Tuesday, 1 October 2013 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as per the theme of the readings yesterday, today we once again listen to the words of Jesus, on the importance of humility in our lives, in all our dealings with God and with one another. That humility is one of the key elements necessary for the salvation of one, because with humility, many of the necessary attitudes needed for one to be saved can be achieved.

It is too often that we are so preoccupied with ourselves, and immersed in our sense of pride and our natural arrogance that we fail to realise our own shortcomings and our sinfulness. That is why many of us tend to continue to dwell in the world of sin and darkness instead of seeking the light in God. We close ourselves and our hearts to the Lord, all because we think of ourselves as great and beyond reproach.

That was the reason of the fall of many, who put their trust in their own strengths and disregarded any advice that the Lord had given to them through various sources. Pride leads to arrogance, and arrogance leads to even more pride. And in our pride, we forget about God, we forget about those around us, and even those who are dear to us, and we tend to care only for ourselves.

Ever since we have fallen into sin, we have been prone to any kind of sins and evils, including pride. It is also how the devil fell, as Lucifer the lightbringer, who was enraptured by his own beauty and might, as the greatest angel, turned to pride and then jealousy and hatred against God. That is how pride brings down even the mighty and the powerful. Indeed, those who are mighty are more prone to pride than those who are weak, but that does not mean that all of us can be complacent.

The way to greatness is truly through humility, as through humility, we tend to be better able to express ourselves in love, in gentleness, and in faith to God. The Lord who sees us doing these things, will truly reward us and glorify us, just as He had glorified Christ our Lord, His Son, whose sacrifice in perfect humility, brought about the salvation of mankind.

Through His own humility, Christ showed the love that is within Him to all those whom He touched and met. He lowered Himself in great humility so that He can love us all more perfectly. To the extent, that He gave His own life, so that we may live and not die. He sets the example with His own actions, the saving power of His eternal love.

Jesus also told His disciples to be more like little children. Why so? That is because it is the faith of little children that is the purest, the purest faith and love towards God. Very often, we as adults, are so preoccupied with the things and matters of the world, that we forget what is more important in our lives, that is love, gentleness, hope, and God Himself.

If we can just be more like children in our faith, then we will certainly be better persons, with faith untainted by the concerns and corruptions of this world. We ought not to forget our true calling in this life, that is to love, and to love tenderly, especially to those who are unloved, we can truly be like those children, whose faith and dedication to God are pure and total.

That is what was echoed by the saint whose feast day we celebrate today, namely St. Therese of the Child Jesus, also known as St. Therese Lisieux. St. Therese Lisieux was well-known for her great humility, her piety, and her deep spirituality and devotion for the Lord, that she showed in her short life, as she died early in her early twenties, and yet in that short life, she had really done much for the sake of the Lord and His people.

St. Therese Lisieux joined the religious life and devoted herself fully to the Lord, and received series of visions and revelations through her life. She dedicated herself to her life of prayer in simplicity and perfect obedience to the will of God. Through her numerous writings, she communicated her feelings and beliefs, in the life dedicated to God.

It is through her extensive writings, poems, and other works, that St. Therese Lisieux influenced many of us even to this day. Although she had lived only a short life in this world, through her works and writings, she lived on forever, inspiring and strengthening many in their own paths towards the Lord. She is now up there, as one of the saints, interceding endlessly for our sake, we who are sinners still living in this darkened world of pride and evil.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, after we hear the examples set by St. Therese Lisieux and that of many other saints, let us emulate their virtues, their piety and humility, realising the depths of our own sins, and asking the Lord for His pardon out of His eternal love for us. Let us also be proactive in love, that we love tenderly, love sincerely, and love generously, both to God and to our fellow men.

May the Lord continue to shower us with His love and that we will come to ever greater realisation of our own unworthiness before Him, and therefore come ever closer to reach out to the throne of mercy, asking Him to show His infinite mercy to us, and forgiveness for our innumerable sins. God bless us all and watch over us always. Amen.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 18 : 1-5, 10

At that time, the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Then Jesus called a little child, set the child in the midst of the disciples, and said, “I assure you that, unless you change and become like little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes lowly like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and whoever receives such a child in My Name receives Me.”

“See that you do not despise any of these little ones, for I tell you : their angels in heaven continually see the face of My heavenly Father.”

Tuesday, 1 October 2013 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 130 : 1-3

O Lord, my heart is not proud nor do I have arrogant eyes. I am not engrossed in ambitious matters, nor in things too great for me.

I have quieted and stilled my soul like a weaned child on its mother’s lap; like a contented child is my soul.

Hope in the Lord, o Israel, now and forever.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Solemnity of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 66 : 10-14

“Rejoice for Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her. Be glad with her, rejoice with her, all you who were in grief over her, that you may suck of the milk from her comforting breasts, that you may drink deeply from the abundance of her glory.”

For this is what YHVH says : ‘I will send her peace, overflowing like a river; and the nations’ wealth, rushing like a torrent towards her. And you will be nursed and carried in her arms and fondled upon her lap. As a son comforted by his mother, so will I comfort you.’

‘At the sight of this, your heart will rejoice; like grass, your bones will flourish. For it shall be known that YHVH’s hand is with His servant, but His fury is upon His enemy.’