Thursday, 11 February 2021 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes)

Mark 7 : 24-30

At that time, when Jesus left the place where He rebuked the Pharisees, He went to the border of the Tyrian country. There He entered a house, and did not want anyone to know He was there, but He could not remain hidden. A woman, whose small daughter had an evil spirit, heard of Him, and came and fell at His feet. Now this woman was a pagan, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she begged Him to drive the demon out of her daughter.

Jesus told her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to puppies.” But she replied, “Sir, even the puppies under the table eat the crumbs from the children’s bread.” Then Jesus said to her, “You may go your way; because of such a response, the demon has gone out of your daughter.”

And when the woman went home, she found her child lying in bed, and the demon gone.

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Lourdes)

John 2 : 1-11

At that time, three days after Jesus called Nathanael, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also invited to the wedding with His disciples. When all the wine provided for the celebration had been served, and they had run out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

Jesus replied, “Woman, what concern is that to you and Me? My hour has not yet come.” However His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Nearby were six stone water jars, set there for ritual washing as practiced by the Jews; each jar could hold twenty or thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them to the brim. Then Jesus said, “Now draw some out and take it to the steward.” So they did. The steward tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing from where it had come; for only the servants who had drawn the water knew. So, he called the bridegroom to tell him, “Everyone serves the best wine first, and when people have drunk enough, he serves that which is ordinary. Instead you have kept the best wine until the end.”

This miraculous sign was the first, and Jesus performed it at Cana in Galilee. In this way He let His glory appear, and His disciples believed in Him.

Monday, 11 February 2019 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Our Lady of Lourdes)

Mark 6 : 53-56

At that time, having crossed the lake, Jesus and His disciples came ashore at Gennesaret, where they tied up the boat. As soon as they landed, people recognised Jesus, and ran to spread the news throughout the countryside.

Wherever He was, they brought to Him the sick lying on their mats; and wherever He went, to villages, towns or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplace, and begged Him to let them touch just the fringe of His cloak. And all who touched Him were cured.

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Lourdes)

John 2 : 1-11

At that time, three days after Jesus called Nathanael, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also invited to the wedding with His disciples. When all the wine provided for the celebration had been served, and they had run out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

Jesus replied, “Woman, what concern is that to you and Me? My hour has not yet come.” However His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Nearby were six stone water jars, set there for ritual washing as practiced by the Jews; each jar could hold twenty or thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them to the brim. Then Jesus said, “Now draw some out and take it to the steward.” So they did. The steward tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing from where it had come; for only the servants who had drawn the water knew. So, he called the bridegroom to tell him, “Everyone serves the best wine first, and when people have drunk enough, he serves that which is ordinary. Instead you have kept the best wine until the end.”

This miraculous sign was the first, and Jesus performed it at Cana in Galilee. In this way He let His glory appear, and His disciples believed in Him.

Sunday, 20 January 2019 : Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

John 2 : 1-11

At that time, three days after Jesus called Nathanael, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also invited to the wedding with His disciples. When all the wine provided for the celebration had been served, and they had run out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

Jesus replied, “Woman, what concern is that to you and Me? My hour has not yet come.” However His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Nearby were six stone water jars, set there for ritual washing as practiced by the Jews; each jar could hold twenty or thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them to the brim. Then Jesus said, “Now draw some out and take it to the steward.” So they did. The steward tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing from where it had come; for only the servants who had drawn the water knew. So, he called the bridegroom to tell him, “Everyone serves the best wine first, and when people have drunk enough, he serves that which is ordinary. Instead you have kept the best wine until the end.”

This miraculous sign was the first, and Jesus performed it at Cana in Galilee. In this way He let His glory appear, and His disciples believed in Him.

Saturday, 11 February 2017 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes)
Mark 8 : 1-10

At that time, soon afterwards Jesus was in the midst of another large crowd, that obviously had nothing to eat. So He called His disciples and said to them, “I feel sorry for these people, because they have been with Me for three days and now have nothing to eat. If I send them to their homes hungry, they will faint on the way; some of them have come a long way.”

His disciples replied, “Where, in a deserted place like this, could we get enough bread to feed these people?” He asked them, “How many loaves have you?” And they answered, “Seven.” Then He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Taking the seven loaves and giving thanks, He broke them, and handed them to His disciples to distribute. And they distributed them among the people. They also had some small fish, so Jesus said a blessing, and asked that these be shared as well.

The people ate and were satisfied. The broken pieces were collected, seven wicker baskets full of leftovers. Now those who had eaten were about four thousand in number. Jesus sent them away, and immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and went to the region of Dalmanutha.

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Lourdes)
John 2 : 1-11

At that time, three days after Jesus called Nathanael, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also invited to the wedding with His disciples. When all the wine provided for the celebration had been served, and they had run out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

Jesus replied, “Woman, what concern is that to you and Me? My hour has not yet come.” However His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Nearby were six stone water jars, set there for ritual washing as practiced by the Jews; each jar could hold twenty or thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them to the brim. Then Jesus said, “Now draw some out and take it to the steward.” So they did. The steward tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing from where it had come; for only the servants who had drawn the water knew. So, he called the bridegroom to tell him, “Everyone serves the best wine first, and when people have drunk enough, he serves that which is ordinary. Instead you have kept the best wine until the end.”

This miraculous sign was the first, and Jesus performed it at Cana in Galilee. In this way He let His glory appear, and His disciples believed in Him.

Sunday, 17 January 2016 : Second (2nd) Sunday of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony, Abbot and World Day of Migrants and Refugees (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

John 2 : 1-11

At that time, three days later there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also invited to the wedding with His disciples. When all the wine provided for the celebration had been served, and they had run out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

Jesus replied, “Woman, what concern is that to you and Me? My hour has not yet come.” However His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Nearby were six stone water jars, set there for ritual washing as prescribed by the Jews; each jar could hold twenty or thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them to the brim. Then Jesus said, “Now draw some out and take it to the steward.” So they did. The steward tasted the water that has become wine, without knowing from where it had come, for only the servants who had drawn the water knew.

So he called the bridegroom to tell him, “Everyone serves the best wine first, and when people have drunk enough, he serves that which is ordinary. Instead you have kept the best wine until the end.”

This miraculous sign was the first, and Jesus performed it at Cana in Galilee. In this way He let His glory appear, and His disciples believed in Him.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (our Lady of Lourdes)

Mark 7 : 14-23

At that time, Jesus then called the people to Him again and said to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and try to understand. Nothing that enters a person from the outside can make that person unclean. It is what comes from within that makes a person unclean. Let everyone who has ears listen.”

When Jesus got home and was away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him about this saying, and He replied, “So even you are dull? Do you not see that whatever comes from outside cannot make a person unclean, since it enters not the heart but the stomach, and is finally passed out?”

Thus Jesus declared that all foods are clean. And He went on, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him, for evil designs come out of the heart : theft, murder, adultery, jealousy, greed, maliciousness, deceit, indecency, slander, pride and folly. All these evil things come from within and make a person unclean.”

Alternative reading (Mass of our Lady of Lourdes)

John 2 : 1-11

At that time, three days after Jesus had called Nathanael to be His disciple, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also invited to the wedding with His disciples. When all the wine provided for the celebration had been served, and they had run out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

Jesus replied, “Woman, what concern is that to you and Me? My hour has not yet come.” However His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”

Nearby were six stone water jars, set there for ritual washing as practiced by the Jews, each jar could hold twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them to the brim. Then Jesus said, “Now draw some out and take it to the steward.” So they did.

The steward tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing from where it had come; for only the servants who had drawn the water knew. So, he called the bridegroom to tell him, “Everyone serves the best wine first, and when people have drunk enough, he serves that which is ordinary. Instead, you have kept the best wine until the end.”

This miraculous sign was the first, and Jesus performed it at Cana in Galilee. In this way He let His glory appear, and His disciples believed in Him.

(Usus Antiquior) Second Sunday after Epiphany, Feast of the Chair of St. Peter at Rome, Feast of St. Paul the Apostle, and Feast of St. Prisca, Virgin and Martyr (II Classis) – Sunday, 18 January 2015 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

John 2 : 1-11

In illo tempore : Nuptiae factae sunt in Cana Galilaeae : et erat Mater Jesu ibi. Vocatus est autem et Jesus, et discipuli Ejus ad nuptias. Et deficiente vino, dicit Mater Jesu ad Eum : Vinum non habent. Et dicit ei Jesus : Quid mihi et tibi est, Mulier? Nondum venit hora Mea.

Dicit Mater Ejus ministris : Quodcumque dixerit vobis, facite. Erant autem ini lapideae hydriae sex positae secundum purificationem Judaeorum, capientes singulae metretas binas vel ternas. Dicit eis Jesus : Implete hydrias aqua. Et impleverunt eas usque ad summum.

Et dicit eis Jesus : Haurite nunc, et ferte architriclino. Et tulerunt. Ut autem gustavit architriclinus aquam vinum factam, et non sciebat unde esset, ministri autem sciebant, qui hauserunt aquam : vocat sponsum architriclinus, et dicit ei : Omnis homo primum bonum vinum ponit : et cum inebriati fuerint, tunc id, quod deterius est. Tu autem servasti bonum vinum usque adhuc.

Hoc fecit initium signorum Jesus in Cana Galilaeae : et manifestavit gloriam suam, et crediderunt in eum discipuli Ejus.

 

English translation

At that time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus was also invited, and His disciples also to the marriage. And the wine supply was failing, and the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what is it to Me and to you? My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the waiters, “Whatsoever He shall say to you, do it.” Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of the purification of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.

And Jesus said to them, “Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast.” And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and did not know where it came from, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water, the chief steward called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man at first settles forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse, but you have kept the good wine until now.”

This beginning of miracles that Jesus had done on Cana of Galilee, and He manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

 

Homily and Reflection :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/01/17/usus-antiquior-second-sunday-after-epiphany-feast-of-the-chair-of-st-peter-at-rome-feast-of-st-paul-the-apostle-and-feast-of-st-prisca-virgin-and-martyr-ii-classis-sunday-18-january-2015-6/

Friday, 12 December 2014 : Second Week of Advent, Memorial of our Lady of Guadalupe (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (our Lady of Guadalupe)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate a great feast day of the Church, celebrating the feast of Mary, the Mother of our Lord and God Jesus Christ, who manifested and showed herself about five hundred years ago, to a simple, humble but holy man in what is now Mexico, at the site called Tepeyac hill, now where the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe stands proudly as the centre of devotion and pilgrimage, and source of salvation for many in the centuries past since its establishment.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the name given to this apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who appeared to St. John Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, the first native saint of the New World, now known as the American continent. According to the tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. John Diego and revealed herself to him at a place known as the Tepeyac hills, as the Mother of our Lord and as the Mother of us all. She asked St. John Diego, if there is anything he needed, and that if there was anything he needed, he would have to just ask her, and through her intercession, everything would be made full.

St. John Diego immediately sought the local bishop and told him about what he had witnessed, but the bishop was skeptical, and did not believe him at first. Therefore, the bishop asked St. John Diego for a proof that the apparition was authentic, and thus, St. John Diego then rushed back to see the Lady once more for this purpose. The Blessed Virgin Mary had indeed mentioned to St. John Diego at their first meeting, of the time she would appear again.

But on the way, St. John Diego was told that his father was very sick, and thus he was forced to miss the meeting with the Blessed Virgin Mary, rushing to his home to be at the side of his sick father instead. However, on the way home, at the very exact time that he was to meet Mary once more, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him on the road, and told him that his father has been healed, and indeed, when St. John Diego reached home, he found that his father had been healed.

For the proof that the bishop asked St. John Diego, the Blessed Virgin Mary asked him to go to the hill, and there he found a cluster of flowers, Castilian roses, which are not naturally found in that land, but in Europe. Then St. John Diego gathered the flowers in his cloak, or also known as tilma, and then rushed back to show them to the bishop.

When St. John Diego showed the bishop what the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Lady of Guadalupe had shown him, what surprised the bishop was not so much the flowers, but in fact that when St. John Diego opened his tilma or cloak, there he saw the glowing and very beautiful image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which we now know as our Lady of Guadalupe, in reference to the occasion and the place where this had taken place.

So whenever we see an image or pictorial representation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a cloak and adorned by beautiful flowers, it is likely to be a representation of our Lady of Guadalupe. And it is in her honour that we celebrate this day with great joy, for through this great woman, many good things have been made possible for mankind, the greatest of all is, the freedom of mankind from the tyranny of sin and the promise of everlasting life through Jesus, her Son.

Many of the heretics and those who misunderstood the Faith wondered why we honoured Mary so much, if she was just a mere human, perhaps more special in a way because she is the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. But surely that is as far as things should go right? Do we Catholics and members of the Faith commit idolatry by worshipping and adoring Mary as if she is a goddess? No, and this is where all of us the faithful must be very clear in our Faith, lest we allow the same confusion to lead us astray.

Like the song of Hannah showed in the Psalm today, the song of joy and thanksgiving by Hannah, the mother of the prophet Samuel, who was granted her wish of having a son by God after years of barren marriage, and being ridiculed by the other wife of her husband. She was given Samuel, whom she gave up to be consecrated to God, and then she was given even more children, as the fulfillment of God’s love.

Hannah was humble, and she sought the Lord’s help through sincere prayers after she was bullied constantly by the first wife, who was proud of her many children. The proud was therefore rejected by God, but the humble, the meek and most importantly, the faithful ones are rewarded richly by God. He blesses those who are not proud with themselves and their achievements, but those who put their trust completely in the Lord.

Thus, Mary is truly blessed and she was honoured beyond any other men. Thus, Elizabeth her cousin said about her, ‘Blessed are you amongst women,’ for indeed, Mary was special and honoured, not just because she is the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ and not just because she was prepared to be special by the Lord, free from the taint of sin as the Immaculate Conception, but also because of her exemplary faith, humility, devotion and total trust in God and in His plans.

Therefore, on this feast of our Lady of Guadalupe, we look up to the Blessed Virgin Mary who had given her grace to appear before St. John Diego, so that all of us mankind may know more about her and her exemplary faith, and through her therefore, for us to find Jesus our Lord, and that we may be granted rich graces of God, the same grace which God had blessed Mary with, the one who is called blessed among all men and women, for all ages.

What we can learn from this sacred occasion is that, while Mary was created special by God, and prepared by the Lord to be the Mother of the Lord, but it is her examples, her faith, her actions and her loving dedication to God which all of us can emulate. God’s grace flows through Mary by her devotion and faith, and her undying dedication towards her Son, even unto following Him on the path of suffering to the cross at Calvary.

Thus, God had also given us all the singular and most important of all the saints, as the greatest among our intercessors, the one who prays for us without cease, for the sake of all of us sinners who still dwell in this world. That is why Mary, our Lady of Guadalupe, asked St. John Diego, ‘Is there anything that you still need’ and gave him her assurance that whatever he asked through her, he will get it, so long as it is within the bounds of the will of God.

She is the closest among all to the throne of her Son in heaven, and hers is the words which her Son will listen to the most. Remember the wedding at Cana? Jesus listened to the request by Mary, for Him to help the wedding couple in trouble, and performed His miracle of changing the water into wine, His very first miracle. If He would listen to His mother’s request there, then the same too will be the case for us, if we ask Mary, our mother, to help with our needs.

Mary is also our mother, for our Lord Jesus had entrusted His disciple John to His own mother, just as He entrusted her to him to be cared for. Through the entrusting of John to Mary, Jesus our Lord also entrusted all mankind to the care of His mother, who then becomes our Mother too. And if she is our mother, will she not care for us, fight for us and intercede for us? She loves all of us, and she does not want any of us to be lost to her Son.

Hence, let us all from now on reflect on our own lives. Have we done what the Lord had asked of us to do? Have we all been faithful as Mary our mother had been faithful? When we err, let us all correct our ways and also seek help. Our mother Mary, just as when she appeared to St. John Diego as our Lady of Guadalupe sincerely sought our salvation and liberation from sin. Therefore, shall we all accept her offer of grace, which may then flow from the Lord through her, and into us?

Let us all be righteous and be faithful in our actions, showing the love which we ought to show our Lord and which we also should show one another. May our Lady of Guadalupe, Mary our mother intercede for us sinners before the throne of her Son, the Divine Mercy, that He shall forgive us our sins, and in our sincere faith, may He grant us all eternal life. Amen.

 

First Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/11/friday-12-december-2014-second-week-of-advent-memorial-of-our-lady-of-guadalupe-first-reading/

 

Psalm :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/11/friday-12-december-2014-second-week-of-advent-memorial-of-our-lady-of-guadalupe-psalm/

 

Gospel Reading :

https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2014/12/11/friday-12-december-2014-second-week-of-advent-memorial-of-our-lady-of-guadalupe-gospel-reading/

Tuesday, 11 February 2014 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Marian feast)

Mark 7 : 1-13

One day the Pharisees gathered around Jesus, and with them were some teachers of the Law who had just come from Jerusalem. They noticed that some of His disciples were eating their meal with unclean hands, that is, without washing them.

Now the Pharisees, and in fact all the Jews, never eat without washing their hands, for they follow the tradition received from their ancestors. Nor do they eat anything, when they come from the market, without first washing themselves. And there are many other traditions they observe; for example, the ritual washing of cups, pots and plates.

So the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders, but eat with unclean hands?” Jesus answered, “You shallow people! How well Isaiah prophesied of you when he wrote : ‘This people honours Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. The worship they offer Me is worthless, for what they teach are only human rules.'”

“You even put aside the commandment of God to hold fast to human tradition.” And Jesus commented, “You have a fine way of disregarding the commandments of God in order to enforce your own traditions! For example, Moses said : ‘Do your duty to your father and your mother,’ and : ‘Whoever curses his father or his mother is to be put to death.'”

“But according to you, someone could say to his father or mother, ‘I already declared Corban, which means ‘offered to God’ what you could have expected from me.’ In this case, you no longer require him to do anything for his father or mother, and so you nullify the word of God through the tradition you have handed on. And you do many other things like that.”

Alternative Reading (Mass of Our Lady of Lourdes)

John 2 : 1-11

Three days later there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also invited to the wedding with His disciples. When all the wine provided for the celebration had been served, and they had run out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

Jesus replied, “Woman, what concern is that to you and Me? My hour has not yet come.” However his mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Nearby were six stone water jars, set there for ritual washing as practiced by the Jews; each jar could hold twenty or thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them to the brim. Then Jesus said, “Now draw some out and take it to the steward.” So they did. The steward tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing from where it had come; for only the servants who had drawn the water knew.

So, he called the bridegroom to tell him, “Everyone serves the best wine first, and when people have drunk enough, he serves that which is ordinary. Instead you have kept the best wine until the end.”

This miraculous sign was the first, and Jesus performed it at Cana in Galilee. In this way He let His glory appear, and His disciples believed in Him.

Monday, 5 August 2013 : 18th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major (Scripture Reflection)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Mass of the Dedication of a Basilica)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we hear today of the Lord’s great kindness and compassion to us, His great love to us, that He provides for us daily what we need in our lives. He is our Father, who created us from dust and gave life to us. Yet, He did not just stop there and leave us to our own devices. He continues to care for us, nurture us as we grow, giving us His love that pours out from His heart.

He shows us compassion whenever we are hungry, whenever we are without love, whenever we are oppressed unjustly, and whenever we are under great distress. He is a loving Father who always makes Himself available to all of us. Never will He leave us without help. In His own mysterious ways, He sends us many help along the way in our lives, whether we realise it or not.

He gives us food, the physical food and nutrition we need for our survival, the sustenance of our physical bodies, the same way Christ had fed the five thousand men, and many more women and children. We receive these food through our parents, our families, our friends, and even those whom we buy the food from. He truly works His grace for us through various ways. Have we realised this, and realised His great love for us?

However, He does not only provide us with physical food to sustain us, but also the spiritual food of His love, the spiritual food of His words, which He gave us through Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. He poured His love into our hearts, that we may not only be physically satisfied, but also spiritually satisfied and whole. That is why we must take good care of our spiritual health. Remember always the rebuke Christ made to Satan when He was first tempted in the desert, that men does not live on bread alone, but from every Word that came from the Lord, that is our spiritual sustenance.

The Lord does not forget us when we are in trouble, nor will He turn us away when we come to Him to seek His help. He sent Moses to deliver His beloved people, Israel, from slavery and suffering in Egypt, delivering through Moses His wrath to Israel’s slave masters, the Pharaoh and the Egyptians. He delivered them through the Red Sea and gave them even food from heaven, the divine manna. Who else may claim that their God feed them with food that came from His own table in heaven?

He also delivered the people of Israel from the threat of utter destruction, by sending an unlikely deliverer, in Judith the widow, who courageously went through the enemy’s camp and slaying the enemy commander with God’s power and grace. He gave power to the weak to bring down the proud and the powerful, and giving freedom to His people living in fear and oppression under tyranny of evil. He does not forget His people, but instead walks among them and support them all the time of their lives.

And most important of all, there is no great gift and providence our Lord had given all of us, without exception, than the gift of Himself, through Jesus Christ His Son, the Word of God made flesh, who descended into the world to become our Saviour, our great Redeemer. Just as the people of Israel was under the tyranny of the Pharaohs, and later under Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who sent his general Holofernes to destroy them, so did all of us fall under the tyranny of evil, of sin, and of Satan, our jailor.

He sent us Jesus to be our Saviour, to be the One who broke forever the chains of sin that kept us bound to death that was our fate. It is not that we will not die, but we will no longer suffer eternal death, that is eternal separation from God who is life, if we put our trust in Jesus our Lord and accept Him as our Saviour.

He offered His salvation to all by the outpouring of His love to all of us, the ultimate nourishment for us and our souls, that He gave us through His disciples, the Most Precious Body and Blood of His own Body, in what we now know as the Most Holy Eucharist, that we regularly receive at the Holy Mass in the Holy Communion. Now truly, we should all be able to see and realise how great the love that God has for all of us, His children!

Today, brothers and sisters, we also commemorate the memorial of the dedication of Basilica of St. Mary Major or Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. This basilica is one of the four Papal Basilicas, and one of the most important sites of Christendom. This basilica was dedicated to the Mother of our Lord, our Blessed Virgin Mary herself, who is also the protector of the city of Rome. Our current Pope Francis went to visit the Basilica to ask for the Lady’s protection and intercession for his Pontificate on the day after his election as our Pope.

You see, brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all blessed that the Lord Himself cared so much about all of us sinners in this world, that He sent to us not only His Son, Jesus to be our Saviour, but also even earlier on, His mother Mary, to be our greatest intercessor before her Son, to be our greatest defender and help, when we are in the darkest depth of sin and evil. That is because the best way to the Lord is indeed by Christ, through Mary His mother. Mary is an example to all of us through her numerous deeds and righteousness, and her dedication to her Son, our Lord Jesus and the love she has for all mankind.

Remember that Christ had entrusted His mother to John, His beloved disciple and vice versa. In this way, Christ did not just give Mary to John, nor did He just give John to Mary to care for one another, because in fact, Christ, through John, gave His own mother to all of us, all mankind, without exception! Mary is our great intercessor, as she pleads for our sake, for our case, before her Son in heaven.

Remember again what happened in Cana, in the wedding, when Christ politely rejected the request to perform His first miracle to help the wedding couple in trouble because they ran out of wine. Yet, at the urging and persistence of Mary, in her own words, asking the servants to follow whatever the Lord said, He eventually helped and performed His first miracle, to the relief of the couple.

Yes, the same can also happen to us, brothers and sisters, as the Lord Himself had said, that if we want something, we should ask for it, and we should knock the door, if we want the door to be opened for us. He is generous for mercy, forgiveness, and love, but only if we ask Him, and persistently ask Him. He will give us all that we need, and provide us with everything we need, be it food, physical or spiritual, and other things that we require. Where does our mother, Mary come in this? She is, as I had mentioned, our greatest intercessor, the greatest of all saints, and the one nearest to the throne of mercy, to the throne of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through the intercession of Mary, we can be closer to God, and through her, many souls can be saved and enter the kingdom of heaven. That is why, brothers and sisters, it is important for us to promote the devotion to the Blessed Virgin, our mother and the mother of our God. Ask her for help and for her intercession for our sake before her Son, and our prayers will be heard.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, today, and henceforth, let us remember always the kindness and love God had showered us with, all the blessings He had given all of us. Let us always thank Him for the daily bread and blessings He had given us, remembering His love, and His dedication for us, that He even gave Himself to us, that we may live and have eternal life with Him in the glory and bliss of heaven. God bless us all. Amen.