Wednesday, 29 July 2015 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martha (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 11 : 19-27

At that time, many Jews had come to Martha and Mary, after the death of their brother, to comfort them. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him, while Mary remained sitting in the house. And she said to Jesus, “If You had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You.” Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection, at the last day.” But Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, shall live. Whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Martha then answered, “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who is coming into the world.”

Alternative reading

Luke 10 : 38-42

At that time, as Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He entered a village, and a woman called Martha welcomed Him to her house. She had a sister named Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet to listen to His words. Martha, meanwhile, was busy with all the serving, and finally she said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the work? Tell her to help me!”

But the Lord answered, “Martha, Martha, you worry and are troubled about many things, whereas only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martha (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 33 : 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

I will bless the Lord all my days; His praise will be ever on my lips. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the lowly hear and rejoice.

Oh, let us magnify the Lord, together let us glorify His Name! I sought the Lord, and He answered me; from all my fears He delivered me.

They who look to Him are radiant with joy, their faces never clouded with shame. When the poor cry out, the Lord hears and saves them from distress.

The Lord’s angel encamps and patrols to keep safe those who fear Him. Oh, see and taste the goodness of the Lord! Blessed is the one who finds shelter in Him!

Revere the Lord, all you His saints, for those who fear Him do not live in want. The mighty may be hungry and in need, but those who seek the Lord lack nothing.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martha (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 4 : 7-16

My dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Those who do not love have not known God, for God is love. How did the love of God appear among us? God sent His only Son into this world that we might have life through Him.

This is love : not that we loved God but that He first loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if such has been the love of God, we, too, must love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love comes to its perfection in us.

How may we know that we love in God and He in us? Because God has given us His Spirit. We ourselves have seen and declare that the Father sent His Son to save the world. Those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in them and they in God. We have known the love of God and have believed in it. God is love. The one who lives in love, lives in God and God in him.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard from the Scripture readings, firstly in the Book of Exodus, on how God instructed Moses to set up a Tent of the Covenant or the Holy Tent of Meeting where God would periodically descend upon it to meet with Moses and the people, where His holy Presence would dwell and fill the whole place with His glory.

Then in the Gospel, we heard of how Jesus spoke of a parable to the people and to His disciples, namely the parable of the sower, between the good sower and the evil opponent, who sowed weeds between the wheat in the field. In the end, the wheat and the weeds will be harvested, and separated from each other, and while the wheat goes into the granary to be stored, the weeds go into the fire and are destroyed.

In the first reading God mentioned how He is filled with mercy and forgiveness to all who sincerely look for His forgiveness and love, and are willing to commit themselves to change and repentance, genuine and sincere, that they turn their back to sin and past wickedness. God will overlook their past mistakes and receive them back into His loving embrace.

But those who refuse to be forgiven, who repeatedly reject His love and mercy, and those who continue to sin even despite the reminders and messages sent to them through His servants will receive great punishment and the fullness of the brunt of the anger and wrath of God. We have to remember that as much as God loves us all, giving us opportunity after opportunity, He also hates all forms of sins and wickedness, all of which have no place in His presence.

This is a reminder for us, that we who live in this world are like the field which God had tilled and sowed in. He had sowed His seeds of faith, hope and love within us, and these are in us, but the devil too, ever since he tricked and tempted our ancestors since the time of the fall at Eden, he had also sown in us the conflicting seeds of hatred, of jealousy, of greed, and of many other vices and malice inside us.

Both of these are growing within us, and with each of our actions, we cultivate either the good seeds of the Lord, or the evil seeds of Satan. Whenever we love, care for one another, devote ourselves to God and follow in His ways, seeking the poor and helping them, caring for the sick and the downtrodden, we cultivate the good seeds and allow them to grow and prosper.

On the other hand, whenever we commit something evil, slandering against one another, coveting what others have in jealousy, be greedy over worldly things and desires, and giving in to the temptations of the world, we cultivate the seeds of evil, that will grow to be weeds that will choke the good seeds growing in us. Therefore, in this, we should see how if we dwell in our sins, then the way ahead will be dark for us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all today reflect on our own lives. Have we been faithful to the Lord and walk in His ways, or have we instead been wicked in our ways? Have we loved one another or be jealous towards what our brethren have and we do not have? There are many things which we have to see in ourselves, and if we are still walking in the path of darkness, then truly we have to begin to change ourselves.

Indeed, before the time of judgment and it is too late for us, when God will sunder the righteous from the wicked and separate them, one to enjoy everlasting life and happiness, and the other to suffer eternal suffering and darkness. Shall we want to find ourselves on the side of happiness and true joy, or shall we find ourselves a place among the wicked? The choice is ours. May Almighty God help us all, that we may commit ourselves to the path of righteousness. God bless us all. Amen.