Saturday, 22 November 2014 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 143 : 1, 2, 9-10

Blessed be the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.

My loving God, my Fortress; my Protector and Deliverer, my Shield where I take refuge, who conquers nations and subjects them to my rule.

I will sing a new song to You, o Lord, I will make music on the ten-stringed harp, for You who give victory to kings and deliver David, Your servant.


Homily and Reflection :

Wednesday, 19 March 2014 : Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 88 : 2-3, 4-5, 27 and 29

I will sing forever, o Lord, of Your love and proclaim Your faithfulness from age to age. I will declare how steadfast is Your love, how firm Your faithfulness.

You said, “I have made a covenant with David, My chosen one; I have made a pledge to My servant. I establish his descendants forever; I build his throne for all generations.”

He will call on Me, “You are my Father, my God, my Rock, my Saviour.” I will keep My covenant firm forever, and My love for him will endure.

Monday, 17 February 2014 : 6th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints)

James 1 : 1-11

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, sends greetings to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations. Consider yourself fortunate, my brothers and sisters, when you meet with every kind of trial, for you know that the testing of your faith makes you steadfast.

Let your steadfastness become perfect with deeds, that you yourselves my be perfect and blameless, without any defect. If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God who gives all easily and unconditionally. But ask with faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave driven and tossed on the sea by the wind.

Such a person should not expect anything from the Lord, since the doubter has two minds and his conduct will always be insecure. Let the believer who is poor boast in been uplifted, and let the rich one boast in being humbled, because he will pass away like the flower of the field.

The sun rises and its heat dries the grass; the flower withers and its beauty vanishes. So, too, will the rich person fade away even in the midst of his pursuits.

Sunday, 10 November 2013 : 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Thessalonians 2 : 16 – 2 Thessalonians 3 : 5

May Christ Jesus our Lord who has loved us, may God our Father, who in His mercy gives us everlasting comfort and true hope, strengthen you. May He encourage your hearts and make you steadfast in every good work and word.

Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the Word of God may spread rapidly and be glorified everywhere as it was with you. May God guard us from wicked and evil people, since not everyone has faith.

The Lord is faithful; He will strengthen you and keep you safe from the Evil One. Besides, we have in the Lord this confidence that you are doing and will continue to do what we order you. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

Friday, 20 September 2013 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Priest and Martyr, St. Paul Chong Ha-Sang, and Companions, Martyrs (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

1 Timothy 6 : 2c-12

Teach and stress these things. Whoever teaches in some other way, not following the sound teaching of our Lord Christ Jesus and true religious instruction, is conceited and understands nothing. This one is crazy about controversies and discussions that result in envy, insults, blows, and constant arguments between people of depraved minds and far from the truth. For them, religion is merely for financial gain.

In reality, religion is a treasure if we are content with what we have. We brought nothing into the world and we will leave it with nothing. Let us then be content with having food and clothing. Those who strive to be rich fall into temptations and traps. A lot of foolish and harmful ambitions plunge them into ruin and destruction.

Indeed, the love of money is the root of every evil. Because of this greed, some have wandered away from the faith, bringing on themselves afflictions of every kind. But you, man of God, shun all this. Strive to be holy and godly. Live in faith and love, with endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith and win everlasting life to which you were called when you made the good profession of faith in the presence of so many witnesses.

Thursday, 19 September 2013 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Januarius, Bishop and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red

1 Timothy 4 : 12-16

Let no one reproach you on account of your youth. Be a model to the believers in the way you speak and act, in your love, your faith and purity of life. Devote yourself to reading, preaching, and teaching, until I come.

Do not neglect the spiritual gift conferred on you with prophetic words when the elders laid their hands upon you. Think about it and practice it so that your progress may be seen by all. Take heed of yourself and attend to your teaching. Be steadfast in doing this and you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Timothy 3 : 14-16

I give you these instructions, although I hope I will see you soon. If I delay, you will know how you ought to conduct yourself in the household of God, that is, the Church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth. How  great indeed is the mystery of divine blessing!

He was shown in the flesh and sanctified by the Spirit; presented to the angels and proclaimed to all nations. The world believed in Him : He was taken up in glory!

Saturday, 7 September 2013 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflection)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we heard and be reaffirmed today, of the love our God has for all of us. That the Lord in His love, has given all of Himself through His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. He gave to us an outpouring of His love, and in His strong desire to bring us and reunite us back to Himself, He had sent us prophets and messengers to deliver His will to the people and to guide them to return to Him.

In the same way, through Moses His servant, He had revealed to His children about Himself, how He cares very much for their wellbeing, and showed them His love even when they constantly rebelled against His love, worshipping other gods instead of Him. He even gave them a set of law, the Law He gave to His people through Moses, as a guide for them in their lives that they will always remain ever faithful and ever loving, and stay in the grace of God at all times.

Yet, despite this, the people of God did not remain faithful, and they still rebelled constantly against the Lord, defying His laws and commandment, shutting out prophets and murdering them for showing the truth about their sinful ways, and for nagging them to return to God their Father who loves them. But the Lord did not give up on them, and continued to show His love without end, even when His children often did not love Him back.

The Lord in His anger and wrath could easily have wiped us out because of our rebelliousness, our sins, and our stubbornness, but He kept His faith in all of us, and willing for us to repent our sinful ways and return to the Lord. That was why, He gave His all and become one of us through Jesus, incarnate of the Blessed Virgin His mother, and through that, become a source of hope and salvation for all mankind.

Christ came into this world as the Messiah, the awaited Saviour, but He is also a prophet and a teacher, who explained the true meaning and intention of the Law and rules that God had given mankind through Moses and His other prophets and messengers. He showed that the Law does not exist to lord over the people of God, and neither should it become a yoke to burden the people.

The Pharisees did obey the Law, indeed, they appeared to be pious and obedient people of the Law. However most of them, and the teachers of the Law obeyed the Law in a perverted manner, in a twisted version of their own ‘Law’. Their love for the Law is superficial, and they enslaved themselves and the people they led without having the Lord at the centre of their lives.

That is why, brothers and sisters, today we are reminded of the need to truly love God and give of our whole self to Him, just as He had loved us and gave us His entire being to us, and He was not even shy to shed His own Body and Blood that we may live. Let us not love our Lord and God only superficially as the Pharisees had once done.

Yes, we need to obey rules and laws, but we must not be enslaved to them. Rather, let us make use of the Law of God as a way for us to better control and coordinate ourselves that we will be able to stay true to the Lord and remain firmly in God’s love and favour, that we will not fall into the temptations of the evil one. God bless us all. Amen.

Sunday, 30 June 2013 : 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Galatians 5 : 1, 13-18

Christ freed us to make us really free. So remain firm and do not submit gain to the yoke of slavery. You, brothers and sisters, were called to enjoy freedom; I am not speaking of that freedom which gives free rein to the desires of the flesh, but of that which makes you slaves of one another through love.

For the whole Law is summed up in this sentence : ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ But if you bite and tear each other to pieces, be careful lest you all perish. Therefore I say to you : walk according to the Spirit and do not give way to the desires of the flesh!

For the desires of the flesh war against the spirit, and the desires of the spirit are opposed to the flesh. Both are in conflict with each other, so that you cannot do everything you would like. But when you are led by the Spirit you are not under the Law.

Saturday, 29 June 2013 : Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles, Great Feast Day of the Church of Rome (Scripture Reflection)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the great pillars of the Church, particularly the Church of Rome, the heart of Christendom and the Universal Church. Saints Peter and Paul were martyred for their faith in Rome, and that is why they formed the pillars of the Church there, just as a saying correctly said that, “The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians”.

Persecution, suffering, and martyrdom did not prevent the people from searching for salvation in the Church, and in the faith in Christ, but instead these actually propelled more and more people towards the Lord, and therefore, through the sufferings and deaths of martyrs, the Church grew and grew ever more, made fertile by the blood of martyrs, many of whom became incredible sources of inspiration for all of the Christians.

But do not think that these saints and martyrs are superhuman in nature. They are the same human just like all of us here, but they have been made great by the Lord, who saw the good that is in them, and their love and dedication for Him. They were normal, humble people made great by the power of the Holy Spirit.

St. Peter and St. Paul both had had their weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and they had succumbed to human temptations and evil once. St. Peter denied the Lord three times out of fear of his life, and St. Paul was a great persecutor of the faithful in God in the early part of his life, as Saul. But the Lord deemed them worthy, and therefore, they were chosen from among so many other people, and they were made great by the Lord our God.

St. Peter was chosen from among the Apostles to be the one to uphold the entire Church of the Lord, that is all the people of God, united as one Body, with Christ at its head, and Peter as His Vicar in this world, as His representatives, carrying out His will. Thus St. Peter became the first Pope, the first Vicar of Christ, the head of the Universal Church. St. Peter did much work to advance the cause of the Lord, establishing many Christian communities, such as in Antioch, of which Peter was also its first bishop.

Then St. Peter went on to Rome, to preach there and lead the growing Christian community in that capital of the Roman Empire. The Emperor of Rome at that time, Emperor Nero treated Christians harshly and persecuted them in false accusations on that they were the ones who caused the Great Fire of Rome, which was actually caused by Nero himself in order to clear land to build a new Palace to feed his own grandiose and megalomaniac ideas.

St. Peter fled from that great persecution with the other Christians, but along the way out of Rome, on the road, he met Christ, who appeared to him while carrying a cross on His back. St. Peter, recognising Christ, asked the Lord, “Quo vadis, Domine?” which means “Where to, Lord?” or “Where are you going, Lord?” Jesus was carrying the cross in the direction of Rome, and He said to Peter, “Ad Romam iterum crucifigi” which roughly means, “To Rome, to be crucified again.”

Hearing this, St. Peter realised that suffering is truly part of being the Lord’s disciples, and persecution that awaits them should not be looked upon with fear, but instead with joy and courage, knowing that one had done the right thing in defending his or her faith in God. He gained strength, courage, and resolve, and he turned back and returned to Rome.

Eventually, St. Peter was martyred, by crucified on a cross. Yet again, St. Peter showed his great qualities, in that, in full knowledge of his unworthiness, he rejected that he should die in the same way as His Lord had died, that is to be crucified on the cross, and instead asked to be crucified upside-down, that in his unworthiness, he did not die the same way that Christ had died for all of us for the sake of our salvation.

There went the first Bishop of Rome, in his life and journey towards the Lord, the first Pope, whose successors went down the generations, keeping the faith faithfully, and remain as the keepers of the kingdoms of heaven as granted by Christ, and as the Vicar of Christ on earth. Indeed, no power on earth or hell may be able to stand against the Church of God, built on the solid rock foundation that is the faith of the apostle St. Peter.

St. Paul also went to Rome, and was beheaded during the height of the persecutions of Christians. He faced death willingly and openly, and his death, together with that of Peter, continued to seed the growing Christian populations in Rome and beyond. Today we are commemorating those two great saints, and we hope to be able to emulate their examples in our own daily lives.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us from today onwards learn of the examples following the footsteps of the Apostles, especially that of Saints Peter and Pail the pillars of our faith. Do not be afraid, and do not need to be disheartened when we face trouble and persecution, for the Lord will be with us, and He will provide for those who love Him.

Do not be afraid and keep faith. The Lord provides for us and He guides all of us, just as He provided for Saints Peter and Paul during their times of tribulation, during their long years of ministry to the Lord’s people and Church. We too can follow their examples and follow in their footsteps, even in these modern day. We must be strong and faithful as Peter was, and be vocal and courageous as Paul was.

May the Lord be with us, and with the prayers of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, may all of us become better Christians, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and strive to do more good for the sake of our brethren. God bless us all. Amen.