Saturday, 7 May 2022 : 3rd Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 9 : 31-42

Meanwhile, the Church had peace. It was building up throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria with eyes turned to the Lord and filled with comfort from the Holy Spirit.

As Peter travelled around, he went to visit the saints who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas who was paralysed, and had been bedridden for eight years. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!”

And the man got up at once. All the people living in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. There was a disciple in Joppa named Tabitha, which means Dorcas or Gazelle. She was always doing good works and helping the poor. At that time she fell sick and died. After having washed her body, they laid her in the upstairs room.

As Lydda is near Joppa, the disciples, on hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter went with them. On his arrival they took him upstairs to the room. All the widows crowded around him in tears, showing him the clothes that Dorcas had made while she was with them.

Peter made them them all leave the room and then he knelt down and prayed. Turning to the dead body he said, “Tabitha, stand up.” She opened her eyes, looked at Peter and sat up. Peter gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the saints and widows and presented her to them alive.

This became known throughout all of Joppa and many people believed in the Lord because of it.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 2 : 36-41

Peter said, “Let Israel then know for sure that God has made Lord and Christ this Jesus Whom you crucified.” When they heard this, they were deeply troubled. And they asked Peter and the other Apostles, “What shall we do, brothers?”

Peter answered : “Each of you must repent and be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise of God was made to you and your children, and to all those from afar whom our God may call.”

With many other words Peter gave the message and appealed to them saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who accepted his word were baptised; some three thousand persons were added to their numbers that day.

Monday, 18 April 2022 : Monday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 2 : 14, 22-33

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and, with a loud voice, addressed them, “Fellow Jews and all foreigners now staying in Jerusalem, listen to what I have to say. Fellow Israelites, listen to what I am going to tell you about Jesus of Nazareth. God accredited Him and through Him did powerful deeds and wonders and signs in your midst, as you well know.”

“You delivered Him to sinners to be crucified and killed, and in this way the purpose of God from all times was fulfilled. But God raised Him to life and released Him from the pain of death, because it was impossible for Him to be held in the power of death. David spoke of Him when He said : I saw the Lord before me at all times; He is by my side, that I may not be shaken.”

“Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; my body too will live in hope. Because You will not forsake me in the abode of the dead, nor allow Your Holy One to experience corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life, and Your presence will fill me with joy.”

“Friends, I do not need to prove that the patriarch David died and was buried; his tomb is with us to this day. But he knew that God had sworn to him that One of his descendants would sit upon his throne and, as he was a prophet, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah. So he said that He would not be left in the region of the dead, nor would His Body experience corruption.

This Messiah is Jesus and we are all witnesses that God raised Him to life. He has been exalted at God’s right side and the Father has entrusted the Holy Spirit to Him; this Spirit He has just poured upon us as you now see and hear.

Tuesday, 22 February 2022 : Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today the Church celebrates together the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle, a great celebration marking the unity of the Church through the leadership of the great Prince and leader of all the Apostles and his many successors throughout history up to this day. Today we remind ourselves of this unity we share as God’s one united people, in one flock of all the faithful, gathered together in His Presence and embrace.

We may find it strange that we are celebrating this Feast over a chair. What is so special about this chair that we are celebrating it in the first place? What is the significance of this Feast? As mentioned just earlier on, this Feast is a reminder of the unity that we as God’s people, from all the whole world share in the one Church, one leadership, with Christ as the Head of the Church, and with St. Peter and his successors as the Vicar of the one true Head of the Church, the Vicar of Christ, our Popes.

The celebration of the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter is not just a celebration over any random chairs or seats. Instead, we have to understand that in the context of the Church, the Chair here is the real and physical representation of the authority of the bishops as the seat of their authority. This seat is known as the Cathedra, from which the Cathedrals got their name from. It refers to the church where the Cathedra of the bishop is located at, as the physical and real symbol of his authority as the shepherd of the faithful in his diocese.

And for St. Peter the Apostle, who is the first Bishop of Rome and Pope, it is all the more special to all of us, for all of Christendom because he is not just like any other bishops, but he has been entrusted with the special role as the Vicar of Christ, as the one to lead the entire Universal Church. He and all of his successors have this special obligation and responsibility as the Vicar of the true Head of the Church, Jesus Christ, that the Chair of St. Peter is therefore that very powerful symbol of the universal authority and primacy that St. Peter and his successors, the Popes have on the entire Church.

Thus, while there is indeed an actual, physical chair used by St. Peter as a treasured relic that is placed at the Altar of the Chair of the Papal Basilica of St. Peter, but this is not just what we are celebrating today. Rather, through this great Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle, we remember and celebrate the continued unity of the Church, all the flock of the Lord’s faithful under the guidance and the leadership of the Successor of St. Peter, our Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ, remembering how he and his predecessors from St. Peter have dedicated themselves to lead the people of God in this often turbulent world.

Today we remember the words of the Lord Himself, establishing and entrusting the Church to St. Peter, whose name means the ‘Rock’ so that the Church He has established may be built upon the firm foundation of the Rock of faith that is St. Peter, and assisted with the strength of the pillars of the faith of the Apostles. Because of this, the Church is united to the Lord, the Chief Shepherd of all, the Good Shepherd, through the many shepherds whom He had called and appointed to lead and guide His people, His flock, that is the Apostles and their successors.

Now, therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as God’s people and His Church, let us do our best in whatever we can do to remain strongly united as one people and one Church, obeying God’s truth, Law and commandments which He had revealed and passed to us through His Church, through our shepherds, the Apostles and their successors, our Pope and the many bishops and priests that had faithfully served Him through all the ages. Let us entrust ourselves in the Lord ever more and strive to work more for the unity of the Church and pray for our Pope in particular and for the other bishops as well.

Like what St. Peter exhorted to the faithful and the elders of the Church in our first reading today, in one of his Epistles, we hope that our bishops will continue to serve the Lord faithfully, for the greater glory of God, giving themselves humbly to bear witness to their faith and to show good examples to all the faithful on how they ought to be faithful to the Lord. Today, we all ought to help them in their governance of the Church by our continued support, prayer and companionship, to remind them that we are one community of God’s faithful people, and they are our shepherds.

Let us give them our fullest support and do whatever we can in our own capacity, making use of whatever opportunities that God has given to us, so that we may continue to grow ever closer to the Lord under the leadership of Francis, our Pope, the Successor of St. Peter the Apostle. May the Lord continue to bless him and all the other bishops, our shepherds, that they may continue to faithfully serve the Lord and be faithful and committed in their courageous efforts to proclaim the Gospel and the salvation in God, now and always. Amen.

Tuesday, 22 February 2022 : Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 16 : 13-19

At that time, Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi. He asked His disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They said, “For some of them You are John the Baptist, for others Elijah, or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”

Jesus asked them, “But you, who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “It is well for you, Simon Bar-Jona, for it is not flesh or blood that has revealed this to you, but My Father in heaven.”

“And now I say to you : You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church; and never will the powers of death overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven : whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you unbind on earth shall be unbound in heaven.”

Tuesday, 22 February 2022 : Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 22 : 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.

He guides me through the right paths for His Name’s sake. Although I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are beside me : Your rod and Your staff comfort me.

You spread a table before me in the presence of my foes. You anoint my head with oil; my cup is overflowing.

Goodness and kindness will follow me all the days of my life. I shall dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.

Tuesday, 22 February 2022 : Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Peter 5 : 1-4

I now address myself to those elders among you; I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ, hoping to share the Glory that is to be revealed.

Shepherd the flock which God has entrusted to you, guarding it not out of obligation but willingly for God’s sake; not as one looking for a reward but with a generous heart; do not lord it over those in your care, rather be an example to your flock.

Then, when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will be given a crown of unfading glory.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021 : 4th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 11 : 19-26

Those who had been scattered because of the persecution over Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message, but only to the Jews. But there were some natives of Cyprus and Cyrene among them who, on coming into Antioch, spoke also to the Greeks, giving them the Good News of the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them so that a great number believed and turned to the Lord.

News of this reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, so they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the manifest signs of God’s favour, he rejoiced and urged them all to remain firmly faithful to the Lord; for he himself was a good man filled with Holy Spirit and faith. Thus large crowds came to know the Lord.

Then Barnabas went off to Tarsus to look for Saul and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they had meetings with the Church and instructed many people. It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.

Monday, 26 April 2021 : 4th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 11 : 1-18

News came to the Apostles and the brothers and sisters in Judea that even foreigners had received the Word of God. So, when Peter went up to Jerusalem, these Jewish believers began to argue with him, “You went to the home of uncircumcised people and ate with them!”

So Peter began to give them the facts as they had happened, “I was at prayer in the city of Joppa when, in a trance, I saw a vision. Something like a large sheet came down from the sky and drew near to me, landing on the ground by its four corners. As I stared at it, I saw four-legged creatures of the earth, wild beasts and reptiles, and birds of the sky.”

“Then I heard a voice saying to me : ‘Get up, Peter, kill and eat!’ I replied, ‘Certainly not, Lord! No common or unclean creature has ever entered my mouth.’ A second time the voice from the heavens spoke, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call unclean.’ This happened three times, and then it was all drawn up into the sky. At that moment three men, who had been sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were staying.”

“The Spirit instructed me to go with them without hesitation; so these six brothers came along with me and we entered into the man’s house. He told us how he had seen an Angel standing in his house and telling him : ‘Send someone to Joppa and fetch Simon, also known as Peter. He will bring you a message by which you and all your household will be saved.”

“I had begun to address them when suddenly the Holy Spirit came upon them, just as it had come upon us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said : ‘John baptised with water, but you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’ If, then, God had given them the same gift that He had given us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to resist God?”

When they heard this they set their minds at rest and praised God saying, “Then God has granted life-giving repentance to the pagan nations as well.”

Sunday, 25 April 2021 : Fourth Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday and Vocation Sunday, and Feast of St. Mark, Evangelist (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 4 : 8-12

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke up, “Leaders of the people! Elders! It is a fact, that we are being examined today for a good deed done to a cripple. How was he healed? You and all the people of Israel, must know, that this man stands before you cured, through the Name of Jesus Christ, the Nazorean.”

“You had Him crucified. But God raised Him from the dead. Jesus is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other Name given to humankind, all over the world, by which we may be saved.”