Thursday, 26 September 2019 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Cosmas and St. Damian, Martyrs (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)

Luke 9 : 7-9

At that time, king Herod heard of all that Jesus and His disciples had done, and did not know what to think, for people said, “This is John, raised from the dead.”

Others believed that Elijah, or one of the ancient prophets, had come back to life. As for Herod, he said, “I had John beheaded. Who is this Man, about Whom I hear such wonders?” And he was anxious to see Him.

Thursday, 26 September 2019 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Cosmas and St. Damian, Martyrs (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)

Psalm 149 : 1-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b

Alleluia! Sing to YHVH a new song, sing His praise in the assembly of His saints. Let Israel rejoice in his Maker; let the people of Zion glory in their King!

Let them dance in praise of His Name; and make music for music for Him with harp and timbrel. For YHVH delights in His people; He crowns the lowly with victory.

The saints will exult in triumph; even at night, on their couches, let the praise of God be on their lips. This is the glory of all His saints. Alleluia!

Thursday, 26 September 2019 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Cosmas and St. Damian, Martyrs (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)

Haggai 1 : 1-8

In the second year of the reign of Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, a word of YHVH was directed to the prophet Haggai, for the benefit of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest.

So says YHVH of hosts : This people claim that the time to rebuild the House of YHVH has not yet come. Well now, hear what I have to say through the prophet Haggai : Is this the time for you to live in your well-built houses while this House is a heap of ruins? Think about your ways : you have sown much but harvested little; you eat and drink, but are not satisfied; you clothe yourselves, but still feel cold; and the labourer puts the money he earned in a tattered purse.

Now think about what you must do : go to the mountain and look for wood to rebuild the House. This will make me happy; and I will feel deeply honoured, says YHVH.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019 : 25th 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 Scriptures speaking to us about the love which God has given to us His people, the infinite and boundless mercy and compassion which He has shown to each and every one of us despite of our stubbornness and constant refusal to believe in Him and His love. We have always walked waywardly in sin, but He is ever patient, waiting for us to return to Him.

In our first reading passage today, taken from the Book of the prophet Ezra and continuing from the story of the return of the Israelites from their exile in Babylon of this week, we heard how after the rebuilding of Jerusalem and Judah, Ezra had earlier on celebrated the Passover with the people of God and reestablished order and proceedings in the whole land, appointing priests and those in charge of customs and administration.

And what we have then heard in our first reading today is Ezra’s prayer made on behalf of the people, as he humbled himself before God as a penitent and with torn and unkempt clothes. He humbled himself because of the sins which the people of God had committed for all those years when they disobeyed Him and continued to refuse to listen to the prophets and messengers sent into their midst to remind them.

In that prayer, which was divided into two main parts, we heard both Ezra’s supplication on behalf of the people, first of all admitting the sins they have committed, all the wickedness and unworthy deeds they have done, in rejecting God’s love and grace, in their stubbornness and vile ways. But then, Ezra also glorified and gave thanks to God on behalf of the people that despite all of that, when the people genuinely repented of their sins, God extended the same love He has always given them and brought them back to their homeland.

In our Psalm today, we heard then of the song of Tobit, another man of God who have been brought low and suffered greatly because of many persecutions and unfortunate tragedies, being sent into exile by the Assyrians far away from his ancestral lands, and then being accused of helping those who were persecuted, and losing his eyesight in an unfortunate incident. And yet, Tobit remained true to his faith in God.

Tobit eventually received help from God, as He sent His Archangel Raphael to help both Tobit and also another person, Sara, who had also been beset with problems. The Archangel Raphael in disguise together with Tobias, the son of Tobit went on a journey in which at the end, Sara was eventually also freed from the torment of a demon, and the eyesight of Tobit was restored to him. Through all these, God showed how He loves each and every one of His people.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day therefore having been reminded of God’s love for us, we should reflect on our own lives as well. How have we lived our lives thus far? Have we been obedient to God or have we instead walked in the path of sin? Through sin we may have been driven away from God, but we must remember that God is always ready to forgive us our sins if we want to repent from them with sincerity of heart.

Are we able to make the commitment to walk that path of repentance though? In our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord sending His disciples out on a mission, and told them of what they ought to be doing during their mission and to expect rejection and challenges along the way. Similarly, if we walk in God’s path, it is likely for us to encounter challenges, difficulties and problems, as well as temptations along our way.

Let us all devote ourselves anew to God and putting our trust in Him wholeheartedly. Let us all turn to Him with a new zeal and heart filled with love from now on. Let us all appreciate the wonderful love and generous mercy with which He has provided for us. May the Lord continue to watch over us and guide us in our journey of faith in this life. May God bless us all and be with us. Amen.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 9 : 1-6

At that time, Jesus called His Twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to drive out all evil spirits and to heal diseases. And He sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He instructed them, “Do not take anything for the journey, neither staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even take a spare tunic.”

“Whatever house you enter, remain there until you leave that place. And wherever they do not welcome you, leave the town and shake the dust from your feet : it will be as a testimony against them.”

So they set out, and went through the villages, proclaiming the Good News and healing people everywhere.