Tuesday, 30 July 2019 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture speaking to us about the we listened yet again to the wonderful love of God being ever present in our midst, reminding us of what we have received through these ages and throughout our history, in God’s faithfulness and commitment to the Covenant which He had made with each and every one of us.

In our first reading today, taken from the Book of Exodus we heard about God Who led His people Israel through a long and arduous journey in the desert as they made their way towards the land promised to them. God led them on the journey as He followed them along in the form of a large pillar of cloud at daytime and a large pillar of fire at nighttime. And He instructed His people through Moses, in passing to them His laws and commandments, precepts and regulations to help them to remain true to Him.

And Moses humbled himself before God and petitioned Him for the sake of the people, admitting the sins that the people had committed, all the sins and wickedness that they have committed throughout their journey. Their refusal to obey the Lord’s words and commandments have caused them to sin against Him, and as a result, many have perished along their journey by their own choice and refusal to follow the Lord.

Still, as Moses mentioned, how God is truly a loving and forgiving God, He is truly full of compassion and mercy, He still continued to love His people nonetheless, despite all the wickedness they have committed, and despite all the disobedience and rebelliousness that they have displayed throughout those years and even beyond, after they have reached the promised land and dwelled there.

On this day, we listened in our Gospel passage another story, that of the explanation of the parable of the weeds by the Lord when His disciples asked Him to explain the meaning of that parable to them. And the Lord explained how the weeds represent the people who have not obeyed the Lord and followed Satan instead of Him. The weeds were sown in the field by the enemy, Satan himself, amidst the good and healthy wheat, representing the faithful people of God.

But the Lord, represented by the owner of the field, did not want to pull out the weeds right away, but instead, allowed the weeds to grow alongside the wheat. In this way, the Lord showed His mercy and compassion, His magnanimity and great love for all of His people. How is that so? That is because God’s love for each and every one of us is unchanging, despite of all of our sins and wickedness.

He always loves us all, even when we have not listened to Him, even when we have disobeyed Him and sinned against Him, even when we have chosen other paths beyond and away from the path that He has led and guided us into in our lives. But we must remember that although God loves us all very dearly, as long as sin is present in our midst, sin will become a great obstacle that will prevent us from truly being able to reach God and be reunited with Him.

We must not forget that God is all good and perfect, and no imperfection and corruption can stand in His presence. If we continue to disobey the Lord and refuse His constant and generous offer of forgiveness and mercy, eventually, it will be by our own rejection and stubbornness that we will fall into eternal damnation, because while God is ever generous with His mercy and ever sincere with His love, our hearts and minds are closed to all of these.

Do we want to end up like the weeds at the end of time, according to the parable? Those weeds shall be gathered and burnt, and destroyed, while only the wheat will be collected and stored. If we continue to sin, we are the only ones who will reap the sufferings and pains in the end. Do not let the temptations to sin and our stubbornness to bring about our downfall, brethren!

Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Peter Chrysologus, a holy and devout servant of God, whose life examples can be good inspiration to each and every one of us in how we ought to live up our lives from now on, that we truly can be worthy of being God’s faithful people. St. Peter Chrysologus was named such, with the term ‘Chrysologus’ meanings ‘Golden Tongued’ because of his very eloquent and inspiring sermons, by which he called many lost souls back to the faith.

St. Peter Chrysologus was a very holy and devout man, who dedicated himself as the Bishop of Ravenna during the later days of the Roman Empire, ministering to the people of God and calling on them to turn away from their sinful ways, explaining the faith clearly to them and showing them how they ought to live their lives through simple terms and simple actions, by his own personal holiness and exemplary life.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, each and every one of us are also called to be like St. Peter Chrysologus in our faith and in how we live our lives. Are we willing to follow in his footsteps and make the concrete effort to be real and living witnesses of Christ in our own communities and families? We should therefore do our best in our own respective lives to be exemplary, to be faithful even in the little things and actions we do that everyone who witness us will know that we truly belong to God.

Let us all reorientate ourselves and refocus our attention on God from now on, He Who is so loving and compassionate towards us despite of our sins and disobedience. Let us all devote ourselves to Him through prayer and by spending more of our time and effort. May the Lord bless us all and our good endeavours, now and always. Amen.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Matthew 13 : 36-43

At that time, Jesus sent the crowds away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” Jesus answered them, “The One Who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed are the people of the kingdom; the weeds are those who follow the evil one. The enemy who sows the weeds is the devil; the harvest is the end of time, and the workers are the Angels.”

“Just as the weeds are pulled up and burnt in the fire, so will it be at the end of time. The Son of Man will send His Angels, and they will weed out of His kingdom all that is scandalous and all who do evil. And these will be thrown into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the just will shine, like the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. If you have ears, then hear.”

Tuesday, 30 July 2019 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Psalm 102 : 6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13

YHVH restores justice and secures the rights of the oppressed. He has made known His ways to Moses; and His deeds, to the people of Israel.

YHVH is gracious and merciful, abounding in love and slow to anger; He will not always scold nor will He be angry forever.

He does not treat us according to our sins, nor does He punish us as we deserve. As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His love for those fearing Him.

As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove from us our sins. As a father has compassion on his children, so YHVH pities those who fear Him.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Exodus 33 : 7-11 and Exodus 34 : 5b-9, 28

Moses then took the Tent and pitched it for himself outside the camp, at a distance from it, and called it the Tent of Meeting. Whoever sought YHVH would go out to the Tent of Meeting outside the camp. And when Moses went to the Tent all the people would stand, each one at the entrance to his tent and keep looking towards Moses until he entered the Tent.

Now, as soon as Moses entered the Tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and remain at the entrance to the Tent, while YHVH spoke with Moses. When all the people saw the pillar of cloud at the entrance to the Tent, they would arise and worship, each one at the entrance to his own tent. Then YHVH would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his neighbour, and then Moses would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua, son of Nun, would not leave the Tent.

And Moses called on the Name of YHVH. Then YHVH passed in front of him and cried out, “YHVH, YHVH is a God full of pity and mercy, slow to anger and abounding in truth and loving kindness. He shows loving kindness to the thousandth generation and forgives wickedness, rebellion and sin; yet He does not leave the guilty without punishment, even punishing the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”

Moses hastened to bow down to the ground and worshipped. He then said, “If You really look kindly on me, my Lord, please come and walk in our midst and even though we are a stiff-necked people, pardon our wickedness and our sin and make us Yours.”

Moses remained there with YHVH forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the Covenant – the Ten Commandments.