Sunday, 1 September 2013 : 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 14 : 1, 7-14

One Sabbath Jesus had gone to eat a meal in the house of a leading Pharisee, and He was carefully watched. Jesus then told a parable to the guests, for He had noticed how they tried to take the places of honour. And He said, “When you are invited to a wedding party, do not choose the best seat. It may happen that someone more important than you had been invited; and your host, who invited both of you, will come and say to you, ‘Please give this person your place.’ What shame is yours when you take the lowest seat!”

“Whenever you are invited, go rather to the lowest seat, so that your host may come and say to you, ‘Friend, you must come up higher.’ And this will be a great honour for you in the presence of all the other guests. For whoever makes himself out to be great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be raised.”

Jesus also addressed the man who had invited Him, and said, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends, or your brothers and relatives, or your wealthy neighbours. For surely they will also invite you in return, and you will be repaid. When you give a feast, invite instead the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. Fortunate are you then, because they cannot repay you; you will be repaid at the resurrection of the upright.”

Friday, 16 August 2013 : 19th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Stephen of Hungary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White

Matthew 19 : 3-12

Some Pharisees approached Jesus. They wanted to test Him and asked, “Is a man allowed to divorce his wife for any reason he wants?”

Jesus replied, “Have you not read that in the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and He said : ‘Man has now to leave father and mother, and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one body?’ So, they are no longer two, but one body. Let no one separate what God has joined.”

They asked Him, “Then why did Moses command us to write a bill of dismissal in order to divorce?” Jesus replied, “Moses knew the hardness of your hearts, so he allowed you to divorce your wives; but it was not so in the beginning. Therefore I say to you : whoever divorces his wife, unless it be for prostitution, and marries another, commits adultery.”

The disciples said, “If that is the condition of a married man, it is better not to marry.” Jesus said to them, “Not everybody can accept what you have just said, but only those who have received this gift. There are eunuchs born so from their mother’s womb. Some have been made that way by others. But there are some who have given up the possibility of marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who can accept it, accept it.”

Sunday, 11 August 2013 : 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 12 : 32-48

Do not be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms. Get yourselves purses that do not wear out, and an inexhaustible treasure in the heavens, where no thief comes and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Be ready, dressed for service, and keep your lamps lit, like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding. As soon as he comes and knocks, they will open the door to him. Happy are those servants whom the master finds wide-awake when he comes. Truly, I tell you, he will put on an apron, and have them sit at table, and he will wait on them. Happy are those servants, if he finds them awake when he comes at midnight or daybreak!

Pay attention to this : If the master of the house had known at what time the thief would come, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect.

Peter said, “Lord, did You tell this parable only for us, or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Imagine, then, the wise and faithful steward, whom the master sets over his other servants to give them wheat at the proper time. Fortunate is this servant if his master on coming home, finds him doing his work. Truly, I say to you, the master will put him in charge of all his property.”

“But it may be that the steward thinks, ‘My Lord delays in coming,’ and he begins to abuse the male servants and the servant girls, eating and drinking and getting drunk. Then the master will come on a day he does not expect, and at an hour he does not know. He will cut him off, and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.”

“The servant who knew his master’s will, but did not prepare and do what his master wanted, will be soundly beaten; but the one who does unconsciously what deserves punishment, shall receive fewer blows. Much will be required of the one who has been given much, and more will be asked of the one who has been entrusted with more.”

 

Alternative reading (Shorter version)
Luke 12 : 35-40

Be ready, dressed for service, and keep your lamps lit, like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding. As soon as he comes and knocks, they will open the door to him. Happy are those servants whom the master finds wide-awake when he comes. Truly, I tell you, he will put on an apron, and have them sit at table, and he will wait on them. Happy are those servants, if he finds them awake when he comes at midnight or daybreak!

Pay attention to this : If the master of the house had known at what time the thief would come, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect.

Friday, 24 May 2013 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time, World Day of Prayer for the Church in China (Scripture Reflection)

Brothers, and sisters in Christ! Today, I announce to you a great news of great joy, especially for the Church in Singapore. For as of 18 May 2013, the Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore had succeeded as the new Archbishop of Singapore, Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye. He was installed today at the cathedra of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, the mother church of Singapore, and today also marked his inauguration as the ordinary of the Archdiocese, beginning the full extent of his ministry as bishop to the flock entrusted to him by the Lord in Singapore.

How is this then relevant to what we heard in the readings today, brothers and sisters in Christ? In fact, today’s readings are perfect for the occasion, because, today’s reading, in the Gospel in particular, deal with the intimacy of relationships between peoples. In the first reading, we heard about friendship and the type of friends we have and we can encounter in our daily lives.

In the Gospel then, we heard about another type of relationship, one that is even closer than friendship, that is marriage, which is a union between two persons, male and female, as ordained by God, that men should leave their parents and join with women, that they become one body, and from this union, spring forth new life, through procreation and birth of new children.

But there is yet still another, even more noble kind of relationship, one that is not explicitly mentioned in the Gospel today, but in fact has very large degree of similarity to it. That is the relationship that those in the Holy Orders with both God and with the Church which they serve, and which they lead. Those in the Holy Orders include all those who had been ordained by the authority passed down through the Apostles from Christ Himself, from our pope, to our bishops, and to our priests and deacons.

All are relationships that are sanctified by God, particularly in the case of marriage and the Holy Orders, in which we should always remember the words of Christ that, whatever God has made into one, no man and no angel should separate. No one may undo the union that God has sanctified and sealed, in the holy sacrament of matrimony and priesthood.

First then, let us begin with friendship. We may not have a sacrament of friendship, unlike marriage and priesthood, but true friendship itself is also holy, because true friendship must be based on love and purity of hearts and intention between the friends. Today’s first reading explained to us the different kinds of friends, because friends may indeed look superficially from outside like a good friend to us, but in fact, this ‘friend’ of ours is only using us up, either because we have material wealth or something that keeps this friend to remain at our side.

As long as we have this something, money, possession, or some other thing, this ‘friend’ will remain, but once we run out of this something, they will leave us, and sometimes do not be surprised that the ‘friend’ may even become an enemy. This is one of the thing warned by the first reading we heard today. We have to also take note of the parable of the prodigal son, where when the son has all the properties that he inherited from his father, he made many friends in the foreign land, and lived a happy but wasteful life. But those friends are not his true friends, because once his money dries up, they leave him and do not lift even their fingers to help him, until he has to work as a pig handler and even be tempted to eat the pig’s food due to his hunger. He has no friend!

What is true friendship then? True friends are friends who stand by us in times of joy, but even more importantly, they also stand by our side at our times of greatest sorrow. Not many people indeed will become our true friends, but once we have true friends in our life, true friendship, as long as we have love in ourselves, will last forever. Because true friendship is based not on material goods and possessions, or even human greed, but it is based on love, care, and compassion.

Thus, value the friendships we have and look beyond the veil of possessions and greed, in order to find out who are our true friends in life. True friends are not always those who join us in fun and happy things, in parties and celebrations, but are those who also care for us and protect us in our time of troubles and whenever we are downtrodden. All being said, we ourselves then too should strive to become true friends to those around us, particularly to those whom we love, and of course to our God.

Yes, Christ, our Lord and Saviour is also our friend, and He is friend to all mankind, to all the children of God, for remember that He Himself had said to His disciples that there is no greater love than that of a friend who gives up his life for the sake of his friend. And Jesus, our Saviour did just exactly that, because He died for all of us, giving up His life, and even though He was blameless and pure, He accepted damnation to death that through His death, we may gain a new life in Him, through His glorious resurrection.

Maintain this friendship and relationship that we have with Christ, with God, dear brothers and sisters in Christ. And how do we do that? Exactly by ensuring that we remained in God’s love and that ourselves and our hearts are always filled with God’s love, and in our actions, we always reflect Christ, our Lord, and become witnesses to His death and resurrection. And we also can help those among us who are least, weakest, ostracised, and abandoned, and in doing so, we are the friends of Jesus, and He is dear to us, just as we are dear to Him.

Then, after we have talked about friendship, let us continue on with a greater degree of relationship, that is marriage, which must be sealed in the sanctity of the sacrament of marriage. Marriage is only once in life and is eternal, between a man and a woman, as God ordained since the beginning of time, when He created Adam and Eve, the progenitor of all mankind.

Marriage is not merely physical relationship between two persons, that is filled with lust and desire. This kind of union is not marriage, but merely the fulfillment of human desires that may be corrupted by the evil one for his own purposes, and result in what we have seen in our world today, in the form of deviant form of ‘marriages’ that so many people champion, without realising that marriage is not something they should trifle with.

This is because marriage is ultimately about love, and again the love that I refer to over here, does not mean physical lust and sexual relationship between two persons, as these may form some part of marriage, but without true love, instead of a holy union of marriage, what we have is a perversion and sin before the eyes of God, essentially fornication and defilement of our own bodies, the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

Marriage is about love, that is the spiritual relationship, both between the two persons, male and female, united in love, caring for one another, committed in times of joy and sorrow, united in body and spirit, sealed by God Himself. And marriage is also about the spiritual relationship between the couple with God, because with God as their anchor, love will always remain within the sacred marriage union of the married couple.

Marriage itself must also breath out love, and produce love. Because the fruit of marriage is in fact children, and children are the fruits of love between the man and woman united by God in the sacred and inviolable union. Children receive love from both of their respective parents, which then ultimately have its source in God. That is the key to having a functioning and loving family, that this love that is within the couple is shared and poured to others, particularly in the child, whom the couple have responsibility for, and as the fruit of their marriage.

Therefore, marriage must never be manipulated and falsified by modern innovations and inventions, which bar the ultimate purpose of marriage, that is to produce the fruits of love, that is the children, just as the Lord commands mankind, to be fruitful and multiply, and to be Lord over all the earth. Men and women He created them for this purpose, that they multiply and prosper, sharing love with one another.

Sadly, too many modern innovations, especially through scientific discoveries, had made marriage no longer life-producing, and instead, even cause death in certain cases. The use of contraceptives and birth-control mechanisms had transformed marriage such that marriage is no longer solely based on love, and on producing the fruits of love, but has moved it such that mankind now focus on the more immediate and worldly aspect of marriage, submitting themselves to their desire and lust, and seeking pleasure instead of love in marriage.

Abortion and other life-destroying actions, continue to destroy both the sanctity of marriage, and the sanctity of life, for in abortion, we destroy the very life and fruit of love which is the fruit of marriage. Many abortions also resulted from extramarital affairs and relations, which signify the importance of marriage as the necessary step in the union between man and woman, for anything that is conceived outside of marriage, is not sealed by God, and therefore, becoming much more prone to human weakness and evil, which leads to irresponsible acts such as abortion.

Divorce is yet another great evil, that destroys both marriage, and the family which are split and destroyed by this other, irresponsible act. Marriage should be based on love, and the children, the fruits of marriage and love, must get love from their parents. Divorce, which destroys this union between the husband and the wife, ruins not just the two persons involved, but also the children, who suffer even more from the separation between their parents. This is also in direct violation against what God has revealed through Christ, His Son, that whatever God had joined into one, through the sacred sacrament of matrimony, should never be divided by men.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, those among us who are couples in holy marriage, strive to empower your married life, that the Lord remains in it, and love remains the heart of your marriage, that the marriage will not become empty, and end in painful and sinful divorce, or extramarital affairs. Rather, as a family, all of you must be functional and do your part as members of the family, to love one another and love the Lord your God, that He will give you guidance through your married life.

Pray together often, and have your meals together often too. Bring your children together with you, and raise him or her together, as husband and wife, sharing with them the love that is between both of you, the love that originates from God Himself, that they too will have love within themselves. Prayer especially is important, because prayer will strengthen your faith, and it can strengthen the anchor of love you have in God, and in one another.

Time maybe scarce, brothers and sisters, in our busy modern world, with all its noises, and with all the careers and works we have taken upon ourselves. But, brethren, try your best to spend your time together as a family, especially with the children, so that your marriage will remain loving and happy, and will last for eternity.

Then, finally, let us go into the most special relationship that those in the Holy Orders have, particularly the bishop, and today, especially as those in Singapore commemorate the inauguration of the ministry of the new Archbishop, Archbishop William Goh, it is most appropriate to look into the intimate nature of the relationship that the bishop has, both with God, and with the Church.

Those in the Holy Orders, and those committing themselves to pious, religious life, do not marry, not because they disobey the Lord, but because they commit themselves to God and His people so much that, they are in fact married to God and His Church. They had become the bride of the Church upon their entry into the Holy Orders.

Does this relationship then bring about love and life? just as marriage does? Yes! definitely! For a priest, a bishop, and any ordained ministers, and those who commit themselves to God, share fully in the love of God, and through their ministry, they share this love with all the faithful in the Church, to whom they made themselves as conduits of God’s love, and also of God’s life.

They bring life through their ministry, through their words and actions, because they bring healing to those who are sick, maybe not physically, but most importantly spiritually. Many of us have become dead spiritually, because our hearts are empty. The priests recharge our dead spiritual selves and allow us to be alive again, through the life that God has granted us. Through evangelisation too, priests bring life, to those who listen to the Word of God and believe, that they receive new life through the waters of baptism.

For them, the Lord and the Church are their sole care, the people of God. They choose not for themselves any particular partner, so that they can make themselves available, to share the love of God, to all mankind, rather than to be limited in the family. But this does not mean that the family cannot share its love with others, only that those in the family will certainly need to put the priority of love, first and foremost, to the fruits of their marriage, that is their children, and the love they have for one another as husband and wife.

A bishop is even more intimately in a loving relationship with God and with His Church, because a bishop is like a chief shepherd, who loves all the sheep entrusted to him by the Chief of all shepherd, that is God. He must love the priests that have been placed under his care, just as he needs to love the people, the laity that had been entrusted to him. They are married to him, just as he too is married to the Lord, to be his most humble and dedicated servant, in the evangelisation of the Good News to all.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us inspire one another, and build good relationships among ourselves. Forgo our hatred and fear, and allow love and joy of companionship build up in all our hearts. Build healthy and strong relationships, be it friendship, or higher degree ones such as marriage or Holy Orders for those who chose either, and anchor them in love, and our faith in God. God will then surely bless all of us, with everlasting love and abundant blessings.

Finally, today, we also mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, which falls annually on 24 May. We show our care for the oppressed and persecuted faithful in China, by building concrete bridges of love, to reach out to them, and care for them, and pray for them especially, that they may be strong, to resist the temptations of the world, and that those who suffer will receive their due reward for their unfailing faith.

We are one Church, one Body in Christ, my brothers and sisters in Christ, from all over the world we had come, and into one we have become, that is one in the Church of God, the Universal Church He established on Peter, His apostle. No human power, no government, no form of oppression or persecution, will be able to separate what God has made into one, not even in the case of China. Therefore, pray hard, brothers and sisters in Christ, that liberation will soon come, not only for those oppressed in China for their faith, but also in North Korea, and other places, where injustice, and prejudices against the faith in God is still rampant, even till today.

Our Lady of Sheshan, protector of the faithful ones in China, pray for them, and pray for all of us. God be with us all, through joy and sorrow, and through this darkened world, and may He bring us into the light of salvation. Amen.

Friday, 24 May 2013 : 7th Week of Ordinary Time, World Day of Prayer for the Church in China (Gospel Reading)

Mark 10 : 1-12

Jesus then left that place and went to the province of Judea, beyond the Jordan River. Once more crowds gathered around Him and once more He taught them, as He always did. Some Pharisees came and put Him to the test with this question, “Is it right for a husband to divorce his wife?”

He replied, “What law did Moses give you?” They answered, “Moses allowed us to write a certificate of dismissal in order to divorce.”

Then Jesus said to them, “Moses wrote this law for you, because you are stubborn. But in the beginning of creation God made them male and female, and because of this, man has to leave father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one body. So they are no longer two but one body. Therefore let no one separate what God has joined.”

When they were indoors at home, the disciples again asked Him about this, and He told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against his wife, and the woman who divorces her husband and marries another also commits adultery.”

Monday, 11 March 2013 : 4th Week of Lent (Gospel Reading)

John 4 : 43-54

When the two days were over, Jesus left for Galilee. Jesus Himself said that no prophet is recognised in his own country. Yet the Galileans welcomed Him when He arrived, because all the things which He had done in Jerusalem during the Festival, and which they had seen. For they, too, had gone to the feast.

Jesus went back to Cana of Galilee, where He had changed the water into wine. At Capernaum there was an official, whose son was ill, and when he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and asked Him to come and heal his son, for he was at the point of death.

Jesus said, “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe!” The official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” And Jesus replied, “Go, your son lives!” The man had faith in the word that Jesus spoke to him, and went his way. As he was approaching his house, his servants met him, and gave him the good news. “Your son has recovered!”

So he asked them at what hour the child began to recover, and they said to him, “The fever left him yesterday, at about one o’ clock in the afternoon.” And the father realised that, that was the time when Jesus had told him, “Your son lives!” And he became a believer, he and all his family.

Jesus performed this second miraculous sign when He returned from Judea to Galilee.

(Special Mass of Our Lady of Lourdes) Monday, 11 February 2013 : Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes (Gospel Reading)

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.

Sunday, 20 January 2013 : 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflection)

In the first reading today, God showed His love for His people Israel, although they have betrayed Him many times. Then, the second reading showed about the gifts of the Spirit, what the Spirit can do in us, and through us, the Lord’s will is done. Finally, the Gospel itself is the account of the wedding at Cana, where Jesus performed His very first miracle of turning water into the finest wine.

God still loves His people, and thus still loves us, no matter what we have done. Although we had sinned many times and betrayed Him, and abandoned Him many times, He is still always faithful. For just as He was mentioned as the bridegroom in the first reading, and the land as His spouse, the Lord is united to us through His marriage to us, as in the Revelation it is mentioned that God is the bride of the Church, and this Church is us, the faithful ones in God. And just as He is loving, He is a faithful bride indeed, and even though we, His brides are unfaithful, He is always ready to welcome us back if we indeed repent our sins and our mistakes and turn back to Him, who created us, and who embrace us both as His children just as He is our Father, and our bride as the Lord is the bridegroom of the Church.

The Holy Spirit, the Third person of the Holy Trinity, is the instrument of this unity of marriage between us and our Lord. Just as the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God came down to us from the Father, and built the bridge crossing between us and the Father across the chasms of sin, through Jesus too, the Holy Spirit came down from the Father and sealed our relationship with God, through the Apostles at Pentecost, when the Church was born. This is why, in our baptism too, we are baptised in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, that with the Holy Spirit that empowers, and the authority of the Father, and the Sacrifice of the Son, we are married to God and becomes His alone, and the devil has no part in us. In Confirmation, we receive further the gift of the Holy Spirit, which confirms our Faith in God and mark us with the gifts that enable us to perform good works and deeds in God’s name.

The Holy Spirit brings forth many gifts including even the gift of tongues and prophesy. But while there are Christians that put heavy emphasis on these aspects of the Holy Spirit, the true fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit are actually not on these, but on the gifts that permeates our heart, and allow God to be the centre of our lives, filling our hearts with love and compassion for others. In other times, also the gift of courage, to speak up for our fellow men, whenever we see injustice and attacks against the weak, the poor, and the lonely, and when there are attacks against God Himself, and against the sanctity of human life. The gift of courage and wisdom, and knowledge of God and His Scriptures, to proclaim to all around us, the Word of God, not just by speech and sermons, but most importantly, by good deeds and works through which all mankind can see that we truly belong to Christ, and see the Holy Spirit in us.

Then, there is Jesus’ ministry itself. After being baptised by John the Baptist in the River Jordan, Jesus was full with the Holy Spirit, and began His ministry after calling the first Apostles. The Wedding at Cana was where He conducted His first miracle, despite the fact that He was reluctant to do so. However, through this account, we can see indeed, the obedience Christ has for His mother, Mary, who truly cares for the wellbeing of God’s children, where in their happiest of times, marriage, the most terrible kind of disasters awaited them, as it was truly discourteous of the wedding groom and bride to have run out of wine in the days-long Jewish wedding. Although Jesus apparently said to Mary indifferently and seemingly not wishing to help as His time is yet to come, one can see that Jesus did listen to His mother’s pleas on behalf of the groom and the bride, and performed the miracle, saving the wedding of the loving couple from possible embarrassment.

This is why we pray through Mary (not praying to Mary or worshipping Mary), as Mary is the very Mother of our God, Theotokos, who brought our Lord Jesus into this world. Who is best to champion our cause and pleas other than Mary herself, who pleaded for the couple before Jesus, her Son? And Jesus loves His mother dearly and listens to her, as long as it is within the Lord’s will, if we pray through Mary, we will be heard. Nevertheless, prayers should be more than just asking petitions, and rather should be a true conversation with God, with His mother, and with all the holy peoples of God we choose to speak to in our prayers.

Then, to some, it seems that Christ was extremely rude in calling His mother, “Woman” in His response on Mary’s request. “Woman” may seem to us to be very rude, but in fact, it is an honour that was ascribed by Christ to His mother. In the first chapters of Genesis, we noted that in the account of Creation and the first people, Adam and Eve, the serpent-devil successfully tempted them to eat the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge. God punished them, but not before proclaiming before Satan, that He will put enmity between him and the woman, and his offspring and her offspring. And that the woman shall crush the serpent under her feet. This woman, in times immemorial and uncountable after the fall of mankind, is Mary. Mary, through her ultimate obedience in God, becomes the one who bore Christ into this world, the new Adam, and also the Saviour, whose enmity as the child of the woman, with the Satan and his offsprings, Sin, finally freed us from the eternal slavery of sin, through Christ’s sacrifice on the Calvary. It is through this Ultimate Sacrifice that Mary, as the woman, crushed the powers of evil forever. This is why, as Catholics, and indeed, as all Christians should do, we should properly venerate Mary, the Mother of God, the faithful one, and the one who Christ listens to, and most importantly, the one allowing our Salvation to happen by her obedience to the will of God.

Let us therefore renew our commitment for this coming weeks and months, to strengthen our faith in God, and to renew our dedication to Him, God who loves us despite our wrongdoings and waywardness. Let us ask God’s forgiveness and let Him embrace us with His love, a love that we ought to share with our fellow men. Let us also aspire to be more like Mary, the mother of our Lord, whose life and actions in her love and obedience to God should be our compass to guide us in our daily lives, so that we will not be lost amongst the waves of sin and materialism, but to always remain in focus on God, that through Mary, we can have a direct way to the Lord. Bring forth the Holy Spirit and use His gifts to us to bring the Good News to all, through our actions inspired by His gifts and presence in our hearts, that indeed the Holy Spirit will come upon our world and renews all the earth. Amen.

(Continue praying for the victims of flooding in Jakarta, which is still ongoing, and also those who suffer from natural disasters across the world. Also to those who suffer persecution and injustice, especially because of their faith. Let us pray through Mary, that she will bring our petitions for the sake of those who are suffering before her Son, who will surely listen, and bring God’s justice to their oppressors.)