mourn as long as the Bridegroom is with them? The time will come, when the Bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

Friday, 3 March 2017 : Friday after Ash Wednesday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Isaiah 58 : 1-9a

Cry out aloud for all you are worth; raise your voice like a trumpet blast; tell My people of their offences, Jacob’s family of their sins. Is it true that they seek Me day after day, longing to know My ways, as a people that does what is right and has not forsaken the word of its God?

They want to know the just laws and not to drift away from their God. “Why are we fasting,” they complain, “and You do not even see it? We are doing penance and You never notice it.” Look, on your fast days you push your trade and you oppress your labourers. Yes, you fast but end up quarrelling, striking each other with wicked blows.

Fasting as you do will not make your voice heard on high. Is that the kind of fast that pleases Me, just a day to humble oneself? Is fasting merely bowing down one’s head, and making use of sackcloth and ashes? Would you call that fasting, a day acceptable to YHVH? See the fast that pleases Me : breaking the fetters of injustice and unfastening the thongs of the yoke, setting the oppressed free and breaking every yoke.

Fast by sharing your food with the hungry, bring to your house the homeless, clothe the one you see naked and do not turn away from your own kin. Then will your light break forth as the dawn and your healing come in a flash. Your righteousness will be your vanguard, the Glory of YHVH your rearguard. Then you will call and YHVH will answer, you will cry and He will say, I am here.

Thursday, 4 August 2016 : 18th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John Vianney, Priest and Patron of Parish Priests (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 50 : 12-13, 14-15, 18-19

Create in me, o God, a pure heart; give me a new and steadfast spirit. Do not cast me out of Your presence nor take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Give me again the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing Spirit. Then I will show wrongdoers Your ways and sinners will return to You.

You take no pleasure in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, You would not delight in it.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 : 12th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Paulinus of Nola, Bishop and St. John Fisher, Bishop and St. Thomas More, Martyrs (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops) or Red (Martyrs)

2 Kings 22 : 8-13 and 2 Kings 23 : 1-3

At that moment Hilkiah, the high priest, said to Shaphan, the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the House of YHVH.” And he entrusted the Book to Shaphan who read it. Then Shaphan went to the king and said, “We have gathered the money in the House, and this has been turned over to the overtakers of the House to make the repairs.”

And Shaphan added, “The priest Hilkiah has turned over a book to me.” And Shaphan read the book to the king. When the king heard the contents of the book, he tore his clothes and commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam, Achbor, the secretary Shaphan, and Asaiah, his minister, to do the following, “Go and consult YHVH about the threats in this book which you have found. Consult Him for me, for the people and for the whole of Judah, since our fathers did not listen to what this book says nor to its ordinances. This is why the anger of YHVH is ready to burn against us.”

The king summoned to his side all the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem. Then he went up to the House of YHVH followed by all the people of Judah and Jerusalem. The priests with the prophets and all the people went with him, from the youngest to the oldest. When all were gathered, he read to them the book of the Law found in the House of YHVH.

The king stood by the pillar; he made a covenant in the presence of YHVH, promising to follow Him, to keep His commandments and laws, and to respect His ordinances. He promised to keep this covenant according to what was written in the book with all his heart and with all his soul. And all the people promised with him.

Sunday, 25 January 2015 : Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the great feast of the conversion of the great Apostle St. Paul, who was once known as Saul, the great enemy and persecutor of the Church and the faithful ones of God. God made him to be an Apostle and the great champion of the Faith, spreading the Good News of the Gospel to the farthest ends of the known world at the time. By his works, many followed in his footsteps and were converted as well.

This is in line with the readings we heard today in the Holy Scriptures, the first reading taken from the Book of the prophet Jonah spoke of the repentance and penitence shown by the people of Nineveh, the great capital of the Assyrian Empire, which God had marked to be annihilated for their sins and wickedness. The people, from the king to the lowest servants and slaves immediately repented from their sins after they listened to the warnings of the prophet Jonah.

This is to highlight God’s nature, that is His love and mercy, which He freely gives to all those who put their trust in Him and those who want to be forgiven for their wickedness. Thus, He forgave those who have come to His throne and mercy, and most importantly, those who dedicated themselves to change their way of life and committed to a life free from sin and to walk in the way of the Lord from then on.

Thus was Paul forgiven and called by God, to change his ways of sin and wickedness, the sin of the rejection of Christ and of the persecution of the faithful ones of God, into one that is devoted to the salvation of souls and total faith and trust in God. Indeed, even today, we can only be truly amazed at how God called one of His greatest servants and defenders from among the sinners and among those who have once hated Him so much so as to swore to destroy His entire Church.

And in the Gospel today, the theme is repeated yet again, for God through Christ called the servants whom He would make to be His greatest servants and witnesses in the world, the Holy Apostles, who have been given the authority to teach and preach the Good News, the power to heal and to forgive sins, just as the Lord gave them all these.

This is to show us that God does not want to punish us sinners and rebels against His will, even though rightfully and justly we should have been punished very severely for the disobedience we have committed against the Lord. Yes, just as St. Paul who once as Saul became a scourge for the faithful, getting hundreds or maybe even thousands or more of the faithful of the early Church to become martyrs, and yet God was willing to forgive him and embrace him back into His love.

That is why we have to always remember that God truly loves us sinners, but He hates entirely our sins, our wickedness and all the filthy things we have committed in this life. Condemn not the sinners but the sin. That said, we must not have the false attitude of showing mercy to those who have committed sin but without seeking for their repentance and changing of their ways.

And why is this so important, brothers and sisters in Christ? If we look at what St. Paul himself wrote in the second reading, which was taken from his letter to the faithful in Corinth, he wrote about the imminence of the coming of the end, of the coming of the kingdom of God, and therefore, as we all should be aware of, that is the imminence of the coming of the last and final judgment of all creation, of all mankind.

Are we not too concerned of the fate of our fellow brethren? Are we all too selfish and concerned only about ourselves that we forget about others who still linger in the darkness and in sin? Are we proud of ourselves having been saved by the Lord and do we look down on those who are still filled with the filth of sin, without us offering a hand to help them out of their sinfulness into grace?

If our answers to all of this self-reflecting questions are yes, then we really have to look into ourselves, and ask us what is our faith truly about? Our faith in God is about believing in the Lord who have so much love for us sinners, that despite of all the filth of sin surrounding us, He still resolved to help and rescue us, and that was why He gave us Jesus His Son, to be our Redeemer.

Those of us who heard of the Good News of God and believed, and chose to accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, had been bathed and cleansed from the taints of our sins, of original sins and of our own sins, by the Blood of the Lamb of God, Christ who sacrificed Himself on the cross for us. By His death we were cast free from the suffering of death, and by His resurrection we are brought to a new life, life filled with the grace of God.

We have to realise that even great saints were themselves sinners once. No one was born a saint, except perhaps the Blessed Mother of our Lord, Mary, who was born clean and immaculate, free from sin, in order to prepare her in her role as the bearer of the Almighty God and Saviour, and of course our Lord Himself, born a Man and yet free from sin. All saints and holy people of God were once sinners too.

Yes, some saints were once murderers, adulterers, and we knew how St. Augustine lived in his youth, in debauchery and in the midst of worldliness, that his mother St. Monica prayed day and night with tears for the conversion of her son. And that is the attitude we should all have, to pray fervently for those around us who still sin, that they may receive the call and grace of God, and hope that they will turn their ways and embrace God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Like St. Paul, who had done so much great evils and sins in his youth, had he not been called, or if he had been rejected by God, and had he been rejected by the community of the faithful, then surely many countless souls would have been lost, those whom he had directly and indirectly touched throughout his long mission and service to God, whom without him would likely not have heard the word of God, spoken through St. Paul, the faithful servant, and the repentant sinner.

Therefore, shall we all realise that our action and proactive act are necessary for us to help our brethren to also find their way to the Lord? That is true Christian faith and true love, as Christ had taught us, that we embrace those who have hated and persecuted us because of our faith, those who have sinned and refused to believe in God, and by our actions, in which we show and infuse God’s love and mercy, we may bring them to realise the gravity of their sins, and the threat of eternal death they are facing, and therefore, immediately to turn their ways to find the Lord our God and their God, before it is too late for them.

May all of us be strengthened with the new Spirit of God, in the evangelisation and conversion of the world, so that many more people and many more souls can be saved and will be saved from the clutches of Satan, through our actions, be it through direct acts, or through our words and our loving acts to them, or even if it is through a simple prayer, prayed for their sake.

Let us all no longer be indifferent or ignorant of the plight of others around us who still dwell in sin, but let us free them, just as the Lord freed Saul from his sins and called him to be His servant, and thus let us help one another, to become holy people of God, saintly and devoted, that in the end, as many as possible are saved and brought into the Holy Presence of God. God be with us all, and forgive us sinners from our sins. Amen.

Sunday, 25 January 2015 : Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Jonah 3 : 1-5, 10

The word of YHVH came to Jonah a second time : “Go to Nineveh, the great city, and announce to them the message I give you.”

In obedience to the word of YHVH, Jonah went to Nineveh. It was a very large city, and it took three days just to cross it. So Jonah walked a single day’s journey and began proclaiming, “Forty days more and Nineveh will be destroyed.”

The people of the city believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He had compassion and did not carry out the destruction He had threatened upon them.

Monday, 12 January 2015 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 1 : 14-20

At that time, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee and began preaching the Good News of God. He said, “The time has come; the kingdom of God is at hand. Change your ways and believe the Good News.”

As Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fish for people.” At once, they abandoned their nets and followed Him.

Jesus went a little farther on and saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee; they were in their boat mending their nets. Immediately Jesus called them and they followed Him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men.


Homily and Reflection :

Friday, 19 December 2014 : Third Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we draw ever closer to Christmas, the Church and our Faith are preparing us all for the great celebration of the commemoration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and for this purpose today we are focusing on the two servants of God, Samson and St. John the Baptist, both of whom had been born into the world as a sign for many, a sign of God’s love for them.

The readings today focused on the similarities between the two great servants of God, whom one is a Judge of Israel, the leader God had appointed and chosen from among the people to protect them, to deliver them from their enemies, and to keep them in line with the teachings of God and stay faithful to Him amidst the temptations of the world. The other is the messenger of God, born with the spirit and power of Elijah, whom many believed, even as the second coming of the prophet Elijah into the world, and to be the one who would straighten the path for the Lord, for he came just before the Lord Himself was to come.

Samson and John the Baptist were both born of parents who had for long been unable to conceive a child on their own. Their prayers were answered by the Lord, and even more so, their children were both chosen to have the special roles in God’s plan of saving His people from the darkness of the world. Samson was born to deliver the Israelites from the hands of the Philistines, the people who caused them great suffering and enslaved them, because they were not faithful to the commandments of God and instead worshipped pagan idols.

Meanwhile, John the Baptist was born to prepare the way for the Messiah in an age and time where although outwardly the people and their elders showed faith and piety to the Lord, but they were not sincere in this, and they even failed to understand the true meaning of their faith, giving in into their own vanity and self-praise, and lacking the understanding of the faith, their rituals and customs are empty and meaningless, and they paid only lip service to God.

These were the societies to whom they were sent to, and they had to encounter many difficulties in doing so, in bringing the people of God back to the love and grace of God. Both of them were consecrated to God from even before their birth, set aside for the service of God, called the Nazirites. Samson was a Nazirite, that means, he should not drink wine or alcoholic drinks throughout his life, nor should his hair be cut at all. This means to live according to what God had appointed him to do, shunning all the beautiful things and the temptations of the world.

But what we need to understand is, what is exactly their mission in this world? Why did God set them apart from the many others in such a manner? Their mission is to prepare for the coming of the Lord’s salvation and power to His people, and in that, they encountered the challenges and persevered through them, calling for people to change their ways by their own example, and follow God.

Samson came at the time when the Israelites after they had settled in the Promised Land constantly came under attack from their neighbours, who persecuted them, raided them and enslaved them. The judges were sent by God to liberate them and lead them back to the path of righteousness. But no sooner than each judges passed, then they returned to their ways of sin. Samson was the among the last mentioned judges, before the time of the prophet Samuel, which then would lead on to the era of king David, the era of prosperity, the time when peace and prosperity reigns in the land of Israel.

Therefore, in a sense, there is a parallel between Samson and John the Baptist, in that while Samson heralded the coming of the era of peace and greatness under King David of Israel, then St. John the Baptist heralded the coming of an even greater era, the time of the coming of the King of kings, the Divine Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ, the One whom we are celebrating this Christmas.

God had sent His faithful servants in order to prepare for the coming of His glory and love, and in the coming of Jesus His Son into the world, He had sent John to prepare the way for Him. Why is this so, brothers and sisters in Christ? That is because this world is filled with sin and darkness, and with all of these distractions and corruptions, we would not be able to listen to the teachings of Christ and we would not be able to recognise Him.

That is why Advent is here, as a time for us to prepare, and indeed prepare thoroughly, for the coming of Christ, not just for this Christmas celebration, but also for His eventual return into the world, to claim all of His faithful ones and to judge all the living and the dead. If God had done such an ample and thorough preparation for His own coming, then we too should do our part to prepare ourselves for Christmas. This is to shun sin and reject all the temptations of evil, seeking from now on, only the truth in the Light of Christ.

Otherwise, it would be very easy for us to lose our focus in our celebrations, and it may likely end up that we celebrate Christmas for its fun, for its feasting and partying, but not for Christ, who we should place at the centre of our celebrations. May Almighty God help us all to prepare ourselves in this Advent season to welcome His Son, that when He comes again, He will find us ready and alert. May He help us all to change our ways and shun forever the sinful ways of our past. God bless us all. Amen.


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Psalm :


Gospel Reading :

Tuesday, 16 December 2014 : Third Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about obedience to the will of God and obedience to what He had taught us to do. He pointed out those who pretended to listen and obey, but in the end, never actually obeyed what the Lord had taught them to do, and then compared these to those who did not seem to listen but eventually obeyed and listened to God and do His will.

What Jesus had done in the Gospel today was to establish the common perceptions and prejudices of the time, and the divisions that exist between the Jews, the people of Israel, who regarded themselves as a chosen race and a chosen people, having descended directly from Abraham and Jacob, and who had been brought out of Egypt by the power of God Himself, and who received the Promised Land, the sign of God’s faithfulness to His promise to Abraham, and the people who are non-Jews and generally called the Gentiles.

The Gentiles were all the people who lived around and with the Jews at the time, consisting of the Samaritans, Nabateans, Egyptians, the Arabs, the Phoenicians, the Greeks and the Romans, and many other nations, including all those whom we heard to be at Jerusalem during the Pentecost. They were looked down by the Jews, since they thought that these people, being not part of the ‘chosen race’, they were not worthy of salvation, as they were pagans and not believing in God, their One and only God.

Yet, what Jesus sought to challenge was this perception, which was really false and misleading. What He mentioned as the son who listened and heard the word of the father, but never actually obeyed and did the work asked of him, referred to the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law and many of those who held the view and attitude that they were above others because they were part of the chosen ones, and thus according to them, deserved salvation while others did not.

The son who did not listen but eventually did the work as his father had commanded him, represented the Gentiles and all the people whom the Jews considered as pagans including the prostitutes and tax collectors from among themselves, and whom they condemned as damned. Yet, it is among these people that the words of Jesus and the teachings of the Faith found strong roots, and the people who heard them truly listened, changed their ways and found redemption in Christ. They were the son who did not listen, precisely because they did not have the opportunity to listen to the word of God before the coming of the Christ in Jesus.

There were also some among the Jews who believed in Jesus and in His teachings, but many especially the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law were ardently against Him and attempted to even undermine His efforts and good works among the people. This is truly the son who had the opportunity to listen to the word and commands of the father but refused to do the work according to what he had been told.

The people of Israel had had so many opportunities that God had given to them, by the sending of the numerous prophets and messengers of God’s will to them, who spoke to them and urged them to repent from their sins, and yet they refused to listen. Remember the parable of the tenants of the vineyard? In that parable, the tenants refused to pay the proceeds agreed between them and the owner, and they persecuted and even murdered the servants sent to remind them.

And in the parable, when the owner sent his own son to remind the tenants, they murdered him as well. This is the same as how the Pharisees and the elders rejected Jesus and loathed what He taught them. Indeed, they preferred to remain in their sinful pride and greed rather than to accept the grace and forgiveness of God. And God who will judge all according to their deeds, will hold them accountable for all of their sinful deeds.

What is the lesson for us today, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is that we should never allow our pride and greed to blind us to the love and truth of Christ. We have to submit ourselves humbly to the will of God and commit ourselves to do His will dutifully, just as the latter son had done. We cannot be prejudiced just simply because we have faith in God and thus think that we are then safe from all harm. Yes, faith alone is not enough as faith without good works is dead.

We have to show our faith in our actions and in all of our deeds, so that all who sees us will then know that we truly belong to the Lord. Jesus had commissioned His Apostles and disciples to go and spread the Good News to all of the world and to baptise all peoples of all the nations in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But how are we to persuade others to believe if we ourselves do not practice what we believe in?

Let this Advent be a time of prayer, reflection and sincere preparation of ourselves, of our body, heart and mind so that we may truly live out our lives in faith and that we all may become good examples and role models of the faith, so as to bring many more souls to salvation. Do not become disobedient like the former son who listened but never did what his father wanted, but instead be obedient and be faithful to God, our loving Father, who will reward us for our living faith. God bless us all. Amen.


First Reading :


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