Thursday, 12 February 2015 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Genesis 2 : 18-25

YHVH God said, “It is not good for Man to be alone; I will give him a helper who will be like him.” Then YHVH God formed from the earth all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air and brought them to Man to see what he would call them; and whatever Man called every living creature, that was its name.

So Man gave names to all the cattle, the birds of the air and to every beast of the field. But he did not fins among them a helper like himself. Then YHVH God caused a deep sleep to come over Man and he fell asleep. He took one of his ribs and filled its place with flesh.

The rib which YHVH God had taken from Man He formed into a woman and brought her to the man. The man then said, “Now this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman because she was taken from man.”

That is why man leaves his father and mother and is attached to his wife, and with her becomes one flesh. Both the man and his wife were naked and were not ashamed.

Monday, 4 August 2014 : 18th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John Vianney, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 14 : 22-36

Immediately Jesus obliged His disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowd away. And having sent the people away, He went up the mountain by Himself to pray. At nightfall, He was there alone.

Meanwhile, the boat was very far from land, dangerously rocked by the waves, for the wind was against it. At daybreak, Jesus came to them walking on the sea. When they saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, thinking that it was a ghost. And they cried out in fear. But at once Jesus said to them, “Courage! Do not be afraid. It is Me!”

Peter answered, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You walking on the water.” Jesus said to him, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water to go to Jesus. But seeing the strong wind, he was afraid and began to sink; and he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Jesus immediately stretched out His hand and took hold of him, saying, “Man of little faith, why did you doubt?”

As they got into the boat, the wind dropped. Then those in the boat bowed down before Jesus, saying, “Truly, You are the Son of God!” They came ashore at Gennesareth. The local people recognised Jesus and spread the news throughout the region.

So they brought all the sick to Him, begging Him to let them touch just the hem of His cloak. All who touched it became perfectly well.

Friday, 27 June 2014 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, World Day of Prayer for the Sanctity of Priestly Life (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 4 : 7-16

My dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Those who do not love have not known God, for God is Love.

How did the love of God appear among us? God sent His only Son into this world that we might have life through Him. This is love; not that we loved God but that He first loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Dear friends, if such has been the love of God, we, too, must love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love comes to its perfection in us.

How may we know that we live in God and He in us? Because God has given us His Spirit. We ourselves have seen and declare that the Father sent His Son to save the world. Those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in them and they in God.

We have known the love of God and have believed in it. God is Love. The one who lives in love, lives in God and God in him.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 : 12th Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are reminded by the Lord to be cautious, of the false prophets and leads in our lives, many of which may detract us and distract us from our true goal in life, that is to be faithful and loving disciples and children of God. Falsehoods and lies of the devil are ever present around us, and if we are not careful, they may lead us further from salvation in God.

If you are to compare between the offers of the Lord and the offer of Satan, it is quite obvious that Satan is using all of his power to subvert us to his cause, offering whatever pleasures this world can offer to us, so that we may follow in his rebellion against God and walking ever further and further away from the Lord into damnation prepared for the devil and his fellow fallen angels.

Satan himself will be the false prophet, and he will turn the hearts of many against God and His people. Already in this world today we live in a time where Satan grow ever stronger in power and dominion. And he had made the people to sin, just as the people of Israel and Judah had done earlier on throughout the history of salvation. Mankind rebelled constantly against God, and they continued to commit blasphemous things before the Lord.

Remember, brethren, I know that we recognise God as a loving and merciful God who cares for all of us, and who seeks to reunite us to Himself and reconcile us by overcoming our sins and faults. Nevertheless, we cannot forget, and indeed we cannot deny, that the Lord our God is also a vengeful and angry God, One who does not take sin and rebellion against His will lightly.

God is perfect and He is perfectly good. Sin and evil has no place in His presence, just like darkness has no place before light that penetrates everything. And God knows it all. He knows all the secrets and the things within our heart, no matter how well we try to conceal them from Him. And the more we sin, the more we depart from the grace of God and towards damnation.

We have to be like King Josiah of Judah, who, immediately after he found out about the Book of the Law in the Temple and its contents, lowered and humbled himself, and led the whole people in a concrete act of penitence and seeking the forgiveness of the Lord, promising to cast away unworthiness and sin from their lives and from the society.

We have to be like him in his zeal and dedication to the Lord. Cast far, far away our wicked lifestyle and from now on, do only things that are favourable and in the grace of God. We cannot dwell any longer in this pit of sin, or else we will likely fall into the eternal damnation and death. God does not want this to happen to us, but if we persist in our obstinate behaviour, we seal our own fate and end.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us renew our faith and devotion to the Lord, that we will no longer dwell in the darkness, but instead move towards the light, that is the true light, our Lord Jesus Christ. May God be with us all, and lead us on our way to Him, into our eternal joy and redemption. Amen.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 5 : 43-48

You have heard that it was said : “Love your neighbour and do not do good to your enemy.” But this I tell you : love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For He makes His sun rise on both the wicked and the good, and He gives rain to both the just and the unjust.

If you love those who love you, what is special about that? Do not even tax collectors do as much? And if you are friendly only to your friends, what is so exceptional about that? Do not even the pagans do as much? As for you, be righteous and perfect in the way your heavenly Father is righteous and perfect.

Thursday, 5 June 2014 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red (Martyrs)

John 17 : 20-26

I pray not only for these, but also for those who through their word will believe in Me. May they all be one, as You Father are in Me and I am in You. May they be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.

I have given them the glory You have given Me, that they may be one as We are one : In them and You in Me. Thus they shall reach perfection in unity; and the world shall know that You have sent Me! And that I have loved them, just as You loved Me.

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.

Saturday, 3 May 2014 : Feast of Sts. Philip and James, Apostles (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of St. James and St. Philip, two of the Twelve Apostles of Christ, who brought the faith to faraway lands, dedicating themselves to the Lord and His mission that He had entrusted to them. Today we learn from the readings that we ought to be firm in our faith, and to proclaim the truth about the Christ, that is Jesus our Lord.

For Jesus is the Son of God, anointed with power, and through Him the salvation of all had come. Through Jesus, God worked His great miracles and brought His mercy to all peoples, bringing them closer to the embrace and eternal life He had offered freely to us. Yes, freely through Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross. Jesus is the bridge that connects us to God our Father, as the only way through which we can return to the Father who loves us and wishes nothing more for us other than that we all may be saved.

Brethren, we have to preach Christ our Lord and the Good News He bore to all the nations, beginning from those who are around us. How do we do so? Remember what Christ told us in the Gospel today, that those who believe in Him, will do even greater things than He had done, but doing similar works nonetheless, for we are the extensions of God’s good works which He began when He came into our world through Jesus.

This means that we have to carry out the teachings of our faith and practice it concretely in our communities and in our surroundings, that having our actions and deeds based closely on Christ and His teachings, we become the reflection and living manifestations of that teaching, and thus show the truth about Christ to all those who see us, and therefore they may believe in Him too, through us and our works.

Therefore, just as Jesus had reflected the will and nature of the Father, we too should reflect the nature of Jesus and be like the Father in all things, that we be worthy of Him. We have to open our hearts and minds to listen and understand the will of the Father, through Jesus and His teachings, that we may walk in His ways and hence remain in His grace.

The holy Apostles had laboured hard for the sake of the Gospel, and they encountered enormous difficulties and challenges as they went on their ministries to the people of God. They went on delivering the words of God’s salvation to all the peoples regardless of these, and they persevered despite the oppositions.

They passed on the truth that had been revealed to them by Christ Himself. From them they passed on this truth which is kept for generations as a deposit of the faith and is kept in the teachings of the Church. And this is why we must uphold with the greatest care and devotion what the Church had taught us and kept the faith we have with greatest effort. We cannot be complacent in this, just as the Apostles were not complacent in their works to evangelise the people of God.

St. James the Apostle, also known as St. James the Lesser, went on to spread the Good News in the western parts of the Roman Empire, evangelising the people where none had heard the Word of God before. He was eventually martyred in Hispania, the place known as Spain today. His most important shrine and place of remembrance is at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the well-known and famous pilgrimage site of our faith.

Meanwhile St. Philip the Apostle was known for his conversion of the attendant or official of the ruler of Ethiopia as he made his way through Judea in a carriage. This is a well-known story in the New Testament, in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, telling us how the Ethiopian official discussed the faith with Philip, and in the process, convincing him of the truth about Jesus who came as the Messiah and Saviour of the world. Philip baptised the official and from him came the seed of faith that is preserved even until today in Ethiopia.

He went on to spread the Good News to areas of Greece, the province of Roman Asia and other areas, until he too was martyred for his faith and missionary works. St. Philip even in his suffering and death managed to do good works for the people of God, converting many to the cause of the Lord. Together with St. James, both these Apostles are truly role models for all of us the faithful ones in Christ.

Yes, brethren, we are also called in this modern era to be the Apostles and disciples of Christ of our times. We should not be afraid or reluctant to proclaim the truth about the Lord just as the Apostles had done before. This world lies in darkness, and many languished in that great darkness, bereft of the opportunity to see the Lord and His light, having been barred by the darkness itself. It is often up to us, to be the ones to bring them into the light and therefore show them the path towards eternal life.

May God bless us and guide us, as we walk in this path, that we may follow the footsteps of the Apostles St. James and St. Philip, that we too may be courageous in our lives that we may do our best to bring the people of God ever closer to salvation and perfection in God. God bless us all. Amen.