(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Psalm after Seventh Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 41 : 3, 5 and Psalm 42 : 3, 4

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I go and see the face of God?

Now as I pour out my soul, I remember all this – how I used to lead the faithful in procession to the house of God, amid shouts of joy and thanksgiving, among the feasting throng.

Send forth your light and your truth; let them be my guide, let them take me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You reside.

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my gladness and delight. I will praise You with the lyre and harp, o God, my God.

 

Alternative Psalm (If there is baptism)

Psalm 50 : 12-15, 18, 19

Create in me, o God, a pure heart; give me a new and steadfast spirit. Do not cast me out of Your presence nor take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Give me again the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will show wrongdoers Your ways and sinners will return to You.

You take no pleasure in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, You would not delight in it.

O God, my sacrifice is a broken spirit; a contrite heart You will not despise.

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Psalm after Fourth Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 29 : 2, 4-6, 11-13

I extol You, o Lord, for You have rescued me; my enemies will not gloat over me.

O Lord, You have brought me up from the grave, You gave me life when I was going to the pit. Sing to the Lord, o you His saints, give thanks and praise to His Holy Name.

For His anger lasts but a little while, and His kindness all through life. Weeping may tarry for the night, but rejoicing comes with the dawn.

Hear, o Lord, and have mercy on me; o Lord, be my protector. But now, You have turned my mourning into rejoicing; You have taken off my sackcloth and wrapped me in the garments of gladness.

And so, my soul, no longer silent, now sings praise without ceasing, o Lord, my God, forever will I give You thanks.

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Psalm after Third Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Exodus 15 : 1-6, 17-18

I will sing to YHVH, the glorious One, horse and rider He has thrown into the sea. YHVH is my strength and my song and He is my salvation. He is my God and I will praise Him; the God of my father, I will extol Him.

YHVH is a warrior, YHVH is His Name. The chariots of Pharaoh and his army, He has hurled into the sea; his chosen officers were drowned in the Red Sea.

The deep covers them; they went down like a stone. Your hand, o YHVH, glorious and powerful, Your right hand, o YHVH, shatters the enemy.

You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of Your inheritance, the place You chose to dwell in, o YHVH, the sanctuary prepared by Your hands. YHVH will reign forever!

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Psalm after Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 15 : 5, 8-11

O Lord, my inheritance and my cup, my chosen portion – hold secure my lot.

I keep the Lord always before me, for with Him at my right hand, I will never be shaken.

My heart, therefore, exults, my soul rejoices; my body too will rest assured. For You will not abandon my soul to the grave, nor will You suffer Your holy One to see decay in the land of the dead.

You will show me the path of life, in Your presence the fullness of joy, at Your right hand happiness forever.

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Psalm after First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 103 : 1-2, 5-6, 10, 12-14, 24 and 35

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; You stretch out the heavens like a tent.

You set the earth on its foundations, and never will it be shaken. You covered it with the ocean like a garment, and waters spread over the mountains.

You make springs gush forth in valleys winding among mountains and hills.

Birds build their nests close by and sing among the branches of trees. You water the mountains from Your abode and fill the earth with the fruit of Your work. You make grass grow for cattle and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth.

How varied o Lord, are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all – the earth full of Your creatures. May sinners vanish from the earth, and may the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, my soul!

 

Alternative Psalm

Psalm 32 : 4-7, 12-13, 20, 22

For upright is the Lord’s word and worthy of trust is His work. The Lord loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of His kindness.

The heavens were created by His word, the breath of His mouth formed their starry host. He gathered the waters of the sea into a heap, and stored the deep in cellars.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord – the people He has chosen for His inheritance. The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole race of mortals.

In hope we wait for the Lord, for He is our help and our shield.

O Lord, let Your love rest upon us, even as our hope rests in You.

Friday, 22 November 2013 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Cast out evil! Purify ourselves! Throw out the devil that is in us! Draw closer to the Lord and make ourselves worthy of Him!

Brethren in Christ, that is the essence of what we had heard in the readings of the Holy Scripture today. At the centre of it all, drawing parallels between the purification of the Temple of Jerusalem by the Maccabeans, after it had been defiled by the pagan idols of the Greek king Antiochus Epiphanes, and the purification of the Temple, by Jesus our Lord, from the crooked merchants and cheaters of the people, is the importance for us to keep the purity of our souls and our bodies, which are the Temples of the Divine Presence, from all sorts of corruptions and evils.

The Lord showed His righteous anger, which He poured without mercy against those who had defiled the holiness of God’s Temple on earth, the Temple of Jerusalem. He whipped them and refused them from His presence, shunning them to the place prepared to them, outside of His salvation. That was what He had shown in the Gospel today, and what the disciples rightly pointed out, that the love Jesus has for His Father, has brought Him into a great wrath against those who defiled the House of the Lord.

The profanation was removed, and holiness returned to the House of God, in the same way that the Temple was purified by the Maccabees. The merchants profaned the House of God by the vile practices and other vices, by their dishonest practices and blatant cheating against the genuinely faithful worshippers of the Lord.

The Greeks under the Seleucid King Antiochus Epiphanes profaned the temple with idols and pagan practices. These were cast out of the House of God and the House was in both instances, made worthy again to be the dwelling of the Lord Most High. Then, one may ask, how does this relate to all of us? Is not the Temple as a building cleansed of vices and made worthy once again for the Lord?

That is because, brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us have often not realised that in each one of us, who believes in Christ our Lord as our Saviour, we all are the House of God, the divine Temple where He resides and dwells. How so? Remember that we are all receiving the Lord regularly whenever we attend and participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We receive Him in the Most Holy Eucharist, the bread and the wine turned into our Lord’s own Precious Body and Blood.

The Lord who comes to us in His Most Holy and Real Presence in the Eucharist dwells within us, just as He takes us to dwell unto Him. And since the Lord has come upon us and dwell within each one of us who had received His Body and His Blood, we have been made to be just like the Temple of Jerusalem, because God dwells within us! Remember that Jesus is also known as Emmanuel, which means God is with us!

That is why, brothers and sisters, as we lived this life given to us by the Lord, we have to be always aware, that our actions have great implications. Remember always that the Lord dwells in us, and His Spirit is living inside of us. We are the Temples of the Holy Spirit, the Temples of the Holy Presence of God. Therefore, we cannot be complacent, and allow the influences of evil to corrupt our bodies, our minds, and our souls, since we are the places where the Lord Himself had dwelled in.

If we corrupt our bodies, our minds, and our souls with evil, that is by keeping our sinfulness without check, be assured that the Lord will cast us all out of His sight, just as what He had done with the corrupt merchants who had set their stalls on the holy grounds of the Temple of Jerusalem. He will not welcome us if we do not keep our body, mind, and soul to be always worthy of Him. He will cast us out in the same way He had cast out the merchants from the Temple of God.

Today we celebrate the feast day of St. Cecilia, one of the greatest saints of the Church. And we all know her well, as the patron saint of music, of our choir and of all who dedicate themselves to the commitment of beautiful hymns aimed at praising the Lord our God. Yet, St. Cecilia is also a pious and a holy martyr, one who did not allow the corruption of this world to touch her, resolving to keep herself pure and immaculate, despite the temptations and good offers from the lord of this world, that is evil.

Instead, St. Cecilia, defending her true faith unto death, received in the Lord, the assurance of eternal life and eternal glory. This is our faith, brothers and sisters, and do not let it to be corrupted by the lies of the devil. St. Cecilia lived an upright and just life, dedicated to her faith in God. She staunchly resolved to maintain the purity of her soul in an era filled with wickedness, by holding up her chastity.

St. Cecilia devoted herself and her entire life to God and therefore maintained the purity of her Temple, and she did not give up her purity for the comfortable life, and instead give it up for the sake of the Lord. Her purity is truly exemplary to all of us. And this is the kind of attitude that we need to have towards our faith in the Lord. Maintain always the purity of our hearts, our minds, our souls, and our bodies, just as St. Cecilia had done.

St. Cecilia is a role model for all of us, and I hope that today, we all will be more empowered and strengthened, to follow the Lord our God without moving away to the left or right. Let us now then resolve, and say to the Lord, that we all will honour Him and keep holy our selves, our bodies and souls, that we will ever be worthy to be His dwelling, and that on the last day, through the intercession of St. Cecilia, we will join her in singing the hymn of praise to the Lord, for eternity.

May the Lord our God give us strength, perseverance, and willpower, in order to keep the Temple of the Lord, the House and residence of our Lord in us, pure and worthy, as the beloved children of God, to whom He has sent Jesus His Son. God bless us all. Amen.

Friday, 22 November 2013 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Luke 19 : 45-48

Then Jesus entered the Temple area and began to drive out the merchants. And He said to them, “God says in the Scriptures, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of robbers!'”

Jesus was teaching every day in the Temple. The chief priests and teachers of the Law wanted to kill Him, and the elders of the Jews as well, but they were unable to do anything, for all the people were listening to Him and hanging on His words.