Monday, 28 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we hear yet again how Christ taught the people and His disciples using parables, or stories with meaning hidden in the story. Jesus did this with a purpose, namely to make it easy for them to understand the concepts about God, His kingdom and His plans by using the stories related to their daily life experiences.

In the first reading, taken from the Book of the prophet Jeremiah from the Old Testament, God also showed Jeremiah His intentions using a similar method, using the linen belt and use it, as well as burying it until it is destroyed, in order to bring about His intentions for His people. This, together with the parables which Christ told His people today, all have the same central idea and lesson, that is, we have good in us, and all of us have the power to make a difference in both our own lives and in the lives of others. But if we remain dormant, then we are useless and will be cast away.

What does this mean, brothers and sisters? Surely some will think that God is kind of harsh, is He not? But if we truly understand His intentions, we will know that He meant good for us. He wants us to be awakened from our deep slumber and from our inaction, as well as from any wickedness that we have committed in this life which separated us from our loving God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us have to realise that if a mustard seed is not planted on the ground, or if no concrete effort and hard work are done on it when we plant it, then the mustard seed will forever remain as a seed, and it will die instead of sprouting and growing to be such a large tree as Jesus had mentioned. The same is also for yeast and bread, for if the yeast is kept separate from the bread, or if the yeast and bread mixture is not given the optimum condition, then the bread that is hard and not delicious will just remain as that.

We all know that when we make bread, in order to make the bread fluffy and having a nice texture, as well as being delicious, we need to add yeast into it, and not just that, but we have to seal the bread to allow the yeast to work. If we do everything correctly, and give the correct conditions for the bread, then it will rise and a delicious bread will come out as a result. Similarly, if we give the correct and best conditions for the mustard seed, it will grow big and healthy as a large and bountiful mustard tree.

What we can learn from these parables that Christ told us is that, if we put in our best effort in order to make the seeds of faith, hope and love that are in us to be able to grow, then they will grow optimally and they will produce wonderful and plentiful fruits of faith, of hope and of love. Then our Lord who sees that we bear much fruits and products, will love us and be gracious to us, and He will care for us for ever and ever.

If we have not done so, and if we have not bore any fruits or products, or having no good or concrete outcome from our lives, then we need to realise that we still have a chance. God is a loving and merciful God, and He likes to give us another chance every time whenever we sin and whenever we go against His will and follow Satan instead. But this is not without limit, and in the end, if we persist in our rebelliousness, we will be cast away to suffer for eternity with Satan and his angels in the endless sea of fire.

What God told Jeremiah using the example of the linen belt is no different, for a belt has its purpose, to keep our shirt and garments tied carefully to our bodies, but if it is kept in places unfavourable, then it will be destroyed and be of no use to anyone, and therefore it will be kept away and cast into the fire. It is important therefore to realise that we have been given much abilities and gifts in our respective lives from God, but we have often not realised this or even use them for the sake of evil, or for hurting and for the disadvantage of others.

We have much potential, brothers and sisters in Christ, both for good and for evil. Ultimately, it is up to us, whether we choose good over evil, or vice versa. Let us all not be those who choose evil over good, choosing to fulfill our own selfish desires and keep all the goods and seeds that God had planted in us and allow them to wither and perish. Instead, let us go forth and give the best possible condition for those seeds to grow, that all who look at us will know, that we come from God and that we belong to Him because we walk in His path.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all work together, that we may grow stronger in our faith, and turn our dormant lives into one that is filled with the graces and love of God, and in our actions, may we all be courageous to bring love and happiness to one another, that we may truly be called children of our loving God, and be saved at the end of all things. Amen.

Monday, 28 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 13 : 31-35

Jesus offered them another parable : “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, that a man took and sowed in his field. It is smaller than all other seeds, but once it is fully grown, it is bigger than any garden plant; like a tree, the birds come and rest in its branches.”

He told them another parable, “The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast that a woman took, and hid in three measures of flour, until the whole mass of dough began to rise.”

Jesus taught all these to the crowds by means of parables; He did not say anything to them without using a parable. So what the Prophet had said was fulfilled : ‘I will speak in parables. I will proclaim things kept secret since the beginning of the world.’

Monday, 28 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Deuteronomy 32 : 18-19, 20, 21

They have disowned the Rock who fathered them; they have forgotten the God who gave them birth. The Lord saw this, and in His anger rejected His sons and daughters.

He said, “I will hide My face from them and see what will become of them. They are so perverse, so unfaithful!”

“They made Me jealous with their false gods and angered Me with their idols. I will, therefore, make them envious of a foolish people, I will provoke them to anger with an empty-headed nation.”

Monday, 28 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Jeremiah 13 : 1-11

This is what YHVH said to me : “Go! Buy yourself a linen belt and put it around your waist; do not put it in water.” So I bought the belt as YHVH ordered and put it around my waist.

The word of YHVH came to me a second time, “Take the belt you bought, the one you put around your waist, and go to the torrent Perah; hide it there in a hole in the rock.” I went and hid it as YHVH instructed me.

After many days YHVH said to me, “Go to the torrent Perah and get the belt I ordered you to hide there.” I went to the torrent and dug up the belt but it was ruined and good for nothing, and YHVH said to me, “In this way I will destroy the pride and great glory of Judah, this wicked people who refuse to heed what I say, this stubborn people who go after other gods to serve and worship them. And they shall become like this belt which is now good for nothing.”

“For just as a belt is to be bound around a man’s waist so was the people of Israel and Judah bound to me – it is YHVH who speaks – to be My people, My glory and My honour; but they would not listen.”

(Usus Antiquior) Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 27 July 2014 : Offertory Prayer, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Postcommunion Prayers

Offertory Prayer

Sicut in holocaustis arietum et taurorum, et sicut in milibus agnorum pinguium : sic fiat sacrificium nostrum in conspectu Tuo hodie, ut placeat Tibi : quia non est confusio confidentibus in Te, Domine.

English translation

As in holocausts of rams and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat lambs, so let our sacrifice be made in Your sight this day, that it may please You. For there is no confusion to them that trust in You, o Lord.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Deus, qui legalium differentiam hostiarum unius sacrificii perfectione sanxisti : accipe sacrificium a devotis Tibi famulis, et pari benedictione, sicut munera Abel, sanctifica; ut, quod singuli obtulerunt ad majestatis Tuae honorem, cunctis proficiat ad salutem. Per Dominum…

English translation

O God, who has sanctioned the diversity of offerings by the perfection of one sacrifice, receive the sacrifice offered to You by Your devoted servants, and sanctify it as You had sanctified the gifts of Abel, that what each one had offered to the glory of Your majesty may profit for the salvation of all. Through our Lord…

Communion

Inclina aurem Tuam, accelera, ut eripias me.

English translation

Bow down Your ear, make haste to deliver me.

Postcommunion Prayer

Tua nos, Domine, medicinalis operatio, et a nostris perversitatibus clementer expediat, et ad ea, quae sunt recta, perducat. Per Dominum…

English translation

May Your health-giving operation, o Lord, mercifully rid us of our evil inclinations and unto rightful ways strongly lead us. Through our Lord…

(Usus Antiquior) Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 27 July 2014 : Holy Gospel

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew

Matthew 7 : 15-21

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus discipulis Suis : Attendite a falsis prophetis, qui veniunt ad vos in vestimentis ovium, intrinsecus autem sunt lupi rapaces : a fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos.

Numquid colligunt de spinis uvas, aut de tribulis ficus? Sic omnis arbor bona fructus bonos facit : mala autem arbor malos fructus facit. Non potest arbor bona malos fructus facere : neque arbor mala bonos fructus facere.

Omnis arbor, quae non facit fructum bonum, excidetur et in ignem mittetur. Igitur ex fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos. Non omnis, qui dicit Mihi, Domine, Domine, intrabit in regnum caelorum : sed qui facit voluntatem Patris Mei, qui in caelis est, ipse intrabit in regnum caelorum.

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them.”

“Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so, every good tree brings forth good fruit, and the evil tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.”

“Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not everyone that says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

(Usus Antiquior) Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 27 July 2014 : Gradual and Alleluia

Psalm 33 : 12, 6 and Psalm 46 : 2

Venite, filli, audite me : timorem Domini docebo vos.

Response : Accedite ad eum, et illuminamini : et facies vestrae non confundentur.

Alleluja, alleluja.

Response : Omnes gentes, plaudite manibus : jubilate Deo in voce exsultationis. Alleluja.

English translation

Come, children, harken to me. I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

Response : Come all of you to Him and be enlightened, and your faces shall not be confounded.

Alleluia, alleluia.

Response : O clap your hands, all you nations, shout unto God with the voice of joy. Alleluia.