Sunday, 18 July 2021 : Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Jeremiah 23 : 1-6

“Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” This is the message of YHVH, God of Israel, to the shepherds in charge of My people, “You have scattered My sheep and driven them away instead of caring for them. Now I will deal with you because of your evil deeds.”

“I will gather the remnant of My sheep from every land to which I have driven them and I will bring them back to the grasslands. They will be fruitful and increase in number. I will appoint shepherds who will take care of them. No longer will they fear or be terrified. No one will be lost.”

YHVH further says, “The day is coming when I will raise up a King Who is David’s righteous Successor. He will rule wisely and govern with justice and righteousness. That will be a grandiose era when Judah will enjoy peace and Israel will live in safety. He will be called YHVH-Our-Justice!”

Sunday, 16 May 2021 : Seventh Sunday of Easter, World Communications Sunday (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 4 : 11-16

Dear friends, if such has been the love of God, we, too, must love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love comes to its perfection in us.

How may we know that we live in God and He in us? Because God has given us His Spirit. We ourselves have seen, and declare, that the Father sent His Son to save the world. Those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in them, and they in God.

We have known the love of God and have believed in it. God is love. The one who lives in love, lives in God and God in him.

Sunday, 3 January 2021 : Second Sunday after Christmas (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Jeremiah 31 : 7-14

For YHVH says this, “Shout with joy for Jacob; rejoice for the greatest of nations. Proclaim your praise and say : ‘YHVH has saved His people, the remnant of Israel!’”

“Look, I will bring them back from the land of the north, gather them from the ends of the earth, the lame and the blind, mothers and women in labour – a great throng will return. They went away weeping, they will return in joy. I will lead them by the streams of water, on a level path so that no one will stumble, for I am Israel’s Father and Ephraim is My firstborn.”

Hear the word of YHVH, o nations, proclaim it on distant coast lands : He Who scattered Israel will gather them and guard them as a shepherd guards his flock. For YHVH has ransomed Jacob and redeemed him from the hand of his conqueror.”

“They shall come shouting for joy, while ascending Zion; they will come streaming to YHVH’s blessings – the grain, the new wine and the oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden; no more will they be afflicted. Maidens will make merry and dance, young men and old as well.”

“I will turn their mourning into gladness, I will give them comfort and joy for sorrow. I will fill the priests with abundance, and satisfy My people with My bounty – this is YHVH’s word.”

Alternative reading

Sirach 24 : 1-12

Listen to Wisdom singing her own praises and extolling herself in the midst of her people. See, she opens her mouth in the assembly of the Most High, she glories in herself before the Almighty.

I came out from the mouth of God and covered the face of the earth like a mist; although My dwelling place is in the highest heavens, My throne is within a pillar of cloud. I alone have seen and understood the vault of the skies and strolled through the depths of the abyss, taking possession of the raging sea and of the earth as well, with all its people and nations.

In all of these, I looked for a place to rest; in which territory would I set up My abode? Then the Creator of the Universe commanded Me, He Who created Me assigned the place of My rest, “Pitch Your tent in Jacob; Israel will be Your homeland.”

He created Me from the beginning, before time began, and I will never cease to be, I celebrate in His presence the liturgy of His Holy Dwelling and this is why I settled in Zion. The Lord let Me rest in His beloved city and Jerusalem is the heart of My Kingdom. I took root in the people God has favoured, in the land of the Lord, in their inheritance.

Friday, 23 June 2017 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, World Day of Prayer for the Sanctity of Priestly Life (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
1 John 4 : 7-16

My dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves, is born of God and knows God. Those who do not love have not known God, for God is Love. How did the love of God appear among us? God sent His only Son into this world, that we might have life, through Him.

This is love : not that we loved God, but that, He first loved us and sent His Son, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if such has been the love of God, we, too, must love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love comes to its perfection in us.

How may we know that we live in God and He in us? Because God has given us His Spirit. We ourselves have seen, and declare, that the Father sent His Son to save the world. Those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in them, and they in God.

We have known the love of God and have believed in it. God is Love. The one who lives in love, and God in him.

Monday, 20 March 2017 : Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Matthew 1 : 16, 18-21, 24a

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and from her came Jesus Who is called the Christ – the Messiah.

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.”

When Joseph woke up, he did what the Angel of the Lord had told him to do.

Alternative reading
Luke 2 : 41-51a

Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover, as was customary. And when Jesus was twelve years old, He went up with them, according to the custom of this feast. After the festival was over, they returned, but the Boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and His parents did not know it.

They thought He was in the company, and after walking the whole day they looked for Him among their relatives and friends. As they did not find Him, they went back to Jerusalem searching for Him, and on the third day they found Him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. And all the people were amazed at His understanding and His answers.

His parents were very surprised when they saw Him, and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Your father and I were very worried while searching for You.” Then He said to them, “Why were you looking for Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house?” But they did not understand this answer.

Jesus went down with them, returning to Nazareth, and He continued to be subject to them.

Friday, 7 October 2016 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of our Lady of the Rosary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Luke 1 : 26-38

In the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth. He was sent to a young virgin, who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the family of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

The Angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” Mary was troubled at these words, wondering what this greeting could mean. But the Angel said, “Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you. You shall conceive and bear a Son, and you shall call Him Jesus.”

“He will be great, and shall rightly be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the kingdom of David, His ancestor; He will rule over the people of Jacob forever, and His reign shall have no end.”

Then Mary said to the Angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” And the Angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the Holy Child to be born of you shall be called Son of God. Even your relative Elizabeth is expecting a son in her old age, although she was unable to have a child; and she is now in her sixth month. With God nothing is impossible.”

Then Mary said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.” And the Angel left her.

Friday, 17 June 2016 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 131 : 11, 12, 13-14, 17-18

The Lord swore to David a promise, and He will remain true to it : “I will keep your descendants on your throne.”

“If your sons keep My covenant and the decrees I have taught them, their sons, too, will sit forever upon your throne.”

For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling. “This is My resting place forever; this I prefer, here will I dwell.”

“From here a Saviour shall come forth, a Son of David; here shall shine forever the lamp of My Anointed. In shame will I clothe His enemies, but upon His head a crown shall shine.”

Thursday, 7 April 2016 : Second Week of Easter, Memorial of St. John Baptist de la Salle, Priest (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are presented from both the readings from the Acts of the Apostles and the Holy Gospels, of the realities of the contrast and conflicts that are present between the ways and the thinking of this world, as opposed to the ways of our Lord, which He had revealed to us through Jesus, His Son, and which He had passed down to us through His Apostles and His Church.

In the first reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, we continue on from the discourse of the previous days, telling us how the Pharisees, the elders and the chief priests were trying to bully the Apostles and the followers of Christ, using threats and fear in order to pressure them to stop their work and their preaching among the people of God. They thought that by doing so, they would be able to halt such an insurgency against their authority, but they were very wrong in this matter.

Not only that they were not at the least disturbed or affected by the threats, but they even courageously fought back by stating the truth before all of them to hear, as they pointed out that they ought to be obeying God rather than obeying any human authority above that of God’s. And that was a direct rebuke against the elders, the chief priests, the teachers of the Law, the Pharisees and all those who had been trying to stifle and hinder the works of God as exercised through His Apostles.

Through their examples, we can see how courageous we should be as well in how we lived our lives and in how we live our faith. Many of us today prefer to conform to the world and its ways rather than to stand by our Lord and God. Certainly, we have not been as faithful to Him as the Apostles had been. But if we think that those Apostles were extraordinary and beyond our means, then let us remember that they were once sinners too like us, and human as they were, they were not perfect. They too had their doubts and uncertainties, and moments when their faith was challenged.

But God showed them the way, and led them out of their uncertainty and doubts, and He blessed them with courage and strength in order to persevere through those challenges and made their faith firmer and stronger. And through His Holy Spirit, they spoke the truth of the Gospel and the truth as revealed through Jesus Christ our Lord to the whole world, that all those who heard the truth may find their way to salvation.

Today, we celebrate the feast day of a great educator, a holy and devout man, namely, St. John Baptist de la Salle, a priest hailing from Rheims, who lived about two hundred years ago. St. John Baptist de la Salle inspired a great movement and effort through which Christian education and evangelisation were boosted and spread rapidly throughout the world, as missionaries and faithful educators went forth to the four corners of the world preaching the truth of Christ through education.

St. John Baptist de la Salle was born from a privileged family, and he eventually entered the priesthood and devoted himself as a canon of the Cathedral of Rheims, living a comfortable life as how many of the clergy of those years had lived. But instead of remaining as he was in that comfortable position, he went forth and abandoned those comforts, as he heard the higher call to serve the less privileged, the abandoned and the unloved, especially those who have none to bring them the truth of our God.

That was when St. John Baptist de la Salle founded the society of the Brothers of Christian Schools, which members devoted themselves to the advancement of the education of the masses, and the evangelisation of the truth of God through the same education, that through the practice of the faith in their daily action, all of them may find the path to God’s salvation through greater understanding of their faith.

We should see in his examples, and the examples of those who have been inspired by his examples, as the inspiration for us as well, that we may follow in the footsteps of St. John Baptist de la Salle and the Apostles, in preaching the Word of God through words and actions, that all of us may receive the salvation which God has promised to us through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let us commit ourselves anew, brothers and sisters in Christ, and commit ourselves wholly to help one another to reach out to the Lord and His salvation. Let us help one another, reminding each other of the obligations we have to follow the Lord and to obey Him even if the whole world may be against us. Let us make use of this season of Easter to deepen our faith and commitment to the Lord, and help to propel ourselves further on the way to eternal life. May God help us and bless us all in our endeavours. Amen.

Thursday, 7 April 2016 : Second Week of Easter, Memorial of St. John Baptist de la Salle, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 3 : 31-36

At that time, John the Baptist spoke to his disciples about Jesus, “He Who comes from above is above all; he who comes from the earth belongs to the earth, and his words belong to the earth. He Who comes from heaven speaks of the things He has seen and heard; He bears witness to these things, but no one accepts His testimony. Whoever does receive His testimony acknowledges the truthfulness of God.”

“The One sent by God speaks God’s words, and gives the Spirit unstintingly. The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything into His hands. Whoever believes in the Son lives with eternal life; but he who will not believe in the Son will never know life, and always faces the justice of God.”

Wednesday, 6 April 2016 : Second Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard that very famous phrase from the Holy Scriptures, from the Holy Gospel according to St. John, verse 3, which spoke about the love of God, that it is so great, that He was willing to send us His Son, Who is Jesus our Lord, that through Him we may not face death, but find eternal redemption and eternal life through Him.

What we have learnt from the Scripture readings today is that God loves us all, and He wants to save us all from the threat of hellfire and eternal damnation, as well as everlasting death. He shall not abandon us to the sufferings of eternal hell. God will protect all those who are faithful to Him, and He shall send His Angels to protect His people, guarding them from those who sought to bring them to damnation.

This was seen in the examples of the Holy Apostles which we heard as told by the Acts of the Apostles. The Apostles were preaching the faith and the truth told by Jesus our Lord to the people, and the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law, the elders and the chief priests were not happy that these Apostles were drawing the people away from them and gaining in influence and human regards.

As a result, they persecuted the Apostles, restricting them and arresting them whenever they could, including what we have witnessed today from the Acts of the Apostles. They imprisoned them and wanted to judge them falsely with false accusations and false judgments in order to silence them and stop their evangelising works. But God had other plans for them, one that no human authority and power could have undone.

For God freed the Apostles through His Angels, and by His guidance, they continued their ministry to the people of God, and despite the continued opposition by the Pharisees and the other enemies of the Lord and His truth, the Apostles continued to establish the Church and strengthened it through turbulent and difficult times. And more and more souls were saved by being welcomed into the Church and by their belief in the Lord Jesus.

God shows His grace and blessings to all those who have kept their faith in Him, and He shall not disappoint all those who have placed their trust in Him. For indeed, while the trust of men is feeble and weak, and can cause disappointments easily, but to trust in God is like to trust in a strong and firm rock, immovable and solid, amidst all the uncertainties and challenges of this life.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we proceed through this joyous season of Easter, let us all reflect on our own lives, our deeds and actions. Let us all think about how we have lived our lives and in how we have interacted with one another. Have we truly been faithful to God? Or have we instead been swayed by the temptations of this world to deviate from the necessity for us to keep our faith strongly anchored in Him?

Let us ask ourselves, if we have placed our trust far more in ourselves rather than trusting in God and in His promises. This is the reason why so many of us were so reluctant in following God and in committing ourselves to His cause. Remember, brethren, that the Lord Himself had spoken, how the harvest is plentiful in this world, and yet the labourers are few. We have to step up and be courageous in committing ourselves to bring the Lord closer to ourselves and to our brethren around us.

Let us help one another on our path, and help each other to strive to walk in His path in our actions and our dealings with one another. Let our actions be examples for others, through whose actions, we may bring them closer to God, and therefore make ourselves each to be worthy of the Lord and of the salvation and the eternal life He has promised us. May God bless us all and keep us always in His love. God bless us all. Amen.