Thursday, 10 July 2014 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the words of the Lord in the Holy Scriptures today, both in the reading from the Old Testament and from the Holy Gospels are the true revelation that God is concerned with us, and He is truly not angry with us, or despise us in any way. On the contrary, He was concerned so much that He gave us none other than Jesus, to be our Hope and to be our Saviour from our certain destruction.

Yet in a way, it was also a lamentation by our God, on how mankind turned away and did not listen to the words of God, and spurned the love He had shown them, and did not care about the attention He had given them so much over the ages past. The words of Jesus in the Gospel also highlighted this fact. He taught His disciples to expect rejection, just as much as they should expect to be accepted by those whom they preach the word of God to.

Yes, brethren, our Lord seeks for us and He wants to be with us, accompany us, and talk with us, all the days of our lives. So much and so great is His love, that He truly does not want to be separated from us. But, what did we do to Him then? We often shut the door in front of Him, and we like to cast Him out of our lives. We rejected Him in favour of following the ways of the world.

Therefore, we cannot think that those who rejected the words of the Lord as mentioned in the Gospel, as well as the errant children of God in Israel, in the time of the Old Testament, are people separate from us, or that we are immune to the same errors and possibilities of falling into sin. As long as we remain in this world, we are always susceptible to the works of Satan and evil in corrupting our hearts to his purpose. We are always susceptible to sin, and we may also end up like those who were mentioned, unless if we take active steps to prevent it.

Let us today reflect on our lives, on the actions, words and everything we do, and see and think if all of them had been done in accordance to what the Lord taught us, and what He wanted us to do. Have we walked faithfully in His path, or do we prefer to follow our own path in life, following everything as we desired and as we wanted?

This is important for us, and indeed, it is crucial that we maintain a very healthy and active reflective lifestyle, thinking through our life actions, on whether they reflect ourselves as children of God, or as the children of this world, of Satan. It is easier for us to walk in the path of darkness compared to the path of light, and it is indeed tempting for us to be lax in our actions and deeds, so that we end up being like the people of Israel who disobeyed the Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, shall we seek the Lord anew? Shall we truly renew our efforts in finding Him, and following Him in our lives? It is indeed not an easy path, but it is truly manageable. Shall we continue our rejection of the Lord’s free offer of love, which He extended to all of us? Or shall we rather ignore Him and close the doors of our hearts to Him? The choice is ours, and we have been given free will to choose our path.

Let us therefore discern well, and use this opportunity to think well, of our actions and deeds. Let us no longer follow the rebelliousness of Satan and his fellow fallen accomplices, but let us all show and profess our undying and eternal devotion to our Lord. Remember always, brethren, that He died for us, so that we may live. There is no greater love than this, and there is no care greater than the care shown by God to us.

May Almighty God be with us all, keep us safe, and bless us with His grace forever. Amen.

Thursday, 10 July 2014 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 10 : 7-15

Go and proclaim this message : The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. You received this as a gift, so give it as a gift. Do not carry any gold, silver or copper in your purses. Do not take a traveller’s bag, or an extra shirt, or sandals, or a staff : workers deserve their living.

When you come to a town or a village, look for a worthy person, and stay there until you leave. When you enter the house, wish it peace. If the people in the house deserve it, your peace will be on them; if they do not deserve it, your blessing will come back to you.

And if you are not welcomed, and your words are not listened to, leave that house or that town, and shake the dust off your feet. I assure you, it will go easier for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment, than it will for the people of that town.

Thursday, 10 July 2014 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 79 : 2ac and 3b, 15-16

Listen, o Shepherd of Israel, You who sit enthroned between the cherubim. Stir up Your might and come to save us.

Turn again, o Lord of hosts, look down from heaven and see; care for this vine, and protect the stock Your hand has planted.

Thursday, 10 July 2014 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Hosea 11 : 1-4, 8c-9

I loved Israel when he was a child; out of Egypt I called My Son. But the more I have called, the further have they gone from Me – sacrificing to the Baals, burning incense to the idols.

Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; yet little did they realise that it was I who cared for them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with leading strings of love, and I became for them as One who eases the yoke upon their neck and stoops down to feed them.

My heart is troubled within Me and I am moved with compassion. I will not give vent to My great anger; I will not return to destroy Ephraim for I am God and not human. I am the Holy One in your midst and I do not want to come to you in anger.