Thursday, 10 April 2014 : 5th Week of Lent (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Brothers and sisters in Christ, God established His first covenant with our father in faith, that is Abraham. Yes, Abraham is our father in faith, because even though we may not be descended from him by blood, but we are all his descendants by our same faith, that is in the same God, the very God who had made His contact with Abraham and made him the father of many nations because of his faith and devotion.

Abraham, once known as Abram, was not chosen because of his greatness, his wealth or his power. He was not chosen because of his abilities or talents, nor because of the number of his sheep, as shepherds with many sheep were indeed very great in his time. No, Abram was chosen not because of all of these. He was chosen because of one singular but very important reason, that is his faith and his actions that were based strongly on that faith.

Abram was faithful, and he was righteous in all of his actions. He lived closely to God’s will and followed the way of the Lord all of his life. He believed in God and he trusted completely in Him, even to the point of giving up his own long promised son, Isaac, to be sacrificed at Moria, when God supposedly asked him to do so. God tested his faith in that moment, and Abram followed through with complete faith and trust in God.

He obeyed God and he believed. And that was how he became renowned and great among many and among the nations. God made true the covenant that He had established with him, and from him came forth many nations and many peoples, uncounted and numerous indeed like the sands on the seashore as God had promised Abram, who later then known as Abraham, the one whom God was pleased with.

God fulfilled the promise He had made with His people, to Jacob that he would be great and a nation would come forth from him, Israel, the chosen people of God, from whom the descendants came the people discussed in today’s Gospel, and Jesus Christ Himself. God also fulfilled the promise He had established to Israel, that He would bring them to freedom and live in happiness in the Promised Land of milk and honey.

God also fulfilled the promises He had made with David, His faithful servant. He promised that his descendants will always sit on the throne of Israel and rule over God’s people forever. Yet, just as in the case of the covenant God established with Jacob and Abraham, it was God’s people who disobeyed the Lord and broke their part of the covenant, by abandoning God and worshipping pagan idols, and committing practices wicked in the sight of God.

The people of Israel and even the kings, among the descendants of David were disobedient, and as soon as the messengers sent by God to remind them of God’s love and promise were gone, they were quick to return to their old, debauched and wicked lifestyle. That was why God gave them to the hands of their enemies, and they were scattered, not to punish them per se, but rather to remind them yet again that without God, they are nothing.

But brethren, does that mean God also forsook His covenant with Israel? No. In fact God remained faithful to the covenants and promises that He had made. Covenant is the greatest form of promise compared to other forms of promises, and it was we and our ancestors who broke the covenant we have with God. God was always faithful and He never gave up on us, unless we ourselves gave Him up for other idols.

And God showed His commitment and love for us, through the ultimate gift that He gave to us, namely the gift of Jesus, His own Son. Through Jesus, God showed yet again, and in finality, the perfect love He has for all of us, and the total commitment He has to the covenants He had made. He fulfilled the promise He made with Abraham, Jacob and David through Jesus, the son of David who is seated at the throne of God and rules for eternity as the King of all kings.

And through Jesus, God made a new covenant, the last and greatest of them all, with us, renewing the promise He had made with mankind of many generations. And this new covenant is sealed by God with none other than by His own Precious Blood, poured out by the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus, who died for us. He died so that we may live, and such is His love for us, indeed!

Yes, brethren, that is how faithful God is to us, and how loving He is towards us. He had proven again and again His dedication and yet we always spurn His love. The people rejected Him because they preferred the devil and his pleasures rather than the true love offered by the Lord through Jesus.

Shall we then follow their examples? Or shall we remain true to the Lord? Let us no longer be rebellious and ignorant of God’s love, but instead embrace His love to the fullest and prove that we can hold our part of the new covenant He had established. May the Lord see in us the love and hope that is still in us, that He may forgive us our trespasses and bring us once again closer to Him. God bless us all. Amen.

Saturday, 29 March 2014 : 3rd Week of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 50 : 3-4, 18-19, 20-21ab

Have mercy on me, o God, in Your love. In Your great compassion blot out my sin. Wash me thoroughly of my guilt; cleanse me of evil.

You take no pleasure in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, You would not delight in it. O God, my sacrifice is a broken spirit; a contrite heart You will not despise.

Shower Zion with Your favour : rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then You will delight in fitting sacrifices, in burnt offerings and bulls offered on Your altar.


Sunday, 9 March 2014 : 1st Sunday of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Matthew 4 : 1-11

Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert that He might be put to the test by the devil. After spending forty days and nights without food, Jesus was hungry.

Then the devil came to Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, order these stones to turn into bread.” But Jesus answered, “Scripture says : One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Then the devil took Jesus to the Holy City, set Him on the highest wall of the Temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down, for Scripture says : God has given orders to His angels about You. Their hands will hold You up lest You hurt Your foot against a stone.”

Jesus answered, “But Scripture also says : You shall not put to the test the Lord your God.”

Then the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the nations of the world in all their greatness and splendour. And he said, “All this I will give You, if You kneel down and worship me.”

Then Jesus answered, “Be off, Satan! Scripture says : Worship the Lord your God and serve Him alone!” Then the devil left Him, and angels came to serve Him.

Friday, 7 March 2014 : Friday after Ash Wednesday, Memorial of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 50 : 3-4, 5-6a, 18-19

Have mercy on me, o God, in Your love. In Your great compassion blot out my sin. Wash me thoroughly of my guilt; cleanse me of evil.

For I acknowledge my wrongdoings and have my sins ever in mind. Against you alone have I sinned.

You take no pleasure in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, You would not delight in it. O God, my sacrifice is a broken spirit; a contrite heart You will not despise.

Thursday, 13 February 2014 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

The faith of the Syro-Phoenician woman is an example to us all, an exemplary faith that we should all have. She was adamant in her faith, and unchanging, she persisted even after refusal and supposed rejection from the Lord for her plea. She persisted and her faith in God, in Jesus was truly genuine. She did not turn left or right in seeking the Lord but straight away push at Him and persisted in her faith, and for that she was rewarded.

Contrast this, brethren, with the faith of king Solomon, the son of David, God’s faithful servant and chosen king over Israel. King Solomon was wise, wealthy, and powerful, blessed by God far beyond every other ruler that had ever existed and will ever exist in this world of ours, and yet his faith was not firm and solid, and in his old age in particular, he gave in to the temptations of the world and did things wicked in the eyes of the Lord.

In our faith to the Lord we have to be direct, and we cannot be hesitant or half-hearted, because it is in that moment of hesitation, that a weakness in our hearts can appear, and the devil can utilise that weakness to attack us and make us to fall into sin. If we hesitate or not serious about our faith, then we are inviting trouble, akin to throwing the door of our hearts wide open for the devil to enter and wreck havoc in us.

That is what happened to king Solomon, and to a much lesser extent, to king David his father. David the father of Solomon, as we had heard in the past few weeks was guilty from some sins that he had committed, and yet his faith in God was and remained very strong. He was very passionate in his faith and he did not even hesitate to lead the people in praise to God.

David did let the devil to come into his heart, when he was taken by the beauty of Bathsheba, and when he was tempted by the power and glory he had received from God in the might of his kingdom, that he committed sin before God. But he was quick to repent and reaffirm his faith strongly to the Lord, without question and without much hesitation, if any.

Solomon let himself to succumb deeper into the temptation of Satan. Unlike David, Solomon had been blessed since the start of his reign, and his reign had been largely peaceful, and Solomon himself was blessed with great power, majesty, and wealth, which surpassed any other nations of his time and ever since. It was easy for Solomon to become lax and forget about how he had obtained all those glories in the first place.

Solomon’s downfall came from his many wives and concubines, whom he had taken from the many nations he had conquered and brought as his own. He loved them and certainly took pleasure at them, as was common in any king’s harem at the time. And through that, Satan infiltrated even deeper into Solomon’s heart, and as a result, he refused to listen to the rebuke and chastisement of God, who then resolved to punish Solomon and withdrew the blessings He had given him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the contrast between the faith of David, of Solomon, and of the Syro-Phoenician woman is an important lesson for all of us, that we should not take lightly the faith we have in God. A strong faith is a potent and powerful shield to defend ourselves from the influences of the devil, and it will also help us to keep our way to the Lord straight and firm, that we will not fall as Solomon had fallen.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us take this opportunity to reaffirm our faith in the Lord, and continue to trust in Him. Let us also pray that God will continue to strengthen our faith, that we may be well defended in our battles against the forces of evil trying to persuade us to turn our back to the Lord as Solomon had done.

May God keep us straight in His path and show us the way, that we may walk in faith towards Him and be reunited with Him in glory for eternity. Amen.

Thursday, 13 February 2014 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Kings 11 : 4-13

In Solomon’s old age, his wives led him astray to serve other gods and, unlike his father David, his heart was no longer wholly given to YHVH His God. For he served Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom, the idol of the Ammonites.

He did what displeased YHVH and, unlike his father David, was unfaithful to Him. Solomon even built a high place for Chemosh, the idol of Moab, on the mountain east of Jerusalem and also for Molech, the idol of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his foreign wives who burnt incense and sacrificed to their gods.

YHVH became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from YHVH, the God of Israel. YHVH appeared to him twice and commanded him not to follow other gods. But he did not obey YHVH’s command.

Therefore, YHVH said to Solomon, “Since this has been your choice and you have kept neither My Covenant nor the statutes I commanded you, I will take the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. Nevertheless, I will not do this during your lifetime for the sake of your father David; I will take it from your son.”

“But I will not take it all; I will reserve one tribe for your son for the sake of David My servant, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen.”

Friday, 7 February 2014 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are represented with two contrasting model of kingship in Herod and David, both technically kings of Israel. The readings today showed how the faith and diligence of David in the first reading taken from the book of the prophet Sirach can be contrasted with the wickedness and evil nature of Herod and his reign.

Sirach showed how David as the chosen king of the Lord over His people Israel, dutifully carried his works as the king, without ever in a major way, deviating from the way of the Lord. He led the people of God towards Him and in his actions he brought the Lord to everyone’s heart, that modelling upon his actions, the people may also follow suit and be obedient to God.

David was the model king, who followed the way of virtue, and remained firm in the Lord’s path and favour till the end of his life and reign. He led by example in praising the Lord and showing the people how to follow the Lord. That is why the reign of David was remembered fondly by the people as the Golden Age of Israel, because God blessed Israel and its people tremendously due to David.

In contrast, Herod and his reign was often looked down by the people and remembered as a time of mismanagement, gluttony and greed. Herod did not reign like David, because instead of following the Lord as David had done, Herod, who was the son of Herod the Great, followed his father in style of governance and in his lifestyle.

If you all remember, Herod the Great was the one who ordered the massacre of infants under the age of two in Bethlehem, because he could not stand having a rival king beside himself, when he was told of the coming of the Messiah, the King of Israel and the King of all kings in Jesus. He acted with impunity and depended solely on his human judgments and emotions in dealing with things.

His son, the one mentioned as king Herod in today’s Gospel, was not far from the ways of his predecessor. King Herod here lived a life of luxury and debauchery, engaging in practices deemed wicked in the eyes of the Lord, one of which was mentioned in the Gospel today, that is taking his own brother’s wife as his own.

The people of Israel were allowed to marry the wife of their deceased brother providing that the brother had died without leaving a child to continue his legacy. But Jesus came to reveal the truth about the Lord’s will for mankind, as written in the Book of Genesis, that man is united to woman in a holy bond of matrimony, where no man can separate that bond.

Thus, even the old law about divorce and remarriage had been rewritten by the Lord Himself, as He formed a new covenant with His people. But what Herod had done was in violation of even the old laws revealed to Moses. Herod married his own deceased brother’s wife despite of them having a daughter, the same daughter mentioned in the Gospel today, and there might even be other children born of that union. Hence, Herod had committed adultery with his brother’s wife.

And his other doings, which include that day when he was allured by his own stepdaughter’s beauty and performance during the feast he held. He was so allured by worldly desire and pleasure that he made an oath that he would certainly regret later on, and which caused him to be guilty of murdering God’s holy messenger, John the Baptist, the herald of the Messiah.

Such indeed was the sin of the king of Jesus’ time, as compared to the rightful David. From the two, we can see the comparison, and realise that first, power is not everything, and human power in particular. Power and worldly pleasures and all its temptations can corrupt us and turn us away from God and His ways. For the price of temporary pleasure and false happiness in this world, if we immerse ourselves in corrupt power, we will end up in eternal suffering and rejected by God.

Instead, brothers and sisters in Christ, we all should follow the example of David the faithful king, in how he followed the Lord faithfully to the end of his life. If we put our trust in God, even with all the challenges in life and all the oppositions we may have, we do not have to worry, because God stands with us, and in the end, if we remain faithful, we will be rewarded with eternal glory in heaven.

May God bless us with strong faith, and one which is rooted deeply in Him, just as His servant David had done. May the Lord our God continue to protect us and guide us towards Him, that we shall always be in His grace. Amen.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red (Martyrs)

Prophets are despised in their own country and were not well accepted at the place of their birth. That was the reality that Jesus brought up in front of His very own neighbours and fellow countrymen in the Gospel reading today. Jesus Himself was doubted and rejected by the people of His hometown, the small village of Nazareth.

Why so? That is because we mankind, in our own distorted way of perceiving the world around us, including that of our friends and relatives, our fellow men, we tend to focus on things of the world, in the glory and power of the world, and adhere to the many prejudices and preconceptions that existed in the world.

The reality of life in the time of Jesus, just as it was before that and after that, even until this day, was indeed harsh. The poor has nothing and suffered a lot under the rich and the powerful, who had everything they need and want. The rich oppressed the poor and they showcased their power with brilliant displays of wealth and affluence.

This created the mentality and prejudices among the people, especially one who was accustomed to a very hierarchical societal nature. The society of Israel, even though distinctions between peoples were not as severe as some other cultures, such as the caste system in India among others, was still quite bad. The priests and the kings and the lords were at the top of the society, respected and feared for their power, while the poor peasants lay at the bottom of that same hierarchy.

The prophets and the Messiah were imagined by the people of Israel as people of great power and wisdom, as well as learning, which was well out of the league of the poor, who could barely even afford to have a comfortable and decent living. Therefore, that is why, because in reality, many of the prophets were people called by God to live a completely devoted life to God, and abandoning all privileges, they were often poor.

In the mind of the people, those who lived with the prophets, coming from the same village, town, or neighbourhood as the prophets, those people cannot be a genuine prophet of the Lord. Simply because they assume that they know who these prophets were! Yes, such was human arrogance and assumption! The same therefore also happened to Jesus as He preached to His own neighbours in Nazareth.

They would not believe in Jesus because they always had thought of Him as a mere carpenter and a carpenter’s Son, that is the Son of Joseph the carpenter, His foster-father. A carpenter, even though a respected job for its hard work, but a carpenter is often considered low in the society’s eyes, and certainly not determined for greatness.

This lens of unbelief prevented the people from knowing and understanding the truth that was in Jesus, that He is the Messiah, the very Divine incarnate, who had come to bring salvation and new hope to all of them. If only they would believe in Jesus, they would have received salvation directly from the Lord. Instead, they cast Him out of His own village and rejected Him.

In our first reading, the scenario is a bit different, but it is in the same spirit. King David of Israel, having his reign made secure by the Lord after numerous insurrections, civil wars, and conflicts, had been lax in his faith, and through the veil of lens of power and human glory, king David did things despicable in the eyes of God.

It might seem a trivial issue that David asked his officer Joab to conduct a census of the people of Israel and Judah, seeing how many people capable of being drafted to his ever growing kingdom and army. Yet, in this precisely, David, the faithful servant of God, was taken in by the allures of Satan, who deceived mankind with false promises of glory and power.

In doing what he had done, David seemed to be unsatisfied with all the glories that God had given him. In counting the number of his subjects, it seemed that David desired even more power and glory, forgetting that all of that had been possible because of the Lord and His grace, which He had poured generously upon David.

That was why, God taught David a lesson through His punishment, to remind him of that all of his glory came from the Lord and he could never do or gain anything without God his Lord. We too should learn the same lesson, that we should not depend solely on our human power or wisdom, but instead seek to follow and trust the Lord, from whom all goodness came.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of St. Agatha, also known as St. Agatha of Sicily. St. Agatha was very dedicated to the Lord and was very faithful, despite temptations of the world and attempts to turn her to the debauched ways of the pagan world of her time.

St. Agatha devoted herself to God and vowed to maintain her virginity. A Roman centurion was allured by St. Agatha’s beauty and tried many times in vain to persuade her to be his bride. Angered by her rejection, the centurion used the fact that St. Agatha was a Christian against her, and in the midst of a brutal persecution against the faith, she was arrested and tortured.

St. Agatha endured the persecutions and the sufferings that she had to go through in prison, and she even went through a brutal removal of her breasts as one of her executioners’ punishments. She remained true to her faith to the end and did not walk away from the way of the Lord. St. Agatha and her zealous faith showed us all, that we have to put our trust in God, and place our faith in Him, for in Him, we secure our heavenly inheritance.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us today therefore seek to love God ever more, and dedicate ourselves in faith to Him and to His ways. Let us always walk faithfully in His ways, and following what He had taught us through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. May our Lord continue to be with us and guide us, as we walk through this darkened world, that we may not succumb to temptations of the evil one, but remain ever faithful to Him to the end. Amen.

Sunday, 2 February 2014 : Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Malachi 3 : 1-4

Now I am sending My messenger ahead of Me to clear the way; then suddenly the Lord for whom you long will enter the sanctuary. The envoy of the covenant which you so greatly desire already comes, says YHVH of hosts.

Who can bear the day of His coming and remain standing when He appears? For He will be like fire in the foundry and like the lye used for bleaching. He will be as a refiner or a fuller. He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. So YHVH will have priests who will present the offering as it should be.

Then YHVH will accept with pleasure the offering of Judah and Jerusalem, as in former days.

Sunday, 4 August 2013 : 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflection)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, our Lord today warns us against the sin of greed, the sin of pride, and the sin of selfishness. Especially in the aimless accumulation of wealth and accumulation of possessions, that we lose sight of the true aim in our life, that is our Lord and God. Wealth and accumulation are well-known sources of temptations that can divert us and our attention away from the path to salvation, that is the path to God.

The Lord also reminded us that we are mortals, mortals because of the original sins of our ancestors, and we are dust, because we are created from dust. Yet, though we are dust, we have life in us because the Lord breathed into us the breath of life, that is the Spirit of life. Yet, we still have limit in our lives in this world. Our lives are temporary, and everyone will eventually meet the end of their respective lives, at the appointed time that God has for all of us.

That is why, the Lord always stresses the importance of being ever vigilant in our lives, to always lead a righteous and upright life, filled with love and obedience to the will of God. We may be mortal and our lives may be short, but if we put our faith and complete trust in God, we will be immortals! Why? That is because the Lord had promised all of us salvation through His Son, and with the Risen Lord Jesus, we too will be reborn to a new life, and receive at the end of our earthly lives, new and eternal life in the glory and bliss of God’s heavenly kingdom.

Yes, that is our inheritance, brothers and sisters in Christ, the true inheritance that we will receive from the Lord, that He had promised us, and Christ His Son had made available to all of us through His death and resurrection from the dead. It is important that we seek the true treasure and not false treasures of the world. Seek what brings us true happiness, the true happiness that only God can give.

We have to choose brothers and sisters, just because we cannot serve two masters as Christ had made it clear to His disciples, we too have to choose between the wealth of the world, and the eternal wealth of the Lord. It does not mean that one is entirely in opposition to the other though. It does not mean that we have to impoverish ourselves of one while we seek the other. What is important is, that we know that ultimately, the wealth and possessions of this world serve only a temporary purpose, bring only a temporary satisfaction, and only temporary pleasure and happiness, while the wealth that we have in God is eternal, and is perfectly and completely satisfying to all of us.

Yes, we can be both rich in this world and in the world after, that is in the eyes of man, and in the eyes of God. That is if we are able to wisely use whatever had been given to us, and look beyond the temptations of the evil one and the allure of wealth, and also to be able to look beyond ourselves and our own desires and needs, to see the true use and function of the wealth and possessions we have received in this world.

We must never ever have the mentality of selfishness in ourselves, and only thinking about our own benefits and happiness, especially at the expense of others, which usually happen when we begin to put our own interests first. We must not be like the rich man who wasted his time in this world worrying about his own future and thus accumulated much wealth which he stored in barns and storage spaces, that he would, in his mind, think that he has a secure and prosperous future to be spent in happiness.

Yes, I want to again stress of our own mortality and the fragility of our own lives. It is unwise to spend so much time worrying about the future and then close ourselves from any concerns beside concerns for ourselves. We do not know when our death will be, nor in what way our death will come to us. It will come to us whenever we are most unprepared, just as the Second Coming of Christ will be. The time is appointed by the Lord, and we have no way to know about it.

Many of us are obsessed with maintaining our beauty, our lives and attempting to even make it better whenever possible. Plastic surgery, and even genetic manipulations to ensure that we can live longer and live more prosperously, gaining more fame through beauty and our possessions. Yet what do these all do? These things will not ensure our beauty nor our prosperity forever. If death knocks at our door tomorrow, despite all these things that we do, would they not all be wasted?

Much more resources should have been allocated to other, better purposes in our lives. It is not that we cannot indulge ourselves or bring happiness to ourselves, but we must never be consumed by our search for such wealth or happiness, that we forget about everything else, about those beloved to us, about God, and about everyone around us who needs us, who needs our love, care, and compassion.

Our wealth in this world is also not permanent. Many things may happen that can wipe out all of our hard-earned savings and ‘happiness’ in an instant, and after that a lifetime of work may be wasted. Earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, floods, fires, and many other natural calamities that may happen anytime in our world unexpectedly, will wipe out most of our hard work if not all in much shorter time than that required to gather them.

And yes, death. What would those goods stored in barns and storages do if we die at the time appointed for us to die? Will they be able to provide anything for us in the afterlife? Or perhaps help us to climb from hell into paradise? No, they have not such power. Only God has such power, that is through Christ His Son, whose death had provided us all with a means to reach the true reward, that is everlasting life.

Seek not to build wealth that can be destroyed or wealth that can be stolen or disappear any moment, with or without our knowledge. Seek not wealth or pleasure that are short-lived and temporary, and disappear as quickly as the fleeting motion of our short, mortal lives on earth. Seek rather the eternal wealth and treasure in God, in heaven, that will never disappear, that will never expire, and that will never be destroyed. Let us all, while we still have the time, begin and continue to build our treasury in heaven, filling up with the wealth of our true treasure, that is love.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us follow the advice of the Lord, and begin from today, to open the storage of the things we have kept only for ourselves, and offer them to everyone in need. No, I am not just talking about money, wealth, or material possessions. Most important of all treasures is love itself, which God has placed in all of us, but we like to lock it deep within our hearts, that it does not become visible or evident. The same happens to faith and hope.

As long as we remain shut to the world and to the love of God and the plight of others, our wealth in God will never grow, because we never make use the gifts that God had given us and bless us with, that is in His Holy Spirit. If we exercise the faith, the hope, and the love He had given all of us through the Spirit, it will grow and multiply, thirty, sixty, hundredfold and more. Let us begin from today, if we have not done so, to invest in the building of our wealth in heaven, that when we are called back to God, He will truly see us as wealthy in His eyes. Not the wealth of the world, but the true and undiminished wealth of love.

May the Lord inflame in us the fire of His love, and may He push us to go out and render our service to others who are in need of our help and our love. May we be able to share our love with one another, as fellow children of God who loves us. God bless us all, always and forevermore. Amen.