(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Fourth Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 54 : 5-14

For your Maker is to marry you : YHVH Sabaoth is His Name. Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called God of all the earth. For YHVH has called you back as one forsaken and grieved in spirit. Who could abandon His first beloved? says your God.

For a brief moment I have abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will gather My people. For a moment, in an outburst of anger, I hid My face from you, but with everlasting love I have had mercy on you, says YHVH, your Redeemer.

This is for Me like Noah’s waters, when I swore that they would no more flood the earth; so now I swear not to be angry with you and never again to rebuke you. The mountains may depart and the hills be moved, but never will My love depart from you, nor My covenant of peace be removed, says YHVH whose compassion is for you.

O afflicted city, lashed by storm and unconsoled, I will set your stones with turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will crown your wall with agate, make your gates crystal, and your ramparts of precious stones.

All your children will be taught by YHVH, and they will prosper greatly. Justice will be your foundation; tyranny and the fear of oppression will never come near you.

Monday, 7 March 2016 : 4th Week of Lent, Memorial of St. Perpetua and St. Felicity, Martyrs (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Isaiah 65 : 17-21

I now create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind again. Be glad forever and rejoice in what I create; for I create Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in My people.

The sound of distress and the voice of weeping will not be heard in it anymore. You will no longer know of dead children or of adults who do not live out a lifetime. One who reaches a hundred years will have died a mere youth, but one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant crops and eat their fruit.

Friday, 13 November 2015 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 17 : 26-37

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples and to the people, “As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be on the day the Son of Man comes. In those days people ate and drank and got married; but on the day Noah entered the Ark, the flood came and destroyed them all.”

“So it was in the days of Lot : people ate and drank, and bought and sold, and planted and built; but on the day Lot left Sodom, God made fire and sulphur rain down from heaven, which destroyed them all. So will it be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.”

“On that day, if you are on the rooftop, do not go down into the house to get your belongings; and if you happen to be in the fields, do not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to save his life will lose himself, but whoever gives his life will be born again.”

“I tell you, though two men are sharing the same bed, it might happen that one will be taken, and the other left; though two women are grinding corn together, one might be taken and the other left.”

Then they asked Jesus, “Where will this take place, Lord?” And He answered, “Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather.”

Sunday, 30 November 2014 : First Sunday of Advent, Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

1 Corinthians 1 : 3-9

Receive grace and peace from God our Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord. I give thanks constantly to my God for you and for the grace of God given to you in Christ Jesus. For You have been fully enriched in Him with words as well as with knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you.

You do not lack any spiritual gift and only await the glorious coming of Christ Jesus, our Lord. He will keep you steadfast to the end, and you will be without reproach on the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus.

The faithful God will not fail you after calling you to this fellowship with His Son, Christ Jesus, our Lord.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/28/sunday-30-november-2014-first-sunday-of-advent-feast-of-st-andrew-apostle-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s most important message and lesson from the Scriptures to us is the nature of our faith and how important it is to our salvation and to the salvation of our souls. Few would be saved indeed, just as Christ had mentioned it, but not because they are not faithful in the Lord. Many indeed among the people did not have faith in God and even despise His offer of salvation, however there are equally many of those who do have the faith in them, and yet this faith is dead or not living.

Why is this so? That is because faith cannot be just mere statement or creed. It cannot be limited to just reciting the Creed as we always do during the Sunday or major celebrations of the Holy Mass, as mere recitation and saying of the words that we believe in God and in His laws and commandments without being accompanied by true and complete devotion to that faith through our concrete action in life, is meaningless and empty. And an empty faith does not lead to salvation, but instead to condemnation.

That is because the faith that is empty, is no better and in fact is the same as the faith of hypocrites, namely like the faith of the Pharisees, the elders of Israel, the teachers and scribes of the Law, who promoted external and superficial devotions to the Law and the ways of the Lord, but without fully understanding the purpose and meaning, as well as the potential use for the Law, and therefore their faith remained just as that, empty and superficial.

This is the same as what Jesus said to the people, in His parable of the master of the house and the guests, when He said that the door is narrow and that it will be difficult for many if not most people to pass through it to enter into the promised kingdom of heaven and everlasting life. That is because we are unable to enter the door because of the desire and the pride that made us all bloated, filled with self-righteousness and self-praise, our desire and greed, our jealousy and all the negativities that prevent us from truly reaching out to the Lord our God.

This is also similar to the story and parable which Jesus had told the people as well, on how difficult it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God compared to that of a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. Somewhere in Jerusalem there was actually this gate where the gate is so low that whoever pass through it, humans and camels alike have to lower their heads or else they would knock their heads over the gate and would not be able to enter the gate.

The rich and proud man was unable to enter because for him it was humiliating and demeaning that he should lower and bow his head while he enter through the low gate, and meanwhile, the camel had no problem passing through it, because what it did is simply that it lowered its head and body, so that it was able to pass through the gate readily, even though it was larger in size than the rich and proud man.

The same therefore applies to the case of why it was so difficult for many people to pass through the narrow gate into the house. That is because the narrow gate represents the challenges that we need to face in life in order for us to follow the Lord and to obtain salvation in Him. We do not like it difficult or when challenges come our way, and we prefer to have the path to be smoothened for us, and yet there is no such thing when we decide to follow the Lord.

Many people professed to have the faith, just like the people who professed that they have seen the works of the Lord and even ate and drank with Him, but when we asked again, on whether they truly have faith in the Lord, can we say with confidence that they have such love for God? Most of us stay on with something or someone only when things are favourable for us, but when things start to go downhill, it is our human nature to abandon the things and go to seek greener pastures.

Thus, it is the same with most of the people, who cared only to be satisfied in body and to have it easy, and to avoid all sorts of difficulties and problems. Once difficulty and challenges come their way, they would evacuate and go to pick other things. Thus their faith in God is likely to be superficial and not real. Their faith and devotion will quickly evaporate once they are faced with challenges in life, the temptations of the flesh and the world, and the opposition of Satan. Thus it is imperative that we reject Satan and have control over our own desires.

So what should we do brothers and sisters in Christ, how do we then pass through that narrow door and into salvation in God? It is by being vigilant at all times against the temptations and the works of Satan, and then in addition by following what St. Paul had suggested in the letter he wrote to the Church and to the faithful in Ephesus.

St. Paul suggested obedience and sincere love for God through the good understanding and observation of the Law, as the way for us to seek God and His salvation. Obeying God as His servant, we cannot be divided in our hearts. We cannot be half-hearted, or even worse if our faith is superficial only. We have to be committed to the Lord and remain true to His path to the end of days.

If we do all these, the Master of the House of God, that is Jesus, will welcome us with His great love, forgiving us from our sins and iniquities and replacing from within us the selfishness and reluctance and doubt that prevented us from truly seeking and reaching out to the Lord. The Lord who sees all these will know that we truly understand His laws and commandments, and thus will justify us in faith.

May the Almighty God bring us into new life and salvation in Him, and give us strength and understanding so that we may always walk in His path, not tempted and not to fall from the path which leads us directly to God. Let us cast away all forms of wickedness and evil, as well as all all doubt from our hearts. This is so that we may believe and love the Lord with all of our strength, with all of our soul and with all of our beings.

May more and more souls come to the Lord to seek His forgiveness and mercy, and to attain salvation and eternal life in God. Let us not end up like those who refused to listen to the Lord and follow His ways, gaining temporary satisfaction at the price of the corruption and sin of their souls, hearts and body. God be with us all, now and forever. Amen.

 

First Reading : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/28/wednesday-29-october-2014-30th-week-of-ordinary-time-first-reading/

Psalm : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/28/wednesday-29-october-2014-30th-week-of-ordinary-time-psalm/

Gospel Reading : https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/10/28/wednesday-29-october-2014-30th-week-of-ordinary-time-gospel-reading/

Saturday, 20 September 2014 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Laurent Imbert, Bishop and Martyr; St. Jacques Chastan, Priest and Martyr; St. Andrew Kim Taegon and Companions, Martyrs (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in today’s readings we heard two great exhortations, by St. Paul in his letter to the faithful and the Church in Corinth on the nature of the resurrection of the faithful and then the parable of the sower and the seeds by Jesus who told them what happened to the various seeds that ended up in different conditions.

In the two readings, we can see a great link and similarity, as both of them refer to the growth and the sowing of seeds, and what are these seeds? They are none other than the seeds of faith, hope and love, the three cardinal virtues of Christian life, as these have been planted in us, within our hearts and souls. And the purpose for these seeds are so that we may truly be transformed from our sinful, mortal and earthly bodies, to be truly worthy of our Lord and God, in a new spiritual body as mentioned by St. Paul, that is a body filled with the wonderful flowers and fruits of faith, of hope and of love.

But Jesus our Lord mentioned in His parable of the sower, that this would not be an instantaneous, automatic or easy process. He clearly highlighted the problems, dangers and great challenges that line up against us, to prevent us from achieving that state of spiritual maturity and worthiness, that we end up to continue living in sin and darkness rather than be accepted into the light.

Mankind had lived in this world and as such are bound to the ways of this world, that is the way of the flesh, and the ways of the world. That had been the way of mankind ever since the days of our first ancestors, after they had sinned and been cast away from the presence of God, and had to endure the sufferings of the earth. Ever since then, mankind had lived on earth and obeyed the ways of the world rather than the ways of the Lord.

What we need in order to escape this bonds and prison of the world is by cultivating and growing the seeds of faith, hope and love which God had planted in us, through His Spirit. It is however, as mentioned, not going to be an easy path. The parable of the sower in fact showed us that the devil is always at work in order to prevent us from ever achieving salvation in God, and instead perish with him together in hell.

Jesus mentioned that the seeds fell on first the roadside and got eaten by the birds. In this case, He also explained how Satan is always at work as he desired our total annihilation, as a form of his vengeance and continuous rebellion against God. As we mankind are God’s greatest and most beloved creation, there is indeed nothing more sinister and evil for Satan to commit his defiance against God other than by subverting mankind and bringing them into sin.

And Satan has much in his possession in order to execute this extremely well. This is because many of us are like the seeds that fall on the rocky ground. We listened to the word of God and we received the words of the Good News of Christ, but these did not take root in our hearts. It is like we heard these words from our ears, but it then remains just a superficial attachment in any, and indeed, in our actions, in our own words and deeds, they represent nothing that the Lord had taught us.

This is a fertile ground for Satan to make his attack upon us, and it is easy for him to sow the seeds of dissent and unfaithfulness in our hearts. And indeed, the same also applies to the kind of those who are like the seeds that grow on the soil with thistles. Thistles are plants that can spread and grow on the surfaces of other plants, taking precious nutrients as a parasite to the host plant, which then eventually is suffocated, impoverished and therefore die.

This is one main way through which Satan made his attacks, that is through the pleasures of the flesh, and the desires of men. He made his attack on us through these, so as to ensnare us on our way to reach the Lord, and therefore fail to reach salvation in God. The thistle represents the temptations and the corruptions which Satan is trying very hard to impose on us, so that we may obey him instead of God.

For us to truly be able to achieve salvation, we have to take heed of what Jesus and St. Paul had conveyed to us on this day. This is namely that we have to abandon our earthly ways, and all the things we used to do in this world, which are not in accordance with the will of God, which He had revealed through Jesus His Son. In this manner, then we can have that rich soil in us, upon which the Word of God and the seeds of faith, hope and love in us may form deep roots and grow strong.

And perhaps, by sharing the lives of the saints which feast we are celebrating today will inspire us even more to follow God with all of our hearts. Today, we celebrate the feast day of St. Laurent Imbert, Vicar Apostolic of Korea, one of the first shepherds of the Church and the faithful in Korea, and also St. Jacques Chastan, another missionary to Korea, with his many companions in martyrdom, both missionary, laity and priests alike, the Martyr Saints of Korea.

Korea at that time, as it had been for about two hundred years, ever since the Faith first came there, was truly a very hostile place for the Church and the faithful. There were open and state-led persecution of the Christian faithful, who were seen as disloyal, traitors and enemies of the state. Many were made to choose between keeping their faith and death. Many abandoned Christ, but there were also many of those who remained faithful to the Lord and suffered holy martyrdom.

St. Laurent Imbert was the Vicar Apostolic of Korea, a missionary part of the French mission to Korea. He faithfully worked in shepherding the people entrusted under his care, and more and more come to believe in Christ and achieved salvation through his dedication. St. Laurent Imbert however, heard that the persecution of the faithful might cease, if he and the other leaders of the faithful would surrender themselves to the authorities.

The suffering of the faithful at the time was really great, and many were brought to martyrdom every day. Thus, in the spirit of the words of Jesus, St. Laurent Imbert, who was in hiding at the time, told his people, that he would surrender himself to the authorities, in exchange for the safety and protection of his flock. He mentioned the good shepherd, where Jesus mentioned that the good shepherd lay down his life for his sheep.

St. Laurent Imbert followed the example of Jesus and in his love and faith for his flock, he thought only of the best for them. Thus, he even willingly surrendered himself, even while knowing that his fate most likely would be death. He thus gave a great example to the faithful, which we too should follow and emulate in our lives. Even though the martyrdom and persecution would continue even after the martyrdom of St. Laurent Imbert, as the authorities reneged on their promises, the blood and faith of these holy martyrs continued to cause more and more faith to blossom and prosper among the persecuted people of God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all come to a greater realisation of how great is the amount of effort and work that we should input into our lives, so that we may grow deeper and stronger in our faith, our hope and our love, that we may indeed bear fruit, that is the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

May all of us be ever more faithful and devoted to our Lord, so that our Lord may find us worthy of Himself and reunite us with Him together in the company of St. Laurent Imbert, St. Jacques Chastan, St. Andrew Kim Taegon and all the holy martyr saints of Korea, and together with the other holy men and women, as well as the angels. God bless us all. Amen.

Dedication and Prayer for those who had passed away in various circumstances

St. Augustine of Hippo once said, “He who sings prays twice.” Thus, with the limitations and the resources I have, I would like to dedicate these in prayer for the sake of those who had gone before us in various circumstances.

I would like in particular to commend someone who was known to me and who just passed away due to accident a few days ago, and I also would like to commend in prayer those who have perished and suffered from various persecutions and torture throughout the Middle East conflict, as well as any victims of injustice and violence throughout the world. And lastly, all others who had also passed away before us, and who now keep us in their prayers before God.

May God hear our prayers and guide their souls into His presence and kingdom in heaven, that they may receive eternal rest and glory at His side. And pray for us, brethren! Pray for us sinners who are still walking about in this world.

 

In paradisum (translation: “Into paradise”)

Lyric:

In paradisum deducant te Angeli;

May the angels lead you to paradise;

 

in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres,

upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you,

 

et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem.

and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.

 

Chorus angelorum te suscipiat,

May the ranks of angels receive you,

 

et cum Lazaro quondam paupere aeternam habeas requiem.

and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.

 

 

Amazing Grace

Lyric:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall profess, within the vail,
A life of joy and peace.