Tuesday, 6 November 2018 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 14 : 15-24

At that time, upon hearing the words of Jesus, one of those at the table said to Him, “Happy are those who eat at the banquet in the kingdom of God!”

Jesus replied, “A man once gave a feast and invited many guests. When it was time for the feast, he sent his servant to tell those he had invited to come, for everything was ready. But all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘Please excuse me. I must go and see the piece of land I have just bought.'”

“Another said, ‘I am sorry, but I am on my way to try out the five yoke of oxen I have just bought.’ Still another said, ‘How can I come, when I have just got married?'”

“The servant returned alone, and reported this to his master. Upon hearing his account, the master of the house flew into a rage, and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly, into the streets and alleys of the town, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'”

“The servant reported after a while, ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out, but there is still room.’ The master said, ‘Go out to the highways and country lanes, and force people to come in, to ensure that my house is full. I tell you, none of those invited will have a morsel of my feast.'”

Tuesday, 6 November 2018 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 21 : 26b-27, 28, 29-30a, 30c-32

I will fulfil my vows before all who revere You. The lowly will eat and be satisfied. Those who seek the Lord will praise Him. May your hearts live forever!

The whole earth will acknowledge and turn to the Lord; the families of nations will worship Him.

For dominion belongs to YHVH and He reigns over the nations. Before Him all those who rest in the earth will bow down, all who go down to the dust.

My soul will live for Him. My descendants will serve Him and proclaim the Lord to coming generations; they will announce His salvation to a people yet unborn, “These are the things that He has done.”

Tuesday, 6 November 2018 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Philippians 2 : 5-11

Your attitude should be the same as Jesus Christ had : Though He was in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking on the nature of a servant, made in human likeness, and in His appearance found as a Man.

He humbled Himself by being obedient to death, death on the cross. That is why God exalted Him and gave Him the Name which outshines all names, so that at the Name of Jesus all knees should bend in heaven, on earth and among the dead, and all tongues proclaim that Christ Jesus is the Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Monday, 5 November 2018 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are all reminded through the words of the Scripture, to be more Christ-like in our actions and deeds in life. We are all called to be more sincere in giving our love and care to our fellow brethren, to show true love to one another, again just as Christ had shown us through His own life and work among us.

In the first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in Philippi, we heard of the Apostle’s very significant words of reminding us of this truth, that all of us must consider others as being more important than ourselves, and for us not to seek our own interests, instead, seeking for the good and interest of others who are present around us.

This is related to what the Lord Jesus mentioned in the Gospel passage today, as He taught the people with a parable, using a feast for example, when the Lord exhorted His disciples to go forth and invite those who were poor and less fortunate, instead of those who were already rich and well-to-do. The Lord’s intention was that in all of our actions we must not place ourselves, our desires and wants to be ahead of our concern for others.

Why is that so? That is because, looking at the situation of the time, the community of the people was one of expectation of satisfaction and personal desire. When someone does something to another person, it is a given that something in return is expected. And often times, people will compare what is being given back in return for what has been given. When someone did not give back what was given, or in equivalent value, then problem would arise.

We grow up and live in a society where we expect to receive something back when we give, and before we even love others, we want others to love us first. All of these in fact, is caused by the greed within our hearts, the desire for worldly comfort and accomplishments, satisfactions and pleasures. By our corrupted human nature, we are affected by this greed and desire inside us.

That is why, as Christians, as those who follow Christ and believe in Him, each and every one of us must distance ourselves from these attitudes and behaviours, which we may be very accustomed with. To be a true Christian would mean first of all, to put God as the first and foremost, the centre and the very focus of our lives, and then to put others before our own selves, and therefore, there can be no room for ego, pride and greed in our hearts.

We mankind often bicker and fight, disagree with one another and even end up hating one another just because we cannot overcome the ego and the greed within each one of us. And that is also why we can see just so many instances of people who suffer because of the tyranny of injustice, when man desires for something and that desires lead to someone to act unjustly and even hurt their fellow brethren.

This is what we cannot do as Christians, as those who believe in Christ and walk in His ways. In fact, we must be ready to stand up for the cause of the weak and the poor, for all those who have been unjustly treated. We also must practice the same with our own lives, with our own actions towards others. How can we call ourselves as Christians if we have been unjust towards our fellow brethren?

Let us look at the example of our Lord Jesus Himself, Who loved us so much, that not only He was willing to forgive us our sins and wickedness, but even to die for us sinners, and bear the sins we have with us upon Himself, that through His suffering and death on the cross, we may have life eternal. He showed us what the true meaning and significance of love is, and He loved us all so greatly that He has done all those things for our sake.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us therefore renew our faith in God and turn towards Him with renewed love, zeal and faith. Let us commit our time, effort and attention to the Lord, and seek to devote ourselves to Him from now on, ever more through our actions in life. Let us be men for others, and show love and concern for those in our midst who are suffering and in need. May the Lord be with us always, and may He continue to guide us in our loving works. Amen.