Saturday, 8 December 2018 : Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Ephesians 1 : 3-6, 11-12

Blessed be God, the Father of Christ Jesus our Lord, Who, in Christ, has blessed us from heaven, with every spiritual blessing. God chose us, in Christ, before the creation of the world, to be holy, and without sin in His presence.

From eternity He destined us, in love, to be His adopted sons and daughters, through Christ Jesus, thus fulfilling His free and generous will. This goal suited Him : that His loving-kindness, which He granted us in His beloved might finally receive all glory and praise.

By a decree of Him, Who disposes all things, according to His own plan and decision, we, the Jews, have been chosen and called, and we were awaiting the Messiah, for the praise of His glory.

Saturday, 8 December 2018 : Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Genesis 3 : 9-15, 20

YHVH God called the man saying to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard Your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree I ordered you not to eat?”

The man answered, “The woman You put with me gave me fruit from the tree and I ate it.” God said to the woman, “What have you done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me and I ate.”

YHVH God said to the serpent, “Since you have done that, be cursed among all the cattle and wild beasts! You will crawl on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. I will make you enemies, you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”

The man called his wife by the name of Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.

Sunday, 21 December 2014 : Fourth Sunday of Advent, Memorial of St. Peter Canisius, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Luke 1 : 26-38

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a young virgin, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

The angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean. But the angel said, “Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a Son, and you shall call Him Jesus.”

“He will be great, and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the kingdom of David, His ancestor; He will rule over the people of Jacob forever, and His reign shall have no end.”

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the Holy Child to be born of you shall be called Son of God. Even your relative Elizabeth is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child; and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible.”

Then Mary said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.” And the angel left her.


Homily and Reflection :

Thursday, 23 October 2014 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John of Capestrano, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Psalm 32 : 1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19

Rejoice in the Lord, you who are just, praise is fitting for the upright. Give thanks to Him on the harp and lyre, making melody and chanting praises.

For upright is the Lord’s word and worthy of trust is His work. The Lord loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of His kindness.

But His plan stands forever, and His heart’s design through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord – the people He has chosen for His inheritance.

But the Lord’s eyes are upon those who fear Him, upon those who trust in His loving kindness to deliver them from death and preserve them from famine.

(Usus Antiquior) Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of St. Wenceslaus, Martyr (II Classis) – Sunday, 28 September 2014 : Homily and Scripture Reflections

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate together the feast of St. Wenceslaus, martyr of the faith, Duke and ruler of Bohemia, a holy, devoted and pious leader of his people, and ultimately, the humble and good servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, and who walked in His path so faithfully, that he brought good things to those entrusted under his care, and he even obeyed Him all the way unto death in the hands of his enemies.

The key of our readings from the Holy Scriptures on this holy day is that we ought to be exemplary and faithful in our lives, so that in every things that we do, we do it in e Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that through our every words and deeds, we may give glory to our Lord, and so all those who see us will know who the Lord is, and that we belong to Him, and we are saved by our works.

For the Scriptures had said, that even the Gentiles would come to proclaim the Lord as Lord and God, even though they once did not know who He was, until the Apostles came to them and deliver to them the Good News of God’s salvation which He had first proclaimed to the world through the coming and the works of Jesus, His Son. The Apostles became living witnesses of His works, and thus from them, they passed on that knowledge to others, who in turn became witnesses of the faith.

Jesus Himself showed to His people, how to live as a faithful and good servant of our Lord. The cardinal virtues of faith, hope and love are always indeed at the forefront, and we should always keep these in mind. And in all things, we ought to think not of ourselves first, but we ought to keep the Lord ever first in our minds and our hearts, and then also our brethren around us.

Jesus criticised the Pharisees and the elders of the people of God, who failed to look beyond the words of the Law of God, on the matter pertaining to the sabbath day and its observations. They failed to understand the meaning of those laws which God had given His people, and instead, they oppressed the people by their strict and unbending word-to-word obedience to the law. But, as Jesus made it clear to them their folly, that what they did was in fact feeding on their own ego and obeying their own human-made laws and not the law of God.

For the Law of God is in essence, love. And love will not cause or bring unnecessary suffering among the people whom He loved greatly. What He seeks after all is not empty promises and empty profession of faith, or empty observances of the laws and the events, but rather, a true and sincere love which mankind, His people, has for Him. He seeks for our hearts and our love, not our appearances!

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is why St. Paul and the Apostles, as well as all the saints and holy men and women of God were witnesses to the love of God, and what He desired out of us. They showed not by mere words or appearances, as the Pharisees and the elders had once done. Where these people showed off their supposed ‘piety’ in the common places by praying loudly and openly in the sight of the people for their praise, the Apostles and disciples of Christ toiled and worked, in the defense of their faith and in the effort to bring the Good News to the people, to us all.

And St. Wenceslaus, the saint whose feast we celebrate today is no different indeed. He was born into privilege, into the ruling house of Bohemia and Moravia, which today corresponds to the territories of both the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and St. Wenceslaus became the Duke of Bohemia, a great lord and a respected position in Christendom.

St. Wenceslaus was one of the first Christian rulers of his people, together with his father. Many of the people under his care remained as pagans and beyond the reach of the Church. St. Wenceslaus was a wise and great ruler, who truly cared for his people. He built many churches and other facilities, designed to help the people of God, both in things physical and spiritual. He helped the faith to grow and spread among the faithful, bringing countless souls closer to salvation.

He led by example, and practiced his faith by real and concrete example, serving the people of God humbly even though he is mighty and powerful. He brought the people he has been entrusted with closer to the love of God, as a faithful shepherd and servant of God. He had his enemies of course, and those plotted against him, assassinating him while he was on his way to a celebration, the enemies of all the faithful and the agents of Satan who had done this to remove this holy servant of God.

Yet they have failed in the end, as the examples of St. Wenceslaus shone very brightly for all to see and follow, and he was made a saint, truly because of his great virtues in life, and he now is our intercessor in heaven, who together with the many other holy men and women, pray for us unceasingly before our Lord, that we too may repent from our sins, and endeavour to be faithful in all of our actions.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all be examples to one another, that in our actions and deeds, we show our faith in God, and we show how devoted we are to the Lord, not just by empty promises and professions, but through real action, founded upon the three cardinal virtues of our faith, that is faith, hope and love, and love for God as well as love for our fellow men. God bless us all, brethren, now and forever. Amen.

Saturday, 27 September 2014 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 9 : 43b-45

But while all were amazed at everything Jesus did, He said to His disciples, “Listen, and remember what I tell you now : The Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of men.”

But the disciples did not understand this saying; something prevented them from grasping what He meant, and they were afraid to ask Him about it.

Friday, 22 August 2014 : 20th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, if last week we celebrated an important feast and part of our faith, that is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary, brought body and soul into the glory of heaven, then today, exactly a week after that day, after the completion of the Octave of the Assumption, today we celebrate the great honours given to Mary herself, as a Queen, by the virtue of her being the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore as the Mother of God or Theotokos.

Yes, Mary is a Queen, and she has been blessed with many titles that many had attributed to her over the ages. Indeed, she is truly blessed as the greatest among all that God had created, as the most beautiful jewel amongst God’s creation, conceived and born without the taint of sin, prepared special for the accommodation of the coming of the Saviour of the world, to be the very Mother of God herself, by virtue of herself as the mother of the living Word of God made flesh, Jesus Christ.

Through her, what had been prophesied by the prophet Isaiah in the first reading today came true, that a people in darkness has truly seen a great light, and this light brought new hope to countless peoples who had long lived in the darkness of sin and evil. Through the actions of Mary, this salvation of God came to mankind, a liberation that many had long sought for.

Mary is Queen, not by the virtue of her birth or her status in life. She was born to St. Joachim and St. Anne, her parents who were simple people, not having status or wealth, but they had faith and devotion to the Lord. It was under their care that Mary grew both in body and spirit, and she eventually came to be the one, the young virgin whom the Archangel Gabriel, God’s messenger, came to visit on that one day in the quiet village of Nazareth.

Mary’s faith in God was truly remarkable, because even though the Archangel revealed to her something too great for her understanding and too good to be true, she entrusted herself completely to the will of God, and allowed herself to be used for the works of the Lord, through which God exercised His greatest work ever, that is the accomplishment of the long awaited salvation of mankind, God’s most beloved creation.

Any other woman or person would have doubted such message and plan that the Lord has for them. But not Mary, and she was truly suited for her role, and the Lord had groomed her since her very conception to be the one who would bear the Christ within her, to be the physical vessel of our Lord Himself, to bring the Saviour into this world.

And as I had mentioned during the Assumption celebration, this is why death has no power over her, as she was truly without sin, and as the Mother of God, the one who bore Christ within her, she was truly the new Ark of the new Covenant in Christ, and therefore, the Lord raised her body and soul into heaven, as it is not fitting for someone as pure and great as her to suffer the consequence of sin that is death.

Mary is the greatest and the foremost of all the saints, because in all of her ways in life, she was exemplary, pure and immaculate in all things. She represented all the things that are expected by God from us in life, and she is our role model in faith, as when we follow how she lived her faith, we will certainly realise how truly faithful she was to her mission and calling to live her life in fully attuned manner to the will of God.

Mary is the greatest of all mankind, and according to the tradition of our faith, by virtue of her faith and devotion to God, which was so complete, the Lord rewarded her not just by bringing her body and soul into heaven, but also, as the Mother of God or Theotokos, she was crowned by the angels in heaven as the Queen of heaven, because indeed, her Son, Jesus our Lord is King of all kings. As such, that is why we celebrate Mary’s queenship on this day, in honour of this holy woman and virgin who had dedicated it all to the Lord.

Mary is known by many titles, some of which include Queen of All Saints, Queen of Angels, Queen of Peace, and many others, as in her role both when she still walked on this world and in the heavenly glory of her queenship, she is our greatest help and intercessor before her own Son, our Lord. Yes, Mary is the closest person to Jesus, as she is His mother after all. In her position as the Queen of heaven, she helps and advises her Son in many things, and certainly she prays for us sinners who still roam this world.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we celebrate the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, the Mother of our God, let us all reflect on our own lives, and strive to be able to follow in the footsteps of Mary, whose faith and total devotion was plain for all to see, and for whose part to play in the plan of salvation, God had brought His salvation to all through Jesus.

Let us all ask for the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary, our Queen and our role model. Let us ask her to beseech on our behalf before the throne of her Son in heaven, that He may take pity on us sinners, and provided that we change our ways and seek Him, may we all be reunited with Him and His mother Mary, in the glory of heaven promised to all of us. Mary, our Mother, bring us to your beloved Son, our Lord! Amen.

Thursday, 7 August 2014 : 18th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Xystus II/Pope St. Sixtus II, Pope and Companions, Martyrs and St. Cajetan, Priest (Gospel Reading)

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

Matthew 16 : 13-23

After that, Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi. He asked His disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They said, “For some of them You are John the Baptist, for others Elijah, or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”

Jesus asked them, “But you, who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “It is well for you, Simon Bar-jona, for it is not flesh or blood that has revealed this to you, but My Father in heaven. And now I say to you : You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church; and never will the powers of death overcome it.”

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven : whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you unbind on earth shall be unbound in heaven.”

Then He ordered His disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Christ. From that day Jesus began to make it clear to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem; that He would suffer many things from the Jewish authorities, the chief priests and the teachers of the Law; and that He would be killed and be raised on the third day.

Then Peter took Him aside and began to reproach Him, “Never, Lord! No, this must never happen to You!” But Jesus turned to him and said, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an obstacle in My path. You are thinking not as God does, but as people do.”

Wednesday, 6 August 2014 : Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 17 : 1-9

Six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain, where they were alone. Jesus’ appearance was changed before them : His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became bright as light.

Just then, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus. Peter spoke and said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents : one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

Peter was still speaking, when a bright cloud covered them with its shadow, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My Son, the Beloved, My Chosen One. Listen to Him.”

On hearing the voice, the disciples fell to the ground, full of fear. But Jesus came, touched them and said, “Stand up, do not be afraid.” When they raised their eyes, they no longer saw anyone except Jesus. And as they came down the mountain, Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone what they had just seen, until the Son of Man be raised from the dead.

Sunday, 15 June 2014 : Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 3 : 16-18

Yes, God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him may not be lost, but may have eternal life. God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world; instead, through Him the world is to be saved.

Whoever believes in Him will not be condemned. He who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God.