Thursday, 27 October 2016 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Ephesians 6 : 10-20

Finally, be strong in the Lord with His energy and strength. Put on the whole armour of God to be able to resist the cunning of the devil. Our battle is not against human forces but against the rulers and authorities and their dark powers that govern this world. We are struggling against the spirits and supernatural forces of evil.

Therefore put on the whole armour of God, that in the evil day, you may resist and stand your ground, making use of all your weapons. Take truth as your belt, justice as your breastplate, and zeal as your shoes to propagate the Gospel of peace. Always hold in your hand the shield of faith to repel the flaming arrows of the devil. Finally, use the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, that is, the word of God.

Pray at all times as the Spirit inspires you. Keep watch, together with sustained prayer and supplication for all the holy ones. Pray also for me, so that when I speak, I may be given words to proclaim bravely the mystery of the Gospel. Even when in chains I am an ambassador of God; may He give me the strength to speak as I should.

Sunday, 15 November 2015 : Thirty-Third (33rd) Sunday of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Daniel 12 : 1-3

At that time, Michael will rise, the Great Commander who defends your people. It shall be a time of anguish as never before since the nations first existed until this very day.

Then all those whose names are written in the Book will be saved. Many of those who sleep in the Region of the Dust will awake, some to everlasting life but others to eternal horror and shame.

Those who acquired knowledge will shine like the brilliance of the firmament; those who taught people to be just will shine like the stars for all eternity.

Friday, 2 October 2015 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (Homily and Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we commemorate the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels, namely the angels which God had commissioned to be alongside each and every one of us mankind, as our guide, our protector and our intercessor before the Lord, the one who protected us from the depredation and attacks by the devil and his fellow fallen angels, the tempters.

It is in the aim of the devil to see our downfall into the temptations of the world, of the pleasures of the world and sin, just as he first tempted our very first ancestors, Adam and Eve in the Gardens of Eden. By that temptation, our first ancestors chose to listen to the words and sweet lies of the devil rather than to obey the Lord our God, and thus they were cast out of Eden because of their disobedience.

And yet God who loves us all, as He is our Father, and we are His children, has decided to continue to love us and to watch over us in this world. God sent His angels to watch over us and protect us, to keep us safe from the attacks by the devil and his angels, as all of them continue daily to attack us and hoping to drag us with them into the eternal fire and suffering of hell.

And our guardian angels are there to protect us from their attacks, and they are there to remind us whenever we stumble, by their words silently resounding deep within our hearts, competing with the words of the tempters and the devil, fighting over our souls, influencing us either to follow the Lord, in the case of our Guardian Angel, or to follow the path of sin, for the case of Satan and his tempters.

If we read the Scriptures today, we certainly should be able to see and notice how much God cares for all those who keep their faith in Him, and how God will keep them away from stumbling by sending His angels to help them. Thus, it is the same if we are faithful and continue to devote ourselves to Him. God will preserve us, protect us and keep us safe from the assaults of the evil one.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, have we followed what our guardian angels had told us? Or did we rather prefer to listen to the devil and to his lies and untruths, as he had done the same to countless men and women who came before us? Shall we open wide the doors of our hearts, so that our guardian angel may come inside and reveal to us the love of God and the truth which He had conveyed through the angel?

Have we thanked our guardian angel for all that he had done for us? He never ceases to work hard in order to protect us from harm, just as our loving Father continuously show His concerns for us mankind, His children. Those who are righteous are surrounded by the angels of the Lord, who will keep us safe and protected from harm, and they guard our ways to keep us in the faith.

But even so, even if we have been faithful, we still have to be vigilant and be careful against the assaults of Satan and his allies, who constantly seeking our downfall and destruction. God does not want us to fall, and He helps us with His angels, but ultimately the choice rests on us, in our own free will to choose either to follow God or to follow the devil.

Let us therefore, on this feast day of the Holy Guardian Angels, strive to become ever better followers of our Lord, and be more faithful to Him in all actions, words and deeds. Let us not take the gift of our guardian angels for granted, but work closely together with the guardian angels, to keep our path straight and to keep us on the way to salvation.

May Almighty God who sent His angels to protect the weak and the downtrodden, to lift them out of harm’s way, keep us safe and protected from the wickedness of the evil one. May He bless us in all of our endeavours and dealings, that everything we say and do will continue to be worthy for the Lord and we may be gathered together in the most Holy Presence of our Lord. God bless us all. Amen.

Friday, 2 October 2015 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 18 : 1-5, 10

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Then Jesus called a little child, set the child in the midst of the disciples, and said, “I assure you that, unless you change and become like little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes lowly like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and whoever receives such a child in My Name receives Me.”

“See that you do not despise any of these little ones, for I tell you : their angels in heaven continually see the face of My heavenly Father.”

Friday, 2 October 2015 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 90 : 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 10-11

You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who rest in the shadow of the Almighty, say to the Lord, “My stronghold, my refuge, my God in Whom I trust!”

He will rescue you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions and give you refuge under His wings.

You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrows that fly by day, nor the pestilence that stalks by night, and the plague that destroys at noonday.

No harm will come upon you, no disaster will draw near your home. For He will command His angels to guard you in all your ways.

Friday, 2 October 2015 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Exodus 23 : 20-23

YHVH said to Moses, “See, I am sending an Angel before you to keep you safe on the way and bring you to the place I have made ready. Be on your guard in His presence and listen to Him; do not resist Him for He will not pardon your wrongdoing, for My Name is in Him.”

“If you listen to Him and do what I say, I will be enemy to your enemies and the opponent of your opponents. My Angel will go before you and bring you to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; all these I will destroy.”

Friday, 7 August 2015 : 18th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Sixtus II, Pope and Companions, Martyrs, and St. Cajetan, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs) or White (Priests)

Matthew 16 : 24-28

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “If you want to follow Me, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me. For whoever chooses to save his life will lose it, but the one who loses his life for My sake will find it. What will one gain by winning the whole world if he destroys his soul? There is nothing you can give to get back your soul.”

“Know that the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with the holy angels, and He will reward each one according to his deeds. Truly, I tell you, there are some here who will not die, before they see the Son of Man coming as King.”

Thursday, 2 October 2014 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we celebrate together the feast and memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels, that is the angels of God who had been sent to each one of us, that is to become our protector and guardian, to watch over us and protect us from danger and harm’s way, especially on the forces seeking our destruction and damnation, that is Satan and his angels, the fallen ones.

God created the angels to serve Him, and they ceaselessly worship and glorify Him at all times. They served His various purposes, to carry His throne in heaven, to sing Him the songs of praise, to deliver His message to His creations, to fight in the constant battle against the angels who had fallen along the way into the darkness. Lucifer, the greatest among the angels, the most beautiful and mightiest, who lost himself to his pride and vanity, and ended up leading a third of the heavenly hosts into the darkness with him.

And the fallen one, stripped of his greatness and majesty became the great enemy, Satan, the deceiver and the accuser, who was filled with wrath, desire, jealousy and anger, and he is indeed angry and jealous against the love which God had shown to the greatest of His creations, that is mankind. And of course he who had aspired to raise his throne above that of God’s, and he who desired to usurp the Lordship of all the universe, would not just stay silent or happy if everything that the Lord has planned goes perfectly according to His will.

That is why, after Satan had been defeated, and his forces beaten by the angelic host of the faithful angels led by the prince of the heavenly hosts, St. Michael the Archangel, he was cast out of heaven and fall into the earth. And he then carried out an alternative plan of his, that is to wreck the Lord’s most precious and greatest of His creations, mankind, who lived in perfect bliss and joy, in complete happiness in the gardens of Eden.

Thus, he sowed the seeds of disobedience in the hearts and minds of men, by spreading his lies, first to Eve and then to Adam. This is because, if Satan was unable to overcome the Lord in his attempt to rise up against Him, then he would do something in order to hurt the Lord, and there is indeed no better way than to try to inflict injury on those whom the Lord are most pleased with.

And as we knew it, that due to the disobedience of men, our first ancestors, who chose to listen to the lies of Satan rather than to the truth of the Lord, mankind had been stripped of their rights to dwell in perfect happiness and joy, cast out of the gardens of Eden, because of the sins that had dwelled in the hearts of men through that act of disobedience, just as Satan was cast out of heaven due to his pride and rebellion against God.

But God did not give up on us, for He loved us beyond anything else in creation, and He still loves us even today, and He will always love us. That is why He gave us Jesus His Son, to be our Saviour and Deliverer from our sins. But He also sent His servants, the angels, to guard us against the forces of the evil one who are always at large to tempt us and to mislead us into a path towards sin and condemnation.

For as mentioned, the devil or Satan, and his allies resented the love God had for us, and they intend to twist us, to tempt us and to make us to turn against God and be damned just as they had once been damned before. If we allow ourselves to be led astray by them, then we are in great danger indeed, for the price is none other than the loss and eternal damnation of our souls.

If we can use an approximation to show this, we can approximate it to the shepherds, their flocks of sheep and the wolves that prowl about, waiting to get their claws and jaws on the sheep. The Lord our God, our Father and our Creator is truly like the owner of the flock, who owned the pasture and every things that are in the flocks of sheep.

Then the sheep are all of us, mankind, the children of God, whom the Lord cares for in all things, given His providence for all our needs, protected from all harm. The wolves represent the devil and his allies, the fallen angels, the demons, who are always constantly prowling about, around the flock, awaiting for the chance and opportunity to snatch the unaware and unfortunate sheep, those that wandered outside the safety of the flock.

Therefore, naturally the loving owner who cares for his sheep would employ shepherds to take care of the sheep, and to protect them from the hungry wolves, both by ensuring that the sheep remain in the flock, and guide them along the right paths to avoid any sheep from being lost. These shepherds are the angels, our guardian angels, who have been assigned to each one of us to help us on our way, so that we would not be lost to the evil ones.

The guardian angels helped us and protected us from the attacks by the evil ones, as our guides and spiritual shields. They are locked in constant battles for the sake of our souls. But they cannot do it alone, and we need to play our part as well. We too must be righteous and be listening and receptive to the guidance which our guardian angels and all the other saints and holy people of God had given us.

Therefore, let us all turn to our guardian angels and ask them for their intercession and protection, so that we may always be in the love and grace of God, and that we may avoid the traps of Satan and his fellow demons, who are prowling around us, awaiting for a chance to strike at us. Let us all fortify ourselves, that our hearts and minds may be strong and fortified against the assaults of Satan, that we may not fail the Lord as our ancestors had once done.

May Almighty God bless us and be with us, and may His angels, the guardian angels always be on us, and with the leadership of St. Michael, the prince and chief of all the heavenly hosts, including all the guardian angels, may they all smite Satan and cast him down, safeguarding us from his lies and vile works. God be with us all, and may our guardian angels be on our side always. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Feast of Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel (I Classis) – Monday, 29 September 2014 : Homily and Scripture Reflections

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the great feast of a great protector, our great defense against the assaults of the evil one, Satan, the prince and progenitor of all evils. We celebrate today the feast of the chief of all the angelic hosts of heaven, that is St. Michael the Archangel, prince of all the angels, and chief of the seven Archangels who served before the throne of God.

The angels were created by the Lord to be His servants, that is to be the ones who carry out His will throughout the world, to be His messengers and the bearers of His good works, to exercise His power throughout the universe He had created. He created angels of many forms and kinds, and they have various tasks and functions, depending on how they were created.

Just like men, when we were first created, the angels were initially pure and blameless, free from what is now called as sin, the impurities and imperfections that blemished the purity of creation, through disobedience against the will of God. The angels too, were granted free will just like us, so that, just as we are able to choose our path and destination in life, then they too were able to choose.

But everything was good and perfect, just as our ancestors once lived in perfect peace and harmony in the gardens of Eden, the angels were all pure and immaculate, free from all evil and taints of sin, that is until the corruption and fall of Lucifer, the greatest, brightest and the mightiest of all the angels, and unfortunately, his pride too was the greatest of all the angels, his vanity and sense of superiority over others, which proved to be his greatest undoing.

While now we speak of St. Michael the Archangel as the chief of all the heavenly hosts, he was not made such because of his greatness and his power or might, neither it was because he was the most beautiful or splendid among the angels of God. It was rather because of St. Michael’s great obedience and faith in the Lord, which made him to be the greatest defender of the Lord and His beloved people against the forces of evil.

For as mentioned, that Lucifer was once the greatest and the mightiest among the angels, but this made him proud beyond any pride, and he began to plot his rise among the angels, and eventually even boasted that he would make his throne rise above the stars of God, namely the angels, to be the ruler of them, and displacing God as the ruler over all creations.

Lucifer was proud and haughty, and he was brought down, because he was thinking too highly of himself, aspiring to be the ruler of all surpassing the Creator, while he is merely a creation, albeit a glorious and great one at that. On the contrary, St. Michael was known for his great faith and piety, and the complete trust he has for the Lord. And in addition to this, he was also told to be trembling at always before the presence of God.

This does not mean that St. Michael was fearful or weak, but rather, in doing so, he actually by himself acknowledging the superiority of God, and how great God is as compared to himself. It is his humility, courage and piety which made the Lord to choose him and honour him to be the great commander of His heavenly forces. And he courageously led the forces of the faithful against the deceiver and the evil one, the fallen Lucifer, who was struck down and cast out of heaven, to suffer for eternity the fate prepared for him.

The examples of St. Michael’s faith, piety, dedication and courage therefore should become guiding lights for us to follow, that in our actions and deeds, we may model them after what St. Michael had once done, and what he is doing now, that is leading the hosts of the Lord in a constant and regular battle for the salvation of our souls, against Satan, the fallen Lucifer, and his allies, those angels who were also ensnared in his pride and vanity, and ended up rebelling against God.

We mankind are special indeed, for we are the greatest of God’s creations, including even the angels, and we are the most beloved ones of all the things which God had created. As such, while the angels who rebelled were given no second chance to turn back to the Lord, and receive forgiveness, we mankind alone had been given this gift of forgiveness, that as long as we repent our sins and rebelliousness, and if we are willing to follow the way of the Lord, we will be saved.

That is why, even though our ancestors had disobeyed the Lord, through the instigation of the snake, the form assumed by the fallen Lucifer, who wanted mankind to also follow into his rebellion, God gave us a second chance, and by no other means than to send His very own Son, part of Himself, Jesus Christ our Lord, to assume our own form, and through what He had done, He gave up His life and through His sacrifice, gained for us a new hope and a new justification in Himself.

And we also have to note that the Lord is thoroughly concerned with us, brothers and sisters in Christ. He is truly concerned about our fate, and whether we will share the fate of the devil, that is to suffer in the hell fire, or to be reunited with Himself in perfect love and harmony, just as what He intended for us at the very beginning when He first created us.

That is why, He sent us Jesus His Son, so that through what He taught His disciples, and from them passed down to us, we may all know what we need to do in order to avoid the dark fate which awaits us if we remain in our life of sin. But we need to be aware that, what Jesus said today in the Gospels, we should not interpret or take it literally, which means that if a part of our body made us to sin, then we should not chop it off just like that.

There is indeed wisdom and thought put into that kind of decision, to cut off the part that corrupts the entire body and soul, but that also means that we can no longer do good with the same part of the body, which God had given us. This is where we need to truly understand, that what the Lord means is that, we have to really do our best to excise from ourselves any actions or parts which have been great hindrances to our salvation, beginning from within ourselves.

Sin corrupts everything it touches, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, and it is caused by the accumulation of the negativity in our hearts, of which things such as pride, jealousy, hatred, greed and many others consist of. And it was this same thing that had corrupted even the greatest and the brightest of the angels into rebellion against God and therefore sinned against Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore let us renew our faith in the Lord, not by just mere empty words and promises, but also through real action and devotions, that is by following the examples of St. Michael the Archangel. Let us excise from our hearts, all evils and darkness, that we may truly become pure and worthy of the Lord once again. We can do this by sincere love and devotion to the Lord, and by listening to what He had said to us through Jesus.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all sharpen the edges of our humility and obedience to God, that we may always listen to Him and follow Him, obeying Him in His will for us rather than to listen to our own desires and pride, as Lucifer had done. Let us all not be enslaved by our emotions and pride, that we may truly rebuke Satan and let him to suffer alone the fate which he had earned for himself. Do not let him to drag us into hellfire, brethren!

Let us pray and ask for the help and intercession of St. Michael the Archangel and the holy angels, so that they may help us and protect us from all the harm which the evil one and his allies, the fallen angels had intended for us. St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, so that by the power of God, you who are the prince and leader of all the heavenly hosts, may smite down Satan and all his lies, and all those who are working their evils in our world, seeking after the ruination of all the souls of the faithful. Amen.

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, by Pope Leo XIII (1886)

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Sancte Michael Archangele,

St. Michael the Archangel,

 

defende nos in praelio;

defend us in battle

 

contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.

Safeguard us against the wickedness and the snares of the devil.

 

Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:

May God therefore restrain him, we humbly pray:

 

tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis,

and you, the Prince of the heavenly hosts

 

satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,

divina virtute in infernum detrude.

by the power of God, thrust down to hell Satan, and with him the other wicked spirits

who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.

 

Amen.

Amen.

 

(By Pope Leo XIII, in 1886, recited every time after the Holy Mass as an invocation for the intercession of the mighty Archangel in the rebuke of Satan)