Monday, 28 October 2013 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time, Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, Apostles (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 18 : 2-3, 4-5

The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament proclaims the work of His hands. Day talks it over with day; night hands on the knowledge to night.

No speech, no words, no voice is heard – but the call goes on throughout the universe, the message is felt to the ends of the earth.

Saturday, 5 October 2013 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White

Luke 10 : 17-24

The seventy-two disciples returned full of joy. They said, “Lord, even the demons obeyed us when we called on Your Name.” Then Jesus replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. You see, I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the Enemy, so that nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the evil spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.”

At that time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for You have hidden these things from the wise and learnt, and made them known to little ones. Yes, Father, such has been Your gracious will. I have been given all things by My Father, so that no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.”

Then Jesus turned to His disciples and said to them privately, “Fortunate are you to see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings would have liked to see what you see, but did not see it; and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”

Tuesday, 23 July 2013 : 16th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Bridget of Sweden, Religious (Gospel Reading)

Matthew 12 : 46-50

While Jesus was still talking to the people, His mother and His brothers wanted to speak to Him, and they waited outside. So someone said to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside; they want to speak with You.”

Jesus answered, “Who is My mother? Who are My brothers?” Then He pointed to His disciples and said, “Look! Here are My mother and My brothers. Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is for Me brother, sister, or mother.”

Sunday, 7 July 2013 : 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflection)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today the Lord challenges all of us, to be His disciples and His followers, and what we are expected to do, when we choose to become His servants, the extensions of His will in this world. For to become the followers of Christ does not mean an easy life to us, or a leisurely work. Indeed, becoming the followers and disciples of Christ, mean that we die to this world, and abandon all the pleasures and the good that is in the world, for the sake of Christ.

There will be those who accept us, and there will likely be even more who will reject us, sometimes may not even be in a friendly manner. That is because not all people attune themselves to the Lord and His message, and many prefer to live in the ignorance provided by the world and all its temptations. To be a servant and disciple of Christ therefore means to struggle against the world and fight in this uphill battle for the sake of the Lord.

However, we must not give up, for certainly the Lord Himself did not give up on all of us. He still keeps up hope on us, and still continue to love all of us. Indeed, He embraced all of us, gave us all the love that He has in Him, that is infinite, and treat us like His own children. Nothing less indeed than giving us His own life, through His death on the cross, that we may have eternal life ourselves, those of us who believe in Him and accept Him as our Lord and Saviour.

God cares for all of us and He will bless us if we stay true to Him and follow Him as His disciples, particularly for those of us who have been called by the Lord to be His servants and serve His people. He will provide for all of us, and even if we face difficulties and opposition, as we surely will, the Lord will always be with us, and we should not need to worry at all.

The problem with our world today is that there are so much things that are good and enticing to men, and there are so much things that tempt us away from the Lord and His call. It is not that we should ignore or shun all of the world’s goodness, but we must know the limit to such goodness, otherwise we would succumb to our natural weakness of desire and greed. If we can understand self-control, we would be able to prevent the world from corrupting our hearts and blocking our path towards the Lord.

Our world has become very materialistic and secular in nature, that many people no longer place God as first in their hearts, and even no longer has the Lord in their hearts. In God’s place came in all the greed that is of the world, for material wealth, possessions, luxury, comfort, and excesses. The crazed search for more money and wealth is just one of the many examples of how our world had changed for the worse.

Especially it is increasingly becoming very difficult for the Church to find new priests today, and new servants of the Lord. Even the numbers of religious brothers and sisters have also dropped significantly, a sign in tandem with the increasing secularism of the world, and the increasing temptation of the world on us mankind.

In the past it is easy for the Church to find new priests and religious members because God still lives strong in many people’s hearts, and many willingly give up everything they have in life for the sake of the Lord, and serve His people through the Church, be it as priests, brothers, nuns, or even as lay worker. However, as I had mentioned and all of you knew, that times had changed. Now, many people are too fixated on their material possessions that they are increasingly unwilling to abandon all of them for the sake of God and His people.

However, internal reasons are not the only reasons, though it does play a very important part in why we have a great decline in the number of people in our seminaries today. The other reasons are external, from our friends, our society, and ultimately, our own families. In many parts of the world, success in life had increasingly been equated with monetary and economic success, and educational achievements, both linked to each other in such a way that, our life becomes more like an investment than a life.

Yes, as you know, in our modern world, raising a child increasingly become more and more expensive as years go by. Every year, inflation brings all living costs higher and higher, and consequently it becomes ever more difficult to raise a child, with soaring expenditures and declining income relative to those expenditures. Education, in particular, became so expensive, that educating a child in our society today becomes something like a chore.

That is why, coupled with the increasingly stronger link between education, its achievements and success in life, made so many parents becoming more and more reluctant to let their children go, when they reveal to them about their intentions in life. You see, God chooses whom He wants to be His servants, and He calls them all, through subtle means. Not many would take up that offer and that call, but many did answer and treasure the calling.

Yet, parental objections often stood in the way of the Lord’s call, because the parents thought of priestly life and a life dedicated to the service of the Lord and His people is a wasted life, a shameful life, and indeed, an investment wasted, because we gradually see our lives less as a life that we truly should see it, but merely more and more as an investment, about money and material possessions.

Friends and society also play a great deal in shaping one’s calling, because peer pressure and objections in the society do prevent one’s calling from being realised, especially when coupled with parental objection. These are in fact, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, some of the crosses that we must bear if we are to follow the Lord. This is exactly because the world does not love Christ, and neither does it welcome Him. The world follows its own ways, and those are not the ways of the Lord.

The purpose of today’s readings however is not to attack or put down parents, just because they rejected or opposed their children’s calling, but rather, to remind all of us that, life is not just about our possessions, or about how much money we have in the bank, or how big is the salary we receive in a month, or even, how many cars and other utilities we have. Life is indeed about Christ, and about loving Christ and our fellow brethren.

We Christians who believe in our Lord Jesus Christ must be brave and courageous, in defending our faith against the assaults of the world and its temptations, and must be ready at all times to take up our crosses, to walk alongside Christ in His suffering. These crosses mean to take an active part in our participation in the Church, according to our own calling, that is for those called and chosen to serve the Lord in divine priesthood, to be brave in embracing one’s calling and rejecting the voices that try to prevent one’s call from being realised; and for those in religious orders, to be faithful in prayer and service; and lastly, but not least, for the laity themselves, that they will take up a more active participation in the Church and groom themselves for better understanding of their faith.

In doing so, brothers and sisters in Christ, we have done God’s will, to be His disciples and preach the Good News to all of the world, including to our fellow brethren and ourselves. Therefore, now, let us pray that the Lord will give us strength and courage to face all the troubles in life, and also give us the understanding of the nature of God’s call and vocations, and bravely defend the faith of the Church in all of our deeds.

May the Lord give us His Holy Spirit, that we will always ever persevere, amidst the difficulties and challenges in this world, in showing God’s love to all, and also to preach the Good News of the Lord to all nations. God bless us all. Amen.

Friday, 28 June 2013 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles, Great Feast Day of the Church of Rome (Psalm)

Psalm 18 : 2-3, 4-5

The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament proclaims the work of His hands. Day talks it over with day; night hands on the knowledge to night.

No speech, no words, no voice is heard – but the call goes on throughout the universe, the message is felt to the ends of the earth.

(Special) Sunday, 23 June 2013 : Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (First Reading)

Jeremiah 1 : 4-10

A word of YHVH came to me, “Even before I formed you in the womb I have known you; even before you were born I had set you apart, and appointed you a prophet to the nations!”

I said, “Ah, Lord YHVH! I do not know how to speak; I am still young!” But YHVH replied, “Do not say; ‘I am still young,’ for now you will go whatever be the mission I am entrusting to you, and you will speak of whatever I command you to say. Do not be afraid of them, for I will be with you to protect you – it is YHVH who speaks!”

Then YHVH stretched out His hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now I have put My words in your mouth. See! Today I give you authority over nations and over kingdoms to uproot and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

Tuesday, 18 June 2013 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

2 Corinthians 8 : 1-9

Now I want you to know about a gift of divine grace among the churches of Macedonia. While they were so afflicted and persecuted, their joy overflowed and their extreme poverty turned into a wealth of generosity. According to their means – even beyond their means – they wanted to share in helping the saints.

They asked us for this favour spontaneously and with much insistence and, far beyond anything we expected, they put themselves at the disposal of the Lord and of us by the will of God. Accordingly, I urged Titus to complete among you this work of grace since he began it with you.

You excel in everything : in the gifts of faith, speech and knowledge : you feel concern for every cause, and besides, you are first in my heart. Excel also in this generous service. This is not a command; I make known to you the determination of others to check the sincerity of your fraternal concern.

You know well the generosity of Christ Jesus, our Lord. Although He was rich, He made Himself poor to make you rich through His poverty.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Psalm 98 : 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Extol the Lord, our God; worship at His footstool. Holy is He! And mighty!

Among His priests were Moses and Aaron, and Samuel among those who called on His Name. They called to the Lord, and He answered them.

In the pillar of cloud He spoke to them, and they kept His statutes and the decrees He gave them.

O Lord our God, You responded to them; You were a patient God for them, but You punished their wrongs.

Extol the Lord our God; worship at His holy mountain. Holy is the Lord our God!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Psalm 49 : 5-6, 7-8, 14 and 23

Gather before Me, My faithful ones, who made a covenant with Me by sacrifice. The heavens will proclaim His sentence, for God Himself is the judge.

Hear, o My people, for I am speaking. I will accuse you, o Israel, I am God, your God! Not for your sacrifices do I reprove you, for your burnt offerings are ever before Me.

Yet offer to God a sacrifice of thanks, and fulfill your vows to the Most High. Those who give with thanks offerings honour Me, but the one who walks blamelessly, I will show him the salvation of God.

Monday, 13 May 2013 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (Gospel Reading)

John 16 : 29-33

The disciples said to Him, “Now You are speaking plainly and not in veiled language! Now we see that You know all things, even before we question You. Because of this we believe that You came from God.”

Jesus answered them, “You say that you believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with Me.”

“I have told you all this, so that in Me you may have peace. You will have trouble in the world; but courage! I have overcome the world.”

 

Reading from the Mass of Our Lady of Fatima

 

Luke 11 : 27-28

As Jesus was speaking, a woman spoke from the crowd and said to Him, “Blessed is the one who gave You birth and nursed You!”

Jesus replied, “Truly blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it as well.”