Wednesday, 22 June 2022 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Peter 1 : 8-12

You have not, yet, seen Him, and, yet, you love Him; even without seeing Him, you believe in Him, and experience a heavenly joy beyond all words, for you are reaching the goal of your faith : the salvation of your souls.

This was the salvation for which the prophets so eagerly looked when, in days past, they foretold the favour of God, with regard to you. But they could only investigate when the Spirit of Christ present within them, pointed out the time and the circumstances, of this – the sufferings of Christ, and the glories which would follow.

It was revealed to them, that they were working, not for themselves, but for you. Thus, in these days, after the Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven, the Gospel’s preachers have taught you these mysteries, which even the Angels long to see.

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.

(Usus Antiquior) Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, All Souls’ Day (Feria II Classis) – Monday, 3 November 2014 : Homily and Scripture Reflections

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, following the Usus Antiquior or the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite of the Holy Mass, we celebrate the commemoration of all the faithful departed, or the celebration of All Souls’ Day. We therefore today remember all of our loved ones and indeed, all of our fellow brothers and sisters who have gone before us into the afterlife.

The souls of the dead departed from their bodies, and to many of us, death seems like to be very dreadful and vile indeed. And that is why so many people feared death, as they see it as the separation from what is dear to them in the world, from all of their loved ones and from all of their possessions, indeed, from everything that they were and from everyone they ever knew.

Or so it seems. We often mourn at death because we do not understand death, and we often do not know that what we see as death, is not an eternal separation or indeed even as something to be dreaded at all. For some of us, we cannot endure death because we fear losing what we have in this life, our possessions and our ties to the things of this world. And then for some, we see death as something evil and scary, as how it was often portrayed to us.

What is death? Death is, as mentioned, the sting of sin, and death is the consequence of sin. Death is never meant for us, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we were created by God in perfection, intended to enjoy forever the bliss of life and harmony, with the Lord in complete and unadulterated love. Instead, men chose to follow their own path, and to listen to the lies of Satan, and thus sinned.

Sin is disobedience and rebellion against God’s will, against God who is love and who is life. As He is the source of life, when we rebelled against the Lord, we have been tainted by sin and therefore being cast off from Life itself, having no life in us. Hence, even though the breath of life which God had given us is within us, but the life we have in this world is temporary, and is bound to end one day, at the Lord’s time and choosing.

Yes, we are all mere mortals, and the life within us depends on God, who gives and takes Life as He pleases. And yet, this life which we have is in fact an opportunity for us all to atone and repent from our sinfulness. And the Lord Himself has presented us with a new hope and guidance, by the sending of His own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ into this world.

Why is this so? That is because our Lord Jesus Christ offers us a new life, that is life in Him, the Lord of Life. He has life in Him as given to Him by His Father, and He is the Bread of Life who came down from heaven. Why is this allusion to food, the Bread of Life? Because Christ Himself had offered His own flesh and blood to become the very food and drink that gives us new life and nourishes us.

This food and drink is the food that gives us new life, not the life that is still subjected to the power of death, but a new life that is free from the depredations of death. And Jesus offered us this Bread and this Wine, His own Body and Blood, to be part of us, when we receive them with faith, so that we who share in His gifts through the sacrifice He made on the cross, gain everlasting life through Him.

Our mortal existence in this world may come to an end, but we have been assured the final victory against death, as the Lord Himself had conquered death through His own resurrection from the dead. And that resurrection is our hope, because through it we know that there is escape from death, and it will not have the final say against us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, there are three fates awaiting the souls when they depart from this earthly life. If they are wicked in life, disobeying the Lord and refusing to listen to His calling, and even refusing to repent and believe in Him, committing evil in life, then hell is their lot. Hell that is the total separation and rift from the love of God, without hope of escape and salvation. No amount of help or prayer will help souls that have been condemned to hell for their irredeemable sins.

Meanwhile, the souls of the faithful will end up either in heaven or in Purgatory, depending on what they had done in life. If their lives had been exemplary in faith, filled with all forms of goodness and righteousness, then they merit the glories and joy of heaven straight away, and these are the saints, the holy men and women who keep their lives pure and worthy in the sight of God.

How about Purgatory, then? Purgatory is the place where the souls of the faithful dead, who has been faithful and devoted to God, and were found righteous, but still have the taints of serious sins on them. As such, they were not yet worthy of the fullness of glory of heaven, as the Lord dwells there, and in the presence of God, no sin should stand.

Therefore, the souls whose sins have not been completely purified have to wait in the Purgatory, suffering the consequences of their sins, the pain and sorrow of not being able to be with the Lord their God, and at the same time, being fully aware of the wickedness of their sins and shortcomings, which made them to end up in the Purgatory at the first place. They will indeed eventually proceed to heaven, but only after their sins had been absolved completely.

Today is therefore a reminder for us, on this feast of All Souls, that we have a clear choice in this life to follow the will of God and walk in His ways, or otherwise to follow the whims of our own desire and to listen to Satan and thus to sin. If we are not careful, and if our lives are filled with wickedness, then we may end up in hell, without hope of ever escaping it.

And the souls in Purgatory and their suffering there reminds us to lead a righteous life, free from even venial and seemingly minuscule and light sins. Even these may hamper us as we make our way towards the Lord. And the souls in Purgatory needs our prayer, as they cannot pray for their own sake. If we pray for the souls in Purgatory, we may obtain for them plenary or partial indulgence for the remission and absolution of their sins, so that hopefully they will be able to end their sufferings in Purgatory and proceed to the eternal glory in heaven.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore, let us ask the holy saints and angels of God to pray, first to pray for the souls in Purgatory, that together with their prayers, our prayers for these poor souls may rise to the presence of God, and God in His mercy and love, may forgive them their sins and bring them into heaven to be with Him, having been made pure and blameless, so that they may not need to suffer anymore.

And finally, for them to also pray for us sinners who still walk in this world in this mortal life. That we may realise our sinfulness and mortality, and of the suffering of the souls in Purgatory, so that we may change our ways, avoiding and rejecting sins, that we may eventually be found worthy in heaven and that none of us will be lost to hell. May all the souls of the faithful dead in the Lord, find rest in peace and receive the eternal glory of everlasting heaven with Him. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, All Souls’ Day (Feria II Classis) – Monday, 3 November 2014 : Sequence

Dies Irae, Dies Illa, solvet saeclum in favilla : Teste David cum Sibylla.

Quantus tremor est futurus, quando judex est venturus. Cuncta stricte discussurus!

Tuba, mirum spargens sonum, per sepulcra regionum. Coget omnes ante thronum.

Mors stupebit et natura, cum resurget creatura. Judicanti responsura.

Liber Scriptus proferetur, in quo totum continetur, unde mundus judicetur.

Judex ergo cum sedebit, quidquid latet, apparebit : Nil inultum remanebit.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus, cum vix justus sit securus?

Rex tremendae majestatis, qui salvandos salvas gratis. Salva me, fons pietatis.

Recordare, Jesu pie, quod sum causa Tuae viae : Ne me perdas illa die.

Quaerens me, sedisti lassus : Redemisti Crucem passus : Tantus labor non sit cassus.

Juste judex ultionis, donum fac remissionis. Ante diem rationis.

Ingemisco, tamquam reus : Culpa rubet vultus meus : Supplicanti parce, Deus.

Qui Mariam absolvisti, et latronem exaudisti, Mihi quoque spem dedisti.

Preces meae non sunt dignae : Sed Tu bonus fac benigne, Ne perenni cremer igne.

Inter oves locum praesta, et ab haedis me sequestra, statuens in parte dextra.

Confutatis maledictis, Flammis actibus addictis : Voca me cum benedictis.

Oro supplex et acclinis, cor contritum quasi cinis : Gere curam mei finis.

Lacrimosa dies illa, qua resurget ex favilla. Judicandus homo reus : Huic ergo parce, Deus.

Pie Jesu Domine, Dona eis requiem. Amen.

English translation

The day of wrath, that awful day, shall reduce the world to ashes, as David and the Sybil prophesied.

How great shall be the trembling, when the Judge shall come to examine all things rigorously.

The trumpet, with astounding blast, echoing over the sepulchres of the whole world, shall summon all before the throne.

Death and Nature will stand aghast, when the creature shall rise again, to answer before his Judge.

The written book shall be brought forth, containing all for which the world must be judged.

When, therefore, the Judge shall be seated, whatsoever is hidden shall be brought to light; nothing shall remain unpunished.

What shall I, wretched, then say? Whom shall I invoke as protector, when even the just shall hardly be secure?

O King of awful majesty, who of Your free gift saved those who are to be saved, save me, o Fount of mercy.

Remember, o loving Jesus, that for my sake You had come upon the earth. Let me not, then, be lost on that day.

In search of me, You sat down, weary, suffering the Cross, You had redeemed me. Let not so great a labour be in vain.

O righteous Awarder of punishment, grant me the gift of pardon before the day of accounting.

I groan as one guilty, while I blush for my sins : oh! Spare Your suppliant, my God!

You who had absolved Mary, and had hearkened to the thief, to me You had also given hope.

My prayers deserve not to be heard, but You are good. Grant, in Your kindness, that I may not burn in the unquenchable fire.

Amid Your sheep appoint me a place, and separate me from the goats, placing me at Your right hand.

The accursed having been silenced and given over to the bitter flames, call me with the blessed.

Kneeling and prostrate I pray, with a heart contrite as though crushed to ashes; oh! Have a care for my last hour.

A mournful day that day shall be, when from the glowing embers shall arise. Guilty man, that he may be judged; spare him, then, o God!

Merciful Jesus, Lord, grant them rest. Amen.