Monday, 22 July 2013 : 16th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Mary Magdalene (Gospel Reading)

John 20 : 1-2, 11-18

Now, on the first day after the Sabbath, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning while it was still dark, and she saw that the stone blocking the tomb had been moved away. She ran to Peter, and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and she said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

Mary stood weeping outside the tomb; and as she wept, she bent down to look inside. She saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I do not know where they have put Him.”

As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognise Him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and answered Him, “Lord, if You have taken Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will go and remove Him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned, and said to Him, “Rabboni!” – which means Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and say to them : I am ascending to My Father, who is your Father, to my God, who is your God.”

So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what He said to me.”

Monday, 22 July 2013 : 16th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Mary Magdalene (Psalm)

Psalm 62 : 2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9

O God, You are my God, it is You I seek; for You my body longs and my soul thirsts, as a dry and weary land without water.

Thus have I gazed upon You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.

I will bless You as long as I live, lift up my hands and call on Your Name. As with the richest food my soul will feast; my mouth will praise You with joyful lips.

For You have been my help; I sing in the shadow of Your wings. My soul clings to You, Your right hand upholds me.

Monday, 22 July 2013 : 16th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Mary Magdalene (First Reading)

Song of Songs 3 : 1-4a

On my bed at night I looked for the One I love, I sought Him without finding Him; I called Him and He did not answer. I will rise and go about the city, through the streets and the squares; I will seek the love of my heart…

I sought Him without finding Him; the watchmen came upon me, those who patrol the city. “Have you seen the love of my heart?” As soon as I left them, I found the love of my heart.

 

Alternative Reading

 

2 Corinthians 5 : 14-17

Indeed the love of Christ holds us and we realise that if He died for all, all have died. He died for all so that those who live may live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again for them.

And so from now on, we do not regard anyone from a human point of view; and even if we once knew Christ personally, we should now regard Him in another way. For that same reason, the one who is in Christ is a new creature. For Him the old things have passed away; a new world has come.

Sunday, 21 July 2013 : 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflection)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we heard today of two stories which in both involve receiving the Lord into one’s home and showing their acceptance to the coming of the Lord. Abraham in the first reading welcomed the Lord who passed by his tent, and gave Him a meal and offering. In the Gospel, Martha and Mary, the family of Lazarus, welcomed Jesus the Son of God and Messiah into their house. Both involved hospitality of the hosts and how they react to the coming of the Lord to their humble abodes.

Abraham recognised the Lord and welcomed him into his tent, giving the best he had for the Lord to eat, as an offering of his love and his heart for the Lord. Martha and Mary also welcomed Christ into their home, giving their best to serve Him and made Him at home. But here comes the difference, highlighted in the case between Martha and Mary, in how they give their service to the Lord.

Martha cooked and prepared many food for Jesus, to serve Him good meals and good food, but she ended up being absorbed so much into her preparation and her work, that she forgot what the Lord truly wanted from her. She became engulfed in the world and in her work so much, that she forgot about love, about her own love for God. That is what the Lord truly desired from her, and indeed, from everyone in this world, all of us.

Mary gave her love and full attention to Christ, giving all her heart to Him, that she was truly focused and attentive to all the words that left His mouth, listening to the words of salvation, the Good News. The same had been done by Abraham, giving his obedience and full attention to the Lord, as He came to proclaim the words of His promise, His covenant, proven through the gift of his son, Isaac, through his wife, Sarah.

The same too then is expected of us. We too should give all our minds, our hearts, our being, and with all our strengths, to God and dedicate ourselves fully and entirely to Him. God our Lord is a loving God, and He cares for all of us, until He even gave His own Son, Himself, for the sake of all of us, that we may have life in us, and do not have to suffer our eternal punishment of death, that is our faith.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us not lose our sight on the Lord, our one and true God, the God who created us, God who gave us life, and God who granted us this world that we may live in prosperity and happiness, and most importantly, to follow in His ways, that we can share the happiness that we have in us, with one another, that together, we may be saved, saved from the tyranny of death and evil, and be freed into new life in Christ.

Let us renew our faith and our love for God, dedicating our hearts as true offering for Him. He does not desire our sacrifices and prayers, of endless litanies made without meaning, of gifts made without love, but He desires truly our love, our repentant heart, seeking always for His mercy, the desire, the strong and endless desire to be reunited with the One God who loves us.

In Christ lies salvation and hope, and in Him lies all the fulfillment, in all its perfection, of God’s grand plan to save mankind and all creation, ever since Satan snatched them from Him at the time of creation, by his lies to Adam and Eve, the first mankind. The grand plan had been in motion for countless years and a long time, ever since creation, through Abraham, whom God promised that salvation for mankind would come through him and his descendants, and ultimately was perfectly fufilled in Jesus, the descendant of Abraham, of Adam and Eve, and the descendant of David, who inherited his kingdom, and made it into an everlasting kingdom of God.

Christ gave Himself up for our sake, that all of us can share in His glory upon His glorious resurrection, and that we will receive life eternal as we are brought to our rightful places in heaven, at the side of the Lord, God who cares for us and gave it all for our sake. It will not be easy to follow Christ, as we will be rejected as the world had rejected the Lord. What is important is that we do not go astray from our path, and remain faithful to Christ our Lord, through our actions, our deeds, and our words.

Let us not be distracted by the world and its offers of pleasure and sin, and not to forget the Lord and His love and kindness. Let us be focused on the Lord and offer Him our greatest love, out of our sincere and repentant heart, just as what Abraham and Mary had done, that the Lord will always be in our minds, our hearts at all times, and therefore we too, will always remain in the Lord.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, open our hearts, open our minds, and let the Lord to come into us, dwell within us, as the Temple of the Holy Spirit, the Temple of God’s residence. We receive the Lord regularly in the Eucharist, and we accept Him into our hearts. That is why it is important that we remain focused at all times on the Lord, so that we will not be led astray by the temptations of this world.

Keep the Lord’s commandments of love, and practice our faith with devotion, loving our God with all our strength, in worship and praise, in the Mass, and in our daily lives, and love our brethren, especially those with great needs, through our actions, our service to the less fortunate, and through our deeds that bring happiness and love to those who lie in sorrow and those who are unloved.

Be strong, brothers and sisters, and may the blessing of the Lord our God, God who came down for our sake, for our salvation, the Lord of Abraham, the God of our fathers, be with us, and remain within us, giving us His love and light, to be shared among all the nations. God bless us all. Amen.

Sunday, 21 July 2013 : 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Luke 10 : 38-42

As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He entered a village, and a woman called Martha welcomed Him to her house. She had a  sister named Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet to listen to His words. Martha, meanwhile, was busy with all the serving, and finally she said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work? Tell her to help me!”

But the Lord answered, “Martha, Martha, you worry and are troubled about many things, whereas only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Sunday, 21 July 2013 : 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Colossians 1 : 24-28

At present I rejoice when I suffer for you; I complete in my own flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His Body, which is the Church. For I am serving the Church since God entrusted to me the ministry to make the Word of God fully known.

I mean that mysterious plan that for centuries and generations remained secret, and which God has now revealed to His holy ones. God willed to make known to them the riches and even the Glory that His mysterious plan reserved for the pagan nations : Christ is in you and you may hope God’s Glory.

This Christ we preach. We warn and teach everyone true wisdom, aiming to make everyone perfect in Christ.