Monday, 6 June 2022 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Genesis 3 : 9-15, 20

YHVH God called the man saying to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard Your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree I ordered you not to eat?”

The man answered, “The woman You put with me gave me fruit from the tree and I ate it.” God said to the woman, “What have you done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me and I ate.”

YHVH God said to the serpent, “Since you have done that, be cursed among all the cattle and wild beasts! You will crawl on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. I will make you enemies, you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”

The man called his wife by the name of Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.

Alternative reading

Acts 1 : 12-14

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount called Olives, which is a fifteen minute walk away. On entering the city they went to the room upstairs where they were staying. Present there were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James, son of Alpheus; Simon the Zealot and Judas son of James.

All of these, together, gave themselves to constant prayer. With them were some women, and also Mary, the mother of Jesus, and His brothers.

Saturday, 14 May 2022 : Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the great Feast of St. Matthias the Apostle, one of the Twelve Apostles of Our Lord, one of those great servants whom God had called and chosen to be His followers and to be the chief ones among His disciples. St. Matthias and his examples, his dedication to the Lord together with that of the other Apostles and disciples of the Lord, should be our source of inspiration in how we live our lives with faith, and in inspiring us all to proclaim the truth of God in the same manner to our fellow brothers and sisters.

St. Matthias was not originally one of the Twelve Apostles, but he was chosen by all the assembled Apostles and disciples to replace the betrayer Judas Iscariot, who had betrayed the Lord and sold Him off to the chief priests, which led to His Passion, suffering and death. Judas Iscariot was one of the chosen twelve disciples of the Lord, and his death as he decided to take his own life marked an empty spot among the Twelve. As mentioned in our first reading today, the Apostles and the other disciples led by St. Peter the Apostle decided to choose from among those who had been with the Lord since the beginning, to be the one to replace Judas Iscariot.

St. Matthias was chosen after prayer and deliberation by the disciples, and he became one of the Twelve Apostles. According to Apostolic traditions, St. Matthias was indeed among the first disciples of the Lord, who had followed Him right from the beginning of His ministry that began with the Lord’s baptism and followed Him through to the end and beyond. And just like the other Apostles, St. Matthias went to many distant places proclaiming the Good News of God, the Gospel of salvation to all whom he encountered. According to traditions, St. Matthias went to the region of Cappadocia in Asia Minor, region of Colchis in Georgia in the Caucasus, and as far as Ethiopia.

St. Matthias dedicated himself for many years to serve the people of God and in calling more and more people to believe in God. St. Matthias gave himself like the other Apostles and disciples of the Lord, spending a lot of time and effort to reach out to those who have not yet known the Lord. He endured persecutions and challenges, trials and sufferings in the midst of his ministry, and yet he remained firmly faithful to the end. Entrusting himself to the Lord and empowered by the Holy Spirit, St. Matthias persevered on in his ministry until he was finally martyred for his faith, which some traditions placed as happening at Sebastopolis in the Caucasus.

As we listened to the Scripture readings today and recalling the courage and faith showed by St. Matthias, all of us are reminded that each and every one of us are also called to the same mission that we share with the Apostles like St. Matthias, with the saints and martyrs, all those who had gone before us and performed many great deeds for the sake of the Lord. The story of St. Matthias should serve as an inspiration to us on how each one of us ought to be faithful in how we all live our lives that we may truly glorify God by our actions and deeds, by our words and interactions with one another.

In today’s Gospel we are reminded of how we can be truly good disciples of the Lord, by following the Lord’s commandment which He has entrusted to us all. He told us to love one another just as He has loved us. The Lord has told His disciples and followers to be His witnesses as He has shown them His love and truth, all that love that He has presented to us. By His love, we are all as His disciples, called to show the same love to our fellow brothers and sisters. We are all called to love one another, and not just loving ourselves only. This is not something easily done, as we tend to be selfish more than selfless, but this is exactly why we need to challenge our ego and selfishness.

That is also why, brothers and sisters in Christ, we have this obligation and calling to be exemplary in how we conduct ourselves as Christians, and we cannot believe in God in one hand, and yet not showing love to our fellow men, our fellow brothers and sisters. If we do so, then we are no better than hypocrites who claim to believe in God and yet, in us, there is no real faith and real commitment to the path that the Lord has shown us. If we truly call ourselves as Christians, as God’s people, then we ought to begin doing what God has called us to do.

Brothers and sisters, let us all hence walk in the footsteps of the Apostles, inspired by the examples of St. Matthias and all the other holy men and women of God, that we too may become the bearers and beacons of God’s light to the people still living in the darkness of this world, in ignorance of God and His truth. May all of us be able to do our best and strive to be courageous and good Christians in all of our actions and works, so that through us and our works, we may endeavour to bring many more souls to the salvation and eternal life in God. St. Matthias, Holy Apostle of Our Lord, pray for us all sinners. Amen.

Saturday, 14 May 2022 : Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

John 15 : 9-17

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you. Remain in My love! You will remain in My love if you keep My commandments, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.”

“I have told you all this, that My own joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete. This is My commandment : Love one another as I have loved you! There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friends; and you are My friends, if you do what I command you.”

“I shall not call you servants any more, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead, I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learnt from My Father. You did not choose Me; it was I Who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in My Name, He will give you.”

“This is My command, that you love one another.”

Saturday, 14 May 2022 : Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 112 : 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

Alleluia! Praise, o servants of YHVH, praise the Name of YHVH! Blessed be the Name of YHVH now and forever!

From eastern lands to the western islands, may the Name of YHVH be praised! YHVH is exalted over the nations; His glory above the heavens.

Who is like YHVH our God, Who sits enthroned on high, but also bends down to see on earth as in heaven?

He lifts up the poor from the dust and the needy from the ash heap. He makes them sit with princes, with rulers of His people.

Saturday, 14 May 2022 : Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Acts 1 : 15-17, 20-26

It was during this time that Peter stood up in the midst of the community – about one hundred and twenty in all – and he said, “Brothers, it was necessary that the Scriptures referring to Judas be fulfilled. The Holy Spirit had spoken through David about the one who would lead the crowd coming to arrest Jesus. He was one of our number and had been called to share our common ministry.”

“In the Book of Psalms it is written : ‘Let his house become deserted and may no one live in it.’ But it is also written : ‘May another take his office.’ Therefore, we must choose someone from among those who were with us during all the time that the Lord Jesus moved about with us, beginning with John’s baptism until the day when Jesus was taken away from us. One of these has to become, with us, a witness to His resurrection.”

Then they proposed two : Joseph, called Barsabbas, also known as Justus, and Matthias. They prayed : “You know, Lord, what is in the hearts of all. Show us, therefore, which of the two You have chosen to replace Judas in this Apostolic ministry which he deserted to go to the place he deserved.”

Then they drew lots between the two and the choice fell on Matthias who was added to the eleven Apostles.

Friday, 21 January 2022 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Mark 3 : 13-19

At that time, Jesus went up into the hill country, and called those He wanted, and they came to Him. He appointed Twelve to be with Him, and He called them ‘Apostles.’ He wanted to send them out to preach; and He gave them authority to drive out demons.

These are the Twelve : Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John his brother, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, which means ‘men of thunder’; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alpheus, Thaddeus, Simon the Canaanean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.

Monday, 27 December 2021 : Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us celebrate the great feast of one of the Lord’s Twelve Apostles, who happens to be one of the Four great Evangelists as well. St. John the Apostle and Evangelist was one of the two sons of Zebedee together with St. James the Apostle, his elder brother. With St. Peter and St. Andrew, all of them were fishermen in the lake of Galilee. They were all called by the Lord to follow Him, and they left their old profession and their families, committing themselves to the Lord and served Him from then on.

St. John became one of the Lord’s closest disciples, as one of the Twelve Apostles, and also together with St. Peter and St. James, his brother, he was often brought to the most important events in the Lord’s ministry, such as the resurrection of the synagogue official’s dead daughter, the Transfiguration of the Lord at Mount Tabor, and also the moments of Our Lord’s Agony at the Gardens of Gethsemane just before the time of His Passion. He therefore witnessed many of the important events surrounding the Lord’s ministry and works, and was a witness of His miracles and His truth.

St. John the Apostle was one of those who remained by the Lord’s side and kept following Him even up to the moments of His Passion, suffering and death on the Cross. He accompanied Mary, the Lord’s own mother as she came to the foot of the Cross, seeing her own Son being crucified and died before her. It was to St. John that the Lord entrusted His mother, and similarly, He entrusted St. John to Mary as well. St. John therefore was really important in his role in the early Church, as one of the Apostles and close collaborators of the Lord.

And not only that, he also spent many decades in spreading the truth of God all over the known world, travelling from places to places with the other Apostles and disciples, assisting in the foundation of the Church in various places. St. John also wrote several Epistles and letters in addition to his well-known work on one of the four canonical or officially endorsed Gospels. He was also the one who received the vision of the end of times in the Island of Patmos where he was exiled to by the persecution of Christians throughout the Roman Empire. He recorded all that he had seen in what we now know as the Book of Revelations.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we reflect on the life and the ministry of St. John, Holy Apostle and Evangelist, let us all first reflect on what he wrote in his own Epistle, which is in our first reading today. St. John wrote of the Word of Life that has come into this world, and how he and the many other Apostles and disciples had shared and given whatever they had experienced and received from the Lord. He showed us that this same Jesus Christ that we are celebrating this Christmas is the One Who is the Saviour of the world, and the One Who has brought Life upon us.

St. John gave his whole life and did everything he could to glorify the Lord by his life and actions. He encouraged many of the faithful back then who were going through many persecutions, and through his accounts in the Book of Revelations, he encouraged the faithful not to give up on their faith in God as no matter what, in the end, God will come and claim His faithful ones, and those who remain faithful to Him will indeed receive the promise of eternal life, true happiness and everlasting joy with Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today let us all realise that just as St. John had been called to follow the Lord and be His disciple, all of us have also received the same calling as Christians to follow the Lord and to devote ourselves to Him. This is what we have to remind ourselves well as we continue to celebrate the joy and hope of Christmas in this ongoing Christmas season. We have to remember that we are the witnesses of His truth and love, of the Love of God incarnate in the flesh, in Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour.

Are we able and willing to follow in the footsteps and examples set by St. John the Apostle and Evangelist, brothers and sisters? Are we willing to live our lives wholeheartedly in accordance to our Christian faith, and especially now in our Christmas celebrations by putting Christ at the centre and heart of all of our rejoicing? It is through our genuine faith and sincere commitment to the path that God has shown us that we can inspire so many others to come to believe in the Lord as well.

May the Lord, born in Bethlehem and celebrated by us in this Christmas season, continue to help and guide us in our journey of faith. May St. John, His Holy Apostle and one of the Four great Evangelists continue to inspire us by his examples and intercede for all of us, that God may strengthen our faith and that we will grow ever closer to Him, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Monday, 27 December 2021 : Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 2-8

At that time, Mary of Magdala ran to Peter, and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and she said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

Peter then set out with the other disciple to go out 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.

Monday, 27 December 2021 : Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 96 : 1-2, 5-6, 11-12

The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the distant islands be glad. Clouds and darkness surround Him; justice and right are His throne.

The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim His justice, all peoples see His glory.

He sheds light upon the upright, and gladness upon the just. Rejoice in the Lord, you who are blameless, and give praise to His holy Name.

Monday, 27 December 2021 : Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 1 : 1-4

This is what has been from the beginning, and what we have heard and have seen with our own eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, I mean the Word Who is Life…

The Life made Itself known, we have seen Eternal Life and we bear witness, and we are telling you of it. It was with the Father and made Himself known to us. So we tell you what we have seen and heard, that you may be in fellowship with us, and us, with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.

And we write this that our joy may be complete.