Tuesday, 25 October 2016 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Luke 13 : 18-21

At that time, Jesus continued speaking, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? Imagine a person who has taken a mustard seed, and planted it in his garden. The seed has grown, and become like a small tree, so that the birds of the air shelter in its branches.”

And Jesus said again, “What is the kingdom of God like? Imagine a woman who has taken yeast, and hidden it in three measures of flour, until it is all leavened.”

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Psalm 127 : 1-2, 3, 4-5

Blessed are you who fear the Lord and walk in His ways. You will eat the fruit of your toil; you will be blessed and favoured.

Your wife, like a vine, will bear fruits in your home; your children, like olive shoots will stand around your table.

Such are the blessings bestowed upon the man who fears the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion. May you see Jerusalem prosperous all the days of your life.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Ephesians 5 : 21-33

Let all kinds of submission to one another become obedience to Christ. So wives to their husbands : as to the Lord. The husband is the head of his wife, as Christ is the Head of the Church, His Body, of Whom He is also the Saviour. And as the Church submits to Christ, so let a wife submit in everything to her husband.

As for you, husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her. He washed her and made her holy by baptism in the Word. As He wanted a radiant Church without stain or wrinkle or any blemish, but holy and blameless, He Himself had to prepare and present her to Himself.

In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they love their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. And no one has ever hated his body; he feeds and takes care of it. This is just what Christ does for the Church, because we are members of His Body.

Scripture says : Because of this a man shall leave his father and mother to be united with his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a very great mystery, and I refer to Christ and the Church. As for you, let each one love his wife as himself, and let the wife respect her husband.

Monday, 24 October 2016 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us Christians who believe in God are challenged to lead a real life of faith, that we should devote ourselves not to hypocrisy and all the things that do not lead to salvation in God. The example was given in the Gospel today, when Jesus was angry at those who were in the synagogue and was against His works, healing a woman who had been enthralled by the demons and the evil spirits for years.

All these meanwhile the synagogue officials, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law constantly opposed the Lord, pretending through their piety that they were doing the works that God wanted them to do. They have taken upon themselves to safeguard the laws and traditions of Moses and their ancestors, but in that process, they truly have forgotten what it meant to be true disciples and followers of the Lord, and instead became blind followers and leaders.

They preached strict obedience and adherence to the Law, and were not hesitant to punish all those who did not follow the Lord as they had done, thinking that they have done the will of God in that way, but in reality, they have only served their own needs and purposes. They had no God in their hearts, but instead their own ego, their own greed and desire for money, for wealth, for possessions of worldly power and glory, and of influence and fame.

That was why these supposedly pious leaders of the people tolerated merchants and all money lenders and corrupt people to set up their businesses at the Temple courtyard, selling and manipulating prices, making profits out of poor and honest people so that those merchants could get rich, and then probably, in the process, also made the Pharisees, the chief priests and the elders rich from the agreement they likely to have made between them.

This was what the warning by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth and the Psalm today meant, that those who serve not the Lord but worldly things such as money, wealth, fame and glory, are real threat to us and to our salvation, as these shall bring whoever that are ensnared in their traps, to veer away from the Lord’s ways and salvation, and fall instead into sin and damnation.

And that is a reminder to all of us Christians, just as our Lord made another example in the Gospel today, which we just discussed, that as Christians we cannot imitate the examples of all those who have not shown righteousness in their way of life. We cannot be like those who have given themselves to debauchery and to follow the ways of this world in their actions and deeds.

As Christians, we are called instead to show care and concern for others, especially for the weak, the downtrodden, the less privileged, the poor and all others who are in need of our help. This is the calling which our Lord made to us, even as He Himself led by example, and showed mercy and love to that poor woman who needed help.

Perhaps, all of us should learn from the examples of St. Anthony Mary Claret, the founder of the Claretians religious order, whose feast we are celebrating today. St. Anthony Mary Claret was a holy and devout man, whose works did not just include advising and helping the Queen of Spain at that time, Isabel II of Spain, but also in the matters of advancing the cause of the people who are suffering, weak and poor throughout the dominion of the crown and beyond.

St. Anthony Mary Claret established the religious order that would later on be known as the Claretians, in order to gather more people with the same mind, same intention and devotion to serve the Lord and His people with genuine devotion and commitment, desiring for the betterment of those who are suffering and in pain, and bring people closer to God spiritually, that they may not just become better physically but more importantly, also spiritually, drawing closer to God and to His salvation.

St. Anthony Mary Claret showed us through his examples, writings and many other ways that in order to become good and true Christians, we must be able to live up fully to what the Lord had expected from us, and that is not hypocrisy and empty faith, but faith that is made real by genuine commitment and hard work, devoting oneself to God and to our fellow brethren in need.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all awaken in ourselves the strong desire to love and serve the Lord genuinely, and also to love our brethren with all of our heart, so that we will be able to appreciate how we ought to serve God with love, and thus be able to draw closer to Him and find righteousness in Him. At the end of the days, He will bless us all and call us into the eternal glory and joy He has prepared for us. May God bless us all. Amen.

Monday, 24 October 2016 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)
Luke 13 : 10-17

At that time, Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath, and a crippled woman was there. An evil spirit had kept her bent for eighteen years, so that she could not straighten up at all. On seeing her, Jesus called her and said, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” Then He laid His hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight and praised God.

But the ruler of the synagogue was indignant, because Jesus had performed this healing on the Sabbath day, and he said to the people, “There are six days in which to work. Come on those days to be healed, and not on the Sabbath!”

But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites! Everyone of you unties his ox or his donkey on the Sabbath, and leads it out of the barn to give it water. And here you have a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan had bound for eighteen years. Should she not be freed from her bonds on the Sabbath?”

When Jesus said this, all His opponents felt ashamed. But the people rejoiced at the many wonderful things that happened because of Him.

Monday, 24 October 2016 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)
Psalm 1 : 1-2, 3, 4 and 6

Blessed is the one who does not go where the wicked gather, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit where the scoffers sit! Instead, he finds delight in the law of the Lord and meditates day and night on His commandments.

He is like a tree beside a brook producing its fruit in due season, its leaves never withering. Everything he does is a success.

But it is different with the wicked. They are like chaff driven away by the wind. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous but cuts off the way of the wicked.

Monday, 24 October 2016 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)
Ephesians 4 : 32 – Ephesians 5 : 8

Be good and understanding, mutually forgiving one another as God forgave you in Christ. As most beloved children of God, strive to imitate Him. Follow the way of love, the example of Christ Who loved you. He gave Himself up for us and became the offering and sacrificial victim Whose fragrance rises to God.

And since you are holy, there must not be among you even a hint of sexual immorality or greed, or any kind of impurity : these should not be named among you. So too for scandalous words, nonsense and foolishness, which are not fitting; instead offer thanksgiving to God.

Know this : no depraved, impure or covetous person who serves the god ‘Money’ shall have part in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for these are the sins which God is about to condemn in people who do not obey.

Do not associate with such people. You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Behave as children of light.