Thursday, 19 July 2018 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Isaiah 26 : 7-9, 12, 16-19

Let the righteous walk in righteousness. You make smooth the path of the just, and we only seek the way of Your laws, o YHVH. Your Name and Your memory are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for You in the night; for You my spirit keeps vigil. When Your judgments come to earth, the world’s inhabitants learn to be upright.

YHVH, please give us peace; for all that we accomplish is Your work. For they sought You in distress, they cried out to You in the time of their punishment. As a woman in travail moans and writhes in pain, so are we now in Your presence. We conceived, we had labour pains, but we gave birth to the wind. We have not brought salvation to the land; the inhabitants of a new world have not been born.

Your dead will live! Their corpses will rise! Awake and sing, you who lie in the dust! For you will grow like plants drenched with the morning dew, and the earth will bring forth its dead spirits.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, listening to the word of God in the Scriptures, we listened to the wisdom of God being revealed to us, as He revealed His truth and His boundless intellect to us. Through the Holy Spirit, He inspired those who wrote the Scriptures, both the Old and the New Testaments, to reveal unto us, the greatness of His divine wisdom, far beyond any human understanding and wisdom.

In the first reading today, taken from the Book of the prophet Isaiah, the Lord was chastising and rebuking the great king of Assyria, who at that time ruled over the most powerful nation in the region, and probably also in the world. The Assyrian Empire was vast and powerful, and ruled over many people and many territories it has conquered with its mighty army and forces.

It was therefore the reason for the hubris and pride of the king of Assyria, who has conquered and destroyed everything that he wished to conquer and destroy. But the Lord chastised him, reminding the people to whom the prophet Isaiah wrote his book, that is the Israelites and all of us, that God alone has all might, power and He alone is in control, and not us man.

This would later come to reality and fruition, when the king of Assyria, Sennacherib came up to Jerusalem and Judea, besieging the city of God. King Sennacherib of Assyria boasted proudly before the Lord and before His people, that his mighty army had conquered nations and peoples of all kinds, and none of their gods and idols could have stopped him, and thus, he made fun and disrespected the Lord by saying that not even God could have stopped him.

But the king was humbled greatly by God, when He sent His Angels to eradicate a total of not less than a hundred and eighty-five thousand from among the king’s army. The king had to return to his palace in shame, retreating in great defeat, and later on, his own two sons would betray him and murder him in the temple of his pagan god in Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire.

Through these things we have just discussed, we can clearly see that there are many things that even those in power and those who are mighty could not have done with all the great power and might they had, if they did not cling on to the power and wisdom of God. Man can presume to know everything and to have might, power and greatness, but in the end, all must bend to the will and the power of God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, God’s will is absolute, and His power is also infinite and absolute, but at the same time, He gave us all the free will to choose what path we want to take in our lives, whether, we want to follow Him and put our trust in Him, or instead, place our trust in our own power, ability and might. From what we have seen in the evidence throughout the Scriptures, putting our trust in the power of man is not the best way to go.

Those who are strong and powerful, intelligent and ambitious, were in fact among those who would encounter the failure the fastest, as history had proven that many of them were unable to restrain themselves, their pride and greed, and ended up falling into sin and their endeavours fell apart, when they faced infighting and conflict over their unrestrained pride and unbridled greed.

Man has betrayed each other, even their closest friends and family members, husband has betrayed wife and vice versa, children has betrayed their parents and vice versa, just because they trusted in worldly provisions and in their own might and power. They failed to realise that whatever it is that they are fighting for, all of them are insignificant and foolish in the eyes of God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today, all of us as Christians must realise that we must put God first and foremost in our lives, and place Him at the very centre of our lives. May the Lord be our Guide at all times, and may He continue to strengthen our faith, and give us the courage to live with dedication to this faith which we have in Him. May God bless us all and our endeavours. Amen.