Saturday, 28 November 2015 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, the last day of our current liturgical year, as is the norms for the Scripture readings taken for these period of time, we always heard about the coming of the end of days, when the devil would amount one last attempt to destroy God’s people and to persecute all the faithful through the means of force, gathering all the forces of the wicked one last time against God and His majesty.

The four great beasts that arose symbolised the powers of this world, the princes and lieutenants of the evil one, and the last of which is the great enemy himself, the devil, Lucifer, once the greatest and mightiest of the angels and creations of the Lord, but who had fallen far in his pride, vanity and greed to be a great demon and destroyer of the world, known by us now as Satan.

And daily, every single day of our lives, Satan and his forces, his fellow fallen angels are battling our guardian angels, the angels sent to protect us, for the sake of our souls, that they may corrupt them and bring us down into damnation together with them in the eternal fire. As he was not able to ascend above the angels of God and seize the throne of God, thus, Satan is filled with hatred and jealousy against all of us, who are God’s most beloved and favoured ones.

And he had attempted many times to bring all of us down with him, beginning from when he seduced our first forefathers into sin, by disobeying the Lord and thus sundered from the love and grace He had given them, and by that, he subjected mankind to himself and to his dominion through sin and evil. And through sin he manipulated mankind that many souls fell into his prey.

He introduced to us many forms of wickedness and sins of this world, engaging us in leisurely and pleasurable pursuits of the flesh, in acts that are against God’s will and in things that distract us and keep us away from being able to understand the truth about how wicked we have become, and how far we have gone astray from the salvation and eternal life in God.

We have to remember the examples of those who lived during the time of Noah, when the Great Flood came to destroy all forms of life and civilisations of those who had been deemed wicked by the Lord. Those people enjoyed life and acted as if God did not exist, and they did not obey the Lord’s commandments and laws but instead following their own hearts’ desires.

And there was indeed no warning to them save for the works of Noah who built the great Ark to save the living animals and beings as instructed by the Lord, and those who ignored the signs shown by the Lord, seeking their repentance surely would have regretted it in hell, when the great flood and rain came to eradicate all of them from existence, and cleanse the earth from their wickedness.

This is a reminder to all of us, to always be ready and be vigilant of all things around us, that we will always guard our thoughts, our words and actions, so that in all things, we will not go against the Lord and we will always walk in His ways faithfully. We must not have the thoughts that we have all the time we need, and as long as we atone in the end, the Lord will forgive us our sins and absolve us into eternal life.

Remember, that Jesus had repeatedly made it clear that His coming again will not come announced and predictable. He will not make His coming known and He can just appear again at any time in accordance with His will. And if His coming, like that of a thief, catch us all unprepared, certainly we will not want ourselves to end up on the wrong side of the Lord’s judgment.

On the day of judgment, God will separate the people and everything into two sides, namely those who have been faithful to Him and walked in His ways, and those who have not been obedient to Him. Those whom He had rejected will have no hope for salvation and no hope for escape from the eternal damnation and the eternal fire that awaits them, to punish them for eternity. We certainly do not want to be caught amongst these condemned ones.

Instead, we all should from now on, from this very moment onwards, strive to do our best in following God in all of His ways. Let us no longer be selfish or greedy in our actions, but learn to do our best in loving each other, caring for the poor, the sick and the dying, and let all of our words and deeds be filled with love, so that when our Lord comes again, He will see the righteousness in us and bless us. God be with us all, now and forever. Amen.

Saturday, 28 November 2015 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)

Luke 21 : 34-36

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples and to the people, “Be on your guard, do not immerse yourselves in a life of pleasure, drunkenness and worldly cares, lest that day catch you unaware, like a trap! For, like a snare, will that day come upon all the inhabitants of the earth.”

“But watch at all times and pray, that you may be able to escape all that is going to happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Saturday, 28 November 2015 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)

Daniel 3 : 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87

All people on earth, praise and exalt Him forever.

Israel, praise and exalt Him forever.

Priests of the Lord, praise and exalt Him forever.

Servants of the Lord, praise and exalt Him forever.

Spirits and souls of the just, praise and exalt Him forever.

Those who are holy and humble of heart, praise and exalt Him forever.

Saturday, 28 November 2015 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)

Daniel 7 : 15-27

I, Daniel, was deeply troubled, since these visions terrified me. I approached one of those who were standing there, and asked him to tell me what all this meant. He answered me and gave me the interpretation of these things :

“These four beasts are four kings who will rise from the earth. But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom to possess it eternally, forever and ever.” Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, different from the others, extraordinarily terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze claws, that ate, and tore into pieces and crushed underfoot whatever remained.

I also wanted to know about the ten horns it had on its head, and about the other horn which had sprung up, and the three first horns that fell, and about this horn with eyes and a mouth that spoke with arrogance, and that looked greater than the other horns.

As I looked, this horn waged war against the holy ones and was subduing them until the One of Great Age came to do justice for the holy ones of the Most High, and the time came for the holy ones to take possession of the kingdom.

Then I was told : “The fourth animal shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, different from all the kingdoms. It will devour the earth, crush it and destroy it. The ten horns are ten kings who shall rise from this kingdom. Another one will rise up after them and destroy three kings.”

“This king shall insult the Most High and persecute the holy ones of the Most High. He shall try to change the feasts and the laws. The holy ones shall be handed over to his power for a time, two times, and half a time.”

“But judgment will come and dominion will be taken from him; he shall be destroyed and utterly wiped out. The kingship, dominion and leadership of all the kingdoms of the world shall be given to the people of the holy ones of God Most High : His kingdom will be without end. All the kingdoms shall serve Him and be subject to Him.”

Saturday, 14 November 2015 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day the Sacred Scriptures gave us a clear reminder of what we need to do in this life, that is to seek the Lord, with all of our strength, with all of our heart, and with all of our attention and effort. The story of the woman who constantly sought an evil judge without ceasing and eventually gained his attention and help is a model for us all to follow.

The evil judge represents someone with power and authority who has the ability to give what the woman wanted, that is justice and righteousness, but he was unwilling to do so, because he felt that he was above the law and not subject to any other authority or demands, and thus, he felt not obliged to listen to the woman or to any of her pleas.

And yet, the woman, who in fact represents all of us, the faithful people of God, kept without cease, asking and asking, begging and begging all day long, and seeking the judge all the time without end, pursuing him to give her justice against her enemies. Regardless of whatever situation, the woman did not stop persevering, and she kept on trying again and again.

Eventually the evil and wicked judge relented, not so much because he wanted to help her, but rather because her constant nagging and chasing after his justice has become a great nuisance to him, and he wanted to get rid of that nuisance by simply granting the woman her wish. He hoped that by granting her wish, she would stop coming at him and therefore stop disturbing him.

And this is to bring contrast between what the evil judge had done and what our Lord, God our Father will do to us, if we ask Him for a favour or for something. If the evil judge was willing to help the woman after incessant begging and pleas, then so much more will our Lord help us, when we ask for Him and for His favour and help. God will definitely help us if we ask Him.

The problem lies in the fact that many of us were unable to ask Him because of one reason or another. Many of us were not aware that God is able to help us and assist us, and many of us do not even know that God exists around us and that His sight is always upon us at all times. We often think that God is a fearsome and scary God Who is not approachable and Who will punish all those who break His laws.

Remember what Jesus said to His disciples? He said that if we need something, we should just ask, and it will be given to us, as long as it is within the will and the grace of God. And if we knock the door, the door and the way shall be opened to us, and we shall be able to find what we need. It is very important that all of us seek the Lord and beseech Him for help, not just for material goods, but more importantly, for the sake of our salvation.

Many of us remember the Lord only in bad and difficult times, asking or rather demanding Him to help us, as if He is like a wonder and miracle worker. But whenever we have good times, we often do not remember Him as we are often too busy with ourselves, and we are unable to shake ourselves free from those temptations of joy and pleasures of this world.

And whenever we do not get what we wanted when we ask it of the Lord, then we often become angry and disgusted. And many of us are angry at the Lord or no longer putting our trust in Him. But this is not the right attitude, since in the first place, we have no right to demand Him for anything. The story of the evil judge and the woman reminds us that what we can do is to ask the Lord and pray to Him, hoping that He will listen to us and fulfil our wishes.

And if the evil judge gave in to the woman’s wishes because of her incessant nuisance and insistence, God Who loves us all will surely listen to us if we ask. This is why our prayers must be genuine and constant, and not just a litany of requests and demands as what many of us often do. Rather, our prayers must be genuine and true, a real conversation with our God.

Let us all therefore from now on enhance our prayer and spiritual life, filling up our lives with genuine spirituality and focus on the Lord. Let us all renew our commitment to the Lord and devote ourselves ever more to God’s ways, and in all of our actions let us all bring glory to God and declare His love to all mankind. May God be with us all. Amen.

Saturday, 14 November 2015 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)

Luke 18 : 1-8

At that time, Jesus told His disciples and the people a parable, to show them that they should pray continually, and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain town there was a judge, who neither feared God nor people. In the same town, there was a widow, who kept coming to him, saying, ‘Defend my rights against my opponent!'”

“For a time he refused, but finally he thought, ‘Even though I neither fear God nor care about people, this widow bothers me so much, I will see that she gets justice; then she will stop coming and wearing me out.”

And Jesus said, “Listen to what the evil judge says. Will God not do justice for His chosen ones, who cry to Him day and night, even if He delays in answering them? I tell you, He will speedily do them justice. But, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

Saturday, 14 November 2015 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)

Psalm 104 : 2-3, 36-37, 42-43

Sing to Him, sing His praise, proclaim all His wondrous deeds. Glory in His holy Name; let those who seek the Lord rejoice.

Then He smote all the firstborn, the firstfruits of their manhood. He led Israel out of the alien land, laden with silver and gold, and none were left behind.

For He remembered His promise to Abraham, His servant. So He led forth His people with joy, His chosen ones with singing.