Saturday, 27 October 2018 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Luke 13 : 1-9

At that time, one day, some people told Jesus what had occurred in the Temple : Pilate had had Galileans killed, and their blood mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. Jesus asked them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered this? No, I tell you. But unless you change your ways, you will all perish, as they did.”

“And those eighteen persons in Siloah, who were crushed when the tower fell, do you think they were more guilty than all the others in Jerusalem? I tell you : no. But unless you change your ways, you will perish as they did.” And Jesus continued, “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it, but found none. Then he said to the gardener, ‘Look here, for three years now I have been looking for figs on this tree, and I have found none. Cut it down, why should it continue to deplete the soil?’”

“The gardener replied, ‘Leave it one more year, so that I may dig around it and add some fertiliser; perhaps it will bear fruit from now on. But if it does not, you can cut it down.’”

Saturday, 27 October 2018 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Psalm 121 : 1-2, 3-4a, 4b-5

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” And now we have set foot within your gates, o Jerusalem!

Jerusalem, just like a city, where everything falls into place! There the tribes go up.

The tribes of the Lord, the assembly of Israel, to give thanks to the Lord’s Name. There stand the courts of justice, the offices of the house of David.

Saturday, 27 October 2018 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Ephesians 4 : 7-16

But to each of us, divine grace is given, according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore, it is said : When He ascended to the heights, He brought captives and gave His gifts to people. He ascended, what does it mean, but, that He had also descended to the lower parts of the world? He, Himself, Who went down, then ascended far above all the heavens, to fill all things.

As for His gifts, to some, He gave to be Apostles; to others, prophets, or even evangelists; or pastors and teachers. So, He prepared those who belong to Him, for the ministry, in order to build up the Body of Christ, until we are all united, in the same faith and knowledge of the Son of God. Thus, we shall become the perfect Man, upon reaching maturity, and sharing the fullness of Christ.

Then, no longer shall we be like children, tossed about by any wave, or wind or doctrine; and deceived by the cunning of people, who drag them along into error. Rather, speaking the truth, in love, we shall grow in every way, toward Him, Who is the Head, Christ. From Him, comes the growth of the whole body, to which a network of joints give order and cohesion, taking into account, and making use of, the function of each one. So, the body builds itself, in love.

Friday, 26 October 2018 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture telling us first of all from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in the city of Ephesus, of what is expected from all of us as Christians, in how we live our lives and in our communities. The Christians of that time were urged by St. Paul to look beyond their differences, and work together to find unity in action and in spirit.

In today’s Gospel we heard of the Lord Jesus speaking to us about the superficiality and hypocrisy of the people of God, who knew of the signs of nature and the times, and yet, they did not or fail to know the signs of God. This has to be understood in the context of the history and the dynamics of the community at that time, in which people were often divided, as the people of Ephesus were, along the lines of race, religious and cultural divide, and the differences in outlook and background.

Therefore, at that time, the society was actually very divided against each other and even often, within one’s own racial, religious and cultural groups, where there were also often disagreements, disunity and conflict. All of these were ultimately caused by our own human desires and selfishness, the allures of power, of glory, and of worldly satisfactions and pursuits of vanity, which clashed along each other’s, and therefore, resulting in the disagreements and disunity.

This comment by both St. Paul and the Lord Jesus came at a time when the people often acted very selfishly towards each other, be judgmental on each other, and without hesitation, attacking and striking at their fellow men without any consideration, and less so love or understanding of each other’s actions. This is what, to St. Paul, and to the Lord Jesus, actions that were based on worldly expectations and standards, and which are contrary to our Christian way of life.

This is why through what the Lord Jesus and St. Paul shared with us in today’s Scripture passages, on the need for all of us to embrace true Christian way of life and enact this in our own living. In how we live our lives, in how we act and interact with each other, and in all of our work in the community, we must embody and show true spirit of Christianity, and this means that we need to be filled with love, compassion, concern and care for our fellow men.

We should not act on one another with prejudice, or with hatred or jealousy, or with the intention to hurt or harm the other person. As Christians, we must act with love, to show concern on those who are troubled and injured, sick or in pain, and to learn to forgive, despite the faults that we have done upon the other. It is in the world’s way and in our human nature for us to hate, and to keep grudges against those who have hurt us. But as Christians, we are challenged to overcome this.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is important that we reflect on this, and think of ways that we can do, so that gradually, we may come to attune ourselves more closely to the way of the Lord. Let us all turn ourselves, our heart, our mind, our body and our whole being, towards the Lord, and seek to devote ourselves, day after day, for the greater glory of God, from now on. May God bless us in this endeavour, and May He continue to be with us and be our Guide. Amen.

Friday, 26 October 2018 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 12 : 54-59

At that time, Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it happens. And when the wind blows from the south, you say, ‘It will be hot’; and so it is. You superficial people! You understand the signs of the earth and the sky, but you do not understand the present times.”

“And why do you not judge for yourselves what is fit? When you go with your accuser before the court, try to settle the case on the way, lest he drag you before the judge, and the judge deliver you to the jailer, and the jail throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the very last penny.”

Friday, 26 October 2018 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 23 : 1-2, 3-4ab, 5-6

The earth and its fullness belong to YHVH, the world and all that dwell in it. He has founded it upon the ocean and set it firmly upon the waters.

Who will ascend the mountain of YHVH? Who will stand in His holy place? Those with clean hands and pure heart, who desire not what is vain.

They will receive blessings from YHVH, a reward from God, their Saviour. Such are the people who seek Him, who seek the face of Jacob’s God.

Friday, 26 October 2018 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Ephesians 4 : 1-6

Therefore, I, the prisoner of Christ, invite you, to live the vocation you have received. Be humble, kind, patient and bear with one another in love. Make every effort to keep among you, the unity of spirit, through bonds of peace. Let there be one body, and one Spirit, just as one hope is the goal of your calling by God. One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God, the Father of all, Who is above all, and works through all, and is in all.