Saturday, 2 November 2019 : Feast of All Souls, Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Black or Purple/Violet

Isaiah 25 : 6-9

On this mountain YHVH Sabaoth will prepare for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, meat full of marrow, fine wine strained. On this mountain He will destroy the pall cast over all peoples, this very shroud spread over all nations, and death will be no more.

The Lord YHVH will wipe away the tears from all cheeks and eyes; He will take away the humiliation of His people all over the world : for YHVH has spoken. On that day you will say : This is our God. We have waited for Him to save us, let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation.

Friday, 2 November 2018 : Feast of All Souls (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Black or Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we celebrate the feast of All Souls’ Day, continuing from yesterday’s Solemnity of All Saints, as the last day of the Allhallowtide. In this period of time, we remember the souls of the faithful departed, and while yesterday we rejoice together in the glory of the saints who have triumphed with God, having been found worthy of the immediate glory of heaven, today, we focus our attention to the holy souls in purgatory.

Why are they called the holy souls in purgatory? That is because these are the ones who have passed on from this world, and have been regarded as belonging among the righteous, that they do not deserve the eternal suffering in hell, which is preserved only for all those who have rejected God and His truth, refusing to turn away from sin and from all of their wickedness down right to their last moments.

But these people, who were not counted among the wicked, and did not deserve hell, also still have with them the residual corruption and taints of sin, those that are not confessed and repented prior to their passing. These are the ones who are currently suffering in purgatory, as they are not condemned to hell, and yet, they still have to wait in order for their sins to be purified in purgatory, before they can ascend to the glory of heaven.

These are the souls of the faithful departed, who are enduring the flames of purgatory, the pain of expectation, and the waiting that agonises them, for they are not yet able to experience the fullness of God’s love and grace, and having to endure the waiting period and the time of purification, to remove from them the residual taints of sin mentioned. God is so holy and good, and no sin can exist in His presence, and that is why, these holy souls suffer.

Yet, they all long and hope for the eternal glory of heaven, and one day, when their sins have been cleansed from them, they will be able to leave purgatory behind and enter the glory of God’s everlasting kingdom. And hence, we pray for their sake, these holy souls in purgatory, that through our prayers, we may move God’s heart to show compassion and mercy on them, and hopefully, forgive them their sins through His grace, and they will be able to enter heaven at the soonest time possible.

It is important that we pray for the holy souls in purgatory, because ultimately, they are still together with us, as part of the one Church of God. They are the Church Suffering, who are suffering in expectation of their release from their temporary confinement in purgatory prior to heaven, just as we are the Church Militant, still living and struggling daily in this world, with our sins and with all the challenges we have to face each and every day.

And together with the saints, whose Solemnity of All Saints we have just celebrated yesterday, the Church Triumphant in heaven, all these three parts form the one Church of God, made of the saints’ Church Triumphant, our Church Militant, and the Church Suffering of the holy souls in purgatory. The saints are constantly praying for both us, as well as the holy souls in purgatory, that God may open the pathway for both of us to join them in glorifying Him in the eternal glory of heaven.

Therefore, we, the Church Militant, just as we often pray for one another, we too should also pray for the souls in purgatory, and even we should ask the saints for their intercession as well. We hope that through our prayers, these holy souls of those who have gone before us, including perhaps many of those whom we personally knee, they may all come to enjoy at the soonest opportunity, God’s love and grace in the eternal heavenly rest.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we pray for the souls in purgatory, today, as we remember our loved ones who have gone before us, and who may now be in purgatory, let us all reflect on our own lives. Let us all look deeply and carefully on our own actions in life, and how we have lived our lives thus far. Why is this important? That is because just as those souls had ended up in purgatory because of their residual sins, that can be our fate as well.

If we have not lived our faith through actions and deeds in our life, and if we have neglected the important observances and expressions of our faith, then not only we may end up in purgatory as well, but worse still, we may turn up to deserve the fall into hell, out of which there can be no escape, unlike purgatory which is just temporary suffering and which end point is still the heavenly glory God promised us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, God loves each and every one of us very much, but at the same time, He also detests our sins and wickedness, and unless we change our ways and make the effort to turn away from those sins, we are in danger of entering into the eternal damnation in hell. Therefore today, and from now on, just as we continue to pray for the holy souls in purgatory, let us also reform our lives, that we may become ever closer to God and be more faithful to Him, with each and every passing day.

May the Lord be with us all, and may He guide us in our journey, now and always. May He look mercifully upon the sufferings of those in purgatory who long to be with Him in the glory of heaven, that He may forgive them completely their sins, allowing them to enter into heaven at the soonest opportunity. Amen.

Friday, 2 November 2018 : Feast of All Souls (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Black or Purple/Violet

Matthew 11 : 25-30

At that time, Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I praise You; because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to simple people. Yes, Father, this was Your gracious will.”

“Everything has been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father; and no one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.”

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest. For My yoke is easy; and My burden is light.”

Friday, 2 November 2018 : Feast of All Souls (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Black or Purple/Violet

Romans 5 : 5-11

And hope does not disappoint us, because the Holy Spirit has been given to us, pouring into our hearts the love of God. Consider, moreover, the time that Christ died for us : when we were still helpless and unable to do anything. Few would accept to die for an upright person; although, for a very good person, perhaps someone would dare to die.

But see how God manifested His love for us : while we were still sinners, Christ died for us; and we have become just, through His Blood. With much more reason now He will save us from any condemnation. Once enemies, we have been reconciled with God through the death of His Son; with much more reason, now we may be saved, through His life.

Not only that, but we even boast in God because of Christ Jesus, our Lord, through Whom we have been reconciled.

Friday, 2 November 2018 : Feast of All Souls (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Black or Purple/Violet

Psalm 26 : 1, 4, 7-9, 13-14

YHVH is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? YHVH is the rampart of my life; I will not be afraid.

One thing I ask of YHVH, one thing I seek – that I may dwell in His house all the days of my life, to gaze at His jewel and to visit His Sanctuary.

Hear my voice when I call, o YHVH, have mercy on me and answer. My heart says to You, “I seek Your face, o YHVH.” Do not hide Your face from me nor turn away Your servant in anger. You are my protector, do not reject me; abandon me not, o God my Saviour!

I hope, I am sure, that I will see the goodness of YHVH in the land of the living. Trust in YHVH, be strong and courageous, yes, put your hope in YHVH!

Friday, 2 November 2018 : Feast of All Souls (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Black or Purple/Violet

Isaiah 25 : 6-9

On this mountain YHVH Sabaoth will prepare for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, meat full of marrow, fine wine strained. On this mountain He will destroy the pall cast over all peoples, this very shroud spread over all nations, and death will be no more.

The Lord YHVH will wipe away the tears from all cheeks and eyes; He will take away the humiliation of His people all over the world : for YHVH has spoken. On that day you will say : This is our God. We have waited for Him to save us, let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation.

Saturday, 24 January 2015 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the works of Jesus which had brought about redemption and salvation to mankind. Many people did not understand at first what He had done. Even those among His own family thought that He was not right in His mind, as the Gospel today would show. But all this just show us how little mankind could comprehend the minds of the Lord.

While mankind were still by their earthly and worldly desires, while the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law were still obsessed by the worldly laws and human laws they have made, our Lord Jesus Christ had brought the truth of God into the world, dispelling all of the lies of the devil, who tried to mislead us away from the truth of the Lord in Jesus.

What we have to realise, brothers and sisters in Christ, is that we have to know what our Lord had done for our sake, to liberate us from the clutches of Satan, from the chains of sin that binds us to suffering and death. The devil, Satan, by nature will definitely not want to let us to be released from our bonds to him, that is the bonds of everlasting suffering and eternal death, that is the fate of Satan.

For Satan had rebelled against God in his vanity and pride, and as he was cast down and condemned, together with many of his fellow rebel angels, thus, he wanted to bring us down as well, God’s most beloved and most perfect creations, the race of mankind. And that was why he brought down our first ancestors, by tempting them and luring them into sin, and to disobey the Lord, our God.

It is the love of our God, our loving Father which had made Him to send His Son, Jesus Christ, a part of Himself in the Holy Trinity, the Word made Flesh, for our salvation and liberation. Yes, it is to liberate us from the chains of sin, from the bonds that bound us to the rebellion of Satan, that is the sins of pride, greed, jealousy, wrath, sloth and many other vices we committed in this life.

And by the shedding of His Blood and the scourging of His own Body, Christ our Lord brought new life to us all, by His perfect and selfless sacrifice, bearing the sins which we should have borne, up the hills of Calvary, bearing that cross of sin and shame, and transformed it into the cross of victory and triumph against evil. This is our faith, and this is what we believe in. The world may not believe in us and it may ridicule us just as they had done to Jesus, but the truth remains, that the love of our Lord had saved us.

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Francis de Sales, a holy bishop and the renowned founder of the Salesian religious order, and also a Doctor of the Church for his many and various works that helped to anchor the truth of God among the faithful ones of God in His Church. St. Francis de Sales was a brave and courageous defender of the faith, as the Bishop of Geneva, during the greatly turbulent times of the false Protestant ‘reformation’, the heresy brought by the confusion of Satan, designed to tempt and misled mankind to follow the path of sin.

St. Francis de Sales was a humble and hardworking servant of God and of His Church, humbly taking on the responsibilities which had been given to him, and carried them out with great patience and zeal. He preached the truth of God to the countless multitudes of people who had been misled by Satan, and managed to bring many back to the one true Faith and reconciled them to the Church.

Despite of the difficulties and the ridicules he faced, as well as the numerous threats against his life, St. Francis de Sales persevered, and through his many works, devotions, and writings, he became a great inspiration for many, as the light in the darkness for countless souls lost in the lies of Satan, bearing the Light of Christ to them, in order to guide them to return to the truth of Christ.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, inspired by the examples of St. Francis de Sales, we should be walking in his footsteps, to live our faith faithfully and devotedly, through real actions and commitment to God. We should no longer be afraid to proclaim the truth of the Lord, for He had given Himself, selflessly sacrificing Himself on the cross for our sake, that we may receive salvation through Him. Let us all be glad, for the love of God is with us, and let us ensure that many more souls can be brought back to the Lord, through our works. God bless us all. Amen.