Wednesday, 21 November 2018 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 12 : 46-50

At that time, while Jesus was talking to the people, His mother and His brothers wanted to speak to Him, and they waited outside. So someone said to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside; they want to speak with You.”

Jesus answered, “Who is My mother? Who are My brothers?” Then He pointed to His disciples and said, “Look! Here are My mother and My brothers. Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

Wednesday, 21 November 2018 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 46-47, 48-49, 50-51, 52-53, 54-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God, my Saviour!

He has looked upon His servant, in her lowliness, and people, forever, will call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name!

From age to age, His mercy extends to those who live in His presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans.

He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.

He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Zechariah 2 : 14-17

Sing and rejoice, o daughter of Zion, for I am about to come, I shall dwell among you,” says YHVH. “On that day, many nations will join YHVH and be My people, but My dwelling is among you.”

The people of Judah will be for YHVH as His portion in His holy land. He will choose Jerusalem again. Keep still in YHVH’s presence, for He comes, having risen from His holy dwelling.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the Scriptures again we are reminded of the current state of our sins, and how we ought to repent and turn away from them and embrace fully God’s love and mercy. This is what we ought to do, in the time and opportunity God has given us, that we do not fall into eternal damnation, but regain our rightful place by His side in heaven.

In the first reading today, we heard the account from the Book of Revelations of St. John, in which at the beginning of the book, St. John was told to write to the Angels of the seven churches of Asia. In those letters, the Lord wanted each and every one of those Church communities to know that their ways have fallen away from Him, or that they have become lukewarm in their faith, and in the need of repentance and conversion. And that is why the Lord is calling on them to repent and turn away from their sins.

He was warning them against the riches and the temptations of the world, which are often in the way of one being truly faithful to God. While the riches and worldly things themselves are not at fault, but it is how we mankind often misuse them and become overly obsessed and infatuated over them, which resulted in us doing things in our respective lives, that do not conform to the way that the Lord has shown us.

But at the same time, while God is indeed not happy with our sins and mistakes, the blemish and faults present in our lives, He is ever loving and ever merciful towards us. After all, He created each and every one of us because of His great love for us. We are the pinnacle of His creation, the ones created in nothing else but His own image.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, that is why today we ought to reflect on our Gospel passage today, on the story of the encounter between the Lord Jesus and Zaccheus, a tax collector and sinner. This story is one that I am sure quite well-known amongst us, but do we truly relate the significance and meaning of this story to our own lives? There are indeed important parallels that we should take note of today.

First of all, Zaccheus was a short man, but that did not dissuade him from trying to make the hard effort to be able to see the Lord, climbing up a sycamore tree so that he could have a good look at Him. The Lord saw his efforts, and called on him, knowing that in the heart and mind of Zaccheus, there was genuine love and focus on God. That was affirmed when the Lord spoke to Zaccheus, and he declared his devotion and commitment to God, publicly before everyone gathered, that he also repented from all of his past wrongdoings.

In the example shown by Zaccheus, we saw first of all the frailty of man, easily afflicted and corrupted by sin, and easily overcome by the various temptations of the world. However, we also saw man’s desire to be reconciled and to be forgiven, reunited and to be received once again into God’s loving embrace, as shown by the effort and commitment made by Zaccheus, shedding away all of his pride and ego, and humbling himself before God in the presence of all the people.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, are we also capable of making such a commitment? Today’s Scripture passages have reminded all of us of the importance for us to understand the sinfulness that are affecting us at the moment, how we have been corrupted by those sins, and of the repercussions that will come if we do not repent from those sins. We must realise that God wants to reconcile us to Himself, and want us to be forgiven our sins, but we must make the effort to come to God in all humility as Zaccheus had done.

Let us therefore pray, brothers and sisters in Christ, that we will have the perseverance and the willingness, the courage and the strength to live up our faith each and every days of our life, turning ourselves to God and refocusing our lives towards Him. May the Lord be our guide, and may He continue to watch over us and bless us in all of our endeavours. Amen.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 19 : 1-10

At that time, when Jesus entered Jericho and passed through the city, a man named Zaccheus lived there. He was a tax collector and a wealthy man. He wanted to see what Jesus was like, but he was a short man and could not see Him because of the crowd.

So he ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree. From there he would be able to see Jesus, Who was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, Zaccheus, come down quickly, for I must stay at your house today.” So Zaccheus climbed down and received Him joyfully.

All the people who saw it began to grumble, and said, “He has gone as a guest to the house of a sinner.” But Zaccheus spoke to Jesus, “Half of what I own, Lord, I will give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay him back four times as much.”

Looking at him Jesus said, “Salvation has come to this house today, for he is also a true son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 14 : 2-3ab, 3cd-4ab, 5

Those who walk blamelessly and do what is right, who speak truth from their heart and control their words.

Those who do no harm to their neighbours and cast no discredit on their companions, who look down on evildoers but highly esteem God’s servants.

Those who do not lend money at interest and refuse a bribe against the innocent. Do this, and you will soon be shaken.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Revelations 3 : 1-6, 14-22

Write this to the Angel of the Church in Sardis, “Thus says He Who holds the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars : ‘I know your worth : you think you live but you are dead. Wake up and strengthen that which is not already dead. For I have found your works to be imperfect in the sight of My God.”

“‘Remember what you were taught; keep it and change your ways. If you do not repent I will come upon you like a thief at an hour you least expect. Yet, there are some left in Sardis who have not soiled their robes; these will come with Me, dressed in white, since they deserve it. The victor will be dressed in white and I will never erase his name from the book of life; instead, I will acknowledge it before My Father and His Angels.'”

“‘Let anyone who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the Churches.'”

Write this to the Angel of the Church in Laodicea, “Thus says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of God’s creation : ‘I know your works : you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! You are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold so I will spit you out of My mouth.'”

“‘You think you are rich and have piled up so much that you need nothing, but you do not realise that you are wretched and to be pitied, poor, blind and naked. I advise you to buy from Me gold that has been tested by fire, so that you may be rich, and white clothes to wear so that your nakedness may not shame you, and ointment for your eyes that you may see. I reprimand and correct all those I love. Be earnest and change your ways.'”

“‘Look, I stand at the door and knock. If you hear My call and open the door, I will come in to you and have supper with you, and you with Me. I will let the victor sit with Me on My throne just as I was victorious and took My place with My Father on His throne. Let anyone who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the Churches.'”