Tuesday, 5 November 2019 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard the messages from the Sacred Scripture reminding us of putting God first and foremost in our lives, and not to be distracted by our many worldly temptations and concerns in life but instead seek for the love and grace of God, which He has generously and freely given to us all, as He truly loves us all very much without reservation.

If we look at our Gospel passage today, we can see just how God has lavished on us all kindness and compassion, and yet, it is we who have often ignored Him, abandoned Him and not being thankful at all the things He has done for our sake. God, represented as the master in the parable which Our Lord Jesus spoke to His disciples, invited many guests to His banquet, but many of those guests refused to attend the banquet.

Those guests claimed that they were busy with their many works and concerns in life, despite having been graciously invited to the rich banquet prepared for them. And the master in his anger, instead decided to extend the invitations to all the others who were more willing to come and join in the banquet. The Lord Jesus was making the examples of cripples, lame people and all the poor by the roadsides for a good reason.

He was using this comparison to highlight how we mankind are often easily tempted by many worldly temptations of money, material possessions, glory, fame, status and influence, among many other things. We are often lured in by these things and become distracted from the rich generosity of God’s love and grace in our lives, symbolised by how those guests refused or ignored the invitation by the master of the banquet to come to the banquet generously prepared for them.

This is a reminder for each and every one of us how in our own lives we often fall into these same temptations, being pulled in by the weakness of our flesh and by the desires in our hearts and minds. And as a result we end up distancing ourselves from God and become estranged from Him, which then open up the door in our hearts and minds for sin to enter even deeper into us and dominate us even more.

How then, we as Christians resist these temptations and proceed from now on? It is now that we must heed what the Apostle St. Paul had spoken to us through our first reading passage taken from the Epistle he wrote to the Church and the faithful in Rome. In that segment of his Epistle, St. Paul exhorted the faithful to keep their faith in God and to be righteous and true to their faith in all things and to hate whatever is evil and wicked in the eyes of God.

He also exhorted the faithful to serve one another and the Church according to the various gifts God has given to His people. This is our calling as Christians because we are all called to be role models and examples for each other in living our lives with faith. By our faith and obedience to God’s will, by our rejection of sin and by our righteousness in life we become inspiration for each other and beacons of God’s light in our darkened world.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, through what we have received today from the Sacred Scriptures let us all be reminded of our obligations and indeed what we need to do as Christians, by our faith and dedication to God. We have to follow Him with all of our strength and with all of our hearts, or else we are merely having a formal faith without substance and meaning, and are hypocrites by nature.

Let us all seek to devote ourselves ever more to God through our regular little contributions in our daily lives. May God give us the necessary strength, courage and perseverance to continue living our lives from now on with genuine faith and dedication. May God bless us all and our good endeavours, now and forevermore. Amen.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 14 : 15-24

At that time, upon hearing the words of Jesus, one of those at the table said to Him, “Happy are those who eat at the banquet in the kingdom of God!”

Jesus replied, “A man once gave a feast and invited many guests. When it was time for the feast, he sent his servant to tell those he had invited to come, for everything was ready. But all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘Please excuse me. I must go and see the piece of land I have just bought.'”

“Another said, ‘I am sorry, but I am on my way to try out the five yoke of oxen I have just bought.’ Still another said, ‘How can I come, when I have just got married?'”

“The servant returned alone, and reported this to his master. Upon hearing his account, the master of the house flew into a rage, and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly, into the streets and alleys of the town, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'”

“The servant reported after a while, ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out, but there is still room.’ The master said, ‘Go out to the highways and country lanes, and force people to come in, to ensure that my house is full. I tell you, none of those invited will have a morsel of my feast.'”

Tuesday, 5 November 2019 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 130 : 1, 2, 3

O YHVH, my heart is not proud nor do I have arrogant eyes. I am not engrossed in ambitious matters, nor in things too great for me.

I have quieted and stilled my soul, like a weaned child, on its mother’s lap; like a contented child is my soul.

Hope in YHVH, o Israel, now and forever.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Romans 12 : 5-16a

The same with us; being many, we are one body in Christ, depending on one another. Let each one of us, therefore, serve, according to our different gifts. Are you a prophet? Then give the insights of faith. Let the minister fulfil his office; let the teacher teach, the one who encourages, convince.

You must, likewise, give, with an open hand, preside with dedication, and be cheerful in your works of charity. Let love be sincere. Hate what is evil and hold to whatever is good. Love one another and be considerate. Out do one another, in mutual respect. Be zealous in fulfilling your duties. Be fervent in the spirit, and serve God.

Have hope and be cheerful. Be patient in trials and pray constantly. Share with other Christians in need. With those passing by, be ready to receive them. Bless those who persecute you; bless, and do not wish evil on anyone. Rejoice with those who are joyful, and weep with those who weep. Live in peace with one another.