Saturday, 8 November 2014 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)

Luke 16 : 9-15

At that time, Jesus said, “And so I tell you : use filthy money to make friends for yourselves, so that, when it fails, these people may welcome you into the eternal homes. Whoever can be trusted in little things can also be trusted in great ones; whoever is dishonest in slight matters will also be dishonest in greater ones.”

“So if you have been dishonest in handling filthy money, who would entrust you with true wealth? And if you have been dishonest with things that are not really yours, who will give you that wealth which is truly your own?”

“No servant can serve two masters. Either he does not like the one and is fond of the other, or he regards one highly and the other with contempt. You cannot give yourself both to God and to Money.”

The Pharisees who loved money, heard al this and sneered at Jesus. He said to them, “You do your best to be considered righteous by people. But God knows the heart, and what is highly esteemed by human beings is loathed by God.”


Homily and Scripture Reflection :

Monday, 27 October 2014 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are reminded of our choices in life, with every actions that we take and with every deeds that we do. We have been given the free will to commit to things that are good and to things that are wicked. We are free to choose to do what we deem is right. However, in the end, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Judge of all, will judge our actions at the end of time and pass His judgments according to what we have done in life.

Since we are all created by God good and pure, only to be tainted by the sins of our disobedience, that is sin, therefore we are all initially and intended to be good in all things. God who created us regards us as His own children, and we are all intended for goodness. That is why we who are the children of God, who is good in all things, perfect in purity and holiness, and the Light who brightens the world, should also be good and exemplary in the things we do in this world.

We have a choice, brothers and sisters in Christ, that is to follow the examples of Christ, who showed us how to live like children of the Light, or to follow the examples of the Pharisees and the other wicked ones, who did not follow the Light, but followed darkness instead. They served their own purposes and they served their own hearts’ desires rather than doing what they ought to do as children of God. Thus they were cast away from the presence of God and were rejected by the Lord who judged them amongst the unworthy.

Let us look deeper into the readings which we have today. The Law and the commandments of God taught us how to love, and love tenderly we should indeed, giving our love to God first and then in the same way, to show the same love to our brothers and sisters around us. And this love is such that we must show the same love both to God and to our fellow men, the love which we have accorded to ourselves.

But the Pharisees and the wicked loved themselves first, and loved themselves to such a great extent that they failed to love others as they have loved themselves, and they instead despised others, even those whom the Lord had entrusted to their care, such as the woman troubled with the evil spirit for eighteen years waiting for delivery. They cared for themselves so much that they also failed to give the love they have due for the Lord.

Do you remember, brethren, when Jesus once said that whatever we do to the least and the smallest of our brethren, we do it for the Lord Himself? This is precisely the case, and the woman, troubled by the evil spirit, physically and spiritually, was in great need of help. Yet the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law did not lift up even a finger to help the woman. It is in fact even likely that they have set her up there in order to trap Jesus and find a reason to blame Jesus for what they knew He was going to do, that is to heal the woman on a Sabbath day.

We know that the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law were infamous for their unbending and ultraconservative attitude at preaching and observing the Law of God revealed through Moses. However, as the Law was intertwined with the laws and rules and ways of the world, they lost focus of the true meaning and purpose of the Law, ending up becoming unmerciful and unjust in their actions.

Thus the Lord Jesus rebuked them for their unbending and rigid attitude in following the ways and the laws of the Lord. They followed the Law for the sake of following it, and for what? To satisfy their own pride and human desires, the desire for fame and human praise, as Jesus also rebuked them on another occasion, pointing out how they liked to pray in public places with loud voices so as to be praised by others.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is an important lesson for all of us. That means all of us should not follow in their examples, the examples of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law. We must not follow the wicked path of pride, of injustice, of greed and human desires. We must not let our arrogance and our jealousy, such as the jealousy of the Pharisees against the works of Jesus, to blind us from our true goal, that is to love God and our brethren.

We have to take heed of what the Lord had shown us in the Scriptures we heard today, that we will not head in the direction of destruction and damnation. These are the share of fate of those who do not walk in the way of the Lord, who live in fornication and sin, and who listen more to the demands of their desire and the temptations of their flesh rather than to listen to God. Shall we follow this path to ruin? Of course none of us would want this fate for us.

What can we do then? It is therefore necessary that we listen to Jesus, and what Jesus said to the Pharisees in rebuking them, is the words of love, that is the profession of the love which He has for all of us. The love and mercy, and the desire to see us repentant and being forgiven from all of our sins and distress, and the desire to bring us back into the path of grace, by granting us rich mercy and blessings, as far as we deserve the salvation which He offers us freely.

And how can we be deserving of such great mercy from our Lord? It is by listening to the words of St. Paul in the letter he had written to the faithful in Ephesus, by keeping all of our actions holy and proper, by having true and genuine love in all the things that we do, by showing love to one another, showing mercy and tenderness to those who are in need, just like Jesus having pity and mercy on the afflicted woman.

It was also mentioned that if we are bound to ‘Money’ which in fact refers to the pleasures and the temptations of the flesh and of this world, then it will be difficult if not impossible for us to be saved. This is because, these are obstacles on our path, and they veiled our hearts and the eyes of our heart from the goodness of God, and just like the Pharisees, they tempted them and corrupted them to do acts that are contrary to the teachings of the Lord. They brought mankind to hate and to hurt one another instead of having love for each other.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, today let us all look into ourselves, and see if our actions have been based on the love which we ought to show our God and our fellow men. Let us all forsake all the temptations and fornications of the flesh and of the world, resisting the temptations of the world and instead learn to love ever more tenderly and graciously, showing mercy to all who need them, and help one another to seek and reach out to the salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ, our loving God. Let us sin no more, and receive the fullness of His mercy. Amen.


First Reading :

Gospel Reading :

Monday, 27 October 2014 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Ephesians 4 : 32 – Ephesians 5 : 8

Be good and understanding, mutually forgiving one another as God forgave you in Christ. As most beloved children of God, strive to imitate Him. Follow the way of love, the example of Christ who loved you. He gave Himself up for us and became the offering and sacrificial victim whose fragrance rises to God.

And since you are holy, there must not be among you even a hint of sexual immorality or greed, or any kind of impurity : these should not be named among you. So too for scandalous words, nonsense and foolishness, which are not fitting; instead offer thanksgiving to God.

Know this : no depraved, impure or covetous person who serves the god ‘Money’ shall have part in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for these are the sins which God is about to condemn in people who do not obey.

Do not associate with such people. You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Behave as children of light.

Sunday, 21 September 2014 : 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle, Catechetical Sunday (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 20 : 1-16a

At that time, Jesus said, “This story throws light on the kingdom of Heaven : A landowner went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay each worker the usual daily wage, and sent them to his vineyard.”

“He went out again at about nine in the morning, and seeing others idle in the town square, he said to them, ‘You also, go to my vineyard, and I will pay you what is just.’ So they went.”

“The owner went out at midday, and again at three in the afternoon, and he did the same. Finally he went out at the last working hour – the eleventh hour – and he saw others standing there. So he said to them, ‘Why do you stay idle the whole day?’ They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ The master said, ‘Go and work in my vineyard.'”

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wage, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’ Those who had come to work at the eleventh hour turned up, and were each given a silver coin.”

“When it was the turn of the first, they thought they would receive more. But they, too, each received a silver coin. So, on receiving it, they began to grumble against the landowner. They said, ‘These last hardly worked an hour, yet you have treated them the same as us, who have endured the heavy work of the day and the heat.'”

“The owner said to one of them, ‘Friend, I have not been unjust to you. Did we not agree on one silver coin per day? So take what is yours and go. I want to give to the last the same as I give to you. Do I not have the right to do as I please with what is mine? Why are you envious when I am kind?'”

“So will it be : the last will be first.”

Monday, 18 August 2014 : 20th Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are presented with the story of a rich man who found it difficult to follow the Lord completely because he was unable to part with his considerable wealth and possessions, even though indeed he had done as the commandments of the Lord had asked him to do.

It is important to first note that Jesus did not mean to condemn the rich man or to humiliate him in any way. The purpose of His conversation with the rich man, as we heard in the Gospel is to show what we need to expect if we want to follow the Lord, in that our hearts and minds cannot be divided to both the Lord and to this world, and whatever that is in the world.

In our world today, it is no different, we still live in a world filled with desire and greed. We live in a world dominated by material goods, materialistic and hedonistic attitudes, where the pursuit of worldly possessions and goods are predominant in the minds of many people. The temptations of wealth and possession are all around us. And in many parts of the world, violence and death still often occur because people desire more of these.

Jesus did not testify against the rich and those who has plenty of possessions, and neither did He condemn them for being rich or endowed with money and wealth. What He wanted to point out was instead how these people often tend to have less ability to detach themselves from even a small part of their possessions, and also the tendency to want more, to seek more of the same wealth, to increase them to satisfy their human wants.

It is in fact the same with us who have less possessions, but nevertheless we often find it hard to even share what we already have less with those who are even less fortunate than us. We can also succumb to the same kind of prejudice and attitude which separates us from the Lord, because of our selfishness and inability to love and be charitable to others.

We ought to realise that there are many of those who are rich, and yet they use what they can do best with their possessions, and what they have excess in, so that they can help others who are in need. On the other hand, there are many of those who are poor and yet they persecute others who are poorer than them, and extort them for their money and possessions.

The key here therefore is to not condemn the wealth or the possession, or the ones who possess them without a credible reason. Condemn instead those who deny the poor any help or extort from them anything of value. Condemn instead those who remain idle when there are those who need help around them. Condemn instead those who worship wealth and possessions more than they should worship God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, today we all should reflect on our own lives. Money and possessions are good, and they are indeed capable of both good and evil, as I have often mentioned. However, have we put them to good use, for our own benefits and when there are those who need help, have we offered some to help and aid them, and to soothe their sufferings?

May our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen our faith and awaken the spirit of generosity and love within us, that we may love our brethren in need and each other with true sincerity and love. God bless us all. Amen.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014 : 13th Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we clearly heard the account of how Jesus rebuked and cast out the demons at Gadara from two men, that the Lord is good, and as perfect goodness that He is, He is the antithesis and opposite side of evil and all forms of sin. And therefore, we too, as the children of God and His beloved ones, have our clear-cut obligations, to shun and be free from all forms of evil in sin.

There can be no compromise to sin and evil, and we should not delude ourselves by thinking that we can get cordial and friendly with the devil and all of his persuasions, and end up falling into sin and thus condemnation. We cannot be children of both God and Satan, and as Jesus had taught His disciples, we can neither be servant of both God and money. We cannot therefore be servant of both good and evil, and either we will be attracted in the end to either one or we will totally hate the other in the end, as our Lord had taught us.

This however, does not mean that we should hate and shun sinners and those who had committed grievous errors before God and mankind. Remember the saying, hate the sin but not the sinner? This is exactly the case, as we must hate and avoid the evils in the works of sin, but we must never hate the person, who has the capacity to do both good or evil. We must instead embrace and welcome them into the Lord and His love through us, that we may help each other to escape the clutches of sin.

We must work together to live holy and worthily of God, and avoid blaming or being prejudiced against anyone on the basis of their sinfulness, for we ourselves are sinners, no matter how small or big our sins are. God is merciful and loving, but He also hates sin, and sin no matter how big or small, has no place in His presence. That is why we believe those who had died righteously in the faith but still were tainted by some venial or non-mortal sins, go through the fires of purgatory to cleanse themselves from those sins before they are admitted into heaven.

Sin, brothers and sisters, is the root of all evil, and if we expose ourselves willingly to sin, we will open the doors of our hearts to all forms of evil, corrupting them for the purpose of Satan, and keep us away from the love of God. And ever since our forefathers listened to the words of Satan to disobey the Lord, we have been prone and weak towards the corrupting nature of sin. Mankind are therefore predisposed to sin, and if we do not make the active effort to avoid committing sin, we will likely commit one before God and men.

And Satan is growing in his power and in his cunningness, in his plethora of means and arsenal of things he can utilise against us, through his agents and his hands in this world. Mankind has grown accustomed to the pleasures and the growing comfort in this world, and it is through this that Satan decided to strike against men, leading them to sin by turning them towards the path of desire and greed.

Our world today is rife with individualism, egoistic and materialistic behaviour. Yes, these behaviours are prone to sin, and in our world today, we can see the direct impact, in how money and material possessions are chased after by many who seek to have more and more of them, and sadly often with disregard to the plight of others, and we even often seek to gain more, at the expense of others around us.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we need to commit ourselves to a new life. Yes, a new life that is no longer based on sin and human desire, and instead based on love, justice and peace, namely a life that is based on God and on His principles and laws. Let us together help one another to reject sin and all the sinful ways of this world, and from now on resolve to love and lead a righteous life as the Lord had taught us.

May we all be truly children of God, and be like Him in all of our actions, words and deeds. May He guide us in our ways and lead us to Him, that we may be purified and absolved of our sinfulness, and emerge from the darkness of our world into a blissful life in the light. God bless us all. Amen.

Friday, 16 May 2014 : 4th Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 2 : 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

Behold the King I have installed, in Zion, upon My holy hill! I will proclaim the decree of the Lord. He said to Me : You are My Son. This day I have begotten You.

Ask of Me and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall rule them with iron sceptre and shatter them as a potter’s vase.

Now therefore, learn wisdom, o kings; be warned, o rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and fall at His feet; lest He be angry and you perish when His anger suddenly flares. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

Monday, 3 March 2014 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 10 : 17-27

Just as Jesus was setting out on His journey again, a man ran up, knelt before Him and asked, “Good Master, what must I do to have eternal life?”

Jesus answered, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments : Do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not cheat, honour your father and mother.”

The man replied, “I have obeyed all these commandments since my childhood.”

Then Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him and He said, “For you, one thing is lacking. Go, sell what you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and follow Me.”

On hearing these words, his face fell and he went away sorrowful, for he was a man of great wealth.

Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were shocked at these words, but Jesus insisted, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

They were more astonished than ever and wondered, “Who, then, can be saved?” Jesus looked steadily at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God; all things are possible with God.”

Sunday, 2 March 2014 : 8th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Worry not, for God did not and never ever will He want to leave us uncared for unprovided. He loves all of us, just as He had always loved since the beginning when He created us. He provided for everything, and for us mankind, He had allocated many things to be our possession and inheritance, if only that we follow His ways and remain faithful to Him throughout the difficult times.

One thing which often clearly separated us from God is the concerns we have for the world and all of its goodness. We are often unable to detach ourselves from the desires of our heart, our eyes, and our stomachs, and we often succumb to these desires, ending up not following the Lord, but instead fall into the trap of the devil.

The devil offered us all many things that this world can offer, be it in food, in money and wealth, as well as in terms of illicit and dark pleasures of the flesh. These he offered us, that our minds be filled with desires and concerns for them, rather than be filled with the knowledge and the love for God. We often are ignorant of what goodness that the Lord had given us and the many blessings He had granted us every single moment of our life.

Remember this, our very life is not something for us to take for granted. We often forget that there is nothing greater in our lives than life itself. Our every breath that we take every second, every minute, and every hour, is a gift from God, that is a gift of life. We all have been given life by God, and we ought to recognise that fact. We are often too worried and concerned about many things that we end up forgetting that our life itself had been a great blessing to us.

Yes, brethren, without life, we would be nothing but one of the dead things in this world. It is life that differentiates us from them, and yet, there is an even greater gift God had given us. God has bestowed on each one of us, His own Spirit, that is the Spirit of life. He has breathed into us the spirit of life, that gave life to us, and made us special among all the other creations.

Although we were special, but we also followed the devil in his rebellion, which made us tainted and unworthy of God’s grace and perfection. Nevertheless, He continued to love us regardless, and He continued to care for us in the same way as before. He blessed us, watched over us, and protected us, and yet we often forget about His love and dedication for us.

It is often that we confuse and mix up what our needs are and what we want. It if often that we seek something that we desire, and often that this means material goods, wealth, or worldly fame and affluence. We prefer to seek these and seek solace in them rather than the One who had given us everything that is most important in our life.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, shall we be like those who choose this world over that of God? Shall we be lacking of gratitude to the One who had given us so much and yet much forgotten? Let us change our ways if we had done so, and from now on, put our trust ever greater in God.

May our Lord continue to provide for us, and strengthen us, in case we falter. Let us all be thankful to the Lord and receive His kindness to us, and from now on no longer be worrying about the world, but instead, let us live in the grace of God and let Him from now on guide our path, that we may walk towards Him and towards the eternal glory that He had promised us. Let us all give Him thanks and praise Him for His love. Amen.

Sunday, 2 March 2014 : 8th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 6 : 24-34

No one can serve two masters; for he will either hate one and love the other, or he will be loyal to the first and look down on the second. You cannot at the same time serve God and money.

This is why I tell you not to be worried about food and drink for yourself, or about clothes for your body. Is not life more important than food, and is not the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow, they do not harvest and do not store food in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not less worthy than they are?

Can any of you add a day to your life by worrying about it? Why are you so worried about your clothes? Look at how the flowers in the field grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his wealth was clothed like one of these. If God so clothes the grass in the field, which blooms today and is to be burnt tomorrow in an oven, how much more will He clothe you? What little faith you have!

Do not worry and say : What are we going to eat? What are we going to drink? Or  : What shall we wear? The pagans busy themselves with such things; but your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Set your heart first on the kingdom and justice of God, and all these things will also be given to you.

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.