Tuesday, 3 July 2018 : Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

John 20 : 24-29

At that time, Thomas, the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with the other Eleven when Jesus came. The other disciples told Him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he replied, “Until I have seen in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in His side, I will not believe.”

Eight days later, the disciples were again inside the house and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see My hands; stretch out your hand, and put it into My side. Do not continue in your unbelief, but believe!”

Thomas said, “You are my Lord and my God.” Jesus replied, “You believe because you see Me, do you not? Happy are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

Tuesday, 3 July 2018 : Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 116 : 1, 2

Alleluia! Praise YHVH, all you nations; all you peoples, praise Him.

How great is His love for us! His faithfulness lasts forever.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018 : Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Ephesians 2 : 19-22

Now, you are no longer strangers or guests, but fellow citizens of the holy people : you are of the household of God. You are the house, whose foundations are the Apostles and prophets, and whose cornerstone is Christ Jesus.

In Him, the whole structure is joined together, and rises, to be a holy Temple, in the Lord. In Him, you, too, are being built, to become the spiritual Sanctuary of God.

Monday, 2 July 2018 : 13th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we heard how God reminded Israel, through His prophet Amos, of how He has blessed His people and helped them throughout the ages, protecting them from their enemies and guiding them through their difficult years. Yet, they disobeyed Him and did all sorts of things that are sinful and abhorrent to Him. It is no surprise that God was angry at His people.

After all, they have abandoned Him to worship pagan idols and gods, all of which have no role whatsoever in the history and life of the Israelites, unlike what God had done so generously for them. Instead, they refused to follow His laws and obey His commandments, and they prefer to walk in their own ways and listen to the desires of their own hearts and minds.

They committed all sorts of wicked things and sinful acts before the Lord, and they ended up falling deeper and deeper into the darkness of sin. But in the end, God still loved them and cared for them. Despite His anger against their sins and wickedness, He still loved them for He created them to be His children. And that was why, He sent them prophets and messengers, like the prophet Amos, to remind them of His love, and to call them to repent and turn away from their sins.

And to this end, in order to save His people, He sent all of us, the ultimate deliverer and Saviour, in Jesus Christ, His Son, Whom He sent into this world, to bring forth the truth and the Good News of His salvation to all of us. In the Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord Jesus teaching and working among the people, and a teacher of the Law came to Him and said that he would follow Him wherever He went.

This is what the Lord Jesus also wants from us, that each and every one of us come fo follow Him and walk in His ways. But as He also mentioned in the Gospel passage to the disciple who hesitated because he wanted to bury his father first, He called them to a life of total commitment and obedience to the will of God. And this is what each and every one of us as Christians should also be doing in our own lives.

What does this mean, brothers and sisters in Christ? It means that all of us as Christians must truly be Christ-centric in our lives, in our every actions and deeds, so that Christ is always at the centre and is the focus of our lives. For the people of Israel in the past, God was not at the centre of their lives, and that is why, they easily forgot about God and the love which He had shown them, for so many years.

And it means that as Christians, all of us must be wholly oriented towards the Lord, in every aspects of our lives, so that we may truly have Him as the direction for our lives, and we may be internally oriented towards Him, in our every actions and deeds, in our every words and in every moments we interact with one another. This is very important for each one of us as Christians.

Let us keep this in mind, as we carry on with our lives. Let us all draw closer to God, and do our best, in whatever way we can, in order to serve the Lord with greater zeal and with greater purpose, abandoning our past sinfulness and wickedness, and seek the Lord with a contrite heart, desiring His love, mercy and forgiveness. May the Lord bless us all and remain with us throughout this journey. Amen.

Monday, 2 July 2018 : 13th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 8 : 18-22

At that time, when Jesus saw the crowd pressing around Him, He gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. A teacher of the Law approached Him; and said, “Master, I will follow You wherever You go.”

Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Another disciple said to Him, “Lord, let me go and bury my father first.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their dead.”

Monday, 2 July 2018 : 13th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 49 : 16bc-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23

What right have you to mouth My laws, or to talk about My covenant? You hate My commands and cast My words behind you.

You join a thief when you meet one; you keep company with adulterers. You have a mouth of evil and a deceitful tongue.

You speak ill of your brother, and slander your own mother’s son. Because I was silent while you did these things, you thought I was like you. But now I rebuke you and make this charge against you.

Give this a thought, you, who forget God; lest I tear you to pieces with no one to help you. Those who give with thanks offerings honour Me, but the one who walks blamelessly, I will show him the salvation of God.

Monday, 2 July 2018 : 13th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Amos 2 : 6-10, 13-16

YHVH says this, “Because Israel has sinned, not once but three times; and even more, I will not relent; They sell the just for money and the needy for a pair of sandals; they tread on the head of the poor and trample them upon the dust of the earth, while they silence the right of the afflicted; a man and his father go to the same woman to profane My Holy Name; they stretch out upon garments taken in pledge, beside every altar; they take the wine of those they swindle and are drunk in the House of their God.”

“It was I Who destroyed the Amorites before them, whose height was like the height of the cedar; a people as sturdy as an oak. I destroyed their fruit above and their roots below. It was I Who brought you up from the land of Egypt and led you forty years in the wilderness to take possession of the land of the Amorites.”

“Behold, I will crush you to the ground, as a cart does when it is full of sheaves. The swift shall be unable to flee and the strong man shall lose his strength. The warrior shall not save himself nor the bowman stand his ground. The swift of foot shall not escape nor the horseman save himself. Even the most stout-hearted among the warriors shall flee away naked on that day,” says YHVH.