Wednesday, 23 December 2020 : 4th Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John of Kanty, Priest (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard of the servant of God sent before the coming of the Messiah, that is St. John the Baptist, the one to announce the coming of the Messiah or Saviour of God, and the one who would prepare the way for Him, as prophesied by the prophets and as promised by God to His people.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Malachi, of the promise of God regarding the sending of the messenger who would come ahead of the Lord Himself to clear the way and prepare the path for His coming, who would be like the prophet Elijah, whose faith had been tested by fire and trials, and whose works would lead many people to the Lord.

The prophet Malachi was one of the last prophets of the Old Testament, and his book is placed at the very last place as the last chapter of the Old Testament, just before the coming of the New Testament, that came through Christ. Therefore, it is significant indeed that Malachi spoke of the coming of the one to prepare the path for the Lord, that clearly referred to St. John the Baptist.

In our Gospel today then we heard of the moment when St. John the Baptist was born, and all of his relatives gathered at his house and wanted to name him Zechariah after his father, as was common during that time. Zechariah had been mute and unable to talk ever since the Angel of God revealed to him that his wife, Elizabeth was about to bear the one whom the prophet Malachi prophesied about, the Herald of the Messiah.

Just as the prophet Isaiah also proclaimed in another prophecy, this servant of God, whose name had been known before he was even born, as revealed by the Angel, was to be the one to lead the people of God to their Lord and Saviour. He came into this world, born miraculously of an old couple who had been barren throughout, as the first miracle of God’s approaching salvation, and as proof that God truly loved His people.

The moment that Zechariah wrote down the name that the Angel had revealed to him, and wanted his son to be named John, hence, Zechariah could speak again and praised God for all His wonders. All of the people gathered were astonished and praised God as well for the wonders He had done. And through St. John the Baptist, God would lead many of His people down the path to salvation, as he laboured and called many to repent from their sins.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, how do all these relate to us then? All of us have heard of God’s salvation and received the Good News, and we have believed in the Lord and all that He had done through Christ, His Son, Our Lord and Saviour. But have we proclaimed Him in our lives, and truly show that we are Christians not just in name only, but also in deeds and in all of our actions? Have we shown that Christ is truly the centre of our celebrations in Christmas, and not only just that, but also the centre of our whole lives and existences?

Today, as we are just two days away from Christmas, we are all called to look upon our lives and actions, and we should reflect on whether our actions have shown our true Christian faith at all times. We should dedicate our actions to the Lord and strive our best to follow Him and His saints’ examples, especially for today, that of St. John of Kanty or St. John Cantius, whose feast day we celebrate.

St. John of Kanty was a Polish saint whose life and work as a priest, philosopher and theologian was truly inspirational as he dedicated much of his life to the Lord, and spent a lot of effort in his numerous academic works and in the advancement of the Christian theology and teachings. But not only that, St. John of Kanty also dedicated much of time caring for the poor and the needy, being especially charitable towards them.

St. John of Kanty was remembered for his outreach and generosity to the poor, and also to the needy students in the university in which he taught as a professor. He was remembered for his almsgiving and his genuine faith and humility. He made pious pilgrimages to Jerusalem and to Rome, and some of those pilgrimages were made on foot. His life and work remain an inspiration for many long after his passing.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we should be inspired by the examples set by St. John of Kanty, and as we approach Christmas, let us all seek to celebrate it wholeheartedly with a new attitude of faith, renewed in love for our God, and dedicate ourselves thoroughly to Him so that all who witness us and our actions, as well as our Christ-centric life and celebration of Christmas, may come to believe in Him as well, so that by our lives and actions, even more people can be saved and share in our joy.

Let us all discern on this carefully as we come to the joyful celebration of Christmas, that we may truly celebrate it with true joy and with genuine celebration, so that we may draw ever closer to the Lord and be worthy of Him and the everlasting glory that He has promised us all. May the Lord bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

Wednesday, 23 December 2020 : 4th Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John of Kanty, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Luke 1 : 57-66

When the time came for Elizabeth, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbours and relatives heard that the merciful Lord had done a wonderful thing for her, and they rejoiced with her. When, on the eighth day, they came to attend the circumcision of the child, they wanted to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.”

They said to her, “But no one in your family has that name!” and they asked the father, by means of signs, for the name he wanted to give him. Zechariah asked for a writing tablet, and wrote on it, “His name is John,” and they were very surprised. Immediately Zechariah could speak again, and his first words were in praise of God.

A holy fear came on all in the neighbourhood, and throughout the hill country of Judea the people talked about these events. All who heard of it pondered in their minds, and wondered, “What will this child be?” For they understood that the hand of the Lord was with him.

Wednesday, 23 December 2020 : 4th Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John of Kanty, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 24 : 4-5ab, 8-9, 10 and 14

Teach me Your ways, o Lord; make known to me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and instruct me, for You are my God, my Saviour.

Good and upright, the Lord teaches sinners His way. He teaches the humble of heart and guides them in what is right.

The ways of the Lord are love and faithfulness for those who keep His covenant and precepts. The Lord gives advice to those who revere Him and makes His covenant known to them.

Wednesday, 23 December 2020 : 4th Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John of Kanty, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Malachi 3 : 1-4, 23-24

Now I am sending My messenger ahead of Me to clear the way; then suddenly the Lord for Whom you long will enter the sanctuary. The Envoy of the covenant which you so greatly desire already comes, says YHVH of hosts. Who can bear the day of His coming and remain standing when He appears? For He will be like fire in the foundry and like the lye used for bleaching.

He will be as a refiner or a fuller. He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. So YHVH will have priests who will present the offering as it should be. Then YHVH will accept with pleasure the offering of Judah and Jerusalem, as in former days.

I am going to send you the prophet Elijah before the day of YHVH comes, for it will be a great and terrible day. He will reconcile parents with their children, and the children with their parents, so that I may not have to curse this land when I come.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014 : Fourth Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John of Kanty, Priest (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we hear yet another repetition of the readings on St. John the Baptist and the sending of the messenger who would be the one to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. This is a theme often repeated throughout the Advent season, as the very nature of this season is of preparation for the Advent, or the Coming of the Christ our Lord.

This coming of Christ into the world is often associated by all of us with the celebration of Christmas, when we commemorate the birth of the Baby Jesus, Word of God (Logos), Divine incarnate into Flesh. That was His first coming, yes. The first time when God extended His love into the world, to fulfill completely and perfectly the plan for our salvation and deliverance which He had planned since the beginning of time.

But the Lord also said and promised that, while then He departed the world and ascended into heaven after His death and resurrection, He promised that He would come at the very end of time and ages, as the Great Judge of all the living and the dead, precisely just as we believe in our Faith and which we profess in our solemn Creed. Therefore, what we have to realise is that we do not just celebrate what had happened in the past, but also with joy and expectation, we wait for the coming of Christ as He had promised.

We do not just rejoice and be happy in this celebration of Christmas. Yes, we should all be joyful for Christ our Lord Himself had decided to come Himself into this world so that through Him a new hope for all of us might arise. But at the same time, on all of us had been charged the same responsibility as had been given to St. John the Baptist, that is to prepare the way for the Lord when He comes.

The Lord had planned for the salvation of His people, who had sinned and disobeyed Him, falling into sin. But as long as the people remained attached to sin and unable to detach themselves from such sins, then it is difficult for them to change their ways and for them to heed the call of the Lord when He came. From time to time, God sent them His servants, the prophets and messengers to remind them. But whenever these passed away, they returned back their previous ways of sin.

Hence, in order to prepare the way for the coming of the Saviour, and to make the best out of it, God had sent forth His messenger, John, who was sent to the people and as prophesied by the prophet Isaiah, he would chastise the people of God and called them to repentance. For it is in repentance from their sins that they would be able to discard the veil of sin and allow the Word of God to come into their lives and transform them.

But this does not end there, brothers and sisters in Christ, for sin remains at large in the world, and many remained under its thrall and influence. If this continues, many would be under the threat of eternal damnation. That is why, today, as we approach Christmas, we have to also realise that there are new John the Baptists required in our world today. And who else would do that besides us?

Jesus our Lord taught His disciples to take up their cross and follow Him. This cross is the commandment, which Christ had entrusted His disciples with, and therefore it has also been entrusted to us. This is to call and bring all peoples of all nations to the Lord, baptising them with the Holy Spirit. We who have been made the children of God has thus this duty to spread the Good News to others, by our words and actions, calling them to repentance as St. John the Baptist once did.

Today we celebrate the feast of St. John of Kanty, also known as St. John Cantius, a Polish priest and saint who was renowned for his great piety and his great dedication to the advancement of Catholic education. St. John of Kanty established Catholic educational institutes and universities, and helped define many aspects of Catholic teachings and made his own ample contributions.

St. John of Kanty was also renowned as a very charitable and pious person, who often donated to the poor and helped to care for those whom he met on the road. He also was well-known for his extensive pilgrimages, even on foot, at one time to the Threshold of the Apostles, to Rome the Eternal City of the saints. St. John of Kanty had many contributions, and through his examples and works, countless peoples were inspired and turned to the faith and were saved.

Even today, what he has done is still a great inspiration for all of us. Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, shall we follow in his footsteps? If we do things as St. John of Kanty had done, be assured that many people who see how we speak, how we act and how we conduct ourselves will come to believe in the Lord. Therefore, as this Advent is ending and as we pass on to Christmas, let us all make a new resolution, to be there for our brethren in need, and bring the Light of Christ to them, that they may be saved. God bless us all. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/22/tuesday-23-december-2014-fourth-week-of-advent-memorial-of-st-john-of-kanty-priest-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/22/tuesday-23-december-2014-fourth-week-of-advent-memorial-of-st-john-of-kanty-priest-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/22/tuesday-23-december-2014-fourth-week-of-advent-memorial-of-st-john-of-kanty-priest-gospel-reading/

Tuesday, 23 December 2014 : Fourth Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John of Kanty, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Luke 1 : 57-66

When the time came for Elizabeth, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbours and relatives heard that the merciful Lord had done a wonderful thing for her, and they rejoiced with her.

When, on the eighth day, they came to attend the circumcision of the child, they wanted to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.” They said to her, “But no one in your family has that name!” And they asked the father, by means of signs, for the name he wanted to give him.

Zechariah asked for a writing tablet, and wrote on it, “His name is John,” and they were very surprised. Immediately Zechariah could speak again, and his first words were in praise of God.

A holy fear came on all in the neighbourhood, and throughout the hill country of Judea the people talked about these events. All who heard of it pondered in their minds, and wondered, “What will this child be?” For they understood that the hand of the Lord was with him.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/22/tuesday-23-december-2014-fourth-week-of-advent-memorial-of-st-john-of-kanty-priest-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Tuesday, 23 December 2014 : Fourth Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John of Kanty, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Psalm 24 : 4-5ab, 8-9, 10 and 14

Teach me Your ways, o Lord; make known to me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and instruct me, for You are my God, my Saviour.

Good and upright, the Lord teaches sinners His way. He teaches the humble of heart and guides them in what is right.

The ways of the Lord are love and faithfulness for those who keep His covenant and precepts. The Lord gives advice to those who revere Him and makes His covenant known to them.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/22/tuesday-23-december-2014-fourth-week-of-advent-memorial-of-st-john-of-kanty-priest-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Tuesday, 23 December 2014 : Fourth Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John of Kanty, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Malachi 3 : 1-4, 23-24

Now I am sending My messenger ahead of Me to clear the way; then suddenly the Lord for whom you long will enter the sanctuary. The Envoy of the covenant which you so greatly desire already comes, says YHVH of hosts. Who can bear the day of His coming and remain standing when He appears? For He will be like fire in the foundry and like the lye used for bleaching.

He will be as a refiner or a fuller. He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. So YHVH will have priests who will present the offering as it should be. Then YHVH will accept with pleasure the offering of Judah and Jerusalem, as in former days.

YHVH said, “I am going to send you the prophet Elijah before the day of YHVH comes, for it will be a great and terrible day. He will reconcile parents with their children, and the children with their parents, so that I may not have to curse this land when I come.”

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/22/tuesday-23-december-2014-fourth-week-of-advent-memorial-of-st-john-of-kanty-priest-homily-and-scripture-reflections/