Tuesday, 22 October 2013 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope (Scripture Reflection)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, be ready, be prepared, and be vigilant. Those are the key things that the Lord wants from us all to take heed of and to observe, as we live in this world, that we do not fall into the traps of the devil. That we also take heed of the loving works and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our Lord, through whom we have been made worthy once again, of the Lord.

Having been taken from the dominion of the evil one, and no longer having to suffer eternal punishment with him is the reason, brethren, why the devil will constantly try to corrupt us back, so as to once again cast us away from the presence of God, as once happened to Adam and Eve, our ancestors, through their transgressions in disobedience.

We cannot be idle and let our guard be weakened, for the devil has his army of fallen angels, his subordinates, ready at all times to strike at us at our weakest points. That is why we must always be prepared for all circumstances. The Lord will come again as He had promised us through His disciples, and He will come again at a time we least expect of all.

Be prepared, brethren, for we have to always be awake at all times, that when the Lord comes again, at the time unexpected to all, we will be found ready and upright by He who comes, and therefore, be found worthy of His eternal kingdom, and worthy of the eternal glory and joy that He will bestow on all of us whom He will take as His own, and no one else will have any power over us.

And He who is to come has come down once as Jesus, the Son of Man, to be the new Adam. For just as once Adam the first man had sinned before the Lord and therefore, as the first reading today stated, that because of his single transgression, mankind had to suffer the consequences of Adam’s sin, by allowing evil and sin to enter into the hearts of men, therefore, by the singular act of Christ, the new Adam, the new Man, we are once again made whole and complete in salvation.

That singular act, is an act of perfect obedience to the will of God, and an act of perfect selflessness and love, just as the act of Adam, the first man, is an act of selfishness and disobedience. For Adam and Eve, tempted by Satan in the form of a snake, desired to have knowledge on things good and evil, and therefore to be like God, just as the snake had tempted them so. This brought mankind into sin and therefore bring them under the jurisdiction of death.

Yet, Christ’s act of selflessness, love, and perfect obedience, that is none other than His Passion and sacrifice on the hill of Calvary, when He laid down His life for our sake, for the love of us all, and in complete obedience to the will of God the Father. In this, He had become the new Man, the new Adam, through whom all mankind are once again made justified and worthy.

Today, we celebrate the feast of a great man, and yet a humble and loving servant of God. Yes, that is the feast of Blessed Pope John Paul II. This year will be the last time we celebrate his feast as a Blessed, as next year in April, Pope Francis, the current Pope will elevate this holy man into the glory of the sainthood. Blessed Pope John Paul II is well known for his love and devotion for the Lord, through His Blessed Mother Mary. This devotion extended not just to his devotions and prayers, but also to his life and actions.

Blessed Pope John Paul II showed the nature of Christ to the world, through his own life examples. He forgave the one who had tried to assassinate him, mirroring the example of Christ who forgave those who had pierced Him and condemned Him to die a humiliating death on the cross. Blessed Pope John Paul II also showed the nature of suffering and perseverance through his last years of life, lived in suffering from various debilitating conditions. He taught many of us the importance of faith and devotion to God, even amid suffering and times of difficulties.

And ultimately, Blessed Pope John Paul II was known for his approach to all mankind, especially those who had faltered in their way towards the Lord. He championed the call for everyone to reach out towards holiness, and a life filled with faith and love towards the Lord our God. He asked all to open wide the doors of their heart to the Lord. Yes, indeed, the doors of our heart must be opened to the light and love of God, that we do not reject His love and kindness, which He had offered freely for us, and too often that mankind decided to reject Him and turn Him away from our hearts.

May the Lord our God who laid down His life for us, continue to inspire in us, the love for Him and for our fellow men, that we can realise how much love that He has for us. And also, that we all can begin if we have not done so, to build up our heavenly ‘bank account’ through obeying the will of God, doing His commandments, that is again, to love one another and to love God. So that when the Lord comes again, at a time unknown to us, we will be found ready and worthy, that He will bless us and give us the place in the kingdom that He had prepared for us. May Blessed Pope John Paul II intercede for us in heaven, and may God bless us all. Amen.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 12 : 35-38

Be ready, dressed for service, and keep your lamps lit, like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding. As soon as he comes and knocks, they will open the door to him.

Happy are those servants whom the master finds wide-awake when he comes. Truly, I tell you, he will put on an apron, and have them sit at table, and he will wait on them.

Happy are those servants, if he finds them awake when he comes at midnight or daybreak!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 39 : 7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 17

Sacrifice and oblation You did not desire; this You had me understand. Burnt offering and sin offering You do not require. Then I said, “Here I come!”

As the scroll says of me, I come. To do Your will is my delight, o God, for Your law is within my heart.

In the great assembly I have proclaimed Your saving help. My lips, o Lord, I did not seal – You know that very well.

But may all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; and may all who love Your saving grace continually say, “The Lord is great.”

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Romans 5 : 12, 15b, 17-19, 20b-21

Therefore, sin entered the world through one man, and through sin, death, and the later on death spread to all mankind, because all sinned.

All died because of the fault of one man, but how much more does the grace of God spread when the gift He granted reaches all.

If death reigned through the disobedience of one and only one person, how much more will there be a reign of life for those who receive the grace and the gift of true righteousness through the one person, Jesus Christ.

Just as one transgression brought sentence of death to all, so, too, one man’s good act has brought justification and light to all; and as the disobedience of only one made all sinners, so the obedience of one person allowed all to be made just and holy.

Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, and as sin caused death to reign, so grace will reign in its own time, and after making us just and friends of God, will bring us to eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.