Wednesday, 11 February 2015 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (our Lady of Lourdes)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the great feast day of Mary, the mother of our Lord and God Jesus Christ, who had appeared to her people, that is all of us, through the intermediary of St. Bernadette Soubirous just over a hundred and fifty years ago, in the quiet village and area of Lourdes in southern France. Today is the feast of our Lady of Lourdes, also known as the day of universal prayer for the sick and those afflicted with diseases both of body and soul.

We heard in the Gospel today of the creation of mankind, good and wonderful and perfect, filled with all the goodness of God, and made in the image of God. All of us were destined for a life filled with bliss and great happiness. Sickness and death were never meant for us, for these are the things of darkness, and we are the children of the Light, that is God.

Yet, it was because of our disobedience that we have sinned before the Lord and before all men, and therefore, in our disobedience and lack of faith, we brought the sickness unto ourselves, and sickness as well as corruption become a part of us. And that is what our Lord wants us to overcome and be freed from. He came into the world and through His teachings and works, He made whole a people that had been claimed by the darkness.

In the psalms, we heard about the praise upon Judith, the brave and courageous daughter of Israel and a holy woman, who despite of the great threat that faced her people, in the great force of the Babylonians under the leadership of the mighty general Holofernes, she went forth by herself to the camp of the enemy and in full faith of the Lord’s providence, she gained a great victory, triumph and salvation for her people by slaying the general when he was drunk with wine in his sleep.

Thus a great disaster was averted for the people of God, a people that had been subjected to the might and power of the conquering nation, expecting nothing else other than annihilation and slavery. It was because of the faith of one woman, who put her trust in the Lord, that salvation came for the people of God, and God heard the sincere prayers of the woman, Judith, which she made before she ventured into the enemy’s camp.

In the Gospel today, we hear something similar, and of an even greater significance for us all, as we heard about the Wedding at Cana, a story that we are surely all familiar with. In that wedding, the wedding couple who are the hosts of the wedding went into great trouble for their wine supply had run out. This is a great taboo in the Jewish society, and had the guests and the steward knew about it, the couple would be shamed and reviled for the rest of their lives.

That is when we know that Mary knew about the problem which the couple had, and she performed something that would set a great precedent. She requested for her Son to help the couple and get them out of trouble. Indeed, Jesus seemingly refused this when He remarked to her that it was not His time just yet. But, what Mary told the servants would be indeed amazing, as she said that whatever He would tell them, they have to listen to Him.

And indeed, Jesus performed His very first miracle right there and then. He turned the water into wine, and the reputation of the wedding couple was saved. But what is the true significance of this, brothers and sisters? It is that our beloved mother and the mother of our Lord Jesus, that is Mary, never forgets us when we are in trouble. Just as she was very observant of the problem faced by the couple, she too from heaven can see our troubles and the obstacles that lay in our path.

Mary is the greatest of all saints, not just because of her piety and her faithful life, which she spent in total and complete dedication to the will of God, mirroring what Judith had done even to a much greater scale, but she is also the mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ our Saviour and King. And she sits the closest to her Son’s throne in heaven, at His right hand, giving Him advice, prayers and petitions from all of us.

And she is also our mother, for remember that before His death on the cross, Jesus entrusted His own mother to His disciple John, just as He entrusted John to her. In this manner, He therefore entrusted all of us to the care of Mary, His mother. And that is how significant this feast day is for us. As we know with the other famous Marian apparitions, Mary appeared to many people, calling for them to repent and change from their sinful ways. She asked the people to devote themselves more and more to her Son, our Lord.

And in Lourdes, it was no different, for Mary also mentioned to St. Bernadette Soubirous, the need for the world to be converted for the sake of Christ, that everyone may receive the grace of salvation and liberation from their sins. And through her intercession for our sake, many had received miraculous healing at the Lourdes site ever since the apparition.

The water of the spring at Lourdes appeared since the time when Mary appeared to St. Bernadette, and those who bathed and immersed themselves in the water had been healed from their afflictions. This is why today we also pray for the sake of all those who are sick, as a reminder of this great grace of God. But we have to remember that, it is not that the water has any magical properties, or that Mary is the one who performed the miracle for us.

Rather, just like at the wedding at Cana, she is our intercessor, bringing our prayers directly to her Son, Jesus our Lord. Through her prayers, we are all made whole again by the grace of her Son, Jesus, who performed the healing and the miracle for us. What is the key? None other than our faith and our effort in living up to that faith. It is our faith in the power of our Lord, and the effort we have done to seek Him, which healed us from our afflictions, both of the body, and also of the soul, that is sin.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, on this great feast day of our Lady of Lourdes, let us all renew our commitment to our loving God, and let us all be ever more devoted to His mother, Mary, who is also our mother, and who like a mother is always concerned about us and daily pray for our sake, bringing our petitions and plight before her Son in heaven. Mary, our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us sinners that your Son may bring us to a new life everlasting freed from the afflictions of our body and soul. Amen.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (our Lady of Lourdes)

Mark 7 : 14-23

At that time, Jesus then called the people to Him again and said to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and try to understand. Nothing that enters a person from the outside can make that person unclean. It is what comes from within that makes a person unclean. Let everyone who has ears listen.”

When Jesus got home and was away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him about this saying, and He replied, “So even you are dull? Do you not see that whatever comes from outside cannot make a person unclean, since it enters not the heart but the stomach, and is finally passed out?”

Thus Jesus declared that all foods are clean. And He went on, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him, for evil designs come out of the heart : theft, murder, adultery, jealousy, greed, maliciousness, deceit, indecency, slander, pride and folly. All these evil things come from within and make a person unclean.”

Alternative reading (Mass of our Lady of Lourdes)

John 2 : 1-11

At that time, three days after Jesus had called Nathanael to be His disciple, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also invited to the wedding with His disciples. When all the wine provided for the celebration had been served, and they had run out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

Jesus replied, “Woman, what concern is that to you and Me? My hour has not yet come.” However His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”

Nearby were six stone water jars, set there for ritual washing as practiced by the Jews, each jar could hold twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them to the brim. Then Jesus said, “Now draw some out and take it to the steward.” So they did.

The steward tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing from where it had come; for only the servants who had drawn the water knew. So, he called the bridegroom to tell him, “Everyone serves the best wine first, and when people have drunk enough, he serves that which is ordinary. Instead, you have kept the best wine until the end.”

This miraculous sign was the first, and Jesus performed it at Cana in Galilee. In this way He let His glory appear, and His disciples believed in Him.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (our Lady of Lourdes)

Psalm 103 : 1-2a, 27-28, 29bc-30

Bless the Lord, my soul! Clothed in majesty and splendour; o Lord, my God, how great You are! You are wrapped in light as with a garment.

They all look to You for their food in due time. You give it to them, and they gather it up; You open Your hand, they are filled with good things.

You take away their breath, they expire and return to dust. When You send forth Your Spirit, they are created, and the face of the earth is renewed.

Alternative reading (Mass of our Lady of Lourdes)

Judith 13 : 18bcde, 19

My daughter, may the Most High God bless you more than all women on earth. And blessed be the Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has led you to behead the leader of our enemies.

Never will people forget the confidence you have shown; they will always remember the power of God.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (our Lady of Lourdes)

Genesis 2 : 4b-9, 15-17

On the day that YHVH God made the earth and the heavens, there was not yet on the earth any shrub of the fields, nor had any plant yet sprung up, for YHVH God had not made it rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the earth, but a mist went up from the earth and watered the surface of the earth.

Then YHVH God formed Man, dust drawn from the clay, and breathed into his nostrils a breath of life and Man became alive with breath. God planted a garden in Eden in the east and there He placed Man whom He had created. YHVH God caused to grow from the ground every kind of tree that is pleasing to see and good to eat, also the Tree of Life in the middle of the garden and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

YHVH God took Man and placed him in the garden of Eden to till it and take care of it. Then YHVH God gave an order to Man saying, “You may eat of every tree in the garden, but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you will not eat, for on the day you eat of it, you will die.”

Alternative reading (Mass of our Lady of Lourdes)

Isaiah 66 : 10-14c

Rejoice for Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her. Be glad with her, rejoice with her, all you who were in grief over her, that you may suck of the milk from her comforting breasts, that you may drink deeply from the abundance of her glory.

For this is what YHVH says : “I will send her peace, overflowing like a river; and the nations’ wealth, rushing like a torrent towards her. And you will be nursed and carried in her arms and fondled upon her lap. As a son comforted by his mother, so willI I comfort you. At the sight of this, your heart will rejoice; like grass, your bones will flourish.”

Monday, 1 December 2014 : First Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s readings talk about us as the people of God, ought to go and seek the Lord, to find Him and follow His ways. Thus, we are urged to live according to what the Lord had taught us, and there are many ways to do this. But I would like to bring to your attention, our Gospel of today, which is about the faith of an army centurion or captain, whose faith in Jesus was so great that it was truly amazing for him to exhibit such a faith and Jesus praised him for such faith.

It is in fact also the kind of faith which all of us should have, a faith that is strong, genuine and sincere, and yet at the same time, it is humble, unassuming and also undeterred. What the centurion did was exactly what we always say to the Lord at the celebration of the Holy Mass, every time the priest shows us the Most Precious Body and Blood of Christ after the singing of the Agnus Dei. Remember the words? ‘I am not worthy, that You should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.’

These words are almost a direct representation from the words of the centurion, who said to Jesus, that he was unworthy to have Jesus to come to his house, sinful as he was, and he asked only that for the Lord to give the word, and then his servant shall be healed, by the power of Jesus. That is a true, sincere and genuine faith, the kind which our Lord seeks from all of us.

It is important then that we understand the circumstances, the background and the reality behind the story of the Gospel today. Judea at that time was under the rule of the descendants of king Herod the Great, but in reality their role and power was mostly just honorary. The real power and authority lie with the Romans. The military at the time was also dominated by the Romans, with some local and Temple guards, but the army were mostly Roman, the legions stationed in Judea as a garrison army.

Therefore, the army centurion was likely not a Jew in origin, and even most likely might have been a Roman, and to the Jews, the Romans, as with the other Gentiles or the non-Jewish people were considered pagan, unclean and unworthy of God. And the army centurion was likely fully aware of this fact. Thus, even though he was truly desperate to have his servant healed and brought from the brink of death, he was aware that inviting Jesus to his house might have dire implication for himself, and even more so, for Jesus.

He likely did not want Jesus to be harassed and badmouthed by the Pharisees and the Temple authorities for associating with one such as himself. These people had already made it difficult for the Lord by slandering Him for His associations with the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the Gentiles and many other people, whom the Pharisees and the Temple authorities deemed to be sinners and unworthy of salvation.

But did Jesus care about what they thought of Him? No, not at all! That is because He is solely concerned about the salvation of the souls of mankind, of sinners who has no one else to turn to but God. This concern is what made our Lord to go out and seek the sinners and the condemned, in order to bring them back from the precipice of darkness and damnation, and to return them into the light and the grace of God.

The army centurion was fully aware of his unworthiness, and he came forth to beg the Lord’s love and mercy, and with complete and full trust in the Lord, he knew that, while he was unworthy to receive the Lord in his own house, but whatever the Lord would do for his sake, would truly come true. This is the kind of great faith which the army centurion had, and which the Pharisees and the Temple authorities did not have.

Do we all remember about the doubting disciple, Thomas, who doubted the resurrection of Christ? Who refused to believe until the Lord Himself showed Himself to him? The same therefore occurred for the Pharisees, the Temple authorities, and to be frank, with many if not most of us. We want physical and visual evidence when we want to believe in something, and if we are not shown what we want to see, then we will not believe.

Yet, we have to notice that the army centurion did not even ask for Jesus to come and heal his servant physically and directly, so that he might see and believe. No, in fact he had already believed even not by seeing, and by his faith and belief in Jesus, he put his trust completely in God, and what he asked for was fulfilled completely. The Pharisees on the other hand, they had frequently seen and witnessed what Jesus had done throughout His ministry, in their futile attempts to discredit and destroy Him in their jealousy. And indeed, they failed to see the truth of God’s works in Jesus and they did not have the faith.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, we have a choice today, and on this season of Advent, there is indeed no better time to do so, that is to reflect on our own faith and on our own life. Have we been faithful in the way of the Pharisees and the Temple authorities? Is our faith like theirs, that is proud, unbending, arrogant and self-serving? Do we recognise the Lord when He comes again? Or are we too caught up in our own self-preserving attitudes, pride, jealousy and greed that we fail to recognise Him?

Certainly, we want to avoid this. And the way to truly live our lives is to be like the army centurion. Let us truly mean what we always say every time at the Mass, ‘I am not worthy, not worthy’, and not worthy we are indeed of the Lord, for we have sinned before God. Far less worthy we are indeed to even receive Him into ourselves. We have to realise this and be humble, just as the army centurion was, he who had admitted publicly that he was not worthy for Christ to come to his house and heal his servant.

And yet, our Lord Jesus, out of His great and infinite love for us, desires us to be reconciled to Himself, and He has the power and authority to heal us and make us whole, just as He had healed the servant of the army centurion. All that we need to do, is just ask, like the army centurion. He asked in great humility, sincere devotion and genuine faith, and he received his reward.

The Lord had already said to us, that we need to only ask, and we shall receive, and we need to only knock at the door, and the door shall be opened for us. Thus, this Advent season, let us use the opportunity given to us, to respond to God calling deep in our hearts, for us to repent and change our ways, and for us to walk in His ways and follow Him once again. Let us put our complete trust in Lord like the centurion, who have strong and genuine faith, without the need for doubt or proof. Do not be like the Pharisees, who have seen plenty, and yet refused to believe.

May Almighty God be with us all, and guide us all this Advent, that He may bring us all ever closer to His salvation and eternal glory, by making our faith more and more like the faith of the centurion. May we grow stronger and deeper in our humility and in our love for God. Doubt no more but believe! And let us prepare for the Lord who will come again to claim us all His people and bring us into His eternal kingdom. God bless us all. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/30/monday-1-december-2014-first-week-of-advent-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/30/monday-1-december-2014-first-week-of-advent-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/30/monday-1-december-2014-first-week-of-advent-gospel-reading/

Monday, 1 December 2014 : First Week of Advent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Matthew 8 : 5-11

At that time, when Jesus entered Capernaum, an army captain approached Him to ask His help, “Sir, my servant lies sick at home. He is paralysed and suffers terribly.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

The captain answered, “I am not worthy to have You under my roof. Just give an order and my boy will be healed. For I myself, a junior officer, give orders to my soldiers. And if I say to one, ‘Go!’ he goes; and if I say to another, ‘Come!’ he comes; and if I say to my servant, ‘Do this!’ he does it.”

When Jesus heard this He was astonished, and said to those who were following Him, “I tell you, I have not found such faith in Israel. I say to you, many will come from east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven.”

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/30/monday-1-december-2014-first-week-of-advent-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

(Usus Antiquior) Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 12 October 2014 : Homily and Scripture Reflections

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we come together to celebrate the love of God and to listen to His words as written and recorded in the Holy Scriptures. And St. Paul in his letter to the Church and the faithful in Corinth praised the people of God for their faith in God, and how the Lord Jesus affirmed the faith of all those who believed in Him, so that all of them will be justified at the end of time and not perish.

And in the Gospel, we heard about the healing of the paralytic man, that is a man who cannot move or walk due to the paralysis of the body, and Jesus healed him to show His power and authority over all things, all sins and diseases, both those of the body and those of the soul. Yes, that is why Jesus came into the world, to show the power of God by the healing of the sick, but more than just the body, as more important is the healing of the soul.

Jesus is the Lord, the God of all creations. One and only God, not created but existing and with the Father before all ages and before the beginning of the reckoning of time, and before creation. He was with the Father and the Holy Spirit, as a trinity of Godhead, Three separate and equal brings, but one in nature. This is our faith and this is what we believe in, in the Most Holy Trinity, Three Godhead but One in perfect unity of love, the One True God, whom the people of Israel also believed in.

And thus, He who is the Word of God, who created heaven and earth and all the creatures and creations in them, was willing to come down upon us, to be with us and to walk among us, taking in humility our humble human form, not that of a king but the lowly Son of a carpenter of Nazareth, that through Him, what God had planned for the salvation of mankind might proceed and be fulfilled completely.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we know that men often fall sick, suffering from the disease of the body. We know now of many diseases, both those that are contagious and non-contagious. We know of the recent outbreak of Ebola virus in Africa, of which many thousands have died, and many thousands more suffered from the disease. And we know how many millions are affected by dengue fever, malaria, polio, smallpox and many other diseases, which many of these cause not just suffering and pain, but eventually even death.

And death comes especially when the disease is left untreated, either because the sufferers are unable to afford the fees needed to cure their respective illnesses, or that the disease itself has yet to be curable, namely no cure has yet to be found. Some disease like HIV, diabetes, cancer and others have not yet been curable, and hence what doctors can do, is mostly to reduce the suffering, or in the case of cancer, that is to excise and cut out the cancerous cells to remove them from the body, or to use chemicals to kill and destroy them.

But all these bodily diseases, illnesses and afflictions pale in comparison to the disease of our heart and soul, namely sin. Sin is indeed a disease, since it attacks us in the depth of our own beings, and not just our soul and heart can be affected, but even our body, for the body obeys the will of our heart and soul. And if sin corrupts our heart and soul, our body will likely also be corrupted by the same sin.

And sin is more dangerous and harmful than the effects of the bodily diseases that I mentioned earlier on. It does not mean that those bodily diseases are trivial, but considering their seriousness and the sufferings they can inflict on us, then we should be even more aware of the kind of harm which sin can cause to us. Remember that Jesus said, that we do not need to fear those that can bring about the destruction of the body, but we ought to worry indeed, those that can bring about the destruction of the soul.

One of the intentions of Jesus is indeed that, we should not fear the devil and his agents. We have seen how scary and destructive they may seem to look, but they have no power over us. They may strike at our body, but they cannot harm our soul. The One who can bring about the destruction of our soul is indeed God Himself, the Lord and Master of all, who has the authority over all things. We know of the Last Judgment, and how the righteous will be separated from the wicked, and while the righteous will enjoy the fruits of God’s promise and love, the wicked will suffer for eternity. What will they suffer for? For their sins indeed!

Yes, so we need to indeed be wary of sin, and how it can bring about our destruction, and how it can harm us both in this life, and the life that is to come. That is why our Lord Jesus is the One with the power and authority to forgive sins. He is the One with the power to heal us from all of our afflictions, body and soul. That is why He rebuked the Pharisees when they doubted His ability to forgive sins, and even accused Him of blasphemy.

Why so? This is because they failed to recognise Christ, when it was so clear that the prophets from all ages had spoken about the Messiah who was to come. And in Jesus all of their prophecies, and all the promises of God were fulfilled. He is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, and all who believe in Him will gain life eternal, and total liberation from the sins that have chained us mankind to death.

That marked the difference between the paralytic man and the Pharisees. Both of them were afflicted, with sin and darkness in their hearts. But the paralytic man listened to the Lord and allowed Him to work His wonders in him, healing him from all of His afflictions. Thus, if we follow the Lord and remain completely faithful to Him, we will gain healing through Him and be made justified through our faith, and thus eligible of eternal life.

On the other hand, if we act like the Pharisees, thinking that we are perfectly alright and have no need for healing, then the pride, greed, arrogance and wickedness in our hearts, just as they were in the hearts of the Pharisees and the scribes will be our undoing. Is this what we want for ourselves? Certainly not. Therefore, it is imperative that we take heed of what our Lord Jesus had done and what He had taught and shown us through our Faith and through the Scriptures.

May Almighty God therefore guide us, heal us from our afflictions, empower us, and grant us strength, as well as humility, so that we may have the courage and will to ask Him humbly to heal us and to make us whole again, that we sinners, filled with the sins of our ancestors and the sins of our own daily lives, may be made pure like snow, white and pure as a diamond, and be cleansed from all the diseases of our body and soul. That in the end, after excising all that is evil from our beings, and after decisively rebuking Satan, we are precious and worthy, and are welcome into the eternal life God had prepared for us all. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 12 October 2014 : Holy Gospel

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew

Matthew 9 : 1-8

In illo tempore : Ascendens Jesus in naviculum, transfretavit et venit in civitatem suam. Et ecce, offerebant et paralyticum jacentem in lecto. Et videns Jesus fidem illorum, dixit paralytico : Confide, fili, remittuntur tibi peccata tua.

Et ecce, quidam de scribis dixerunt intra se : Hic blasphemat. Et cum vidisset Jesus cogitationes eorum, dixit : Ut quid cogitatis mala in cordibus vestris? Quid est facilius dicere : Dimittuntur tibi peccata tua; an dicere : Surge et ambula?

Ut autem sciatis, quia Filius Hominis habet potestatem in terra dimittendi peccata, tunc ait paralytico : Surge, tolle lectum tuum, et vade in domum tuam. Et surrexit et abiit in domum suam. Videntes autem turbae timuerunt, et glorificaverunt Deum, qui dedit potestatem talem hominibus.

English translation

At that time, Jesus entering into a ship, passed over the water and came into His own city. And behold they brought to Him one paralytic man lying in a bed, and Jesus seeing their faith, said to the paralytic man, “Be of good heart, son, your sins have been forgiven.”

And behold, some of the scribes said within themselves, “He has blasphemed.” And Jesus seeing their thoughts said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’?”

“But that you may know that the Son of Man has the power on earth to forgive sins,” He then said to the paralytic man, “Arise, take up your bed and go into your house.” And the paralytic man arose, and went into his house. And the multitude seeing it, feared and glorified God who had given such power to men.

Monday, 7 July 2014 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, through Jesus, we have been granted healing and renewal, just as He had once brought the daughter of the synagogue official from death and healed the afflictions of the woman with haemorrhage. The same healing and renewal He also therefore offers us if we are to put our trust and faith in Him, just in the same way as the woman had done.

Our world today lacks the faith that the woman had, and many of us had lost faith in the Lord and chose to walk on their own path, and more often than not, this led them to be lost forever into eternal damnation. We prefer to trust in ourselves and in the desires and wants of our hearts rather than trusting in the wisdom and love of our God, which He offered to us freely to help us on our way to Himself.

Our attitude is often like those mourners who mourned the departure of the daughter of the official, thinking that we have absolutely no hope, and therefore that all is lost, hence we submit ourselves into doing things evil in the eyes of God. Or our attitude is like those who refuse to seek the Lord and prefer to keep things to ourselves, fearing His wrath and retribution for our sinfulness.

We cannot remain like this, brothers and sisters in Christ, for it is imperative that we seek the Lord with the faith like the woman with the bleeding problem. She had so much faith that she said to herself, that if only that she touched the fringe of the cloak of our Lord, she would be healed, and indeed, because of her faith, she was healed. If only that this world and all the people living in it has such a faith! Yes, this world would have been a much better place.

Faith is what is often lacking in this world today, and it is more urgently so, because we live today in a time when there is an ever greater need for true piety and faith in the Lord. Our world is growing deeper and deeper in darkness and evil, and the ways of this world is increasingly more and more wayward and distanced from the Lord and His ways. And many increasingly lose their way in the dark tangles of the devil’s works.

Many resigned themselves to a seemingly dark and hopeless despair, not knowing that there is indeed hope, and one indeed that we cannot lose sight in. And there are also those who willingly gave themselves up to the allures of the pleasures of the world, giving in to the demands of their hearts’ desires and greed. And the devil rightly uses that opportunity to snare these people deeper and deeper into his hands.

We often conveniently forget that we have hope, and that hope will not fail us if we do not give in first to despair and hopelessness. Yes, and we have that hope in Jesus Christ, the hope of all creations, whom God had sent into the world in order to bring hope and healing to all of us, who had been under the poison of sin and the slavery of death ever since the days of Adam and Eve, our ancestors.

Death, sickness and despair had been our staple ever since the beginning of mankind’s days. We cannot really separate the realities of life from all these occurrences. That was what happened to the daughter of the official, who was sick and then died, and many despaired in sorrow for her seemingly unfortunate fate. But Jesus came to show that death does not have the final say over things.

Mankind are often too preoccupied with their own self-preservation, always thinking of ways to prolong their lives and make their lives better with various treatments and other things, which all are really born of one thing, that is our fear of death and our despair over the lack of hope for our future after that death. And all these are again because we have little to no faith in Jesus our Lord and our only Hope.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, is it too difficult for us all to put our hope in Jesus our Lord? Is it too difficult for us to trust Him with all our concerns and desires? If history and experience had justified all things past, then we know that trusting ourselves with all these unnecessary desires did not work well for us, and we ended up ruining ourselves more often than not.

Our Lord knows all that we need, and He will provide for us in His own way. In that way we need not worry any longer. Indeed, as He said, that worrying over our future or having more concerns, desires and wants do not increase the length and happiness of our lives a single bit. In fact, those things will likely speed up our descent into damnation and eternal despair.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us from now on change our perspectives in life. Let us begin to put our hope and trust in Christ, and cast away all worries and all unnecessary desires, greed and wants from our lives, so that gradually we may become more and more like the children of God, whom we are supposed to be.

Let us also help one another to grow in faith, hope and love, that in all the things we do, we always do it in the loving embrace of God, and keep ourselves close to Him and to His most loving heart. May Almighty God continue to keep us close to Him and bless us and our works in this world, bringing more and more souls back to Him. Amen.

Friday, 27 June 2014 : Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, World Day of Prayer for the Sanctity of Priestly Life (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 102 : 1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8 and 10

Bless the Lord, my soul; all my being, bless His holy Name! Bless the Lord, my soul, and do not forget all His kindness.

He forgives all your sins and heals all your sickness; He redeems your life from destruction and crowns you with love and compassion.

The Lord restores justice and secures the right of the oppressed. He has made known His ways to Moses and His deeds to the people of Israel.

The Lord is gracious and merciful, abounding in love and slow to anger. He does not treat us according to our sins, nor does He punish us as we deserve.