Saturday, 13 January 2018 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops or Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the Scriptures which detailed to us about the moment when Samuel the judge and prophet encountered the king chosen by God for His people Israel, namely King Saul, who came from the tribe of Benjamin. God chose Saul to lead His people, to become the guiding star of His people, leading them towards Him, and turning them from the wrong paths.

Unfortunately, later on, if we continue to read the Book of Samuel, we will realise that Saul fell from God’s grace because he did not obey God and preferred to follow his own judgment, resulting in the people committing sin against God. Saul thereafter was known for his lack of faith, and eventually replacement by David, the king whom God appointed to be king in Saul’s place.

In the Gospel passage today, we see another King, Who was appointed by God and anointed by Him, to be the leader of His people Israel. Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus Christ Our Lord is the King of kings, Lord of lords, and the true King of Israel, Who came down into the world, to lead the people of God to Him, as the faithful King Who fulfils perfectly the obligations and duties imposed on the office of kingship.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus Christ is a King Who loves His people and He is truly concerned about their well-being. Instead of being tyrannical and overbearing in the exercise of His power and authority, and instead of expecting to be served and obeyed, He showed us all by example, coming as a Leader Who serves others, Who loves genuinely and cares for the needs of those who are truly in need. He shows mercy to those who are downtrodden, and those who have no one else to care for them.

When people looked down on the tax collectors at the time of Jesus, they did so because of prejudices and biases they had, as they resented the imposition of the Roman rule on their territories. They considered the tax collectors as traitors to the nation and the people, as they collected the taxes on behalf of the Roman rulers. As such, the tax collectors were often ridiculed and ostracised, rejected by the general society.

Yet, the tax collectors are just like us all. They are no different from all the others at the time, no less righteous or wicked than the other groups of people, even comparing it to the Pharisees and the chief priests. They were all sinners, and they were all in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness. Sin is a disease of the soul, and it corrupts every part of the being. And God came into this world in order to heal us from this terrible sickness.

And as mentioned by the Lord Jesus Himself, the tax collectors and others like prostitutes who have been dismissed and ridiculed because of their vices, were actually much closer to the kingdom of God as compared to all those who pretended to be self-righteous, but in reality, inside their hearts and minds, they were more wicked than the tax collectors and the prostitutes, as if these two groups of people sincerely recognised their sins and wanted to be forgiven, but the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law proudly refused to give in.

This is an important lesson for all of us, brothers and sisters in Christ. We must not let our pride and our human ambitions, our stubbornness to come in between us and God’s salvation. It has happened in many occasions, when mankind refused to receive God’s forgiveness, and this resulted in so many being lost to the Lord, falling into damnation in hell.

Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Hilary of Poitiers, a holy bishop and saint, whose dedication to the Lord should be an inspiration to all of us. He was a great defender of the faith, who refused to give in to the demands and the pressures exerted by the heretics, especially those who followed the false teachings of Arius, who rejected the notion that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is equal to the Father.

St. Hilary of Poitiers worked hard among the people, exhorting them to return to the truth found in the Church alone, and to reject all the falsehoods spread by those who have wrongfully believed in it. He had to endure opposition and rejection, and ultimately, he was even exiled due to the machinations of his enemies, all those who in their pride refused to be forgiven, just like the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of the time of Jesus.

The exemplary actions of this devout saint and servant of God should inspire each and every one of us as Christians, that we should do our very best and give our all, in trying to reach out to the Lord, Our King and ruler, and follow His examples in all the things we do. We should be concerned about our brothers and sisters, especially those who have been lost to God, just as Jesus calling all the sinners to Him, and just as how St. Hilary worked hard to convert back all those who have fallen into the sway of heretics.

Let us all therefore do our part as Christians, to be role models for each other in faith, so that through our actions, we will be able to do the great works of God’s attempt to save us mankind from our downfall due to sin. May the Lord be with us all, and through the intercession of St. Hilary of Poitiers, may we all draw ever closer to God, and walk forever always in His path. Amen.

Saturday, 13 January 2018 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops or Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Mark 2 : 13-17

At that time, when Jesus went out again, beside the lake, a crowd came to Him, and He taught them. As He walked along, He saw a tax collector sitting in his office. This was Levi, the son of Alpheus. Jesus said to him, “Follow Me!” And Levi got up and followed Him.

And it so happened that, when Jesus was eating in Levi’s house, tax collectors and sinners sat with Him and His disciples; there were a lot of them, and they used to follow Jesus. But Pharisees, men educated in the Law, when they saw Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, “Why does your Master eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

Jesus heard them, and answered, “Healthy people do not need a doctor, but sick people do. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Saturday, 13 January 2018 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops or Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Psalm 20 : 2-3, 4-5, 6-7

The king rejoices in Your strength, o YHVH, and exults in Your saving help. You have granted him his desire; You have not rejected his request.

You have come to him with rich blessings; You have placed a golden crown upon his head. When he asked, You gave him life – length of days forever and ever.

He glories in the victory You gave him; You shall bestow on him splendour and majesty. You have given him eternal blessings, and gladdened him with the joy of Your presence.

Saturday, 13 January 2018 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops or Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

1 Samuel 9 : 1-4, 17-19 and 1 Samuel 10 : 1a

There was a man from the tribe of Benjamin whose name was Kish. He was the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a valiant Benjaminite. Kish had a son named Saul, a handsome young man who had no equal among the Israelites, for he was a head taller than any of them.

It happened that the asses of Kish were lost. So he said to his son Saul, “Take one of the boys with you and go look for the asses.” They went all over the hill country of Ephraim and the land of Shalishah but did not find them. They passed through the land of Shaalim and the land of Benjamin, but the asses were nowhere to be found.

So, when Samuel saw Saul, YHVH told him, “Here is the man I spoke to you about! He shall rule over My people.” Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and said, “Tell me, where is the house of the seer?” Samuel answered Saul, “I am the seer. Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you shall eat with me. In the morning, before you leave, I will tell you all that is in your heart.”

Then Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on Saul’s head.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the Lord Jesus healing the sick, the possessed and the suffering ones, from whom He cast out the demons. Yes, even demons had to obey that Man, our Lord Jesus Christ, for He is not just merely a Man, but also the Lord and Master of all creations. Satan was also once counted among His angels, and so did the other evil spirits, who were cast down from heaven for their rebellion against God.

He had come into the world to set everything straight and to take all things into His own hands, the Lord of all creations and all existences. He came to reclaim us from the clutches of Satan and to free us from the chains of sin and death. Thus, He came through Jesus, who became Man for our sake, and for our sake He laboured and toiled, resisting and fighting the forces of evil wherever He went during His ministry in this world.

And that was exactly what led to His works in this world, His casting out of demons and healing of the sick, so that He might make full again a people who had been torn apart by the darkness of the world, and bring them to the salvation which He had brought into the world. He came to save sinners and rescue those who are lost, the ones who could not find their way, blinded by sin and darkness.

Thus is the love which God has for us all mankind, so great that He was willing to humble Himself to come down to dwell among us as a simple Man, and to suffer for us, bearing all of our sins and the sufferings for those sins, that we may be liberated and brought free, released from the bonds and shackles which Satan has imposed on us, that is sin, the wickedness within our body, heart and soul, the disease of the soul that separated us from our loving God.

Many of us think that we are perfectly healthy, capable of doing many things we want in life, and many of us think of ourselves as unassailable and invincible, and great as well, because of our achievements and many other things. However, do we realise that all of us are truly afflicted with the sickness of sin? All of us without exception, all of mankind save for Christ alone are subjected to sin and corrupted by it in one way or another.

That is why our Lord who loves us, desires that we be brought to Him and be healed from the affliction of sin. He offered nothing else more precious and greater than Himself, as the Lamb of Sacrifice, offered on the Altar of Calvary, shedding His own Blood and offering it with His Body as a pleasing sacrifice to God, so that by that act of ultimate love and sacrifice, He purchased us and freed us from the slavery and bondage under Satan, and paid for our sinfulness in full.

And that is what Satan fears very much, his ultimate and greatest defeat, when mankind was snatched from his grasp and he knew of his ultimate defeat at the hands of the triumphant Lord. Even the devil knows that he has to submit and acknowledge his defeat before the Lord no matter how much he refused to do so and no matter how reluctant he was.

Therefore, today, as we continue to live our lives faithfully, we have to realise that our hope lies only in the Lord, for it is only He who is the source of salvation and life that can deliver us from the hands of the evil one and his allies. We cannot triumph and succeed on our own, but with the Lord on our side, nothing is impossible. Let us all ask the Lord to come to us and heal us from our afflictions of sin, and remove from us this corruption from our souls, minds, bodies and hearts.

Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Hilary of Poitiers, one of the greatest and most influential early Church father, whose works and teachings still profoundly affect many of the faithful and the Church of God even until today. St. Hilary of Poitiers was born a Roman pagan, but after studying the Scriptures thoroughly, he became convinced of the salvation which only our Lord God can offer, and he and his family converted to the true Faith.

At that time, many of the faithful came under the sway of the lies of the devil, and by the devil’s machinations, many were lost in the heresy as espoused and preached by Arius, now known as the Arian heresy. Arianism swept like wildfire across Christendom and caught many countless souls among its victims. Many went into hellfire and condemnation because they were swayed and tempted by the lies of the devil.

St. Hilary of Poitiers worked hard to reverse all that and saved as many souls as he could from the clutches of the devil. He succeeded in converting many but his path was not easy. It is often that those who have been ensnared in the lies of the devil and who had power, used that power to persecute the faithful ones, including St. Hilary of Poitiers. But St. Hilary never gave up and until the end of his life he continued to minister to the people of God and call them to repent from their sins. This is indeed an example we all should follow in our own lives.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all the children of God and the members of His Church commit ourselves anew to reject Satan and all of his false promises and lies. With the intercession and the help of St. Hilary of Poitiers, let us cast aside his sweet words and falsehoods and instead put our complete trust and faith in God alone. Yes, we ought to put our trust in He who had given His all for our sake so that we may be healed and freed from sin. God be with us all, now and forever. Amen.

 

First Reading : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/12/tuesday-13-january-2015-1st-week-of-ordinary-time-memorial-of-st-hilary-bishop-and-doctor-of-the-church-first-reading/

 

Psalm : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/12/tuesday-13-january-2015-1st-week-of-ordinary-time-memorial-of-st-hilary-bishop-and-doctor-of-the-church-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/12/tuesday-13-january-2015-1st-week-of-ordinary-time-memorial-of-st-hilary-bishop-and-doctor-of-the-church-gospel-reading/

Tuesday, 13 January 2015 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Mark 1 : 21b-28

At that time, Jesus taught in the synagogue on the sabbath day. The people were astonished at the way He taught, for He spoke as One having authority and not like the teachers of the Law.

It happened that a man with an evil spirit was in their synagogue, and he shouted, “What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are : You are the Holy One of God.” Then Jesus faced him and said with authority, “Be silent, and come out of this man!”

The evil spirit shook the man violently and, with a loud shriek, came out of him. All the people were astonished, and they wondered, “What is this? With what authority He preaches! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey Him!” And Jesus’ fame spread throughout all the country of Galilee.

 

Homily and Reflection : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/12/tuesday-13-january-2015-1st-week-of-ordinary-time-memorial-of-st-hilary-bishop-and-doctor-of-the-church-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Tuesday, 13 January 2015 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Psalm 8 : 2a and 5, 6-7, 8-9

O Lord, our Lord, how great is Your Name throughout the earth! What is man that You be mindful of him, the Son of Man, that You should care for Him?

Yet You made Him a little lower than the angels; You crowned Him with glory and honour and gave Him the works of Your hands; You have put all things under His feet.

Sheep and oxen without number and even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and all that swim the paths of the ocean.

 

Homily and Reflection : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/12/tuesday-13-january-2015-1st-week-of-ordinary-time-memorial-of-st-hilary-bishop-and-doctor-of-the-church-homily-and-scripture-reflections/