Sunday, 9 July 2017 : Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Bible Sunday (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this Sunday we are reminded through the readings from the Sacred Scriptures of the great love which our God has for us, that He gave us the means to our salvation, that is none other than through our Lord Jesus Christ, His own Beloved Son, through Whom He had brought salvation upon all of us mankind.

By His own will He has willingly sent us His own Son, Jesus Christ, through Whom we have received the perfect revelation of God’s truth and teachings, calling us to turn ourselves completely, body, heart, mind and soul towards Him and turning our back from the burdens and chains of our old selves, which had been enslaved to sin and wickedness, to disobedience and aberrations from the path of God. He wants to free us from our current state of suffering and sin.

In the second reading today, St. Paul in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in Rome mentioned how all of the faithful ought to leave behind their existence in the flesh and embrace their new existence in the spirit. This is what all of us Christians are called to do, that is for us to abandon our past sinfulness and all the temptations and obstacles that had prevented us from truly being able to commit ourselves to God.

But what is the existence in the flesh? What does it mean and what is its significance for us? Existence of the flesh means that we mankind live in accordance to the desires of our flesh, succumbing to the demands of our human desires and wishes, by listening to the temptations of Satan instead of listening to the word of God calling us to righteousness.

It means that we succumb to the desires to sin, to covet what others have but we do not have, satisfying our greed for worldly goods and material wealth. To lust for others and to have improper sexual conduct outside of marriage, among many other things. It also means that we strive to gain the satisfaction of the flesh, amassing for ourselves the treasures of this world, often at the expense of our own souls.

We often bicker and become angry with one another, when we are engulfed and overcome by greed, and thus hatred become part of us. This is how many of our unfortunate human conflicts have sprung up in this world. We are never satisfied because what we seek are merely temporary happiness that can only satisfy us for a while, but then after that, cause us to be even more hungry and desiring for what we want.

This is the existence in the flesh, which all of us mankind are surely quite familiar with, as that is what we all grew up with. And this has become our burden, the burden which bears down upon us, the burden of sin. Yet, this is where the Lord comes, offering to us a different existence, that is existence in the Spirit, where we no longer obey the desires of our flesh and of worldly demands, but instead, we obey only the Lord, Who leads us and guides us to the true path.

That is what the Lord offered to us, a new path that leads not to ruin but instead to salvation and liberation, eternal joy and happiness, where all of us will be reconciled with God and receive forever the grace of His love. This is the new path that God pointed to us and showed us through Jesus, Who taught us of this truth. Yet, many of us mankind still refused to follow Him and obey Him, and many of us still closed our hearts against Him.

Why is that so? That is because we often prefer the easier path, and one that appears easier to us, is the path that is not the path shown by the Lord. It is the status quo, our existence in the flesh, which brings us temporary happiness, a ‘quick fix’ for us, a fleeting moment of joy and pleasure, but one which unfortunately do not last. Satan is always at work out there, trying to keep us in this state, tempting us to sin against God, offering us his false promises and showering us with worldly pleasures.

That is not, however, what the Lord told us. He clearly told His disciples, and therefore all of us, that His way is the true way, the way that leads to true joy and happiness. He said, “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Indeed, this is the truth that Satan wants to keep away from us, by tempting us without ceasing and persecuting us, that we end up turning away from God and fall into sin.

Through this, all of us Christians must know that if we follow the Lord, walk in His path and obey Him, we will indeed not have an instant gratification and eternal joy right away, for there is indeed a burden which He imposed on us, none other than the burden of our crosses in life. All of us, Christians, who believe in the Lord Jesus and His salvation, are called to carry our crosses with us in our lives, and to follow the Lord with faith and obedience.

What is this cross we have, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is the cross of love, the challenge for us all to love one another, and to show generosity and mercy to our fellow brethren, even towards all those who hate us and all who have brought upon us ridicule, persecution and suffering. It is easy for us to hate those who have hated us, but it is far more difficult for us to love those who hate us and persecute us. Yet, that is what the Lord called us to do and wanted us to do in our lives.

And we will indeed be rejected and ridiculed by others because of how we lived our lives in accordance with the will of God. For instance, while others desire to serve their own needs first and be selfish, all of us Christians are called to be selfless and to show our love to our brethren as much as we love ourselves. We are called to this way of life, this existence in the Spirit, just as the Lord had shown us how to do so.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, are we all able to devote ourselves to the Lord in this manner? Are we all able to walk in the path which He had shown us? Let us all no longer doubt or be hesitant, but instead, let us all seek the Lord with joy, just as the prophet Zechariah in our first reading urged the people to rejoice and to be filled with jubilation, at the coming of the Lord, Who will save His people and bring glory to His Name.

Let us all henceforth, from now on, put our complete trust in the Lord, and become His true disciples and followers. Let us all exorcise and cast away from ourselves all that is wicked, impure and unworthy of God. We do not have to do great things in order to do this, but we can begin from ourselves, from every small and little deeds we do in our daily lives, one at a time.

Let us all show love and compassion to each other, caring for those who are in need, showing forgiveness and tenderness to those who have wronged us, and praying for all those who hate us and who have persecuted us and caused us pain. Let us all be like the Lord, Who have shown us all how to love, and how to be more like Him, so that in the end, we may be found worthy of the Lord, and He will grant us His eternal rest, that we will be forever joyful in His presence.

May God bless us all, remain with us and strengthen our faith in us always. May all of us grow ever stronger in our devotion to Him, and grow ever more generous with our love and compassion. Amen.

Sunday, 9 July 2017 : Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Bible Sunday (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Matthew 11 : 25-30

At that time, Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I praise You; because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to simple people. Yes, Father, this was Your gracious will. Everything has been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father; and no one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.”

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest. For My yoke is easy; and My burden is light.”

Sunday, 9 July 2017 : Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Bible Sunday (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Romans 8 : 9, 11-13

Yet, your existence is not in the flesh, but in the spirit, because the Spirit of God is within you. If you did not have the Spirit of Christ, you would not belong to Him. And if the Spirit of Him, Who raised Jesus from the dead, is within you, He, Who raised Jesus Christ from among the dead, will also give life to your mortal bodies. Yes, He will do it, through His Spirit, Who dwells within you.

Then, brothers, let us leave the flesh and no longer live according to it. If not, we will die. Rather, walking in the spirit, let us put to death the body’s deeds, so that we may live.

Sunday, 9 July 2017 : Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Bible Sunday (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Psalm 144 : 1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13cd-14

I will extol You, my God and King; I will praise Your Name forever. I will praise You, day after day; and exalt Your Name forever.

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

All Your works will give You thanks; all Your saints, o YHVH, will praise You. They will tell of the glory of Your kingdom; and speak of Your power.

YHVH is true to His promises and lets His mercy show in all He does. YHVH lifts up those who are falling and raises those who are beaten down.

Sunday, 9 July 2017 : Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Bible Sunday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Zechariah 9 : 9-10

Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout for joy, daughter of Jerusalem! For your King is coming, just and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

No more chariots in Ephraim, no more horses in Jerusalem, for He will do away with them. The warrior’s bow shall be broken when He dictates peace to the nations. He will reign from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

(Usus Antiquior) Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 9 July 2017 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Green
Offertory

Psalm 15 : 7, 8

Benedicam Dominum, qui tribuit mihi intellectum : providebam Deum in conspectu meo semper : quoniam a dextris est mihi, ne commovear.

 

English translation

I will bless the Lord, Who had given me understanding. I set God always in my sight, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be moved.

 

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Propitiare, Domine, supplicationibus nostris : et has oblationes famulorum famularumque tuarum benignus assume; ut, quod singuli obtulerunt ad honorem Nominis Tui, cunctis proficiat ad salutem. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Be propitiated, o Lord, by our supplications, and graciously accept these oblations of Your servants, and Your handmaidens, that what each has offered to the honour of Your Name may profit for the salvation of all. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Communion

Psalm 26 : 4

Unam petii a Domino, hanc requiram : ut inhabitem in domo Domini omnibus diebus vitae meae.

 

English translation

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this I will seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

Quos caelesti, Domine, dono satiasti : praesta, quaesumus; ut a nostris mundemur occultis et ab hostium liberemur insidiis. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Grant us, we beseech You, o Lord, whom You have filled with the heavenly gift, that we may be cleansed of our hidden sins and delivered from the snares of our enemies. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 9 July 2017 : Holy Gospel

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

Matthew 5 : 20-24

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus discipulis Suis : Nisi abundaverit justitia vestra plus quam scribarum et pharisaeorum, non intrabitis in regnum caelorum. Audistis, quia dictum est antiquis : Non occides : qui autem occident, reus erit judicio.

Ego autem dico vobis : quia omnis, qui irascitur fratri suo, reus erit judicio. Qui autem dixerit fratri suo, raca : reus erit concilio. Qui autem dixerit : fatue : reus erit gehennae ignis.

Si ergo offers munus tuum ad altare, et ibi recordatus fueris, quia frater tuus habet aliquid adversum te : relinque ibi munus tuum ante altare et vade prius reconciliari fratri tuo : et tunc veniens offeres munus tuum.

 

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Except your justice abound more than that of the Scribes and the Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to them of old, “You shall not kill, and whoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgement.”

“But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgement, and whosoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca’, shall be in danger of the council, and whosoever shall say, ‘You fool’, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

“If therefore you offer your gift at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has anything against you, leave there your offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to your brother, and then coming you shall offer your gift.”

(Usus Antiquior) Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 9 July 2017 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : Green
Psalm 83 : 10, 9 and Psalm 20 : 1

Protector noster, aspice, Deus, et respice super servos Tuos.

Response : Domine, Deus virtutum, exaudi preces servorum Tuorum.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Domine, in virtute Tua laetabitur rex : et super salutare Tuum exsultabit vehementer. Alleluja.

 

English translation

Behold, o God our Protector, and look on Your servants.

Response : O Lord God of hosts, give ear to the prayers of Your servants.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : In Your strength, o Lord, the king shall rejoice, and in Your salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 9 July 2017 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Green
Lectio Epistolae Beati Petri Apostoli – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Peter the Apostle

1 Peter 3 : 8-15

Carissimi : Omnes unanimes in oratione estote, compatientes, fraternitatis amatores, misericordes, modesti, humiles : non reddentes malum pro malo, nec maledictum pro maledicto, sed e contrario benedicentes : quia in hoc vocati estis, ut benedictionem hereditate possideatis.

Qui enim vult vitam diligere et dies videre bonos, coerceat linguam suam a malo, et labia ejus ne loquantur dolum. Declinet a malo, et faciat bonum : inquirat pacem, et sequatur eam. Quia oculi Domini super justos, et aures ejus in preces eorum : vultus autem Domini super facientes mala.

Et quis est, qui vobis noceat, si boni aemulatores fueritis? Sed et si quid patimini propter justitiam, beati. Timorem autem eorum ne timueritis : et non conturbemini. Dominum autem Christum sanctificate in cordibus vestris.

 

English translation

Dearly beloved, may all of you be of one mind, having compassion one of another, being lovers of the brotherhood, merciful, modest, humble; not rendering evil for evil, nor railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing for unto this you are called, that you may inherit a blessing.

For he who will love life, and see good days let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. Let him decline from evil and do good; let him seek after peace, and pursue it, because the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and His ears unto their prayers, but the countenance of the Lord is against those who do evil things.

And who is he who can hurt you, if you be zealous of good? But if you also suffer anything for justice’s sake, blessed are you. And do not be afraid of their fear, and do not be troubled, but sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts.

(Usus Antiquior) Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 9 July 2017 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Green

Introit

Psalm 26 : 7, 9, 1

Exaudi, Domine, vocem meam, qua clamavi ad Te : adjutor meus esto, ne derelinquas me, neque despicias me, Deus, salutaris meus.

Dominus illuminatio mea et salus mea, quem timebo?

Response : Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Hear, o Lord, my voice with which I have cried to You. May You be my helper, do not forsake me, nor do You despise me, o God my Saviour.

The Lord is my light, and my salvation, whom shall I fear?

Response : Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

Collect

Deus, qui diligentibus Te bona invisibilia praeparasti : infunde cordibus nostris Tui amoris affectum; ut Te in omnibus et super omnia diligentes, promissiones Tuas, quae omne desiderium superant, consequamur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

O God, You who had prepared good things unseen for those who love You, pour into our hearts the fervour of Your love, that, loving You in all things and above all things, we may attain Your promises, which surpass all desire. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.