Sunday, 14 January 2018 : Second Sunday of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this Sunday we gather together and we listened to the Word of God in the Scriptures, telling us all about the importance and the meaning of discipleship, meaning what it means to become a follower of God. We heard this through the calling of Samuel, prophet and judge of Israel, when he was still very young, and then also the calling of the first Apostles, at the side of the River Jordan.

In the first reading today, from the Book of the prophet Samuel, we heard of the moment when God called Samuel in his sleep, which the young Samuel misinterpreted as Eli, his guardian, calling him to his place. This happened three times, as Eli denied calling upon Samuel and asked him to go back to sleep, before Eli realised that it was God Who called the young boy.

At that time, the people of Israel had wandered off from the path which God had shown them, and instead, they followed the path of the pagan worship of idols, following the customs of their neighbours, and neglecting the obligation to follow and obey the Lord. And even the leaders of the people became corrupt and wayward. Hosni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli the judge led the people as priests, but they disobeyed the Lord and committed wicked corrupt acts before Him.

That was when God sent His servant, Samuel, whom He had chosen from among His people. He set him aside to be the instrument through whom He would liberate His people Israel from their sinfulness and wicked ways. And Samuel was dedicated to the Lord from a very young age, and today in our first reading, we heard of the moment when the Lord called him and began to work His wonders through him.

Samuel might be very young at that time, and he was truly innocent and pure, not knowing Who was the One calling him in the middle of the night. Yet, he was obedient to Eli, his guardian, and listened to him. And he responded to the Lord’s call, listening to whatever He told him. God spoke to Samuel about His anger at the current state of Israel, and foretold that Eli and his two sons would meet terrible end for their disobedience, and that Samuel would be the one through whom God would work His wonders.

Ever since then, God worked wonders through Samuel, who went about from place to place, delivering God’s will and His words to many people, calling them to repent from their sinful ways, and even opposing the will of the people of Israel at times, because they refused to obey God and were rebellious. God was with him, and he worked many good wonders, even as he opposed the king of Israel, Saul, when he disobeyed God and chose to follow his own ways rather than God’s ways.

Samuel was called by God to a mission and to a vocation that is neither easy nor pleasant. He was not called to a leisure and enjoyable life, but to one that is filled with constant challenges and difficulties. He had to endure the scorn of many people, each with their own demands and desires, and their constant rebelliousness and stubbornness against God’s will, and he had to still love them and care for them, as the judge and leader of the people.

In the same manner, God called His disciples in the Gospel passage we listened to today. He called His first Apostles at the banks of the River Jordan just right after He was baptised by St. John the Baptist. St. John the Baptist was another one of God’s tireless servants, who devoted himself wholly to do God’s will, baptising many people and calling them to repentance, and even stood up against the Pharisees and king Herod, rebuking them for their wickedness.

St. John the Baptist revealed to all of his disciples that Jesus is the Messiah and the Lamb of God, long awaited and long prophesied by the prophets. And some of those disciples followed Jesus, including St. Andrew the Apostle, first among Christ’s Apostles, who then called his brethren, all fellow fishermen of Galilee. They listened to the Lord Jesus calling them as He made His way along the river banks, and they followed Him.

Similar as the calling made by the Lord to the prophet Samuel in the Old Testament, the Apostles in the New Testament were called not to a life of pleasure or to a glamorous and glorious vocation. They were called to follow a King, but He is a King not like the other kings and rulers of the world, for they were called mostly from among the poor, and after their calling they remain poor, and even they have to leave behind everything they had in order to follow the Lord.

They were called to a most noble mission of all, one that is filled with challenges and tribulations. Yet, it was thanks to the hard work of the Apostles that there had been so many souls, countless millions upon millions, billions upon billions of souls, who have received the assurance of God’s salvation, by their preaching and by their loving actions, which they then passed on to their successors. Ultimately, their mission as the ‘fishers of men’ continues today through the Church that God has established, through our bishops and priests, even today.

And what is our calling as Christians, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is the same! It is the same calling which God had made to us, as He had called Samuel and then His disciples in the past. When He called them, ‘Follow Me!’, Samuel answered with faith, and listened intently, and followed Him to wherever He led him to do His wonderful works. The Apostles and the other disciples of the Lord also followed Him, and went with Him wherever He went. Are we able to do the same as well?

Many of them had to endure rejection and persecution, the same one that had happened to their Lord and Master. They had to face opposition, even from loved ones and relatives, and many of them were persecuted, imprisoned, and many had to lay down their lives for the sake of the Lord and for their faith in Him. Yet, they did so willingly, never once giving up on their faith, and their dedication was the reason why all of us have the faith as we have it today.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we listened to the Scripture and remembering how Samuel the prophet and the disciples of Our Lord have given their lives to the Lord, committing themselves to Him, let us all reflect on our own lives, and how each and every one of us can devote ourselves to Him in our own way, and giving to Him whatever we can give Him in our own capacities.

Let us all renew our faith to Him, and let us rededicate our efforts, that from now on, all of the things we say and do, we do not do them for ourselves, but rather, first of all, for the sake of God, and for the sake of His people. Let us all be examples for one another, and helping one another in faith, that each and every one of us, eventually, will be able to find our way to the Lord and receive worthily His saving grace, the grace of eternal life and glory. May God bless us all. Amen.

Sunday, 14 January 2018 : Second Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

John 1 : 35-42

At that time, John was standing at the River Jordan, with two of his disciples. As Jesus walked by, John looked at Him and said, “There is the Lamb of God.” On hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. He turned and saw them following, and He said to them, “What are you looking for?”

They answered, “Rabbi (which means Master), where are You staying?” Jesus said, “Come and see.” So they went and saw where He stayed, and spent the rest of that day with Him. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.

Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard what John had said, and followed Jesus. Early the next morning, he found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah (which means the Christ),” and he brought Simon to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John, but you shall be called Cephas (which means Rock).”

Sunday, 14 January 2018 : Second Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 6 : 13c-15a, 17-20

Yet the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord is for the body. And God, Who raised the Lord, will also raise us with His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?

On the contrary, anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him. Avoid unlawful sex entirely. Any other sin a person commits is outside the body; but those who commit sexual immorality sin against their own body.

Do you not know that your body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit within you, given by God? You belong no longer to yourselves. Remember at what price you have been bought, and make your body serve the glory of God.

Sunday, 14 January 2018 : Second Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 39 : 2 and 4ab, 7-8a, 8b-9, 10

With resolve I waited for YHVH; He listened and heard me beg. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.

Sacrifice and oblation You did not desire; this, You had me understand. Burnt offering and sin offering You do not require. Then I said, “Here I come!”

As the scroll says of me. To do Your will is my delight, o God, for Your Law is within my heart.

In the great assembly I have proclaimed Your saving help. My lips, o YHVH, I did not seal – You know that very well.

Sunday, 14 January 2018 : Second Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Samuel 3 : 3b-10, 19

Samuel also lay in the house of YHVH near the Ark of God. Then YHVH called, “Samuel! Samuel!” Samuel answered, “I am here!” and ran to Eli saying, “I am here, did you not call me?” But Eli said, “I did not call. Go back to sleep.” So he went and lay down.

Then YHVH called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel stood up and went to Eli saying, “You called me; I am here.” But Eli answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.” Samuel did not yet know YHVH; and the word of YHVH had not yet been revealed to him. But YHVH called Samuel for the third time; and he went again to Eli saying, “I am here for you have called me.”

Eli realised that it was YHVH calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if He calls you again, answer : ‘Speak, YHVH, Your servant listens.’” Then YHVH came and stood there calling “Samuel! Samuel!” as He did before. And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant listens.”

Samuel grew. YHVH was with him and made all his words become true.

(Usus Antiquior) Second Sunday after Epiphany (II Classis) – Sunday, 14 January 2018 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : White

Offertory

Psalm 65 : 1-2, 16

Jubilate Deo, universa terra : psalmum dicite Nomini Ejus : venite et audite, et narrabo vobis, omnes qui timetis Deum, quanta fecit Dominus animae meae, Alleluja.

 

English translation

Shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing all of you a psalm to His Name. Come and hear, and I will tell you, all who fear God, what great things the Lord had done for my soul. Alleluia.

 

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Oblata, Domine, munera sanctifica : nosque a peccatorum nostrorum maculis emunda. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Sanctify, o Lord, the gifts we offer, and purify us from the stains of our sins. 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

John 2 : 7, 8, 9, 10-11

Dicit Dominus : Implete hydrias aqua et ferte architriclino. Cum gustasset architriclinus aquam vinum factam, dicit sponso : Servasti bonum vinum usque adhuc. Hoc signum fecit Jesus primum coram discipulis Suis.

 

English translation

The Lord said, “Fill the waterpots with water, and carry to the chief steward of the feast.” When the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, he said to the bridegroom, “You have kept the good wine until now.” This first miracle Jesus had done before His disciples.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

Augeatur in nobis, quaesumus, Domine, Tuae virtutis operatio : ut divinis vegetati sacramentis, ad eorum promissa capienda, Tuo munere praeparemur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

May the working of Your power, we beg You, o Lord, be increased in us, that, being nourished by divine sacraments, we may by Your grace be prepared to obtain that which they promise. 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) Second Sunday after Epiphany (II Classis) – Sunday, 14 January 2018 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

John 2 : 1-11

In illo tempore : Nuptiae factae sunt in Cana Galilaeae : et erat Mater Jesu ini. Vocatus est autem et Jesus, et discipuli Ejus ad nuptias. Et deficiente vino, dicit Mater Jesu ad eum : Vinum non habent.

Et dicit ei Jesus : Quid mihi et Tibi est, mulier? Nondum venit hora Mea. Dicit Mater Ejus ministris : Quodcumque dixerit vobis, facite. Erant autem ibi lapidae hydriae sex positae secundum purificationem Judaeorum, capientes singulae metretas binas vel ternas.

Dicit eis Jesus : Implete hydrias aqua. Et impleverunt eas usque ad summum. Et dicit eis Jesus : Haurite nunc, et ferte architriclino. Et tulerunt. Ut autem gustavit architriclinus aquam vinum favtam, et non sciebat unde esset, ministri autem sciebant, qui hauserant aquam : vocat sponsum architriclinus, et dicit ei : Omnis homo primum bonum vinum ponit : et cum inebriati fuerint, tunc id, quod deterius est. Tu autem servasti bonum vinum usque adhuc.

Hoc fecit initium signorum Jesus in Cana Galilaeae : et manifestavit gloriam suam, et crediderunt in eum discipuli Ejus.

 

English translation

At that time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus was also invited, and His disciples as well, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what is it to Me and to you? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the waiters, “Whatsoever He shall say to you, all of you do it.” Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece.

Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus said to them, “Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast.” And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water. The chief steward called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man at first set forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse. But you have kept the good wine until now.”

This is the beginning of miracles that Jesus had done in Cana of Galilee, and He manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.