Sunday, 31 August 2014 : 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 16 : 21-27

From that day Jesus began to make it clear to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem; that He would suffer many things from the Jewish authorities, the chief priests and the teachers of the Law; and that He would be killed and be raised on the third day.

Then Peter took Him aside and began to reproach Him, “Never, Lord! No, this must never happen to You!” But Jesus turned to him and said, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an obstacle in My path. You are thinking not as God does, but as people do.”

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If you want to follow Me, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me. For whoever chooses to have his life will lose it, but the one who loses his life for My sake will find it. What will one gain by winning the whole world if he destroys his soul? There is nothing you can give to get back your soul.”

“Know that the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with the holy angels, and He will reward each one according to His deeds.”

Sunday, 17 November 2013 : 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 97 : 5-6, 7-8, 9a, 9bc

With melody of the lyre and with music of the harp. Come and worship; let us bow down, kneel before the Lord, our Maker.

He is our God, and we His people; the flock He leads and pastures. Would that today You heard His voice! Do not be stubborn, as at Meribah, in the desert, on that day at Massah.

When your ancestors challenged Me, and they put Me to the test.

 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brethren in Christ, today we listen again to the healing miracle of the ten lepers by the power of Christ our Lord. The Lord has authority over all things, as the Lord and Creator of all things in this universe. He alone has the power to alter everything as He saw fit. He had come down to us in Jesus His Son, to bring about concrete change to all of us, reaching out to us all as we are all in one way or another, sick.

Yes, we are sick, and we are ill, brethren! Not the illness of the physique or those that are visible to the eyes, but the illness that is inside our souls. This is what Christ had come to us to cure. For physical illnesses and diseases can have many cures but for this illness of the soul, there is only one and only cure, that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus, as He Himself had said, came especially for the sick and for those who are downtrodden. And yes, we are all sickened, brothers and sisters, and this sickness, that is of our soul, is the illness of sin. Yes, sin is our suffering and the pain that had infected us, affected us, and made us all unworthy before God our Lord.

Sin is a leprosy, yes the most terrible form of leprosy indeed, that is the leprosy of the soul. All of us have sinned at one point of our lives, and indeed, even from day to day we have sinned and inflict on ourselves more and more of this leprosy. And just like leprosy, sin spread like disease, affecting all of us, corrupting the health of our souls. Sin has no bounds and it affects everything.

Yet, unlike our diseases of the body, which inflicts physical pain and suffering to us, which none of us would certainly like, sin is often enjoyable and even attractive to many of us, that we are constantly always tempted to commit sin in our daily lives. That is why, sin is so dangerous, and we all ought to be careful, lest we all fall into corruption of sin.

The Lord Jesus came to us to heal us from this affliction, just as He showed His power by healing the lepers, the paralysed, those with physical debilitation, as those with spiritual illness, as those whose demons He had cast out. But often, we are too proud to admit our sinfulness and indeed, this illness, this leprosy of our souls. We are like those portrayed by the Book of Wisdom in our first reading as the proud and the mighty, those who do not bend their knees to acknowledge our Lord, the Master of all.

We are also often like the nine other lepers, the ones who did not return to Jesus after knowing that they have been healed. Jesus did not ask them to give Him thanks or worship Him for what He had done, but yet the one leper, the Samaritan, returned and give thanks and glory to God. For he knew that it is God who is the One with the power and authority, healing him from the leprosy that had affected him.

We are often like the nine other lepers, because we are often too immersed in our joy and happiness, when we received good things from God, that we failed to give Him thanks for all the blessings He had granted us. We often even give glory to ourselves and praise ourselves instead of God. That is what happened to the nine other lepers, that they were so engaged in their happiness, that they dashed off back to their old lives without stopping and use the chance to thank God as the Samaritan had done.

Nevertheless, brethren, we must not think that God does not want us to be happy, as what He wants from us is merely our love for Him. It is only right and just that we thank Him for the multitudes that He had given us. Not the least of which, is the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. It is the greatest gift God had given us mankind, because in Jesus, we are saved and given a new lease of life, and He did this precisely by striking against that leprosy of the soul, that is sin!

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, today let us take time to reflect, whether for the many good things God had given us, we have thanked Him properly for them. God does not need us to utter a long litany of thanks, as what He truly needs is, none other than our love, and our wholehearted dedication to Him. May the Lord who loves us dearly, continue to bless us and watch over us, as we grow in His love. God bless us all. Amen.

(Good Friday) Friday, 29 March 2013 : Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Week (Psalm)

Psalm 30 : 2 and 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17 and 25

In You, o Lord, I take refuge, may I never be disgraced; deliver Me in Your justice. Into Your hands I commend My Spirit; You have redeemed Me, o Lord, faithful God.

I have become an object of reproach for My foes, a horror for My neighbours, a fear to My friends. Those who see Me in the streets flee from Me. I am like the dead, unremembered; I have become like a broken pot, thrown away, discarded.

But I put My trust in You, o Lord, I said : “You are My God;” my days are in Your hand. Deliver me from the hand of My enemies, from those after My skin.

Make Your face shine upon Your servant; save Me in Your love. Be strong and take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.