Tuesday, 27 November 2018 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 21 : 5-11

At that time, while some people were talking about the Temple, remarking that it was adorned with fine stonework and rich gifts, Jesus said to them, “The days will come when there shall not be left one stone upon another of all that you now admire; all will be torn down.” And they asked Him, “Master, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?”

Jesus then said, “Take care not to be deceived, for many will come claiming My title and saying, ‘I am He, the Messiah; the time is at hand!’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and troubled times, do not be frightened; for all these things must happen first, even though the end is not so soon.”

And Jesus said, “Nations will fight each other and kingdom will oppose kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and plagues; in many places strange and terrifying signs from heaven will be seen.”

Tuesday, 27 November 2018 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 95 : 10, 11-12a, 12b-13

Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” He will judge the peoples with justice.

Let the heavens be glad, the earth rejoice; let the sea and all that fills it resound; let the fields exult and everything in them.

Let the forest, all the trees, sing for joy. Let them sing before the Lord Who comes to judge the earth. He will rule the world with justice and the peoples with fairness.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Revelations 14 : 14-19

Then I had this vision, I saw a white cloud and the One sitting on it like a Son of Man, wearing a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. An Angel came out of the sanctuary, calling loudly to the One sitting on the cloud, “Put in Your sickle and reap, for harvest time has come and the harvest of the earth is ripe.”

He Who was sitting on the cloud swung His sickle at the earth and reaped the harvest. Then another Angel, who also had a sharp sickle, came out of the heavenly sanctuary. Still another Angel, the one who has charge of the altar fire, emerged and shouted to the first who held the sharp sickle, “Swing your sharp sickle and reap the bunches of the vine of the earth for they are fully ripe.”

So the Angel swung his sickle and gathered in the vintage, throwing all the grapes into the great winepress of the anger of God.

Monday, 26 November 2018 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the words of God through the Scriptures in which we heard about those who have given their all in the service of God, devoting their whole lives to God. We have heard from our first reading today from the Book of Revelations of St. John, of the great multitude of people, numbering a hundred and forty-four thousand, likely a symbolic way to represent a vast multitude of people who have suffered for the Lord’s sake and remained faithful to Him.

This is what the many faithful people of God had to endure, in living their lives faithfully for the sake of the Lord, remaining upright and true to their faith despite the persecutions and oppressions that they had to endure. They were subjected to different kinds of harassment, difficulties, challenges and oppositions, and yet, they remained true to God. Many of them suffered martyrdom for the sake of the Lord.

We may be wondering what actually gives these people the strength and the courage to do so. Then we need to also understand what the Lord said in the Gospel passage today, when He and His disciples saw a poor widow putting in merely two small coins into the Temple treasury as a donation. The rich and the powerful in the community put in a lot of money and wealth into the donation box, sometimes and likely even making a scene of their actions as signs of piety.

The Lord said that while those who were rich and mighty gave from their plenty, the poor widow gave from whatever she had even for her own living. Those two small coins could have gotten her food and sustenance for herself. In fact, those coins might not even have been enough to sustain her for even the day’s efforts and living, and yet, the widow still gave her very best to the Lord regardless. But why is that so?

That is because, brothers and sisters in Christ, she has faith in God and placed her trust in Him alone. Just as the vast multitude of saints and holy people that St. John saw in his apocalyptic vision of heaven and the end times, all of those multitudes of people have trusted in God and allowed Him to guide their way of life, their direction in life, and their actions and deeds, to withstand even the harshest and the most difficult of persecutions.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, the question that we need to ask ourselves is if we are able to give of ourselves and dedicate ourselves to God in the same manner as those holy men and women had done, and as the poor widow had so selflessly shown before all of us. Are we able to let go of the barriers and obstacles, of pride, of ego and our human desires and greed, which often had kept us from being able to find our way to the Lord?

Are we able to turn away from the worldliness of our time, the excesses of the pleasures of the body and the flesh, the lust of our generation, and all the other wicked temptations present in our midst, in this time and age? These are all instruments and methods through which Satan is actively trying to bring about our downfall and destruction. But many of us do not realise this, and many of us are oblivious to the fact of how just sinful we are in the sight of God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today, let us all reaffirm our faith in the Lord, and find ways in which we can dedicate ourselves to Him ever more, and put our trust in Him completely, just as our holy predecessors and the poor widow have shown us. May the Lord continue to guide us and watch over us, that we will continue to grow stronger in faith and remain true to Him despite all the challenges we may encounter in life. Amen.

Monday, 26 November 2018 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 21 : 1-4

At that time, Jesus looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury of the Temple. He also saw a poor widow, who dropped in two small coins. And He said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow put in more than all of them. For all of them gave an offering from their plenty; but she, out of her poverty, gave all she had to live on.”

Monday, 26 November 2018 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

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

The earth and its fullness belong to the Lord, 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 the Lord? 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 the Lord, a reward from God, their Saviour. Such are the people who seek Him, who seek the face of Jacob’s God.

Monday, 26 November 2018 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Revelations 14 : 1-3, 4b-5

I was given another vision : The Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, surrounded by one hundred and forty-four thousand people, who had His Name, and His Father’s Name, written on their foreheads. A sound reverberated in heaven, like the sound of the roaring of waves, or deafening thunder; it was like a chorus of singers, accompanied by their harps.

They sing a new song before the Throne, in the presence of the four living creatures and the elders, a song, which no one can learn, except the hundred and forty-four thousand, who have been taken from the earth.

These are given, to follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They are the first taken from humankind, who are already of God and the Lamb. No deceit has been found in them; they are faultless.