Thursday, 31 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Ignatius Loyola, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 13 : 47-53

Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a big fishing net let down into the sea, in which every kind of fish has been caught. When the net is full, it is dragged ashore. Then they sit down and gather the good fish in buckets, but throw the worthless ones away.”

“That is how it will be at the end of time; the angels will go out to separate the wicked from the just, and to throw the wicked into the blazing furnace, where they will weep and gnash their teeth.”

Jesus asked, “Have you understood all these things?” “Yes,” they answered. So He said to them, “You will see that every teacher of the Law, who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a householder, who can produce from his store things both new and old.”

When Jesus had finished these parables, He left that place.

Thursday, 31 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Ignatius Loyola, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 145 : 2abc, 2d-4, 5-6

I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to God while I live.

Do not put your trust in princes, in a great one who cannot save. Not sooner his spirit has left, that he goes back to the earth; on that very day, any plan comes to nothing.

Blessed are they whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and all they contain. The Lord is forever faithful.

Thursday, 31 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Ignatius Loyola, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Jeremiah 18 : 1-6

This is the word of YHVH that came to Jeremiah : “Go down to the potter’s house and there you will hear what I have to say.”

So I went to the potter’s house and found him working at the wheel. But the pot he was working on was spoiled in his hands, so he reworked it all over again into another pot that suits his desire.

Meanwhile YHVH sent me His word, “People of Israel, can I not do with you what this potter does? As clay in the potter’s hand so are you in My hands.”

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we hear once again, as we had heard on last Sunday’s Gospel, on the kingdom of heaven being a treasure, which is highly sought after, and the one who found it sell everything he had and buy the place where the treasure is found. And in the first reading today, we heard how when Jeremiah complained and cursed for his unfortunate fate and oppressed state, the Lord came and reassured him with His words and vow that He will stay faithful to men who also put their trust in Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, God is always with us, no matter how difficult life is. Yet we often like to curse God and be angry with Him when things seem to not go the way that we wanted it. We do not like it when things go difficult for us, and it is in our nature to complain or to be angry with someone, and to vent our dissatisfactions that we may get some sort of relief and even pleasure from doing so.

But the Lord is patient and forgiving, and as temperamental and as bad as our tantrum is, He will always be patient and send us encouragements after encouragements and reassurances after reassurances. We often get lost on our path towards God, and God sent us encouragement and guidance through various means to ensure that we end up at the correct path and goal in the end.

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Peter Chrysologus, a bishop and a Doctor of the Church who lived during the time of the late Roman Empire, during the fall of the Empire in the West, as the Bishop of the Roman Capital of Ravenna. St. Peter Chrysologus got his name and title ‘Chrysologus’ which literally means ‘golden-worded’ precisely because of his excellent oratory skills, in his sharp and yet touching homilies and teachings which drive through the teachings of the Church strongly into the hearts of many of the faithful.

St. Peter Chrysologus taught to the people the meaning of being a follower of the Lord, condemning heresies and falsehoods that brought the people away from the truth in the Lord. He brought them new hope and strength through his words and teachings, just as the Lord Himself had done as we heard how He encouraged Jeremiah to be strong and to put his trust in Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we reflect and ponder on the Gospel’s message for today, as well as the message the Lord wanted to tell us through His interactions with the prophet Jeremiah, and as well as the life of St. Peter Chrysologus, let us all realise that we are all called to be children of God, that means to be children of the light, to be children of faith, hope and love.

We have to be the bearers of hope for one another, and in our actions, words and deeds we should affirm each other’s faith, and by loving one another we show love to this world that lacks the warmth of love. Let us awaken in one another the love for God, and the desire to seek God, who is the true desire and the true treasure we should seek with all of our strengths.

May Almighty God be with us and guide us to this treasure, that we may be ever closer to Him and remain forever always in His love and grace. Let us all work together to seek our desired treasure in life, namely to seek and live together with our God. Let us do our best and ask St. Peter Chrysologus for his kind intercession. Amen.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Matthew 13 : 44-46

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. The one who finds it buries it again; and so happy is he, that he goes and sells everything he has, in order to buy that field.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a trader who is looking for fine pearls. Once he has found a pearl of exceptional quality, he goes away, sells everything he has and buys it.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Psalm 58 : 2-3, 4-5a, 10-11, 17, 18

Deliver me from my enemies, o God, from those who rise up against me. Deliver me from evildoers; rescue me from the bloodthirsty.

Look, they lie in wait for my life; the mighty conspiring against me, for no fault of mine, o Lord. I have done them no wrong, yet they prepare to attack me.

O my Strength, I look up to You, for You, o God, are my fortress. My loving God will come to help me and let me see my enemies fall.

But I will sing of Your might; in the morning I will sing of Your love. For You have been a fortress to me, a refuge in time of distress.

O my Strength, I will sing praises to You, for You, o God, are my stronghold; You are a loving God.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Jeremiah 15 : 10, 16-21

Woe is me, mother, why did you bring me to the light? A man of dissension throughout the land! I owe them nothing, neither do they owe me, yet they all curse me!

I devoured Your words when they came. They were my happiness and I felt full of joy when You made Your Name rest on me. Never did I associate with worldly people, amusing myself with scoffers!

When Your hand was upon me I stood apart and You filled me with Your anger. Why is there no end to my sorrow or healing for my wound? Why do You deceive me, and why does my spring suddenly dry up?

Then YHVH spoke to me, “If you return I will take you back and you will serve Me again. Draw the gold from the dross and you will be as My own mouth. You must draw them to you and not go over to them. I will make you a fortress and a wall of bronze facing them; if they fight against you they will not overcome you.”

“I am with you to free you and save you. I will redeem you from the wicked and free you from the hands of tyrants.”