Prayer of Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the New Evangelisation

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On 7 October 2014, on the Feast of our Lady of the Rosary, His Excellency Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye, the Archbishop of Singapore dedicated and consecrated the Archdiocese of Singapore and all the efforts of the New Evangelisation in Singapore to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the New Evangelisation.

Although this refers to the Archdiocese of Singapore, I believe that everyone else in the world, within the Church of God may also pray the same prayer for the sake of evangelisation of the Good News everywhere in this world.

 

Here is the text of the prayer, to be prayed daily from 7 October 2014 to 7 October 2015, the Feast of our Lady of the Rosary.

 

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Most Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ.

We praise and thank God for His mighty works in you. O Blessed Mother, Star of the New Evangelisation; we consecrate the New Evangelisation for Singapore to your Most Immaculate Heart and implore your intercession for a mighty renewal of the Catholic Church in Singapore. We entrust to you all priests, Religious and laity. Guide our leaders to imitate your humility and obedience to God and to be docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

May all hearts be converted and re-ignited with love for Christ and inflamed with evangelical zeal, so as to bear witness to God’s loving salvation. Mary, Mother of the Church, unite us with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to be a people of communion in mission.

May your constant love and guidance be the light of refuge that leads us to your son, Jesus. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

Sunday, 6 July 2014 : 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the Lord has entrusted this world to His Son, Jesus Christ, including all of us who live in this world. And in Him He bore salvation to us all, and remade us anew in light. As the possessions of Christ we have been liberated from this world and the darkness that is in it. We have been made anew in Christ and we ought to be grateful for it.

God lifted us up from the despair and hopelessness caused by sin, and bringing new hope into our hearts, with the coming and the life and death of Jesus Christ, who had knocked down the gates of hell and broken the chains that enslaved us to sin and death. He gave us a burden, yes, that is a burden to be the disciples and followers of Christ, but this burden is a temporary one, and one far better than the eternal burden we are to bear if we choose to forsake God and His ways.

As the Lord had said, that we ought to cast away our old ways, the ways and the pleasures of the flesh which corrupts us and makes us unclean before the Lord. We ought to be rid of our corrupted habits and lack of control over ourselves, and instead following the way of the Lord and resolve in our hearts that we will be faithful forever to the Lord who made all things possible, and who awakened in us a new hope and gave us a new life.

If we rely on the power of men and the power of this world, we are at risk brethren, for the power of men is limited and flawed, while the power of God is never exhausted and never fails to satisfy. The way of the Lord is not an easy one, but it is better than the path that seems to be easy, that is the path of Satan, but which leads to eternal damnation and destruction to all who are caught in his snares.

This world has always been against us and all the Lord’s creation, since it belongs to the evil one and lays in the dominion of the evil one, ever since mankind tainted the world by their rebellion against God’s will. It is founded on evil and therefore evil is strong in the world, but that does not mean that we are hopeless under the dominion of the evil one. Instead, as we all know, our Lord had liberated us through Jesus Christ His Son, whom He had sent into this world in order to save it.

And it is through Jesus, His life, His teachings and His works, and ultimately through His death, that God gave hope and life to mankind, and brought us a way to escape the bonds and chains of death and sin. But this is only if we repent and change our sinful ways, and follow the Lord with all of our hearts and with complete and total devotion. That means we must no longer rely solely on ourselves but on the divine providence and love of our God.

Do you all remember the parable which Jesus told His disciples? The one comparing those who built their houses on sand and those who built their houses on solid rock? This is a clear reminder to us by our Lord, how we cannot rely on our own strengths and powers in life, for it will be indeed like building up our houses on sand, which will not last against the forces of evil arrayed against us.

Instead, depending on God is indeed like those who built their house on solid rock. Remember, brothers and sisters! Even our Church is built on the foundation of the solid rock of faith, on the faith of Peter, whose name was given by Jesus, and which means ‘rock’. We all know that Peter’s own faith was not perfect, and he fumbled a few times during his time of following Jesus, culminating in his three-times denial of the Lord during His Passion.

It was not in his own human power and greatness that Peter eventually depended on, and it was not for the sake of human praise and worldly glory that he sought to do in the world. Rather, he surrendered himself completely to the Lord, just as all the other Apostles had done, and in that way, allowing the Lord to use him to do great things in the world and strengthening the faith of many others.

Therefore, our Church was founded by our Lord Himself, Jesus Christ, who founded it on the faith of Peter, His disciple, whom himself depended on the Lord as his foundation, and thus, we all in the Church draw our strength from God, who had entrusted it all in His Son, Jesus Christ. Those who placed their trust and faith in Him will not be disappointed.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as mentioned, the path of following the Lord is not an easy one. Satan, the evil one, is bound to do all within his ability and cunning mind in order to draw us away from the Lord, the source of all our salvation and strength. And as mentioned, we know that this world does not match us, and we stand out in contrast to the ways of the world if we choose to follow Jesus our Lord. However, does this mean that we should conform to the world and follow its decadent ways at the price of our very own soul? It is not worth it. Truly.

We have to be more proactive in our faith from now on, brethren, that is to truly proclaim the Lord as our Guide and our Saviour in all of our words, actions and deeds from now on. If we believe, we should not hesitate, and we must indeed be courageous no matter how things will turn up for us. Let us begin to put our trust in Jesus and follow Him all the days of our life.

If live turns difficult and problems spring up along the way, then it is best for us to help one another and be there for one another, just as Christ Himself is always with us to guide us and protect us. And it is very important as always, for us to pray and pray fervently, that we may always be close to our Lord and remain always in His love. May the love of our Lord Jesus Christ enfold us and bring us to His eternal peace and happiness. God bless us all. Amen.

Monday, 23 June 2014 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the Vigil of the celebration of one of the most important saints of Christendom, that is St. John the Baptist, the relative of our Lord Jesus and His herald, the one who prepared the way for the coming and the work of the Messiah. Today, we celebrate his birth into this world, the sign of the coming of the Messiah at last after mankind waited for a long time for the promised Messiah.

St. John the Baptist was a very important person in our faith because he was the one who made the roads straight for the Lord to walk on, by calling many people to repentance, and for them to be baptised with water at the Jordan, as a sign of renewal and rejuvenation of their soul, and their commitment to changing their lives for the better, that is to cast away their sinful and wicked ways and following the Lord in all His ways.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, St. John the Baptist was called and chosen for this role, and it was not an easy role. We know how during his works and his ministries, he encountered much oppositions from the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, who opposed and questioned his teachings and even doubted his authority, which had been given to him by God.

St. John the Baptist, as we all know also faced great tribulation at the hands of King Herod, who imprisoned him for his criticism of the immorality of the king’s life. He eventually met his end at the hands of the king, being martyred out of the hatred of the world for the Lord and all of His servants, which St. John the Baptist was one of the most principal ones.

St. John the Baptist however did not fear anything throughout his work and through his sufferings. He did not complain and yet he continued his work in complete faith of the plan that God had in place for him. St. John the Baptist knew that his works would also eventually brought him great fame, and there would be those who thought that he was the Messiah, the One who was to come.

It is easy for us to be distracted by all these and immerse in the praise and glory that we may receive from something similar to what St. John the Baptist had done. But yet, St. John the Baptist remained firmly committed to his mission, explaining to the people the true Messiah, Jesus Christ, whom he introduced to some of his own disciples, some of whom eventually became the Apostles of Christ.

St. John the Baptist was born in simplicity, and he lived in simplicity all of his life, having retreated to the desert and living among the elements for a long time before he began his ministry. And he did not worry about anything for he knew that God would care for him and provide for his work and his ministry. And it is all these things that we have witnessed from St. John the Baptist that we can learn to implement in our own lives to become better servants of our Lord.

Let us all be inspired by the example of St. John the Baptist, in his life and in his works, and do it in our own lives, so that we may be better servants and children of our Lord ourselves. Let us be more and more devoted to God and commit ourselves ever more to His designs and plans. May we grow stronger in our faith and be ever more gentle with our love. May God be with us always, and guide us as He had once guided St. John the Baptist. Amen.

Saturday, 7 June 2014 : 7th Week of Easter (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all the faithful followers and disciples of Christ, who have been called by Him to be His servants and His messengers through many nations, and to proclaim His truths to them. But we have to also be ready of the challenges and obstacles that will be on our path to the Lord. St. Paul and the other Apostles all endured sufferings and persecutions throughout their respective ministries, and all except St. John the Evangelist, the disciple whom the Lord loved, met their end in martyrdom.

Of course this did not diminish the role of St. John the Evangelist in any way. Rather, it highlighted the role he played to be the one through whom God revealed His plans for the future, and the end of times, as written in the Book of Revelations or the Book of Apocalypse, the last book in our Scriptures. This book was written by St. John the Evangelist based on what he witnessed in the visions he received while he was exiled on the island of Patmos in Greece.

Indeed, what Jesus said in the Gospel today was not wrong, for indeed, St. John the Evangelist would live to witness the coming of Christ, the Second Coming, which we also await today. But this Second Coming of Christ which John witnessed was not the actual coming of Christ, but the vision that he received, and thus he was the first to witness the perfect fulfillment of Jesus’ Messianic mission, and the complete fulfillment of the prophecies of the prophets of old.

Yet, brethren, again if we look at the Book of Revelations and its contents, there is indeed a bleak and dark future that awaits us. It again brings us to the reality, on how Satan, our former master and dominator, and the enemy of all the faithful desires to carry out his final plan to bring about the downfall of mankind, to drag them together with him into the fate awaiting him and his fellow fallen angels, and to taste power and dominion again, even if for a while.

The world is darkening, and we all know it. Mankind grow ever more engrossed in sin and wickedness, which brought about even greater darkness. The forces of this world has already started moving against us, and we will face even greater challenges from now on. We know that the position of our Church in defending its truth and positions on the central tenets of the faith and life is getting more and more difficult, with opposition and attacks that are piled up against us. This is the work of the devil to destroy us, but we must persevere.

What is important, brothers and sisters in Christ, is that we must pray. We have to pray constantly and fervently, with heart, mind and soul focused on the Lord. In doing that, we keep ourselves strongly anchored in the Lord, and we will not be easily swayed by the forces and attacks of the devil designed to make us falter on the way towards salvation. We need to have a good and healthy prayer life, that we keep constant communication with the Lord our God.

Why so? That is because through prayer we allow ourselves to listen to God and find out what is His will and plan for us. Prayer is a two-way communication between us and God, and we should always keep it that way. For prayers that are made to be like litany of requests are meaningless and in fact harmful for us, as it feeds our pride and negative emotions, through which the devil may attack us. The Lord loves us and He knows what we need, and hence, there is absolutely no need for us to demand from Him anything. Rather, let us instead spend precious and meaningful time with Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us from today onwards change our way of life, that we become more profoundly and strongly anchored to God, so that in all of our dealings, in our words, deeds and actions, we may truly reflect on our true nature, that is as the children of God. Let us increase our charity and life-giving actions, helping one another to reach the Lord our God.

May God continue to watch our steps, strengthen us in our faith, and affirm us in His everlasting love. God bless us all. Amen.

Friday, 9 May 2014 : 3rd Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 9 : 1-20

Meanwhile Saul considered nothing but violence and death for the disciples of the Lord. He went to the High Priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues of Damascus that would authorise him to arrest and bring to Jerusalem anyone he might find, man or woman, belonging to the Way.

As he travelled along and was approaching Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute Me?” And he asked, “Who are You, Lord?”

The voice replied, “I am Jesus whom you persecute. Now get up and go into the city; there you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were travelling with him stood there speechless : they had heard the sound, but could see no one. Saul got up from the ground and, opening his eyes, he could not see.

They took him by the hand and brought him to Damascus. He was blind and he did not eat or drink for three days. There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, to whom the Lord called in a vision, “Ananias!” He answered, “Here I am, Lord!”

Then the Lord said to him, “Go at once to Straight Street and ask, at the house of Judas, for a man of Tarsus named Saul. You will find him praying, for he has just seen in a vision that a man named Ananias has come in and placed his hands upon him, to restore his sight.”

Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man and all the harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem, and now he is here with authority from the High Priest to arrest all who call upon Your Name.”

But the Lord said to him, “Go! This man is My chosen instrument to bring My Name to the pagan nations and their kings, and the people of Israel as well. I Myself will show him how much He will have to suffer for My Name.”

So Ananias left and went to the house. He laid his hands upon Saul and said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me to you so that you may receive your sight and be filled with Holy Spirit.”

Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he could see; he got up and was baptised. Then he took food and was strengthened. For several days Saul stayed with the disciples at Damascus, and he soon began to proclaim in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God.

Saturday, 12 April 2014 : 5th Week of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

John 11 : 45-56

Many of the Jews who had come with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw what He did; but some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called together the Council.

They said, “What are we to do? For this Man keeps on giving miraculous signs. If we let Him go on like this, all the people will believe in Him and, as a result of this, the Romans will come and destroy our Holy Place and our nation.”

Then one of them, Caiaphas, who was High Priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all, nor do you see clearly what you need. It is better to have one Man die for the people than to let the whole nation be destroyed.” In saying this Caiaphas did not speak for himself, but being High Priest that year, he foretold like a prophet that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also would die to gather into one the scattered children of God. So, from that day on, they were determined to kill Him.

Because of this, Jesus no longer moved about freely among the Jews. He withdrew instead to the country near the wilderness, and stayed with His disciples in a town called Ephraim. The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and people from everywhere were coming to Jerusalem to purify themselves before the Passover.

They looked for Jesus and, as they stood in the Temple, they talked with one another, “What do you think? Will He come to the festival?”

Thursday, 10 April 2014 : 5th Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Genesis 17 : 3-9

Abram fell face down and God said to him, “This is My covenant with you : you will be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer will you be called Abram, but Abraham, because I will make you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you more and more famous; I will multiply your descendants; nations shall spring from you, kings shall be among your descendants.”

“And I will establish a covenant, an everlasting covenant between Myself and you and your descendants after you; from now on I will be your God and the God of your descendants after you, for generations to come. I will give to you and your descendants after you the land you are living in, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession and I will be the God of your race.”

God said to Abraham, “For your part, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation.”