Wednesday, 23 October 2013 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John of Capestrano, Priest (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Once again, brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are reminded, just as in yesterday’s reading, the importance of being ever-ready, and preparedness in our lives, that when the Lord comes again unexpected, we will not be caught unprepared and unworthy. Sin is in particular something that we must always beware of, in our daily lives, that we be ever vigilant, against any commitment of sin that corrupts us and brings us away from the salvation in God.

All of us, brethren, had in fact been entrusted with much responsibilities by our Lord and God, and we had been made as stewards over God’s creations. Remember that when the Lord created mankind, He had commanded all creations to be within our sphere of responsibility. We are effectively made the stewards of this world, the caretaker of God’s creatures.

Yet as we all know, many of us are not always faithful to the Lord and His ways. Although we had been made stewards, the Lord is still our Master, and we have to follow Him and His ways, and not go our own way. That is essentially what many of us have done. We have cast away the words of the Lord and prefer to trust in our own human judgments and wisdom, rather than trusting in God.

Then, some of us also did not become good stewards of God’s creation, and we neglect our duties that we ought to do. We prefer to care and worry about ourselves, instead of giving ourselves to love and care for those entrusted to us. And remember that the more we had been given with, the more too will be expected from us. That is why, our possessions, our love, and our material goods can become both a great source of blessing and grace, as well as to be a vicious trap that blocks our path to the Lord our God.

We are often too happy with ourselves, with our comfortable life, that we end up forgetting about what we ought to do in our lives. It is completely not wrong for us to enjoy our lives and to gather or gain worldly things and possessions. It is, as I need to reiterate once again, the way that we use those gifts and graces the Lord had granted us, and our attitude towards others, which determine whether we are righteous or not.

Today we celebrate the feast day of St. John of Capestrano, a priest who lived in the early Renaissance Italy, who was once a secular noble and governor of the land. He relinquished his position and wealth after he received a calling, and together with the future St. Bernardine of Siena, he studied to become a priest, a monk, and a preacher, eventually joining the Franciscans.

St. John of Capestrano went on to preach in many different parts of Europe and Christendom as a whole, and his charisma is such that he always drew massive crowds, into tens of thousands and even over a hundred thousand people in some occasions, turning many back into the path of the Lord, and affirming many in the way of the Lord. In doing that, he had brought countless souls back on the path towards salvation in God.

St. John of Capestrano worked hard for the sake of the Lord even until his old age, preaching and urging the people to rise up and defend the true faith in God against any form of heresies and diabolical onslaught of the devil forces, especially in the pagan Ottoman Empire forces, which rose to prominence and power. He worked hard until he caught illness of the bubonic plague and died, ever still faithful and devoted towards the mission he had as the servant of God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, inspired by the examples of St. John of Capestrano, and also the examples of many other saints, who had worked hard for the glory of God, let us all then also follow in his footsteps, to be truly dutiful and faithful in our mission in this world, that is to be faithful, obedient, and loving servants and stewards of the Lord our God, as the steward over all creation.

May we all therefore be strengthened in our faith, and become ever more dedicated to the Lord our God, and through the intercession of St. John of Capestrano, we are made closer to our Lord and God. God bless us all. Amen.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John of Capestrano, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Luke 12 : 39-48

Jesus said, “Pay attention to this : If the master of the house had known at what time the thief would come, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect.”

Peter said, “Lord, did You tell this parable only for us, or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Imagine, then, the wise and faithful steward, whom the master sets over his other servants to give them wheat at the proper time. Fortunate is this servant if his master on coming home, finds him doing his work. Truly, I say to you, the master will put him in charge of all his property.”

“But it may be that the steward thinks, ‘My Lord delays in coming,’ and he begins to abuse the male servants and the servant girls, eating and drinking and getting drunk. Then the master will come on a day he does not expect, and at an hour he does not know. He will cut him off, and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.”

“The servant who knew his master’s will, but did not prepare and do what his master wanted, will be soundly beaten; but the one who does unconsciously what deserves punishment, shall receive fewer blows. Much will be required of the one who has been given much, and more will be asked of the one who has been entrusted with more.”

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John of Capestrano, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Psalm 123 : 1-3, 4-6, 7-8

Had not the Lord been on our side – let Israel say – had not the Lord been on our side, when people rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive; such was their anger against us.

A bit more and the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away. Blessed be the Lord, who did not let us be devoured.

Like a bird our soul escaped from the snare of the fowler; the snare was broken and we were freed. Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John of Capestrano, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Romans 6 : 12-18

Do not allow sin any control over your mortal bodies; do not submit yourselves to its evil inclinations, and do not give your members over to sin, as instruments to do evil.

On the contrary, offer yourselves as persons returned from death to life, and let the members of your body be as holy instruments at the service of God. Sin will not lord it over you again, for you are not under the law, but under grace.

I ask again : are we to sin because we are not under the Law, but under grace? Certainly not. If you have given yourselves up to someone as his slave, you are to obey the one who commands you, are you not? Now with sin you go to death, and by accepting faith you go the right way.

Let us give thanks to God for, after having sin as your master, you have been given to another, that is, to the doctrine of faith, to which you listen willingly. And being free from sin, you began to serve true righteousness.