Sunday, 20 March 2016 : Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, Holy Week (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 21 : 8-9, 17-18a, 19-20, 23-24

All who see Me make a jest of Me; they sneer and shake their heads. “He puts His trust in the Lord, let the Lord rescue Him! If the Lord is His friend, Let Him help Him!”

Round about Me are vicious dogs, villainous rogues encircling Me. They have tied up My hands and feet. They can count all My bones.

Dividing My garments among them and casting lots for My garment. O Lord, be not far from Me! O My strength, come quickly to My help.

I will proclaim Your Name to My brothers, I will praise You in the assembly, “All you who fear the Lord, praise Him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify Him! All you sons of Israel, revere Him!”

Monday, 10 March 2014 : 1st Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Leviticus 19 : 1-2, 11-18

YHVH spoke to Moses and said, “Speak to the entire assembly of the people of Israel and say to them : Be holy for I, YHVH, your God, am holy.”

Do not steal or lie or deceive one another. Do not swear falsely by My Name so as to profane the Name of your God; I am YHVH.

Do not oppress your neighbour or rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning. You shall not curse a deaf man nor put a stumbling block in the way of the blind; but you shall fear your God; I am YHVH.

Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor nor bow to the great; you are to judge your neighbour fairly so as not to share in his guilt. Do not go about as a slanderer of your people and do not seek the death of your neighbour; I am YHVH.

Do not hate your brother in your heart; rebuke your neighbour frankly so as not to share in his guilt. Do not seek revenge or nurture a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself; I am YHVH.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 36 : 5-6, 30-31, 39-40

Commit your way to the Lord; put your trust in Him and let Him act. Then will your revenge come, beautiful as the dawn, and the justification of your cause, bright as the noonday sun.

The mouth of the virtuous utters wisdom and his tongue speaks of what is right. His steps have never faltered, for the law of God is in his heart.

The Lord is the salvation of the righteous; in time of distress, He is their refuge. The Lord helps them, and rescues them from the oppressor; He saves them for they sought shelter in Him.

Sunday, 26 January 2014 : 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 26 : 1, 4, 13-14

The Lord is my Light and my Salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the rampart of my life; I will not be afraid.

One thing I ask of the Lord, one thing I seek – that I may dwell in His house all the days of my life, to gaze at His jewel and to visit His sanctuary.

I hope, I am sure, that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Trust in the Lord, be strong and courageous. Yes, put your hope in the Lord!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Memorial of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red (Martyrs)

Mark 2 : 23-28

One Sabbath Jesus was walking through grainfields. As His disciples walked along with Him, they began to pick on the heads of grain and crush them in their hands. Then the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Look! They are doing what is forbidden on the Sabbath!”

And He said to them, “Have you never read what David did in his time of need, when he and his men were very hungry? He went into the house of God, when Abiathar was High Priest, and ate the bread of offering, which only the priests were allowed to eat, and he also gave some to the men who were with him.”

Then Jesus said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Master even of the Sabbath.”

Sunday, 29 December 2013 : Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 127 : 1-2, 3, 4-5

Out of the depths i cry to You, o Lord, o Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears pay attention to the voice of my supplication.

If You should mark our evil, o Lord, who could stand?

But with You is forgiveness, and for that You are revered. I waited for the Lord, my soul waits, and I put my hope in His word.

Thursday, 12 December 2013 : 2nd Week of Advent, Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Mass of our Lady)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of our Lady of Guadalupe, to commemorate the apparition of our Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of God, in the land of the New World, in Guadalupe, in the present day Mexico. The Blessed Virgin and her apparition that would come to be known as the Lady of Guadalupe appeared to several people including to a peasant named Juan Diego, whom first promoted the devotion to our Lady in that new land. Many miracles and healing could be attributed to our Lady of Guadalupe, even until today at the site.

The Lady of Guadalupe, was a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in her Immaculate Conception, and also identified as the woman of the Book of the Revelation, that is the woman crowned by stars whom the devil in the form of a red dragon, would want to swallow whole. Therefore, our Lady of Guadalupe represented the vision of hope to the world darkened with evil, for it is through this blessed woman, that the hope of this world was to come from, in Jesus.

The devotion to our Lady of Guadalupe is widespread in the New World, even today, and many continued to ask for her intercession and for her guidance towards her beloved Son. Through her, as promised and prophesied by the prophets, the One Saviour, Immanuel, God-is-with-us, was brought into this world, to be its light and guidance, so that all of us will once again live in the light and not in darkness.

In Mary a great strength was present, in her character and in her faith to God. She did not question the will of God but obeyed fully and willingly. Mary accepted her part in the plan of salvation, saying to the Lord, that she is His handmaid and servant, and therefore everything ought to happen as God wills it. It is truly not easy to find a faith such as Mary’s, and we too ought to follow her examples.

For this woman, despite being conceived and born without sin, and remaining pure all of her life, did not boast of her purity and special status before others. Instead, she remained humble, even knowing if she would become the Mother of God Himself, incarnate into flesh through her participation. She was indeed Blessed, as Elizabeth her cousin proclaimed her during the visitation.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the fulfillment of God’s promise to mankind, when they first sinned against Him, that a woman would come to bring forth salvation to mankind, crushing the head of Satan under her feet. Not by her own power and might, but through the Son born from her, Jesus our Messiah, our Lord.

The Lord elevates her to a special position among mankind, not only because of her role as the bearer of the Messiah, but also because of her obedience and her attitude towards the will of God. But she is still human like us and not divine. It is a misconception for many, both outside and even inside the Church, that we worship her as a divine being. Yet, Mary is blessed among women, among all mankind, and she is our role model.

Mary is our role model, the greatest of the saints, and her life examples are exemplary. Her role in the plan of salvation is indeed intended for us to follow and emulate. So today, as we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and as we continue to proceed through the blessed season of Advent, we are reminded of the role that Mary has in the salvation of mankind, with our time now of preparing to celebrate the coming of Christ.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, let us draw ever closer to the Lord, through the life and example of Mary His mother, who appeared to the people of Mexico in Guadalupe, that all of us will also be able to be like her, following the Lord, committing ourselves to the laws and precepts of the Lord, and be righteous and true in the eyes of God.

May the Lord our God who bless us with Mary His mother, whom He entrusted to us as our mother, continue to bless us, watch over us, and may through her intercession, we will be drawn ever closer to salvation in her Son. Amen.

Friday, 6 December 2013 : 1st Week of Advent, Memorial of St. Nicholas, Bishop (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Bishops)

Psalm 26 : 1, 4, 13-14

The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the rampart of my life; I will not be afraid.

One thing I ask of the Lord, one thing I seek – that I may dwell in His house all the days of my life, to gaze at His jewel and to visit His sanctuary.

I hope, I am sure, that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Trust in the Lord, be strong and courageous. Yes, put your hope in the Lord!

Thursday, 5 December 2013 : 1st Week of Advent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/ Violet

Isaiah 26 : 1-6

On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah :

We have a strong city, He Himself has set up walls and fortifications to protect us. Open the gates! Let the righteous nation enter, she who is firm in faithfulness. You keep in perfect peace the one of steadfast mind, the one who trusts in You.

Trust in YHVH forever, for YHVH is an everlasting Rock. He brought down those who dwell on high, He laid low the lofty city, He razed it to the ground, levelled it to the dust. Now it is trampled, the poor and the lowly tread upon it.

Monday, 2 December 2013 : 1st Week of Advent (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we begin the first of the weekdays of Advent, and appropriately, as we prepare for the coming of Christ, we are reminded on our humanity, and our frailty, one which needs help from the Lord. We heard this from the story from the Gospel, where Jesus healed the servant of the army captain, and the humility and faith of the captain, which he showed in all sincerity before Jesus.

We are all definitely too familiar with the words that the army captain had said, “I am not worthy that You, the Lord, should enter under my roof.” That is the statement that we always recite and repeat all over and over again every time we celebrate the Mass, just after the Agnus Dei, or the Lamb of God hymn. The other statement, “But only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” is certainly also a very familiar phrase to all of us, as this phrase is also used at the same time with the previous phrase.

These phrases were the words that the captain had said to Jesus, after he asked Him to heal his ailing servant, and he turned to no other help but Jesus the Lord. To some, the initial reaction of hearing these words would be that of detesting the captain’s arrogance. Some may even say, ‘How dare this captain say these things to the Lord when He had agreed to come and heal the ailing servant of the captain?’

This is our natural response, but we have to look beyond the surface into the true meaning of those words the captain had uttered. The captain in fact had so much faith in the Lord Jesus, that he knew even if Jesus did not come physically into his home, He, as the Lord of all and Almighty God has the power to heal his servant at that moment even there, where the two of them were far away from the captain’s home. Such was the faith of the captain, that he believed completely in Jesus without question.

But that is not all that there is in the faith and devotion of the captain. The captain’s response to the Lord also showed the quality and the truth about his faith and devotion. Not only that he is devoted to the Lord and placed his full trust in Jesus, but that he showed great humility and understanding of his own unworthiness as he sought the Lord for help with his servant.

All of us are sinners, brothers and sisters in Christ. We are all sinners ever since our ancestors first disobey the instructions and the will of the Lord, but we are not lost. Our Father and Lord loves us still, and He proved that to us by sending Jesus His own Son to us. Yet, many of us still deny our sinfulness and turn our back to the salvation which Christ has offered us freely.

That is how Christ praised the faith of the army captain. He may be an army captain, and to many people of his time, he may not be seen as someone who will do good deeds or have faith in God. Worse still, the army captain, as it was during the dominion of the Roman Empire, may well be a Roman centurion. And the people of Israel looked at them with disdain, treating them as pagans and unworthy of salvation.

Yet, you knew what happened. Jesus praised the faith of the army captain, not just because of his total dedication, but also because of his humility, a great humility indeed, to realise his sinfulness and unworthiness, to the point of saying it publicly that he was not worthy to have the Lord at his home. And compare this to the faith of the Pharisees, as you all notice that they are the ones considered holy and pious by the people. Yet, they were arrogant and proud, disdaining the sinful while not realising that they themselves were sinful too.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, now we all know the meaning of the words we always say at the Mass. From now on, every time we say those words the captain had once said, let us remember the faith of the captain, and also try to emulate the faith he had. We have to be aware of our own sins and unworthiness, while at the same time, trying our best to dedicate ourselves to the Lord without being taken in by the temptations of the evil one.

May the Lord who rewarded those faithful to Him, also reward us in the same way, and that we may realise the depth and gravity of our sinfulness, and therefore strive to draw ever closer to the Lord our God, seeking His generous mercy and love, that we may strive to be more like Him, and aspire to reach the heavenly glory that He had promised us. Amen.