Tuesday, 29 March 2016 : First Week of Easter, Tuesday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 2 : 36-41

Peter said to the Jews, “Let Israel then know for sure that God has made Lord and Christ this Jesus Whom you crucified.” When they heard this, they were deeply troubled. And they asked Peter and the other Apostles, “What shall we do, brothers?”

Peter answered : “Each of you must repent and be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise of God was made to you and your children, and to all those from afar whom our God may call.”

With many other words Peter gave the message and appealed to them saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who accepted his word were baptised; some three thousand persons were added to their number that day.

Monday, 28 March 2016 : First Week of Easter, Monday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 2 : 14, 22-33

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and, with a loud voice, addressed them, “Fellow Jews and all foreigners now staying in Jerusalem, listen to what I have to say. Fellow Israelites, listen to what I am going to tell you about Jesus of Nazareth. God accredited Him and through Him did powerful deeds and wonders and signs in your midst, as you well know.”

“You delivered Him to sinners to be crucified and killed, and in this way the purpose of God from all times was fulfilled. But God raised Him to life and released Him from the pain of death, because it was impossible for Him to be held in the power of death.”

“David spoke of Him when he said : I saw the Lord before me at all times; He is by my side, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; my body too will live in hope. Because You will not forsake me in the abode of the dead, nor allow Your Holy One to experience corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life, and Your presence will fill me with joy.”

“Friends, I do not need to prove that the patriarch David died and was buried; his tomb is with us to this day. But he knew that God had sworn to him that one of his descendants would sit upon his throne and, as he was a prophet, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah. So he said that He would not be left in the region of the dead, nor would His Body experience corruption.”

“This Messiah is Jesus and we are all witnesses that God raised Him to life. He has been exalted at God’s right side and the Father has entrusted the Holy Spirit to Him; this Spirit He has just poured upon us as you now see and hear.”

Friday, 11 March 2016 : 4th Week of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

John 7 : 1-2, 10, 25-30

After this Jesus went around Galilee; He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews wanted to kill Him. Now the Jewish feast of the Tents was at hand. But after His brothers had gone to the festival, He also went up, not publicly but in secret.

Some of the people of Jerusalem said, “Is this not the Man they want to kill? And here He is speaking freely, and they do not say a word to Him? Can it be that the rulers know that this is really the Christ? Yet we know where this Man comes from; but when the Christ appears, no one will know where He comes from.”

So Jesus announced in a loud voice in the Temple court where He was teaching, “You say that you know Me and know where I come from! I have not come of Myself; I was sent by the One Who is true, and you do not know Him. I know Him for I come from Him and He sent Me.”

They would have arrested Him, but no one laid hands on Him because His time had not yet come.

Monday, 5 January 2015 : Monday after the Epiphany (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 4 : 12-17, 23-25

At that time, when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, He withdrew into Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum, a town by the lake of Galilee, at the border of Zebulun and Naphtali.

In this way the word of the prophet Isaiah was fulfilled : ‘Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, crossed by the Road of the Sea, and you who live beyond the Jordan, Galilee, land of pagans : The people who lived in darkness have seen a great Light; on those who live in the land of the shadow of death, a Light has shone.’

From that time on, Jesus began to proclaim His message, “Change your ways : the kingdom of heaven is near.” Jesus went around all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom, and curing all kinds of sickness and disease among the people.

The news about Him spread through the whole of Syria, and the people brought all their sick to Him, and all those who suffered : the possessed, the deranged, the paralysed, and He healed them all. Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Ten Cities, from Jerusalem, Judea, and from across the Jordan.


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Sunday, 4 January 2015 : Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Ephesians 3 : 2-3a, 5-6

You may have heard of the graces God bestowed on me for your sake. By a revelation He gave me the knowledge of His mysterious design.

This mystery was not made known to past generations but only now, through revelations given to holy Apostles and prophets. Now the non-Jewish people share the Inheritance; in Christ Jesus the non-Jews are incorporated and are to enjoy the Promise. This is the Good News.


Homily and Reflection :


Monday, 29 December 2014 : Fifth Day within the Octave of Christmas, Memorial of St. Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 2 : 22-35

When the day came for the purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought the Baby up to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord, as it is written in the Law of the Lord : ‘Every firstborn male shall be consecrated to God.’ And they offered a sacrifice, as ordered in the Law of the Lord : a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.

There lived in Jerusalem at this time a very upright and devout man named Simeon; the Holy Spirit was in him. He looked forward to the time when the Lord would comfort Israel, and he had been assured, by the Holy Spirit, that he would not die before seeing the Messiah of the Lord.

So he was led into the Temple by the Holy Spirit at the time the parents brought the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the Law. Simeon took the Child in his arms, and blessed God, saying, “Now, o Lord, You can dismiss Your servant in peace, for You have fulfilled Your word and my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You display for all the people to see. Here is the Light You will reveal to the nations, and the glory of Your people Israel.”

His father and mother wondered at what was said about the Child. Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, His mother, “Know this : your Son is a sign, a sign established for the falling and rising of many in Israel, a sign of contradiction; and a sword will pierce your own soul, so that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”

Homily and Reflection :

Thursday, 18 December 2014 : Third Week of Advent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Matthew 1 : 18-24

This is how Jesus Christ was born : Mary His mother had been given to Joseph in marriage, but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.

Then Joseph, her husband, made plans to divorce her in all secrecy. He was an upright man, and in no way did he want to discredit her. While he was pondering over this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and now she will bear a Son. You shall call Him ‘Jesus’ for He will save His people from their sins.”

All this happened in order to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet : ‘The virgin will conceive and bear a Son, and He will be called Emmanuel,’ which means God-with-us. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do, and he took his wife to his home.


Homily and Reflection :


Wednesday, 17 December 2014 : Third Week of Advent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Matthew 1 : 1-17

This is the account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, Son of David, Son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, their mother was Tamar. Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron of Aram. Aram was the father of Aminadab, Aminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon.

Salmon was the father of Boaz. His mother was Rahab. Boaz was the father of Obed. His mother was Ruth. Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David, the king. David was the father of Solomon. His mother had been Uriah’s wife. Solomon was the father of Rehoboam. Then came the kings : Abijah, Asaph, Jehosaphat, Joram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah.

Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the deportation to Babylon. After the deportation to Babylon, Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel and Salathiel of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud, Abiud of Eliakim, and Eliakim of Azor. Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, and Akim the father of Eliud. Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar of Matthan, and Matthan of Jacob.

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and from her came Jesus who is called the Christ – the Messiah. There were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, and fourteen generations from David to the deportation to Babylon, and fourteen generation from the deportation to Babylon to the birth of Christ.


Homily and Reflection :


Sunday, 7 December 2014 : Second Sunday of Advent, Memorial of St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Mark 1 : 1-8

This is the beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in the book of Isaiah, the prophet, “I am sending My messenger ahead of You to prepare Your way. Let the people hear the voice calling in the desert : ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, level His paths.'”

So John began to baptise in the desert; he preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. All Judea and all the people from the city of Jerusalem went out to John to confess their sins, and to be baptised by him in the river Jordan.

John was clothed in camel’s hair and wore a leather garment around his waist. His food was locusts and honey. He preached to the people, saying, “After me comes One who is more powerful than I am; I have baptised you with water, but He will baptise you in the Holy Spirit.”


Homily and Reflection :


Saturday, 6 December 2014 : First Week of Advent, Memorial of St. Nicholas, Bishop (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Bishops)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the readings of the Holy Scriptures today have one clear theme, that is healing and reconciliation. The Lord our God came into the world as our Messiah, to release us from our bondage to sin, which is the disease and sickness of our soul, corrupting it and preventing us from sharing the joy in the Lord. Therefore, He came Himself, into the world out of His great love for us, to heal us from this affliction.

Indeed we have been sinful and wicked in our actions. Sin separates us from God, and it is the reason for mankind’s downfall from grace. Our ancestors, our forefathers and all of us, all mankind were created with love by God, not to suffer and die, but to live forever in complete harmony, joy and bliss with the Lord our God, to enjoy forever all of God’s wonderful creations. It was our pride, our greed and our sinfulness that caused us to disobey God, sin and therefore had to endure the punishment for our sins.

And yet, God did not intend to punish us forever for our sins. This is because, just as much as He hates our sins and all the wickedness which we have committed in our lives, He still loves us as much as He hates our sins. After all we are the most beloved of all His creations, created in His very own image. But this is where He wants us all to know His intentions, that is for us all to be healed from our afflictions, to be lost no more, and to return back to His loving embrace.

Yes, that means, while God loves us all, it does not mean that He condones our sinful ways, and He does not want us to remain in sin. Remember, what is at stake is none other than the salvation of our souls. If we do not make a difference and change our ways, then we are truly in great danger of losing our souls to eternal damnation and the suffering in eternal hell.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, that is why in the Gospel today, very importantly, we heard how Jesus commissioned His disciples and the Twelve Apostles to go out and be the witnesses and preachers of the Good News of the Lord. It was indeed just as what He had witnessed, that the people were like lost sheep, directionless, confused and confounded, like sheep without a shepherd. It is therefore our Lord’s priority to bring a new and clear direction to all the people, to guide them so that they will no longer be lost.

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas, also known by the name of St. Nicholas of Myra, who was a bishop in the approximately fourth century after the birth of Christ in Anatolia, what is now the Asian part of Turkey. St. Nicholas of Myra is also much more famously known as the source of inspiration for the ubiquitous Santa Claus, the elderly figure with red and white winter sweater, whom we know as the one who gives children numerous gifts at Christmas time.

Yet, what we think of Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, was truly a distortion, manipulated version of what St. Nicholas of Myra had once done. It was told that St. Nicholas of Myra loved children and often blessed them and gave them gifts. This seems to be where the legend of St. Nicholas of Myra evolved to what we now know as Santa Claus. Yet, unfortunately, what we have today is a false representation of the bishop and an attempt by the world to tempt us with materialism and human desires.

Christmas celebrations which we have now in our world, in the society around us is a celebration centred on human desires, on the culture of waste and excess. Christ is no longer at the centre of the celebrations but instead, what we have money and wealth at the centre of our joy. The perpetuation of the false image of St. Nicholas also helped to fuel our human desires, by promoting a culture of excess among us, and a culture of entitlement.

By feeding on our desires, the world is trying to fuel more and more demands for our greed and desire, and therefore helping to create a materialistic nature, where everything is done in order to satisfy our demands and our wishes, and a place where our greatest concern is how to satisfy ourselves. This is part of the sin which have separated us from our Lord and condemn us to a life in eternal suffering unless we change our ways.

Remember, brethren, our ancestors sinned before God because they were not able to restrain themselves and their desires. They chose to satisfy their curiosity and desire rather than to obey the Lord and therefore they were cast down from heaven. Hence, it is important for us to use this opportunity provided for us in life, particularly in this special season of Advent, the season of preparation for the coming of Christ, to change our sinful ways, sin no more and embrace the fullness of God’s love and mercy.

Do you know, brothers and sisters, that St. Nicholas of Myra once punched a heretic directly in the face for spreading his heresies? Yes, brethren, just as much as he loved children and was gentle towards them, he showed no mercy to those who had tried to mislead the people of God and lead them towards darkness. As a bishop, he had a great responsibility for the souls of the faithful entrusted to him, and that was exactly he did in order to fulfill that great responsibility.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we proceed further into the season of Advent, let us all realise that we are sinners, and we have not deserved the goodness of God, and yet He came to save us all and heal us from the afflictions of our sins. And therefore, let us all be thankful and be grateful for all that our Lord had done for us. Let us accept His generous offer of healing and mercy, and most importantly, sin no more and live in His grace from now on always.

And let us also realise, that all of us have the responsibility, as the followers of Christ, just as Christ sent His Apostles and disciples to the nations to preach the Good News to them and to find all the lost sheep and those lost to the darkness, therefore, all of us can also play our part in the Lord’s plan of salvation for all mankind.

Hence, that is why we need to be role models of the faith, by first changing our ways and abandoning all the wickedness we had done. We have to practice and live out our faith sincerely and devoutly, so that all those who see us may believe in the Lord and be saved together with us. Let us ask the Lord for the gift of courage and strength, so that inspired by the faith and examples of St. Nicholas of Myra, emulating his love and charity for others, and also his steadfastness in faith, we too may be worthy to receive eternal glory in Him. God bless us all. Amen.


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