Thursday, 13 June 2019 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 5 : 20-26

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “I tell you, if your sense of right and wrong is not keener than that of the Lawyers and the Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

“You have heard, that it was said to our people in the past : Do not commit murder; anyone who murders will have to face trial. But now I tell you : whoever gets angry with a brother or sister will have to face trial. Whoever insults a brother or sister is liable, to be brought before the council. Whoever calls a brother or sister ‘Fool!’ is liable, of being thrown into the fire of hell.”

“So, if you are about to offer your gift at the altar, and you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there, in front of the altar; go at once, and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God.”

“Do not forget this : be reconciled with your opponent quickly when you are together on the way to court. Otherwise he will turn you over to the judge, who will hand you over to the police, who will put you in jail. There, you will stay, until you have paid the last penny.”

Thursday, 13 June 2019 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 84 : 9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14

Would, that I hear God’s proclamation, that He promise peace to His people, His saints. Yet, His salvation is near to those who fear Him, and His glory will dwell in our land.

Love and faithfulness have met; righteousness and peace have embraced. Faithfulness will reach up from the earth while justice bends down from heaven.

YHVH will give what is good, and our land will yield its fruit. Justice will go before Him, and peace will follow along His path.

Thursday, 13 June 2019 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

2 Corinthians 3 : 15 – 2 Corinthians 4 : 1, 3-6

Up to this very day, whenever they read Moses, the veil remains over their understanding but, for whoever turns to the Lord, the veil shall be removed. The Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

So, with unveiled faces, we all reflect the glory of the Lord, while we are transformed into His likeness, and experience His glory, more and more by the action of the Lord, Who is Spirit.

Since this is our ministry, mercifully given to us, we do not weaken. In fact, if the Gospel we proclaim remains obscure, it is obscure only for those who go to their own destruction. The God of this world has blinded the minds of these unbelievers, lest they see the radiance of the glorious Gospel of Christ, Who is God’s Image.

It is not ourselves we preach, but Christ Jesus, as Lord; and, for Jesus’ sake, we are your servants. God, Who said, ‘Let the light shine out of darkness’, has also made the light shine in our hearts, to radiate, and to make known the glory of God, as it shines in the face of Christ.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019 : 10th 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 the Scripture speaking to us about the importance of understanding and appreciating the true meaning of the Law of God, or otherwise we will end up misunderstanding and misusing the Law as what our predecessors had done in the past, and which the Lord has warned us against through His Apostles, as what St. Paul wrote in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in Corinth, which is our first reading today.

In that reading, we essentially heard the comparison made between the letter of the Law and the Spirit of the Law. What is meant by the letter of the Law? It is the Law as how it had been revealed and written down by first of all Moses, the first one through whom God revealed His Law to His people, but the letter or the text of the Law by itself can easily be misunderstood and misused by those who did not truly understand the meaning and the purpose of the Law.

That was exactly what happened at the time of the Lord Jesus, when the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law enforced the Law very rigorously and rigidly, down to the letter and the very wordings of the text of the Law, often understanding the Law literally but not knowing or appreciating the context and the purpose for which the Law had been given to us for by God. They made the people to endure the heavy burden of obedience to the laws and customs they imposed on the latter.

But the Lord revealed that even if someone were to fulfil the obligations of the whole Law in letter but not in Spirit, then everything will not be complete. The Law is not complete and life-giving unless we truly understand it fully and completely both in its letter and its Spirit. That is where we need to appreciate what the Law of God is about, in how the Church has kept it faithfully and explained its truth to us.

As what the Lord Himself has revealed to us, the Law is about love, first of all the great and enduring love that God has for each and every one of us. God has loved us all so much, that He did not just give us all life, but also His providence throughout our lives, and guiding us all down the right path, so that we may not be lost to Him because of sin and disobedience. And therefore, it is only right that we should love Him in the same manner.

Unfortunately, many of us, just as how the people of Jesus’ time has behaved, we did not have true love and dedication for God. How many of us carry out the obligations of our faith and the precepts of the Church just because we want to get it over and done with, or because we feel that it is our obligation and duty to do so and therefore we do it? How many of us in fact go for the Mass just because the Church said so?

How many of us go for Mass and for confession because we are afraid of going to hell if we do not do all these? And yet, because we do not truly understand what we are doing, that is why we keep on sinning and disobeying God, as the love of God is not within our hearts and minds. We just do things going through the motions and not because of the strong and living faith that are within us.

Today, all of us are called to reflect on our own lives and how we have lived our lives thus far. Are we able to dedicate ourselves with love and devotion for God, and doing everything because we love God Who has first loved us all so tenderly from now onwards? We are all called to be loving and obedient disciples and followers of the Lord, doing all that we can to observe His laws and commandments, not because they are our obligations or because we fear the anger of God, but rather because we love God with all of our hearts.

Let us all renew our commitment to love God from now on, and be ever more dedicated at all times, to be ever closer to God and to follow Him in all of His ways. Let us do our very best to love Him and to serve Him from now on, till the last days of our lives. Amen.