Tuesday, 5 September 2017 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Teresa of Kolkata, Religious (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Religious)

Luke 4 : 31-37

At that time, Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee, and began teaching the people at the Sabbath meetings. They were astonished at the way He taught them, for His word was spoken with authority.

In the synagogue, there was a man possessed by an evil spirit, who shouted in a loud voice, “What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I recognise You : You are the Holy One of God.”

Then Jesus said to him sharply, “Be silent and leave this man!” The evil spirit then threw the man down in front of them, and came out of him without doing him harm. Amazement seized all these people, and they said to one another, “What does this mean? He commands the evil spirits with authority and power. He orders, and you see how they come out!”

And news about Jesus spread throughout the surrounding area.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Teresa of Kolkata, Religious (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Religious)

Psalm 26 : 1, 4, 13-14

YHVH is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? YHVH is the rampart of my life; I will not be afraid.

One thing I ask of YHVH, one thing I seek – that I may dwell in His house all the days of my life, to gaze at His jewel and to visit His Sanctuary.

I hope, I am sure, that I will see the goodness of YHVH in the land of the living. Trust in YHVH, be strong and courageous. Yes, put your hope in YHVH!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Teresa of Kolkata, Religious (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Religious)

1 Thessalonians 5 : 1-6, 9-11

You do not need anyone to write to you about the delay, and the appointed time for these events. You know, that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people feel secure, and at peace, the disaster will suddenly come upon them, as the birth pangs of a woman in labour, and they will not escape.

But you, beloved, are not in darkness; so that day will not surprise you like a thief. All of you are citizens of the light and the day; we do not belong to night and darkness. Let us not, therefore, sleep as others do, but remain alert and sober.

For God has not willed us to be condemned, but to win salvation, through Christ Jesus, our Lord. He died for us, so that, we might enter into life, with Him, whether we are still awake or already asleep. Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another, as you are doing now.

Monday, 4 September 2017 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day first of all we heard the assurance which St. Paul mentioned in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth, when he told them of what will happen to all those who are faithful to God and have kept His laws and commandments. God will lift them all up and together with all those who have gone before them, and were faithful, all these God will raise up together to enjoy forever His everlasting inheritance.

This is the promise which God has given us, and which He has revealed to us through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Who is our Lord and Saviour born from a humble virgin of Nazareth named Mary. Through His Son, God has endeavoured to bring all of His faithful and beloved people to salvation, and through Him, God has revealed His love and favour to His people. Yet, as we heard in the Gospel passage today, even His own townspeople in Nazareth rejected Him and refused to believe in Him.

Why was that, brothers and sisters in Christ? That is because they refused to open themselves, their hearts and minds to the Lord Who desired to speak to them and to let them know His truth. Yet, the people of Nazareth were blinded by their presumption of knowledge, thinking that because they had seen Him growing up from a very young age, Son of the local carpenter, a job not seen by many with respect, then they had the right to consider what the Lord Jesus had proclaimed to them as something false and preposterous.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us reflect on this passage from the Scriptures and how the people of Nazareth had treated Jesus. And let us also look at our own lives, in how we have related ourselves to the Lord. Have we been truly faithful to Him in our ways? Or have we instead been like the people of Nazareth who refused to believe in Jesus and in His truth? And it is often that we do not believe in Him as we should.

We are often too busy with our daily preoccupations, and we are often too distracted with our worldly concerns, that we forgot about God, and we ignore Him. That is when we distance ourselves from Him and end up falling into sin. We have spent so much time trying to gain for ourselves positions of honour, power, glory and worldly possessions, yet what can all these things bring us, brothers and sisters in Christ?

None of them can bring us lasting satisfaction, and in the end, only God can fully satisfy us, for it is He alone Who knows all that we ever needed and will ever need. He has come into this world to reveal this truth, that He is the true source of our joy and happiness, and not in all the distractions which had prevented us from truly being able to love Him and devote ourselves to Him. And it is often our ego and pride that came between us and God.

The people of Nazareth, a small and poor village, stood by their ego and pride, refusing that such an insignificant little village like theirs could have been the place where the Messiah of God would come from, and less still, to be the One Whom they have seen growing up, the Son of a local carpenter. And thus, doubt remained in their hearts, and they refused to believe, because they had hardened their hearts and minds against God.

Is it what we should do, brothers and sisters in Christ? No, it is not. Rather, as Christians, all of us must walk a different path, that is a path of humility and obedience to God. We should open our hearts and minds to welcome the word of God speaking to us in our hearts, so that we may be able to listen to Him and realise what it is that He really wants us to do with our respective lives.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all commit ourselves to the Lord anew, and let us all be open to welcome His truth and love inside each and every one of us. Let us listen to God’s will and endeavour to walk in His path henceforth, from now on, ever faithful to His laws and ways. May God be with us always. Amen.

Monday, 4 September 2017 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 4 : 16-30

At that time, when Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, as He usually did. He stood up to read, and they handed Him the book of the prophet Isaiah.

Jesus then unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written : “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me. He has anointed Me, to bring good news to the poor; to proclaim liberty to captives; and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed; and to announce the Lord’s year of mercy.”

Jesus then rolled up the scroll, gave it to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. Then He said to them, “Today, these prophetic words come true, even as you listen.” All agreed with Him, and were lost in wonder, while He spoke of the grace of God. Nevertheless they asked, “Who is this but Joseph’s Son?”

So He said, “Doubtless you will quote Me the saying : Doctor, heal yourself! Do here, in Your town, what they say You did in Capernaum.” Jesus added, “No prophet is honoured in his own country.” Truly, I say to you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens withheld rain for three years and six months and a great famine came over the whole land.”

“Yet, Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow of Zarephath, in the country of Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha, the prophet; and no one was healed except Naaman, the Syrian.”

On hearing these words, the whole assembly became indignant. They rose up and brought Him out of the town, to the edge of the hill on which Nazareth is built, intending to throw Him down the cliff. But He passed through their midst and went His way.

Monday, 4 September 2017 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 95 : 1 and 3, 4-5, 11-12a, 12b-13

Sing to YHVH a new song, sing to YHVH, all the earth! Recall His glory among the nations, tell all the peoples His wonderful deeds.

How great is YHVH and worthy of praise! Above all gods, He is to be feared. For all other gods are worthless idols, but YHVH is the One Who made the heavens.

Let the heavens be glad, the earth rejoice; let the sea and all that fills it resound; let the fields exult and everything in them.

Let the forest, all the trees, sing for joy. Let them sing before YHVH Who comes to judge the earth. He will rule the world with justice, and the peoples, with fairness.

Monday, 4 September 2017 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Thessalonians 4 : 13-18

Brothers and sisters, we want you not to be mistaken about those who are already asleep, lest you grieve as do those who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose; it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus. God will bring them together, with Jesus, and for His sake.

By the same word of the Lord, we assert this : those of us who are to be alive at the Lord’s coming, will not go ahead of those who are already asleep. When the command by the Archangel’s voice is given, the Lord, Himself, will come down from heaven, while the divine trumpet call is sounding.

Then, those who have died in the Lord, will rise first; as for us who are still alive, we will be brought along with them, in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the celestial world. And we will be with the Lord forever. So then, comfort one another with these words.