(Easter Sunday) Sunday, 27 March 2016 : Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Week, Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 1-9

Now, on the first day after the Sabbath, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning while it was still dark, and she saw that the stone blocking the tomb had been moved away. She ran to Peter, and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and she said to them, “They have taken our Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have laid Him.”

Peter then set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down and saw the linen cloths lying flat, but he did not enter.

Then Simon Peter came, following him, and entered the tomb; he, too saw the linen cloths lying flat. The napkin, which had been around His head, was not lying flat like the other linen cloths, but lay rolled up in its place.

Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed. Scripture clearly said that He must rise from the dead, but they had not yet understood that.

 

Alternative reading

Luke 24 : 1-12

On the Sabbath the women rested according to the commandment, but the first day of the week, at dawn, they went to the tomb with the perfumes and ointments they had prepared. Seeing the stone rolled away from the opening of the tomb, they entered, and were amazed to find that the body of the Lord Jesus was not there.

As they stood there wondering about this, two men in dazzling garments suddenly appeared beside them. In fright the women bowed to the ground. But the men said, “Why look for the living among the dead? You won’t find Him here. He is risen. Remember what He told you in Galilee, that the Son of Man had to be given into the hands of sinners, to be crucified, and to rise on the third day.” And they remembered Jesus’ words.

Returning from the tomb, they told the Eleven and all the others about these things. Among the women, who brought the news, were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. But however much they insisted, those who heard did not believe the seemingly nonsensical story.

Then Peter got up and ran to the tomb. All he saw, when he bent down and looked into the tomb, were the linen cloths, laid by themselves. He went home wondering.

(Easter Vigil) Saturday, 26 March 2016 : Easter Vigil of the Resurrection of the Lord, Holy Week (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 24 : 1-12

On the Sabbath the women rested according to the commandment, but the first day of the week, at dawn, they went to the tomb with the perfumes and ointments they had prepared. Seeing the stone rolled away from the opening of the tomb, they entered, and were amazed to find that the body of the Lord Jesus was not there.

As they stood there wondering about this, two men in dazzling garments suddenly appeared beside them. In fright the women bowed to the ground. But the men said, “Why look for the living among the dead? You won’t find Him here. He is risen. Remember what He told you in Galilee, that the Son of Man had to be given into the hands of sinners, to be crucified, and to rise on the third day.” And they remembered Jesus’ words.

Returning from the tomb, they told the Eleven and all the others about these things. Among the women, who brought the news, were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. But however much they insisted, those who heard did not believe the seemingly nonsensical story.

Then Peter got up and ran to the tomb. All he saw, when he bent down and looked into the tomb, were the linen cloths, laid by themselves. He went home wondering.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brethren in Christ, the Lord loves us all, without exception. He gave us all many gifts and graces, and yet, many of us are not aware of this, or even reject these gifts He had given us, all for free. All that the Lord asks from us is in fact just that we should love Him back and dedicate ourselves and our hearts to Him alone. After all, He had given us so much, including this very life that sustains us in this world, that He does deserve our love.

However, the true fact is that many of us do not appreciate His love and kindness to us. We spurned His love and turned away from His mercy. We were not grateful at what He had done for our sake. He had given Himself up to be condemned to death, and suffer grievously in our place, as a punishment for all our sins. Yet in that suffering, He invited all of us to a great banquet, that is the banquet and feast of salvation.

Why so? That is because He offered His own flesh and blood, that is His Most Precious Body and Blood, His own Essence, to us, that all who receive them worthily and believe in Him, will receive the reward of life eternal in heaven. This is the reality of our faith. Yes, the centrepiece of our faith, that the Lord crucified, the Lamb of sacrifice, offered His own flesh and blood, just as the immaculate lambs were sacrificed at the first Jewish Passover, marking them from death.

And just as the blood of the lambs marked the house of the people of Israel, to distinguish them from their Egyptian slave masters, and therefore the angel of death passed over them, so had Jesus, the Lamb of God, with His Blood, marked all of us who believe, that death will not have dominion nor authority over us. We have been marked that we belong to God and God alone.

Even so, even many among us who had been marked, likened to the guests invited by the master of the house to his banquet, still go astray from our path, and erred. We were still easily swayed by the forces of this world, belonging to the evil one, the devil, that is the forces of darkness. And just like the guests, who made excuses not to come to the event, we too like to make excuses to God, numerous excuses to excuse us from coming closer to God and His love.

Indeed, it is often that this world and the world of material offer us so much and in a way so enticing, that it is hard for us to gaze away from them. This is what happened exactly, as the Lord showed it through the reluctant and unfaithful guests, who preferred their own personal matter and preoccupied with their own dealings, to break the promise they had made in God, and to ignore His calling.

That is also what happened, when the voice of God speaking softly in our hearts was drowned by the noise of this world, by the noise of our surroundings. We cannot focus on the Lord simply because the world around us is too attractive, and too distractive, that we often end up busying ourselves with this world’s dealings rather than spending time with our Lord who loves us.

That is why, the Lord highlighted the type of people He wants, that is, those who are humble and loving, and those who truly seek the Lord, those who truly have God in their hearts. That is what is expected from us all, brethren! We must find time for our Lord, and open our hearts to Him. Do not neglect our Lord by turning away from Him or ignoring Him. Do not be like those ungrateful guests who turned away the invitation of the Lord.

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, from now on, let us resolve to be closer to God, to be open to His love, and to open the doors of our hearts and ears to His words and wisdom. We can do this by devoting ourselves to Him in prayer. Pray hard and pray devoutly, and talk to God often, and at the same time, allowing Him to speak within our heart. May the Lord our God then grant us His blessing, that all of us will remain always and ever in His love. Amen.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Exodus 23 : 20-23

See, I am sending an Angel before you to keep you safe on the way and bring you to the place I have made ready. Be on your guard in His presence and listen to Him; do not resist Him for He will not pardon your wrong-doing, for My Name is in Him.

If you listen to Him and do what I say, I will be enemy to your enemies and the opponent of your opponents. My Angel will go before you and bring you to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; all these I will destroy.

Thursday, 26 September 2013 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Saints Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red

Psalm 149 : 1-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b

Alleluia! Sing to the Lord a new song, sing His praise in the assembly of His saints. Let Israel rejoice in his Maker, let the people of Zion glory in their King!

Let them dance in praise of His Name and make music for Him with harp and timbrel. For the Lord delights in His people; He crowns the lowly with victory.

The saints will exult in triumph; even at night on their couches. Let the praise of God be on their lips, this is the glory of all His saints. Alleluia!

Thursday, 12 September 2013 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White

Psalm 150 : 1-2, 3-4, 5-6

Alleluia! Sing to the Lord a new song, sing His praise in the assembly of His saints. Let Israel rejoice in His Maker, let the people of Zion glory in their King!

Let them dance in praise of His Name and make music for Him with harp and timbrel. For the Lord delights in His people; He crowns the lowly with victory.

The saints will exult in triumph ; even at night on their couches. Let the praise of God be on their lips, and in their hands two-edged swords.

Alternative Psalm (From the Mass of the Most Holy Name of Mary)

 

Luke 1 : 46-47, 48-49, 50-51, 52-53, 54-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my Saviour!

He has looked upon His servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name!

From age to age His mercy extends to those who live in His presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans.

He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.

He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever

Monday, 26 August 2013 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 149 : 1-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b

Alleluia! Sing to the Lord a new song, sing His praise in the assembly of His saints. Let Israel rejoice in his Maker, let the people of Zion glory in their King!

Let them dance in praise of His Name and make music for Him with harp and timbrel. For the Lord delights in His people; He crowns the lowly with victory.

The saints will exult in triumph; even at night on their couches. Let the praise of God be on their lips, this is the glory of all His saints. Alleluia!