Sunday, 5 July 2020 : Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this Sunday each and every one of us are reminded of the love that God has for all of us, and how all of us are called to put our faith in Him and to entrust ourselves in His care. And the message from today’s Scripture readings is indeed apt and fitting especially during these days when we are facing so many challenges and trials, hardships and troubles all around us.

All of us have heard of the words of the Lord spoken through the prophet Zechariah in our first reading today, in which the Lord promised the coming of salvation when the King Himself would come to Jerusalem and bring forth salvation and new life to all of His beloved people. This is also the prophecy of the coming of the Messiah, seated on a humble donkey, which would be fulfilled when Christ came to Jerusalem on the donkey just before His Passion, suffering and death.

In that same passage, we heard of the Lord speaking of how there would no longer be chariots in Ephraim and neither there would be horses in Jerusalem. These spoke of the means of war represented by the chariots and horses, between Ephraim, where the northern kingdom of Israel was centred and Jerusalem, the centre of the southern kingdom of Judah. Both kingdoms had been divided since the time of king Solomon’s death, and feuded for the next few centuries since.

Therefore, the Lord spoke of the coming of the good time when the people would no longer be divided, of the times when they would be restored and strengthened, when the veil of shame and humiliation would be lifted from them, after each kingdoms were subjugated, conquered and their populations exiled and enslaved by the Assyrians and the Babylonians respectively. The Lord would bring them all out of their misery just as He had once done with them as He delivered them from the Egyptians and their Pharaoh.

This was then fulfilled in Christ, when He came into this world and revealed the fulfilment of God’s long planned salvation of His people, as the Gospel passage today had told us, that He, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Saviour of all, has brought with Him the truth of God, how He was going to save all of us mankind, and how there is only one path to salvation, that is through Him, by believing in Him and trusting in Him.

He calls on all of us to come to Him, to seek Him and to put our trust in Him as His yoke is easy and His burden is light, and we ought to seek our rest in Him. But are we willing to come to Him and to seek Him? Or have we instead been distracted and swayed to follow the wrong and false paths promoted by the devil and all those seeking to turn us away from God? This is where as Christians we must indeed show good examples, and strive our best to put our strong, living and genuine faith in Him.

From what the Lord Himself had revealed to us, and from what many of our predecessors in faith had experienced, all of us have to realise that being Christians is not meant to be an easy and trivial one. When the Lord mentioned that His yoke is easy and His burden is light, He exactly meant what He said, that there will still be yoke and burden for us to shoulder and endure. Some among us had held the misunderstandings and wrong impression that when we follow the Lord then we will have an easy and comfortable life, but this was not what the Lord meant.

What the Lord wants us to realise is that by putting our trust in Him, we gain the assurance of the true glory and joy, the guarantee of eternity of rest and new life, a new existence with Him, free from the shackles and chains of sin, and reconciled completely to Him. We must not instead think in worldly terms and matters, seeking glory and worldly satisfaction, fame and pleasure, and these are not what we are going to get from following God and being faithful to Him.

St. Paul spoke of this as he wrote in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in Rome, part of which is our second reading today. He spoke of all of us Christians who have believed in God and received the baptism into the Church as those who no longer live in accordance with the flesh, and instead, we are living by the spirit of God. If we still continue to persist in living in the flesh, it means that we still allow ourselves to be swayed and tempted by the allures of worldly desires and sin.

St. Paul reminds us that we have all shared in the death of Christ through our baptism, and by His death, all of us have been redeemed by His loving sacrifice on the Cross. And that is not all, for as the Lord triumphed over death and conquered sin, as He rose in glory in Resurrection, all of us have therefore also shared in His Resurrection into a new life, a new Christian way of life that each and every one of us have been called to live up to by the Lord Himself.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the Scriptures and remember again what we have just heard, and as we look into our own lives thus far, our actions and our faith, let us all ask ourselves now. Have we all been good and faithful as Christians living our lives in this world? Have we spent our time well thus far, in trusting in the Lord? Or have we been living for ourselves, putting trust in all the things the world offer us and which we have spent our lives gathering and desiring for?

During these first few months of this year, we have seen and witnessed for ourselves how the usual order of this world have been completely disturbed and affected. The coronavirus pandemic and its multiple negative effects on the world’s economy, society and various other factors, coupled with societal instabilities and issues, racism and violence, interstate conflicts and more, reasonably heightened due to the fear and the uncertainties brought about by the combination of all these, natural disasters among others, all these had made this year among the worst for us to live in.

Many of us have suffered in one way or another, and many among us had been disturbed in more than one way, some among us losing our work and employment, losing that iron bowl of income that we once thought to be secure and good. People had been losing their savings and income in all the economic recessions and instabilities that occurred. People had been sickened, lost their loved ones to the illness, or be disabled by what had happened, among other things.

Let us all therefore realise that for whatever assurances and strengths we used to think we have in this world, all of those stood for nothing and would be meaningless in the end, as there is nothing in this world, no matter how great or plentiful, that will last forever. Instead, let us all make use of this opportunity to realise again just how fortunate we are to be beloved by God, to have One Who has always cared for us and lavished His love and attention towards us. It is in God alone that we have sure hope and trust. Are we going to take Him and His love for granted?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all turn towards the Lord with faith, renew our faith and commitment in Him and devote ourselves to Him. Let us seek Him with all of our hearts and with all of our strength. Let us all take on the yoke and burden the Lord has given us with faith, entrusting ourselves to God, no matter what we may face in the future. Let us all carry on living our lives as good and genuine Christians, committing ourselves to Him daily, and be inspiration and good examples for one another.

May the Lord be with us always, and may He strengthen us in faith, as we carry on our journey in life with faith. May He help us to persevere through the challenges and trials we encounter, and renew our hope and trust in Him, as we still endure the current effects of this pandemic, our societal problems among others. May the Lord show us the path forward and give us the courage and strength to endure it. Amen.

Sunday, 5 July 2020 : Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 11 : 25-30

At that time, Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I praise You; because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to simple people. Yes, Father, this was Your gracious will. Everything has been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father; and no one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.”

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest. For My yoke is easy; and My burden is light.”

Sunday, 5 July 2020 : Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Romans 8 : 9, 11-13

Yet, your existence is not in the flesh, but in the spirit, because the Spirit of God is within you. If you did not have the Spirit of Christ, you would not belong to Him. And if the Spirit of Him, Who raised Jesus from the dead, is within you, He, Who raised Jesus Christ from among the dead, will also give life to your mortal bodies. Yes, He will do it, through His Spirit, Who dwells within you.

Then, brothers, let us leave the flesh and no longer live according to it. If not, we will die. Rather, walking in the spirit, let us put to death the body’s deeds, so that we may live.

Sunday, 5 July 2020 : Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 144 : 1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13cd-14

I will extol You, my God and King; I will praise Your Name forever. I will praise You, day after day; and exalt Your Name forever.

Compassionate and gracious is YHVH, slow to anger and abounding in love. YHVH is good to everyone; His mercy embraces all His creation.

All Your works will give You thanks; all Your saints, o YHVH, will praise You. They will tell of the glory of Your kingdom; and speak of Your power.

YHVH is true to His promises and lets His mercy show in all He does. YHVH lifts up those who are falling and raises those who are beaten down.

Sunday, 5 July 2020 : Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Zechariah 9 : 9-10

Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout for joy, daughter of Jerusalem! For your King is coming, just and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

No more chariots in Ephraim, no more horses in Jerusalem, for He will do away with them. The warrior’s bow shall be broken when He dictates peace to the nations. He will reign from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

(Usus Antiquior) Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 5 July 2020 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Green

Offertory

Psalm 15 : 7, 8

Benedicam Dominum, qui tribuit mihi intellectum : providebam Deum in conspectu meo semper : quoniam a dextris est mihi, ne commovear.

 

English translation

I will bless the Lord, Who had given me understanding. I set God always in my sight, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be moved.

 

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Propitiare, Domine, supplicationibus nostris : et has oblationes famulorum famularumque tuarum benignus assume; ut, quod singuli obtulerunt ad honorem Nominis Tui, cunctis proficiat ad salutem. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Be propitiated, o Lord, by our supplications, and graciously accept these oblations of Your servants, and Your handmaidens, that what each has offered to the honour of Your Name may profit for the salvation of all. 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 26 : 4

Unam petii a Domino, hanc requiram : ut inhabitem in domo Domini omnibus diebus vitae meae.

 

English translation

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this I will seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

Quos caelesti, Domine, dono satiasti : praesta, quaesumus; ut a nostris mundemur occultis et ab hostium liberemur insidiis. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Grant us, we beseech You, o Lord, whom You have filled with the heavenly gift, that we may be cleansed of our hidden sins and delivered from the snares of our enemies. 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) Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 5 July 2020 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew

Matthew 5 : 20-24

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus discipulis Suis : Nisi abundaverit justitia vestra plus quam scribarum et pharisaeorum, non intrabitis in regnum caelorum. Audistis, quia dictum est antiquis : Non occides : qui autem occident, reus erit judicio.

Ego autem dico vobis : quia omnis, qui irascitur fratri suo, reus erit judicio. Qui autem dixerit fratri suo, raca : reus erit concilio. Qui autem dixerit : fatue : reus erit gehennae ignis.

Si ergo offers munus tuum ad altare, et ibi recordatus fueris, quia frater tuus habet aliquid adversum te : relinque ibi munus tuum ante altare et vade prius reconciliari fratri tuo : et tunc veniens offeres munus tuum.

 

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Except your justice abound more than that of the Scribes and the Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to them of old, “You shall not kill, and whoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgement.”

“But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgement, and whosoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca’, shall be in danger of the council, and whosoever shall say, ‘You fool’, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

“If therefore you offer your gift at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has anything against you, leave there your offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to your brother, and then coming you shall offer your gift.”

(Usus Antiquior) Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 5 July 2020 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 83 : 10, 9 and Psalm 20 : 1

Protector noster, aspice, Deus, et respice super servos Tuos.

Response : Domine, Deus virtutum, exaudi preces servorum Tuorum.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Domine, in virtute Tua laetabitur rex : et super salutare Tuum exsultabit vehementer. Alleluja.

 

English translation

Behold, o God our Protector, and look on Your servants.

Response : O Lord God of hosts, give ear to the prayers of Your servants.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : In Your strength, o Lord, the king shall rejoice, and in Your salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 5 July 2020 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Green

Lectio Epistolae Beati Petri Apostoli – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Peter the Apostle

1 Peter 3 : 8-15

Carissimi : Omnes unanimes in oratione estote, compatientes, fraternitatis amatores, misericordes, modesti, humiles : non reddentes malum pro malo, nec maledictum pro maledicto, sed e contrario benedicentes : quia in hoc vocati estis, ut benedictionem hereditate possideatis.

Qui enim vult vitam diligere et dies videre bonos, coerceat linguam suam a malo, et labia ejus ne loquantur dolum. Declinet a malo, et faciat bonum : inquirat pacem, et sequatur eam. Quia oculi Domini super justos, et aures ejus in preces eorum : vultus autem Domini super facientes mala.

Et quis est, qui vobis noceat, si boni aemulatores fueritis? Sed et si quid patimini propter justitiam, beati. Timorem autem eorum ne timueritis : et non conturbemini. Dominum autem Christum sanctificate in cordibus vestris.

 

English translation

Dearly beloved, may all of you be of one mind, having compassion one of another, being lovers of the brotherhood, merciful, modest, humble; not rendering evil for evil, nor railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing for unto this you are called, that you may inherit a blessing.

For he who will love life, and see good days let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. Let him decline from evil and do good; let him seek after peace, and pursue it, because the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and His ears unto their prayers, but the countenance of the Lord is against those who do evil things.

And who is he who can hurt you, if you be zealous of good? But if you also suffer anything for justice’s sake, blessed are you. And do not be afraid of their fear, and do not be troubled, but sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts.

(Usus Antiquior) Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 5 July 2020 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Green

Introit

Psalm 26 : 7, 9, 1

Exaudi, Domine, vocem meam, qua clamavi ad Te : adjutor meus esto, ne derelinquas me, neque despicias me, Deus, salutaris meus.

Dominus illuminatio mea et salus mea, quem timebo?

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

 

English translation

Hear, o Lord, my voice with which I have cried to You. May You be my helper, do not forsake me, nor do You despise me, o God my Saviour.

The Lord is my light, and my salvation, whom shall I fear?

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

Deus, qui diligentibus Te bona invisibilia praeparasti : infunde cordibus nostris Tui amoris affectum; ut Te in omnibus et super omnia diligentes, promissiones Tuas, quae omne desiderium superant, consequamur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

O God, You who had prepared good things unseen for those who love You, pour into our hearts the fervour of Your love, that, loving You in all things and above all things, we may attain Your promises, which surpass all desire. 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.