Wednesday, 12 June 2019 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 5 : 17-19

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Do not think that I have come to annul the Law and the prophets. I have not come to annul them, but to fulfil them. I tell you this : as long as heaven and earth last, not the smallest letter or dot in the Law will change, until all is fulfilled.”

“So then, whoever breaks the least important of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys them, and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Wednesday, 12 June 2019 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 98 : 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Extol YHVH, our God; worship at His footstool. Holy is He! And mighty!

Among His priests were Moses and Aaron; and Samuel, among those who called on His Name. They called to YHVH, and He answered them.

In the pillar of cloud He spoke to them, and they kept His statutes and the decrees He gave them.

O YHVH our God, You responded to them; You were a patient God for them: but You punished their wrongs.

Extol YHVH our God, worship at His holy mountain. Holy is YHVH our God!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Corinthians 3 : 4-11

This is how we are sure of God, through Christ. As for us, we would not dare consider that something comes from us : our ability comes from God. He has even enabled us to be ministers of a new covenant, no longer depending on a written text, but on the Spirit. The written text kills, but the Spirit gives life.

The ministry of the Law carved on stones brought death; it was, nevertheless, surrounded by glory, and, we know, that the Israelites could not fix their eyes on the face of Moses, such was his radiance, though fleeting. How much more glorious will the ministry of the Spirit be! If there is greatness in a ministry which used to condemn, how much more will there be, in the ministry that brings holiness?

This is such a glorious thing that, in comparison, the former’s glory is like nothing. That ministry was provisory and had only moments of glory; but ours endures, with a lasting glory.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the feast of one of the Apostles of the Church, namely that of St. Barnabas the Apostle, one of those who accompanied St. Paul the Apostle on his missionary journeys throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. St. Barnabas went from many places to places, often suffering rejections, ridicule and persecutions along the way.

Yet, he remained strong in his faith and dedication, giving his all to the service of God. He received the strength of the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit that all the Apostles have received at Pentecost. Through the Holy Spirit, the Apostles performed wonderful works, reaching out to the people and speaking the truth of God in their midst, making many among them to believe in God despite there were also equally plenty of people who refused to believe.

St. Barnabas essentially did what the Lord had commanded His disciples to do, to proclaim the Good News as He has said in our Gospel passage today. He sent them forth to do His will, to bring healing to the sick and to liberate people from the possession of demons and their bondage to sin. And they were told not to bring many possessions but bring only the absolute minimum of what they needed, not even having extra things for themselves.

They were told to depend on the kindness of the people, some of whom would welcome them and take care of them. And that was what St. Barnabas and the other Apostles had done, throughout their missionary works, as they did not perform their works like that of conquering princes and warlords, or like mighty kings and lords, but rather as simple and humble servants of God Almighty.

And the Apostles like St. Barnabas performed their work with joy, despite the challenges and sorrows they had to endure, because they knew that God was with them, and whatever that they did, they did them because of their love not only for God but also for all those people to whom they had been sent to. They loved their fellow brethren and because of that, they rejoiced when the people came to believe in God because of them.

For they knew well what would happen should the people reject the Lord and continue to live in sin. To suffer for eternity in hellfire and eternal suffering is not something that anyone would have wanted or wished for someone whom they loved. God does not want that fate to happen to us, and therefore, neither did the Apostles and the courageous disciples of the Lord wanted that to happen to their brethren.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day all of us are reminded that the works of the Apostles are not yet completed, and there are still many things that need to be done for all of us as the members of God’s Church. All of us are in fact the successors and the inheritors to the works of the Apostles, as we need to continue the good works that they have started, in delivering the message of God’s truth to the people and in calling God’s people to conversion.

Let us all therefore be inspired by the courage and dedication which St. Barnabas had shown, in his perseverance through the difficult times and challenges he had to face in those years he spent ministering to the people of God and in preaching to the pagans. Let us all do our very best in our own efforts and in giving of our time to be the true and faithful witnesses of God’s truth among our communities.

May the Lord bless us in all of our endeavours and may He strengthen us in our resolve and commitment, to live our lives faithfully as Christians from now on, becoming good examples for one another in each and every moments of our lives. May God be with us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Matthew 10 : 7-13

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Go, and proclaim this message : The kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. Freely have you received, freely give. Do not carry any gold or silver or money in your purses. Do not take a travelling bag, or an extra shirt, or sandals, or a walking stick : workers deserve to be compensated.”

“When you come to a town or a village, look for a worthy person, and stay there until you leave. When you enter the house, wish it peace. If the people are worthy people, your peace will rest on them; if they are not worthy people, your blessing will come back to you.”

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 97 : 1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4, 5-6

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.

The farthest ends of the earth all have seen God’s saving power. All you lands, make a joyful noise to the Lord, break into song and sing praise.

With melody of the lyre and with music of the harp. With trumpet blast and sound of the horn, rejoice before the King, the Lord!

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Acts 11 : 21b-26 and Acts 13 : 1-3

A great number believed and turned to the Lord. News of this reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, so they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the manifest signs of God’s favour, he rejoiced and urged them all to remain firmly faithful to the Lord; for he, himself, was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. Thus large crowds came to know the Lord.

Then Barnabas went off to Tarsus, to look for Saul; and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year, they had meetings with the Church and instructed many people. It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.

There were at Antioch – in the Church which was there – prophets and teachers : Barnabas, Symeon known as Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod, and Saul. On one occasion, while they were celebrating the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul to do the work for which I have called them.”

So, after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

Monday, 10 June 2019 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady, Mother of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate for the second time the celebration of Mary, the Mother of the Church after Pope Francis the Vicar of Christ declared that the day after the Solemnity of the Pentecost as the Feast of Mary, the Mother of the Church. This honour and appellation given to Mary had been done from the ancient times, right from the beginning of the Church.

Why is that so? That is because if we believe that the Church came from God, from Jesus Christ Himself Who has established the Church, and Who is indeed considered the True Head of the Church, then how can we not consider Mary who is the mother of Our Lord and therefore the mother of God as the mother of the Church too? It is only logical that we should regard her as the mother of the Church.

In today’s Gospel reading, we heard of the exchange between the Lord Jesus, His mother Mary and His disciple St. John the Apostle, which would become the Scriptural basis of today’s celebration, for at that moment just before the Lord laid down His life He entrusted His mother Mary to the care of St. John, His beloved disciple and reciprocated it with the entrusting of St. John himself to the care of His mother Mary.

By that action, the whole Church, represented by the Apostle St. John, had been entrusted to Mary, to be its mother just as much as the Lord Himself said to St. John, “Here is your mother”. Mary is truly the mother of the Church, the one whom God Himself had entrusted to care and look after His Church, constantly praying for our sake and watching over us from heaven with loving eyes and thoughts for each and every one of us.

In Mary, we see the perfect example of faith, one that helped to overcome the original sin of man by her perfect obedience and commitment to God, as opposed to what we heard in our first reading today, of the downfall of man into sin, as the first of our ancestors, Adam and Eve, succumbed to the temptations of the evil one and disobeyed God for their own selfish desire, pride and greed. Mary instead showed humility, obedience and love for God.

And she has always been with the Apostles and the disciples during the earliest days of the Church, watching over them and caring for them, and praying constantly for the sake of God’s beloved people. And even after she had been assumed into her heavenly glory, she still continued to be our greatest advocate, being the one nearest to her Son’s Throne, and appearing many times throughout history to many people, calling them all to repentance and to be forgiven from their sins.

Mary, her faith and dedication to God and His Church, and her love and tender care for all the members of the Church, that is all of us truly makes her worthy to be called as our mother, and as the mother of the Church. She is truly the one whom we can turn to at the moments when we encounter challenges and difficulties in life, and whenever we feel that there is no one else we can turn to.

Through Mary, we can reach out to her Son, Our Lord Jesus, and through her, and by following her good examples, commitment, dedication and faith, we too can become even closer and be worthy of God and His salvation. Let us all deepen our love for God and for His mother Mary, and be more like her in her exemplary faith and life. May God bless us all, now and always. Amen.

Monday, 10 June 2019 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady, Mother of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 19 : 25-34

At that time, near the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister Mary, who was the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw the mother, and the disciple whom He loved, He said to the mother, “Woman, this is your son.” Then He said to the disciple, “This is your mother.” And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home.

Jesus knew all was now finished and, in order to fulfil what was written in Scripture, He said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of bitter wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a twig of hyssop, they raised it to His lips. Jesus took the wine and said, “It is accomplished.” Then He bowed His head and gave up the Spirit.

As it was Preparation Day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross during the Sabbath, for this Sabbath was a very solemn day. They asked Pilate to have the legs of the condemned men broken, so that the bodies might be taken away. The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other man, who had been crucified with Jesus.

When they came to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead, so they did not break His legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced His side with a lance, and immediately there came out Blood and water.

Monday, 10 June 2019 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady, Mother of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 86 : 1-2, 3 and 5, 6-7

He Himself has built it in His holy mountain; YHVH prefers the gates of Zion to all of Jacob’s towns.

Great things have been foretold of you, o city of God. But of Zion, it shall be said, “More and more are being born in her.” For the Most High Himself has founded her.

And YHVH notes in the people’s register : “All these were also born in Zion.” And all will dance and sing joyfully for you.