Saturday, 5 January 2019 : Weekday of Christmas Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 1 : 43-51

The next day, Jesus decided to set off for Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the One that Moses wrote about in the Law, and the prophets as well; He is Jesus, Son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”

Nathanael replied, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, He said of him, “Here comes an Israelite, a true one; there is nothing false in him.” Nathanael asked Him, “How do You know me?” And Jesus said to him, “Before Philip called you, you were under the fig tree, and I saw you.”

Nathanael answered, “Master, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” But Jesus replied, “You believe because I said, ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ But you will see greater things than that. Truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened, and the Angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

Friday, 4 January 2019 : Weekday of Christmas Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 1 : 35-42

On the following day John was standing there again with two of his disciples. As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and said, “There is the Lamb of God.” On hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. He turned and saw them following, and He said to them, “What are you looking for?”

They answered, “Rabbi (which means Master), where are You staying?” Jesus said, “Come and see.” So they went and saw where He stayed, and spent the rest of that day with Him. It was about four o’ clock in the afternoon.

Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard what John had said, and followed Jesus. Early the next morning he found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means the Christ), and he brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John, but you shall be called Cephas” (which means Rock).

Thursday, 27 December 2018 : Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, if yesterday we celebrated the feast of the first martyr or protomartyr of the Church, St. Stephen, then today, the second day after Christmas we celebrate the feast of another great disciple of Christ, namely St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. St. John was one of the Twelve Apostles together with his brother St. James the Greater and also one of the four Evangelists who wrote the Holy Gospels.

St. John was one of the closest disciples of the Lord, who was often present at the many important events in the life and ministry of Our Lord, such as the Transfiguration, the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, the resurrection of the daughter of the synagogue official Jairus, and many others. He was also one of the two Apostles, together with St. Peter, as mentioned in the Gospel passage today, who went immediately to the tomb where the Body of the Lord had been buried after His crucifixion, when they heard of the Lord’s resurrection.

St. John was also the author of the Epistle from which we heard our first reading passage today about God’s love being present in our midst, and He also wrote the Book of the Revelations, in which he wrote all that he had seen in the heavenly visions of what was to come, about the end of time, when Christ is to come again in glory to judge all the living and the dead. St. John received these visions towards the end of his life, when he was exiled in the island of Patmos in what is today Greece.

St. John was the only one among the Twelve Apostles who did not suffer death in martyrdom for his faith, but instead, died in a very old age many decades after the resurrection of the Lord, likely the last of the Apostles to depart from this world. His works through the Gospel and the Epistles he wrote, his life and ministry among the people of God were essential in the early years of the Church, in strengthening the faith of those who lived in persecution. St. John himself endured many persecutions and exiles, and was likely imprisoned many times for his dedication to God.

Today, the Church celebrates the feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist, because we are all called through God’s Church, to imitate the examples, the faith and the dedication which St. John had in the Lord. St. John stayed by the Lord even when all the other disciples fled at the moment when Jesus was betrayed by Judas and handed over to the Sanhedrin. He followed Him with Mary, the mother of God, all the way through to Calvary and was at the foot of the cross with her.

And St. John was the one to whom the Lord Jesus entrusted His mother Mary, at the moment just before He was about to give up His Spirit and die, and at the same time, He also entrusted St. John to the care of Mary, to be her own son. In this case, St. John represents all of us humanity, which God has entrusted to be under the care of His mother, Mary; to be our mother as well, and Mary has been entrusted to us, as our beloved mother.

Today, this mission which the Lord Jesus entrusted to His disciples, and especially to St. John the Apostle, remain in us, that each and every one of us, first and foremost must love God, and must have that living and true faith in us, as St. John himself had throughout his life. And we are also called to love His mother, Mary, who is also our mother, for if we love the Son, we must definitely also love the Mother, and vice versa.

Have we, in our respective lives, showed this faith and love that we ought to have for God? If we have not done so, then during this time and season of Christmas, it is imperative that we rediscover this love and devotion which we must have for God. Otherwise, I am afraid that we still have not yet understood the true meaning of Christmas. For Christmas is the embodiment of God’s infinite and boundless love for us, that He chose to come into this world as one of our own, and to suffer and die for the sake of our salvation.

Let us all seek to grow deeper in our love for God and in our faith and devotion in Him. After all, He has loved us first, so much, despite of our constant disobedience and refusal to love Him. He is always ever patient, wanting us to return to Him and to be reconciled with Him. Let us also ask for the intercession of St. John, His beloved Apostle and also His mother Mary, that we mankind, all of us who are sinners, may come to find peace in God, and grow to love Him more and more with each and every passing day. May God bless us and our Christmas joy. Amen.

Thursday, 27 December 2018 : 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.

Thursday, 27 December 2018 : 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.

Thursday, 27 December 2018 : 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.

Friday, 30 November 2018 : Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Matthew 4 : 18-22

At that time, as Jesus walked by the lake of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come, follow Me; and I will make you fish for people.”

At once they left their nets and followed Him. He went on from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, in a boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. Jesus called them.

At once, they left the boat, and their father, and followed Him.