Thursday, 4 October 2018 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 10 : 1-12

At that time, the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples, and sent them, two by two, ahead of Him, to every town and place, where He Himself was to go. And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to His harvest.”

“Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know. Whatever house you enter, first bless them, saying, ‘Peace to this house!’ If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house.”

“When they welcome you to any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick who are there, and say to them : ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you.’ But in any town where you are not welcome, go to the marketplace and proclaim : ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off and leave with you. But know for a certainty that the kingdom of God has drawn near to you.'”

“I tell you, that on the Day of Judgment it will be better for Sodom than for this town.”

Thursday, 4 October 2018 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 26 : 7-8a, 8b-9abc, 13-14

Hear my voice when I call, o Lord, have mercy on me and answer. My heart says to You, “I seek Your face, o Lord.”

Do not hide Your face from me nor turn away Your servant in anger. You are my Protector, do not reject me.

I hope, I am sure, that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Trust in the Lord, be strong and courageous. Yes, put your hope in the Lord!

Thursday, 4 October 2018 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Job 19 : 21-27

Have pity my friends, have pity, for God’s hand has struck me! Why do you hound me as God does? Will you never have enough of my flesh? Oh, that my words were written, or recorded on bronze with an iron tool, a chisel or engraved forever on rock!

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He, the Last, will take His stand on earth. I will be there behind my skin, and in my flesh I shall see God. With my own eyes I shall see Him – I and not another. How my heart yearns!”

Wednesday, 3 October 2018 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the word of God through the Scriptures, telling us first the story from the Book of Job, continuing the discourse on Job that we have had for the last few days. Job was a faithful servant of God who was tested and attacked by the devil, who took everything he possessed, and even had boils and ulcers on his skin, suffering grievously from all the assaults by the devil.

And yet, Job continued to be faithful to God and remained true to his faith in Him, knowing that if it was indeed God’s will that he should suffer, then it shall be done according to His will, and not what Job wanted. He mentioned in what we have as our first reading passage today, about the greatness of God and how His ways are far beyond our ways and His thoughts are beyond our thoughts and intelligences.

And in that spirit, Job entrusted himself completely to the will of God, putting himself at the mercy of what God wanted to do with his life. He humbled himself so much so as to make himself insignificant in the grander plan of God, and submitting himself so fully to the will of God. He was showing the attitude of being a true and committed servant of God, who entrusted himself to God completely.

This was what the Lord Jesus, Our Lord, God and Saviour showed us as well, in the Gospel passage we heard today. In that passage we heard about how the disciples whom the Lord called to follow Him wanted to go and settle their issues and businesses first, but the Lord told them that unless they put their heart and dedicate themselves completely to God’s cause, then they would not be able to follow Him with sincerity and commitment they ought to have.

The Lord also spoke that the foxes have holes and the birds have nests, but the Son of Man had no place to even rest His head. This is then followed by the question from the disciples who wondered where He lived and stayed. The Lord’s answer was merely, “Come and see!” In reality, probably the Lord did not have any fixed place to stay, but moving about from place to place as He carried on doing His work and ministry.

The Lord wants each and every one of us to know that to be God’s followers, as Christians, we must free ourselves from the bonds and the chains of our worldly desires, pride, arrogance, and all sorts of things that can prevent us from finding our way to God. It is often that we are chained to our desires and worldly ambitions, that we forget what is our purpose in life, and therefore we end up distancing ourselves from God.

Many of us put so much importance of our earthly possessions, wealth and all sorts of temptations, of money, of pleasure, of glory and fame, and many others, that we cannot put ourselves completely to the service of God. We spent so much time, attention and effort in trying to assemble for ourselves all sorts of worldly possessions and goods, pleasures and pursuits of worldly glory, trying to accumulate and gain more of these to satisfy our desires.

However, do we realise that actually, it does not matter how much we have accumulated and how much effort we have spent trying to gain all these worldly things, but we will never truly be satisfied, as our human nature will end up causing us to desire and want for more and more. And as we continue to be distracted by these pursuits of pleasure and worldly happiness, we will end up getting more and more distant from God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to turn towards God with all of our hearts, minds, and indeed with our entire beings. We need to adopt the spirit of Job in all of our actions and in how we live our lives, reminding ourselves that to serve the Lord is to give ourselves so completely as Job had been, and as how many of our predecessors in faith have done, in giving themselves totally, even to the point of suffering martyrdom at the hands of those who oppose the Lord and His ways.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all from now on strive to seek the Lord and to love Him with a renewed zeal and effort, that in everything we say and do, we will always seek the glory of God. May the Lord continue to watch over us and guide us in our journey towards Him, and bless us all in our every endeavours. Amen.