Friday, 22 July 2022 : Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, Apostle of the Apostles (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 1-2, 11-18

Now, on the first day after the Sabbath, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning while it was still dark, and she saw that the stone blocking the tomb had been moved away. She ran to Peter, and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and she said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

Mary stood weeping outside the tomb; and as she wept, she bent down to look inside. She saw two Angels in white, sitting where the Body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I do not know where they have put Him.” As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognise Him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and answered Him, “Lord, if You have taken Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will go and remove Him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned, and said to Him, “Rabboni!” – which means Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and say to them : I am ascending to My Father, Who is your Father, to My God, Who is your God.”

So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what He said to me.”

Tuesday, 24 May 2022 : 6th Week of Easter, Memorial of Mary Help of Christians and Our Lady of Sheshan (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 16 : 22-34

So the slave owners of Philippi set the crowd against Paul and Silas and the officials tore the clothes of them and ordered them to be flogged. And after inflicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to guard them safely. Upon receiving these instructions, he threw them into the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly a severe earthquake shook the place, rocking the prison to its foundations. Immediately all the doors flew open and the chains of all the prisoners fell off.

The jailer woke up to see the prison gates wide open. Thinking that the prisoners had escaped, he drew his sword to kill himself, but Paul shouted to him, “Do not harm yourself! We are all still here.” The jailer asked for a light, then rushed in, and fell at the feet of Paul and Silas. After he had secured the other prisoners, he led them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

They answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you and your household will be saved.” Then they spoke the word of God to him and to all his household. Even at that hour of the night, the jailer took care of them and washed their wounds; and he and his whole household were baptised at once. He led them to his house, spread a meal before them and joyfully celebrated with his whole household his newfound faith in God.

Monday, 23 May 2022 : 6th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 16 : 11-15

So we put out to sea from Troas and sailed straight across to Samothrace Island, and the next day to Neapolis. From there we went inland to Philippi, the leading city of the district of Macedonia, and a Roman colony. We spent some days in that city.

On the sabbath we went outside the city gate to the bank of the river where we thought the Jews would gather to pray. We sat down and began speaking to the women who were gathering there. One of them was a God-fearing woman named Lydia from Thyatira City, a dealer in purple cloth.

As she listened, the Lord opened her heart to respond to what Paul was saying. After she had been baptised together with her household, she invited us to her house, “If you think I am faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us to accept her invitation.

Saturday, 21 May 2022 : 5th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Christopher Magallanes, Priest and Martyr, and Companions, Martyrs (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)

Acts 16 : 1-10

Paul travelled on to Derbe and then to Lystra. A disciple named Timothy lived there, whose mother was a believer of Jewish origin but whose father was a Greek. As the believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him, Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him. So he took him and, because of the Jews of that place who all knew that his father was a Greek, he circumcised him.

As they travelled from town to town, they delivered the decisions of the Apostles and elders in Jerusalem, for the people to obey. Meanwhile, the churches grew stronger in faith and increased in number every day.

They travelled through Phrygia and Galatia, because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia. When they came to Mysia, they tried to go to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to do this. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.

There one night Paul had a vision. A Macedonian stood before him and begged him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” When he awoke, he told us of this vision and we understood that the Lord was calling us to give the Good News to the Macedonian people.

Sunday, 19 January 2020 : Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

John 1 : 29-34

At that time, the next day John saw Jesus coming towards him, and said, “There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world! It is He of Whom I said : A Man comes after me, Who is already ahead of me, for He was before me. I myself did not know Him, but I came baptising to prepare for Him, so that He might be revealed in Israel.”

And John also gave this testimony, “I saw the Spirit coming down on Him like a dove from heaven, and resting on Him. I myself did not know Him, but God, Who sent me to baptise, told me, “You will see the Spirit coming down, and resting, on the One Who baptises with the Holy Spirit.’ Yes, I have seen! And I declare that this is the Chosen One of God!”

Sunday, 5 February 2017 : Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
1 Corinthians 2 : 1-5

When I came to reveal to you the mystery of God’s plan I did not count on eloquence or on a show of learning. I was determined not to know anything among you but Jesus, the Messiah, and a crucified Messiah. I myself came weak, fearful and trembling; my words and preaching were not brilliant or clever to win listeners.

It was, rather, a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might be a matter not of human wisdom, but of God’s power.

Monday, 11 July 2016 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Benedict, Abbot (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 10 : 34 – Matthew 11 : 1

At that time, Jesus spoke to the people and to His disciples, “Do not think that I have come to establish peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Each one will have as enemies those of one’s own family.”

“Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever does not take up His cross and come after Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

“Whoever welcomes you welcomes Me, and whoever welcomes Me welcomes Him Who sent Me. The one who welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive the reward of a prophet; the one who welcomes a just man, because he is a just man, will receive the reward of a just man. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones, because he is My disciple, I assure you, he will not go unrewarded.”

When Jesus had finished giving His twelve disciples these instructions, He went on from there to teach and to proclaim His message in their towns.

Saturday, 10 May 2014 : 3rd Week of Easter (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Hope in God always, and never falter! For God will always stand by us and protect us, and He will never give up on us no matter what. It may often be difficult to remain faithful and keep the truth that He has revealed to us, because of various reasons.

The people failed to understand Christ and His teachings, because they were unable to comprehend Christ’s hard message, that is real and hard on them, because their minds think not in heavenly terms, but in terms of this world. They based their judgments and beliefs in the logic of this world, and the understanding in their minds.

They put themselves in the completely wrong focus, contending that because to them, Jesus is mere man, like them, it is definitely very gross for Him to say something such as, giving them His own flesh and blood for them to eat. Sadly, this was precisely the same sentiment espoused by so many people who claimed that they belong to the same Christian faith, and yet failed to accept the truth in the Lord, that God gave us His own flesh and blood, which He gave to us through the Eucharist.

Mankind like to think that they are the best, and that their opinions and wisdom are better than everything else, even including divine wisdom and revelations from the Lord. Thus, mankind stumble into the trap of human pride and greed, refusing to believe in the truth. What is this truth? That the Lord is present in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, the bread and wine changed in form and substance to that of the Body and the Blood of Christ, real and present.

Many failed to understand this, particularly those who literally read the Scriptures and failed to comprehend the fullness of the mysteries of God, and end up with having false and inaccurate deductions on the faith and the nature of the Lord itself. Many deduced that the Eucharist and the celebration of the Mass is merely a symbolism rather than real giving of the Lord’s Body and Blood. This erroneous view of the real truth was catastrophic and even until today, this condemns countless souls to perdition and eternal damnation.

The celebration of the Mass, the memorial reenactment of the Lord’s Supper every time we celebrate the Mass is not just a mere memorial, or a mere symbolic gesture or representation. Instead, every Mass is the same sacrifice that Jesus had made at Calvary, when He was crucified between the heaven and the earth, surrendering Himself to the will of the Father and opened Himself to us. He gave us generously His own Body and His Blood, which He offered for our sake, as the perfect sacrifice for the oblation of our sins.

Yes, the Mass is a sacrifice, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, just as Christ offered Himself as the worthy sacrifice, the worthy Lamb of God to be the settlement for our numerous and innumerable sins and faults. His is the only blood worthy to cleanse our sins, something that the old rituals of animal sacrifices at the time of the Temple, could not do.

Again even here, those who refused to believe in the truth were led astray by their own wisdom and arrogance, thinking that they know it all about God. They thought it to be impossible and unthinkable that Christ should be sacrificed again and again at the Mass, every time the bread and wine were transformed into the Real Presence of our Lord. They thought it blasphemous to think that the bread and wine in the Eucharist is the Real Presence, but the truth is that in fact it is blasphemous to think that the bread and wine are not real Body and real Blood of our Saviour.

The Mass is a mystery in itself, that when the priest, endowed with power given to him through the unbroken succession from the Apostles and hence from the Lord Himself, turned the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, this process is mystically linked to the same, one and only sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ almost two thousand years ago on the cross. It is not a reenactment, nor it is just symbolic, but in fact it is truly the real thing, and we all experience the saving power of God’s sacrifice and love.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, hence, it is imperative that we all be true disciples of Christ and be courageous proclaimers of His truth. Do not be afraid to tell the truth to others, particularly to those who believe in the lies of the world and those who prefer to depend only on themselves in faith. Let us be courageous and faithful disciples, spreading the Good News wherever we go. God guide our way and may He bless us always in all our endeavours. Amen.