(Holy Week) Monday, 10 April 2017 : Monday of Holy Week (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Isaiah 42 : 1-7

Here is My Servant Whom I uphold, My Chosen One in Whom I delight. I have put My Spirit upon Him, and He will bring justice to the nations. He does not shout or raise His voice. Proclamations are not heard in the streets.

A broken reed He will not crush, nor will He snuff out the light of the wavering wick. He will make justice appear in truth. He will not waver or be broken until He has established justice on earth; the islands are waiting for His law.

Thus says God, YHVH, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread the earth and all that comes from it, Who gives life and breath to those who walk on it. I, YHVH, have called you for the sake of justice; I will hold your hand to make you firm; I will make you as a covenant to the people, and as a light to the nations, to open eyes that do not see, to free captives from prison, to bring out to light those who sit in darkness.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 13 : 36-43

At that time, Jesus sent the crowds away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” Jesus answered them, “The One who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed are the people of the kingdom; the weeds are those who follow the evil one.”

“The enemy who sows the weeds is the devil; the harvest is the end of time, and the workers are the angels. Just as the weeds are pulled up and burnt in the fire, so will it be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send His angels, and they will weed out of His kingdom all that is scandalous and all who do evil.”

“And these will be thrown in the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the just will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. If you have ears, then hear.”

Wednesday, 14 January 2015 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Hebrews 2 : 14-18

And because all those children share one same nature of flesh and blood, Jesus likewise had to share this nature. This is why His death destroyed the one holding the power of death, that is the devil, and freed those who remained in bondage all their lifetime because of the fear of death.

Jesus came to take by the hand not the angels but the human race. So He had to be like His brothers and sisters in every respect, in order to be the High Priest faithful to God and merciful to them, a Priest able to ask pardon and atone for their sins. Having been tested through suffering, He is able to help those who are tested.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/13/wednesday-14-january-2015-1st-week-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Friday, 28 November 2014 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today the readings are about what is to come at the end of time, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ as King and Master of all, and ultimately as the Judge of all creations. Our Lord Jesus Christ is going to come in triumph and glory, vanquishing and defeating evil once and for all, and cast them all into the utter darkness and the eternal lake of fire prepared for them.

In the first reading, it was told about the final defeat of Satan, who will be cast down and have his power forever broken. The authority which Satan once has over us, through sin, has been broken through the actions of our Lord Jesus, by His death and resurrection, and then the might and kingdom of Satan itself will be crushed when the Lord comes again.

That is because, brothers and sisters in Christ, as long as mankind still commit sin and evil in their actions, in their words and deeds, they will always come again under the rule and tyranny of Satan, who is the lord over evil and sin. As long as we sin and commit things evil and abhorrent in the eyes of God, Satan is our master and we are his thralls.

And as long as we remain in sin, and allow sin to affect our hearts and our lives, then death will also have power over us. This is the first death, and also will be the second death for us, if we do not change our ways. What is the first death and the second death, brothers and sisters? The second death was mentioned in the first reading today taken from the Book of Revelations. It is an eternal death and an eternal suffering, from which, all those who suffer that second death, will never be able to escape.

All of us mankind were not meant to suffer death or suffering, brethren, for our ancestor Adam, the first man, and his wife, Eve, the first woman, were created to enjoy the eternal bliss and happiness of the Lord’s creations in Eden. They were meant to enjoy for eternity the goodness of God and not to suffer death and suffering in this world. Alas, sin entered the hearts of men by the disobedience of men, who listened to the sweet lies of Satan, who charmed and twisted them away from true devotion to God.

Satan appeared to Eve as a snake, the most cunning and intelligent of all the creatures, and it is the same old snake that the angel of God will chain up at the end of times, Satan the deceiver, to be bound up so that all of us may be freed from his tyranny and control. Satan played on our desires and our curiosity, and those took the better of us, when he managed to persuade the first men to eat from the forbidden tree and thus sinned against God.

After mankind sinned against God, then we deserve to be punished, and that punishment, is to suffer in our life, whereas the original intention had been for us to enjoy our life in bliss and happiness, and then also to die, suffering from death, just as the words say that, ‘from dust you have come, and to dust you shall return’. This is the first death, the death because of men’s disobedience against God, and all of us mankind are subject to this.

Yes, one day we will all die, and all those who have gone before us have also tasted death, and those who are yet to be born, will one day also suffer death, the first death, but not a final death. For our Lord Jesus Christ had come as our Saviour, who offered a new hope and light amidst the darkened outlook of our future. By His death on the cross, He broke free the chains of sin that enslaved us to death, and by His resurrection, He brought us the offer of a new life everlasting.

And thus, we have no need to fear death, the first death. After all, all of us will go through it at one point of time or another. We will all die, but what matters is, if after that first death, whether we will suffer the second death or instead go into the eternal life promised by our God. This will depend on our actions and deeds in this life on earth, and will be judged upon us at the time of the Last Judgment.

Yes, the second part of our first reading today tells us about the Last Judgment, where the Lord will separate those who have done good and those who have failed to do so, or those who did what are wicked in the sight of God. The good ones He will give His promised reward of everlasting life, in the fullness of glory and happiness which He had always intended for His beloved men from the very beginning, but taken away from us because of the sins of our ancestors and also our own sins.

How about those who are found to be wicked and unworthy then? They will be judged and condemned for their actions, and the second death will be their portion. The second death is eternal, hell-like suffering of total and eternal separation from God and His love, and no hope is to be found there, for there is no escape, and those who are found wicked will be cast down there together with Satan and his fellow fallen angels, who also rebelled against God and brought mankind down with them.

Ultimately, the Gospel today reminds us of the fact that we need to do something, and that we can no longer be passive in our faith and in our lives. Jesus was talking about the signs of nature and the seasons, and how if the people of His time could tell of the coming of the season and time by observing the nature around them, then the coming of the Lord Jesus and the end of time can surely also be known by us, not in exact timing, but in the imminency of it.

Jesus always told us that the coming of the kingdom of God will be like that of a thief, sudden and unannounced. And indeed, only God Himself knows the exact time of His coming. If we think that we still have time and remain idle, not doing things which may help us to secure our salvation, then we may be caught unaware and unprepared, and at that time, if we are judged to be among the wicked, then no amount of pleading or begging will help us anymore.

Therefore, what we need to do brothers and sisters in Christ? We have to be proactive in our faith, and practice it with full sincerity and genuinely show love, as what the Lord had taught us. We have many opportunities in this life, every single day, hour or even minute. Whenever we see that there are people being ostracised, treated badly against, hungry or lonely, are we courageous enough to show them our love? Or do we prefer to remain idle and ignore them?

The choice is clearly ours, to be loving and good, or to be selfish and wicked. The ball is in our court, and it is our choice whether to take up the opportunity and use them, or let them go to waste. May Almighty God awaken in us the courage as well as the sense of urgency to seek Him and do what He had taught us to do, so that at the end of the days, He may find us worthy and righteous, and worthy to enjoy the eternal graces and happiness which He had prepared for all of us. God bless us all. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/26/friday-28-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/26/friday-28-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/26/friday-28-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-gospel-reading/

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s readings remind us of the truth of our Faith and how things will happen to us if we are to be the disciples of Christ, and if we remain faithful to Him. Suffering and difficulties will be our lot and part of our lives, but we do not need to worry, as our Lord is with us, and He will guide us to the final triumph and victory against evil, and into our eternal reward and glory.

In the Gospel reading, Jesus told His disciples and the people who heard His teachings, and from them to us. We clearly heard of what challenges the faithful will encounter for the sake of the Lord. The world, which is our world, with all of its forces and powers, with all of its influences and temptations, are against the Lord and all of His ways. The ways of this world are the opposite of the ways of the Lord.

And as such, the world will always stand against the Lord and His efforts to bring light into it. The darkness of this world, the powers of Satan and his angels want us to remain in darkness and lost to the Lord, that we may remain forever in sin and debauchery. But the Lord Jesus wants an end to all of these, as He loves us and He wants us to be rescued and brought into the light.

Thus He sent His messengers and servants into the world, and through His teachings, the Apostles and the saints went forth around to spread His Good News to all the nations and all the people. They persevered in their missions, accepted in some but rejected in many places. There were many persecutions against them, betrayal by those they have trusted, betrayal by those who professed the same faith to God but who failed to persevere and were tempted by the world, and many other sufferings.

Many including St. Paul were sent to prison and suffered grievously in incarceration, and they were betrayed by their own people, reported and punished by the Sanhedrin, the Jewish High Priesthood and council, which jealously watched after their actions and tried many times to bring them to court and kill them for what they stood up for. And what did these holy servants of God stand up for? None other than the truth, as the Lord Jesus had revealed to them, and now these truths have also been revealed to us.

But the works of the Apostles, the disciples and servants of the Lord are not yet done. This world is always covered in darkness and sin, just as it had been in the past. Many among the people of God are still longing for the light, and many had been misled by the lies of the devil, and to follow the ways of the world. And who will be there to give the light of our Lord to them? It is none other than all of us, brothers and sisters.

For through our baptism, when we were born anew in the Lord, we have been made one as the Church of God, and as its members, we too share the same mission which had been given to the Apostles, the disciples and the servants of our Lord, that is to evangelise and spread the Good News of the Gospel to the whole world, and thus to enlighten a people who still live in the darkness of this world, and bring them all into the light just as we are already in the light of Christ.

It is important for us to realise that each and every one of us have been entrusted with many gifts of the Lord, for the use in the benefit of those who are around us. All of us have the responsibility and obligation to help our brethren in need. For surely, if we have done nothing to help them, then they will be lost to the darkness forever in damnation, and our Lord will then judge us for our failure to help when we are able to do so.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we continue our day today, and from now on henceforth, let us all realise that we need to stay true to our faith in God, and in that therefore, we have to live our faith and commit ourselves completely to the Lord, and in order to do so, we have to be a witness of the Faith and our Lord through our actions, words and deeds that truly proclaim the Lord and that we are indeed His followers.

We do not have to worry or fear about what we will encounter. We will indeed encounter challenges and difficulties in this life, but we have to keep our spirit up, knowing that we will be triumphant in the end. There is nothing that Satan and his allies can do to harm us, as they have no power over us, as long as we stay true to the Faith and refrain from sinning.

At the end of days, when our Lord and Master comes again in His glory, we shall be united in His triumph and enjoy forever our rightful reward. His wrath, as born by the seven angels will not befall us. The seven plagues of the Book of revelations will only affect all those who have not walked in the way of the Lord but instead prefer to give in to the world’s desires and temptations.

May Almighty God help to keep us faithful to Him, and awaken in us the desire to help one another, to keep each other vigilant and devoted to the Lord, so that at the end of time, when our Lord comes again to make a reckoning with the world and all of His children, He may find us righteous and faithful to the end and thus worthy of His eternal promise of life everlasting. God bless us all. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/25/wednesday-26-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/25/wednesday-26-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/25/wednesday-26-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-gospel-reading/

Friday, 31 October 2014 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 110 : 1-2, 3-4, 5-6

Alleluia! I thank the Lord with all my heart in the council of the just, in the assembly. The works of the Lord are great and pondered by all who delight in them.

Glorious and majestic are His deeds, His righteousness endures forever. He lets us remember His wondrous deeds, the Lord is merciful and kind.

Always mindful of His covenant, He provides food for those who fear Him. He shows His people the power of His arm by giving them the lands of other nations.

 

Homily and Reflection : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/30/friday-31-october-2014-30th-week-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Wednesday, 22 October 2014 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. John Paul II, Pope (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Popes)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate together for the very first time, the feast of a great saint, and one whose memory is certainly still very clear in the minds of most of us, except for the very youngest ones among us. If we are at an age of adulthood or above, that is eighteen or beyond, we would have remembered how we once know of Pope John Paul II as our Pope, and thus as the Vicar of Christ and the Successor of St. Peter the Apostle.

And just earlier this year in April, that together with another great Pope of the last century, Pope John XXIII, the Pope who initiated the Second Vatican Council that they were together raised to the glory of the Altar of God as the holy saints of the Church, worthy of heaven, of praise and also worthy of being asked for intercessions from, to pray for us sinners still in this world.

To many of us, Pope St. John Paul II was our Pope, the Pope who had filled so much of our faith life. His very long reign, the second longest among the verified reigns of Popes, third if St. Peter himself is included, the reign of twenty-seven years certainly is of a very significant to the whole Universal Church. Many of us did not even know any other Pope than this saint, until he passed away just less than a decade ago.

However, even though many of us knew him, and even though many of us think that he was a great man and a great Pope, how many of us actually knew who he was and what he had done for the Church and for the faithful people of God? It is likely that many of us do not have the full image and idea of who he really was and what he has done. And many of us might have wrong impressions about him through misinformations and miscommunications of the world and the media.

That is why, let me share a bit first on who Pope St. John Paul II was. He was a Pole, the first ever Pope to originate from Poland, an Eastern European country, which at that time had the unfortunate fate of being overrun by the two great powers that were its neighbours. Pope St. John Paul II was born Karol Jozef Wojtyla in Krakow, Poland, just two years after Poland regained its independence from the Russian Empire after a period of more than a century.

But as the life of Pope St. John Paul II would testify, Poland was to be subjected to a series of unfortunate and very grim events, subjugation first by the forces of the NAZI Germany and then later under the dominance and hegemony of the Communist Soviet Union. Nevertheless, the one fact most if not all of us knew well was that the central role which Pope St. John Paul II would play in bringing down the dreaded Communism, not just in Poland, but also in almost the whole world.

Pope St. John Paul II himself did not have an easy life, as his mother died young when the then Karol Wojtyla was still very young, and he quickly lost his siblings to various reasons, including his elder brother whom he respected a lot, to a disease. His father passed away just at the start of the great miseries to befell Poland, and Pope St. John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla was left all alone in the world, without a family, but yet with God and His Blessed Mother at his side.

If we are wondering why Pope St. John Paul II chose the motto which would be famously accredited and associated to him, then we do not need to look further from the fact how he had persevered through many sufferings and difficulties, left all alone in the world, but he made it through the help and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.

His motto was Totus Tuus, the abbreviation of the full motto of Totus Tuus suum Maria, or ‘Blessed Virgin Mary, I am all yours’. This motto showed the great devotion which Karol Wojtyla, later Pope St. John Paul II had for Mary, and he was indeed known as one of the great Marian Popes who highly promoted the veneration and devotions to the Blessed Virgin.

This is the same kind of attitude which we should also have in our faith life and in our lives in general. We have to devote ourselves to the Lord and also to His Blessed Mother Mary, fully and completely if we are to allow God to come and work His wonders in us, and through us He can indeed do many things for the benefit of the world and for His people, as He had shown through how He worked through the person of Pope St. John Paul II, who should indeed be the role model for all of us in living our faith.

He endured difficulties after difficulties, persecutions after persecutions, and he frequently brushed closely with death. Yet, God had indeed had a plan for him, and every time, the Lord and His Blessed Mother guided him and delivered him from harm’s path. He suffered indeed, but he knew that he suffered for the sake of the Lord, who would indeed be bound to listen to the pleas of His people and take action.

He stood up for the faithful, when he, as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Krakow, one of the most influential and outspoken Archbishops and prelates in Poland and in Communist-dominated Eastern Europe, defended the right of his sheep, the flock of God for a place to worship God, a church to be built in the vicinity of the city of Krakow, at a locale known as Nowa Huta, the new city, supposedly the hallmark in the Communist government’s project to establish a utopian Communist city without a church building.

The then Archbishop Karol Wojtyla led the faithful people of Nowa Huta in a defiant rally and celebration of the Holy Mass, commemorating the establishment of a church building in that city championed by the Communists as the model of a utopian society without the faith. He gave the people the foundation stone of the church building, originating from the catacombs of St. Peter the Apostle, the rock upon whom the Lord had established His Church, and blessed by Pope Paul VI, now known as Blessed Pope Paul VI, beatified just last Sunday by our current Pope, Pope Francis.

Even after he was elected to the Papacy, to succeed as the Vicar of Christ and the Successor of St. Peter the Apostle, Karol Wojtyla, then on known as Pope John Paul II, continued his works for the good of the Church as he had always done, defending the orthodox and true teachings of the faith, and also to help the people of God suffering persecution in the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe.

We knew how Pope St. John Paul II had survived an assassination attempt, although he was grievously injured by it, on the day of our Lady of Fatima’s apparition in 1981. He attributed his survival to the ever caring and loving Mother of God, to whom he had devoted himself fully to, and to His Son, that he was again brought from the brink of death to continue to serve the people of God. We also knew how he forgave the one who tried to assassinate him.

And even to the end of his life, suffering from Parkinson’s disease which increasingly debilitated him and made it very difficult for him to continue to work as the leader of the Universal Church, he persevered on, and in his suffering, through which he share the suffering of Christ, he became a source of priceless inspiration for countless numbers of the faithful.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, after that summary of the life and the actions and contributions of Pope St. John Paul II, how are they relevant to the readings we had heard today, and how ultimately does do they relate to our own lives? It is in fact quite obvious that while every one, every single children of God will encounter different things on their respective journeys to God, but the actions of Pope St. John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla can indeed be a model and inspiration for all of us.

In the First Reading, St. Paul in his letter to the Church and the faithful in Ephesus revealed what had been entrusted to him in the graces and wisdom of God, that he might enlighten and show that wisdom to the people of God, so that all those who heard his words may be moved within their hearts and souls, and decide to seek the Lord their God with all of their hearts’ devotion.

In the same way therefore, Pope St. John Paul II, his predecessors and successors, the bishops and priests who had given themselves completely to the service of God, also received the same graces and wisdom to teach the Lord’s words and laws to His people, so that through them, many would be saved. But this does not mean that they alone are the ones who can do this.

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, each one of us at our own baptism, when we were welcomed into the Church of God, and now as a member of that one and only Church, we all have our own parts to play in the salvation of souls and in the good works of evangelisation done by the Church. We have been given the same graces, wisdom and blessing, and indeed it is part of our responsibility to bring the people of God, especially those who still live in darkness, into the light of Christ.

This is also what Christ had done, by bringing together the separated people of God, and grant them His peace. Ever since mankind had disobeyed God and followed their own desires, they had walked their own paths and in contrary to each other, each following their own hearts’ desires and inevitably leading to conflicts, violence and many other evils. Ever since the day of the Tower of Babel, mankind had been divided against one another and peace as well as harmony were lost.

It was therefore the peace of Christ, which He made by His works and His sacrifice on the cross, which offered mankind a new hope, that they may abandon their old lives of sin and darkness, of disobedience and injustice, of hatred, fear and violence, so that they may receive the love and peace of the Lord, by following Jesus and walking in the path He had prepared for them.

And in the Gospel, this responsibility which we have as members of the Church is reiterated yet once again by the parable of Jesus our Lord, on the master and the steward. This parable tells us clearly that we are indeed stewards appointed by God, and with a certain purpose, that is to love one another, and to spread the Good News which had been given to us by God, to those who still have yet to hear it.

That is what the faithful servants will do, unlike the unfaithful servants, which examples are the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, when they failed not only to lead the people in faith by example, but they have cast obstacles in the path of the people of God, and in their selfishness, they abused their power and authority, like the unfaithful and bad servants. And when the Master comes back, that is the Lord, He will rebuke them without mercy and cast them out of His presence, precisely what He did with those Pharisees and hypocrites.

Therefore, this is a stern and clear reminder for us to avoid following the path of those Pharisees and avoid succumbing to our human desires, greed, pride, arrogance, hatred, lack of love, unfaithfulness, sloth and many others. Instead, we should open wide the doors of our heart to Christ our Lord, inspired by the words of Pope St. John Paul II, ‘Aprite le porte a Christo!’ which means, ‘Open wide the doors to Christ!’.

When we open wide the doors of our hearts to Christ, in essence we allow Him to enter into our hearts and transform us from within, allowing His love to fill us up, and therefore, it will affect our actions and deeds, which will then be based no longer on our own selfish desires, but instead upon the love of God. We must not be afraid to seek the Lord for help, and indeed we should entrust everything we have to God and to His Blessed Mother Mary just as Pope St. John Paul II had done.

Do not tarry and do not delay, for as much as God is merciful and loving, and as much as He desires to embrace us with His love and forgive us our sins, nothing good will come until we take the initiative and embrace His mercy first. Therefore, it is imperative that we realise that God hates sin and all wickedness, and if we delay and wait, and wait and wait, eventually time will catch up to us, and at the time that we do not know, the Lord will decide that our time is up, then no amount of regret or even repentance will help.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us help one another, working with one another to take care of ourselves, that we do not open ourselves to sin and evil, and so that we may allow the Lord to come into us, and to transform us with His love and grace. May Almighty God bless us, empower us and strengthen us, and through the intercession of Pope St. John Paul II, may all souls come eventually to salvation in God, with the help of His Blessed Mother Mary, the Mediatrix of all graces. Amen.