Friday, 6 October 2017 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Bruno, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Luke 10 : 13-16

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! So many miracles have been worked in you! If the same miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would already be sitting in ashes and wearing the sackcloth of repentance.”

“Surely for Tyre and Sidon it will be better on the Day of Judgment than for you. And what of you, city of Capernaum? Will you be lifted up to heaven? You will be thrown down to the place of the dead. Whoever listens to you listens to Me, and whoever rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me, rejects the One Who sent Me.”

Friday, 6 October 2017 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Bruno, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Psalm 78 : 1-2, 3-5, 8, 9

O God, the pagans have invaded Your inheritance; they have defiled Your holy Temple and reduced Jerusalem to rubble. They have given Your servants’ corpses to the birds, and the flesh of Your saints, to the beasts of the earth.

They have poured out the blood of Your faithful, like water around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them. Mocked and reviled by those around us, we are scorned by our neighbours. How long will this last, o YHVH? Will You be angry forever? Will Your wrath always burn to avenge Your rights?

Do not remember against us the sins of our fathers. Let Your compassion hurry to us, for we have been brought very low.

Help us, God, our Saviour, for the glory of Your Name; forgive us, for the sake of Your Name.

Friday, 6 October 2017 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Bruno, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Baruch 1 : 15-22

You will say : May everyone recognise the justice of our God but, on this day, shame and confusion befit the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem – our kings and princes, our priests, our prophets, and our fathers, because we have sinned before the Lord.

We have disobeyed Him and have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God, nor have we followed the commandments which the Lord had put before us. From the day that the Lord brought our ancestors out of the land of Egypt until this day, we have disobeyed the Lord our God and we have rebelled against Him instead of listening to His voice.

Because of this, from the day on which the Lord brought our ancestors out of the land of Egypt, so as to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, the evils and the curse which the Lord pronounced by Moses, His servant, have dogged our footsteps right down to the present day.

We did not listen to the voice of the Lord our God speaking through the words of the prophets whom He sent to us, but each one of us followed his perverted heart, serving false gods and doing what displeases the Lord our God.

Thursday, 5 October 2017 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day all of us heard firstly from the Book of the prophet Nehemiah, in which we heard of the moment when the Law of God was read to assembly of the faithful of Israel by Ezra the priest and prophet. The people wept because they heard the Law, which showed them just how sinful and wayward they had become. They wept because they were aware that they were sinners before God, and the consequences for sins were very severe.

But Ezra calmed the people down and reminded of the love and mercy of God to them. That day was a day dedicated for joyous celebration in the Lord, for God had gathered back His scattered people and allowed them to return to the land of their ancestors. A new hope had dawned on Israel at that time, a hope once hidden beneath the suffering and humiliation of having to endure exile from their homeland, the destruction of their Holy City and Temple.

God was once again with His people and dwelled among them. This is the hope which Ezra placed on the people, even as the Law became a constant reminder of what would happen to those who had become wayward in their lives. And this is what the Gospel today also reminded each and everyone of us Christians. In the Gospel today, the Lord Jesus sent forth His disciples on their way to preach the truth and the faith which He had brought into this world.

He reminded them that such a task would not be an easy one. There will be challenges and persecutions awaiting them. There would be many of those who sought to undermine the good works they have done. There are those who have refused to listen to the truth, and they also refused to listen to the Word of God preached to them. Those who showed no repentance and desire to be forgiven therefore received also a rejection from God.

While those who wanted to listen to the word of God and turn back from their sins, received from God the forgiveness and mercy He had promised to them. And God’s peace and harmony was theirs. Just as the Israelites were forgiven by their sincere repentance, the sorrow they showed for their sins, the regrets they exhibited as we saw in the first reading today, therefore God will forgive all those who sincerely seek His forgiveness.

Therefore, how do all these then have their relevance for us? First of all, as Christians, all of us have received the truth of God, understood His ways and teachings, and accepted the Lord Jesus as our God and Saviour. But at the same time, we are also still sinners, who constantly get tempted in life, and fall again from time to time into sin. If we do not listen to the word of God and refused to turn away from our sins, then God will still reject us.

Then secondly, all of us as Christians also receive the same mission as what the disciples of the Lord had been given by the Lord. They were sent to preach the Good News to the people of God, reaching out to all those who have not yet been touched by God’s truth. And in this world today, there are still many people out there who have lapsed in their faith, and are in need of guidance from us.

Therefore, all of us Christians must be truly faithful in our lives, committed wholeheartedly to God’s ways, in our every actions, words and deeds. We must show our brethren the way forward to God through our examples. We cannot reach into the hearts of others, if we ourselves have not done what the Lord asked of us, or worse still, doing what is contrary to what our faith is about.

Let us all devote our effort from now on henceforth, trying our best to live righteously in the presence of God, becoming witnesses of the Lord through our deeds. May the Lord bless us all and our endeavours, and may He empower us to do in our lives even more faithful devotion and actions done with courage and commitment to God. Amen.

Thursday, 5 October 2017 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 10 : 1-12

At that time, the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples, and sent them, two by two, ahead of Him, to every town and place, where He Himself was to go. And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to His harvest.”

“Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know. Whatever house you enter, first bless them, saying, ‘Peace to this house!’ If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house.”

“When they welcome you to any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick who are there, and say to them : ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you.’ But in any town where you are not welcome, go to the marketplace and proclaim : ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off and leave with you. But know for a certainty that the kingdom of God has drawn near to you.'”

“I tell you, that on the Day of Judgment it will be better for Sodom than for this town.”