Monday, 19 November 2018 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded of the Lord’s mercy and infinite love, which He has shown us, and which He is willing to give us, again and again. And this is despite of the disobedience and the stubborn attitude which we have shown repeatedly, in various occasions. He despises our sins and wickedness, but in the end, at the centre of it all, God’s love is even greater for us, His beloved children, than His anger for our sins.

After all, He did not create us all without a good reason, and that good reason is exactly because He loves every single one, every single part of His many and unfathomably vast arrays of creation. And He created us mankind as the last, greatest and as the pinnacle of His creation and universe. Do not forget, brothers and sisters in Christ, that out of all creation, we alone have been created in God’s own image.

That is why, we were actually destined for great things, that is to enjoy forever the perfect bliss and happiness in all the good things that God had created for us. Unfortunately, we mankind chose to satisfy our inner desires, the pride and greed that entered us through the temptations and lies that Satan had given us. We fell into those temptations and failed to resist. In the end, the outcome is that we become more and more distant from God and become estranged from Him.

Sin is a very dangerous disease that is constantly attacking us, corrupting us and eating us from the inside out. Unlike any forms of earthly diseases, even those seemingly incurable ones, sin alone is capable of affecting our deepest and innermost being, and can end up causing us fate far worse than death. Even the worst diseases can only cause the death of our physical body, but sin can cause us to suffer eternal and true death, eternal suffering in hell.

And many of us did not realise that we are in this state of sin, which makes us unworthy of God. As mentioned earlier, God truly loves each and every one of us, even the greatest sinners and those who have been estranged for a long time from Him. And He is willing to reconcile ourselves to Him, by forgiving us our sins. He offers us this forgiveness and mercy freely, and yet, ultimately, whether we are forgiven or not, also requires us to accept His mercy with sincere desire for change.

Perhaps, what we heard in the Gospel passage today, can inspire us to do what is necessary to be more attuned to God and His will, and to accept His mercy and love present in our midst. In that passage, we heard of the moment when a blind man in Jericho cried out incessantly calling out to the Lord Jesus, wanting Him to heal him from his blindness so that he might be able to see again.

And despite the scolding and ridicule from all the other people who were around him, the blind man did not give up. In fact, he cried out all the louder, asking the Lord Jesus to come to him and heal him from his afflictions. The Lord heard his call, and showed pity and mercy on the blind man. In the end, the blind man could see again and his wishes were fulfilled.

How does this compare to us, brothers and sisters in Christ? We are like the blind man, afflicted with sin, that become like a veil, a distraction and temptation that kept us away from being able to be fully reconciled with God. And the call that the blind man made, is like our efforts and attempts to seek the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness. But there are also, at the same time, the voices of those who ridiculed and scolded the blind man, and these are the temptations that often prevent us from being able to accept God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Now, the question is, are we faithful enough and willing enough to put in the effort to love the Lord, even despite the challenges and difficulties that we may encounter in life? Are we able and willing to commit ourselves wholeheartedly and call out to the Lord, just as the blind man had done? Doing so will also require us to humble ourselves and to desire that healing which can only come from God. God alone is capable of forgiving us our sins, and He is willing to do so. But are we willing to accept His offer?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us are called to make a change and a difference in each and every one of our lives. We are called to a conversion of hearts, minds and indeed, our whole being. Let us commit ourselves to God anew, and let us turn to Him with all of our abilities and strengths, from now on, that we may be eventually be worthy of God’s love and grace, and have a part in the eternal inheritance and glory He has promised us who are faithful to Him. May God bless us all. Amen.

Sunday, 18 November 2018 : Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Peter and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Wall, World Day of the Poor (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this Sunday we come closer to the end of our current liturgical year, and as a result, that is why the readings have that apocalyptic and premonition sense and tone. While the liturgical year itself is a cycle and will continue on to the next liturgical year, year after year, but at the same time, the end of the liturgical year is also symbolic of the coming of the end of time, as the Lord Himself had revealed.

The Lord revealed how the coming of the end of time will be swift and unpredictable, in the various occasions that He mentioned it throughout the Gospels, including what we have heard in today’s Gospel passage. No one knows the exact time when the Lord will come again, to enact the Last Judgment over all creation, over all of our souls, to determine our chosen fate, which we have chosen ourselves, out of free will. Whether we will join in God’s eternal glory in heaven, or whether we will be forever sundered from Him in the eternal damnation, all will be finalised at the Last Judgment.

In the Gospel passage today, the Lord mentioned that there would indeed be signs for the coming of the end times, as there would be increasing troubles and persecutions against those who are faithful to God. The account of the Book of Revelations according to St. John also confirmed this reality. And all agree that the Lord Jesus, the Son of Man, will come again at the end of time, and according to the Book of the prophet Daniel, His coming will also be heralded by St. Michael the Archangel, the Prince of the Heavenly Host.

The coming of that time will be joyful and bring probably indescribable happiness to all those who have kept their faith in God, for they have certainly suffered for many years and periods under the oppression and persecution by those who refused to believe in God. But for all those who have rejected God and refused to believe in Him and in all those who have spoken in His Name, there was only regret and eternal anguish, knowing that their fate had been decided by their own choice.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, what is important for each and every one of us to take note is the fact that we have been given the gift of free will by God, to choose whether we want to continue to disobey Him and listen to Satan’s sweet words of lie and distortion, which he had done with us ever since he corrupted Adam and Eve, our first parents, or we have the choice to repent our sins, and turn towards God with all of our hearts and minds.

And we have been given the wisdom to understand the ways of the Lord as well as the ways of the world. We have been given the ability to understand how we ought to act in the face of all that we have witnessed, heard and seen for ourselves. And yet, many of us still choose the wrong path to take, the one that leads into separation from God, and into the eternal damnation and suffering in hell.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, why is that so? That is because, we mankind are truly weak, vulnerable and at risk, from all the insidious and evil works of the devil and all of the forces in his disposal. He is full of things that he can use to tempt us and to make us fall into sin. And through disobedience and sin, we end up going further and further away from God, and eventually unless we make the effort to move away from this destination, we will end up where we deserve.

All of us have received the truth of God from the Church, from our priests and bishops, all those who have kept the truth of God alive throughout all these times. And yet, why is it that even many of us Christians are unable to keep up the same faith and the same commitment as those who have gone before us and led a life of holiness? That is because of the ever increasing and ever present pressures from the forces of the evil one.

We need to make a decision, right now, and think of what will be our lot, when the time comes for us to be judged based on what we have done, and what we have not done in our lives. We will be judged based on the good and wicked things we have done, and whatever good things we could have done, and yet, failed to do. And it is important that we know of the truth, that unless we do what is right, we will end up falling into eternal suffering.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we need to reexamine our lives, and realign ourselves to God, especially if we have fallen away and been stumbling in our path towards Him because of sin and the many temptations to sin. Let us all turn ourselves, and make the good efforts to make our lives to be in accordance to what the Lord has shown us and commanded us to do.

Let us not wait or tarry any longer, because just as we do not know of the time when the Lord will come again and therefore when the Last Judgment is, we also believe that the timing of death is something that we will never know for ourselves. Death is a certainty for all of us because of sin, and yet the timing of death ia an uncertainty to all of us. No one knows of the exact time when their earthly end will come, and when it comes, we will also go through a particular judgment for each one of us, determining our fate for eternity to come.

May the Lord therefore be our Guide and may He continue to strengthen us, and show us the way, that we will not be easily tempted to turn away from Him. Let us also make the conscious effort to resist the allures and the falsehoods of Satan, and to be righteous and just in all of our actions, to the best of our abilities, from now on. May God bless us always, and may He continue to be with us, now and forevermore. Amen.

Saturday, 17 November 2018 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture speaking to us about the love which each and every one of us as Christians ought to show to our fellow brothers and sisters, even to strangers in our midst, especially if we know that they are in need of our love, care and attention.

In the first reading, we heard the exhortation from St. John in his Epistle, speaking of the care and the love that the Christian believers have to show each other, for everyone who comes to enjoy the hospitality of the followers of Christ. For we have to imitate nothing less than the very examples of Our Lord Himself, Who has shown us the example of perfect love and compassion.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, then in the Gospel passage today, we heard about the parable which the Lord Jesus used in highlighting this love that the Lord has given us. For in that parable, the Lord spoke of an evil judge who had no fear of anyone, and not even of God. And yet, when an old widow came to him repeatedly and incessantly demanding him to fight for her rights, the evil judge eventually caved in to her demands.

The evil judge mentioned in the parable did things as he did not because he cared for the poor, old widow, but because he could not wait to get rid of her incessant demands and desires to see her wishes fulfilled. And this must be understood in the context of how the Lord, Our Father loves each and every one of us so greatly, that if such a wicked man like the evil judge was willing to listen to the wishes of the old widow, then all the more that God, Our loving Father will do for our sake if we ask Him.

That is why, in another part of the Gospels, we heard the Lord speaking to His disciples, “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, and knock, and the door will be opened to you.” The reality is such that many of us are not aware of the great love that God has for each one of us, and as a result, we become ignorant of Him and are getting more and more distant from Him due to our sins.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us need to reflect on our own lives, our actions and deeds, that we may see in each and every one of our actions and deeds, the reality of God’s love and the presence of His compassionate love and care in our midst. Have we been doing what St. John the Apostle had been exhorting the faithful? And have we listened to the Lord’s call for us to do what He wants each one of us to do? To love generously and tenderly every single moments of our lives?

Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, a holy woman and devout servant of God, who was once a princess of Hungary married to a nobleman, and whose life remained full of humility, love and compassion for the poor and for the less privileged, despite the status, wealth and position that her noble and royal upbringing and surroundings would have suggested otherwise.

She was very generous with her giving, and many of the poor in the territory her husband ruled as lord benefitted from her generous charity, care and love. St. Elizabeth suffered an early loss of her husband, and was widowed at the age of merely twenty years old. She devoted herself completely to God, entering something akin to a religious life and profession from then on. She continued to live her life with charity and honour, caring for others through prayers and through generosity.

Her sanctity and pious life was noticed by the people, many of whom venerated her and emulated her great examples in life, when she passed away just four years after the passing of her husband. Yet, in such a short span of life, we have seen just how much St. Elizabeth of Hungary had devoted herself in the good works of God.

Let us all follow the Lord, in the footsteps of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, and let us all turn towards Him with a renewed and revitalised faith, devoting ourselves, time, effort and attention towards the Lord from now on. May the Lord help us and bless us in our good works for His sake and in our endeavours, that we will draw ever closer to Him and be ever more worthy to welcome Him into our midst. Amen.

Friday, 16 November 2018 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Margaret of Scotland and St. Gertrude, Virgin (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints and Holy Virgins)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded by the Scripture passages we listened to, of the coming of the time of reckoning for us all, the moment when the Lord will judge us based on our lives and what we have done in them and what we also have not done in the same lives He has granted to each and every one of us, at the time of judgment, both the particular judgment and the last judgment.

In today’s Gospel passage, the Lord warned His disciples that there would be important decisions to be made in life, where there would be consequences when the wrong choices were made. And this could happen any time, and the time would not be of our own choosing, but the Lord’s good time. He mentioned various historical examples, beginning with Noah, and then to Lot and his wife, and then finally to the moment of the end times.

At the time of Noah, the people lived wickedly and refused to obey God in their actions and ways. They lived in sin and continued to rebel against God, and all were wicked save for Noah and his family, who alone kept faithfully the devotion to God. Noah was asked to build a great Ark by God, to save the creatures of the Lord including his own family.

At the same time, if any one of the people of Noah’s time were willing to repent their ways and believe in God’s premonitions made through Noah, they could have also joined him in the Ark, and be saved. Instead, they refused the opportunity and probably mocked Noah for following God’s commands in building such a huge Ark. This was because they did not see the truth and reality from God. As a result, they all perished in the Great Flood.

Then, for the case of Lot and his family, he lived for a time in the city of Sodom, which together with Gomorrah were populated with people who were wicked and sinful in nature. When two Angels came into their midst disguised as two men, the people of the town came to Lot demanding him to pass to them the two men for them to fornicate with.

As a result of their refusal to repent and continued desire to sin, they were destroyed by a rain of fire and brimstone from heaven. Lot and his family were rescued by the Angels to escape the great destruction and catastrophe. Yet, Lot’s wife as mentioned in the Gospel passage today, fell into temptation, and she turned back to look at Sodom, despite the warning from the Angels not to do so, and thus she also perished, becoming a pillar of salt.

In all of these, God wants each and every one of us to know the reality of His love and mercy, which He gives freely to be taken up by us. If we are willing to be forgiven, then we will be forgiven, and only if we are willing to make the effort to receive God’s mercy through repentance and sincere efforts to make ourselves a better person and avoid sinning any further. And we should not wait, as our time can be up any time, and if it is too late for us to change direction, we can only regret.

Today, we celebrate the feast of two saints, whose lives are truly exemplary. And we should model our lives based on their examples. St. Margaret of Scotland and St. Gertrude are great and holy women who were truly devoted to the mission entrusted to them. They exhibited great examples of faith that each and every one of us should also emulate in our own lives.

St. Margaret of Scotland was the queen of Scotland remembered for her great piety and generous charitable acts, ruling justly with her husband, the king of Scotland, caring for both the physical and spiritual well-being of the people of Scotland over whom she was queen. She helped to reform the Scottish church and bring everything in line with the way and form of the universal Church, establishing churches and paths for pilgrims, and caring for the poor and the needy in her kingdom.

Meanwhile, St. Gertrude, also known as St. Gertrude the Great was a renowned mystic who devoted her whole life to God after a life-changing experience. She received many more visions throughout her life, and she was noted for her great spirituality and piety. St. Gertrude’s holiness inspired many others to follow in her examples in faith, and her particular devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus was a precursor to the now popular devotion.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, let us all model ourselves upon the examples of the holy men and women, saints of God. Let us all turn our hearts and minds to the Lord, and redirect our efforts to serve Him with true faith and dedication. May the Lord bless us always and may He empower us to live faithfully in His presence. Amen.

Thursday, 15 November 2018 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture telling us about the love which each and every one of us as Christians ought to have for one another. This is shown in the first reading of today, taken from the Epistle written by St. Paul to Philemon. In that correspondence, St. Paul spoke of the request which he made of Philemon to take good care of Onesimus, his godson.

This happened at the time when St. Paul was already imprisoned for his activities in preaching the Gospel to the people both the Jews and Gentiles alike. He faced much opposition and endured many rejections from his enemies and from those who refused to believe in the message he preached. He was imprisoned together with Onesimus and many other fellow Christians, and it was likely that Onesimus was released earlier than St. Paul from the prison.

Therefore, what happened was that, St. Paul sent Onesimus back to the community where he met him, the community which Philemon also belonged to. He asked Philemon and the community to accept Onesimus back and to take care of him well, without prejudice and with true love, as if Onesimus was St. Paul himself. This was made likely because St. Paul knew that his time was almost up, and he wanted to make sure everything was well taken care of.

It was likely that St. Paul was about to go forth to his last journey to Rome, where he would eventually meet his martyrdom, and therefore, he sent forth Onesimus, that the community might be able to take good care of him in Christian love. And this is indeed, what the Lord had told His people, by the coming of His kingdom into this world. Not by wonderful and miraculous signs, but through concrete building of a thriving and loving community of the people of God.

In the Gospel passage today, the suffering of Christ was foretold by none other than the Lord Himself, Who told the people and His disciples of His coming passion and suffering. He mentioned how He, the Son of Man, would be rejected and cast out, and would be handed over to the Romans to be crucified for the sake of all the people. And similarly, the Lord had reminded His disciples on various occasion, how they too shall suffer as He has suffered.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, there were many of those who opposed the works and efforts of the Lord, who refused to allow the coming of the kingdom of God into our midst. Instead, they trusted more in the providence of worldly powers, goods and abilities. They hardened their hearts and minds against the Lord, and proudly sought to advance their own causes and desires, and in doing so, they failed to realise the potential of the kingdom of God in each one of us.

Today we are called to look once again upon our lives and actions. Have we been truly Christian in our attitudes and interactions with one another? Have we showed love, care and concern for our fellow brethren, especially those who are in need and those who have none to love them? These are the things that we should be doing as Christians, as those who follow the teachings and the examples of Christ, Our Lord and God.

Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Albert the Great, a truly devoted servant of God and bishop of the Church, who was renowned for his many contributions to the developing and growing Church and its communities in the region now known as Germany. St. Albert the Great was also a member of the Dominican religious order, and wrote very extensively on various matters of the faith. He helped to develop the theology and philosophical teachings of the Church, and his many works inspired many people through the centuries.

At the same time, besides his numerous contributions in the literary and teaching areas of the Church, St. Albert the Great was also remembered for his roles in defusing many conflicts and tensions between various factions of the Church, travelling from places to places, calling the people to righteousness and to abandon their sinful and wrong paths. He devoted himself to the good works of the Church and to the building of Christian communities to the very end.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we should emulate the examples which had been shown by St. Paul and the other disciples of the Lord, and also St. Albert the Great, and the many other holy men and women of God, who have strived to bring God’s kingdom into our midst, to exist in reality through our Church and how its members exist in love with each other and with God.

Let us all embody this faith and belief which we have in God, in our own actions and deeds throughout life. And let us all turn wholeheartedly towards the Lord from now on, being role models for one another in faith, and in how we show our love to our fellow brethren, especially those who have need of our love. May God be with us always, and may He bless us all in our good works of faith. Amen.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Lord in the Scriptures telling us about the love and mercy which God has shown to each and every one of us, because of His great love and boundless mercy. This was shown first in our Gospel passage, when the Lord encountered ten lepers during His journey, all of whom begged for His mercy and love, to heal them from their leprosy.

In order to understand and appreciate fully the significance of this encounter, first of all, we must realise that leprosy was something that all of the Israelites dreaded, for someone who suffered or contracted leprosy was someone who would immediately become a pariah and outcast from the community of the people. According to the laws of Moses, as written in the Book of Leviticus, those who suffered from leprosy must stay outside the community until the time when they were completely healed.

It was likely that this leprosy is a contagious version of the leprosy that we know today, or might be even a different disease altogether. And it might have been quite dangerous that the law prescribed such a radical means to prevent the disease from spreading to the rest of the population. For if the disease were to spread, it would cause great havoc and suffering among the rest of population, and this would be undesirable to the people and their leaders.

However, the intention of the laws given to Moses was misunderstood by the people as they did not see it as a means to eventually reconcile the afflicted person back to the society, but instead, they saw it as a punishment and condemnation for the person. And this attitude remained in the hearts and minds of the people, who looked upon themselves with pride and haughtiness, thinking that they were just and righteous, while others who were afflicted, these were considered as unworthy and wicked.

But brothers and sisters in Christ, first and foremost we must always remember that each and every one of us are sinners, and sin is an even more deadly and contagious disease than leprosy. For leprosy only can afflict the flesh and the body, and it cannot attack the mind, the heart and the soul. On the other hand, sin attacks at the very root of our being, corrupting the soul and our whole being.

And because of this, that is why all of us have also been exiled, by our own disobedience and refusal to listen to the Lord, from the bliss and happiness destined for us in the garden of Eden. We mankind were not created to suffer and to die, which are all caused by our sins. Rather, God intended for each one of us to enjoy forever the fullness of His love and care, and to rejoice with Him in heavenly glory.

We chose, on our own accord, to disobey God and landed ourselves in this predicament. However, God still loves each and every one of us, that despite of our disobedience, stubbornness and refusal to listen to Him, He still gives us chances after chances, opportunities one after another, meant to provide us with the best chance to seek redemption and forgiveness, and become worthy once again to share in the eternal happiness and glory with Him.

Unfortunately, many of us chose to adopt the attitude of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, who saw themselves as righteous and as more pious and worthy than the other people, and looked down severely on all those who were considered to be dirty, wicked and unworthy, such as tax collectors, prostitutes and also those with diseases especially the lepers.

Instead, we should be like the lepers, recognising that each and every one of us are sinners, and therefore are unworthy of God caused by our sins. This is a reality that we must accept and appreciate in our lives, and this will allow us to open our hearts and minds to make the effort to seek the Lord, and for us to reach out to Him asking for His forgiveness and grace. That is how we will receive forgiveness and justification in God.

And let us also also be thankful of what the Lord has done for us. He is willing to forgive us, to heal us from the woundedness of our sins, from the imperfections and corruptions that have blemished us. He has loved us so much that He was willing to endure the burden of the cross, in order to save us and to reconcile us to Himself. Let us therefore be like the Samaritan leper, who recognised that he has been healed by the Lord Jesus, and thank the Lord for all that He has done for us.

May the Lord bless us all, and may He continue to love us and guide us in the right path. May He empower us to act justly and righteously, turning away from our sins and all the wickedness we have committed in life thus far. May the Lord be with us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scriptures speaking to us about our responsibilities as those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, as Christians, in how we live up to our faith and in obedience to God and in following His laws and His ways. In the Epistle which St. Paul wrote to St. Titus, his protege and fellow leaders of the Church, St. Paul mentioned how we can be faithful and good Christians in our daily living.

First of all, it was mentioned how the teachings of the elders and those who preached the Gospel must be faithful, orthodox and of sound doctrine, so as to preserve the truth and keep the faithful in the path of righteousness and towards God’s salvation. And for the rest of the Christian community, each and every members must behave and act in ways that are in accordance with the path which God has shown all of us.

This is linked to what the Lord Jesus said in the Gospel passage today, as He told them using a parable of a servant with the master of the servant, in the matter of how the servant ought to act and behave as a servant. That is what is expected of us as those who follow and serve the Lord, in not expecting returns and satisfactions for ourselves, but rather, we do it instead for the greater glory of God.

This is not something that can be easily done, as we Christians are often affected by the many temptations in life, which caused us into the temptation of power, of glory, of fame and influence, that we end up beginning to desire for these worldly achievements that will likely end up causing us to lose our focus and attention on God, and this has happened many times among even us Christians and within our Church.

There were many occasions throughout the history of our Church when the members of the faithful, both laity and priests alike, jostled and fought one another for power and influence. There were times when the Church hierarchy and leadership were corrupt, and as a result, the Church was divided and broken, and became splintered into many pieces, as people became disillusioned and dissatisfied with the leadership of the Church.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, it is now up to us and our present generation to stand up to our true faith in God, to purify our faith and intention, our obedience to God and our way of life. We are God’s servants, and therefore, it is only right that we should upheld His precepts and ways, and practice them wholeheartedly in our own lives. We must turn our hearts to Him and devote our time, effort and attention to serve Him.

Let us all be mindful of what St. Paul said in the Epistle today, that all of us ought to reject the irreligious and ungodly way of life, and embrace fully God, His truth and His ways with real faith and courage. This will require effort from us, the willingness and desire to seek the Lord through our commitment to His way, even in the midst of possible opposition and disapproval from the world and from all those who subscribe to the ways of this world, of greed, desire, pride and all those.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore grow ever stronger in our faith and in our commitment to Him. Let us all seek to love Him ever more, day after day, following the examples of our holy predecessors, the saints and martyrs, all those who have resisted the temptations to sin, or sinned and then repented, and devoted themselves wholly to God from then on.

And let us also pray for our Church leaders and those who have been entrusted as shepherds of the people of God. May the Lord be with all of them and guide them in their ministry, just as He guide us in our faith and life. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.