Friday, 4 October 2019 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 10 : 13-16

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! So many miracles have been worked in you! If the same miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would already be sitting in ashes and wearing the sackcloth of repentance.”

“Surely for Tyre and Sidon it will be better on the Day of Judgment than for you. And what of you, city of Capernaum? Will you be lifted up to heaven? You will be thrown down to the place of the dead. Whoever listens to you listens to Me, and whoever rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me, rejects the One Who sent Me.”

Friday, 4 October 2019 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 78 : 1-2, 3-5, 8, 9

O God, the pagans have invaded Your inheritance; they have defiled Your holy Temple and reduced Jerusalem to rubble. They have given Your servants’ corpses to the birds, and the flesh of Your saints, to the beasts of the earth.

They have poured out the blood of Your faithful, like water around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them. Mocked and reviled by those around us, we are scorned by our neighbours. How long will this last, o YHVH? Will You be angry forever? Will Your wrath always burn to avenge Your rights?

Do not remember against us the sins of our fathers. Let Your compassion hurry to us, for we have been brought very low.

Help us, God, our Saviour, for the glory of Your Name; forgive us, for the sake of Your Name.

Friday, 4 October 2019 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Baruch 1 : 15-22

You will say : May everyone recognise the justice of our God but, on this day, shame and confusion befit the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem – our kings and princes, our priests, our prophets, and our fathers, because we have sinned before the Lord.

We have disobeyed Him and have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God, nor have we followed the commandments which the Lord had put before us. From the day that the Lord brought our ancestors out of the land of Egypt until this day, we have disobeyed the Lord our God and we have rebelled against Him instead of listening to His voice.

Because of this, from the day on which the Lord brought our ancestors out of the land of Egypt, so as to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, the evils and the curse which the Lord pronounced by Moses, His servant, have dogged our footsteps right down to the present day.

We did not listen to the voice of the Lord our God speaking through the words of the prophets whom He sent to us, but each one of us followed his perverted heart, serving false gods and doing what displeases the Lord our God.

Thursday, 3 October 2019 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the Lord speaking to us through the words of the Scripture in which He told us about the mission which each and every one of us have been entrusted with, in reaching out to the world as witnesses of our faith in God. He has called on each and every one of us to be the bearers of His truth and the best way to do this is through our own actions in our daily life.

And He reassured us all as well that He is always with us throughout the journey of our life, standing by us and providing for us in whatever we need. He will always be with those who have been faithful to Him, and He will certainly remember them and bless them. However, at the same time, He also wants us all to know that our path may not be an easy one, as challenges and difficulties will be inevitable at some point or another.

In the Gospel passage today, as the Lord sent forth His disciples to go before Him in preaching the Good News and delivering His message to the peoples He Himself was to go, He reminded them all firstly of the trials and challenges that they would face, eventually even after the Lord has suffered, died, risen in glory and ascended into Heaven. The disciples of the Lord would face many rejections and oppressions from their enemies and all those who refused to believe.

And yet, He reassured them that while He was sending them like sheep among wolves, but He would be with them, and they would not be alone. He would guide them and protect them, and He advised them on what they ought to do, whether the people welcomed them and the message they brought to them, or whether those people refused to believe and rejected the disciples.

And therefore, we ourselves will also likely encounter moments when we have to endure rejection and persecution for standing up for our faith and for being faithful to God. There will be many moments when we will end up feeling stressed or pressured because of this rejection and the opposition even from those whom we may know or close to us, from our own family members and from among our own friends.

But we must not be disheartened by it, just as the prophet Ezra told the people in our first reading today, in which he read the Law of God to the assembled Israelites after they have returned from exile in Babylon back to their own homeland. The people initially felt bad and terrible, having known how wicked they and their ancestors had been in disobeying God’s laws, and yet, the prophet reminded them that God still loved all of them.

God cares for each and every one of us, His beloved people, without exception. God has always placed us close to His heart and He will not forget us, even after all that we have done, our sins and stubborn disobedience, our constant rebelliousness and refusal to believe in Him. But He wants us to repent from our sinful ways and turn away from those wickedness, and embrace Him wholeheartedly from now on.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, are we able to renew our faith and commitment in God? Are we able to trust Him with our whole life and learn to put our faith in Him without hesitation? That is why we need to transform our lives and turn to God with all of our heart from now on, committing ourselves to a new life that is no longer filled with sin and wicked desires of the world, but instead centred on the love of God.

Let us all be genuine and faithful witnesses of our faith in God, by devoting ourselves, our time, effort and attention on Him, and by practicing what we truly believe in, in each and every parts of our daily lives, that is in all of our words, actions and deeds. Let us all be true in our faith in God and trust in Him, and help one another to be more faithful, each and every days of our lives. May God be with us all and may He continue to bless us and our good endeavours. Amen.