Thursday, 24 March 2016 : Chrism Mass (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this occasion of the Chrism Mass, we all gather together, all the priests with their respective bishops and superiors in the dioceses around the world. On this day, all those who have dedicated themselves to the Lord in either religious life or sacred priesthood renew their promises and vows to the Lord, and at the same time, the holy oils are blessed, the chrism, where the Chrism Mass got its name from.

All those who are baptised in Christ, and all those who have placed themselves on the path of God’s salvation, they all have received the anointing of the holy oils upon their forehead, as these holy oils have been blessed by God Himself through His holy priests. And it is these priests too who have also been anointed with the same holy oils, when they receive the sacrament of the Holy Orders, to become the dedicated and committed servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And to them the Lord has given them the same authority as He had given to the Apostles, to His disciples and faithful ones, whom He had charged with the care of the people and the flock which He had gathered in the Name of His Father. Just as David has been chosen by God to lead His people Israel as His chosen king, and he has been anointed with oil by Samuel the prophet and judge, so therefore, our priests, bishops and all who have received the Sacrament of the Holy Orders have been blessed and chosen by God. God had called them, and they have responded with faith and sincerity.

And today, all of us gather together to remember our priests and to keep them always in our prayers as they made the efforts anew, to renew together with their bishops, and also with the whole Universal Church, the vow and promise which they had made at the moment of their consecration as God’s holy and dedicated priests. And this time it is especially crucial that we pray for them and ask for our Lord’s protection over them.

Why is this so? That is because, challenges and difficulties are always out and about, seeking to challenge our Church, bringing it problems and putting obstacles in her path, and our priests and all the faithful servants of the Lord, and the workers of the fields of the Lord are at the forefront of the Church and its works, and consequently, they are the ones who are braving those challenges.

There are many difficulties facing our priests, from how they work, to what they preach to the people of God, and to even how they live their daily lives. They are in fact carrying the cross of Christ as long as they are faithful in following the commandments of God. And what is that for, brethren? It is for our own benefit and for our own salvation. They are the shepherds that God had appointed to be in charge of all of us, to lead us on the path to reach Him and the salvation in Him.

It is not easy to become a priest, and it is not easy to remain as one and staying true as one. It is just as what our Lord had said, that while the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers and workers to gather the harvest are few, and just as He asked His people to pray for the Father to send the labourers to the harvest, thus, this is what He also wanted from us, that we pray for God to send young people to join the vocation to the priesthood, to listen to God calling them in their hearts and to choose the way of dedication and commitment to God and to His people.

We too should listen to the word of God speaking deep in our hearts. It is often that we are called by the Lord to follow Him, and yet we are not willing to follow Him because of the various reasons that we have. We like to make excuses or even closing our ears and our minds, our hearts and our feelings from the Lord. And this is exactly why it is becoming ever more difficult from time to time for our Church, as there are fewer and fewer people ready to commit themselves and their lives in the service of God.

Therefore, today, as we reflect on this occasion of the Chrism Mass, let us all commit ourselves anew in our own ways. If we want to devote ourselves wholly to God, then we should take the first step and have the courage to devote ourselves and our entire beings to serving the Lord, taking up the crosses we have, and bravely enduring the challenges, to lead and guide our brethren to the Lord as His shepherds.

And if we are not to follow the Lord in the way of His chosen priests and ministers, then all of us still have our obligations as Christians, to live a good and devout life, filled with faith and obedience to God and His commandments and laws. Then, all of us who choose that path should indeed devote ourselves to help the Church and to help one another in seeking God and His salvation.

Let us all realise in each and every one of us, the role and the responsibilities we have for God and for our fellow brethren. Let us follow the Lord and do what we can to be ever obedient to Him, and to do His good works in all of our lives. May God be with us all, and bless us always. Amen.

Thursday, 24 March 2016 : Maundy Thursday, Chrism Mass (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 4 : 16-21

At that time, when Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, as He usually did. He stood up to read, and they handed Him the book of the prophet Isaiah.

Jesus then unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written : “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me. He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed and to announce the Lord’s year of mercy.”

Jesus then rolled up the scroll, gave it to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. Then He said to them, “Today these prophetic words come true, even as you listen.”

Wednesday, 23 December 2015 : 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.

Monday, 14 December 2015 : 3rd Week of Advent, Memorial of St. John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 21 : 23-27

At that time, Jesus had entered the Temple and was teaching, when the chief priests, the teachers of the Law and the Jewish authorities came to Him, and asked, “What authority have You to act like this? Who gave You authority to do all this?”

Jesus answered them, “I will also ask you a question, only one. And if you give me an answer, then I will tell you by what authority I do these things. When John began to baptise, was it a work of God, or was it merely something human?”

They reasoned out among themselves, “If we reply that it was a work of God, He will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ And if we say, ‘The baptism of John was merely something human’, we have got to beware of the people, for all hold John as a prophet.”

So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what right I do these things.”

Thursday, 12 November 2015 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Wisdom 7 : 22 – Wisdom 8 : 1

Because Wisdom, Who designed them all, taught me. In her is a Spirit that is intelligent, saintly, unique, manifold, subtle, active, concise, pure and lucid. It cannot corrupt, loves what is hood and nothing can restrain it; it is beneficent, loving humankind, steadfast, dependable, calm though Almighty. It sees everything and penetrates all spirits, however intelligent, subtle and pure they may be.

Wisdom, in fact, surpasses in mobility all that moves, and being so pure pervades and permeates all things. She is a breath of the power of God, a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; nothing impure can enter her. She is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of God’s action and an image of His goodness.

She is but one, yet Wisdom can do all things and, herself unchanging, she renews all things. She enters holy souls, making them prophets and friends of God, for God loves only those who live with Wisdom. She is indeed more beautiful than the sun and surpasses all the constellations; she outrivals light, for light gives way to night, but evil cannot prevail against Wisdom.

Wisdom displays her strength from one end of the earth to the other, ordering all things rightly.

Monday, 13 April 2015 : 2nd Week of Easter, Memorial of Pope St. Martin I, Pope and Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)

John 3 : 1-8

Among the Pharisees there was a ruler of the Jews named Nicodemus. He came to Jesus by night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God to teach us, for no one can perform miraculous signs like Yours unless God is with him.”

Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again from above.” Nicodemus said, “How can there be rebirth for a grown man? Who could go back to his mother’s womb and be born again?”

Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you : No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Because of this, do not be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again from above.'”

“The wind blows where it pleases and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. It is like that with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Thursday, 2 April 2015 : Maundy Thursday, Chrism Mass (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 4 : 16-21

At that time, when Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, as He usually did. He stood up to read, and they handed Him the book of the prophet Isaiah.

Jesus then unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written : “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me. He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed and to announce the Lord’s year of mercy.”

Jesus then rolled up the scroll, gave it to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. Then He said to them, “Today these prophetic words come true, even as you listen.”