Monday 27 November 2017

Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Ps 84: 9

The Lord speaks of peace to his people and his holy onesand to those who turn to him.


Stir up the will of your faithful, we pray, O Lord,that, striving more eagerlyto bring your divine work to fruitful completion,they may receive in greater measurethe healing remedies your kindness bestows.Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever.

First reading : Daniel 1:1-6,8-20

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched on Jerusalem and besieged it. The Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hands, with some of the furnishings of the Temple of God. He took them away to the land of Shinar, and stored the sacred vessels in the treasury of his own gods.The king ordered Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to select from the Israelites a certain number of boys of either royal or noble descent; they had to be without any physical defect, of good appearance, trained in every kind of wisdom, well-informed, quick at learning, suitable for service in the palace of the king. Ashpenaz himself was to teach them the language and literature of the Chaldaeans. The king assigned them a daily allowance of food and wine from his own royal table. They were to receive an education lasting for three years, after which they were expected to be fit for the king’s society. Among them were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, who were Judaeans. Daniel, who was most anxious not to defile himself with the food and wine from the royal table, begged the chief eunuch to spare him this defilement; and by the grace of God Daniel met goodwill and sympathy on the part of the chief eunuch. But he warned Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king: he has assigned you food and drink, and if he sees you looking thinner in the face than the other boys of your age, my head will be in danger with the king because of you.’ At this Daniel turned to the guard whom the chief eunuch had assigned to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He said, ‘Please allow your servants a ten days’ trial, during which we are given only vegetables to eat and water to drink. You can then compare our looks with those of the boys who eat the king’s food; go by what you see, and treat your servants accordingly.’ The man agreed to do what they asked and put them on ten days’ trial. When the ten days were over they looked and were in better health than any of the boys who had eaten their allowance from the royal table; so the guard withdrew their allowance of food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. And God favoured these four boys with knowledge and intelligence in everything connected with literature, and in wisdom; while Daniel had the gift of interpreting every kind of vision and dream. When the period stipulated by the king for the boys’ training was over, the chief eunuch presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. The king conversed with them, and among all the boys found none to equal Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. So they became members of the king’s court, and on whatever point of wisdom or information he might question them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.

Canticle : Daniel 3:52-56

You are blest, Lord God of our fathers.

To you glory and praise for evermore.

Blest your glorious holy name.

To you glory and praise for evermore.

You are blest in the temple of your glory.

To you glory and praise for evermore.

You are blest on the throne of your kingdom.

To you glory and praise for evermore.

You are blest who gaze into the depths.

To you glory and praise for evermore.

You are blest in the firmament of heaven.

To you glory and praise for evermore.

Gospel Acclamation : Rv2:10

Alleluia, alleluia!Even if you have to die, says the Lord,keep faithful, and I will give youthe crown of life.Alleluia!

Gospel : Luke 21:1-4

As Jesus looked up, he saw rich people putting their offerings into the treasury; then he happened to notice a poverty-stricken widow putting in two small coins, and he said, ‘I tell you truly, this poor widow has put in more than any of them; for these have all contributed money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in all she had to live on.’

Prayer over the Offerings

Accept, O Lord, the sacred offeringswhich at your bidding we dedicate to your nameand, in order that through these giftswe may become worthy of your love,grant us unfailing obedience to your commands.Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon : Ps 116: 1, 2

O praise the Lord, all you nations,for his merciful love towards us is great.

Prayer after Communion

We pray, almighty God,that those to whom you give the joyof participating in divine mysteriesmay never be parted from you.Through Christ our Lord.

Jesus being God and man can see deep down into people’s hearts and tell what’s going on there. In the gospel, he is in the temple watching rich and prestigious people putting money into the collection boxyet he notices a poor widow who gave to the Lord all she had to live on. Jesus was so much touched by her generosity because he knew that the corrupt scribes were the beneficiaries of the temple donations. They were ripping off the widows and orphans. He said, beware of the scribes who swallow the property of widows (Lk 20:47). Jesus was in condemnation of a politico-religious system that exploits and impoverishes the poor and vulnerable of the society.  From another perspective, Jesus is teaching us that what matters in God’s sight is not the amount we give but the cost to the giver. God looks at the beauty of the heart, the means and the motives of the giver. We should be free and generous whenever we give to enhance the cause of the gospel. Nothing is ever too small when we give liberally and cheerfully from our hearts. God who loves a cheerful giver sees us and will replenish.

2017 Nov 26 SUN: CHRIST THE KING S (Thirty-fourth and Last Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Entrance Antiphon : Rv 5: 12; 1: 6

How worthy is the Lamb who was slain,to receive power and divinity,and wisdom and strength and honour.To him belong glory and power for ever and ever.


Almighty ever-living God,whose will is to restore all thingsin your beloved Son, the King of the universe,grant, we pray,that the whole creation, set free from slavery,may render your majesty serviceand ceaselessly proclaim your praise.Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever.

First reading Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17

The Lord says this: I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view. As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall I keep my sheep in view. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness. I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest–it is the Lord who speaks. I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong. I shall watch over the fat and healthy. I shall be a true shepherd to them.    As for you, my sheep, the Lord says this: I will judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and he-goats.


Psalm 22:1-3,5-6

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

  1. The Lord is my shepherd;there is nothing I shall want.Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose.
  2. Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit. He guides me along the right path; he is true to his name.
  3. You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes. My head you have anointed with oil; my cup is overflowing.
  4. Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwellfor ever and ever.

Second reading 1 Corinthians 15:20-26,28

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet. And when everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subject in his turn to the One who subjected all things to him, so that God may be all in all.

Gospel AcclamationMk11:10

Alleluia, alleluia!Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!Blessings on the coming kingdom of our father David!Alleluia!

Gospel Matthew 25:31-46

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.‘Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the King will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” ‘Next he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.” Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?” Then he will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.”    ‘And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.’

Prayer over the Offerings

As we offer you, O Lord, the sacrificeby which the human race is reconciled to you,we humbly pray,that your Son himself may bestow on all nationsthe gifts of unity and peace.Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon : Ps 28: 10-11

The Lord sits as King for ever.The Lord will bless his people with peace.


Prayer after Communion

Having received the food of immortality,we ask, O Lord,that, glorying in obedienceto the commands of Christ, the King of the universe,we may live with him eternally in his heavenly kingdom.Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Jesus’ story about the separation of goats and sheep must have unsettled his audience. In arid lands goats and sheep often grazed together during the day because green pasture was sparse. They were separated at night because goats needed shelter.  Goats were also less docile and more restless than sheep. They came to symbolize evil and the expression scape-goat has become a common expression for someone bearing blame for others.  Separation is an inevitable consequence of judgment.  The Day of Judgment will reveal who showed true compassion and mercy toward their neighbor. As much as we might like to judge the parables, the parables, nonetheless, judge us.  Jesus teaches us a very important lesson about loving our neighbor and taking responsibility for others.  God will judge us not only for the wrong we have done but also for what we have failed to do.  Now is the time of God’s mercy for seeking his help and grace to turn away from sin and to walk in his way of love.  Ask the Lord to purify your heart that you may love as he loves and live charitably with all.

Friday 24 November 2017 Saint Andrew Dung-Lac and his Companions, Martyrs

Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Gal 6: 14; cf. 1 Cor 1: 18

May we never boast, except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the word of the Cross is the power of God to us who have been saved.


O God, source and origin of all fatherhood, who kept the Martyrs Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc and his companions faithful to the Cross of your Son, even to the shedding of their blood,  grant, through their intercession, that, spreading your love among our brothers and sisters, we may be your children both in name and in truth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


First reading : 1 Maccabees 4:36-37,52-59

Judas and his brothers said, ‘Now that our enemies have been defeated, let us go up to purify the sanctuary and dedicate it.’ So they marshalled the whole army, and went up to Mount Zion. On the twenty-fifth of the ninth month, Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-eight, they rose at dawn and offered a lawful sacrifice on the new altar of holocausts which they had made. The altar was dedicated, to the sound of zithers, harps and cymbals, at the same time of year and on the same day on which the pagans had originally profaned it. The whole people fell prostrate in adoration, praising to the skies him who had made them so successful. For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar, joyfully offering holocausts, communion sacrifices and thanksgivings. They ornamented the front of the Temple with crowns and bosses of gold, repaired the gates and the storerooms and fitted them with doors. There was no end to the rejoicing among the people, and the reproach of the pagans was lifted from them. Judas, with his brothers and the whole assembly of Israel, made it a law that the days of the dedication of the altar should be celebrated yearly at the proper season, for eight days beginning on the twenty-fifth of the month Chislev, with rejoicing and gladness.

Canticle : 1 Chronicles 29:10-12

R/ We praise your glorious name, O Lord.

  1. Blessed are you, O Lord,the God of Israel our father,for ever, for ages unending.
  2. Yours, Lord, are greatness and power,and splendour and triumph and glory.All is yours, in heaven and on earth.
  3. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom,you are supreme over all.Both honour and riches come from you.
  4. You are the ruler of all,from your hand come strength and power,from your hand come greatness and might.

Gospel Acclamation : cf.2Tim1:10

Alleluia, alleluia!Our Saviour Jesus Christ abolished deathand he has proclaimed life through the Good News.Alleluia!

Gospel : Luke 19:45-48

Jesus went into the Temple and began driving out those who were selling. ‘According to scripture,’ he said ‘my house will be a house of prayer. But you have turned it into a robbers’ den.’He taught in the Temple every day. The chief priests and the scribes, with the support of the leading citizens, tried to do away with him, but they did not see how they could carry this out because the people as a whole hung on his words.

Prayer over the Offerings

Receive, O holy Father, the offerings we bring as we venerate the passion of the holy Martyrs, so that amid the trials of this life we may always be found faithful and may offer ourselves to you as an acceptable sacrifice. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon : Mt 5: 10

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Prayer after Communion

Renewed by the one Bread as we commemorate the holy Martyrs, we humbly beseech you, O Lord, that, abiding as one in your love, we may merit by endurance an eternal prize. Through Christ our Lord.

The temple is a place of encounter with God. But the Jews had transformed this sacred space into a beehive of commercial activities to the vexation of Jesus.  In today’s Gospel Jesus drives the animal merchants and moneychangers out of the temple saying, “Take these things away and do not make my Father’s house into a market place. Some interpreters have tried to depict Jesus as an angry and violet person. But Pope Benedict XVI says, it is impossible to interpret Jesus as violet because violence is against the kingdom of God; it is an instrument of the antichrist.  Violence never serves humanity, but dehumanizes it (March 12, 2012 St Peter’s Square). Jesus rather shows zeal and passion for his father’s house that is a place of worship and prayer. We too must learn to respect and reverence God’s house by observing silence in church, turning off our cell phones, remove the gum from our mouth and fully participate in the liturgy.

Saturday 25 November 2017 Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin, Martyr

Entrance Antiphon : Jer 29: 11, 12, 14

The Lord said: I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction.You will call upon me, and I will answer you,and I will lead back your captives from every place.


Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God,the constant gladness of being devoted to you,for it is full and lasting happinessto serve with constancythe author of all that is good.Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever.

First reading : 1 Maccabees 6:1-13

King Antiochus was making his way across the upper provinces; he had heard that in Persia there was a city called Elymais, renowned for its riches, its silver and gold, and its very wealthy temple containing golden armour, breastplates and weapons, left there by Alexander son of Philip, the king of Macedon, the first to reign over the Greeks. He therefore went and attempted to take the city and pillage it, but without success, since the citizens learnt of his intention, and offered him a stiff resistance, whereupon he turned about and retreated, disconsolate, in the direction of Babylon. But while he was still in Persia news reached him that the armies that had invaded the land of Judah had been defeated, and that Lysias in particular had advanced in massive strength, only to be forced to turn and flee before the Jews; these had been strengthened by the acquisition of arms, supplies and abundant spoils from the armies they had cut to pieces; they had overthrown the abomination he had erected over the altar in Jerusalem, and had encircled the sanctuary with high walls as in the past, and had fortified Bethzur, one of his cities. When the king heard this news he was amazed and profoundly shaken; he threw himself on his bed and fell into a lethargy from acute disappointment, because things had not turned out for him as he had planned. And there he remained for many days, subject to deep and recurrent fits of melancholy, until he understood that he was dying. Then summoning all his Friends, he said to them, ‘Sleep evades my eyes, and my heart is cowed by anxiety. I have been asking myself how I could have come to such a pitch of distress, so great a flood as that which now engulfs me – I who was so generous and well-loved in my heyday. But now I remember the wrong I did in Jerusalem when I seized all the vessels of silver and gold there, and ordered the extermination of the inhabitants of Judah for no reason at all. This, I am convinced, is why these misfortunes have overtaken me, and why I am dying of melancholy in a foreign land.’

Psalm : Ps9A:2-4,6,16,19

R/ I will rejoice in your saving help, O Lord.

  1. I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;I will recount all your wonders. I will rejoice in you and be glad,and sing psalms to your name, O Most High.
  2. See how my enemies turn back,how they stumble and perish before you.You have checked the nations, destroyed the wicked;you have wiped out their name for ever and ever.
  3. The nations have fallen in the pit which they made,their feet caught in the snare they laid. for the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hopes of the poor be in vain.

Gospel Acclamation : cf.Lk8:15

Alleluia, alleluia!Blessed are those who, with a noble and generous heart,take the word of God to themselvesand yield a harvest through their perseverance.Alleluia!

Gospel : Luke 20:27-40

Some Sadducees – those who say that there is no resurrection – approached him and they put this question to him, ‘Master, we have it from Moses in writing, that if a man’s married brother dies childless, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Well then, there were seven brothers. The first, having married a wife, died childless. The second and then the third married the widow. And the same with all seven, they died leaving no children. Finally the woman herself died Now, at the resurrection, to which of them will she be wife since she had been married to all seven?’Jesus replied, ‘The children of this world take wives and husbands, but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and in the resurrection from the dead do not marry because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God. And Moses himself implies that the dead rise again, in the passage about the bush where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive.’Some scribes then spoke up. ‘Well put, Master’ they said – because they would not dare to ask him any more questions.

Prayer over the Offerings

Grant, O Lord, we pray,that what we offer in the sight of your majestymay obtain for us the grace of being devoted to youand gain us the prize of everlasting happiness.Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon : Ps 72: 28

To be near God is my happiness,to place my hope in God the Lord.

Prayer after Communion

We have partaken of the gifts of this sacred mystery,humbly imploring, O Lord,that what your Son commanded us to doin memory of himmay bring us growth in charity.Through Christ our Lord.

The Sadducees were a group that did not believe in the resurrection of the dead and so to debunk and ridicule Jesus’ teachings on the resurrection they asked him,“Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother. There were seven brothers who got married to one woman and all died leaving no children. Finally, the woman died too. At the resurrection whose wife will she be? Jesus was quick to point out how wrong and mistaken they were because they thought life after death was a continuation of the present life with the demands of sex, marriage and maintaining the family name. At the resurrection we put on a glorified and imperishable body. We are like angels and no longer subject to the demands of the flesh.

Thursday 23 November 2017 Saint Clement I, Pope, Martyr Saint Columbanus, Abbot and Missionary

Entrance Antiphon : Jer 29: 11, 12, 14

The Lord said: I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction.You will call upon me, and I will answer you,and I will lead back your captives from every place.


Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God,the constant gladness of being devoted to you,for it is full and lasting happinessto serve with constancythe author of all that is good.Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever.

First reading : 1 Maccabees 2:15-29

The commissioners of King Antiochus who were enforcing the apostasy came to the town of Modein to make them sacrifice. Many Israelites gathered round them, but Mattathias and his sons drew apart. The king’s commissioners then addressed Mattathias as follows, ‘You are a respected leader, a great man in this town; you have sons and brothers to support you. Be the first to step forward and conform to the king’s decree, as all the nations have done, and the leaders of Judah and the survivors in Jerusalem; you and your sons shall be reckoned among the Friends of the King, you and your sons shall be honoured with gold and silver and many presents.’ Raising his voice, Mattathias retorted, ‘Even if every nation living in the king’s dominions obeys him, each forsaking its ancestral religion to conform to his decrees, I, my sons and my brothers will still follow the covenant of our ancestors. Heaven preserve us from forsaking the Law and its observances. As for the king’s orders, we will not follow them: we will not swerve from our own religion either to right or to left.’ As he finished speaking, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice on the altar in Modein as the royal edict required. When Mattathias saw this, he was fired with zeal; stirred to the depth of his being, he gave vent to his legitimate anger, threw himself on the man and slaughtered him on the altar. At the same time he killed the king’s commissioner who was there to enforce the sacrifice, and tore down the altar. In his zeal for the Law he acted as Phinehas did against Zimri son of Salu. Then Mattathias went through the town, shouting at the top of his voice, ‘Let everyone who has a fervour for the Law and takes his stand on the covenant come out and follow me.’ Then he fled with his sons into the hills, leaving all their possessions behind in the town.At this, many who were concerned for virtue and justice went down to the desert and stayed there.

Psalm : Ps49:1-2,5-6,14-15

R/ I will show God’s salvation to the upright.

  1. The God of gods, the Lord,has spoken and summoned the earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting.Out of Zion’s perfect beauty he shines.
  2. ‘Summon before me my people, who made covenant with me by sacrifice.’ The heavens proclaim his justice,for he, God, is the judge.
  3. Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God, and render him your votive offerings. Call on me in the day of distress.I will free you and you shall honour me.’

Gospel Acclamation : Ps118:135

Alleluia, alleluia!Let your face shine on your servant,and teach me your decrees.Alleluia!

Gospel : Luke 19:41-44

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem and came in sight of the city he shed tears over it and said, ‘If you in your turn had only understood on this day the message of peace! But, alas, it is hidden from your eyes! Yes, a time is coming when your enemies will raise fortifications all round you, when they will encircle you and hem you in on every side; they will dash you and the children inside your walls to the ground; they will leave not one stone standing on another within you – and all because you did not recognise your opportunity when God offered it!’

Prayer over the Offerings

Grant, O Lord, we pray,that what we offer in the sight of your majestymay obtain for us the grace of being devoted to youand gain us the prize of everlasting happiness.Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon : Ps 72: 28

To be near God is my happiness,to place my hope in God the Lord.

Prayer after Communion

We have partaken of the gifts of this sacred mystery,humbly imploring, O Lord,that what your Son commanded us to doin memory of himmay bring us growth in charity.Through Christ our Lord.

What enables us to live in peace and harmony with our families, neighbours, local communities, and the wider community of peoples and nations? The Father in heaven sent his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to reconcile us with God and to unite us with one another in a bond of peace and mutual love. Jesus' earthly ministry centers and culminates in Jerusalem, which Scripture describes as the holy city, the throne of the Lord (Jeremiah 3:17); and the place which God chose for his name to dwell there (1Kings 11:13; 2 Kings 21:4; 2 Kings 23:27); and the holy mountain upon which God has set his king (Psalm 2:6). Jerusalem derives its name from the word "salem" which mean "peace". The temple in Jerusalem was a constant reminder to the people of God's presence with them.