Monday, 22 July 2019 : Feast of St. Mary Magdalene (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 1-2, 11-18

Now, on the first day after the Sabbath, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning while it was still dark, and she saw that the stone blocking the tomb had been moved away. She ran to Peter, and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and she said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

Mary stood weeping outside the tomb; and as she wept, she bent down to look inside. She saw two Angels in white, sitting where the Body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I do not know where they have put Him.” As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognise Him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and answered Him, “Lord, if You have taken Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will go and remove Him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned, and said to Him, “Rabboni!” – which means Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and say to them : I am ascending to My Father, Who is your Father, to My God, Who is your God.”

So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what He said to me.”

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 11-18

At that time, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb; and as she wept, she bent down to look inside. She saw two Angels in white, sitting where the Body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I do not know where they have put Him.” As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognise Him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and answered Him, “Lord, if You have taken Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will go and remove Him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned, and said to Him, “Rabboni!” – which means Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and say to them : I am ascending to My Father, Who is your Father, to My God, Who is your God.”

So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what He said to me.”

Monday, 22 April 2019 : Monday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 28 : 8-15

At that time, the woman left the tomb at once in fear, yet with great joy, and they ran to tell the news to Jesus’ disciples. Suddenly, He met them on the way and said, “Rejoice!” The women approached Him, embraced His feet and worshipped Him. But Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid! Go and tell My brothers to set out for Galilee; there they will see Me.”

While the women were on their way, the guards returned to the city, and some of them reported to the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests met with the elders, and decided to give the soldiers a large sum of money, with this instruction, “Say that His disciples came by night while you were asleep, and stole the Body of Jesus. If Pilate comes to know of this, we will explain the situation and keep you out of trouble.”

The soldiers accepted the money and did as they were told. This story has circulated among the Jews until this day.

Friday, 6 April 2018 : Friday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 21 : 1-14

At that time, after Jesus appeared to Thomas and His disciples, He revealed Himself to them by the lake of Tiberias. He appeared to them in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas who was called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two other disciples were together; and Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They replied, “We will come with you.” And they went out and got into the boat, but they caught nothing that night.

When day had already broken, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus called them, “Friends, have you anything to eat?” They answered, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “Throw the net on the right side of the boat and you will find something.” When they had lowered the net, they were not able to pull it in because of the great number of fish.”

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” At these words, “It is the Lord!” Simon Peter put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and jumped into the water. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish; they were not far from land, about a hundred metres.

When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed into the boat and pulled the net to shore. It was full of big fish – one hundred and fifty-three – but, in spite of this, the net was not torn.

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” And not one of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are You?” for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and He did the same with the fish. This was the third time that Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples after rising from the dead.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016 : Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
John 20 : 2-8

At that time, Mary of Magdala ran to Peter, and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and she said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

Peter then set out with the other disciple to go out to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down and saw the linen cloths lying flat, but he did not enter. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and entered the tomb; he, too, saw the linen cloths lying flat.

The napkin, which had been around His head, was not lying flat like the other linen cloths, but lay rolled up in its place. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016 : First Week of Easter, Tuesday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard more about the testimony of faith by St. Peter the Apostle, after they have received the Holy Spirit, the Advocate God had promised to them. The disciples of Jesus were once afraid to even come out in the open, and after Jesus had died on the cross, they were really like chickens who just lost their mother hen, and they were in despair.

But the Lord showed them that there is always hope beyond the despair, light beyond the darkness. And despite the darkest moments, the light of God shone through, and hope blossomed. And it is this hope which we are all celebrating with great joy during this time of Easter. God will not abandon His beloved people to the darkness, and He will rescue them from all of their troubles.

In the Gospel we heard of how Mary of Magdala, or Mary Magdalene, one of the most faithful disciples of Jesus, was weeping, and she was filled with sorrow, uncertainty and fear, all because of the fact that the Body of her Lord and Master had gone missing, and she did not know who dared to come and take the Body away, and she had no clue to its whereabouts.

And certainly we have also felt the same feeling too, brothers and sisters in Christ? We have felt in the same manner whenever we feel and find that life is getting tough on us, when we thought that no one cares about us, or when we think that God has abandoned us. That was the same sentiment and feeling that Mary of Magdala, the Apostles, including Peter himself encountered in their own life journey in faith.

But God showed them that there is hope beyond the darkness, and if they persevered in faith, and continued to devote themselves to Him, then they shall receive great rewards indeed. This is the joy of our Easter celebrations, as we rejoice together, celebrating the victory of our God, and indeed, our own victory against all those who sought to bring harm and evil intention upon us.

It is in our human nature for us to feel fear, uncertainty, and it is indeed easier for us to look on despair rather than hope, especially in times of great difficulty. But we must remember that no matter how bad things are, and no matter how great the troubles facing us are, if we put our trust in the Lord, we should have no need for fear. It is precisely because we often put our trust in the strength of men that we get disappointed, because we are putting our trust in something that feeble and untrustworthy.

Let us all reflect on this even as we rejoice in our Risen Lord during this time of Easter. Let us all renew our faith and our commitment to Him, and open ourselves to welcome Him into our lives. May the grace and the love, the light and the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of us, strengthening us and giving us the strong resolve to carry on with great zeal and commitment.

May the Lord bless us all and bless all of our endeavours, and may He grant us rest and peace, for all of us who believed in Him, and all of us who have placed ourselves under His protection. God be with all of us, and may the joy of Easter be with us always. Amen.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016 : First Week of Easter, Tuesday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 11-18

At that time, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb; and as she wept, she bent down to look inside. She saw two Angels in white, sitting where the Body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I do not know where they have put Him.” As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognise Him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and answered Him, “Lord, if You have taken Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will go and remove Him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned, and said to Him, “Rabboni!” – which means Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and say to them : I am ascending to My Father, Who is your Father, to My God, Who is your God.”

So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what He said to me.”

Tuesday, 7 April 2015 : Tuesday within Easter Octave, Memorial of St. John Baptist de La Salle, Priest (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard two stories from the Scriptures. Our first reading, the reading from the Acts of the Apostles showed us how the Church of God was born, through the testimony which Peter showed the people in Jerusalem at the time of the Pentecost, and converted three thousand people who gave themselves to be baptised.

And in the Gospel from the Gospel according to St. John, we heard about the story of how Mary Magdalene, the faithful woman who was among the chief female disciples of Jesus, who grieved because she thought someone had stolen the body of Jesus, only for Jesus Himself to show Himself to her, as a proof that His body was not lost or stolen, but instead He had risen in glory, in Body and Spirit, just as the prophets had foretold about Him.

All these showed us that while once we were unsure of what is to become of us, and while we were once sorrowful and grieving because of our sins and wickedness, but because Christ is risen from the dead, we can rejoice once again, because we now know that death does not have the final say over us. We have no need to fear death, because death is just the beginning of a new life filled with joy and happiness with God, and not the end.

Through baptism, we have died to our old selves, our sinful past and our wicked nature, and we have been brought into a new life founded upon the Law and precepts of the Lord. Through baptism we have shared in the death of our Lord Jesus, cast away all of the impurities of our old selves, and then share in the resurrection of our Lord, reborn anew in a body of grace and filled with the light of God.

But one thing we cannot forget is that, while we all have been saved and made whole, there are many others who are still left behind in the darkness, and many of them do not know the way to go in order to reach the Lord their God. Thus they remain lost in the darkness, condemned and forsaken. Many remained lost and many have not yet heard the Good News of our Lord and His truth. Many remains unloved and uncared for, even rejected by the society for their sins.

Today we celebrate the feast day of St. John Baptist de la Salle, a French priest who lived a few hundred years ago, who was the founder of the order of the Brothers of Christian Schools, missionaries and people dedicated to the service of God and His people, especially in the field of Catholic education, educating countless masses and people throughout the world.

St. John Baptist de la Salle was from a privileged background and had a wonderful career as a priest and canon of the Cathedral of Rheims, a well-respected position and assured career, but he heard a higher call and decided that there was still so many things he could do in order to help all those people who were poor, lowest and least in the society, many of whom have not been saved due to their sins and wickedness.

And by what he had started then, many people and many souls had been saved from the brink of disaster, rescued from the darkness and brought into the light. We too should follow in his footsteps and realise how much we can do in order to change the fate of so many others around us. We cannot be apathetic to their cause, for we are all brethren in the same Lord.

And did the Lord Jesus not command His disciples to spread the Good News of salvation to all of the world? Yes, this He did, and it is therefore, our duty and obligation, for us to preach the Good News of God and carry it far and wide. Thus, let us make this Easter more meaningful by using it to deepen our faith and devotion, through real action in bringing the Good News of God to those who have yet heard it, so that they too may be saved. God bless us all. Amen.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015 : Tuesday within Easter Octave, Memorial of St. John Baptist de La Salle, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 11-18

At that time, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb; and as she wept, she bent down to look inside. She saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet.

They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I do not know where they have put Him.” As she said this, ahe turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognise Him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and answered Him, “Lord, if You have taken Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will go and remove Him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned, and said to Him, “Rabboni!” – which means Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and say to them : ‘I am ascending to My Father, who is your Father, to My God, who is your God.'”

So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what He said to me.”