Friday, 28 September 2018 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Wenceslas, Martyr and St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, Martyrs (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)

Luke 9 : 18-22

At that time, one day, when Jesus was praying alone, not far from His disciples, He asked them, “What do people say about Me?” And they answered, “Some say, that You are John the Baptist; others say, that You are Elijah; and still others, that You are one of the Prophets of old, risen from the dead.”

Again Jesus asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.” Then Jesus spoke to them, giving them strict orders not to tell this to anyone. And He added, “The Son of Man must suffer many things. He will be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the teachers of the Law, and be put to death. Then after three days He will be raised to life.”

Friday, 28 September 2018 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Wenceslas, Martyr and St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, Martyrs (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)

Psalm 143 : 1a and 2abc, 3-4

Blessed be YHVH, my Rock, my loving God, my Fortress; my Protector snd Deliverer, my Shield; where I take refuge.

O YHVH, what are humans that You should be mindful of them, the race of Adam, that You should care for them? They are like a breath; their days pass like a shadow on earth.

Friday, 28 September 2018 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Wenceslas, Martyr and St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, Martyrs (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)

Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth) 3 : 1-11

There is a given time for everything and a time for every happening under heaven : A time for giving birth, a time for dying; a time for planting, a time for uprooting. A time for killing, a time for healing; a time for knocking down, a time for building. A time for tears, a time for laughter; a time for mourning, a time for dancing.

A time for throwing stones, a time for gathering stones; a time for embracing, a time to refrain from embracing. A time for searching, a time for losing; a time for keeping, a time for throwing away. A time for tearing, a time for sewing; a time to be silent and a time to speak. A time for loving, a time for hating; a time for war, a time for peace.

What profit is there for a man from all his toils? Finally I considered the task God gave to the humans. He made everything fitting in its time, but He also set eternity in their hearts, although they are not able to embrace the work of God from the beginning to the end.

Thursday, 27 September 2018 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, Priest (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scriptures mentioning to us about the meaninglessness of life as we know it. In the Book of Ecclesiastes or Qoheleth, we heard this word of wisdom, speaking to us about how all of the things we do, our achievements and glories in life, are truly like rivers that can never fill up the sea, no matter how much water from them flowing into the latter.

Therefore, similarly, no matter how much we have achieved in this life, but first of all, none of them will truly be able to satisfy us from the desiring more achievement and worldly glory and fame. When we have achieved something and received satisfaction, it is part of our nature to want to achieve even more and to desire for more pleasures and satisfactions, and as a result, we will end up craving and desiring for more.

That is why we mankind are so often preoccupied by so many things in life, that end up in us spending so much time in trying to gain more of these worldly desires and objects of our cravings, be it wealth, or fame, or prestige, or human praise, glory and influence. But in the end of the day, let us ask ourselves, how will it benefit us, should we gain and hoard for ourselves, so much of this wealth, prestige, glory and fame? Will all those things last forever?

And then, the reality is that none of these things will be with us forever. The Lord Jesus mentioned this in another occasion in the Gospels with the parable of a rich man, who proudly and greedily gathered much wealth for himself, and gathered many grains in his barns, and he was indeed boastful about that fact. However, the Lord reminded that as man, all of us are mortal beings whose life and earthly existences are limited.

Nothing will last forever for us, and in the end of the day, our legacy is not in what we have achieved and in what we have gathered in life, for those things are impermanent and have limited timespans. Instead, our true legacy will be how we impact one another, and how we have touched those whom we have encountered in our respective lives. And even when we are forgotten and not remembered, it is the legacy of our Christian faith that remains down through the generations.

That is why, from now on, each and every one of us as Christians must have a thorough conversion of attitude, action and outlook in life. We can no longer be complacent or passive in how we lived our lives, or worse, if we have not even acted in accordance with our faith, as shown by what we have just discussed earlier. If our lives have been marked by our preoccupation with worldly desires and temptations, then perhaps, it is time for us to reevaluate our lives.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of St. Vincent de Paul, a renowned holy priest and holy man of God, whose life is truly exemplary and should become inspiration for each and every one of us. St. Vincent de Paul was remembered especially for his great works of charity, his personal humility and great dedication and faith in God, which inspired many others to follow in his footsteps.

St. Vincent de Paul endured slavery during the early years of his life, when he was taken captive by pirates on his journey. He was passed on from master to master, until his last master and his family were so impressed by the great faith he had, and the exemplary virtues he exhibited, that they all converted to the faith and St. Vincent de Paul regained his freedom. St. Vincent de Paul continued his works of charity, and helped the poor and the weak, remembering his own ordeals and challenges in slavery.

He showed us an example of what Christian discipleship and life is all about, through his commitment to the Lord, his pious devotion to a life of prayer and his many charitable works among the poor, the sick and the oppressed. We see for ourselves how St. Vincent de Paul showed such an exemplary actions and faith that it touched the life of his former master and converted him. We should also do the same with our own lives.

May the Lord strengthen our faith, and may He empower us all to live according to our faith, in all of our actions, words and deeds, so that we may be truly worthy as disciples of the loving God. Let us ask St. Vincent de Paul fo his intercession and prayers for our sake, that we may find the strength to live ever more devoutly and with greater courage day after day. May the Lord bless us all and our works, now and always. Amen.

Thursday, 27 September 2018 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 9 : 7-9

At that time, king Herod heard of all that Jesus and His disciples had done, and did not know what to think, for people said, “This is John, raised from the dead.”

Others believed that Elijah, or one of the ancient prophets, had come back to life. As for Herod, he said, “I had John beheaded. Who is this Man, about Whom I hear such wonders?” And he was anxious to see Him.

Thursday, 27 September 2018 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 89 : 3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17

You turn humans back to dust, saying, “Return, o mortals!” A thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has passed, or like a watch in the night.

You sow them in their time, a dawn they peep out. In the morning they blossom, but the flower fades and withers in the evening.

So make us know the shortness of our life, that we may gain wisdom of heart. How long will You be angry, o YHVH? Have mercy on Your servant.

Fill us at daybreak with Your goodness, that we may be glad all our days. May the sweetness of YHVH be upon us; may He prosper the work of our hands.

Thursday, 27 September 2018 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth) 1 : 2-11

All is meaningless – says the Teacher – meaningless, meaningless! What profit is there for a man in all his work for which he toils under the sun?

A generation goes, a generation comes and the earth remains forever. The sun rises, the sun sets, hastening towards the place where it again rises. Blowing to the south, turning to the north, the wind goes round and round and after all its rounds it has to blow again.

All rivers go to the sea but the sea is not full; to the place where the rivers come from, there they return again. All words become weary and speech comes to an end, but the eye has never seen enough nor the ear heard too much. What has happened before will happen again, what has been done before will be done again : there is nothing new under the sun.

If they say to you, “See, it is new!” know that it has already been centuries earlier. There is no remembrance of ancient people, and those to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.