Sunday, 11 September 2016 : 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Psalm 50 : 3-4, 12-13, 17 and 19

Have mercy on me, o God, in Your love. In Your great compassion blot out my sin. Wash me thoroughly of my guilt, cleanse me of evil.

Create in me, o God, a pure heart; give me a new and steadfast spirit. Do not cast me out of Your presence nor take Your Holy Spirit from me.

O Lord, open my lips, and I will declare Your praise. O God, my sacrifice is a broken spirit; a contrite heart You will not despise.

Saturday, 24 January 2015 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the works of Jesus which had brought about redemption and salvation to mankind. Many people did not understand at first what He had done. Even those among His own family thought that He was not right in His mind, as the Gospel today would show. But all this just show us how little mankind could comprehend the minds of the Lord.

While mankind were still by their earthly and worldly desires, while the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law were still obsessed by the worldly laws and human laws they have made, our Lord Jesus Christ had brought the truth of God into the world, dispelling all of the lies of the devil, who tried to mislead us away from the truth of the Lord in Jesus.

What we have to realise, brothers and sisters in Christ, is that we have to know what our Lord had done for our sake, to liberate us from the clutches of Satan, from the chains of sin that binds us to suffering and death. The devil, Satan, by nature will definitely not want to let us to be released from our bonds to him, that is the bonds of everlasting suffering and eternal death, that is the fate of Satan.

For Satan had rebelled against God in his vanity and pride, and as he was cast down and condemned, together with many of his fellow rebel angels, thus, he wanted to bring us down as well, God’s most beloved and most perfect creations, the race of mankind. And that was why he brought down our first ancestors, by tempting them and luring them into sin, and to disobey the Lord, our God.

It is the love of our God, our loving Father which had made Him to send His Son, Jesus Christ, a part of Himself in the Holy Trinity, the Word made Flesh, for our salvation and liberation. Yes, it is to liberate us from the chains of sin, from the bonds that bound us to the rebellion of Satan, that is the sins of pride, greed, jealousy, wrath, sloth and many other vices we committed in this life.

And by the shedding of His Blood and the scourging of His own Body, Christ our Lord brought new life to us all, by His perfect and selfless sacrifice, bearing the sins which we should have borne, up the hills of Calvary, bearing that cross of sin and shame, and transformed it into the cross of victory and triumph against evil. This is our faith, and this is what we believe in. The world may not believe in us and it may ridicule us just as they had done to Jesus, but the truth remains, that the love of our Lord had saved us.

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Francis de Sales, a holy bishop and the renowned founder of the Salesian religious order, and also a Doctor of the Church for his many and various works that helped to anchor the truth of God among the faithful ones of God in His Church. St. Francis de Sales was a brave and courageous defender of the faith, as the Bishop of Geneva, during the greatly turbulent times of the false Protestant ‘reformation’, the heresy brought by the confusion of Satan, designed to tempt and misled mankind to follow the path of sin.

St. Francis de Sales was a humble and hardworking servant of God and of His Church, humbly taking on the responsibilities which had been given to him, and carried them out with great patience and zeal. He preached the truth of God to the countless multitudes of people who had been misled by Satan, and managed to bring many back to the one true Faith and reconciled them to the Church.

Despite of the difficulties and the ridicules he faced, as well as the numerous threats against his life, St. Francis de Sales persevered, and through his many works, devotions, and writings, he became a great inspiration for many, as the light in the darkness for countless souls lost in the lies of Satan, bearing the Light of Christ to them, in order to guide them to return to the truth of Christ.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, inspired by the examples of St. Francis de Sales, we should be walking in his footsteps, to live our faith faithfully and devotedly, through real actions and commitment to God. We should no longer be afraid to proclaim the truth of the Lord, for He had given Himself, selflessly sacrificing Himself on the cross for our sake, that we may receive salvation through Him. Let us all be glad, for the love of God is with us, and let us ensure that many more souls can be brought back to the Lord, through our works. God bless us all. Amen.

Friday, 2 January 2015 : Weekday of Christmas Time, Memorial of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard how John, messenger of God and baptiser of the people proclaimed the Messiah and professed his faith to God and commitment to his vocation in front of the public and in front of the Pharisees and those sent by the chief priests to question him. The latter ones did not believe in John and tried what they could to discredit him and rein him in in his works.

They questioned him and his actions, for they failed to see in John the works of God, which He had revealed through John and what he had done. John called for the people of God still dwelling in the darkness to return to the Light of Christ. He had been sent as the messenger of God to preach to the stubborn men, dwelling in their state of sin, so that they might repent and be ready for the coming of the Lord.

He paved the way for Christ, and he is a role model for all of us in his dedication and humility. For he was famous and popular, flocks and throngs of people came to him to be baptised and countless more peoples listened to his words and urgings for their repentance. He could have seized all the glory to himself and received great praise and fame for that action, but he did not.

Instead, he assumed the attitude of a servant and a follower to the will of God. He did the works as was given to him from the time when he was conceived in his mother’s womb. He dedicated his whole life to the Lord, that through him the works of the Messiah would be made easier and as the extension of the reach of God’s love for His people.

In the first reading God also warned us through the other John, His Apostle, to be vigilant and careful against the devil who will try to seduce us and lead us astray by sweet lies and false promises, through the false prophets and the antichrists. If Christ the Saviour of all brought with Him the real promise of eternal life and eternal joy, then the antichrists are His antithesis, bringing us instead temporary joy and a false life, one that will likely end in death, and not just any death, but eternal death.

That is why God sent forth His servants and messengers, for the sole purpose of the guidance of all of us His people, so that amidst the darkness in the world, amidst the temptations, and all the distractions of the world, we may rediscover our focus, that should be on the Lord. There are too much noise and distractions in this world, and it is important for us to shut them out, so that we will not be distracted.

We have to remain focused on the Lord, His ways and teachings so that we may be delivered from the confusion caused by Satan and be freed from the bonds of sin he had imposed on us. And that is why those teachers of the Faith are so precious to us, as they help us to find our way as we progress on in our lives. And today we celebrate the feast of two of such teachers and saints, namely St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen.

St. Basil the Great was the bishop of Caesarea, during the time after the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea having affirmed the orthodox and standard teachings of the Faith. He was a well known theologian who defended the true faith against the perversions of heresies such as the Arian heresy that rejected the divinity of Christ, as well as many other syncretic and heterodox practices that compromises on the true faith.

He also cared greatly for the poor and the weak, the downtrodden and the unloved, practicing the faith he professed through his own actions and deeds. He did not let those who have been lost to the darkness through heresy to remain lost, and he did what he could, to bring them back to the Light. He worked together with many other saints of his time, and he worked hard to resist and fight the forces of heresy that was taking deep roots among the faithful at the time.

Meanwhile, St. Gregory Nazianzen was a contemporary of St. Basil the Great who was the Archbishop of Constantinople and also a great theologian who fought against the heresies of the faith and also teaching the true faith to many, keeping them on the right track against the lies of the devil. Together with his contemporaries, with St. Basil the Great and the other saints and great theologians, they worked hard to keep the truth of Christ alive amidst the forces of darkness that surround them.

From these holy men and devoted servants of God we can learn what we need to do, as what they have done is not just limited to them. We too are required to help one another to keep each other in the faith, and so that none would be lost to the darkness. Let us therefore follow in the examples of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen, so that we may help keep each other in the grace of God.

May Almighty God bless us all and grant us the wisdom to discern the falsehoods of Satan, all of his lies so that we may find our way to our loving God and Father. God bless us all. Amen.

 

First Reading : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/01/friday-2-january-2015-weekday-of-christmas-time-memorial-of-st-basil-the-great-and-st-gregory-nazianzen-bishops-and-doctors-of-the-church-first-reading/

 

Psalm : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/01/friday-2-january-2015-weekday-of-christmas-time-memorial-of-st-basil-the-great-and-st-gregory-nazianzen-bishops-and-doctors-of-the-church-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/01/friday-2-january-2015-weekday-of-christmas-time-memorial-of-st-basil-the-great-and-st-gregory-nazianzen-bishops-and-doctors-of-the-church-gospel-reading/

Monday, 15 December 2014 : Third Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we continue with our observation of the season of Advent, as we go into the third week. Today we heard about the blessing of Balaam on the people of Israel, even though he, a seer of God, was told by an enemy king to curse them. He instead blessed them and brought God’s grace to them. And then in the Gospel we heard about the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who doubted Jesus and His works and tried in vain to question His authority.

The blessing of Balaam told the prophecy which would be repeated by many other prophets through the ages, that the Saviour would come among the people of Israel, the Star of Jacob, the Son of David, the Salvation that would come from God. Balaam, the seer of God had seen the Figure of the Saviour in his vision, and through his vision, he foresee the coming of the Messiah in Jesus our Lord.

It is truly intriguing that while Balaam, who was not of the people of Israel, believed in the Lord and Saviour who would come as he had seen in the vision, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law refused to believe in Him even though they were supposed to be the ones who knew the most about the Sacred Scriptures and the revelations of God’s words.

The teachers of the Law refused to believe in Jesus because in their hearts they were not ready for the coming of the Lord. The same also happened to their ancestors, the people of Israel, who constantly rebelled against God since their Exodus from Egypt, because they do not have God in their hearts, but their hearts were filled with human desires and greed of the world. They thought not of God and His ways, but of their own selfishness and concerns about themselves.

How about us, brothers and sisters in Christ? We too are often distracted by the many things and goods of the world that we forget about our Lord in our lives. In our celebration of Christmas in particular, we often overlook the central figure of Christmas who we should celebrate, that is Christ our Lord. We often forget about Him in our busy schedules and celebrations, and we overlook the birthday Boy, who we should truly celebrate about.

Jesus Christ is the centre of the celebrations of Christmas, for it is His birthday that we are rejoicing for, but instead, many of us end up using Christmas as the opportunity and occasion to showcase our possessions, giving one another ever more expensive and extravagant gifts, and decorating our homes with all the decorations. Do we truly understand what we are doing all these for?

We focus so much on the externals and the superficial celebrations, but we often ignore the true meaning of Christmas. Christ who came into the world heralded the aspects which we celebrate this Advent season, namely hope, peace, joy and love. Have we realised these aspects which we ought to celebrate this coming Christmas? Have we brought hope to others, or peace into this world filled with hatred and evil? Have we brought joy, not the joy of the world, but the true joy in Christ to others and to all around us?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us continue to realise that Advent is a season and time for preparation, that is to prepare for the coming of our Lord, as He had promised us. And how do we prepare for it? By doing His will and doing what He had taught us. As we have to remember that when the Lord comes again, it will be a time of reckoning, when the Lord will judge us according to what we have done and what we have not done.

Thus, how do we make our Christmas truly meaningful? By not following the path of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, who were so captivated by their personal ambitions and pride so as to fail to see Christ when He comes, and failing to see the truth in what He has done. Therefore, it is imperative that starting from now, and especially this Christmas, we should share the hope, the peace, the joy and the love of Christmas with one another, and most especially those who are in need of them.

Let us never leave anyone without these, and let us not abandon those who are without hope, those who are without peace, those who are sorrowful and without love. May this Christmas celebration be truly meaningful to us and our brethren, and therefore let this Advent time be a great opportunity for us to get ourselves closer to our God and be more faithful through our real actions, showing the real and living faith that we have in He who loves us.

May Almighty God guide us this Advent, and make us all ready to welcome Him when He comes again in glory, and may He find us all good and worthy. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/14/monday-15-december-2014-third-week-of-advent-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/14/monday-15-december-2014-third-week-of-advent-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/14/monday-15-december-2014-third-week-of-advent-gospel-reading/

Sunday, 14 December 2014 : Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, Memorial of St. John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or Rose (Gaudete Sunday)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the Third Sunday of Advent, or also known as the Gaudete Sunday, from the word ‘Gaudete’ which means ‘Joy’, that is the first word in the Introit or the opening propers of the Mass of this Sunday. The four Sundays of Advent, all of them celebrate a certain aspect of our faith, Hope for the first Sunday, Peace for the second, Joy for the third, which is this Sunday, and Love for the fourth and last Sunday.

And that is why for today, because we celebrate the aspect of Joy, it seems like an exception to the practice of the season of Advent, as today, the organs and musical instruments normally refrained from use during this season, is played again, just for today, and the more festive celebration of this day’s event also highlight this celebration of the Joy of Advent, as is with the vestments for today’s Holy Mass, which is rose instead of the usual purple or violet.

What is this Joy of Advent that we celebrate this Sunday? It is the same as the Joy which we celebrate at Christmas, the one Joy and true Joy of the world, not false joy and happiness which things of this world can provide us, but the one true Joy in Jesus Christ, the true source of all happiness and joy for us mankind. And He is the Joy in Christmas and all of our celebrations, for the Joy of Advent is indeed about the happy expectation of the coming of the Joy of Christ into this world, both the one that has already passed, and the one which will be in the future.

We should be a joyful people, brothers and sisters in Christ, and not a people who are enshrouded in fear and gloom. But it is important that all of us understand what kind of joy it is that we should have. Is it the joy we have in the Lord, the happiness for the grace of life which has given given to us, for His providence and loving actions which provide us with all that we need? Is it the happiness that comes from all those whom by the grace of God we have met in our lives?

Or is it the joy that we have for things of this world, such as money, wealth and possessions, and such as power, fame, influence and praise from others, and such as sexual pleasures of the flesh, the pleasure of greed and love for falsehoods in the world? Clearly this joy we celebrate today is not of the latter kind but the earlier one. Nevertheless, and quite unfortunately, for many of us if not most, the kind of joy and happiness we seek is in the latter form.

But all those happiness and joy that had been mentioned latter, were merely temporary, and they will not last. For those joys are the joys of the world, tied to worldly things that do not last and will perish in time. For example, what is our wealth and possession to us? Should we be excessively joyful at having them and splurge on them? Should we depend on them so much so as to the point of idolatry of wealth? Remember that, all the things of this world will perish, and a single disaster or accident is all that is needed to destroy all these ‘joys’ we have in the world.

The problem for many of us is the attachment we have for those things, and our inability to detach from them appropriately. It does not mean that those things, namely wealth, money, possession, power, authority and others are bad or evil, but that without true understanding of their purpose, and without spiritual maturity in Faith, and also without restraint, we will only grow more and more attached to them.

And much of the evils and darkness in this world can be attributed to those worldly things, when they were inappropriately used. For example, how many people have died in the past century alone when nations went to war against other nations, for the purpose of fame, for the purpose of wealth and resources, and for the purpose of human pride and arrogance, thinking even that they lord it all over the life and death and the fate of many.

And if we think about it, how many peoples and families had been ruined and broken up, because they have no true joy and love in them? Some were divided against the other because of money and possessions, some were divided because of inability to restrain themselves from fornication of the flesh and therefore adultery and unfaithfulness to one another. This is what happens when we depend on and seek the joy of the world.

Instead, we should look beyond them, and look at the true joy of all, that is Christ, who brought us hope, life and happiness, by providing us with the one and only way out from the predicaments of sin and death. It is the goal of this Advent season, that we prepare for the coming of our true joy, by thoroughly preparing ourselves heart, mind and soul for the Lord.

As we see from the readings today, we know that as the prophet Isaiah had spoken in the past, he prophesied of the coming of the great Messiah, who, endowed with the Spirit, would bring about happiness and joy to the nations, by the healing of the sick and empowerment of the weak, the liberation of all those who have been beset and disturbed by demons, and liberation of all from the chains of sin.

In Christ we will find our peace, the eternal and everlasting peace, and we will find hope, for in Christ lies the only hope for us, the hope for everlasting happiness and joy, and yes, this is the joy that we focus on today, for everything comes out of His love, the eternal love which He has for us all, so much so that He gave up everything He had, the power and majesty He had, to be one of us, and to lower Himself and assuming the role of a servant and slave, in order to free us from the tyranny and bonds of sin.

In the Gospel, John the Baptist, the faithful servant and messenger of God, the second coming of Elijah, also professed Christ and proclaimed that he came in order to prepare the way for the Lord, and to make straight His ways, so that through his works and actions, he might bring about God’s peace, hope, joy and love into this world and that they may come to be shared by more and more people, who because of John, would also believe in Jesus.

Therefore, this Advent is indeed the time and opportunity for us to prepare. To prepare ourselves not just for the celebrations of Christmas, and not indeed for us to go and buy all the Christmas decorations and gifts. We have to look into the reason of our Christmas joy and celebrations. Are we celebrating it for ourselves, and to boost our own ego? Are we celebrating it to enjoy the glamours of this world and to enjoy in gluttony, greed and sloth all the secular joy and celebrations of the world?

Or are we indeed celebrating the true joy of Christmas, that is Christ? This is what we need to ponder at this time, and then, not just to remain at that, but we have to be proactive in our lives, to follow the footsteps of the prophet Elijah and John the Baptist, to prepare for the coming of our Lord. For just as they prepared for the Lord’s first coming into the world, we now have been given the responsibility to prepare for the second coming which He had promised us and which we believe sincerely in our hearts through faith.

We ought to take our faith seriously from now on. We can no longer be lukewarm in our faith, but instead, we who have been called and saved through baptism and by our faith in Jesus, should take up our crosses given to us, the responsibility of caring for those who are still lost in the darkness. The joy of Christmas, and thus the joy of this season of Advent, that is Christ, cannot be left alone in us, but must be shared. True joy comes with sharing, and what is better than to share the great joy we have in Christ within us?

Today we celebrate the feast of St. John of the Cross, a great saint and a renowned figure of the Counter Reformation against the heresies of the so called Protestant ‘reformation’. He was part of the Carmelite religious order, and together with St. Teresa of Avila reformed his order and created numerous writings and pieces of work which still inspire many in the faith even today and beyond.

St. John of the Cross worked with St. Teresa of Avila to return the friars to their more ancient and faithful traditions, rejecting relaxations and worldliness and a return to the purer and more devoted form of life as espoused by the founders of the religious order. He made the Carmelite friars to devote much more of their time in prayer and in silence, and whatever free time they have, they ought to preach and help the people who lived in places around them and their monasteries.

Through his reforms and his writings, St. John of the Cross had strengthened the Church and the faithful, and by his works he also brought countless souls back from sin into the light of Christ. His tireless works and devotions for the Lord and for His people are truly examples that all of us can apply in our own lives. It is the same actions that we should live our faith with, and so by our hands, may it be that we are able to prepare for the coming of Christ.

Remember, brothers and sisters in Christ, our Lord who will come again, shall reward all of His servants whom He finds to be faithful and vigilant, and if we prepare ourselves well, and do as He had asked us to do, surely we will not be disappointed. Let us therefore share the joy of this Advent season, the expectation of the joy of Christmas, and thus the Joy which we have in Jesus Christ, our Lord and God. God bless us all and keep us all in His grace. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/12/sunday-14-december-2014-third-sunday-of-advent-gaudete-sunday-memorial-of-st-john-of-the-cross-priest-and-doctor-of-the-church-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/12/sunday-14-december-2014-third-sunday-of-advent-gaudete-sunday-memorial-of-st-john-of-the-cross-priest-and-doctor-of-the-church-psalm/

 

Second Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/12/sunday-14-december-2014-third-sunday-of-advent-gaudete-sunday-memorial-of-st-john-of-the-cross-priest-and-doctor-of-the-church-second-reading/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/12/sunday-14-december-2014-third-sunday-of-advent-gaudete-sunday-memorial-of-st-john-of-the-cross-priest-and-doctor-of-the-church-gospel-reading/

 

Epistle (Usus Antiquior) :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/12/usus-antiquior-third-sunday-of-advent-gaudete-sunday-i-classis-sunday-14-december-2014-epistle/

 

Gospel (Usus Antiquior) :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/12/usus-antiquior-third-sunday-of-advent-gaudete-sunday-i-classis-sunday-14-december-2014-holy-gospel/

Thursday, 4 December 2014 : First Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John Damascene, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Priests)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we heard the readings of the Holy Scriptures, it is very clear that is a very strong message which those passages can show us and lead us in how we live out our faith. Today’s readings are about our foundations of faith and the foundations of our lives. It is our choice to have either a strong foundation and security, or to have a weak and shaky foundation and thus risking our own faith and our lives.

And it was also mentioned that, our foundation truly should be in the Lord, who is the Rock of salvation and the Rock of all. He is the strong and unbending Rock who will not be moved by anything, and He is the perfect foundation for us all. No one who put their complete trust and faith in God will be disappointed, for their Lord will secure them and care for them such that, none of them will be lost, no matter how strong the storms of this life can be.

Yes, this world of ours, and all of our lives in this world, no matter how different they are, are filled with many storms. These storms represent the difficulties and challenges which we will encounter on our path, and some of them are serious while some others are less serious but yet still a challenge for us all. In order for us to get to our ultimate destination, we have to go through these storms and endure them to reach safety in God.

What are some of these challenges and difficulties in life, brothers and sisters in Christ? They are the temptations of this world, the many temptations and offerings, which although not all of them may be necessarily bad and evil, but many of these can steer us away from our devotion to God and mislead us into following the evil one and our own human desire and selfishness.

It is in our nature to be selfish and thinking about our own good and benefits, as well as seeking for the pleasures of life. This is our human nature, brethren, and it is easy for us to be trapped in it, if we are not careful. If we allow them to take over us and conquer us, it is indeed then just the same as what the Lord mentioned as the house which was built on the foundation of sand, as when the storm comes, it will wreck the house as its foundation is weak.

This is what will happen, if we place our trust in ourselves, in our own power, in our own possessions and in the things and ways of this world. We are mere humans, brethren, and we are truly fragile. When things that are unexpected come our way, it is very often that we succumb and fall prey to the situation, and this is also the cause of much of the sorrows in this world.

Let me ask you, brothers and sisters in Christ, how many times is it in our world, that mankind had committed violence and acts of hatred, out of their fear and worry about themselves, out of their insecurities and problems? Many of this world’s tyrants and dictators were so worried of losing their power and control, and all that they had attained, their wealth and possessions, that they did all they could to preserve those, and the result is hardships, oppressions and wars.

How many of us lose our friendships or loved ones because of our fear, our worries, and especially our jealousy? It is very often for many of us to covet others’s things and privileges, because we fear and we think that in these things lie our strength and our hope. Then we are sorely mistaken, brethren. For all the things of this world are temporary in nature. Imagine, if someone is to store all his riches and treasures, all the rich cloths and goods in a storehouse and it suddenly burst into fire one day. And imagine if someone stores all of his or her wealth and possessions in a bank, or trusted them to the stock market, and one day the bank goes bankrupt or the stock market crashes.

All these show that while we mankind think that we are mighty and powerful, and if we think that we can put our trust in ourselves only, then we have to rethink it through. Trusting in mankind’s power is risky and fragile, just like a house built on sand. The wealth and possessions, fame and power that we built up in this world is not going to be carried over to the world that is to come.

Remember that Jesus said, build up our wealth in God and not in this world? This means that rather than worrying and fearing about what we need and what we have in this world, we should rather trust everything to God, knowing that He will care for us and provide for us everything that we need. Use our energy and strength instead on giving others the love, care and help which they deserved! And let me share with you the life of a saint whose feast day we celebrate today, and whose actions may inspire us to live deeper in trust to our God.

Today we celebrate the feast of St. John of Damascus, or St. John Damascene, a philosopher and teacher of the Faith, who lived in a difficult time, as during his lifetime, the place where he stayed had been overrun and under the reign of the unbelievers. Yet, regardless of all these and all the difficulties he faced, he continued to serve the Lord in various ways and became a great source of inspiration for many in the matter of the Faith.

Through his writings he revealed the great wonders of the Lord to the people, and they became rich sources of the Tradition of our Faith. And when there were heretics among the faithful who sought the destruction of holy images and icons, in contravention to the true beliefs of the Faith, St. John of Damascus was not fearful to oppose such heresy, even if that means opposing the rulers of the world, the Roman Emperor of the East, who happened to support the heretics’ faith.

The actions and perseverance of St. John Damascene is an inspiration for all of us in how we ought to live our faith. More often than not, our lives in this world will be difficult and filled with many challenges, but if we put our complete trust in the Lord rather than in our own power and judgment, then we are bound to receive the great graces and favours of our Lord, who will guard us and protect us.

Yes, therefore, following the examples of St. John Damascene, the way of a Christian is to be true brothers and sisters to one another, showing mercy and love to those who need them, to be forgiving and loving in all things, and to be completely and fully devoted to our Lord. If we put our trust in the Lord, we shall never be disappointed, for the Lord is the Rock of our salvation, and if troubles come our way, and we anchor ourselves strongly in Him, nothing can harm us, for He will guard and protect us. God, be with us all and bless us all the days of our lives. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/03/thursday-4-december-2014-first-week-of-advent-memorial-of-st-john-damascene-priest-and-doctor-of-the-church-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/03/thursday-4-december-2014-first-week-of-advent-memorial-of-st-john-damascene-priest-and-doctor-of-the-church-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/03/thursday-4-december-2014-first-week-of-advent-memorial-of-st-john-damascene-priest-and-doctor-of-the-church-gospel-reading/

Saturday, 29 November 2014 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

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

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today is the last day of our current liturgical year, which is liturgical year A, and from tomorrow onwards, we will begin a new liturgical year cycle, beginning with the season of Advent, a season of preparation for all of us to be ready to celebrate the great solemnity of our Lord’s birth and nativity in Christmas. Therefore, the readings today from the Scriptures were very appropriate in that they all proclaim of what we all should do to prepare ourselves, and what does the coming of our Lord mean to all of us.

The Gospel today speaks of our Lord Jesus who again constantly reminded the people to always be prepared and to stay vigilant, that is to be ready for the coming of our Lord as He had promised, lest they be caught unaware and unprepared. Thus, while we prepare for the joyful celebrations of Christmas, and as we embark on the Advent journey tomorrow, let us all also prepare ourselves body, heart, mind, soul and indeed our entire being to welcome the Lord and be ready for when He comes again in glory.

For we believe that while Christmas celebrates our Lord’s coming into the world as a Man in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man, but that was His first coming into the world, when He revealed the fullness of God’s truth and the plan of God’s salvation for us all. That was the time when He walked among us as one of us, and lived as humans like us do, and He suffered and died for us, carrying the burdens of our sins even though He is without sin.

But we also expect His future coming into the world, this time not as a humble Man but as a victorious, triumphant and conquering King, who will be the Judge of all, and who will gather all the righteous ones to Himself. All those whom He judged to be worthy, He will bring to His everlasting glory, as we read today in the first reading taken from the last part of the Book of the revelations of St. John the Evangelist.

In that reading, after the tribulations of the faithful, the final plagues and the final victory against the devil and all of his followers, and after the final and last judgment of all the living and the dead, the Lord will welcome all those He had deemed to be righteous, good and just to come into His holy city, the place of abundance and everlasting grace, as well as perfect bliss, harmony and happiness.

There will be no more death, no more tears or sadness, and there will be no more sorrow, pain or suffering. There will be no more need for fear or hesitation, doubt or uncertainty, for our Lord will be there for us at all times, and He will rule over us forever and ever. We will be His beloved people, and we will enjoy forever the fullness of His love, His grace, blessing and inheritance He had promised us all.

But, all these does not come free and easy, brothers and sisters in Christ. For in order for us to achieve all these, we must be faithful, and that is not easy either. For being faithful to the Lord often means that we walk in the opposite way as the world, and for us to disregard the common ways of the world. We will often face difficulties, challenges, divisions and even opposition from those closest and dearest to us.

However, if we are able to persevere and move on, and remain true to our mission in this life, then our reward is great. Being faithful to the Lord entails being truly devoted and to be a practicing and proactive member of His faithful. Yes, it requires a faith that is based and founded upon a strong foundation of love and love in action. For example, if we are faithful, then surely we will see and notice the plight of those around us who lacked love and who have difficulties themselves.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we are the children of God and therefore we are the children of the Light. And the way of the Light is to bring love and compassion to all peoples, and to bring harmony and peace to all societies. And ultimately the way of Light is to preach truly and courageously the truth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, He who had given it all to save us from the powers of darkness, and deliver us into the new life in Him.

Hence, brothers and sisters, let us not wait any longer or be idle any longer. Let us begin to take action from now on. Remember, that the Lord also mentioned in the first reading we heard today, “I am coming soon!” and this is very real. Yes, He will come again and He will come again soon, at a time that we cannot predict and a time which we do not expect.

Do not wait until it is too late. Profess our love for Him now, so that when He comes again, we will be ready, and He will find us righteous and just, and He will then bring us to enjoy forever the fruits of eternal life, the fruits of our faithfulness, obedience, righteousness and love for Him. If we have done what is good and what He has asked us to do, as I have said earlier on, then we have nothing to worry. If we have not, then let us begin from now on and never wait. God be with us all. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/27/saturday-29-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/27/saturday-29-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/27/saturday-29-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-gospel-reading/