Saturday, 18 September 2021 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

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

1 Timothy 6 : 13-16

Now, in the presence of God, Who gives life to all things, and of Jesus Christ, Who expressed before Pontius Pilate the authentic expression of faith : preserve the revealed message to all. Keep yourself pure and blameless, until the glorious coming of Christ Jesus, our Lord, Who God will bring about at the proper time : He, the Magnificent Sovereign, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

To Him, alone, immortal, Who lives in unapproachable light, and Whom no one has ever seen or can see, to Him, be honour and power, forever and ever. Amen!

Friday, 17 September 2021 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church and St. Hildegard of Bingen, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops or Holy Virgins)

1 Timothy 6 : 2c-12

Teach and stress these things. Whoever teaches in some other way, not following the sound teaching of our Lord Christ Jesus, and true religious instruction, is conceited, and understands nothing. This one is crazy about controversies and discussions, that result in envy, insults, blows and constant arguments between people of depraved minds, and far from the truth. For them, religion is merely for financial gain.

In reality, religion is a treasure, if we are content with what we have. We brought nothing into the world and we will leave it with nothing. Let us, then, be content with having food and clothing. Those who strive to be rich fall into temptations and traps. A lot of foolish and harmful ambitions plunge them into ruin and destruction.

Indeed, the love of money is the root of every evil. Because of this greed, some have wondered away from the faith, bringing on themselves afflictions of every kind. But you, man of God, shun all this. Strive to be holy and godly. Live in faith and love, with endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith and win everlasting life, to which you were called, when you made the good profession of faith, in the presence of so many witnesses.

Friday, 10 March 2017 : 1st Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Ezekiel 18 : 21-28

If the sinner turns from his sin, observes My decrees and practices what is right and just, he will live, he will not die. None of the sins he committed will be charged against him, he will live as a consequence of his righteous deeds. Do I want the death of the sinner? – word of YHVH. Do I not rather want him to turn from his ways and live?

But if the righteous man turns away from what is good and commits sins as the wicked do, will he live? His righteous deeds will no longer be credited to him, but he will die because of his infidelity and his sins. But you say : YHVH’s way is not just! Why, Israel! Is My position wrong? Is it not rather that yours is wrong?”

“If the righteous man dies after turning from his righteous deeds and sinning, he dies because of his sins. And if the wicked man does what is good and right, after turning from the sins he committed, he will save his life. He will live and not die, because he has opened his eyes and turned from the sins he had committed.”

Wednesday, 1 October 2014 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church, Patroness of Missions (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s readings, is truly all about children, as in the first reading, from the Book of the prophet Isaiah, mentioned how we are like children to the Lord, whom the Lord will send His love, care and providence, and how the Lord will bring gladness to us, like that of a father who loves his children with all of his heart, protecting and providing for the wellbeing of the children.

And in the Gospel, as written by St. Matthew, showed us the bickering and competition among the Apostles and the disciples of Christ, on who would be considered the greatest among them, in the kingdom of heaven. And Jesus brought to Himself a child, whom He made into a model for the Apostles, chiding and rebuking their childish ways of fighting amongst themselves for meaningless purpose.

Rather, Jesus mentioned to His Apostles, that if they want to be found worthy of the kingdom of heaven, they must be like children in their faith. Not childish in their faith and in their way of life, but instead to be as innocent and pure in their faith in life as those possessed by the young children. Those who know children and how they are like would immediately know how pure they are, untainted by the ways, the concerns, and ultimately the corruptions that exist in the world.

And when a child believe in something, they really hold on to it very strongly, and they believe without a single grain of doubt, such purity it is within their hearts, before the corruption of the world and the darkness of the world taint them. And indeed, the Apostles and disciples of Christ who bickered and quarrelled over who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven exactly showed us what kind of corruption that the world and the darkness of evil can have on us.

Human desire, that is desire for fame, wealth, possessions, glory and many other things, as well as human pride, hubris, jealousy, arrogance, and greed, as well as many other negativity that exist in us are what had caused a great gap and indeed, a rift to develop between us and the Lord, our loving Father. Our Lord and God loves us dearly, as we clearly heard in the way He proclaimed it to the prophet Isaiah.

But that rift of our pride, of our greed, of the darkness that is in us separate us from the love and grace of God. And that is truly dangerous and harmful, for we have just two choices, either life and glory in God or death and eternal damnation in hell, away forever from God. If we choose to cling on to our disobedience and our way of violence and evil, the taints of darkness within our hearts, then we move dangerously closer and closer towards damnation awaits us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast day of a great and holy woman, a renowned saint, known as the Little Flower, and more appropriately, the Little Flower of Jesus in full. She is St. Therese of Lisieux, also known as St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, a Discalced Carmelite religious nun, who devoted her entire life and work to the cause of the Lord and His people.

St. Therese of Lisieux was very renowned both during and after her life in her piety and her spirituality, and she was truly devoted and dedicated in complete faith to her Lord and God, and ever since her mother passed away very early in her life, she had been alone in the world, and in her loneliness as well in her constant sickness, she suffered greatly, in silence and in sorrow.

St. Therese of Lisieux encountered a divine experience as she grew older, and she experience a complete transformation of herself, where once she felt sorrow and suffering, the love and joy of Christ had entered her and made her anew. She entered the religious life following the example of her older sister before her. She took on the name of Therese in honour of St. Teresa of Avila, the founder and the great saint of the order of the Discalced Carmelites.

She persevered through the difficult life of a religious sister, despite her weakness and constant sickness, and even amidst the persecution and ridicule from her fellow sisters, who ridiculed her apparent lack of talent in doing the many things which the sisters committed themselves to do at that time. And eventually she discovered what she named as the ‘Little Way’, which is the way of surrendering all to God, and putting all our trust in God, just like that of a child.

In this, St. Therese Lisieux proposed the idea that in order for us to attain salvation, we who are mere men and sinners have great difficulties in our effort and our way to reach the Lord and His salvation. Instead, rather than boasting and fighting our way to become greater and mightier, as what the Apostles had done, she proposed that instead we should become smaller and little, and our Lord and loving Father will raise us up to Himself, just like a father who raises up his children.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, following the examples of St. Therese of Lisieux, through her amazing thoughts and wisdom, and as well as through what our Lord Jesus Christ had taught us Himself, let us all become ever more faithful to our Lord and devote ourselves ever more strongly to Him. Let our faith and our lives be pure and sincere, like that of little children, and cast away all pride, jealousy, hatred, desire and other negativity, the taints of darkness from our hearts.

May our loving God and Father continue to love us tenderly and provide for us, that all of us His children may come to a greater understanding and appreciation of the love He had shown to us, and may draw ever closer to His merciful and loving heart. God bless us all, forever and ever. Amen.

Monday, 11 August 2014 : 19th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Clare, Virgin (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard of a very relevant passage from the Holy Scriptures and the Gospels. We heard how a people in bondage and slavery is given a new hope, where the darkness and the chains that bound them were proven to be loose-able, and mankind gained a new hope in God.

In the first reading, we heard about the calling of Ezekiel by God in the land of exile, in Babylon where some of the people had been brought to when the king Nebuchadnezzar first invaded Judah and Jerusalem. He was called from among the group of exiled people of Judah, a people enslaved by war and conquest, and a people without hope under the chains of the Babylonians.

Yet, God made Ezekiel to be His servant and spokesperson to the people in exile and to the future generations, giving them new hope in life and assurance that God is on their side. In the Gospel today, Jesus explicitly mentioned when He spoke to Peter on the matter of paying taxes, that we are the children of God, and to those of us who are true children of God we are given special privileges as the children of our loving Father.

Jesus mentioned that the children of those who tax the people, namely the kings and rulers, need not pay the tax by common sense and rationale. That means those princes and the family members of the rulers do not need to pay the taxes because they belong to the group of those with power and wealth, and thus instead of paying taxes, they truly should be the ones who receive the taxes from the people.

In that sense, therefore, because we are children of the Most High God, Lord of all lords and King of all kings, Master of everything that exist in this Universe, we need not be bound or answer to any other powers and forces, except that of our Lord and Father of course. He is the only One whom we should be obedient to, and the only One whom we should listen to, and not any forces of this world, and definitely not Satan, the father of corruption and evil.

And yet why are we still bound by the laws of this world and obey the statutes of our countries and nations? Why are we then still bound to the earthly rules established by the rulers of this world, our leaders and rulers? It is the exact same reason as why Jesus mentioned in the Gospel, that in order not to incite outrage and opposition from the masses, the sons and relatives of kings and rulers also have to obey and pay their share of the taxes.

And thus, we all, as the children of God, do still have the need to obey the laws and statutes of this world. But we have to always remember that in doing so, we must always use our faith in God and our conscience as guidance. We must never obey those that come in direct opposition to the laws and statutes of the Lord. Obey and be faithful citizens, but we have to be children of God first before considering ourselves as children of this world.

God is our light and our guide in the darkness of this world. Indeed, there are many moments when we can easily fall into despair, such as when we are persecuted or hated because of something, especially if it is because of our faith. But as the Lord showed Ezekiel, that everything that are arrayed against us, they are all nothing compared to the infinite and great majesty and power of our God.

God had given us Jesus, His own Son to be our Saviour and Redeemer. He is the One whom we can trust and place ourselves to. There is no other option for us other than to follow the Lord whenever we lose our way in this world. We must seek the Lord and find Him, and even in greatest despair and sorrow, we must never lose hope because Christ is our hope and our light.

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Clare, the founder of the Clarist religious order, also known as the Order of Poor Ladies, much inspired by the Franciscan order of St. Francis of Assisi, a contemporary of St. Clare, also known as St. Clare of Assisi. The religious order she founded became the female counterpart of the Franciscan tradition, and over the years they worked together to bring much goodness to the people of God.

St. Clare was born into a rich and privileged background, and she was destined to be married off to another rich man and heir of other Italian noblemen and wealthy peoples, and yet, God had another plan for St. Clare. St. Clare was very devoted and faithful to God since when she was still very young, and she was adamantly opposed to any plans to marry her off to a rich suitor. She ended up running away from home and sought refuge with St. Francis of Assisi.

St. Clare then devoted herself fully in prayer and to the works related to her religious order, and together with her sisters in service to God, they served the people who are poor and weak, those who are marginalised and bring them new hope in life. She was also well known for her defense of her convent, when an invading force by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II was about to ransack the place.

With the monstrance containing the Holy Eucharist inside lifted high above her head, she repelled the invaders, who were scattered in great fear by a blinding light that came out from the Real Presence in the Eucharist. This is a sign of God’s devotion to mankind, to release them from their bonds, just as He released St. Clare from her bonds in her family, Ezekiel and the exiles of Israel from their Babylonian exile and slavery, and eventually all of mankind from the slavery of sin through the loving sacrifice of Jesus, His Son.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, inspired by the life and works of St. Clare, we all should from now on put our complete trust in God. We should no longer doubt Him but believe in Him completely, that in Him we have our hope, and our only hope against the forces of darkness and evil arrayed against us, seeking to bind us with the chains of sin, in order to drag us with them into hell.

Therefore, let us all put our trust in God, and strengthen our faith in Him. Let us all no longer fear Satan and his darkness, for God is with us, and He will always be with us, and His light will dispel the darkness of our sins. What we need to do now is to truly repent, change our ways and follow Him. God be with us all. Amen.

Monday, 11 August 2014 : 19th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Clare, Virgin (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 17 : 22-27

While Jesus was in Galilee with the Twelve, He said to them, “The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. But He will rise on the third day.” The Twelve were deeply grieved.

When they returned to Capernaum, the Temple tax collectors came to Peter and asked him, “Does your Master pay the Temple tax?” He answered, “Certainly.”

Peter then entered the house, and immediately Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Simon? Who pay taxes or tribute to the kings of the earth : their sons or the other people?”

Peter replied, “The other people.” And Jesus told him, “The sons, then, are tax-free. But so as not to offend these people, go to the sea, throw in a hook, and open the mouth of the first fish you catch. You will find a coin in it. Take the coin and let it pay for you and for Me.”

Monday, 11 August 2014 : 19th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Clare, Virgin (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 148 : 1-2, 11-12ab, 12c-14a, 14bcd

Alleluia! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the heavenly heights. Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him, all His heavenly hosts.

Kings of the earth and nations, princes and all rulers of the world, young men and maidens.

Old and young together, let them praise the Name of the Lord. For His Name alone is exalted; His majesty is above earth and heaven. He has given His people glory.

He has given a praise to His faithful, to Israel, the people close to Him. Alleluia.

Monday, 11 August 2014 : 19th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Clare, Virgin (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Ezekiel 1 : 2-5, 24-28c

On the fifth of the month (It was the fifth year of the exile of king Jehoiachin) the word of YHVH came to Ezekiel, son of Buzi, the priest, in the land of the Chaldeans by the banks of the Kebar. There the hand of YHVH was upon me.

I looked : a windstorm came from the north bringing a great cloud. A fiery light inside it lit up all around it, while at the centre there was something like a glowing metal. In the centre were what appeared to be four creatures with the same form.

I heard the noise of their wings when they moved, similar to the roar of many waters, similar to the voice of the Most High, the noise of a multitude or of a camp. When they were not moving they lowered their wings.

I heard a noise above the platform over their heads. Above it was a throne resembling a sapphire and high on this throne was a figure similar to that of a Man. Then I saw a light as of glowing bronze as if fire enveloped Him from His waist upwards. And from His waist downwards it was as if fire gave radiance around Him.

The surrounding light was like a rainbow in the clouds after a day of rain. This vision was the likeness of YHVH’s Glory.