Sunday, 10 March 2019 : First Sunday of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Luke 4 : 1-13

At that time, Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit. As He returned from the Jordan, the Spirit led Him into the desert, where He was tempted by the devil for forty days. He did not eat anything during that time, and at the end He was hungry. The devil then said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to turn into bread.” But Jesus answered, “Scripture says : People cannot live on bread alone.”

Then the devil took Him up to a high place, and showed Him, in a flash, all the nations of the world. And he said to Jesus, “I can give You power over all the nations; and their wealth will be Yours; for power and wealth have been delivered to me; and I give them to whom I wish. All this will be Yours, provided You worship me.” But Jesus replied, “Scripture says : You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him alone.”

Then the devil took Him up to Jerusalem, and set Him on the highest wall of the Temple; and he said, “If You are God’s Son, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written : God will order His Angels to take care of you; and again : They will hold you in their hands, lest you hurt your foot on the stones.” But Jesus replied, “It is written : You shall not challenge the Lord your God.”

When the devil had exhausted every way of tempting Jesus, he left Him, to return another time.

Saturday, 29 September 2018 : Feast of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Daniel 7 : 9-10, 13-14

I looked and saw the following : Some thrones were set in place and One of Great Age took His seat. His robe was white, as snow, His hair, white as washed wool. His throne was flames of fire with wheels of blazing fire. A river of fire sprang forth and flowed before Him. Thousands upon thousands served Him and a countless multitude stood before Him.

Those in the tribunal took their seats and opened the book. I continued watching the nocturnal vision : One like a Son of Man came on the clouds of heaven. He faced the One of Great Age and was brought into His presence. Dominion, honour and kingship were given Him, and all the peoples and nations of every language served Him. His dominion is eternal and shall never pass away; His kingdom will never be destroyed.

Alternative reading

Revelations 12 : 7-12a

War broke out in heaven, with Michael and his Angels battling with the dragon. The dragon fought back with his angels, but they were defeated, and lost their place in heaven. The great dragon, the ancient serpent, known as the devil, or Satan, seducer of the whole world, was thrown out. He was hurled down to earth, together with his angels.

Then, I heard a loud voice from heaven : Now has salvation come, with the power and the kingdom of our God, and the rule of His Anointed. For our brothers’ accuser has been cast out, who accused them night and day, before God. They conquered him, by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, for they gave up their lives, going to death.

Rejoice, therefore, o you heavens, and you who dwell in them.

Monday, 2 October 2017 : 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 of the Holy Guardian Angels, remembering all those spiritual guardians who are constantly watching each one of us, defending us in the constant battle raging around us, even though we may not be aware of what is happening.

In the first reading today, taken from the Book of Exodus, we heard how God sent His Angels to guide the people of Israel as they made their way down towards the Promised Land from Egypt, from where they had been freed from the bonds of their slavery. The Angels of God protected them and cleared the path before them, and all of the enemies of Israel were defeated while the Angels of God were with the Israelites.

That was what God had done with His people, sending His Angels to help them. Those who are faithful will not be abandoned or left alone, for God will send His Angels to defend us, against all those who seek to destroy us. We may not be aware, but Satan and his fellow fallen angels are always out there, ready to strike at us and snatch us from God’s loving hands. They do this through their persuasions, temptations and even if necessary, force.

In the Gospel passage today, we heard Jesus talking to His disciples, about the faith of a child, that is truly the greatest among the people in the kingdom of heaven. And unless they have the same kind of faith as the faith of young children, they will not be great in the kingdom of Heaven. Why is that so? That is because, a child’s faith is pure and genuine, not yet corrupted by the many concerns of the world and by the temptation of sin.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we often find it difficult to listen to the Lord, because temptations are always around us, the tempters are out and active, speaking to us, urging us to follow our desires, and therefore, doing what is sinful in the sight of God. And when we sin, the devil has been victorious in his plans for us, as with every sin we committed, we draw ever closer to the path to damnation.

But our guardian Angels are also always active, protecting us from the predation and attacks by these demonic forces. They are always out and about, keeping us safe and close to the way of the Lord. They also speak in the depth of our hearts, urging us to think about what it is that we believe in our faith, and how the temptations are wrong, and are urging us to do something that is against God’s teachings, and which are rebellious acts against His will.

This constant struggle is the spiritual warfare raging at all times around us, like a game of tug-of-war, with our souls at stake. Should Satan and his forces win, then we will end up in the eternal damnation in hell. And should God and His Angels, including our guardian Angels triumph by pulling us free from the bonds of Satan and from the temptations of sin, then we will receive the eternal glory and joy in heaven promised to us all who are faithful to God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, we must be really careful so as not to ignore the constant battle raging around us and not to be lukewarm in our faith. Otherwise, we will become easy prey for the devil who will do whatever is in his disposition to tempt us, to persuade us, to cajole us, to force us to do what he wants us to do, that is to sin against God.

Many of us have also been too busy to spend time with God, and our faith in Him had been muddled by the many worldly concerns we have. That is why all of us need to rediscover that faith which we once had as a child, or what we have seen in how a child believes. We must have that pure heart once again, wholly dedicated to God, just as a child would.

Therefore, let us from now on pledge ourselves, to do our best in order to do God’s will, guided by our holy Guardian Angels, that we always ready our ears, open our minds and hearts to listen to them, as they convey to us the message of God. Let us resist the temptation of sin, and do our best that we may come out from the daily and constant spiritual struggle over our souls triumphant, worthy of God’s grace and eternal life. May God and His Guardian Angels be with us always. Amen.

Monday, 2 October 2017 : 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 humble, 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.”

Monday, 2 October 2017 : 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 YHVH, “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.

Monday, 2 October 2017 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Exodus 23 : 20-23

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 the 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, 29 September 2017 : Feast of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Daniel 7 : 9-10, 13-14

I looked and saw the following : Some thrones were set in place and One of Great Age took His seat. His robe was white, as snow, His hair, white as washed wool. His throne was flames of fire with wheels of blazing fire. A river of fire sprang forth and flowed before Him. Thousands upon thousands served Him and a countless multitude stood before Him.

Those in the tribunal took their seats and opened the book. I continued watching the nocturnal vision : One like a Son of Man came on the clouds of heaven. He faced the One of Great Age and was brought into His presence. Dominion, honour and kingship were given Him, and all the peoples and nations of every language served Him. His dominion is eternal and shall never pass away; His kingdom will never be destroyed.

Alternative reading

Revelations 12 : 7-12a

War broke out in heaven, with Michael and his Angels battling with the dragon. The dragon fought back with his angels, but they were defeated, and lost their place in heaven. The great dragon, the ancient serpent, known as the devil, or Satan, seducer of the whole world, was thrown out. He was hurled down to earth, together with his angels.

Then, I heard a loud voice from heaven : Now has salvation come, with the power and the kingdom of our God, and the rule of His Anointed. For our brothers’ accuser has been cast out, who accused them night and day, before God. They conquered him, by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, for they gave up their lives, going to death.

Rejoice, therefore, o you heavens, and you who dwell in them.