Thursday, 14 February 2019 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Cyril, Monk and St. Methodius, Bishop, Patron Saints of Europe (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Mark 7 : 24-30

At that time, when Jesus left the place where He rebuked the Pharisees, He went to the border of the Tyrian country. There He entered a house, and did not want anyone to know He was there, but He could not remain hidden. A woman, whose small daughter had an evil spirit, heard of Him, and came and fell at His feet. Now this woman was a pagan, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she begged Him to drive the demon out of her daughter.

Jesus told her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to puppies.” But she replied, “Sir, even the puppies under the table eat the crumbs from the children’s bread.” Then Jesus said to her, “You may go your way; because of such a response, the demon has gone out of your daughter.”

And when the woman went home, she found her child lying in bed, and the demon gone.

Thursday, 14 February 2019 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Cyril, Monk and St. Methodius, Bishop, Patron Saints of Europe (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 127 : 1-2, 3, 4-5

Blessed are you who fear the Lord and walk in His ways. You will ear the fruit of your toil; you will be blessed and favoured.

Your wife, like a vine, will bear fruits in your home; your children, like olive shoots will stand around your table.

Such are the blessings bestowed upon the man who fears the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion. May you see Jerusalem prosperous all the days of your life.

Thursday, 14 February 2019 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Cyril, Monk and St. Methodius, Bishop, Patron Saints of Europe (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Genesis 2 : 18-25

YHVH God said, “It is not good for Man to be alone; I will give him a helper who will be like him.” Then YHVH God formed from the earth all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air and brought them to Man to see what he would call them; and whatever Man called every living creature, that was its name.

So Man gave names to all the cattle, the birds of the air and to every beast of the field. But he did not find among them a helper like himself. Then YHVH God caused a deep sleep to come over Man and he fell asleep. He took one of his ribs and filled its place with flesh. The rib which YHVH God had taken from Man He formed into a woman and brought her to the man.

The man then said, “Now this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman because she was taken from man.” That is why man leaves his father and mother and is attached to his wife, and with her becomes one flesh. Both the man and his wife were naked and were not ashamed.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of God in the Scripture passages which reminded us of the love with which God has created each and every one of us, even as we heard the account of the creation of man, in the Book of Genesis which is our first reading passage of today. In that passage, we heard how God gave us life and gave us the wonders of His love, as His most beloved creation.

All of us have been created special by God, as the pinnacle of His works of creation, capping the works of creation. We have been made in the very image of God Himself, and we have been favoured by God, with the breath of life and the gift of wisdom, that He has bestowed on each and every one of us. His own Spirit of life dwells within each one of us and we have been made all good and perfect, ready to receive and share in the wonders of God’s love.

Unfortunately, man desired for more than what they have been given, and fell into the temptations of the evil one, and when they disobeyed God, they sinned against God, out of their own wicked desires and selfishness, coming from their hearts and minds. They were created all good and perfect, but their downfall came when they allowed the devil to sow in their hearts and minds, the seeds of rebelliousness and disobedience.

This is important for us to take note, in the perspective of what we have heard in today’s Gospel passage, when the Lord Jesus went up against the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, in the argument regarding cleanliness and the sanctity of the human person, as the latter enforced a very strict interpretation of the Law of God as revealed through Moses, that excluded the Israelites from the consumption of certain types of food such as those originating from pigs, shellfish and many others.

The Lord had His reasons when He revealed to His people at the time of the Exodus, the rules regarding the prohibitions of the consumptions of certain types of food, but as the Lord again revealed in perfect truth, through His Son, Jesus Christ, the truth about the full meaning of the Law and His intention was made clear, that the food by itself had no means to make someone to be unclean, unlike what some of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law contended.

The Lord made it clear to all who heard Him, that the sins of man came not from the outside, but from the inside, from the depth of our hearts and minds, caused by the same seeds of rebellion and disobedience that the devil has planted in us. This is then elaborated by the Lord in another parable, on the sower, when He told His disciples about a sower who sowed good seeds in the field, only to have an enemy who sneaked in at night and sowed weeds among the good seeds.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are called to reflect on our own lives, if we have been allowing those weeds sown by the devil in our hearts and minds to grow strong and to take roots within ourselves, or whether we have persisted to allow the seeds of faith in God to grow better and stronger than those weeds in our lives. Instead of focusing on external piety and signs of faith as the Pharisees did, by overemphasis on outward appearances of faith, we should look deep within ourselves, and discover the love which we ought to have for God.

Today, we are called to renew that love which we should have for the Lord, and to grow deeper in our devotion and commitment to serve Him. May the Lord continue to guide us in His ways, and instil in each one of us, the true love and faith that we have for Him. Let us all also make the conscious and strong effort to love God in our every actions and deeds, in all of our words and in everything we act, each and every single days of our life. Amen.