Wednesday, 28 November 2018 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 21 : 12-19

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Before all these things happen, people will lay their hands on you and persecute you; you will be delivered to the synagogues and put in prison, and for My sake you will be brought before kings and governors. This will be your opportunity to bear witness.”

“So keep this in mind : do not worry in advance about what to say, for I will give you words and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends, and some of you will be put to death.”

“But even though, because of My Name, you will be hated by everyone, not a hair of your head will perish. By your patient endurance you will save your souls.”

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 97 : 1, 2-3ab, 7-8, 9

Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wonders; His right hand, His holy arm, has won victory for Him.

The Lord has shown His salvation, revealing His justice to the nations. He has not forgotten His love nor His faithfulness to Israel.

Let the sea resound and everything in it, the world and all its peoples. Let rivers clap their hands, hills and mountains sing with joy.

Before the Lord, for He comes to rule the earth. He will judge the world with justice and the peoples with fairness.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Revelations 15 : 1-4

Then I saw another great and marvellous sign in the heavens : seven Angels brought seven plagues which are the last, for with these the wrath of God will end. There was a sea of crystal mingled with fire, and the conquerors of the beast, of its name and the mark of its name stood by it.

They had been given the celestial harps and they sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb : Great and marvellous are Your works, o Lord, God and Master of the universe. Justice and truth guide Your steps, o King of the nations.

Lord, who will not give honour and glory to Your Name? For You alone are holy. All the nations will come and bow before You, for they have now seen Your judgments.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018 : 34th 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 in the Scripture speaking to us about the time of judgment and reckoning that will come to each and every one of us. In the first reading today we heard from the Book of the Revelations in which the account of St. John regarding his apocalyptic vision had been written. We heard how the Lord commanded His Angels to reap the harvest of the world at the time that He has decided. All the earth was reaped in the harvest of the Lord.

The concept of reaping of harvest, symbolised with the harvest of grapes is linked closely to the concept of the passage of time, with the time of the harvest at the end of the process of planting and growing of crops that began with the ploughing of the soil, the sowing of the seeds and the growing and flowering or flourishing of the plants. When the fruits are ripe, the harvest time is at hand, and the fruits are harvested.

Therefore, the time of the harvest that the Lord mentioned in the Gospel, is in fact referring to the time of judgment, of all the creatures past and present up to the time of judgment, which will happen as the Lord Himself has revealed it, as the end of time. The Angels of God will take up the fruits of the earth, and the fruits reaped will be put into the winepress of the great anger of God. And why is that so? That is because those grapes that will be harvested, are rotten and wicked.

Those represents the wicked fruits of sin which the people at that time committed, in refusing to believe in God and in the truth which He has revealed to the whole world through His disciples and followers, and therefore, through His Church. They chose instead to side with Satan and believe in his falsehoods and lies, his false promises of earthly glory and the seduction of worldly temptations.

And the Lord has given them many opportunities to repent from their sins and to turn away from all the falsehoods and lies of Satan. As He Himself mentioned in the Gospel today, the Lord has given His people many signs and He has revealed the truth about Himself and about what is to come, to all the people who heard Him. And He also warned them about false prophets and all those who have spread lies and tempted the people away from the path towards the Lord.

Despite all of these, people still refused to believe in Him, and chose instead to follow all those leaders and false doomsayers, some of whom claimed to be the Messiah to come. They claimed to speak in the word and the power of God, and claimed that the time is at hand. But, in reality, no one knows the time and what is to come, exactly, save that of God Himself, and all those who claimed to know of the time, are false prophets.

Sadly, there are many who have fallen to this trap of Satan, and they veered off the path towards God’s salvation, and instead right into the expecting hands of the devil. And he is ever active in trying to snatch us from the hands of God’s salvation, sending his agents and emissaries to tempt us daily, to turn us against God and His truth. Many have fallen into this trap, and many more, including us, will, unless we remain firm in our faith.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are called to renew our commitment to God, to be bearers of good fruits of our faith instead of the rotten fruits of sin. Let our actions, words and deeds be the proof of our righteousness and faith in God, and let us turn from now on, wholeheartedly, to Him, committing ourselves to His ways and turn away from all the sins and unworthiness that we have lived our lives with, all these while. May God be with us on our journey, now and always. Amen.