Wednesday, 6 November 2019 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard a very clear message from the Scriptures, reminding us all that to be a disciple of Christ we must be prepared for everything, even difficulties and challenges, that we will have to be prepared to endure what Christ Himself had endured in being rejected, ridiculed and being humiliated at times, even from those who were close and dear to us.

We have to know that this is the full reality of becoming a Christian, which means that we dedicate ourselves fully to God, and because we believe in Him, it is only right that we walk in His path and obeying His laws and commandments. But as the Lord’s parable in our Gospel passage today ought to remind us, we must be ready for all sorts of things that are to come as we commit ourselves to God and His way.

In that parable the Lord spoke of how anyone who wanted to build a house would have considered all the costs that are going to be incurred and add them up together to see if they have enough resources and money in order to build the house until its completion without being lacking in anything. And then in another example, the Lord used the comparison with kings who were about to go to war, and how they would have planned for everything before deciding to go to war or to seek for peace.

In using these examples and comparisons from the world, the Lord wants us to do the same with our own lives and how we proceed on in life knowing that what lies ahead of us is nothing less than a very important choice we need to make between following God and following the ways of this world or the way of Satan in contradiction with God. If man can think through and discern for the less important matter of the world like building of houses and planning for war, then all the more important that we make the effort to discern the path for the salvation of our souls.

There are two path lying ahead of us, one of following God, which means that we follow His commandments and laws, obeying Him and His will through the teachings and the commandments preserved through His Church, or instead we can choose to ignore Him and forge our own path in life, doing things in life according to our own preferences and desires, doing things with the primary intention of gaining benefits and good things for ourselves.

In the end, the path of the Lord will lead to eternal life and glory together with Him, which He has promised to all those who remain faithful to Him and hold on to His commandments. On the other hand, disobeying Him and remaining in a state of sin without the desire to be reconciled with God will lead us down a different path, one that will likely end up in an eternity of suffering and regret, the damnation in hell.

Do we want to follow the Lord or to walk away from Him? The choice is clearly ours to make, and we have been given many opportunities, again and again to make the conscious choice for ourselves. God has presented to us what will be our fate if we choose to be with Him and what will happen instead if we abandon Him and choose the way of this world, the way of Satan and his many temptations and falsehoods.

The path that God has shown us indeed will not be easy and convenient for us. If we expect that becoming a Christian means that we will enjoy the bounties and wonders of life in this world then we do not know yet what being a Christian truly entails. To be a Christian as I mentioned earlier means that not only we will share in the joy of Christ, but also in His many sorrows, sharing the cross He has borne for our sake, and suffer with Him.

Are we ready to make the commitment to follow Christ and to carry up our crosses with Him? Let us all dedicate ourselves to Him anew and spend our best efforts to love Him and to commit ourselves to Him from now on. May the Lord help us all to resist the temptation to move away from the path He has shown us, and reject all the false pleasures and joys that the Satan and the forces of this world are bound to show us to detract us from reaching towards God and His salvation. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 14 : 25-33

At that time, when large crowds were walking along with Jesus, He turned and said to them, “If you come to Me, unwilling to sacrifice your love for your father and mother, your spouse and children, your brothers and sisters, and indeed yourself, you cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not follow Me, carrying his own cross, cannot be My disciple.”

“Do you build a house without first sitting down to count the cost, to see whether you have enough to complete it? Otherwise, if you, have laid the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone will make fun of you : ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'”

“And when a king wages war against another king, does he go to fight without first sitting down to consider whether his ten thousand can stand against the twenty thousand of his opponent? And if not, while the other is still a long way off, he sends messengers for peace talks. In the same way, none of you may become My disciple, if he does not give up everything he has.”

Wednesday, 6 November 2019 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 111 : 1-2, 4-5, 9

Alleluia! Blessed is the one who fears YHVH, who greatly delights in His commands. His children will be powerful on earth; the upright’s offspring will be blessed.

He is for the righteous a light in darkness; He is kind, merciful and upright. It will be well with him who lends freely, who leads a life of justice and honesty.

He gives generously to the poor; his merits will last forever; and his head will be raised in honour.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Romans 13 : 8-10

Do not be in debt to anyone. Let this be the only debt of one to another : Love. The one who loves his or her neighbour fulfils the Law. For the commandments : Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not covet, and whatever else, are summarised in this one : You will love your neighbour as yourself.

Love cannot do the neighbour any harm; so love fulfils the whole Law.