Tuesday, 12 September 2017 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Most Holy Name of Mary)

Luke 6 : 12-19

At that time, Jesus went out into the hills to pray, spending the whole night in prayer with God. When day came, He called His disciples to Him, and chose Twelve of them, whom He called ‘Apostles’ : Simon, whom He named Peter, and his brother Andrew; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James son of Alpheus and Simon called the Zealot; Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who would be the traitor.

Coming down the hill with them, Jesus stood in an open plain. Many of His disciples were there, and a large crowd of people, who had come from all parts of Judea and Jerusalem, and from the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon. They gathered to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases. And the people troubled by unclean spirits were cured.

The entire crowd tried to touch Him, because of the power that went out from Him and healed them all.

Alternative reading (Mass of the Most Holy Name of Mary)

Luke 1 : 39-47

At that time, Mary then set out for a town in the hill country of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb.

Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and, giving a loud cry, said, “You are most blessed among women; and blessed is the Fruit of your womb! How is it, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you, who believed that the Lord’s word would come true!”

And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God, my Saviour!”

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Most Holy Name of Mary)

Psalm 144 : 1-2, 8-9, 10-11

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.

Alternative Psalm (Mass of the Most Holy Name of Mary)

Luke 1 : 46-47, 48-49, 50-51, 52-53, 54-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God, my Saviour!

He has looked upon His servant, in her lowliness, and people, forever, will call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me. Holy is His Name!

From age to age, His mercy extends to those who live in His presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans.

He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.

He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Most Holy Name of Mary)

Colossians 2 : 6-15

If you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, let Him be your doctrine. Be rooted and built up in Him; let faith be your principle, as you were taught, and your thanksgiving, overflowing.

See that no one deceives you with philosophy or any hollow discourse; these are merely human doctrines, not inspired by Christ, but by the wisdom of this world. For in Him, dwells the fullness of God, in bodily form. He is the Head of all cosmic power and authority, and, in Him, you have everything.

In Christ Jesus, you were given a circumcision, but not by human hands, which removed completely from you the carnal body : I refer to baptism. On receiving it, you were buried with Christ; and you also rose with Him, for having believed in the power of God, Who raised Him from the dead.

You were dead. You were in sin and uncircumcised at the same time. But God gave you life with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He cancelled the record of our debts, those regulations which accused us. He did away with all that, and nailed it to the cross. Victorious through the cross, He stripped the rulers and authorities of their power, humbled them before the eyes of the whole world, and dragged them behind Him, as prisoners.

Alternative reading (Mass of the Most Holy Name of Mary)

Galatians 4 : 4-7

But when the fullness of time came, God sent His Son. He came, born of woman, and subject to the Law, in order to redeem the subjects of the Law, that we might receive adoption, as children of God. And because you are children, God has sent into your hearts, the spirit of His Son, Who cries out : Abba! that is, Father!

You, yourself, are no longer a slave, but a son or daughter, and yours is the inheritance, by God’s grace.

Alternative reading (Mass of the Most Holy Name of Mary)

Ephesians 1 : 3-6

Blessed be God, the Father of Christ Jesus our Lord, Who, in Christ, has blessed us from heaven, with every spiritual blessing. God chose us, in Christ, before the creation of the world, to be holy, and without sin in His presence.

From eternity He destined us, in love, to be His adopted sons and daughters, through Christ Jesus, thus fulfilling His free and generous will. This goal suited Him : that His loving-kindness, which He granted us His beloved might finally receive all glory and praise.

Monday, 11 September 2017 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day all of us heard how we should put our trust in the Lord and not to harden our hearts or to close our minds to Him. We should entrust ourselves to the care of God, Who will take care of us and bless us with whatever we need. We witnessed how the Lord healed the sick man, showing His love for the man, and His mercy for the suffering He had.

But there were still those who opposed Him and refused to listen to Him, as shown in the actions of the Pharisees who laid traps to trap Jesus in His actions, hoping that by healing on the Sabbath, they could accuse Jesus of wrongdoing and disobeying the Law, and therefore arrest Him and get rid of Him, Whom they came to see as a great rival in the sight of the people.

Yet in this, they did not do what the Lord had commanded them, and instead, they were doing what they thought was right for them. They were trying to safeguard and satisfy their own self interests, instead of obeying what God had told them to do. They were appointed as the leaders of the people and as the guardians of God’s laws and commandments, and yet, they have not done what was asked of them.

They did not work for the greater glory of God but rather for themselves. And through all of these therefore, all of us as Christians must heed what the Lord Jesus had said and done amongst His people, as He has shown us the example of what we ought to be doing as those who walk in His path and believe in Him. We cannot be hypocrites in our faith, who are outwardly pious and good, and yet God and His precepts have no place in our hearts.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all reflect upon our own lives, our actions, words and deeds in this life. Have we been righteous and loving as Christ has been righteous and loving in all of His deeds? Have we acted in the manner that the Lord had taught us to be, following what the Church had taught us? Have we shown care, love and compassion to our brethren who are in need of love?

Many of us are not taking the necessary actions that are needed for us as Christians to be truly faithful and devoted to God. Many of us think that to be Christians is something that is easily done, and require little or even no effort from us. And if we think that being a Christian is an easy one, and we have not encountered difficulties thus far, perhaps then we have not stepped outside our comfort zone and do what has been expected from us.

Therefore, let us from now on strive to be ever more like our Lord Himself, stepping out from our comfort zone and challenging ourselves at all times to be ever faithful to the Lord through our words, actions and deeds. Let us all do what we can in order to commit ourselves to God and His ways, by extending our hands to help those who are in need, and caring for those who are hungry and homeless, those who are sorrowful and those who are sick.

Let us challenge ourselves to do ever more and do not be disheartened by what we will likely to encounter in our respective lives as we become ever more faithful to God. There will indeed be opposition and even ridicule and rejection for our works and actions, but that was exactly what had happened to the Lord Jesus as well. We must take heart and not be tempted to give up or to make compromises on our faith.

May the Lord help us in our journey, and may He empower each and every one of us to become ever better disciples of His. May the Lord bless us all in our endeavours, and may all of us draw ever closer to Him. Amen.

Monday, 11 September 2017 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 6 : 6-11

At that time, on another Sabbath, Jesus entered the synagogue and began teaching. There was a man with a paralysed right hand, and the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees watched Him : Would Jesus heal the man on the Sabbath? If He did, they could accuse Him.

But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to the man, “Get up, and stand in the middle.” Then He spoke to them, “I want to ask you : what is allowed by the Law on the Sabbath? To do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” And Jesus looked around at them all.

Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored, becoming as healthy as the other. But they were furious, and began to discuss with one another how they could deal with Jesus.

Monday, 11 September 2017 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 61 : 6-7, 9

Find rest in God alone, o my soul; from Him, comes my hope. He alone, is my Rock and my Salvation; with Him as my Stronghold, I shall not be overcome.

Trust in Him at all times, my people; pour out your hearts before Him; God is our refuge.

Monday, 11 September 2017 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Colossians 1 : 24 – Colossians 2 : 3

At present, I rejoice when I suffer for you; I complete, in my own flesh, what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the Church. For I am serving the Church since God entrusted to me the ministry to make the word of God fully known.

I mean that mysterious plan that, for centuries and generations, remained secret, and which God has now revealed to His holy ones. God willed to make known to them the riches, and even the glory, that His mysterious plan reserved for the pagan nations : Christ is in you, the hope for glory.

This Christ, we preach. We warn, and teach everyone true wisdom, aiming to make everyone perfect, in Christ. For this cause I labour and struggle, with the energy of Christ working powerfully in me. I want you to know how I strive for you, for those of Laodicea, and for so many who have not met me personally.

I pray, that all may be encouraged. May you be established in love, that you may obtain all the riches of a full understanding, and know the mystery of God, Christ Himself. For, in Him, are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.