Saturday, 29 November 2014 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

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

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today is the last day of our current liturgical year, which is liturgical year A, and from tomorrow onwards, we will begin a new liturgical year cycle, beginning with the season of Advent, a season of preparation for all of us to be ready to celebrate the great solemnity of our Lord’s birth and nativity in Christmas. Therefore, the readings today from the Scriptures were very appropriate in that they all proclaim of what we all should do to prepare ourselves, and what does the coming of our Lord mean to all of us.

The Gospel today speaks of our Lord Jesus who again constantly reminded the people to always be prepared and to stay vigilant, that is to be ready for the coming of our Lord as He had promised, lest they be caught unaware and unprepared. Thus, while we prepare for the joyful celebrations of Christmas, and as we embark on the Advent journey tomorrow, let us all also prepare ourselves body, heart, mind, soul and indeed our entire being to welcome the Lord and be ready for when He comes again in glory.

For we believe that while Christmas celebrates our Lord’s coming into the world as a Man in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man, but that was His first coming into the world, when He revealed the fullness of God’s truth and the plan of God’s salvation for us all. That was the time when He walked among us as one of us, and lived as humans like us do, and He suffered and died for us, carrying the burdens of our sins even though He is without sin.

But we also expect His future coming into the world, this time not as a humble Man but as a victorious, triumphant and conquering King, who will be the Judge of all, and who will gather all the righteous ones to Himself. All those whom He judged to be worthy, He will bring to His everlasting glory, as we read today in the first reading taken from the last part of the Book of the revelations of St. John the Evangelist.

In that reading, after the tribulations of the faithful, the final plagues and the final victory against the devil and all of his followers, and after the final and last judgment of all the living and the dead, the Lord will welcome all those He had deemed to be righteous, good and just to come into His holy city, the place of abundance and everlasting grace, as well as perfect bliss, harmony and happiness.

There will be no more death, no more tears or sadness, and there will be no more sorrow, pain or suffering. There will be no more need for fear or hesitation, doubt or uncertainty, for our Lord will be there for us at all times, and He will rule over us forever and ever. We will be His beloved people, and we will enjoy forever the fullness of His love, His grace, blessing and inheritance He had promised us all.

But, all these does not come free and easy, brothers and sisters in Christ. For in order for us to achieve all these, we must be faithful, and that is not easy either. For being faithful to the Lord often means that we walk in the opposite way as the world, and for us to disregard the common ways of the world. We will often face difficulties, challenges, divisions and even opposition from those closest and dearest to us.

However, if we are able to persevere and move on, and remain true to our mission in this life, then our reward is great. Being faithful to the Lord entails being truly devoted and to be a practicing and proactive member of His faithful. Yes, it requires a faith that is based and founded upon a strong foundation of love and love in action. For example, if we are faithful, then surely we will see and notice the plight of those around us who lacked love and who have difficulties themselves.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we are the children of God and therefore we are the children of the Light. And the way of the Light is to bring love and compassion to all peoples, and to bring harmony and peace to all societies. And ultimately the way of Light is to preach truly and courageously the truth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, He who had given it all to save us from the powers of darkness, and deliver us into the new life in Him.

Hence, brothers and sisters, let us not wait any longer or be idle any longer. Let us begin to take action from now on. Remember, that the Lord also mentioned in the first reading we heard today, “I am coming soon!” and this is very real. Yes, He will come again and He will come again soon, at a time that we cannot predict and a time which we do not expect.

Do not wait until it is too late. Profess our love for Him now, so that when He comes again, we will be ready, and He will find us righteous and just, and He will then bring us to enjoy forever the fruits of eternal life, the fruits of our faithfulness, obedience, righteousness and love for Him. If we have done what is good and what He has asked us to do, as I have said earlier on, then we have nothing to worry. If we have not, then let us begin from now on and never wait. God be with us all. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/27/saturday-29-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/27/saturday-29-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/27/saturday-29-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-gospel-reading/

Saturday, 29 November 2014 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

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

Luke 21 : 34-36

At that time, Jesus said, “Be on your guard : do not immerse yourselves in a life of pleasure, drunkenness and worldly cares, lest that day catch you unaware, like a trap! For, like a snare, will that day come upon all the inhabitants of the earth.”

“But watch at all times and pray, that you may be able to escape all that is going to happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/28/saturday-29-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Saturday, 29 November 2014 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

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

Psalm 94 : 1-2, 3-5, 6-7

Come, let us sing to the Lord, let us make a joyful sound to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him giving thanks, with music and songs of praise.

For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth and the mountain heights. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hand shaped the dry land.

Come and worship; let us bow down, kneel before the Lord, our Maker. He is our God, and we His people; the flock He leads and pastures. Would that today you heard His voice!

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/28/saturday-29-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Saturday, 29 November 2014 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

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

Revelations 22 : 1-7

Then the angel showed me the river of life, clear as crystal, gushing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of the city, on both sides of the river are the trees of life producing fruit twelve times, once each month, the leaves of which are for healing the nations.

No longer will there be a curse; the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the City and God’s servants will live in His presence. They will see His face and His Name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light or lamp or sun for God Himself will be their Light and they will reign forever.

Then the angel said to me, “These words are sure and true; the Lord God who inspires the prophets has sent His angel to show His servants what must happen soon.” He said, “I am coming soon! Happy are those who keep the prophetic words of this book.”

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/28/saturday-29-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Friday, 28 November 2014 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today the readings are about what is to come at the end of time, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ as King and Master of all, and ultimately as the Judge of all creations. Our Lord Jesus Christ is going to come in triumph and glory, vanquishing and defeating evil once and for all, and cast them all into the utter darkness and the eternal lake of fire prepared for them.

In the first reading, it was told about the final defeat of Satan, who will be cast down and have his power forever broken. The authority which Satan once has over us, through sin, has been broken through the actions of our Lord Jesus, by His death and resurrection, and then the might and kingdom of Satan itself will be crushed when the Lord comes again.

That is because, brothers and sisters in Christ, as long as mankind still commit sin and evil in their actions, in their words and deeds, they will always come again under the rule and tyranny of Satan, who is the lord over evil and sin. As long as we sin and commit things evil and abhorrent in the eyes of God, Satan is our master and we are his thralls.

And as long as we remain in sin, and allow sin to affect our hearts and our lives, then death will also have power over us. This is the first death, and also will be the second death for us, if we do not change our ways. What is the first death and the second death, brothers and sisters? The second death was mentioned in the first reading today taken from the Book of Revelations. It is an eternal death and an eternal suffering, from which, all those who suffer that second death, will never be able to escape.

All of us mankind were not meant to suffer death or suffering, brethren, for our ancestor Adam, the first man, and his wife, Eve, the first woman, were created to enjoy the eternal bliss and happiness of the Lord’s creations in Eden. They were meant to enjoy for eternity the goodness of God and not to suffer death and suffering in this world. Alas, sin entered the hearts of men by the disobedience of men, who listened to the sweet lies of Satan, who charmed and twisted them away from true devotion to God.

Satan appeared to Eve as a snake, the most cunning and intelligent of all the creatures, and it is the same old snake that the angel of God will chain up at the end of times, Satan the deceiver, to be bound up so that all of us may be freed from his tyranny and control. Satan played on our desires and our curiosity, and those took the better of us, when he managed to persuade the first men to eat from the forbidden tree and thus sinned against God.

After mankind sinned against God, then we deserve to be punished, and that punishment, is to suffer in our life, whereas the original intention had been for us to enjoy our life in bliss and happiness, and then also to die, suffering from death, just as the words say that, ‘from dust you have come, and to dust you shall return’. This is the first death, the death because of men’s disobedience against God, and all of us mankind are subject to this.

Yes, one day we will all die, and all those who have gone before us have also tasted death, and those who are yet to be born, will one day also suffer death, the first death, but not a final death. For our Lord Jesus Christ had come as our Saviour, who offered a new hope and light amidst the darkened outlook of our future. By His death on the cross, He broke free the chains of sin that enslaved us to death, and by His resurrection, He brought us the offer of a new life everlasting.

And thus, we have no need to fear death, the first death. After all, all of us will go through it at one point of time or another. We will all die, but what matters is, if after that first death, whether we will suffer the second death or instead go into the eternal life promised by our God. This will depend on our actions and deeds in this life on earth, and will be judged upon us at the time of the Last Judgment.

Yes, the second part of our first reading today tells us about the Last Judgment, where the Lord will separate those who have done good and those who have failed to do so, or those who did what are wicked in the sight of God. The good ones He will give His promised reward of everlasting life, in the fullness of glory and happiness which He had always intended for His beloved men from the very beginning, but taken away from us because of the sins of our ancestors and also our own sins.

How about those who are found to be wicked and unworthy then? They will be judged and condemned for their actions, and the second death will be their portion. The second death is eternal, hell-like suffering of total and eternal separation from God and His love, and no hope is to be found there, for there is no escape, and those who are found wicked will be cast down there together with Satan and his fellow fallen angels, who also rebelled against God and brought mankind down with them.

Ultimately, the Gospel today reminds us of the fact that we need to do something, and that we can no longer be passive in our faith and in our lives. Jesus was talking about the signs of nature and the seasons, and how if the people of His time could tell of the coming of the season and time by observing the nature around them, then the coming of the Lord Jesus and the end of time can surely also be known by us, not in exact timing, but in the imminency of it.

Jesus always told us that the coming of the kingdom of God will be like that of a thief, sudden and unannounced. And indeed, only God Himself knows the exact time of His coming. If we think that we still have time and remain idle, not doing things which may help us to secure our salvation, then we may be caught unaware and unprepared, and at that time, if we are judged to be among the wicked, then no amount of pleading or begging will help us anymore.

Therefore, what we need to do brothers and sisters in Christ? We have to be proactive in our faith, and practice it with full sincerity and genuinely show love, as what the Lord had taught us. We have many opportunities in this life, every single day, hour or even minute. Whenever we see that there are people being ostracised, treated badly against, hungry or lonely, are we courageous enough to show them our love? Or do we prefer to remain idle and ignore them?

The choice is clearly ours, to be loving and good, or to be selfish and wicked. The ball is in our court, and it is our choice whether to take up the opportunity and use them, or let them go to waste. May Almighty God awaken in us the courage as well as the sense of urgency to seek Him and do what He had taught us to do, so that at the end of the days, He may find us worthy and righteous, and worthy to enjoy the eternal graces and happiness which He had prepared for all of us. God bless us all. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/26/friday-28-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/26/friday-28-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/26/friday-28-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-gospel-reading/

Friday, 28 November 2014 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 21 : 29-33

At that time, Jesus added this comparison, “Look at the fig trees, and all the trees. As soon as their buds sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I tell you, this generation will not pass away, until all this has happened.”

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/27/friday-28-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Friday, 28 November 2014 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 83 : 3, 4, 5-6a and 8a

My soul yearns, pines, for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young, at Your altars, o Lord of hosts, my King and my God!

Happy are those who live in Your house, continually singing Your praise! Happy the pilgrims whom You strengthen. They go from strength to strength till they appear before God in Zion.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/27/friday-28-november-2014-34th-week-of-ordinary-time-homily-and-scripture-reflections/