Saturday, 18 November 2017 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Dedication of the Papal Basilica of St. Peter and Papal Basilica of St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Dedication of a Basilica)

Luke 18 : 1-8

At that time, Jesus told them a parable, to show them that they should pray continually, and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain town there was a judge, who neither feared God nor people. In the same town there was a widow, who kept coming to him, saying, ‘Defend my rights against my adversary!'”

“For a time he refused, but finally he thought, ‘Even though I neither fear God nor care about people, this widow bothers me so much, I will see that she gets justice; then she will stop coming and wearing me out.'”

And Jesus said, “Listen to what the evil judge says. Will God not do justice for His chosen ones, who cry to Him day and night, even if He delays in answering them? I tell you, He will speedily do them justice. But, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

Alternative reading (Mass for Dedication of the Basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul)

Matthew 14 : 22-33

At that time, 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 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!”

Monday, 8 December 2014 : Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today is a great and joyful day, a great solemnity and celebration of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the dogma of which had been promulgated by Blessed Pope Pius IX and confirmed just a few years later by the visions of St. Bernadette Soubirous at the now famous Marian site of Lourdes in France.

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is about the fact that because Mary is the mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, the Word of God and the Son incarnate into flesh through the Blessed Virgin, hence it is only fitting that because Christ is pure and without the taint of sin, being God of all goodness, then Mary, His mother, who bore Him in her womb for nine whole months, be made equally pure as well, so that she, as the vessel of the Holy Presence of God, is also without sin.

Thus, this is the meaning of the Immaculate Conception, immaculate which means pure and free from sin, and then conception, the moment when a baby, a human being is formed in the womb of the mother. This means that Mary has been prepared and created in such a way that set her apart from all other men, because while all other men were born with the ties of original sin, the original sin of Adam and Eve, our first ancestors, from the mark of their first disobedience against God, Mary was set free from that bond of sin.

Just as the first woman disobeyed the Lord and sinned, and therefore brought evil into the world and into the hearts of men, then the new woman, Mary, is full of grace and free from sin from her moment of conception, and she obeyed the Lord completely, following all of God’s commandments and lived righteously. Therefore, through her, God was willing to grant His blessings and graces to mankind, that is none other than the gift of His own Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

And just as the first men had sinned, and therefore brought the just punishment for sins to mankind, that is death, then through the new Man, born from the new woman, Mary, through His perfect obedience and love for the Lord God His Father, and through His suffering and love for us unto death, death on the cross, and by rising from the dead, He had gained for us a new life in God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, even as we await the coming of our Lord and as we continue our preparation for His coming in this holy season of Advent, we also celebrate with joy and great hope, the culmination of the long-planned plan of God’s salvation for all of His beloved people, that is all of us. Ever since mankind first sinned against God and fell into the darkness, He had made known what He planned to do, in order to save us from certain death.

He cursed Satan, the snake, for his involvement in tempting mankind to rebel against God and follow their own desires, which is a trait that we continue to carry on even until this day, a vestige of what happened that day in the gardens of Eden. He also punished men, both men and women for their disobedience. They had to suffer the consequences of sin, and that consequence, is death. That is why all mankind are mortals, destined to one day die, although indeed, we were not meant for death when we were created by God.

If we are therefore, able to overcome sin, then we will be able to transcend our fate that is death. And that is exactly what our Lord Jesus had come into this world to prove, and through His own mother too, both of whom were conceived without sin, and remained without sin thereafter. He is because He is God who is all good, and even though Jesus was fully Man, He was also fully Divine at the same time, and thus sin have no place in Him.

He was tested and tempted in every way possible, but He obeyed the Lord and the will of His Father to the fullest. And even at His most vulnerable during the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was tempted terribly to let the suffering of the cross pass from Him, but He remained completely faithful to the mission entrusted to Him. As the new Adam, therefore, He began a new beginning for mankind, where through obedience to God’s will, He had brought life to mankind, and in Him lies the hope of victory and final triumph against death and evil.

For Mary, His mother, as I have mentioned, she too overcame the power of sin, remaining holy, pure and immaculate throughout her life. Despite the great burden and responsibility placed on her, when she heard the Good News of the Archangel Gabriel, that she was to be the Mother of the Saviour and Lord, she accepted it with full faith and confidence in God, putting God’s will first before that of hers.

Today’s feast is a kind reminder to all of us, that through Mary and her example of faith, and also through the faith showed by her Son, Jesus Christ, we can be freed from our attachment to sin, and also to gain for ourselves the salvation which has been promised to us. Indeed, we may think that because Mary had been set aside by God, to be without sin for her role, then it may be impossible for us to do as she had done, but have we ever thought, brothers and sisters, that we too, have been called to the same mission as her?

Mary bore our Lord Jesus in her womb for nine months, and in this way, she became the new Ark of the Covenant, for the new covenant which Jesus was to make with all mankind, was in her, and for that purpose she had been made holy and pure. It is because she is also the Temple of God, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, for as the Archangel mentioned, the Holy Spirit itself would dwell in her, and bore the Christ Incarnate in her.

How about us then? We who have been baptised in Christ, and also confirmed in the Lord, have received the Holy Spirit, and through the Most Holy Eucharist, which is our Lord’s very own Body and Blood, we have received Christ Himself into us. Therefore, the Lord dwells in us, in a way very much the same as Mary had Him inside of her. What is it for us then? What does it mean to us?

That means, just as the Lord had set her to be special by preparing her, to be immaculate without sin ever since she was conceived in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, we too must be without sin, for the Lord is in us! Remember what our Lord Jesus told His disciples and what St. Paul further affirmed in his writings? That we are all the Temples of the Holy Spirit, for God dwells in us, and we in Him. If we allow sin, wickedness and fornication to be in us, be it in flesh or in spirit, then we have defiled this Holy Temple, and as I have said, the price for sin, is none other than death.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, it is imperative that we take this opportunity presented to us, in the holy season of Advent, a season of preparation and contemplation, to think about our way of life, so that we may abhor sin and avoid committing anymore sin in the future. Keep our lives in the Lord and listen to Him speaking in our hearts, by strengthening our prayer and spiritual life, so that He may guide us in the true path, and that we may not fall into the temptation of Satan. Jesus prayed a lot and He always sought to communicate with His Father, and that is an example we should follow too.

May our Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother, born and conceived without sin, pure and immaculate, pray for us all sinners, that we may be given new strength and courage by God, to live this life faithfully without sin, and seek the Lord always in our life. God bless is all. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/06/monday-8-december-2014-solemnity-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/06/monday-8-december-2014-solemnity-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-psalm/

 

Second Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/06/monday-8-december-2014-solemnity-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-second-reading/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/06/monday-8-december-2014-solemnity-of-the-immaculate-conception-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-gospel-reading/

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, by Pope Leo XIII (1886)

Guido_Reni_031

Sancte Michael Archangele,

St. Michael the Archangel,

 

defende nos in praelio;

defend us in battle

 

contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.

Safeguard us against the wickedness and the snares of the devil.

 

Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:

May God therefore restrain him, we humbly pray:

 

tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis,

and you, the Prince of the heavenly hosts

 

satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,

divina virtute in infernum detrude.

by the power of God, thrust down to hell Satan, and with him the other wicked spirits

who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.

 

Amen.

Amen.

 

(By Pope Leo XIII, in 1886, recited every time after the Holy Mass as an invocation for the intercession of the mighty Archangel in the rebuke of Satan)

Sunday, 1 June 2014 : Seventh Sunday of Easter, World Communications Sunday (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today in the readings we all see the power of prayer, and how we need to pray, constantly and consistently throughout our lives. We must be filled with prayers every single moments of our lives, so that we will be in constant touch and communication with the Lord our God, who loves us.

Today we celebrate the Seventh Sunday of Easter, and at the same time we also celebrate World Communication Sunday, which indeed ties in smoothly with the readings of the Scripture we have today. Communication is one thing that I find to be increasingly lacking in these days and in the world today, and people increasingly becoming less and less communicable due to various reasons, but more importantly because of the rise of virtual communication.

The rise of the social media such as Facebook, Twitter and many other forms of internet or media-based communication had eroded the traditional sense and meaning of communication, to the point that many had forgotten what it meant by communicating with others. Especially teenagers today had often forgotten the important communication skills as they get more and more glued to their smartphones and gadgets that prevent them from interacting with others in a proper way.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, not just that, but the sinister effect of excessive technological innovations and developments is that mankind increasingly becoming isolated and uncommunicable to not just their fellow men, but also to God their Lord and Creator. Imagine how hard it must be for many who are so engrossed with their online activities, games, and applications to be able to take some time to spend it with God, not to mention significant amount of time they should have spent with God.

See how Jesus prayed to His Father in today’s Gospel, see the sincerity and the focus that Jesus showed as He prayed to the Father for the sake of His disciples and all of mankind. He prayed to the Father to bless them and to guide them through life, and show His favour upon them. His prayers are the example of how we too, should pray. Our prayer must bring glory to God and not to ourselves, and our prayer must be a sincere and genuine relationship and communication with the Lord, a two-way talk that is from heart-to-heart.

The Apostles too, gathered together and prayed regularly, as we witnessed in the first reading today. There are two types of prayers indeed, one that is personal and the other which is communal. Both are equally important, and we should not proceed forward in our faith if we exclude any of the two, or even both from our lives. We have to pray in person, in one-by-one contact with our Lord, but we must also be praying together as a united Christian community to our God.

Remember, brethren, that our faith is both personal and communal. We cannot say that we just keep to ourselves and pray alone to God without regards for the community, for we have been united to one another, all the believers in Christ, as part of His one Body and Spirit, and therefore we cannot disregard our brethren in faith in our communication with God. However, at the same time, we also cannot disregard having a personal relationship with God and establish a good and working communication with Him either.

In today’s world, as I had mentioned earlier, the increasing prevalence of alternative forms of communication through various means is a great danger when these are used without careful deliberations and considerations by the users, as they do not just erode our ability to properly communicate with each other, but also erode the relationship we have with our Lord and God. How many of us can spend time with God and sacrifice the time we normally use to play our games and using our social media platforms? Not many of us, if I would say it.

So today, brothers and sisters in Christ, we are challenged on our way of communication, and also through our way of praying, that whether we have spent the necessary time with God, communicating effectively and sincerely with Him, rather than spending the time meaninglessly to enjoy the decadence of the world which is quite evident these days.

Have we been an effective and responsible communicator? And with regards to the use of social media, have we been responsible in its use? We have to realise that as much as social media can be harmful and destructive in its use, as the many examples in our world today can testify, it also has its potential and great uses, which many of us have yet to employ.

The social media and other forms of communications we have today provide us with enormous potential for evangelisation and spreading the Good News of the Lord, if we use it purposefully and meaningfully. With the internet, we can easily spread the Good News from one person to many people around the world with the click of the mouse and the typing of a keyboard, where this would have been impossible if we rely just on the word of mouth, direct contact, or any other forms of traditional communication.

This said, it is why we need to be careful and be prepared, that everything that we do or say will bring glory to God, and not end up causing more harm than good, both to ourselves, and also to others. Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we celebrate this day, let us all come together and pray, communicating with the Lord our God, just as Jesus had done, asking Him to bless us and guide us in our lives.

Let us all pray that we will be responsible and purposeful in our communication with others, and use whatever are in our means, in order to bring greater glory to God and reveal Him to all the peoples of all nations. May God bless us in our endeavour, and be with us always. Amen.

Saturday, 1 March 2014 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

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

James 5 : 13-20

Are any among you discouraged? They should pray. Are any of you happy? They should sing songs to God. If anyone is sick, let him call on the elders of the Church. They shall pray for him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord.

The prayer said in faith will save the sick person; the Lord will raise him up and if he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. There will be healing if you confess your sins to one another and pray for each other. The prayer of the upright man has great power, provided he perseveres.

Elijah was a human being like ourselves and when he prayed earnestly for it not to rain, no rain fell for three and a half years. Then he prayed again : the sky yielded rain and the earth produced its fruit.

Brothers, if any one of you strays far away from the truth and another person brings him back to it, be sure of this : he who brings back a sinner from the wrong way will save his soul from death and win forgiveness for many sins.

Monday, 24 February 2014 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ! Today we are taught how to be good disciples of the Lord. We are told what are the characteristics that make us children and servants of the Lord. We have to be humble and open to suggestions, listening to others’ opinions, and most importantly, to pray and pray seriously, and pray deeply with our hearts.

We have to get rid from ourselves all of our negative influences and emotions, ridding of ourselves from pride, arrogance, hatred, jealousy and many other things that prevent us from truly becoming good and holy servants of the Lord. We have to detach ourselves from many things of this world, and instead put ourselves ever closer to the Lord our God.

Our faith in God must be a living one, and must be an active one, which St. James, whose letter is in our first reading today, often emphasised in his writings. This faith must be based on genuine love we have for God and for His people, that is our fellow brothers and sisters, our fellow mankind.

One way for us to be faithful to God is as often emphasised by St. James himself, is to love, that means to love one another, and to show it in all of our actions. However, we also need to pray, that is to devote ourselves to God in a deep conversation, from our heart to the heart of God. This is in essence what a prayer should be, and indeed prayers must not become a litany of demands and desires, but instead, prayers must be a genuine channel through which we communicate with God.

Through prayer, we strengthen ourselves, in terms of our spiritual defense and grace from God. We receive much grace and power through prayer, because it is through prayer that God gets into contact with us individually, and it also strengthen the anchor of faith that we have in God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we all reflect on the readings and their meaning to us today, let us take a look at our own lives, whether we have truly been committed to the Lord through prayer and action. We cannot separate one from the other, just as St. James had told us, that faith cannot be separated from action, and neither can good actions be truly separated from faith in God.

Have we been faithful to God and spend our precious time with Him? Have we been faithful and walk always in the ways of the Lord, showing it through concrete actions? If we have done these, then our faith is genuine and alive, and we are on the right track. Otherwise, change, brothers and sisters! Change and abandon all the wickedness of your past and go seek the Lord with all the strength that you have.

It may be a daunting task for us to do so, but if we do not begin even from simple and little things, we will never get things done. It has to begin now, and it can begin even by us spending small amount of time every day, especially before we are about to go to sleep, to quieten ourselves down, and to open our hearts to God. Forget about all the things that bother us in this world, and forget about all the business and the dealings that we have in our daily lives, just for a moment, and offer that time wholly to God.

If we do so, then we are on the right track. Have faith in the Lord, my brothers and sisters in Christ, open our hearts to Him and communicate intimately with Him, so that we may know what He wants from us, that we will be able to translate it into concrete actions, filled with love, both for God and for our fellow mankind. God bless us all. Amen.

Monday, 24 February 2014 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 9 : 14-29

When they came to the place where they had left the disciples, they saw many people around them and some teachers of the Law arguing with them. When the people saw Jesus, they were astonished and ran to greet Him.

He asked, “What are you arguing about with them?” A man answered Him from the crowd, “Master, I brought my son to You, for He has a spirit, deaf and mute. Whenever the spirit seizes him, it throws him down and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth and becomes stiff all over. I asked Your disciples to drive the spirit out, but they could not.”

Jesus replied, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him to Me.” And they brought the boy to Him. As soon as the spirit saw Jesus, it shook and convulsed the boy, who fell on the ground and began rolling about, foaming at the mouth.

Then Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” He replied, “From childhood. And it has often thrown him into the fire and into the water to destroy him. If You can do anything, have pity on us and help us.”

Jesus said to him, “Why do you say, ‘If You can?’ All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe, but help the little faith I have.” Jesus saw that the crowd was increasing rapidly, so He ordered the evil spirit, “Dumb and deaf spirit, I command you : Leave the boy and never enter him again.”

The evil spirit shook and convulsed the boy and with a terrible shriek came out. The boy lay like a corpse and people said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him and the boy stood up.

After Jesus had gone indoors, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not drive out the spirit?” And He answered, “Only prayer can drive out this kind, nothing else.”