Sunday, 4 August 2019 : Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 12 : 13-21

At that time, someone in the crowd spoke to Jesus, “Master, tell my brother to share with me the family inheritance.” He replied, “My friend, who has appointed Me as your Judge or your Attorney?” Then Jesus said to the people, “Be on your guard and avoid every kind of greed, for even though you have many possessions, it is not that which gives you life.”

And Jesus continued, “There was a rich man, and his land had produced a good harvest. He thought, ‘What shall I do, for I am short of room to store my harvest? Alright, I know what I shall do : I will pull down my barns and I will build bigger ones, to store all this grain, which is my wealth. Then I will say to myself : My friend, you have a lot of good things put by for many years. Rest, eat, drink and enjoy yourself.'”

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be taken from you. Tell Me, who shall get all you have put aside?’ This is the lot of the one who stores up riches for himself and is not wealthy in the eyes of God.”

Sunday, 4 August 2019 : Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Colossians 3 : 1-5, 9-11

So then, if you are risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on earthly things. For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is your life, reveals Himself, you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Therefore, put to death what is earthly in your life, that is immorality, impurity, inordinate passions, wicked desires and greed, which is a way of worshipping idols. Do not lie to one another. You have been stripped of the old self and its way of thinking; to put on the new, which is being renewed, and is to reach perfect knowledge, and the likeness of its Creator. There is no room for distinction between Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, foreigner, slave or free, but Christ is all, and in all.

Sunday, 4 August 2019 : Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 89 : 3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17

You turn humans back to dust, saying, “Return, o mortals!” A thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has passed, or like a watch in the night.

You sow them in their time, a dawn they peep out. In the morning they blossom, but the flower fades and withers in the evening.

So make us know the shortness of our life, that we may gain wisdom of heart. How long will You be angry, o YHVH? Have mercy on Your servant.

Fill us at daybreak with Your goodness, that we may be glad all our days. May the sweetness of YHVH be upon us; may He prosper the work of our hands.

Alternative Psalm

Psalm 94 : 1-2, 6-9

Come, let us sing to the Lord, let us make a joyful sound to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him giving thanks, with music and songs of praise.

Come and worship; let us bow down, kneel before the Lord, our Maker. He is our God, and we His people; the flock He leads and pastures. Would that today you heard His voice!

Do not be stubborn, as at Meribah, in the desert, on that day at Massah, when your ancestors challenged Me, and they put Me to the test.

Sunday, 4 August 2019 : Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth) 1 : 2 and Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth) 2 : 21-23

All is meaningless – says the Teacher – meaningless, meaningless! For here was a man who toiled in all wisdom, knowledge and skill; and he must leave all to someone who has not worked for it. This is meaningless and a great misfortune.

For what profit is there for a man in all his work and heart-searching under the sun? All his days bring sorrow; his work, grief; he has not, moreover, peaceful rest at night : that, too, is meaningless.

(Usus Antiquior) Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 4 August 2019 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Green

Offertory

Psalm 17 : 28, 32

Populum humilem salvum facies, Domine, et oculos superborum humiliabis : quoniam quis Deus praeter Te, Domine?

 

English translation

You will save the humble people, o Lord, and will bring down the eyes of the proud, for who is God but You, o Lord?

 

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Suscipe, quaesumus, Domine, munera, quae Tibi de tua largitate deferimus : ut haec sacrosancta mysteria, gratiae Tuae operante virtute, et praesentis vitae nos conversatione sanctificent, et ad gaudia sempiterna perducant. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Receive, we beseech You, o Lord, the gifts which out of Your own bounty we bring to You, that these most holy mysteries may, by the operation of the power of Your grace, both sanctify us in the conduct of our present lives and lead us unto everlasting joys. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Communion

Psalm 33 : 9

Gustate et videte, quoniam suavis est Dominus : beatus vir, qui sperat in Eo.

 

English translation

Taste and see that the Lord is sweet. Blessed is the man who hopes in Him.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

Sit nobis, Domine, reparatio mentis et corporis caeleste mysterium : ut, cujus exsequimur cultum, sentiamus effectum. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Let the heavenly mystery be to us, o Lord, the restoration of soul and body, that as we perform its worship, we may experience its effect. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 4 August 2019 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke

Luke 16 : 1-9

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus discipulis Suis parabolam hanc : Homo quidam erat dives, qui habebat villicum : et hic diffamatus est apud illum, quasi dissipasset bona ipsius. Et vocavit illum et ait illi : Quid hoc audio de te? Redde rationem villicationis tuae : jam enim non poteris villicare.

Ait autem villicus intra se : Quid faciam, quia dominus meus aufert a me villicationem? Fodere non valeo, mendicare erubesco. Scio, quid faciam, ut, cum amotus fuero a villicatione, recipiant me in domos suas.

Convocatis itaque singulis debitoribus domini sui, dicebat primo : Quantum debes domino meo? At ille dixit : Centum cados olei. Dixitque illi : Accipe cautionem tuam : et sede cito, scribe quinquaginta. Deinde alii dixit : Tu vero quantum debes? Qui ait : Centum coros tritici. Ait illi : Accipe litteras tuas, et scribe octoginta.

Et laudavit dominus villicum iniquitatis, quia prudenter fecisset : quia filii hujus saeculi prudentiores filiis lucis in generatione sua sunt. Et ego vobis dico : facite vobis amicos de mammona iniquitatis : ut, cum defeceritis, recipiant vos in aeterna tabernacula.

 

English translation

At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable, “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods, and he called him, and said to him, ‘How is it that I hear this of you? Give an account of your stewardship, for now you cannot be steward any longer.'”

“And the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do, because my lord takes away from me the stewardship? To dig I am not able, to beg I am ashamed. I know what I will do, that when I shall be put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.'”

“Therefore calling together every one of his lord’s debtors, he said to the first, ‘How much did you owe my lord?’ But he said, ‘A hundred barrels of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much did you owe?’ Who said, ‘A hundred quarters of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.'”

“And the Lord commended the unjust steward, for as much as he had done wisely, for the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. And I say to you, make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity, that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.”

(Usus Antiquior) Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 4 August 2019 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 30 : 3, Psalm 70 : 1 and Psalm 47 : 2

Esto mihi in Deum protectorem, et in locum refugii, ut salvum me facias.

Response : Deus, in Te speravi : Domine, non confundar in aeternum.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Magnus Dominus, et laudabilis valde, in civitate Dei nostri, in monte sancto Ejus. Alleluja.

 

English translation

You are unto me a God, a Protector and a place of refuge, to save me.

Response : In You, o God, have I hoped. O Lord, let me never be confounded.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : Great is the Lord and exceedingly to be praised, in the city of our God, in His holy mountain. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 4 August 2019 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Green

Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Romans

Romans 8 : 12-17

Fratres : Debitores sumus non carni, ut secundum carnem vivamus. Si enim secundum carnem vixeritis, moriemini : si autem spiritu facta carnis mortificaveritis, vivetis.

Quicumque enim Spiritu Dei aguntur, ii sunt filii Dei. Non enim accepistis spiritum servitutis iterum in timore, sed accepistis spiritum adoptionis filiorum, in quo clamamus : Abba (Pater).

Ipse enim Spiritus testimonium reddit spiritui nostro, quod sumus filii Dei. Si autem filii, et heredes : heredes quidem Dei, coheredes autem Christi.

 

English translation

Brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh, for if you live according to the flesh, you shall die, but if by the spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.

For whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry Abba (Father).

For the Spirit Himself gives testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God, and if sons, heirs also. Heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ.

(Usus Antiquior) Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 4 August 2019 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Green

Introit

Psalm 47 : 10-11, 2

Suscepimus, Deus, misericordiam Tuam in medio templi Tui : secundum Nomen Tuum, Deus, ita et laus Tua in fines terrae : justitia plena est dextera Tua.

Magnus Dominus, et laudabilis nimis : in civitate Dei nostri, in monte sancto Ejus.

Response : Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

We have received Your mercy, o God, in the midst of Your Temple, according to Your Name, o God, so is also Your praise unto the ends of the earth. Your right hand is full of justice.

Great is the Lord and exceedingly to be praised, in the city of our God, in His holy mountain.

Response : Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

Collect

Largire nobis, quaesumus, Domine, semper spiritum cogitandi quae recta sunt, propitius et agendi : ut, qui sine Te esse non possumus, secundum Te vivere valeamus. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Ever graciously bestow upon us in abundance, we beseech You, o Lord, the Spirit of thinking and doing what things are right, that we, who cannot exist without You, may have the strength to live in conformity with You. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Saturday, 3 August 2019 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day from the Sacred Scriptures we heard about the matter of obedience and listening to God, in how we should be following His ways and doing His precepts faithfully. In the first reading today we listened to the instruction of the celebration of the Jubilee year for the Israelites, done every fifty years, as the Lord Himself instructed His people through Moses. Meanwhile, in our Gospel passage today, we heard of the account of the arrest and eventually beheading of the faithful servant of God, St. John the Baptist by king Herod.

In the first reading, the Lord mentioned clearly the details about the celebration of the Jubilee year that took place every fiftieth year, after seven cycles of seven years. This allusion to the number ‘seven’ and in fact ‘seven times seven’ denotes a focus on holiness and sanctity, as the number seven in the Scripture is used to denote something that is sacred and perfect, and therefore the purpose of the Jubilee Year, if we read through the passage again in detail, is to bring mankind closer to God’s holiness.

In that passage we heard how the Lord commanded the people to keep the Jubilee Year holy and sacred, and to be a year of forgiveness and reorientation of the people’s hearts and minds to the Lord. The celebration of the Jubilee also included the restoration of fairness and justice to the people as mentioned in the reading, as those who had more land and properties would not benefit out of the lack and inadequacies in others.

Through all of these, the Scripture passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes is the reminder for each and every one of us that we should not entertain and succumb to the temptations of our desires and greed, which are part of our human existence by nature. We are all creatures of emotion, of desires, of wants and wishes, and in this world, we know that in fact, suffering and pain came about because we allow our desires and greed to control us and our actions.

For example, when a person who has greater wealth, properties and possessions succumb to his or her desire for more of those worldly things and temptations, this more often than not causes others to suffer in order to satisfy the desires of the person. The more we crave and desire for worldly glory, satisfaction and pleasures, the more we will desire for them in time to come as those worldly things cannot truly satisfy us.

We have one such example in the Gospel passage today, in which we heard of the account of the arrest and martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, who was killed by king Herod through the machinations of Herodias, his wife, who despised the saint. The context of this is that king Herod took the wife of Philip, his own brother, as his wife, which was unlawful in the sight of God as an act of blatant adultery.

And St. John the Baptist courageously spoke up against king Herod and Herodias for their sinful and open show of rebellion against God’s will and Law. Herodias hated St. John the Baptist for that and managed to get the king to arrest the saint. And on a good occasion, Herodias plotted with her own daughter to tempt the king and trick him to get rid of St. John the Baptist, as the king was reluctant to do so, out of the fear of God.

It was the king’s inability to resist the temptation of pleasure and greed, lust and sexual desires when he saw his daughter’s seductive dance, which brought about his downfall. He fell into the trap set by Herodias and made a promise and vow which he could not retract, and was therefore forced to commit a murder, of the great saint and Herald of the coming of the Messiah of God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, having heard from all of these accounts from the Scriptures, all of us ought to realise that no amount of worldly desires, possessions, be it glory, power, pleasures of the flesh and all the things present in the world, can satisfy us. In fact, our pursuit of all those things can lead us to ruin and drag us deeper and deeper into sin. King Herod himself had shown us what could happen if one succumbed to the temptation.

We are all reminded therefore to refocus our attention to God, turning to God with effort and commitment. The Lord has given us many means through which we can refocus our attention to God, and as mentioned earlier, in our first reading today, the celebration of the Jubilee Year was a way for God’s people to take a break in their hectic and often distracted life and redirect their attention back towards God. Similarly therefore, through the Church and its celebrations, we are called to refocus our attention on God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all seek to love God all the more in our lives and turn away from the many temptations of sin, from disobedience and sin against God, from all sorts of worldly pride and desires, greed and lust. Let us all turn towards God and be ever closer and be more faithful to Him from now on. May God be with us all and bless all of our good endeavours, now and always. Amen.