Thursday, 17 April 2014 : Chrism Mass on Maundy Thursday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 61 : 1-3a, 6a, 8b-9

The Spirit of the Lord YHVH is upon Me, because YHVH has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up broken hearts, to proclaim liberty to the captives, freedom to those languishing in prison; to announce the year of YHVH’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God; to give comfort to all who grieve; to comfort those who mourn in Zion and give them a garland instead of ashes.

But you will be named priests of YHVH, you will be called ministers of our God. YHVH will give them their due reward and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a race YHVH has blessed.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 : Tuesday of Holy Week (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Isaiah 49 : 1-6

Listen to Me, o islands, pay attention, peoples from distant lands. YHVH called Me from My mother’s womb; He pronounced My Name before I was born. He made My mouth like a sharpened sword. He hid Me in the shadow of His hand. He made Me into a polished arrow set apart in His quiver.

He said to Me, “You are Israel, My servant, through You I will be known.” “I have laboured in vain,” I thought, and spent My strength for nothing. Yet what is due Me was in the hand of YHVH, and My reward was with My God.

I am important in the sight of YHVH, and my God is my strength. And now YHVH has spoken, He who formed Me in the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, to gather Israel to Him.

He said : “It is not enough that You be My servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob, to bring back the remnant of Israel, I will make You the light of the nations, that My salvation will reach to the ends of the earth.”

Thursday, 3 April 2014 : 4th Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Exodus 32 : 7-14

Then YHVH said to Moses, “Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have quickly turned from the way I commanded them and have made for themselves a molten calf; they have bowed down before it and sacrificed to it and said : “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you out of Egypt.”

And YHVH said to Moses, “I see that these people are a stiff-necked people. Now just leave Me that My anger may blaze against them. I will destroy them, but of you I will make a great nation.”

But Moses calmed the anger of YHVH, his God, and said, “Why, o YHVH, should Your anger burst against Your people whom You brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with a mighty hand? Let not the Egyptians say : ‘YHVH brought them out with evil intent, for He wanted to kill them in the mountains and wipe them from the face of the earth.'”

“Turn away from the heat of Your anger and do not bring disaster on Your people. Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the promise You Yourself swore : I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land I spoke about I will give to them as an everlasting inheritance.”

YHVH then changed His mind and would not yet harm His people.

 

Thursday, 20 March 2014 : 2nd Week of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Luke 16 : 19-31

Once there was a rich man who dressed in purple and fine linen and feasted every day. At his gate lay Lazarus, a poor man covered with sores, who longed to eat just the scraps falling from the rich man’s table. Even dogs used to come and lick his sores.

It happened that the poor man died, and angels carried him to take his place with Abraham. The rich man also died, and was buried. From hell where he was in torment, the rich man looked up and saw Abraham afar off, and with him Lazarus at rest.

He called out, “Father Abraham, have pity on me, and send Lazarus, with the tip of his finger dipped in water, to cool my tongue, for I suffer so much in this fire.”

Abraham replied, “My son, remember that in your lifetime you were well-off, while the lot of Lazarus was misfortune. Now he is in comfort, and you are in agony. But that is not all. Between your place and ours a great chasm has been fixed, so that no one can cross over from here to you, or from your side to us.”

The rich man implored once more, “Then I beg you, Father Abraham, to send Lazarus to my father’s house, where my five brothers live. Let him warn them, so that they may not end up in this place of torment.”

Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.” But the rich man said, “No, Father Abraham; but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.”

Abraham said, “If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced, even if someone rises from the dead.”

Wednesday, 19 March 2014 : Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Romans 4 : 13, 16-18, 22

If God promised Abraham, or rather his descendants, that the world would belong to him, this was not because of his obeying the Law, but because he was just and a friend of God through faith.

For that reason, faith is the way and all is given by grace; and the promises of Abraham are fulfilled for all his descendants, not only for his children according to the Law, but also for all the others who have believed.

Abraham is the father of all of us, as it is written : I will make you father of many nations. He is our father in the eyes of Him who gives life to the dead, and calls into existence what does not yet exist, for this is the God in whom he believed.

Abraham believed and hoped against all expectation, thus becoming father of many nations, as he had been told : See how many will be your descendants. This was taken into account for him to attain righteousness.

Monday, 10 March 2014 : 1st Week of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Matthew 25 : 31-46

When the Son of Man comes in His glory with all His angels, He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be brought before Him, and as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, so will He do with them, placing the sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left.

The King will say to those on His right, “Come, blessed of My Father! Take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed Me into your house. I was naked, and you clothed Me. I was sick, and you visited Me. I was in prison, and you came to see Me.”

Then the good people will ask Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, and give You food; thirsty, and give You something to drink; or a stranger, and welcome You; or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and go to see You?”

The King will answer, “Truly I say to you : whenever you did this to these little ones who are My brothers and sisters, you did it to Me.”

Then He will say to those on His left, “Go, cursed people, out of My sight into the eternal fire, which has been prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry, and you did not give Me anything to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not welcome Me into your house; I was naked, and you did not clothe Me; I was sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.”

They, too, will ask, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, thirsty, naked or a stranger, sick or in prison, and did not help You?”

The King will answer them, “Truly I say to you : Whatever you did not do for one of these little ones, you did not do it for Me.”

“And these will go into eternal punishment, but the just to eternal life.”

Thursday, 6 March 2014 : Thursday after Ash Wednesday (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Brothers and sisters in Christ, carrying one’s cross is the thing which most of us did not want to do, and we refused to do so even after the Lord made it clear what He wanted from us. We prefer to enjoy the pleasures of this world rather than following the Lord, and we prefer the ways of Satan to the way of Christ.

The path of the Lord is not an easy one, and there will be lots of suffering and challenges, as Satan owns this world, and he works his plots and attacks against God and His people through that same world, the one where we are living at the moment. But even though the path of the Lord is not an easy one, at the end of the way is happiness and blessing, such as what God had promised His people in the first reading today, if they kept His commandments and walked in His ways.

On the other hand, the path of Satan appears to be an easier and a much better one, because it seems that this path has much fewer obstacles and challenges facing us, as compared to that of the path of the Lord. But the pleasures and happiness with which the devil had spiced up his path are not true happiness and joy. These are illusions and attempts to replicate true happiness that exists only in God.

And brethren, you all know what awaits at the end of the path of Satan, that is death, and not just the kind of death that we know of, but eternal death. That is because the Lord, as He also said to the people in the first reading, will withdraw His blessing and instead His curse will hang over the people should they fail to follow His commandments and disobeyed His will.

If we choose to follow the path of evil, and choose the apparently easier path, then we are dooming ourselves. That is because in doing so, we reject the Lord and His love, rejecting the blessing of eternal life which He had promised for all those who remain faithful to Him and those who dedicate themselves to Him. We certainly do not want ourselves to end up this way, do we not?

Perseverance is the key, brothers and sisters in Christ. If we are to receive the blessings of Almighty God, then we ought to persevere in our faith. We cannot take our faith for granted, and neither should we take for granted the salvation which God had promised us all who believe in Him. Our faith must be living and genuine, and we must keep in mind always, that our faith must indeed be like carrying the cross, our own crosses, imitating what Jesus had done as He went on His Passion to save us.

Yes, brethren, if we want to follow the Lord and walk in His ways, then we should be ready to bear the burden of being His faithful ones. There will be opposition and even mockery, and there will be those who will look down on us because of our choice. But if we are to persevere and keep strong our faith, then we will persevere. Shall we choose the easy way out, a good life in this world, and yet in the end, be thrown into eternal suffering?

It is not wrong, brothers and sisters, to enjoy our life in this world, but it also means that we cannot just enjoy and do nothing else. We cannot just enjoy the pleasures and happiness of this world, without doing anything in accordance to the will of God. In fact, the more we immerse ourselves in the joy of this world, the less likely we are to act in the way that is pleasing to God. We have to be always mindful of this and keep a steady balance in our life.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, it is imperative for us to carry our cross, not literally or figuratively, but to do what is right and what is according to the will of God, that we may endure together as one, the suffering of Christ, and therefore understand the love that God had for us all, so much that He gave us Himself and His own life, that we all may live.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in this Lenten season, let us maximise the time and opportunity that we have, so that we may seek to devote ourselves more and more to the Lord, and if necessary, changing our ways that we may once again walk in the way of the Lord, and no longer following the devil into his rebellion. May God our Lord and our loving Father continue to bless us, watch over us, and protect us as we walk with Jesus His Son, towards our salvation and eternal glory. Amen.