Friday, 31 July 2015 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 13 : 54-58

At that time, Jesus went to His hometown and taught the people in their synagogue. They were amazed and said, “Where did He get this wisdom and these special powers? Is He not the carpenter’s Son? Is Mary not His mother and are James, Joseph, Simon and Judas not His brothers? Are all His sisters not living here? How did He get all this?” And so they took offence at Him.

Jesus said to them, “The only place where prophets are not welcome is their hometown and in their own family.” And He did not perform many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

Friday, 31 July 2015 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 80 : 3-4, 5-6ab, 10-11ab

Start the music, strike the timbrel, play melodies on the harp and lyre. Sound the trumpet at the new moon, on our feastday when the moon is full.

This is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob, a statute He wrote for Joseph when he went out of Egypt.

There shall be no strange god among you, you shall not worship any alien god, for I the Lord am your God, who led you forth from the land of Egypt.

Friday, 31 July 2015 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Leviticus 23 : 1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37

YHVH spoke to Moses, “Then there are the appointed feasts of YHVH at the times fixed for them, when you are to proclaim holy assemblies. At twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month is YHVH’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of this month it is YHVH’s feast of Unleavened Bread.”

“For seven days you shall eat bread without leaven. On the first day there will be a sacred assembly and no work of a worker shall be done. For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to YHVH and on the seventh day you shall hold a sacred assembly and do no work of a worker.”

YHVH spoke to Moses and said, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them : When you enter the land that I will give you and you reap its harvest, you will bring to the priest a sheaf, the firstfruits of your harvest and he shall wave the sheaf before YHVH for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.”

“From the day after the sabbath, on which you bring the sheaf of offering, you are to count seven full weeks. The day after the seventh sabbath will be the fiftieth day and then you are to offer YHVH a new offering. The tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. You are to hold a sacred assembly. You must fast, and you must offer a burnt offering to YHVH.”

“The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of Tents for YHVH, lasting seven days. The first day you shall hold an assembly; you must do no work of a worker. For seven days you must offer a burnt offering to YHVH. On the eighth day you are to hold a sacred assembly and you must offer a burnt offering to YHVH. It is a day of solemn assembly in which you shall do no work of a worker.”

“These are the appointed feasts of YHVH in which you are to proclaim holy assemblies for the purpose of offering offerings by fire, burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings to YHVH, according to the ritual of each day.”

Thursday, 30 July 2015 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard in the first reading taken from the Book of Exodus, how God had instructed Moses to establish the Holy Tent, also known as the Tent of Meeting, as the place where He would dwell among His people on earth, which His presence is signified by the presence of the great pillar of cloud during the day, and as a great pillar of fire at night time, providing light to all who need it in the darkness of the night.

In this we see God who did not just stay far and apart from His people, nor did He remain aloof from His people’s concerns and thoughts, but He Himself had chosen to dwell among them, to be really present among them, walking and moving about around them, as God who is real, true and exists among all mankind, and not just some abstract beings carved on stones, wood, gold or silver, like that of the pagan idols.

And then in the Gospel, we heard how Jesus spoke to His disciples and to the people about the kingdom of God, which is to come, and how it will be like on the day of judgment, when all mankind shall be judged by their merits, actions and their faith in God. And those who have not been faithful would receive their just reward that is to suffer for eternity the agony of hell and separation from God’s love.

But those who are faithful would not be disappointed, for God would be with them and bless all of them, and He would welcome all of them into His glorious kingdom, to enjoy forever the happiness and joy which He had promised for all those who had laboured and even suffered for His sake. God will always be with His people, and He will be with His people who walked in His ways and followed Him faithfully.

For we all have to remember that God had devoted Himself so much for us, that He was willing to descend upon us and dwell among us, and in the end even to give Himself to be the redemption of our sins. Yes, for the redemption of us all, sinners and unworthy people who have piled wickedness and sins, one after another. And yet, such is the love which God has for us, that even while we are still sinners, He was willing to suffer and give up Himself for our sake, that we may be saved.

And by renewing the covenant which He Himself had established with His people, He had proved His love, by giving Himself in the form of His Body and Blood, which He offered Himself freely for us, so that all of us who partake in them may have life in us, because the Lord Himself would therefore dwell within us, in our bodies and within our hearts.

On this day, we can also reflect on the life of St. Peter Chrysologus, who was a great bishop and later declared as a Doctor of the Church, for his many dedicated works and devotions to both God and to His people, that is to the brethren around him. St. Peter Chrysologus was a very renowned preacher and shepherd of the people of God who lived during the later years of the Roman Empire, during the years of turbulence and difficulties, and even troubles for the faithful.

He was especially known for his powerful speeches, sermons and teachings which all encouraged countless peoples to return from their path of sin, and repent back to the favour and grace of God. He explained the truth of the faith and the truth about the Scriptures and the Lord God with great clarity and understanding, such that all who ever heard from him, would repent from any of the heretical thoughts that they had espoused and returned to the true, orthodox faith.

His conviction and great dedication to love the Lord and to explain His love and truth to the people should be an inspiration to all of us. That is because all of us also have the capacity to bring each other closer to God, and by our own words and actions, we can help each other to find our way to the Lord, and to repent from our sinfulness and faults which has kept us away from salvation.

Therefore, on this day, let us all pray to the Lord, that we may discover the strength within us to carry on living our lives with renewed commitment to the Lord and walk always in His ways. This means that we truly should find the way to live our lives ever more faithfully. This means that in all of our actions, we truly should practice our faith with love, loving one another and loving our Lord ever more devotedly from day to day.

May the examples of St. Peter Chrysologus be an inspiration to all of us, and may our loving Father, our Almighty God be with us always in this endeavour that is our lives. Amen.

Thursday, 30 July 2015 : 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 : 47-53

At that time, Jesus said to the people, “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, 30 July 2015 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Psalm 83 : 3, 4, 5-6a and 8a, 11

My soul yearns, pines, for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young, at Your altars, o Lord of hosts, my King and my God!

Happy are those who live in Your house, continually singing Your praise! Happy the pilgrims whom You strengthen, they go from strength to strength.

One day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be left at the threshold in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.

Thursday, 30 July 2015 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Exodus 40 : 16-21, 34-38

Moses did this; he did exactly as YHVH had commanded him. The Holy Tent was set up on the first day of the first month in the second year. Moses set up the Holy Tent. He fixed the bases for it, put up its frames, put its crossbars in position, set up its posts.

He spread the tent over the Holy Tent and on top of this the covering for the Tent, as YHVH had commanded Moses. He took the Covenant and placed it inside the Ark. He set the poles to the Ark in place and put the mercy Seat on it. He brought the Ark into the Holy Tent and put the screening veil in place; thus he screened the Ark of YHVH, as YHVH had commanded Moses.

Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the Glory of YHVH filled the Holy Tent. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because of the cloud that rested on it and because of the Glory of YHVH that filled the Holy Tent. At every stage of their journey, whenever the cloud rose from the Holy Tent the people of Israel would continue their march.

If the cloud did not rise, they waited and would not move their camp until it did. For the cloud rested on the Holy Tent by day, and a fire shone within the cloud by night for all the House of Israel to see. And so it was for every stage of their journey.