Saturday, 19 September 2020 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Januarius, Bishop and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs) or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

1 Corinthians 15 : 35-37, 42-49

Some of you will ask : How will the dead be raised? With what kind of body will they come? You fools! What you sow cannot sprout unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body of the future plant, but a bare grain of wheat or any other seed.

It is the same with the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in decomposition; it will be raised never more to die. It is sown in humiliation, and it will be raised for glory. It is buried in weakness, but the resurrection shall be with power. When buried, it is a natural body, but it will be raised as a spiritual body. For there shall be a spiritual body, as there is, at present, a living body. Scripture says that Adam, the first man, became a living being; but the last Adam has become a life-giving Spirit.

The Spirit does not appear first, but the natural life, and afterward comes the Spirit. The first man comes from the earth and is earthly, while the second One comes from heaven. As it was with the earthly one, so is it with the earthly people. As it is with Christ, so with the heavenly. This is why, after bearing the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the Heavenly One.

Friday, 18 September 2020 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 15 : 12-20

Well, then, if Christ is preached as risen from the dead, how can some of you say, that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is empty, and our belief comes to nothing. And we become false witnesses of God, attesting that He raised Christ, whereas He could not raise Him, if indeed, the dead are not raised.

If the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith gives you nothing, and you are still in sin. Also, those who fall asleep, in Christ, are lost. If it is only for this life, that we hope in Christ, we are the most unfortunate of all people. But no, Christ has been raised from the dead, and He comes before all those who have fallen asleep.

Thursday, 17 September 2020 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

1 Corinthians 15 : 1-11

Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, of the Good News that I preached to you and which you received and on which you stand firm. By that Gospel you are saved, provided that you hold to it as I preached it. Otherwise, you will have believed in vain.

In the first place, I have passed on to you what I myself received that Christ died for our sins, as Scripture says; that He was buried; that He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures; that He appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve. Afterwards He appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters together; most of them are still alive, although some have already gone to rest.

Then He appeared to James and after that to all the Apostles. And last of all, He appeared to the most despicable of them, this is to me. For I am the last of the Apostles, and I do not even deserve to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God. Nevertheless, by the grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace toward me has not been without fruit. Far from it, I have toiled more than all of them, although, not I, rather the grace of God, in me.

Now, whether it was I or they, this, we preach, and this, you have believed.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Cornelius, Pope and Martyr, and St. Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

1 Corinthians 12 : 31 – 1 Corinthians 13 : 13

Be that as it may, set your hearts on the most precious gifts, and I will show you a much better way.

If I could speak all the human and Angelic tongues, but had no love, I would only be sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, knowing secret things, with all kinds of knowledge, and had faith great enough to remove mountains, but had no love, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I had to the poor, and even give up my body to be burnt, if I am without love, it would be of no value to me.

Love is patient, kind, without envy. It is not boastful or arrogant. It is not ill-mannered, nor does it seek its own interest. Love overcomes anger and forgets offences. It does not take delight in wrong, but rejoices in truth. Love excuses everything, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love will never end. Prophecies may cease, tongues be silent and knowledge disappear. For knowledge grasps something of the truth and prophecy as well. And when what is perfect comes, everything imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I thought and reasoned like a child, but when I grew up, I gave up childish ways. Likewise, at present, we see dimly, as in a mirror, but, then, it shall be face to face. Now, we know, in part, but then I will know as I am known. Now, we have faith, hope and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.

Monday, 29 July 2019 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martha (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 4 : 7-16

My dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves, is born of God and knows God. Those who do not love have not known God, for God is love. How did the love of God appear among us? God sent His only Son into this world, that we might have life, through Him.

This is love : not that we loved God, but that, He first loved us and sent His Son, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if such has been the love of God, we, too, must love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love comes to its perfection in us.

How may we know that we live in God and He in us? Because God has given us His Spirit. We ourselves have seen, and declare, that the Father sent His Son to save the world. Those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in them, and they in God. We have known the love of God and have believed in it. God is love. The one who lives in love, lives in God, and God in him.

Saturday, 15 March 2014 : 1st Week of Lent (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we all belong to God, just as He had mentioned it in the first reading we heard today. Just as He had claimed Israel to be His chosen ones, to be His chosen people, we too, in the new covenant that Jesus had established with all mankind, have been made to be the people of God, and consecrated to Him in His love.

And as He Himself mentioned, that those who belong to Him ought to be like Him in our actions, words and deeds, that we may reflect Him in all the things that we do. And therefore, we should follow all of His commandments and laws He had revealed to us through the prophets as written in the Scriptures, and through Jesus His Son.

We are God’s children, and like all children do, we ought to follow what our parents are doing, imitating them in their actions, deeds and thoughts. And as God our Father and Lord is Love Himself, we too have to love then, and love just as God loved us. And the commandments of God itself is love, designed to help us to be able to better love one another and to love and dedicate ourselves to God.

And in love, this love is not the kind of love that we often know in this world. There are many kinds and forms of love, but true and genuine love does not equate with lust and desire for pleasure, and neither can it be associated entirely with the love that someone express for another, between a man and a woman, or love that exists between those who had already loved one another in the first place.

Instead, true and genuine love means to love without discrimination and conditions. It is an unconditional love which we offer to all. Genuine love means to do what Christ had told us to do, that is to love even our enemies and pray for them, that they too may know love through the power of our prayer and the example of our unconditional and genuine love.

Yes, brethren, too often we have tried to fight fire with fire, and adding even more fuel to the fire, which ends up in everything being destroyed. And that is what usually happens, when we try to confront hatred and violence with even more violence. Everything will be destroyed and crushed in the end. That is what will happen if we response to someone’s hatred and enmity with even more enmity and hatred from our side.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, that is why it is important for us to instead fight the fire with water, to cool down the fire and let it die down, that in the end everything may be calm again, and through the water, the barren and burnt ground may once again hold life in it. The same therefore, we should practice in our own faith. We have to confront hatred and enmity with love, even if the other side does not yet love us.

Counter their curses with blessings, and show them that we can bring to them a valuable piece of truth, that hatred and violence does not solve everything, and instead will bring things to complete disarray and destruction. Love is the way out of things, as well as peace. We have to always remember this whenever we act.

Make peace with one another and love, and let us all come together in devotion to God in love. Let us show those who still linger in darkness and in the shadow of hatred, that love is the way, and may our actions based in love and forgiveness, help them to get out of the darkness and into the light that together, we may be saved. God be with us all, to the end of time. Amen.

Friday, 14 March 2014 : 1st Week of Lent (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

In our faith, brothers and sisters, we must always be genuine. We cannot take our faith for granted, and neither can we only keep an outward profession for faith, but inside we truly lack the faith and do not believe in God. True faith in God requires us to devote ourselves to Him and be committed in our actions and deeds to show our true faith to God.

We must heed what the Lord wants from us, in our actions and deeds, in every single aspects of our lives. We often end up doing lip-service to the Lord and following superficially the laws and rules He had given us, instead of truly devoting ourselves to His cause. This we cannot do, brothers and sisters in Christ.

And we certainly will have to do and act in the way that we preach. We cannot say one thing and yet do another, different thing from what we had said. If we do so then our faith is shallow and not genuine, and can be easily swayed by the wickedness that is in this world.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, our Lord loves us, and I have to repeat it again and again, that God loves us, very much, that He gave us Jesus His Son to be our helper, and to show us the way, how to devote ourselves entirely to Him, by teaching us and showing us the examples of being a good and faithful servant of God.

The key thing of all these is that we have to love, and we have to base all our actions on love, and in all of our actions and dealings, we have to always align ourselves with the ways of the Lord, that is righteousness. We have to adhere to the principles that God had established, in His laws and tenets that we ought to know, understand, and obey.

God wants all of us to love, and to love tenderly, and to forgive when someone slighted us or made mistakes to us. He wants us to do the same too, when we have slighted someone else. He wants us to be reconciled with one another, and forgoing all the hatred and differences that kept us apart, that we all may once again serve Him together as one, united people, united in love.

And He wants to show us that faith in Him cannot be just limited to observations of rituals and obligations according to the law. We cannot be just bystanders and followers, following the instructions of our faith to the letter, without understanding it. What I mean is that, we have to truly understand what we are doing, and in doing so we will make our faith much more meaningful.

And that is why God wants us to forgive one another first and be reconciled before we make our offerings to Him. What He wants from us is a heart of love, untainted by hatred, jealousy and all the other negative feelings that mar the perfection of our hearts. Let this be a lesson to all of us, that we may take note of it, whenever we do something, and whenever we say something, that we truly reflect that we belong to God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, today let us make a resolution before the Lord, that we will be ever better servants of His will, that we will forsake the way of hatred, jealousy and other negative ill-feelings, and change them for the way of love, practicing what we have believed in, that is our faith in the One and only True God, Jesus Christ, who came to us in love to save us. Amen.