Monday, 17 April 2017 : Monday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Matthew 28 : 8-15

At that time, the woman left the tomb at once in fear, yet with great joy, and they ran to tell the news to Jesus’ disciples. Suddenly, He met them on the way and said, “Rejoice!” The women approached Him, embraced His feet and worshipped Him. But Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid! Go and tell My brothers to set out for Galilee; there they will see Me.”

While the women were on their way, the guards returned to the city, and some of them reported to the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests met with the elders, and decided to give the soldiers a large sum of money, with this instruction, “Say that His disciples came by night while you were asleep, and stole the Body of Jesus. If Pilate comes to know of this, we will explain the situation and keep you out of trouble.”

The soldiers accepted the money and did as they were told. This story has circulated among the Jews until this day.

(Easter Sunday) Sunday, 27 March 2016 : Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Week, Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 1-9

Now, on the first day after the Sabbath, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning while it was still dark, and she saw that the stone blocking the tomb had been moved away. She ran to Peter, and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and she said to them, “They have taken our Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have laid Him.”

Peter then set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down and saw the linen cloths lying flat, but he did not enter.

Then Simon Peter came, following him, and entered the tomb; he, too saw the linen cloths lying flat. The napkin, which had been around His head, was not lying flat like the other linen cloths, but lay rolled up in its place.

Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed. Scripture clearly said that He must rise from the dead, but they had not yet understood that.

 

Alternative reading

Luke 24 : 1-12

On the Sabbath the women rested according to the commandment, but the first day of the week, at dawn, they went to the tomb with the perfumes and ointments they had prepared. Seeing the stone rolled away from the opening of the tomb, they entered, and were amazed to find that the body of the Lord Jesus was not there.

As they stood there wondering about this, two men in dazzling garments suddenly appeared beside them. In fright the women bowed to the ground. But the men said, “Why look for the living among the dead? You won’t find Him here. He is risen. Remember what He told you in Galilee, that the Son of Man had to be given into the hands of sinners, to be crucified, and to rise on the third day.” And they remembered Jesus’ words.

Returning from the tomb, they told the Eleven and all the others about these things. Among the women, who brought the news, were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. But however much they insisted, those who heard did not believe the seemingly nonsensical story.

Then Peter got up and ran to the tomb. All he saw, when he bent down and looked into the tomb, were the linen cloths, laid by themselves. He went home wondering.

(Easter Sunday) Sunday, 27 March 2016 : Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Week, Easter Octave (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Colossians 3 : 1-4

So then, if you are risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on earthly things.

For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, reveals Himself, you also will be revealed with Him in Glory.

 

Alternative reading


1 Corinthians 5 : 6b-8

Do you not know that a little yeast makes the whole mass of dough rise? Throw out, then, the old yeast and be new dough. If Christ became our Passover, you should be unleavened bread.

Let us celebrate, therefore, the Passover, no longer with old yeast, which is sin and perversity; let us have unleavened bread, that is purity and sincerity.

(Easter Sunday) Sunday, 27 March 2016 : Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Week, Easter Octave (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 117 : 1-2, 16ab-17, 22-23

Alleluia! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His loving kindness endures forever. Let Israel say, “His loving kindness endures forever.”

The right hand of the Lord is lifted high, the right hand of the Lord strikes mightily! I shall not die, but live to proclaim what the Lord has done.

The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing and we marvel at it.

(Easter Sunday) Sunday, 27 March 2016 : Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Week, Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 10 : 34a, 37-43

Peter then spoke to them, “No doubt you have heard of the event that occured throughout the whole country of the Jews, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism John preached. You know how God anointed Jesus the Nazarean with Holy Spirit and power.

He went about doing good and healing all who were under the devil’s power, because God was with Him; we are witnesses of all that He did throughout the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem itself. Yet they put Him to death by hanging Him on a wooden cross.

But God raised Him to life on the third day and let Him manifest Himself, not to all the people, but to the witnesses that were chosen beforehand by God – to us who ate and drank with Him after His resurrection from death. And He commanded us to preach to the people and to bear witness that He is the One appointed by God to judge the living and the dead.

All the prophets say of Him, that everyone who believes in Him has forgiveness of sins through His Name.

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

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 24 : 1-12

On the Sabbath the women rested according to the commandment, but the first day of the week, at dawn, they went to the tomb with the perfumes and ointments they had prepared. Seeing the stone rolled away from the opening of the tomb, they entered, and were amazed to find that the body of the Lord Jesus was not there.

As they stood there wondering about this, two men in dazzling garments suddenly appeared beside them. In fright the women bowed to the ground. But the men said, “Why look for the living among the dead? You won’t find Him here. He is risen. Remember what He told you in Galilee, that the Son of Man had to be given into the hands of sinners, to be crucified, and to rise on the third day.” And they remembered Jesus’ words.

Returning from the tomb, they told the Eleven and all the others about these things. Among the women, who brought the news, were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. But however much they insisted, those who heard did not believe the seemingly nonsensical story.

Then Peter got up and ran to the tomb. All he saw, when he bent down and looked into the tomb, were the linen cloths, laid by themselves. He went home wondering.

Monday, 31 August 2015 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Thessalonians 4 : 13-18

Brothers and sisters, we want you not to be mistaken about those who are already asleep, lest you grieve as do those who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose; it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus. God will bring them together with Jesus and for His sake.

By the same Word of the Lord we assert this : those of us who are to be alive at the Lord’s coming will not go ahead of those who are already asleep. When the command by the archangel’s voice is given, the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, while the divine trumpet call is sounding.

Then those who have died in the Lord will rise first; as for us who are still alive, we will be brought along with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the celestial world. And we will be with the Lord forever. So, then comfort one another with these words.

(Usus Antiquior) Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 21 September 2014 : Homily and Scripture Reflections

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, God is merciful just as He is loving. He is Love Himself, the embodiment of perfect love and mercy. Why so? That is because He showed His ultimate love for all of us, by dying on the cross, so that through His death, He might open a new path for us, a path filled with hope and love, which leads directly to the Lord our God.

He gave us all who believe in Him, His own Body and Blood, the flesh and the matter of which became for us life-giving food and drink. This is because Jesus Himself is the Lord of all life, and the Lord over life and death. Hence, this is why we heard about the son of the widow of Naim, who died and was resurrected by Jesus, as a sign for all to see. This is to put yet another emphasis that in God there is life and hope of eternal life, and if we put our trust rather in ourselves or in the world, then there is little hope for us.

We have to get rid of the numerous obstacles that lie on the path between us and the Lord, namely our pride, our arrogance, our greed and our desires, as these will eventually lead us into committing evil against others around us, through jealousy, selfishness and other forms of actions not befitting our status as the children of God. However, in order to remove these obstacles, great effort is needed.

Mankind had been tainted by sin ever since our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, the first man and the first woman, first sinned against God by listening to Satan the deceiver and the traitor, instead of listening to the loving and life-giving word of our God. Hence, they were cast out of Eden, and the promise of life eternal and joy was lost from them. They had to endure sufferings of the world as a punishment for their disobedience, just as their descendants would suffer as well.

But this is not what God intended from us, as He never intended suffering and death for us. He Himself wants us to be living and living in glory and love with Him, for eternity in the glory of heaven, which He had intended and prepared for us. He is forever faithful, even to the ones like us and our ancestors, who had blatantly left and abandoned Him behind for the company of Satan and the darkness of the world.

The faithful Lord and God cannot avoid but to act, so that His most beloved creations, whom He had created at the last day, from His own image and with His own breath that gave them life may not be lost to eternal death, but be brought back into life. That is why, He gave us Himself through Jesus, His Son, who came into the world, not to condemn it or to judge it, but to bring it into life and salvation.

And He particularly looks for sinners, that means those who are still lost in the darkness, and this is why He rebuked the Pharisees by saying that He was sent not to the healthy ones but to those who are sick, that they may be healed. This refers to the sickness of the spiritual body, that is of our soul. And if we are sick spiritually, namely that if sin taints our body and soul, we will not be worthy of salvation and also the inheritance God has promised us.

Jesus our Lord therefore came to heal us from our afflictions, both body and soul, to make us anew and renew our lives, so that we may be found worthy of entry into the kingdom of God. We ought to be grateful for this love and dedication which our Lord had shown us, even unto death, and death on the cross, bearing our burdens, that is the great burdens of sins which we have committed.

He is the Lamb of God, who willingly gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice, so that as He carried that burden up the hill to His crucifixion, and through His death, we may be liberated from those burdens and thus gain justification through Him. We too will have our own burdens in life, if we choose to follow Christ. Remember that Jesus said to His disciples? That if anyone want to follow Him then they must carry their cross and follow Him?

But we cannot carry our burden alone, brothers and sisters in Christ, as alone we are unable to survive the great burden that awaits us. Instead, we ought to share the burden we have with one another, so that as St. Paul instructed the faithful in the Epistle reading we heard today, we may be justified together and receive salvation together as one united people, and together as one Church we are blessed by God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all embrace each other in faith, in hope and in love, that all of us may together shore up each other’s burden in life, going through suffering and persecution together, resisting the temptations of the flesh and of the world, and rebuking Satan who tries day after day to tempt us into sin. Let us realise the great love which our Lord has for us, and His eternal desire to free us from our afflictions and our burdens that is sin and death.

May Almighty God be with us always, and may He guide us so that we together as the Church of God may find our way towards the salvation He had promised us and made concrete through Jesus and His loving sacrifice on the cross. May He strengthen our resolve to love Him, regardless of the opposition and difficulties we may encounter if we choose to walk in His path, and also that may our solidarity and companionship be ever stronger, that we may find in each other, a strong support in our crusade against evil.

God bless us all, and may He bless all of our endeavours, that we may also bear witness to His Holy Gospels and the Good News He had proclaimed, so that more souls may be saved, through our works and dedications. God be with us all, till the end of time. Amen.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Cornelius, Pope and Martyr, and St. Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Luke 7 : 11-17

A little later Jesus went to a town called Naim. He was accompanied by His disciples and a great number of people. As He reached the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; there followed a large crowd of townspeople.

On seeing her, the Lord had pity on her and said, “Do not cry.” Then He came up and touched the stretcher, and the men who carried it stopped. Jesus then said, “Young man, I say to you, wake up!” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

A holy fear came over them all, and they praised God saying, “A great Prophet has appeared among us; God, has visited His people.” This news spread throughout Judea and the surrounding places.

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.