Thursday, 31 January 2019 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John Bosco, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Mark 4 : 21-25

At that time, Jesus also said to His disciples, “When the light comes, is it put under a basket or a bed? Surely it is put on a lamp stand. Whatever is hidden will be disclosed, and whatever is kept secret will be brought to light. Listen then, if you have ears!”

And He also said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. In the measure you give, so shall you receive, and still more will be given to you. For to the one who produces something, more will be given; and from him who does not produce anything, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

Thursday, 31 January 2019 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John Bosco, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

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.

Thursday, 31 January 2019 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John Bosco, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Hebrews 10 : 19-25

So, my friends, we are assured of entering the Sanctuary, by the Blood of Jesus Who opened, for us, this new and living way, passing through the curtain, that is, His Body. Because we have a High Priest in charge of the House of God, let us approach, with a sincere heart, with full faith, interiorly cleansed from a bad conscience, and our bodies washed, with pure water.

Let us hold fast to our hope, without wavering, because He, Who promised, is faithful. Let us consider, how we may spur one another to love and good works. Do not abandon the assemblies, as some of you do, but encourage one another, and all the more, since the Day is drawing near.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, as we continue the discourse regarding the High Priesthood of Christ from the Epistle to the Hebrews, we are reminded yet again of the wonders of God’s love that He has willingly sacrificed Himself, offering His own Most Precious Body and Blood as the High Priest of us all, that through this sacred and worthy offering, all of us are freed from the slavery of sin, and receive the renewed grace of God’s love.

He has made a new Covenant with each and every one of us by the outpouring of His Blood and the shedding of His Body on the altar of the cross, sanctified and sealed by that sacrifice, making a Covenant that is everlasting and unbreakable, the Covenant of love between God and His beloved people. And because of His love for us, He willingly embraced that painful and yet loving sacrifice, enduring all the sufferings for our sake, that we may live.

Yet, for all that the Lord has done for our sake, many of us are still incapable of recognising the wonderful gift of this love. And the Lord reminds us about this through the Gospel passage today, in which He told His disciples the famous parable of the sower. In that parable, the Lord told the people of a sower who sowed his seeds which fell on different types of soil and conditions, in each of which, the seeds failed to grow except for the ones that fell on the rich and fertile soil.

Those seeds that the sower spread on the soil, is the Word of God, the faith and the truth that God has brought upon us through His Church and all those who worked hard to spread the Good News and the message of the Gospels of Christ. The sower himself is the Lord, Who sowed good things in us and spread His Good News and truth in our midst, that each and every one of us may grow in our faith and become closer to Him.

Unfortunately, based on what the Lord had gone through with us through the parable, we heard how many of those seeds fell on various types of soil medium, which were not conducive for proper and healthy growth and development of the plants. First of all, the seeds that fell on the roadside were eaten up by birds and therefore did not grow, representing all those who were distracted by the many temptations of life, and chose to follow Satan and his lies instead of following the way that God has shown us.

And then those seeds that fell among thorns and thistles and were strangled by those plants, as well as those that fell on rocky ground and failed to grow deep roots and dried up, were those who had the faith in them and yet, they were unable to grow in faith as the burdens of worldly temptations and the allures of pleasure and human greed caused them to falter and fall, to be made to bow to the pressures of the expectations of our world and our community.

It is only those seeds that fell on the rich and fertile soil that managed to grow into healthy and fruitful plants that bore rich produce and returns, many multiples of what had been planted in the first place. This rich and fertile soil is in fact referring to all those who have allowed God’s words and truth to come into their midst, and not only that, but they also internalised and understood those words and their meaning, and making them integral part of their lives.

That is how the Lord’s grace, love and blessings can bear fruit within us, and make us to be bountiful and great, when we allow God to enter into our hearts and minds, and transform us completely from the inside out. And thus, brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us are called to love God in the same manner as He has loved us all so deeply and wonderfully, that He has laid down His own life for our sake, offering for our salvation, the perfect offering of His own Most Precious Body and Blood as our Eternal High Priest.

Let us all turn towards the Lord from now on, loving Him and devoting ourselves to Him, each and every days of our life. Let us all open our hearts and minds, to allow God to enter into our lives, changing us and transforming us to become His worthy and beloved servants, and His wonderful people from now on. May God bless us all and our every endeavours, and may He be with us all, now and forevermore. Amen.