MASS SCHEDULES

Monday to Friday
9:00am to 11:30am
2:00pm – 5:00pm

Saturday
10:30am to 1:00pm

Sunday & Public Holidays
Closed.

Each group may have no more than 2 persons

As of 27th Sep 2021

To visit the Chapel, you must be registered with the Church of the Holy Trinity on Mycatholic.sg

 Monday to Friday
 9:00am to 11:30am
2:00pm to 5:00pm

 Saturday
10:30am to 1:00pm
(3rd Sat of the month closed)
Closed on 25 Dec.

 Sunday & Public Holidays
Closed.

Each group may have no more than 5 persons

As of 16th December 2021

Monday to Friday
9.00 am to 6.00 pm

Saturday & Sundays
9.00 am to 1.00 pm

Public Holidays
Closed

Kindly book your Mass online at myCatholic.sg.
Admission is strictly by advance booking.
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Monday to Friday:

  • 6.30 am (Vaccinated only)
  • 6.00 pm (Vaccinated only)

Saturday:

  • 6.30 am (Vaccinated only)
  • 5.30 pm (Vaccinated only)

Sunday:

  • 6.45 am (Vaccinated only)
  • 9.00 am (Vaccinated only)
  • 11.00 am Vaccinated only)
  • 1.00pm (Mandarin)(Vaccinated only)
  • 5.30 pm (50pax unvaccinated)

Public Holiday:

  • 9.00 am (Vaccinated only)

As of 27th Sep 2021.

  • Sunday Mass – 10:00am
  • Weekday Mass – 12:00 noon

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18 January, 2022, Tuesday, Week 2 in Ordinary Time

January 18, 2022

GOD’S SOVEREIGN CHOICE OF IMPERFECT LEADERS

How do we select our leaders today?   Most of the time, we examine the external qualities of a person.  We are impressed by one who speaks eloquently, writes beautifully, is intellectually brilliant, has high emotional quotient, is good at organizing and has good public relations skills.  Often, we also judge by the look and height of the person, his dressing, his background, race and even religion.  This is why today, projecting a good image of oneself is very important if one is to get ahead in life.  Actors, celebrities, political leaders and even religious leaders seek to make themselves acceptable to the public.  We are concerned about how popular we are and how many like what we do or say.  Very often, portrayal of some personalities are not real but merely virtual realities.  Indeed, millions of dollars are spent on building their public persona in the media, cosmetic surgery to improve their physical image and video/film makers to create a perfect virtual reality of these celebrities.  

This is why today much of what we see are fake.  Many live double-lives.   They are projected to be the ideal, perfect, handsome, flawless with all the desirable traits on earth.  But we know that many of them hate themselves.  They have deep insecurity issues, emotional and psychological problems.  They pretend to be happy but they are not.  They are very lonely.  They have to project themselves to be the happiest people on earth, always beautifully dressed and moving in the right social circles.  But they know that this is all an exaggeration.  In their private life, they want to dress simply, live simply and they seek genuine friendship and love.   They are desperate to be loved for who they truly are and not what people expect of them. 

Such exaggeration is not new; it is as old as the Church.  In the lives of the saints, we tend to portray them as almost perfect in their way of life, without any flaws or imperfections.  They are presented in such heroic terms that they also become our perfect models.  Of course, the difference is that the saints are presented not in worldly terms but in their virtues.  They are meant to inspire us.  So much so, most of us feel that we cannot be like them. We say, “we are not saints” when we are called to defend our weaknesses.  What we mean is that we are not perfect like the saints.  Thus, today, saints are not presented in their perfection but only those qualities that shine out in that saint.

But in truth, God does not choose perfect people to be his leaders.  As the Lord told Samuel, “Take no notice of his appearance or his height for I have rejected him; God does not see as man sees; man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.”  Indeed, Samuel like most of us, tend to judge from the outside.  He had already made his first mistake in choosing Saul because he was tall and handsome.  In view of his height, standing tall above others, he thought Saul would be a good leader to fight the Philistines who were known for their height.  But Saul was insecure of his position, suspicious of his competitors, jealous and envious.  He disobeyed God and made presumption of how God should be worshipped.  His heart was not with God or with the people of Israel.  It was about himself.  

Samuel who supported him was even seen as a threat to his position, so much so when the Lord asked Samuel to go and anoint one of the sons of Jesse to be the next king, he was fearful of risking his life.  “Samuel replied, ‘How can I go?  When Saul hears of it he will kill me.’  Then the Lord said, ‘Take a heifer with you and say, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.”  Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and then I myself will tell you what you must do; you must anoint to me the one I point out to you.”  So God helped him to find an excuse to go and anoint the son of Jesse as king.  He made it appear to be just a sacrifice for some offences committed.

But Samuel, just like us, never learnt his lesson. We cannot accept imperfections in our leaders.  Samuel was grieving over God’s disappointment of Saul.  The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you go on mourning over Saul when I have rejected him as king of Israel?  Fill your horn with oil and go.  I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen myself a king among his sons.”  Then when he was with Jesse, he was still looking for someone like Saul, tall and handsome.  “He caught sight of Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed one stands there before him.’”‘  Indeed, in our relationships, how often have we tended to replace one failed relationship with another who looks just like our lost love, only to have it turn out to be worse than the previous one.  We have an image of who is good and perfect for us.

But God’s choice is often beyond our logical selection.  He chose David, the youngest who was like a shepherd boy.  He must have been thought to be insignificant by his father and hence was not present for the sacrificial meal.  But the Lord said, “‘Come, anoint him, for this is the one.’  At this Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him where he stood with his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord seized on David and stayed with him from that day on.”  Indeed, that has always been the case in previous choices.  He chose Abel over Cain, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over the rest of his brothers, Moses over Aaron.  These people were not perfect either.  Jacob was a cheat, Joseph was boastful and egoistic, Moses was impatient and temperamental.  

King David, although the ideal King of Israel, was not perfect either.  He committed adultery and murdered Bathsheba’s husband.  He disobeyed God by calling for a census of his army.  Against the conception of the religious leaders that to be saved, observance of the Law to the detail was paramount, and even higher than the Prophets and the Writings, Jesus used the example of King David who, when fleeing for his life, broke the law by taking the consecrated bread from the tabernacle meant only for the priests to consume.  But that was not the worst sin.  He lied to Ahimelech, the high priest then, that he was on a secret mission sent by Saul.  When Saul found out, he thought Ahimelech helped David to escape and had all the 85 priests slaughtered.  (cf 1 Sm 21) So his lie caused the death of the entire tribe in Nob.

Yet, God chose him because He knew that he had a good heart.  He was weak when it came to lust.  But when his mistake was pointed out by the prophet Nathan, he confessed humbly and accepted the punishment of God.  He sought to walk the ways of the Lord.  He spent hours composing psalms to glorify Him.  David remained the ideal king even though he broke the law and caused his men to suffer because he disobeyed the Lord in calling for a census.  As a consequence, seventy thousand of his men died from the pestilence.  He learnt his lesson and he repented.  God accepted his weakness and forgave him.

In the New Testament, Jesus chose the Twelve apostles who were certainly not from the intelligentsia or the elite class.  St Paul wrote, “Consider your own call, brothers and sisters not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Cor 1:26-30)  Indeed, the apostles were seen to be fighting for position and power.  They were impatient.  They betrayed our Lord and abandoned Him when He was arrested.  Yet, God chose them all the same.  Because God had something greater for them.  This was true also in the case of St Paul.

God chose people like Peter and Paul, who were weak so that they could be strong in Him.  So too, we do not choose perfect leaders the way the world chooses its leaders.  We need to choose those with a good heart, are sincere, humble, loving and caring.  If they have a heart for the people and piety for the Lord, they will do well.  God will give them His spirit, and being humble, God will send them people to help them to accomplish the mission given to them.


Written by The Most Rev William Goh, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore © All Rights Reserved. The contents of this page may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission from the Archbishop’s Office. This includes extracts, quotations, and summaries.


Best Practices for Using the Daily Scripture Reflections
  • Encounter God through the spirit of prayer and the scripture by reflecting and praying the Word of God daily. The purpose is to bring you to prayer and to a deeper union with the Lord on the level of the heart.
  • Daily reflections when archived will lead many to accumulate all the reflections of the week and pray in one sitting. This will compromise your capacity to enter deeply into the Word of God, as the tendency is to read for knowledge rather than a prayerful reading of the Word for the purpose of developing a personal and affective relationship with the Lord.
  • It is more important to pray deeply, not read widely. The current reflections of the day would be more than sufficient for anyone who wants to pray deeply and be led into an intimacy with the Lord.

Note: You may share this reflection with someone. However, please note that reflections are not archived online nor will they be available via email request.

17 January, 2022, Monday, Week 2 in Ordinary Time

January 18, 2022

MORAL RELATIVISM OR ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE

In the first reading, Samuel reprimanded Saul for not obeying the command of the Lord to kill all the Amalekites who were considered sinners in the eyes of God.  However, the obedience of Saul was a half-hearted obedience.  He did not carry out all the orders of the Lord.  Instead, he brought back Agag, the king of the Amalekites, and put the Amalekites under the ban.  Instead of killing the animals as well, Saul took from the booty, the best sheep and oxen, all of which were under the ban, to sacrifice to the Lord.  But Samuel replied, “Is the pleasure of the Lord in holocausts and sacrifices or in obedience to the voice of the Lord? Yes, obedience is better than sacrifice, submissiveness better than the fat of rams. Rebellion is a sin of sorcery, presumption a crime of teraphim.”

How do we react to such a situation in today’s reckoning?  Firstly, we are horrified that God who is a loving and merciful God could command the annihilation of the Amalekites, even though they might be sinners.  This is certainly not acceptable in today’s time because we abhor killing of every sort, even our enemies and those who commit crimes.  Every life is precious to us and that is why even the Church deems that the death penalty should be removed from society in our current situation because there are more effective ways to delimit the possible injuries that criminals can continue to inflict on others.

Secondly, it is not just the lives of human beings that are sacred but even that of animals as well.  Strict animal rights activists seek to remove all slaughtering of animals, even for food.  But to kill them simply because they belong to our enemies or sinners, and not for food consumption would be considered cruel and wasteful.  Consequently, if Saul were living in our times, he would be doing the right thing by offering the best animals to God for sacrifice and keeping the rest for the people to use.  But Samuel’s reply does not seem to tolerate any form of compromise.  Full submission is required without question. 

How, then, do we reconcile the teaching of the Word of God commanding us to obey the Lord without question or compromise?  To make compromises, according to Samuel, is tantamount to rebellion.   It is to go against God even if we do His will half way.  It shows that we prefer to choose our way rather than God’s way because we perceive we know better than Him. Rebellion is the fruit of pride.  Presumption of knowing what is better or even the mind of God is also a sin of pride, especially when it clearly goes against His explicit commands.   But surely, we do not think that this would be the right thing to do today.

Hence, we must consider the commands of God in the context of that time.  The truth is that morality develops over time.  Conscience and sensitivity to what is right or wrong is formed over time.  What is seen to be something so seriously evil today was considered something good or acceptable in another epoch. Values do change. There are many examples in the history of morality.  Slavery, until the early part of the Christian era, was accepted and even tolerated by many societies until the 20th century.  Polygamy is still a practice in some countries and cultures.  Today, most cultures would only accept monogamy and outlaw polygamy.  Same sex union was of course condemned and even listed as a crime.  So, too, was divorce in some countries.   During the time of the monarchy, the king had absolute power and could order anyone to be put to death. Justice in those days was collective and not just a matter of individual retribution.  When a member of the family committed a serious offence, especially if he was the head of the family, the entire family or even tribe would be wiped out.  But even today, countries that condemn the death penalty would advocate a just war under any pretext, or assassinate their enemies and kill innocent lives in the pursuit their enemies.

Consequently, we must be careful that we do not impose our moral standards today on matters and events that happened in another epoch of time.  There are some people who want certain historical leaders hailed for having made an impact on society in their days removed from the hall of fame simply because some of the things they did or tolerated in their time are not acceptable in today’s viewpoint.  Do we remove all the statues of great people or world leaders who were merciless in killing their enemies?  Can we pass judgment on the Inquisition of the Catholic Church where witches and heretics were burned at the stake?  Can we pass judgment on the torture and execution of political and religious leaders?  In those days, such cruelty was accepted as the best form of punishment.  Can we pass judgment on those who did not treat women as men’s equal, making use of them to serve them like slaves?   Of course, in today’s reckoning, it is totally unacceptable.   

The gospel seems to advocate situation ethics as well.  With respect to the question of fasting, Jesus said that fasting is relevant only when it is useful and expressive of the situation.  Some people asked Him, “Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?”  Jesus replied, “Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of fasting while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they could not think of fasting. But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast.”  Clearly, for our Lord, fasting could not just be a pious exercise, a ritual we go through or something external.  It must be done for a deliberate intention.  Hence, the Lord dismissed those religious practices that were performed in a perfunctory and superficial manner.

But even more radical were the words of our Lord when He seemed to even advocate a complete break from outdated traditions when He gave the analogy of the unshrunken cloth and the wineskins.  “No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; if he does, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine, fresh skins!” Some traditions therefore might have to go completely for new ones to be adopted.  In this case, the Jewish way of worship and the laws must give way to Jesus, the bridegroom of the New Covenant.  Some things in the Old Covenant are redundant in the New Covenant.  

But will this principle make us fall into the error of situation ethics which appear to be relativistic?  In other words, morality changes with time.  If morality can develop, it means that no moral values are absolute.  What is wrong yesterday can be right today.  What is right or wrong appears to be dependent on the culture of the day.  Values change with time and with people.   So today, society is rewriting some of the norms.  Abortion is acceptable, sale of drugs and consumption is permissible in some countries, same sex union is legalized, transgender is recognized, death penalty is wrong but war is right and assassination of enemies is acceptable in the name of justice and common good.  Celibacy and virginity in those days were highly prized but today, it is free sex, free expression of love.  In fact, very few would think of dying to protect their virginity, unlike those in the ancient days.

Moral relativism is certainly a great concern in our time, so much so many of us are confused over what is truly right and wrong.  There is so much ambiguity in determining values today.  To ensure that we do not fall into moral relativism, we must make sure that the fundamental principles do not change. These are things enshrined and embedded in natural laws.  Morality can develop from the basic principles given by the creator.   One must show progress and continuity in order to justify change.  A radical break from the principles that have been held time immemorial would warrant serious study and reflection.   It cannot be based on one’s personal whims and fancies but we must act according to what nature has instituted.  Getting back to the roots of what we do and who we are will help us to form our moral values and cultural norms.   Those that are strictly contextual can be changed in time.


Written by The Most Rev William Goh, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore © All Rights Reserved. The contents of this page may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission from the Archbishop’s Office. This includes extracts, quotations, and summaries.


Best Practices for Using the Daily Scripture Reflections
  • Encounter God through the spirit of prayer and the scripture by reflecting and praying the Word of God daily. The purpose is to bring you to prayer and to a deeper union with the Lord on the level of the heart.
  • Daily reflections when archived will lead many to accumulate all the reflections of the week and pray in one sitting. This will compromise your capacity to enter deeply into the Word of God, as the tendency is to read for knowledge rather than a prayerful reading of the Word for the purpose of developing a personal and affective relationship with the Lord.
  • It is more important to pray deeply, not read widely. The current reflections of the day would be more than sufficient for anyone who wants to pray deeply and be led into an intimacy with the Lord.

Note: You may share this reflection with someone. However, please note that reflections are not archived online nor will they be available via email request.

16 January, 2022, Sunday, Week 2 in Ordinary Time

January 16, 2022

TRANSFORMING LIVES

Many of us are living a lifeless life.  There is no real joy or meaning.  We are trying more to keep ourselves alive rather than to truly live.  Our happiness in life is reduced to a few moments of pleasure that come from food, success or achievements in life.  But for the most part of our life, we are just going through the drudgery of work, with some reprieve when we are promoted, or our salary is increased.  But many of us find work a chore, especially when dealing with politics in the office and unhappiness with our colleagues.  Some of us have no real friends in life, and even within our own family, we feel lonely, misunderstood, unappreciated, taken for granted and ostracized.  After slogging so hard for our loved ones, we are not loved. We feel that all is futile.  

When we feel this way, then we are just like the wedding couple in today’s gospel when Mary said to our Lord, “They have no wine.”  This too was the sentiment of the Israelites in the Old Testament.  Their relationship with the Lord, just like human relationships, had gone through rough patches.  Israel was supposed to be the bride of God but the people were unfaithful in the relationship.  They prostituted themselves and worshipped the false gods of power, money and pleasure, committing idolatry, adultery and injustices through oppression, cheating and dishonesty.  For abandoning God, they were exiled to Babylon, stripped of all their security, glory, power, kingdom, land and even the Temple.

But God does not want us to remain in this state of meaninglessness and boredom.  God wants to renew our life with His love and mercy.  He has come to change water into wine.  He has come to recharge us and fill us with His Holy Spirit.  Indeed, He has come to restore our relationship with Him, which was foretold in the first reading and fulfilled in the New Testament.  Through the prophet Isaiah, God reassured Israel that He would restore the integrity of Israel. “About Zion I will not be silent, about Jerusalem I will not grow weary, until her integrity shines out like the dawn and her salvation flames like a torch.”  The Lord also promised to renew Israel as His bride.  He said, “You are to be a crown of splendour in the hand of the Lord, a princely diadem in the hand of your God; no longer are you to be named Forsaken, nor your land Abandoned, but you shall be called My Delight and your land The Wedded; for the Lord takes delight in you and your land will have its wedding.  Like a young man marrying a virgin, so will the one who built you wed you, and as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so will your God rejoice in you.”

True joy comes from a life of integrity and a life of intimacy with the Lord and in fellowship with His people.  This explains why joy is always expressed through the imagery of a wedding and a wedding banquet, flowing with nice wine.  Indeed, joy comes not so much from success, achievements or glory, as such things do not last and fade as quickly as they come.  Rather, it is having peace of mind, a conscience free from guilt, a heart that is loving and caring; and meaningful relationships, especially with our loved ones and friends that make life worth living and celebrating.  Without good friends to support us, to celebrate with us, to journey with us, this life would be a dull life, without lasting joy, at most momentary pleasure that often leads to sadness, emptiness and disappointment. 

But how can we find this deep relationship with man unless we first found our relationship with God? In the final analysis, only God can provide us the security and fullness of joy, love and peace in life.  Unless, we are filled with His love and peace, we will not be able to share that unconditional love and joy with others.  Coming to Jesus, therefore, is the prerequisite to transforming our life.

The gospel tells us that Jesus has power to change water into wine.  He can do wonders if we allow Him.  There is nothing He cannot do to bring about transformation in the minds and hearts of people.  Jesus has the power to change not just water into wine but to change lives.  In fact, His whole life was about changing mindsets, giving hope, touching hearts, healing bodies and transforming lives.   He could change a sinner into a saint, as He did with St Matthew.  He could change timid and fearful apostles into outspoken and fearless witnesses to the resurrection.  Jesus can raise the dead back to life.  Most of all, He can change wine into His blood, and bread into His body at the Eucharist.  The responsorial psalm says, “Proclaim his help day by day, tell among the nations his glory and his wonders among all the peoples.” 

How does He do it if not through the Holy Spirit given to us at our baptism, confirmation and in the Eucharist?  The Holy Spirit bestows upon us different gifts for the service of the community, the building of the Church, the Body of Christ.  “There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them.”  In every community, just like the Corinthians, there will be those who are rich and those who are poor, those intellectually gifted and those who are more gifted with their hands.  Regardless, the Spirit works in different ways, blessing us with different gifts so that we could use them to build up the community, each according to our specific contributions.  The gifts are for the common good of all. 

Every gift is important and no one gift is insignificant.  Often, we make distinction between special gifts, spectacular gifts and ordinary gifts.  We tend to focus on those extraordinary gifts because they boost our ego and influence.  This would be too narrow an understanding and appreciation of the gifts.  All gifts are for the community, whether it is knowledge, wisdom, faith, teaching, praying, prophecy, tongues, healing, writing, singing, worshipping, exorcism, discernment or organizing.  It is the sharing and exercise of these gifts for the community that the community becomes alive.   But if we keep the gifts to ourselves, not only does the community become poorer but so are we.

Hence, we must rejoice in the gifts that God gives to others, much as the peculiar gifts He has given us.   In this way, we ensure the unity of the community, as well as our own personal fulfilment.  Only when gifts are used for the building up of others, do we find our fulfilment and joy.  This is why St Paul reiterates, “The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, who distributes different gifts to different people just as he chooses.”  We must not envy the gifts of others because in so doing, we forget to develop our own unique gifts that are truly innate to us, and which when fully developed, make us more contributive to the community and thereby more fulfilled.  By duplicating the gifts of others or seeking to destroy others’ gifts, we will not only deprive ourselves of enjoying and sharing their gifts and losing our own. 

Indeed, our lives can be different and can be lived in a meaningful and fulfilling manner if only we put on the mindset of our Lord.  This is what Mary is inviting us to do.  When she told our Lord, “they have no wine”, she followed by telling the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”  We must leave the freedom to the Lord and not impose our will and wishes on Him.  He knows what is best for us and how we can find happiness and meaning.  We need to surrender our lives to Him, to discern His will for us, and obey His word so that we can find life.  When we surrender our lives to Him, we will be amazed at what the Lord can do for us, just as He did for the wedding couple, and His disciples.  With Mary, we need to put our faith and trust in the Lord.  Mary believed that nothing was impossible to the Lord even though she might not have fully understood what the Lord meant when He said, “My hour has not come yet.”  All the same, she surrendered in faith to her Son.  When the time came at His passion, then Mary understood what that hour really meant, His passion, death and resurrection.  She would then assume her role as the Mother of the Church, interceding for the Church in union with her Son.


Written by The Most Rev William Goh, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore © All Rights Reserved. The contents of this page may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission from the Archbishop’s Office. This includes extracts, quotations, and summaries.


Best Practices for Using the Daily Scripture Reflections
  • Encounter God through the spirit of prayer and the scripture by reflecting and praying the Word of God daily. The purpose is to bring you to prayer and to a deeper union with the Lord on the level of the heart.
  • Daily reflections when archived will lead many to accumulate all the reflections of the week and pray in one sitting. This will compromise your capacity to enter deeply into the Word of God, as the tendency is to read for knowledge rather than a prayerful reading of the Word for the purpose of developing a personal and affective relationship with the Lord.
  • It is more important to pray deeply, not read widely. The current reflections of the day would be more than sufficient for anyone who wants to pray deeply and be led into an intimacy with the Lord.

Note: You may share this reflection with someone. However, please note that reflections are not archived online nor will they be available via email request.

Bible

If you love, you will keep my commandments.