Friday, 5 December 2014 : First Week of Advent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet

Isaiah 29 : 17-24

In a very short time, Lebanon will become a fruitful field and the fruitful field will be as a forest. On that day the deaf will hear the words of the book, and out of the dark and obscurity the eyes of the blind will see.

The meek will find joy and the poor among men will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the tyrant will be no more and the scoffers gone forever, and all who plan to do evil will be cut down – those who by a word make you guilty, those who for a bribe can lay a snare and send home the just empty-handed.

Therefore YHVH, Abraham’s Redeemer, speaks concerning the people of Jacob : ‘No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will his face grow pale. When he sees the work of My hands, his children again in his midst, they will sanctify My Name, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and stand in awe of the God of Israel. Those who err in spirit will understand; those who murmur will learn.’

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/04/friday-5-december-2014-first-week-of-advent-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Wednesday, 19 November 2014 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today in the first reading we continue through the reading of the Book of the Apocalypse according to St. John the Evangelist, who received the vision of the coming of the end of time while he was exiled at the Isle of Patmos. In that reading, we see the glory of God fully revealed, the triumphant glory of our Lord and King, He who is enthroned in heaven, Jesus the Lamb of God who had shed His blood to purchase us from the hands of death.

Such was the love and care which our Lord and God had showered us with, and we have been given so many things, just as Jesus Himself explained to the people using the parable of the talents in the Gospel today, the well-known parable where Jesus told of a master of the house and his servants, to whom the master entrusted silver talents as he left to assume the kingship in a distant country.

God gave us all many gifts in us, and each of us have different sets of this gift according to our own uniqueness and abilities. That is how unique and wonderful God’s works is. We are not meant to be perfect in all things, but we are to complement each other, and to live with one another, helping each other and showing love to one another. We cannot isolate ourselves from others around us, especially those who are in need of what God had given us.

The parable of the talents is a classic example of how Jesus showed mankind of His future coming into the world, as a triumphant King and Master of all, even though He once came in the form of a humble Human being, a mere carpenter’s son. At the end of time, as we all keep strongly the faith in our Creed, we believe that He will come again as the Great Judge of all, to judge all the living and the dead for all of their deeds in life.

The master is the Lord Jesus, who came into the world, and by His life, His suffering, death and resurrection, obtained for us all who believe in Him, the grace and gift of eternal life and salvation, a gift beyond any comparison. Thus, all of us who have been baptised in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are truly like the servants whom the master entrusted with the silver talents.

Why is this so? That is because, indeed, we have life in us, as the basic and most fundamental gift of the Lord to us, but then, when we received the sacrament of baptism, we ourselves were welcomed into the Church and were made sons and daughters of the Lord. And as the children of God and the members of His Church, we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit into us, and principal among these gifts are namely faith, hope and love.

But these gifts are dormant, brothers and sisters in Christ, and like a farmer sowing seeds in his field, if the field is not worked and tilled with hoe and effort put into the growing of the crops, then the seed will remain just that, that is as seed, and will not grow. In order for the seeds to grow into bountiful and strong plants, they need to be cared for and nourished with effort.

The same therefore applies to us all, as the gifts of God lying dormant within us are waiting for us to unleash them and release them to those around us, whom we can indeed touch and benefit with the gifts we have. We have a choice here, either to let those gifts remain dormant, because we are reluctant, or fearful, or doubtful, or simply plain lazy or selfish, that we are like the lazy and worthless servant, who hid his master’s silver talent, and in the end, the silver talent bore no profit or use.

Thus, our talents, gifts and blessings from God will be useless and worthless if we let them lie dormant in us. The other choice we have is to open up the doors of our heart, and allow these gifts to flow from us, and in the process, they will grow plenty, just like a small seed growing to such a big tree and plant, and just as the silver talent invested carefully bearing much profits and income for those who had wisely invested it.

Remember, just as in the parable, the master would return from the distant kingdom to ask all of his servants to account for the silver talents they have been entrusted with. The master who went off to a faraway kingdom, was indeed Jesus who after His resurrection, went forth to His kingdom in heaven, the everlasting kingdom, to prepare a place for all those who believe in Him. He ascended into heaven, but He will indeed come again as He had foretold.

And His return will be sudden and unannounced, so that many people will be caught unaware and unprepared. At that time, those who had lived righteously and acted according to the will of God are like the faithful and diligent servants, who worked on the silver talents and brought handsome returns with it, doubling whatever had been given to them.

These will be rewarded and blessed forever, and they will have inheritance in God’s kingdom. But for those who have failed to use whatever God had given them and blessed them with, they will suffer rejection by God and cast away into the utter darkness. The choice is ours, brothers and sisters, for it is fully in our control to utilise the gifts had given us.

May Almighty God give us the strength and courage to overcome our fears and reluctance, to put into use the various gifts, talents and abilities which He had given us, so that we may put them to good use, to benefit all those around us, our neighbours, our brothers and sisters. God bless us all. Amen.

 

First Reading : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/17/wednesday-19-november-2014-33rd-week-of-ordinary-time-first-reading/

 

Psalm : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/17/wednesday-19-november-2014-33rd-week-of-ordinary-time-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading : 

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/11/17/wednesday-19-november-2014-33rd-week-of-ordinary-time-gospel-reading/

Friday, 3 October 2014 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Job 38 : 1, 12-21 and Job 40 : 3-5

Then YHVH answered Job out of the storm : “Have you ever commanded the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might grasp the earth by its edges and shake the wicked out of it, when it takes a clay colour and changes its tint like a garment; when the wicked are denied their own light, and their proud arm is shattered?”

“Have you journeyed to where the sea begins or walked in its deepest recesses? Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of Shadow? Have you an idea of the breadth of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this.”

“Where is the way to the home of light, and where does darkness dwell? Can you take them to their own regions, and set them on their homeward paths? You know, for you were born before them, and great is the number of your years!”

Job said, “How can I reply, unworthy as I am! All I can do is put my hand over my mouth. I have spoken once, now I will not answer; oh, yes, twice, but I will do no further.”

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 87 : 2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8

O Lord, my God, I call for help by day; before You I cry out by night. May my prayer come to You; incline Your ear to my cry for help.

My soul is deeply troubled; my life draws near to the grave. I am like those without strength. Counted among those going down into the pit.

I lie forsaken among the dead, like those lying in the grave, like those you remember no more, cut off from your care.

You have plunged me into the darkest depths of the pit. With Your wrath heavy upon me, You have battered me with all Your waves.

Saturday, 30 August 2014 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)

Matthew 25 : 14-30

Imagine someone who, before going abroad, summoned his servants to entrust his property to them. He gave five talents of silver to one servant, two talents to another servant, and one talent to a third, to each according to his ability; and he went away.

He who received five talents went at once to do business with the money, and gained another five. The one who received two talents did the same, and gained another two. But the one who received one talent dug a hole, and hid his master’s money.

After a long time, the master of those servants returned and asked for a reckoning. The one who had received five talents came with another five talents, saying, “Lord, you entrusted me with five talents, but see, I have gained five more.” The master answered, “Very well, good and faithful servant, since you have been faithful in a few things, I will entrust you with much more. Come and share the joy of your master.”

Then the one who had received two talents came and said, “Lord, you entrusted me with two talents; with them I have gained two more.” The master said, “Well, good and faithful servant, since you have been faithful in little things, I will entrust you with much more. Come and share the joy of your master.”

Finally, the one who had received one talent came and said, “Master, I know that you are a hard man. You reap what you have not sown, and gather what you have not scattered. I was afraid, so I hid your money in the ground. Here, take what is yours!”

But his master replied, “Wicked and worthless servant, you know that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered; so you should have deposited my money in the bank, and on my return you would have given it back to me with interest.”

“Therefore, take the talent from him, and give it to the one who has ten. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who are unproductive, even what they have will be taken from them. As for that useless servant, throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Message and Reflection on the Occasion of the Great Feast Day of the Church, Solemnity of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles and Vicar of Christ, and St. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, the Patron Saints of Rome

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate in this moment, the great celebration of the Church, both of the Church of Rome, and the entirety of the universal Church, of the whole world, for we celebrate today the feast day of the two pillars that established and built up this Church, namely St. Peter the Apostle, the Prince of the Apostles and the first Vicar of Christ, leader of the entire Universal Church, Keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

And then the other one, St. Paul the Apostle, who was once a great sinner and enemy of the faithful, then called and made to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, to be the one to bring the Word of God’s salvation to all mankind, beyond the limitations of the Jews. And so, while St. Peter stood at the heart of Christendom, St. Paul is the brave and courageous evangeliser who spread wide the Christian message.

These two saints are two great saints and great role models for us, but they were also once ordinary and simple men, coming from unexpected origins, but ended up serving the Lord through their works and ministry to God’s people. And we celebrate their lives and their works today, and we hope that we all will be inspired by what they had done for the sake of God and His faithful.

St. Peter was a fisherman of the Lake Galilee, who was called by Jesus to be the shepherd of His sheep, that is all of us. He was made a fisher of man, as Jesus Himself had said when He called Peter and the other disciples to Himself. Meanwhile, St. Paul was an upper class Jew, who was brought up in strict and orthodox Jewish teachings, becoming kind of a fanatic who ended up persecuting many of the faithful in Israel, before he met the Lord on the way to Damascus and be converted to the cause of the faith.

In both of their stories, the two great saints, St. Peter and St. Paul had encountered a profound change in their lives after they met the Lord and professed their faith for Him. St. Peter was a brave person, but yet he feared death and persecution when the enemies of the Lord came for Him, and thus despite having vowed before the Lord that he would die for Him, he disowned the Lord three times before the Lord’s Passion and death.

And St. Paul was a great enemy of the faithful, the scourge of the believers, hunting down the faithful with zeal, but zeal that is mistaken in purpose and nature. He caused the death and suffering of many, and many would naturally have hated and feared him, but this was not what God intended from him. He was called and taken away, in an ultimate coup-de-grace against Satan, and was made to be the greatest champion of God’s cause in the world.

Both of them went on to spread the Good News to many parts of the known world of that time, the Roman Empire, together with the other Apostles and disciples of Christ who spread the Word of God to the ends of the earth. They went on to spread the Gospel to many cities, towns and villages across the Mediterranean, facing rejection and persecution in many places, but also acceptance by those who willingly received the Word for themselves.

They were persecuted by the Jews and the chief priests, who arrested them many times, harassed and tortured them many times, and handed them to the Romans to be jailed and punished many times. And in the end, both St. Peter and St. Paul went to Rome, the heart of the Roman Empire, ministering to the people of God there and eventually was martyred for the faith there.

The Empire was initially neutral and did not care about the faithful, but as time went on, the Empire and the Emperor Nero became hostile to the Christians, who were made as scapegoats of the many failures and disasters that befell the Empire, including the Great Fire of Rome. The Great Fire of Rome was allegedly started by Nero himself to build himself a grand palace in place of the rubble and ruins. He blamed the fire on the Christians, and as a result, many were martyred and sent to gladiatorial games to be butchered by lions and other wild animals.

St. Peter was martyred by crucifixion, but he did not feel it right to die in the same way as Jesus his Lord and God had died. Therefore, he asked to be crucified upside down, so that he would not die in the same way as his Lord and God. St. Peter embodied the faithfulness and indeed, true faith in God, that he faithfully carried out until the end. For St. Paul, he was beheaded in Rome as part of the great persecution against the faithful by the Emperor, and his blood was spilled that more seeds of faith might grow.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we who are in the Church of God are the continuation of the ministry and the divine mission entrusted by the Lord to His Apostles, chiefly among which, St. Peter and St. Paul, who went to be martyred at the heart of the Empire that persecuted the faithful, marking the beginning of the long history of our Church, centred firmly on the authority of the Apostle Peter, whom the Lord had entrusted His Church to, and the entirety of the faithful ones of God that are part of that Church.

Today, we stand strong and courageous with the whole Church, inspired by St. Peter and St. Paul whose examples had inspired us in our own faith. St. Peter taught us to be faithful, and to keep that faith strongly in our lives that our lives may be truly based on a firm and living faith. Then St. Paul taught us how to love others, and how to bring the Lord’s salvation to all men as the manifestation of that love we have for each other.

And we also stand together with our Pope, as our leader, the shepherd of shepherds, and the vicar of the Chief Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ. For he is, as the Bishop of Rome, of that city where St. Peter and St. Paul were martyred, the successor of St. Peter as the Vicar of Christ on earth, the leader of the entire Universal Church, through whom we keep our unity, that we may stay and remain as One Body in Christ.

Our Lord Jesus Christ had entrusted Peter with His sheep, the flock of His faithful, whom He asked Peter to take care and keep well. In that way, He entrusted His entire Church to Peter and His successors, the Popes, and they become the symbol of unity and the point of reference, through which the entire Church and the faithful drew their faith to God from.

Indeed, throughout history, sometimes the Popes had been corrupt and abused their power, but as a whole, the office of the Papacy, regardless of its past mistakes, remains as a very important and crucial institution, in particular in this increasingly confused and darkened world, where Satan grew in power day after day. And in addition, St. Paul also reminded us that it is important for us to go forth confidently to spread the Good News to all nations and all peoples.

We cannot evangelise most efficiently if our house itself is not in proper order. We have to ensure that the foundation of our faith is strong, so that we may grow stronger in faith and bring others to salvation. And this strong foundation of the faith can be found today in the Popes, and in the entirety of the teachings of the entire Magisterium of the Church, which the Popes are custodian and guardian of.

That is why we also pray and hope that our Church will be one, and all the estranged members of the Lord’s Body, that is the Church, will repent and come back to the Holy Mother Church, under the leadership of the successor of St. Peter, the Vicar of Christ, whom Jesus had appointed to be the leader of all of His faithful ones and to be the one to represent the Chief Shepherd on this world, a world darkened by the power of evil, the wolves trying to devour the innocent sheep and lambs of the Lord.

We pray that our brethren in the see of St. Andrew, the brother of St. Peter, and in the see of St. Mark, and those in the ‘communion’ born from the insistence and the greed of King Henry VIII and many others who had been misled by false prophets and leaders of the faith, will return to the Lord and be one again with us, even as we celebrate this feast day, and we ask that the two great saints pray for this to happen. For indeed, the unity of the Church is needed, as there is a need for us, greater than ever to stand up for the Lord against Satan and his forces marshalled against us.

The primacy of St. Peter must be upheld, and the primacy and supremacy of his successor the Pope must be upheld by all who believes in Christ, for once again, he is the one on whom the Lord had built His Church on, as the focal point for all the faithful in their faith to the Lord. Those who doubt this fact, fail to understand the meaning of the words when Jesus said, and His commission to Peter, to feed and support His lambs.

Our Church therefore must stand strong and remain truly faithful, and not an iota of its teachings, the teachings of the early Church fathers of the faith, must be lost or contravened. We cannot let this Church which Christ had built on solid rock foundation of Peter and His successors to stumble on the high waves and the storms of this world today. There are indeed many oppositions and currents trying to push the Church in the wrong direction, in the name of adjustment, accommodation and many other reasons, but I say brethren, that we ought to stay faithful as St. Peter had been faithful to the end! And we pray that our Pope, as the successor of St. Peter will keep his duty faithfully and keep close to the teachings of the entire Deposit of the Faith and the Apostolic Tradition.

And ultimately, in the spirit of St. Paul the Apostle, our Church must also be brave to stand up to the faith and spread it to those who are still in darkness and in ignorance or opposition to the faith, as St. Paul had once done. For too long in the recent decades that our Church had become timid in the face of opposition and rejection by the world. We need to rediscover that zeal of the faith and the commitment that St. Paul had once shown through his tireless ministries to the faithful throughout many places until his own martyrdom.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, today let us pray for one another, and pray for our Church, that first, it may grow stronger in faith and grow more united in the faith to the Lord. May the Lord strengthen us all, that we may become more loving children of God, and a more loving and living Church. May St. Peter and St. Paul intercede for us and help us on our path, that we too may follow their examples in faith and love. God bless us all. Amen.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 6 : 1-6, 16-18

Be careful not to make a show of your righteousness before people. If you do so, you do not gain anything from your Father in heaven. When you give something to the poor, do not have it trumpeted before you, as do those who want to be seen in the synagogues and in the streets, in order to be praised by the people. I assure you, they have already been paid in full.

If you give something to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your gift remains really secret. Your Father, who sees what is kept secret, will reward you.

When you pray, do not be like those who want to be seen. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues or on street corners to be seen by everyone. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. When you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father who is with you in secret; and your Father who sees what is kept secret will reward you.

When you fast, do not put on a miserable face as do the hypocrites. They put on a gloomy face, so that people can see they are fasting. I tell you this : they have already been paid in full already. When you fast, wash your face and make yourself look cheerful, because you are not fasting for appearances or for people, but for your Father who sees beyond appearances. And your Father, who sees what is kept secret, will reward you.