Sunday, 13 January 2019 : Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 40 : 1-5, 9-11

Be comforted, My people, be strengthened, says your God. Speak to the heart of Jerusalem, proclaim to her that her time of bondage is at an end, that her guilt has been paid for, that from the hand of YHVH she has received double punishment for all her iniquity.

A voice cries, “In the wilderness prepare the way for YHVH. Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley will be raised up; every mountain and hill will be laid low. The stumbling blocks shall become level and the rugged places smooth. The glory of YHVH will be revealed, and all mortals together will see it; for the mouth of YHVH has spoken.”

Go up onto the high mountain, messenger of Good News to Zion, lift up your voice with strength, fear not to cry aloud when you tell Jerusalem and announce to the cities of Judah : Here is your God! Here comes YHVH Sabaoth with might; His strong arm rules for Him; His reward is with Him, and here before Him is His booty. Like a shepherd He tends His flock : He gathers the lambs in His arms, He carries them in His bosom, gently leading those that are with young.

Friday, 19 December 2014 : Third Week of Advent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Luke 1 : 5-25

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah, belonging to the priestly clan of Abiah. Elizabeth, Zechariah’s wife, also belonged to a priestly family. Both of them were upright in the eyes of God, and lived blamelessly in accordance with all the laws and commands of the Lord, but they had no child. Elizabeth could not have any and now they were both very old.

Now, while Zechariah and those with him were fulfilling their office, it fell to him by lot, according to the custom of the priests, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. At the time of offering incense, all the people were praying outside; it was then that an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. On seeing the angel, Zechariah was deeply troubled and fear took hold of him.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, be assured that your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you shall name him John. He will bring joy and gladness to you, and many will rejoice at his birth. This son of yours will be great in the eyes of the Lord. Listen : he shall never drink wine or strong drink, but he will be filled with Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb.”

“Through him, many of the people of Israel will turn to the Lord their God. He himself will open the way to the Lord with the spirit and power of the prophet Elijah; he will reconcile fathers and children, and lead the disobedient to wisdom and righteousness, in order to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I believe this? I am an old man and my wife is elderly, too.” The angel replied, “I am Gabriel, who stands before God, and I am the one sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news! My words will come true in their time. But you would not believe, and now you will be silent and unable to speak until this has happened.”

Meanwhile, the people waited for Zechariah, and they were surprised that he delayed so long in the sanctuary. When he finally appeared, he could not speak to them, and they realised that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He remained dumb and made signs to them.

When his time of service was completed, Zechariah returned home, and some time later Elizabeth became pregnant. For five months she kept to herself remaining at home, and thinking, “This, for me, is the Lord’s doing! This is His time for mercy, and for taking away my public disgrace.”

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/18/friday-19-december-2014-third-week-of-advent-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Tuesday, 9 December 2014 : Second Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White

Isaiah 40 : 1-11

Be comforted, my people, be strengthened, says your God. Speak to the heart of Jerusalem, proclaim to her that her time of bondage is at an end, that her guilt has been paid for, that from the hand of YHVH she has received double punishment for all her iniquity.

A voice cries, “In the wilderness prepare the way for YHVH. Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley will be raised up; every mountain and hill will be laid low. The stumbling blocks shall become level and the rugged places smooth. The glory of YHVH will be revealed, and all mortals together will see it; for the mouth of YHVH has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry.” And I say, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, and all its beauty as the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower wilts, when the breath of YHVH blows upon it. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will forever stand.”

Go up onto the high mountain, messenger of Good News to Zion, lift up your voice with strength, fear not to cry aloud when you tell Jerusalem and announce to the cities of Judah : Here is your God! Here comes your God with might; His strong arm rules for Him; His reward is with Him, and here before Him is His booty.”

“Like a shepherd He tends His flock : He gathers the lambs in His arms, He carries them in His bosom, gently leading those that are with young.”

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/08/tuesday-9-december-2014-second-week-of-advent-memorial-of-st-john-diego-cuauhtlatoatzin-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

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.

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

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 5-17

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah, belonging to the priestly clan of Abiah. Elizabeth, Zechariah’s wife, also belonged to a priestly family. Both of them were upright in the eyes of God, and lived blamelessly in accordance with all the laws and commands of the Lord, but they had no child. Elizabeth could not have any and now they were both very old.

Now, while Zechariah and those with him were fulfilling their office, it fell to him by lot, according to the custom of the priests, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. At the time of offering incense, all the people were praying outside; it was then that an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

On seeing the angel, Zechariah was deeply troubled and fear took hold of him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, be assured that your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you shall name him John. He will bring joy and gladness to you, and many will rejoice at his birth.

This son of yours will be great in the eyes of the Lord. Listen : he shall never drink wine or strong drink, but he will be filled with Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb. Through him, many of the people of Israel will turn to the Lord their God. He himself will open the way to the Lord with the spirit and power of the prophet Elijah; he will reconcile fathers and children, and lead the disobedient to wisdom and righteousness, in order to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”