Wednesday, 5 January 2022 : Wednesday after the Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture, we are all called to reflect on them and remember how each and every one of us have been beloved by God, and just how fortunate we are that we have God always by our side, always within our reach. If only that we have more faith in Him and learn to trust Him more then certainly we could have lived more in peace and harmony, and we could have a better time living in this world, with God as our assurance and strength.

In our first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. John, we heard how the Apostle spoke of God’s love and how each and every one of us as Christians are all called to reflect the love that God has taught us, revealed to us and shown us through His Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord. He is the perfect manifestation of God’s eternal and enduring love for each and every one of us, and we now have hope again because of Him, His love and all that He had done for us, the Love of God in the flesh, reaching out to us to help us be reconciled with our loving Father.

St. John also said that if we love God and show that same love to one another, the He is in us, dwelling with us, for He is our Lord and God, our Father and we are His children and His people. If we love the Lord and our fellow men, then God’s love itself is expressed through us and our actions. He mentioned how we have received the Holy Spirit, Whom He has sent to be with us, and through the same Holy Spirit therefore, we have known the love of God and we have been taught how to love our fellow men, in the same way that God Himself has loved us.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard from the Gospel of St. Mark in which the account of the Lord’s apparition before His disciples, walking miraculously on the water was told, in which we are again reminded of the love that God has for all of us, just as He has expressed it through His disciples and how each and every moments of our lives He has been with us, and He will never abandon us or leave us alone. Through that moment at the Lake of Galilee, the Lord wanted to reassure all of us that He is always with us and we have no need to fear anything at all.

The disciples were in the boat crossing the Lake ahead of the Lord when a great storm and huge waves struck against them, and they were all terrified, until the moment when the Lord came to them suddenly, walking on the water. Initially as we heard, the disciples were all terrified, thinking that they had seen a ghost. Yet, the Lord reassured and came to them, saying to them that they should not be afraid at all, for it is indeed Him Who had come to them, their Lord and Master.

Through that very symbolic moment at the Lake, as the Lord appeared to His disciples in their darkest and most terrifying moments, it is a great reminder to all of us that God is always by our side, even through the worst of storms and troubles in life. The storms and waves represent the challenges, trials and difficulties facing us in our journey of life. Yet, we should not be afraid or fear anything, because truly God is always there for us, and He will always do everything in His own way to help us.

Let us all not be afraid any longer and instead, we should trust in the Lord and put our faith in Him. Let us not be hesitant anymore to follow the Lord, but remind ourselves always of His great faithfulness to the Covenant that He had made with us, and believe in the love that He has so generously given us all, all these while. Let us devote ourselves to Our Lord with ever greater sincerity and commit ourselves thoroughly to His greater glory.

May the Lord, our most loving God and Father continue to watch over us and guide us in our journey towards Him. May He empower each and every one of us to live courageously and not to be afraid in doing what He has called us to do, entrusting everything to His providence and ever-present love, now and always. Amen.

Wednesday, 5 January 2022 : Wednesday after the Epiphany (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Mark 6 : 45-52

At that time, immediately, Jesus obliged His disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, toward Bethsaida, while He Himself sent the crowd away. And having sent the people off, He went by Himself to the hillside to pray.

When evening came, the boat was far out on the lake, while He was alone on the land. Jesus saw His disciples straining at the oars, for the wind was against them; and before daybreak He came to them, walking on the lake, and He was going to pass them by. When they saw Him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw Him and were terrified.

But, at once, He called to them, “Courage! It is I; do not be afraid!” Then Jesus got into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely astonished, for they had not really grasped the fact of the loaves; their minds were dull.

Wednesday, 5 January 2022 : Wednesday after the Epiphany (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 71 : 1-2, 10-11, 12-13

God, endow the King with Your justice, the Royal Son with Your righteousness. May He rule Your people justly and defend the rights of the lowly.

The kings of Tarshish and the islands render Him tribute, the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts, all kings bow down to Him, and all nations serve Him.

He delivers the needy who call on Him, the afflicted, with no one to help them. His mercy is upon the weak and the poor; He saves the lives of the poor.

Wednesday, 5 January 2022 : Wednesday after the Epiphany (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 4 : 11-18

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.

When do we know, that we have reached a perfect love? When, in this world, we are like Him, in everything, and expect, with confidence, the Day of Judgment. There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives away fear, for fear has to do with punishment; those who fear do not know perfect love.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021 : Wednesday after Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day all of us are reminded yet again that the Lord has revealed and manifested His love to us in the form of His Son, Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Who has been born into the world. This season of Christmas and at the Solemnity of the Epiphany, we are constantly being reminded of the Lord’s manifestation of His perfect love and compassion for us in Christ.

The Lord is reminding us to live in love, and to be loving just as He has been loving and kind to us. He has shown us so much compassion and kindness, and then therefore, we should also follow in His examples and all that He had taught us and revealed to us. He wants us all to learn from Him and follow the way that He has loved generously from His loving heart, so that each and every one of us may love Him and also love our fellow brethren as well.

In our Gospel passage today we heard of the Lord Jesus coming to His disciples when they were all in a boat in the middle of the stormy Lake of Galilee. There was such strong waves and wind that the boat where the disciples were travelling in was almost overcome and sunk, and the disciples were filled with fear and panic, worried about what would happen to them if the boat sank.

The Lord was praying at that time by Himself, and then He came towards them in the midst of all the waves and the storm, the wind and squalls. The disciples were worried and freaked out because they thought that they had seen a ghost. And all these happened just after they had witnessed the Lord performing the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand men with just five loaves of bread and two fish as per mentioned in yesterday’s Gospel.

The Lord has repeatedly shown His love to us all His people, and patiently reaching out to us to heal us and to bring us out of our predicament and troubles. But we need to have faith in Him, brothers and sisters in Christ. Unless we trust in Him and place our faith in Him, we will end up like the disciples who worried over their lives and were full of fear, ready to even abandon the ship, which would actually mean danger to their lives.

That is because when we panic, we end up making rash and improper decisions that we will only come to regret later on. Abandoning the boat was one of the last thing that the disciples should contemplate, as although the waves were indeed very powerful, but if they chose to abandon the ship, there goes therefore their last anchor to safety, as the waves could quickly overwhelm them and sank them.

The Lord Jesus came to them and calmed them, reassured them that it was indeed Him, and not a ghost or apparition. He reminded all of them that they need to have faith in Him, no matter how difficult, dangerous or terrible the situation might be for them. We must never forget that even through our most challenging situations, the Lord will always be by our side, journeying with us and leading the way for us.

We should keep this in mind even as we begin this new year with so many uncertainties and fears that remain over the pandemic and the other trials currently faced by the world. Instead of fear, we should deepen our faith in the Lord and resolve to commit ourselves ever more to the Lord, dedicating ourselves to Him with even greater faith and conviction, and becoming genuine and powerful witnesses of His love and hope in our communities today. We should reach out in love to all those suffering, and be selfless towards each other, and not only thinking of our own survival.

Let us all be the bearers of Christ’s light, His love and compassion in our world today, so that through our collective actions, no matter how little they may be, we may be brought ever closer to God and to His consoling love. May God be with us always, and may He strengthen each and every one of us, with His love and grace. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021 : Wednesday after Epiphany (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Mark 6 : 45-52

At that time, immediately, Jesus obliged His disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, toward Bethsaida, while He Himself sent the crowd away. And having sent the people off, He went by Himself to the hillside to pray.

When evening came, the boat was far out on the lake, while He was alone on the land. Jesus saw His disciples straining at the oars, for the wind was against them; and before daybreak He came to them, walking on the lake, and He was going to pass them by. When they saw Him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw Him and were terrified.

But, at once, He called to them, “Courage! It is I; do not be afraid!” Then Jesus got into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely astonished, for they had not really grasped the fact of the loaves; their minds were dull.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021 : Wednesday after Epiphany (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 71 : 1-2, 10-11, 12-13

God, endow the King with Your justice, the Royal Son with Your righteousness. May He rule Your people justly and defend the rights of the lowly.

The kings of Tarshish and the islands render Him tribute, the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts, all kings bow down to Him, and all nations serve Him.

He delivers the needy who call on Him, the afflicted, with no one to help them. His mercy is upon the weak and the poor; He saves the lives of the poor.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021 : Wednesday after Epiphany (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 4 : 11-18

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.

When do we know, that we have reached a perfect love? When, in this world, we are like Him, in everything, and expect, with confidence, the Day of Judgment. There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives away fear, for fear has to do with punishment; those who fear do not know perfect love.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014 : Wednesday after the Epiphany (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

God is with us, and He never leaves us, because He is in us and He remains with us, so long as we remain faithful ourselves towards Him. He steadies those who have faith in Him and keep them steady in the storm of the ocean that is this world. Like the disciples, if they keep their faith in God strong, their ship would not sink, because the Lord is with them.

God sent us His Son, Jesus Christ, to liberate us from the tyranny of sin and evil. No longer will evil have any power or sovereignty over us, as they once had since the days of the first mankind until the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This is the proof of Divine love, manifested in the suffering and death of Jesus.

And He did not just stop at that, because He promised and then sent the Advocate, that is the Holy Spirit, to come down upon His disciples on Pentecost, who then, through the disciples, passed on to all the faithful ones, all of us today. The Lord Himself dwells within us through His Most Holy Presence in the Eucharist, which we partake every time we participate in the Holy Mass.

We must always them keep all of our actions, our deeds and words within the bounds of the laws and the precepts of the Lord, because only then He will remain with us and stay within us, marking us as the ones worthy of His kingdom when He comes again at His second coming. We cannot just profess our faith in Christ without action, that is concrete action, based in love, the love of God.

Faith without love and good graces through our actions, again based on love, is dead. A dead faith is no good, and is no better than having no faith in the Lord. Our faith must be a vibrant and living faith, which is a faith made concrete by our own loving actions, both towards our neighbours, our fellow men and women, as well as of course, towards God Himself, who had first loved us.

God rewards those who have faith, and rewards those who love. This is because He treasures those who believe in Him and worship Him as the Lord their God, and those who follow His will, as revealed through the prophets and through the Lord Jesus Himself who revealed to us the true meaning of the commandments of God that is love.

And God will protect those who belong to Him and provide for them. They will be blessed and glorified. Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us put our complete trust in the Lord and love Him more and more day after day. Fear not the devil or any forces that threaten us, because the Lord is with us, on our side. Those who have any ill will against us will be destroyed before God.

Instead, brothers and sisters, we should love one another and care for each other, and give of ourselves to others in need, in the same way as Jesus Himself had given Himself to us, to be our help, our Saviour, and our hope. Be a beacon of light for the people of God, those who still live in darkness. Share with them, the love of God, that we have in us, because we have received the Holy Spirit and the Lord Himself dwells within us.

Let us profess love in all of our actions, words, and deeds, and spread the same love that God has given us through Jesus. Let us always remember that our faith is dead without action, and particularly without love. Let us from now on, if we have not done so, love one another, and love each other sincerely, forgiving each other of the mistakes we have done, and remove any grudge that existed between us. And finally, let us love Jesus our Lord with all our hearts, all of our strength and abilities!

Lord Jesus, love us ever more and continue to watch over us, and make us to realise how great the love You have for us, that we may love You ever more too! Amen.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014 : Wednesday after the Epiphany (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Mark 6 : 45-52

Immediately, Jesus obliged His disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, towards Bethsaida, while He Himself sent the crowd away. And having sent the people off, He went by Himself to the hillside to pray.

When evening came, the boat was far out on the lake, while He was alone on the land. Jesus saw His disciples straining at the oars, for the wind was against them; and before daybreak He came to them, walking on the lake, and He was going to pass them by.

When they saw Him walking on the lake, they thought It was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw Him and were terrified. But at once He called to them, “Courage! It is I; do not be afraid!” Then Jesus got into the boat with them, and the wind died down.

They were completely astonished, for they had not really grasped the fact of the loaves; their minds were dull.