Tuesday, 2 July 2019 : 13th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 8 : 23-27

At that time, Jesus got into the boat and His disciples followed Him. Without warning, a fierce storm burst upon the lake, with waves sweeping the boat. But Jesus was asleep.

The disciples woke Him up and cried, “Lord save us! We are lost!” But Jesus answered, “Why are you so afraid, you of little faith?” Then He stood up and rebuked the wind and sea; and it became completely calm.

The disciples were astonished. They said, “What kind of Man is He? Even the winds and the sea obey Him.”

Tuesday, 2 July 2019 : 13th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 25 : 2-3, 9-10, 11-12

Prove me, o YHVH, put me to the test; examine my soul and my heart. For Your love is ever before my eyes, and I live in truth and faithfulness.

Let me not share the fate of sinners, nor lose my life with the violent; their hands are guilty of crimes, their right hands are weighed down with bribes.

But I will walk in integrity, redeem me, o God, be gracious to me. My foot stands firm in the straight path, I will praise You, o YHVH, in Your assemblies.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019 : 13th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Genesis 19 : 15-29

At daybreak the Angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and two daughters who are here, lest they perish because of the sin of the town.” As he hesitated, the men took him by the hand and his wife and two daughters with him, because YHVH had mercy on him. And they led him outside the town.

When they were outside, the visitors said to him, “Flee for your life and do not look back and do not stop anywhere in the plain. Flee to the mountain lest you perish.” But Lot replied, “My lords, your servant has found favour with you, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot flee to the mountains for fear the disaster will overtake me and I die.”

“See, there is a town near enough for me to flee to and it is a small one. Let me flee there : it is very small (that is why the town is called Zoar). So I will be safe.” And the Angel answered, “I grant you this favour as well by not destroying the town you speak of. But flee fast for I can do nothing until you arrive there.”

The sun had risen on the earth when Lot reached Zoar. Then YHVH rained on Sodom and Gomorrah burning sulfur out of the heavens from YHVH, and He completely destroyed those towns and all the valley and all the inhabitants of the towns and everything that grew there. Lot’s wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt.

Early next morning Abraham returned to the place where he had stood before YHVH. He looked towards Sodom and Gomorrah and towards all the land of the valley and he saw smoke rising from the earth like the smoke from a furnace. So when God destroyed the towns of the plain He remembered Abraham and made Lot escape from the catastrophe while He destroyed the cities where Lot had lived.

Monday, 1 July 2019 : 13th 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 in which we are reminded of just how great God’s love for each and every one of us is, and how vast is His mercy to each and every one of us. In the first reading taken from the Book of Genesis we heard of the encounter and conversation between God and Abraham, His faithful servant regarding the city of Sodom and Gomorrah, while in the Gospel we heard about the matter of following Christ.

In the first reading today, Abraham was deeply concerned that God would punish the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah as the people who lived in those cities were very wicked and sinful, and his cousin Lot was living amongst those people in that place. Partly out of concern for his cousin Lot and his family, and also party for anyone else out there in those two cities who were still faithful to God’s ways, Abraham pleaded with the Lord to spare Sodom and Gomorrah should there be righteous people found in them.

And he did not do this just once, but a few times, continuing to ask the Lord and pleading with Him to show mercy and compassion. God listened to Abraham and promised him that He would not carry out the destruction that He has planned on Sodom and Gomorrah should He managed to find the number of the righteous people in accordance to what Abraham had pleaded for.

In the Gospel passage today, we heard the story of the encounter between a teacher of the Law who came up to the Lord Jesus saying that he would follow Him to wherever He goes. The Lord responded by saying that He has nowhere to lay His head, and that all those who follow Him must truly follow Him and leave everything behind to be with Him. How does this then relate to what we have heard in our first reading passage today?

The connection is that, in both cases, we heard of the matter of following God, obeying Him and being righteous in our lives, and we cannot do anything less than what our father in faith, Abraham had done with his own life, and looking upon the examples shown by Our Lord Jesus Himself in obeying the will of His Father so perfectly that He willingly took up the Cross and bear the burdens of our sins for our salvation.

Abraham heard the Lord’s call when He called him to follow Him. He left his ancestral homeland behind and followed wherever God had led him to. He was faithful and committed to his Lord and Master in everything and because of that God blessed him and made a great Covenant with him and his descendants, promising to make them to be great nations and peoples ever blessed by God.

And that is why all of us should follow the good examples set by Abraham in his life. We should heed the commitment that Abraham had shown in everything he has done, in the trust he has in the Lord, in putting himself in the Lord’s providence. That is how we become better disciples of the Lord and following Him with all of our hearts. That is how we are called to be true Christians in everything we say and do, so that we may draw ever closer to Him.

May the Lord Who is so full of love, mercy and compassion continue to love us all and shower us with His grace as He has done all these while. May He strengthen us, our courage and our resolve to follow Him with all of our hearts and to stand up for Him in faith in everything. May God bless us all and our good endeavours, now and always. Amen.