Tuesday, 15 January 2019 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 1 : 21b-28

At that time, Jesus taught in the synagogue on the sabbath day. The people were astonished at the way He taught, for He spoke as One having authority and not like the teachers of the Law.

It happened that a man with an evil spirit was in their synagogue, and he shouted, “What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know Who You are : You are the Holy One of God.”

Then Jesus faced him and said with authority, “Be silent, and come out of this man!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and, with a loud shriek, came out of him. All the people were astonished, and they wondered, “What is this? With what authority He preaches! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey Him!” And Jesus’ fame spread throughout all the country of Galilee.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 8 : 2a and 5, 6-7, 8-9

O Lord, our Lord, how great is Your Name throughout the earth! What is man that You be mindful of him, the Son of Man, that You should care for Him?

Yet You made Him a little lower than the Angels; You crowned Him with glory and honour and gave Him the works of Your hands; You have put all things under His feet.

Sheep and oxen without number and even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and all that swim the paths of the ocean.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Hebrews 2 : 5-12

The Angels were not given dominion over the new world of which we are speaking. Instead someone declared in Scripture : What is man, that You should be mindful of him, what is the Son of Man that You should care for Him? For a while You placed Him a little lower than the Angels, but You crowned Him with glory and honour. You have given Him dominion over all things.

When it is said that God gave Him dominion over all things, nothing is excluded. As it is, we do not yet see His dominion over all things. But Jesus Who suffered death and for a little while was placed lower than the Angels has been crowned with honour and glory. For the merciful plan of God demanded that He experience death on behalf of everyone.

God, from Whom all come and by Whom all things exist, wanted to bring many children to glory, and He thought it fitting to make perfect through suffering the Initiator of their salvation. So He Who gives and those who receive holiness are one. He Himself is not ashamed of calling us brothers and sisters, as we read : Lord, I will proclaim Your Name to My brothers; I will praise You in the congregation.

Monday, 14 January 2019 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we begin the time of the Ordinary Time, which will take place between now and the beginning of the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday. And although this period of time is called the Ordinary Time, but we must not think of it as a time when things are ordinary and nothing special is commemorated or observed. On the other hand, we should reflect on the flow of the liturgical year in order for us to understand what we need to do as Christ’s followers.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this period of time between Christmas and the season of Lent was marked at the beginning yesterday by the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which commemorated the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ in the River Jordan, at the age of approximately thirty years, marking the beginning of His earthly ministry, when He began to teach the people and proclaim the truth of God to them.

And this is significant because, all of us as Christians have shared in the same baptism that He has received, marked by the Holy Name of the Trinity, as God’s own children. At the baptism of Our Lord, the Holy Trinity was also present, the Father’s voice that proclaimed the Sonhood of Christ, Christ Himself as the Son, and the dove descending upon Him as the Holy Spirit, three Divine Persons, One God all present then, just as at the baptism of each and every one of us.

As such, we can see that we share in the same ministry and work the Lord Himself has taken up at His baptism, to obey the will of God and to do the good works of God. He began His works, as we heard in the Gospel passage today, calling upon those whom He had chosen, to become His disciples and followers, to be the fishers of men. And from then on, the works of God begun and His Church grew.

We are also therefore called to follow in the footsteps of the Apostles and the disciples, to continue the many good works they have begun. The Lord has commanded them all to go forth to the nations, and to baptise them in the Name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, as the Church had done for the past two millennia and more, and also to proclaim the truth of the Lord as written in the Scriptures and as preserved in the Apostolic Tradition of the Church.

But the works are far from being done and completed. In fact, there are still many avenues and opportunities available for us to provide our talents and abilities, our time and effort in bringing the truth of God, His love and His promise of salvation to more people among all the nations and races. And it is through us, those who belong in the Church in the modern day, those who have received the Sacrament of Baptism, to continue the mission that God had entrusted to us, His disciples.

Now, are we able and willing to commit our effort and time to serve the Lord and to do what we are supposed to do as Christians, as those who believe in God and walk in His ways? Are we able to practice our faith daily, in each and every actions we do, and in everything we say, so that those who see us may truly know that we belong to God, and that hopefully they too may come to believe in God and be saved?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let these time of grace, although named the Ordinary Time of the year, give us a new direction in life, to make a new ‘ordinary’ moments of our life, that doing the will of God become something that is ordinary for us, meaning that it becomes a habit and something we really look forward to at all times. Let us therefore commit ourselves in this manner, and dedicate ourselves to serve Him from now on, as what each and every one of us need to do. May God bless us all and our every endeavours. Amen.

Monday, 14 January 2019 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 1 : 14-20

At that time, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee and began preaching the Good News of God. He said, “The time has come; the kingdom of God is at hand. Change your ways and believe the Good News.”

As Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fish for people.” At once, they abandoned their nets and followed Him.

Jesus went a little farther on, and saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee; they were in their boat mending their nets. Immediately, Jesus called them and they followed Him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men.

Monday, 14 January 2019 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 96 : 1 and 2b, 6 and 7c, 9

YHVH reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the distant islands be glad. Justice and right, are His throne.

The heavens proclaim His justice, all peoples see His glory. Let all spirits bow before Him.

For You are the Master of the universe, exalted far above all gods.

Monday, 14 January 2019 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Hebrews 1 : 1-6

God has spoken in the past to our ancestors through the prophets, in many different ways, although never completely; but in our times He has spoken definitively to us through His Son. He is the one God appointed Heir of all things, since through Him He unfolded the stages of the world.

He is the Radiance of God’s Glory and bears the stamp of God’s hidden being, so that His powerful Word upholds the universe. And after taking away sin, He took His place at the right hand of the Divine Majesty in heaven. So He is now far superior to Angels just as the Name He received sets Him apart from them.

To what Angel did God say : You are My Son, I have begotten You today? And to what Angel did He promise : I shall be a Father to Him and He will be a Son to Me? On sending His Firstborn to the world, God says : “Let all the Angels adore Him.”