Monday, 7 July 2014 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, through Jesus, we have been granted healing and renewal, just as He had once brought the daughter of the synagogue official from death and healed the afflictions of the woman with haemorrhage. The same healing and renewal He also therefore offers us if we are to put our trust and faith in Him, just in the same way as the woman had done.

Our world today lacks the faith that the woman had, and many of us had lost faith in the Lord and chose to walk on their own path, and more often than not, this led them to be lost forever into eternal damnation. We prefer to trust in ourselves and in the desires and wants of our hearts rather than trusting in the wisdom and love of our God, which He offered to us freely to help us on our way to Himself.

Our attitude is often like those mourners who mourned the departure of the daughter of the official, thinking that we have absolutely no hope, and therefore that all is lost, hence we submit ourselves into doing things evil in the eyes of God. Or our attitude is like those who refuse to seek the Lord and prefer to keep things to ourselves, fearing His wrath and retribution for our sinfulness.

We cannot remain like this, brothers and sisters in Christ, for it is imperative that we seek the Lord with the faith like the woman with the bleeding problem. She had so much faith that she said to herself, that if only that she touched the fringe of the cloak of our Lord, she would be healed, and indeed, because of her faith, she was healed. If only that this world and all the people living in it has such a faith! Yes, this world would have been a much better place.

Faith is what is often lacking in this world today, and it is more urgently so, because we live today in a time when there is an ever greater need for true piety and faith in the Lord. Our world is growing deeper and deeper in darkness and evil, and the ways of this world is increasingly more and more wayward and distanced from the Lord and His ways. And many increasingly lose their way in the dark tangles of the devil’s works.

Many resigned themselves to a seemingly dark and hopeless despair, not knowing that there is indeed hope, and one indeed that we cannot lose sight in. And there are also those who willingly gave themselves up to the allures of the pleasures of the world, giving in to the demands of their hearts’ desires and greed. And the devil rightly uses that opportunity to snare these people deeper and deeper into his hands.

We often conveniently forget that we have hope, and that hope will not fail us if we do not give in first to despair and hopelessness. Yes, and we have that hope in Jesus Christ, the hope of all creations, whom God had sent into the world in order to bring hope and healing to all of us, who had been under the poison of sin and the slavery of death ever since the days of Adam and Eve, our ancestors.

Death, sickness and despair had been our staple ever since the beginning of mankind’s days. We cannot really separate the realities of life from all these occurrences. That was what happened to the daughter of the official, who was sick and then died, and many despaired in sorrow for her seemingly unfortunate fate. But Jesus came to show that death does not have the final say over things.

Mankind are often too preoccupied with their own self-preservation, always thinking of ways to prolong their lives and make their lives better with various treatments and other things, which all are really born of one thing, that is our fear of death and our despair over the lack of hope for our future after that death. And all these are again because we have little to no faith in Jesus our Lord and our only Hope.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, is it too difficult for us all to put our hope in Jesus our Lord? Is it too difficult for us to trust Him with all our concerns and desires? If history and experience had justified all things past, then we know that trusting ourselves with all these unnecessary desires did not work well for us, and we ended up ruining ourselves more often than not.

Our Lord knows all that we need, and He will provide for us in His own way. In that way we need not worry any longer. Indeed, as He said, that worrying over our future or having more concerns, desires and wants do not increase the length and happiness of our lives a single bit. In fact, those things will likely speed up our descent into damnation and eternal despair.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us from now on change our perspectives in life. Let us begin to put our hope and trust in Christ, and cast away all worries and all unnecessary desires, greed and wants from our lives, so that gradually we may become more and more like the children of God, whom we are supposed to be.

Let us also help one another to grow in faith, hope and love, that in all the things we do, we always do it in the loving embrace of God, and keep ourselves close to Him and to His most loving heart. May Almighty God continue to keep us close to Him and bless us and our works in this world, bringing more and more souls back to Him. Amen.

Monday, 7 July 2014 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 9 : 18-26

While Jesus was speaking to them, an official of the synagogue came up to Him, bowed before Him and said, “My daughter has just died, but come and place Your hands on her, and she will live.” Jesus stood up and followed him with His disciples.

Then a woman, who had suffered from a severe bleeding for twelve years, came up from behind and touched the edge of His cloak; for she thought, “If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned, saw her and said, “Courage, my daughter, your faith has saved you.” And from that moment the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the excited crowd, He said, “Get out of here! The girl is not dead. She is only sleeping!” And they laughed at Him. But once the crowd had been turned out, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up. The news of this spread through the whole area.

Monday, 7 July 2014 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 144 : 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

I will praise You day after day and exalt Your Name forever. Great is the Lord, most worthy of praise; and His deeds are beyond measure.

Parents commend Your works to their children and tell them Your feats. They proclaim the splendour of Your majesty and recall Your wondrous works.

People will proclaim Your mighty deeds, and I will declare Your greatness. They will celebrate Your abundant kindness, and rejoice in singing of Your justice.

Compassionate and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in love. The Lord is good to everyone; His mercy embraces all His creation.

Monday, 7 July 2014 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Hosea 2 : 16, 17b-18, 21-22

So I am going to allure her, lead her once more into the desert, where I can speak to her tenderly. There she will answer Me as in her youth, as when she came out of the land of Egypt. On that day, YHVH says, you will call Me ‘my Husband’, and never again : ‘my Baal’.

You will be My spouse forever, betrothed in justice and integrity; we will be united in love and tenderness. I will espouse you in faithfulness and you will come to know YHVH.