Tuesday, 5 May 2015 : 5th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 14 : 27-31a

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Peace be with you! I give you My peace; not as the world gives peace do I give it to you. Do not be troubled; do not be afraid. You heard Me say, ‘I am going away, but I am coming to you.’ If you loved Me, you would be glad that I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.”

“I have told you this now before it takes place, so that when it does happen you may believe. It is very little what I may still tell you, for the prince of this world is at hand, although there is nothing in Me that he can claim. But see, the world must know that I love the Father, and that I do what the Father has taught Me to do.”

Sunday, 25 January 2015 : Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the great feast of the conversion of the great Apostle St. Paul, who was once known as Saul, the great enemy and persecutor of the Church and the faithful ones of God. God made him to be an Apostle and the great champion of the Faith, spreading the Good News of the Gospel to the farthest ends of the known world at the time. By his works, many followed in his footsteps and were converted as well.

This is in line with the readings we heard today in the Holy Scriptures, the first reading taken from the Book of the prophet Jonah spoke of the repentance and penitence shown by the people of Nineveh, the great capital of the Assyrian Empire, which God had marked to be annihilated for their sins and wickedness. The people, from the king to the lowest servants and slaves immediately repented from their sins after they listened to the warnings of the prophet Jonah.

This is to highlight God’s nature, that is His love and mercy, which He freely gives to all those who put their trust in Him and those who want to be forgiven for their wickedness. Thus, He forgave those who have come to His throne and mercy, and most importantly, those who dedicated themselves to change their way of life and committed to a life free from sin and to walk in the way of the Lord from then on.

Thus was Paul forgiven and called by God, to change his ways of sin and wickedness, the sin of the rejection of Christ and of the persecution of the faithful ones of God, into one that is devoted to the salvation of souls and total faith and trust in God. Indeed, even today, we can only be truly amazed at how God called one of His greatest servants and defenders from among the sinners and among those who have once hated Him so much so as to swore to destroy His entire Church.

And in the Gospel today, the theme is repeated yet again, for God through Christ called the servants whom He would make to be His greatest servants and witnesses in the world, the Holy Apostles, who have been given the authority to teach and preach the Good News, the power to heal and to forgive sins, just as the Lord gave them all these.

This is to show us that God does not want to punish us sinners and rebels against His will, even though rightfully and justly we should have been punished very severely for the disobedience we have committed against the Lord. Yes, just as St. Paul who once as Saul became a scourge for the faithful, getting hundreds or maybe even thousands or more of the faithful of the early Church to become martyrs, and yet God was willing to forgive him and embrace him back into His love.

That is why we have to always remember that God truly loves us sinners, but He hates entirely our sins, our wickedness and all the filthy things we have committed in this life. Condemn not the sinners but the sin. That said, we must not have the false attitude of showing mercy to those who have committed sin but without seeking for their repentance and changing of their ways.

And why is this so important, brothers and sisters in Christ? If we look at what St. Paul himself wrote in the second reading, which was taken from his letter to the faithful in Corinth, he wrote about the imminence of the coming of the end, of the coming of the kingdom of God, and therefore, as we all should be aware of, that is the imminence of the coming of the last and final judgment of all creation, of all mankind.

Are we not too concerned of the fate of our fellow brethren? Are we all too selfish and concerned only about ourselves that we forget about others who still linger in the darkness and in sin? Are we proud of ourselves having been saved by the Lord and do we look down on those who are still filled with the filth of sin, without us offering a hand to help them out of their sinfulness into grace?

If our answers to all of this self-reflecting questions are yes, then we really have to look into ourselves, and ask us what is our faith truly about? Our faith in God is about believing in the Lord who have so much love for us sinners, that despite of all the filth of sin surrounding us, He still resolved to help and rescue us, and that was why He gave us Jesus His Son, to be our Redeemer.

Those of us who heard of the Good News of God and believed, and chose to accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, had been bathed and cleansed from the taints of our sins, of original sins and of our own sins, by the Blood of the Lamb of God, Christ who sacrificed Himself on the cross for us. By His death we were cast free from the suffering of death, and by His resurrection we are brought to a new life, life filled with the grace of God.

We have to realise that even great saints were themselves sinners once. No one was born a saint, except perhaps the Blessed Mother of our Lord, Mary, who was born clean and immaculate, free from sin, in order to prepare her in her role as the bearer of the Almighty God and Saviour, and of course our Lord Himself, born a Man and yet free from sin. All saints and holy people of God were once sinners too.

Yes, some saints were once murderers, adulterers, and we knew how St. Augustine lived in his youth, in debauchery and in the midst of worldliness, that his mother St. Monica prayed day and night with tears for the conversion of her son. And that is the attitude we should all have, to pray fervently for those around us who still sin, that they may receive the call and grace of God, and hope that they will turn their ways and embrace God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Like St. Paul, who had done so much great evils and sins in his youth, had he not been called, or if he had been rejected by God, and had he been rejected by the community of the faithful, then surely many countless souls would have been lost, those whom he had directly and indirectly touched throughout his long mission and service to God, whom without him would likely not have heard the word of God, spoken through St. Paul, the faithful servant, and the repentant sinner.

Therefore, shall we all realise that our action and proactive act are necessary for us to help our brethren to also find their way to the Lord? That is true Christian faith and true love, as Christ had taught us, that we embrace those who have hated and persecuted us because of our faith, those who have sinned and refused to believe in God, and by our actions, in which we show and infuse God’s love and mercy, we may bring them to realise the gravity of their sins, and the threat of eternal death they are facing, and therefore, immediately to turn their ways to find the Lord our God and their God, before it is too late for them.

May all of us be strengthened with the new Spirit of God, in the evangelisation and conversion of the world, so that many more people and many more souls can be saved and will be saved from the clutches of Satan, through our actions, be it through direct acts, or through our words and our loving acts to them, or even if it is through a simple prayer, prayed for their sake.

Let us all no longer be indifferent or ignorant of the plight of others around us who still dwell in sin, but let us free them, just as the Lord freed Saul from his sins and called him to be His servant, and thus let us help one another, to become holy people of God, saintly and devoted, that in the end, as many as possible are saved and brought into the Holy Presence of God. God be with us all, and forgive us sinners from our sins. Amen.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Mark 1 : 21b-28

At that time, Jesus taught in the synagogue on the sabbath day. The people were astonished at the way He taught, for He spoke as One having authority and not like the teachers of the Law.

It happened that a man with an evil spirit was in their synagogue, and he shouted, “What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are : You are the Holy One of God.” Then Jesus faced him and said with authority, “Be silent, and come out of this man!”

The evil spirit shook the man violently and, with a loud shriek, came out of him. All the people were astonished, and they wondered, “What is this? With what authority He preaches! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey Him!” And Jesus’ fame spread throughout all the country of Galilee.

 

Homily and Reflection : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/12/tuesday-13-january-2015-1st-week-of-ordinary-time-memorial-of-st-hilary-bishop-and-doctor-of-the-church-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Tuesday, 30 December 2014 : Sixth Day within the Octave of Christmas (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about how all things shall receive the fullness of God’s grace and His wonderful mercy through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is God, the Word of God, the Divine incarnate into the flesh of Man. He chose to become one of us so that by His incarnation and by His actions in the world, He might become the source of all hope and inspiration for countless peoples of all races and nations, to be the Liberation of mankind from the chains and tyranny of sin.

Anna the prophetess had waited for a long time for the coming of the Saviour in Jesus, the Holy Child, whom in the Gospel today was presented at the Temple on the eighth day to the Lord as the firstborn Son of His mother Mary. She was fortunate that she was given the grace and opportunity to behold the Saviour in the Flesh, and to see Him with her own eyes. Many in the past ages and the future, including all of us now, have no such opportunity.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us have been saved in Jesus Christ, by the shedding and the outpouring of His Blood, and we have been paid for in full by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, who provided the only and the one only sure path through to reach salvation in God. He has brought us all over from our old lives of sin and dependence of things of the flesh, and instead He offered us all a new life founded on His firm foundation.

If we put our trust and faith firmly in Jesus, then I say that, we have overcome the evil one, that is Satan and all of his evil temptations, and we have triumphed, overcoming our slavery and enslavement to sin, which began when men first listened to Satan and to their own desires instead of listening to God. We have been brought out of the slavery of our heart, mind, body and soul, just as the Israelites were brought out of Egypt with the great power of God.

The Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt with His great power, and He destroyed their shackles, as He also destroyed our shackles of sin, but just as the Israelites who complained and refused to listen to God, worshipping pagan gods and idols and preferring to walk their own ways, we also often rebelling against God, walking on our own paths, and listening more to our own desires and wants rather than listening to our Lord.

Therefore, it is necessary for us to persevere in this world filled with numerous temptations and things that distract us from our focus on the Lord. Satan is always actively trying to subvert us and turn us away from salvation in God, and into damnation together with him. He knows what things can best be used to persuade us and entice us to sin, and this is the great danger facing all of us, if we are not aware or able to resist the advances of Satan, we are in danger of losing our way.

Hence, as we continue in our celebration of Christmas, in this holy and blessed season, and as we approach the coming of the new year, let us all keep our focus on Christ, and try our best not to be distracted by the many things in the world. We have to keep Christ at the centre of our celebration of Christmas, and indeed, at the centre of our lives.

May all of us be able to seek our way to the Lord, and keep our gaze firmly focused and locked onto Him, so that amidst the various dangers and temptations that the world presents to us, we may persevere and remain strong in our Faith and will not lose our way, so that at the end of the days, rich rewards of salvation and eternal life will be ours. God bless us all. Amen.

First Reading :
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/29/tuesday-30-december-2014-sixth-day-within-the-octave-of-christmas-first-reading/

Psalm :
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/29/tuesday-30-december-2014-sixth-day-within-the-octave-of-christmas-psalm/

Gospel Reading :
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/29/tuesday-30-december-2014-sixth-day-within-the-octave-of-christmas-gospel-reading/

Friday, 28 November 2014 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Revelations 20 : 1-4, 11 – Revelations 21 : 2

Then an angel came down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the Abyss and a huge chain. He seized the monster, the ancient serpent, namely Satan or the devil, and chained him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss and closed its gate with the key, then secured it with locks, that he might not deceive the nations in the future until the thousand years have passed. Then he will be released for a little while.

There were thrones and seated on them were those with the power to judge. I then saw the spirits of those who had been beheaded for having held the teachings of Jesus and on account of the word of God. I saw all those who had refused to worship the beast or its image, or receive its mark on the forehead or on the hand. They returned to life and reigned with the Messiah for a thousand years. This is the first resurrection.

After that I saw a great and splendid throne and the One seated upon it. At once heaven and earth disappeared, leaving no trace. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before the throne while books were opened. Another book, the Book of Life, was also opened. Then the dead were judged according to the records of these books, that is, each one according to his works.

The sea gave up the dead it had kept, as did death and the netherworld, so that all might be judged according to their works. Then death and the netherworld were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. All who were not recorded in the Book of Life were thrown into the lake of fire.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had passed away and no longer was there any sea. I saw the new Jerusalem, the holy city coming down from God, out of heaven, adorned as a bride prepared for her husband.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/27/friday-28-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Monday, 20 October 2014 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are asked through the Scriptures we have heard, to reflect on our own lives, on whether our lives have been filled with selfishness, self-centredness, egoistic acts and behaviours, as well as pride or arrogance, or whether our lives had been filled with love, that is genuine love for one another, and the love for God just as much as we love ourselves.

It is very difficult for us men to live according to the latter standards as compared to the former standards. We have a big ego with us, just as the word ‘Ego’ in Latin means ‘I’, that is we are first and foremost always concerned first about ourselves, and then far below that concern is the concern about others who are around us. We are by our nature selfish, and filled with desire to the point of greed and unwillingness to show charity to others.

This ‘I’ is dangerous indeed, and do you all know who was Satan, our great enemy, before he is known now as the prince of evil and darkness? He was Lucifer, the ‘lightbringer’, one created bright, beautiful, mighty and great among all the angels who serve the Lord day and night, not to outshine his Creator, but to show all creation how great and mighty the Lord is, in creating such a perfect and wonderful creation.

Yet, in the beauty, greatness and perfection in which he had been created, Lucifer grew proud and attached to his perfection and wonders, and thus his ego grew, and his desires grew to the point that he aspired to be like God and even to surpass His own creation, in his own words, that he wanted to raise his throne above the stars of God, and to rule over all creations.

It is this pride that led to his downfall, and it is this same arrogance over his apparent greatness and abilities that made him to commit sin before God. And his rebellion against God brought him nothing but his own downfall, as he was cast out of heaven, as a sign to all others who also followed him into his rebellion, thinking that in the greatness and all the endowments they had received, they had the right to boast or be proud of those achievements.

And what did he get in the end? Nothing but damnation and eternal punishment, for the pride and greed that brought him nothing else but oblivion. Hence, this is also to help remind us, just as we heard in the Holy Scriptures, how Jesus and St. Paul both urged the people of God to let go of their ego, their pride, their arrogance, their selfishness, and all of the vices they had committed in life, and embrace the true faith, in accepting the fullness of the faith as taught to them by the Lord and through His Apostles and disciples.

How is this relevant to us? We can look at our own lives. It is very obvious that at some points and moments in our lives, we are vulnerable to our ego and our desires. How many times in our respective lives, that we put our own prosperity above that of others? How many of us did not hesitate to do certain actions, even when fully knowing that such actions may bring hurt to others, but may benefit us in some ways?

Surely this life is filled with many of such examples, when we mankind succumb to our desires and began to greedily desire on things and possessions, even often beyond our means and at the expense of others. This is also the precise cause of the many evils and miseries in the world, namely wars, conflicts, abuses, hatred and jealousy of one another. That is because mankind had grown proud of themselves and what they can do, and by what they have discovered in life, that they think too highly of themselves and as a result, inevitably come into conflict with one another due to conflicting interests.

Thus, brothers and sisters in Christ, what then, we can do so that we can prevent or to settle this matter? We are often too focused on the world, and all things worldly, to the point that we ended up worrying too much about what we ought to eat, what we may receive in life, what possessions we should have or obtain, and many other things, while forgetting that in our pursuit of such things and in our worry, we may end up causing trouble for one another.

Worry and fear is not the way, brothers and sisters in Christ. We have to realise that our Lord and God loves us very much, and He wants to love us tenderly just as a father loves his children. He provides us with essentially everything that we need in this life. He will care for us as He had always done, and if we put our complete trust and faith in Him, we shall never be disappointed.

Indeed, those who put their trust in themselves will be disappointed, and just like the rich man who worried about where he ought to put his excess harvest products and building new barns to contain them, he did not put their trust in God and thus he will suffer for his selfishness and lack of love, both for men and for God. Thus, this is exactly what we need to avoid.

Let us all from now on, lead a life filled with genuine faith in God, seeking God at all times, and seeking to imitate Him in all that we do, so that in everything we do in this life, we may be truly like the children and the servants of God, and like the Apostles and disciples in their lives, so that our lives may be filled with love and charity, love that we show for our fellow men, particularly those who are in most need for our love, the last, the lost and the least among men.

And lastly, let us all love God by devotion and by action, showing our genuine faith to Him founded in love. May Almighty God see our love and our faith, and by those love and faith we have done in this life, may we be made justified and worthy of salvation and the promise of eternal life which God had made through Jesus His So. Let us pray therefore for one another, and helping one another that all of us will reach the Lord our God safely. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 19 October 2014 : Epistle

Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Ephesios – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians

Ephesians 4 : 23-28

Fratres : Renovamini spiritu mentis vestrae, et induite novum hominem, qui secundum Deum creatus est in justitia et sanctitate veritatis. Propter quod deponentes mendacium, loquimini veritatem unusquisque cum proximo suo : quoniam sumus invicem membra.

Irascimini, et nolite peccare : sol non occidat super iracundiam vestram. Nolite locum dare diabolo : qui furabatur, jam non furetur; magis autem laboret, operando manibus suis, quod bonum est, ut habeat, unde tribuat necessitatem patienti.

English translation

Brethren, may you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth. Wherefore, putting away lies, may you speak the truth to every man with his neighbour, for we are members to one another.

Be angry, and do not sin. Do not let the sun to go down upon your anger. Do not give place to the devil. He who stole, let him now steal no more; but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have something to give to him that all who suffered need.

Saturday, 18 October 2014 : 28th Week of Ordinary Time, Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate with the entire Universal Church, the feast of one of the four great Evangelists, that is the four writers of the Holy Gospels. Today is thus the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, who wrote the Gospel accorded with his name, the Gospel of St. Luke. As a background, St. Luke was once a renowned physician, who became one of the faithful and followed St. Paul in some of his journeys, including what St. Paul wrote in the letter he wrote to Timothy, another faithful disciple of the Lord.

As we can see from what St. Paul shared with Timothy, St. Luke remained faithful and devoted to the tasks entrusted to him. Yes, this is true even though his fellow journeymen had left to pursue their own interests or for various other reasons. They encountered difficulties along the way, and not all the people they were sent to welcomed them. There were indeed instances when they were welcomed and accepted gladly, but more often than not, they literally had the doors slammed on their faces.

This is exactly what Jesus mentioned as He sent His group of seventy-two disciples, who were meant to help both Jesus Himself and His Apostles in the ministries and works they were doing. Jesus mentioned how they would be sent like lambs among wolves. They would not encounter easy works and acceptance easily, but will be constantly subjected to difficulties and suffering. The lambs rightly represent the disciples and the Apostles, while the wolves represent the various people of God, from which a great majority refused to listen to the Word of God.

Remember that in the other occasion in the Gospels, Jesus also mentioned how that as He who is the Lord and Master of all would suffer rejection and suffering at the hands of mankind, the very people of God to whom He had been sent, then His disciples and Apostles, as well as all those who follow Him and walk in His path will also suffer the same fate. Thus, it explained the fate which St. Paul and St. Luke the Evangelist met during their journeys.

But did they stop on their path? No! That is what made them different from those others who gave up along the way, who could not endure the difficulties and challenges and preferred the comfort of their old lives, settling for the less worthy. What can indeed be more worthy than the Lord and to live to proclaim the Lord’s words to the nations? And St. Luke, together with the other saints continued courageously to defend their faith and to continue the hard works for which they are admired and adored now.

Remember what the Lord had said in the Gospel today, in the Gospel written by St. Luke himself, so that we may know it and hear it as if it was spoken directly by the Lord Jesus Himself to us? Yes, that the harvest is plentiful but the labourers and workers are few. So what did Jesus then tell His disciples? Exactly, that they should ask the Lord of the harvest to send more labourers and workers to tend to the harvest. This truly makes sense, as more labourers will help the Lord of the harvest to bring in even more harvest and bring about more bountiful returns.

But what does this mean, brothers and sisters in Christ? This means exactly that the harvest is truly plentiful in our world, and the harvest refers to the people of God, who are ripe for picking and salvation in God, are awaiting for the labourers and workers who serve the Lord, to pick mankind for the Lord of the harvest, that is the Lord our God.

The field itself refers to this world. This world is filled with much difficulties and uncertainties, but it also offers much opportunities and chances for the crops grown in the field of this world. The pests and the weeds that threaten the crops refer to the forces of darkness that is led by Satan, the father of lies and evil, who always try their best to seduce mankind and make them to follow him instead of the Lord.

The rich harvest is a very tempting thing to the pests and weeds, who will definitely try to snatch and destroy the good harvest from the hands of those who collect these rich harvests to the Lord of the harvest. Thus, the same applies to us, as Satan and his fellow fallen angels is out there trying to turn us mankind, by appealing to our human desires and weaknesses, so that we may fall along our path towards the Lord, and then into damnation with them.

The labourers and the workers of the harvest refer to the servants of God, the disciples of Christ and the Apostles, who like St. Luke the Evangelist and many other saints, worked hard and courageously, like lambs among wolves, to ensure that the harvest of the Lord is collected amidst all the pests and the weeds, that is amidst the challenges and difficulties. Their successors, our priests and bishops, and all who devoted themselves to the service of God, continued their hard works even until this very day.

But this does not mean that the works of the Lord are limited to them only. In fact, brothers and sisters in Christ, we too are the workers and servants of the Lord. How is this so? That is because all of us who believe in the Lord and had received the revelation of truth through the Holy Scriptures and the Church, and have been baptised and accepted into the Church of God have the responsibility to spread the Good News of the Lord.

If St. Luke the Evangelist wrote one of the four Holy Gospels and through it countless souls had been saved, then we too can do it in our own way, by showing the faith through our own actions, that show our sincere and genuine faith, which is not in mere words but also through real actions, so that all those who see us, may know that we belong to the Lord, and therefore hopefully they too will seek salvation in God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, inspired by the examples of St. Luke the Evangelist and other holy saints of God, and remembering always the words of the Lord, how the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few, let us all pray sincerely and fervently, so that we may truly know and understand what we can do in order to help the works of God in the salvation of mankind.

May Almighty God bless us all and strengthen us, that we may courageously take up the cross and bear the mission entrusted to us, so that we may help the works of God, saving many others who await God’s salvation and who still live in the darkness of the world, and so that those of us who are called, we may embrace our calling and devote our lives in the full and complete service of the Lord. God bless us all. Amen.