Sunday, 1 July 2018 : Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this Sunday, we listened to the Scriptures telling us first of all from the Book of Wisdom, on how God was all good, and had every good intentions, including when He created us mankind. He did not intend for us to be created and then perish or be destroyed. Yet, how come is it that, then something like hell and eternal damnation exist?

Hell and eternal damnation in it did not come from God, and it was not because God wanted to punish or condemn us that many of us mankind ended up falling into hell. Rather, hell, in truth, is the state of total and complete separation from the love and grace of God. Hell is the product of our own sins and disobedience, which caused us to be separated from God. And in time, when we continue to sin and refuse to turn away from those sins, we fall into hell.

Hell is the product of constant and conscious rejection of God’s generous mercy, which He continuously offers us, without end, to the moment when we draw our last breath and meet death at the end of our earthly journey. That is when we will meet our particular judgment, every single one of us, who will be judged to go to heaven, or to purgatory, or to hell based on what our lives had been before God.

For those who have disobeyed the Lord, and refused His love and mercy, an eternity in hell is likely to be the fate awaiting the souls condemned to it. The Lord did not want to make us to suffer that fate, but our own pride, ego, greed, all of the obstacles and temptations that made us fall, caused us to sin, and when the sins were repeated and grew in number, our own folly led us into hell.

Those who are righteous shall enter into heaven, by God’s judgement, while those who are still burdened by some taints of sin will go to purgatory, where by the teachings of our faith we believe that the souls of the virtuous will be purified from the taints of their sins, and will then be worthy, in good time, to rejoice and be reunited fully with God for eternity.

Ultimately, after we have discussed about what is to happen after we encounter death, all of us have to realise that while our earthly lives and existence are limited and temporary in nature, but our souls are eternal. Naturally, we want ourselves to be blessed by God and enjoy forever the gift and the grace which God had prepared for all of those who remain faithful to Him.

However, we have been hindered because of our sins, as mentioned earlier. Sin is a terrible corruption of our heart, mind, soul and indeed, the whole being, which is a sickness that is slowly eating up on us. Normally, sin would have brought us down and would have destroyed us, but, fortunately, all of us have a great hope, which has been revealed to us, in Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour.

In the Gospel passage today, two people came to the Lord, seeking for help and assistance, seeing that nothing else could have helped them. One was the woman who had a terrible haemorrhage or bleeding issue, and the other was Jairus, the synagogue official, whose daughter was very sick and dying. Both of them came to the Lord with faith, knowing that He could cure whatever affliction they asked Him to cure.

Now, how many of us actually act in the same manner as the two of them? How many of us actually go out of our way seeking the Lord to be healed from our afflictions? How many of us humbled ourselves, recognising ourselves as sinners and as those who have fallen into sin and cast out from the grace of God? Many of us were not able to do so, because we were too proud in our hearts and too enclosed in our minds to admit that we need God and His help.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, God alone is our help and our source of salvation. He alone has the power and ability to heal us from the sickness of our soul, that is our sins. And He wanted us to be healed, just as He said, that He came into this world, looking for those who are in need of healing and conversion. But sadly, the fact is that, many of those whom the Lord has come for, rejected Him and scorned Him, as they would rather seek solace in worldly comfort rather than seeking God’s ways and truth.

As St. Paul had said in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth, the Lord had made Himself poor so that through that poverty, we may have a share in His richness. And how did He do that? It is through none other and nothing less than the ultimate sacrifice He bore for our sake, by His crucifixion, death and later on, resurrection. He has emptied Himself so completely and surrendered everything so completely, because of His infinite and great love for us.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, are we willing to embrace God’s love and accept the generous offer of mercy and forgiveness which He has extended freely to us? Through the cross, the Lord has given us all a new hope, the hope of healing from sin and all the wickedness and obstacles that had prevented us thus far, from reaching out to the Lord and His salvation.

May the Lord awaken in our hearts, the spirit of humility and the desire to love Him, so that each and every one of us may come to be drawn by His everlasting mercy, compassion and tender love. May He continue to guide us in our journey, so that all of us will eventually find our way to His salvation, and receive from Him the crown of everlasting glory, having been healed from the corruption of our sins. May God bless us all, and all of our endeavours, now and always. Amen.

Sunday, 1 July 2018 : Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 5 : 21-43

At that time, Jesus then crossed to the other side of the lake; and while He was still on the shore, a large crowd gathered around Him. Jairus, an official of the synagogue, came up and, seeing Jesus, threw himself at His feet; and begged Him earnestly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, so that she may get well and live.”

Jesus went with him, and many people followed, pressing around Him. Among the crowd was a woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a lot at the hands of many doctors and had spent everything she had, but instead of getting better, she was worse. Because she had heard about Jesus, this woman came up behind Him and touched His cloak, thinking, “If I just touch His clothing, I shall get well.”

Her flow of blood dried up at once, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her complaint. But Jesus was conscious that healing power had gone out from Him, so He turned around in the crowd, and asked, “Who touched My clothes?” His disciples answered, “You see how the people are crowding around You. Why do You ask who touched You?”

But He kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, aware of what had happened, came forward, trembling and afraid. She knelt before Him, and told Him the whole truth. Then Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be free of this illness.”

While Jesus was still speaking, some people arrived from the official’s house to inform him, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Master any further?” But Jesus ignored what they said, and told the official, “Do not fear, just believe.” And He allowed no one to follow Him except Peter, James and John, the brother of James.

When they arrived at the house, Jesus saw a great commotion, with people weeping and wailing loudly. Jesus entered, and said to them, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead, but asleep.” They laughed at Him. So Jesus sent them outside, and went with the child’s father and mother and His companions into the room, where the child lay.

Taking her by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha kumi!” which means, “Little girl, get up!” The girl got up at once and began to walk around. (She was twelve years old.) The parents were amazed, greatly amazed. Jesus strictly ordered them not to let anyone know about it; and He told them to give her something to eat.

Alternative reading (shorter version)

Mark 5 : 21-24, 35b-43

At that time, Jesus then crossed to the other side of the lake; and while He was still on the shore, a large crowd gathered around Him. Jairus, an official of the synagogue, came up and, seeing Jesus, threw himself at His feet; and begged Him earnestly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, so that she may get well and live.”

Jesus went with him, and many people followed, pressing around Him. Some people arrived from the official’s house to inform him, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Master any further?” But Jesus ignored what they said, and told the official, “Do not fear, just believe.” And He allowed no one to follow Him except Peter, James and John, the brother of James.

When they arrived at the house, Jesus saw a great commotion, with people weeping and wailing loudly. Jesus entered, and said to them, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead, but asleep.” They laughed at Him. So Jesus sent them outside, and went with the child’s father and mother and His companions into the room, where the child lay.

Taking her by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha kumi!” which means, “Little girl, get up!” The girl got up at once and began to walk around. (She was twelve years old.) The parents were amazed, greatly amazed. Jesus strictly ordered them not to let anyone know about it; and He told them to give her something to eat.

Sunday, 1 July 2018 : Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Corinthians 8 : 7, 9, 13-15

You excel in everything : in the gifts of faith, speech and knowledge; you feel concern for every cause and, besides, you are first in my heart. Excel, also, in this generous service. You know well, the generosity of Christ Jesus, Our Lord. Although He was rich, He made Himself poor, to make you rich, through His poverty.

I do not mean that others should be at ease and you burdened. Strive for equality; at present, give from your abundance what they are short of, and, in some way, they, also, will give from their abundance, what you lack. Then, you will be equal and what Scripture says shall come true : To the one who had much, nothing was in excess; to the one who had little, nothing was lacking.

Sunday, 1 July 2018 : Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 29 : 2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12a and 13b

I extol You, o Lord, for You have rescued me; my enemies will not gloat over me.

O Lord, You have brought me up from the grave, You gave me life when I was going to the pit. Sing to the Lord, o you His saints, give thanks and praise to His holy Name. For His anger lasts but a little while, and His kindness all through life. Weeping may tarry for the night, but rejoicing comes with the dawn.

Hear, o Lord, and have mercy on me; O Lord, be my Protector. But now, You have turned my mourning into rejoicing; You have taken off my sackcloth and wrapped me in the garments of gladness. And so my soul, no longer silent, now sings praise without ceasing. O Lord my God, forever will I give You thanks.

Sunday, 1 July 2018 : Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Wisdom 1 : 13-15 and Wisdom 2 : 23-24

God did not make death, nor does He rejoice in the destruction of the living. Since He has created everything, all creatures of the universe are for our good; there is no deadly poison in them and the netherworld has no dominion over the earth, because justice is immortal.

Indeed God created man to be immortal in the likeness of His own nature, but the envy of the devil brought death to the world, and those who take his side shall experience death.

(Usus Antiquior) Feast of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord (I Classis) – Sunday, 1 July 2018 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Red
Offertory

1 Corinthians 10 : 16

Calix benedictionis, cui benedicimus, nonne communicatio sanguinis Christi est? Et panis, quem frangimus, nonne participatio corporis Domini est?

 

English translation

The chalice of benediction which we bless, is it not the communion of the Blood of Christ? And the bread which we break, is it not the partaking of the Body of the Lord?

 

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Per haec divina mysteria, ad novi, quaesumus, Testamenti mediatorem Jesum accedamus : et super altaria Tua, Domine virtutum, aspersionem sanguinis melius loquentem, quam Abel, innovemus. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Through these divine mysteries, we beseech You that we may draw near to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Testament, and renew upon Your altars, o Lord of virtues, the sprinkling of the blood, which speaks more eloquently than that of Abel. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Preface of the Holy Cross

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos Tibi semper et ubique gratias agere : Domine, Sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus : Qui salutem humani generis in ligno Crucis constituisti : ut, unde mors oriebatur, inde vita resurgeret : et, qui in ligno vincebat, in ligno quoque vinceretur : per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Per quem majestatem Tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Caeli caelorumque Virtutes ac beata Seraphim socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces ut admitti jubeas, deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes :

 

English translation

It is truly meet and just, right and profitable for us, at all times, and in all places, to give thanks to You, o holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God, You Who had established the salvation of mankind in the wood of the cross, that from where death came into the world, hence a new life might spring, and that he who has been overcome the cross, by a cross might be overthrown, through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the angels praise, the Dominations adore, the Powers, trembling with awe, worship Your majesty, which the heavens, and the forces of heaven, together with the blessed Seraphim joyfully do magnify. And You do command that it be permitted to our lowliness to join with them in confessing You and unceasingly to repeat :

 

Communion

Hebrews 9 : 28

Christus semel oblatus est ad multorum exhaurienda peccata : secundo sine peccato apparebit exspectantibus se in salutem.

 

English translation

Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many, the second time He shall appear without sin to those who expect Him, unto salvation.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

Ad sacram, Domine, mensam admissi, hausimus aquas in gaudio de fontibus Salvatoris : sanguis ejus fiat nobis, quaesumus, fons aquae in vitam aeternam salientis : Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Admitted to the sacred table, o Lord, we have drawn water in gladness from the fountain of the Saviour. May His Blood, we beseech You, become unto us a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. Who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Feast of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord (I Classis) – Sunday, 1 July 2018 : Holy Gospel

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

John 19 : 30-35

In illo tempore : Cum accepisset Jesus acetum, dixit : Consummatum est. Et inclinato capite tradidit spiritum. Judaei ergo (quoniam Parasceve erat), ut non remanerent in cruce corpora sabbato (erat enim magnus dies ille sabbati), rogaverunt Pilatum, ut frangerentur eorum crura et tollerentur.

Venerunt ergo milites : et primi quidem fregerunt crura et alterius, qui crucifixus et cum eo. Ad Jesum autem cum venissent, ut viderunt eum jam mortuum, non fregerunt ejus crura, sed unus militum lancea latus ejus aperuit, et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua. Et qui vidit, testimonium perhibuit; et verum est testimonium ejus.

 

English translation

At that time, Jesus, when He had taken the vinegar, said, “It is consummated.” And bowing His head, He gave up the Spirit. Then the Jews, because it was the eve of the Passover, asked that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, for that was a great sabbath day, and besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

The soldiers therefore came, and they broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But after they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead, and they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear opened His side, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he who saw it had given testimony, and his testimony is true.