Sunday, 9 June 2019 : Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Acts 2 : 1-11

When the day of Pentecost came, the disciples of Jesus were all together in one place. And suddenly out of the sky came a sound like a strong rushing wind and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared tongues as if of fire which parted and came to rest upon each one of them. All were filled with Holy Spirit and began to speak other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

Staying in Jerusalem were religious Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered, all excited because each heard them speaking in his own language. Full of amazement and wonder, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? How is it that we hear them in our own native language?”

“Here are Parthians, Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and foreigners who accept Jewish beliefs, Cretians and Arabians; and all of us hear them proclaiming in our own language what God, the Saviour, does.”

Sunday, 4 June 2017 : Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red
Acts 2 : 1-11

When the day of Pentecost came, the disciples of Jesus were all together in one place. And suddenly out of the sky came a sound like a strong rushing wind and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared tongues as if of fire which parted and came to rest upon each one of them. All were filled with Holy Spirit and began to speak other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

Staying in Jerusalem were religious Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered, all excited because each heard them speaking in his own language. Full of amazement and wonder, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? How is it that we hear them in our own native language?”

“Here are Parthians, Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and foreigners who accept Jewish beliefs, Cretians and Arabians; and all of us hear them proclaiming in our own language what God, the Saviour, does.”

Saturday, 3 June 2017 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red
Genesis 11 : 1-9

The whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved from east, they found a plain in the country of Shinar where they settled. They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them in fire.” They used brick for stone and bitumen for mortar. They said also, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top reaching heaven; so that we may become a great people and not be scattered over the face of the earth!”

YHVH came down to see the city and the tower that the sons of man were building, and YHVH said, “They are one people and they have one language. If they carry this through, nothing they decide to do from now on will be impossible. Come! Let Us go down and confuse their language so that they will no longer understand each other.”

So YHVH scattered them over all the earth and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel, because there YHVH confused the language of the whole earth and from there YHVH scattered them over the whole face of the earth.

Alternative reading
Exodus 19 : 3-8a, 16-20b

The Israelites camped there in front of the mountain, but Moses went up to God and YHVH called to him from the mountain, saying, “This is what you are to say and to explain to the Israelites : You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to Myself.”

“Now if you listen to Me and keep My covenant, you shall be My very own possession among all the nations. For all the earth is Mine, but you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” And He added, “This is what you are to say to the people of Israel.”

So Moses went and summoned all the elders of the people and related to them all that YHVH had commanded him to say. All the people responded with one voice, “All that YHVH has said, we will do.”

On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning and a dense cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast was heard. All the people in the camp trembled. Moses then made the people leave the camp to meet God and stand at the foot of the mountain.

Mount Sinai was completely covered in smoke because YHVH had come down in fire, and the smoke rose as from a furnace. The whole mountain shook violently, while the blast of the trumpet became louder and louder. Moses spoke and God replied in thunder. When YHVH had come down to the summit of Mount Sinai, God called Moses who went to the summit.

Alternative reading
Ezekiel 37 : 1-14

The hand of YHVH was upon me. He brought me out and led me in spirit to the middle of the valley which was full of bones. He made me walk to and fro among them and I could see there was a great number of them on the ground all along the valley and that they were very dry.

YHVH said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live again?” I said, “Lord YHVH, only You know that.” He then said, “Speak on My behalf concerning these bones; say to them : Dry bones, hear the word of YHVH! YHVH says : I am going to put spirit in you and make you live. I shall put sinews on you and make flesh grow on you; I shall cover you with skin and give you My Spirit, that you may live. And you will know that I am YHVH.”

“I prophesied as I had been commanded and then there was a noise and commotion; the bones joined together. I looked and saw that they had sinews, that flesh was growing on them and that He was covering them with skin. But there was no spirit in them.”

So YHVH said to me, “Speak on My behalf and call on the Spirit, son of man! Say to the Spirit : This is the word of YHVH : Spirit, come from the four winds. Breathe into these dead bones and let them live!” I prophesied as He had commanded me and breath entered them; they came alive, standing on their feet – a great, immense army!

He then said to me, “Son of man, these bones are all Israel. They keep saying : ‘Our bones are dry, hope has gone, it is the end of us.’ So prophesy! Say to them : This is what YHVH says : I am going to open your tombs, I shall bring you out of your tombs, My people, and lead you back to the land of Israel.”

“You will know that I am YHVH, o My people! When I open your graves and bring you out of your graves, when I put My Spirit in you and you live. I shall settle you in your land and you will know that I, YHVH, have done what I said I would do.”

Alternative reading
Joel 3 : 1-5

In the last days, I will pour out My Spirit on every mortal. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even upon My servants and maidens, I will pour out My Spirit on that day.

I will show wonders in the heavens, and on earth blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun will darken and the moon turn to blood, at the approach of the great and dreadful day of God.

Then all who call upon the Name of YHVH will be saved. For on Mount Zion there will be a remnant, as YHVH has said; in Jerusalem some will be saved – those whom YHVH will call.

Sunday, 17 January 2016 : Second (2nd) Sunday of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony, Abbot and World Day of Migrants and Refugees (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 12 : 4-11

There is diversity of gifts, but the Spirit is the same. There is diversity of ministries, but the Lord is the same. There is diversity of works, but the same God works in all.

The Spirit reveals His presence in each one with a gift that is also a service. One is to speak with wisdom, through the Spirit. Another teaches according to the same Spirit. To another is given faith, in which the Spirit acts; to another the gift of healing, and it is the same Spirit.

Another works miracles, another is a prophet, another recognises what comes from the good or evil spirit; another speaks in tongues, and still another interprets what has been said in tongues. And all of this is the work of the one and only Spirit, Who gives to each one as He so desires.

Saturday, 30 May 2015 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we have heard today of the doubt of the Pharisees, and how they doubted the works and the authority of Jesus, when He taught in the Temple, by challenging Him to provide the origins of His teaching authority, which came to clash with the authority with which the Pharisees themselves had taught.

The Pharisees were jealous with the popularity of Jesus, who from time to time again proved to be able to draw big masses of people who clamoured and wished to hear the truth which Christ had brought into the world. The Pharisees taught as with they were judging the people, by asserting how they were right and that the people whom they taught were wrong. Well, Jesus did the same too, but when He taught them, His teaching was such that it was done with true and clear authority.

It is indeed like what we heard from the first reading from the Book of the prophet Sirach or Ecclesiastes, on the nature of revelation of God’s truth in us. It is like a people who had longed for something good and then saw what they want. Truly, once they saw it, they would do all in what they are able to in order to find it and get hold of it. And thus, the same too happened with the people who longed for the truth, and having been oppressed for a long time under the lies of the world.

The moment they see the truth which Christ brought, it was like a great Light which pierced the darkness of the world, and which pierced the darkness that had once veiled our eyes. What Christ had taught, is done with true authority and rings true in our hearts, because deep within all of us, we have that desire to love the Lord and to follow what is right.

The Pharisees refused to listen and believe, because they have that one weakness which all of us also have and share among us, that is our pride. The human pride is one of the greatest obstacles that prevented us from being truly faithful and devoted to the Lord. It prevented us from being able to introspect into ourselves to look at our shortcomings and weaknesses, which we truly ought to seek the Lord who could have helped us to redress the issue.

Therefore, one of the first thing that we must do is, to throw far, far away our pride and to learn humility, that is the readiness and willingness to listen to others, and not least of all, but in fact the most important is, for us to be able to listen to the Lord, our loving God. We are often too distracted with the variety of things, temptations and other things in the world, and all these noise prevented us from truly hearing the word of God, which He spoke softly inside our hearts.

We often miss this because we are unable to perceive the subtlety of the Lord speaking to us because we are so occupied with the things of this world. We are too busy with ourselves to even pay attention to Him and to spare some thoughts to Him. That is why we have the tendency to always think that firstly, we are always right. We always blame others first in all things.

Can we learn to dispose our ego and cast away our pride? If we are unable to do so, then I fear that the word of truth, that is the word of God will be drowned in the ocean of ego and human desires. If we want to move forward in the path towards salvation and eternal life, then the only way is by growing deeper in our spirituality, and most importantly, by nurturing our prayer life. If we are able to pray regularly and frequently with genuine intention, then we will be able to communicate more efficiently with our Lord and know what is His truth.

Let us learn to take a break from all the distractions and noise in the world, and learn to quieten ourselves down, so that we may find the voice of God in us, and speak with Him in the silence of our hearts. Let us devote ourselves ever more to the Lord our God. God bless us all. Amen.

Saturday, 30 May 2015 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 11 : 27-33

At that time, Jesus and His disciples were once again in Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking in the Temple, the chief priests, the teachers of the Law and the elders came to Him and asked, “What authority do You have to act like this? Who gave You authority to do the things You do?”

Jesus said to them, “I will ask you a question, only one, and if you give me an answer, then I will tell you what authority I have to act like this. Was John’s preaching and baptism a work of God, or was it merely something human? Answer Me.”

And they kept arguing among themselves, “If we answer that it was a work of God, He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?'” But neither could they answer before the people that the baptism of John was merely something human, for everyone regarded John as a prophet.

So they answered Jesus, “We do not know,” and Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you what authority I have to act as I do.”

Saturday, 30 May 2015 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 18 : 8, 9, 10, 11

The Law of the Lord is perfect : it gives life to the soul. The word of the Lord is trustworthy : it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right : they give joy to the heart. The commandments of the Lord are clear : they enlighten the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is pure, it endures forever; the judgments of the Lord are true, all of them just and right.

They are more precious than gold – pure gold of a jeweller; they are much sweeter than honey which drops from the honeycomb.