Wednesday, 20 January 2021 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr and St. Sebastian, Martyr, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)

Mark 3 : 1-6

At that time, again Jesus entered the synagogue. A man, who had a paralysed hand, was there and some people watched Jesus : would He heal the man on the sabbath? If He did, they could accuse Him.

Jesus said to the man with the paralysed hand, “Stand here in the centre.” Then He asked them, “What does the Law allow us to do on the Sabbath? To do good or to do harm? To save life or to kill?” But they were silent.

Then Jesus looked around at them with anger and deep sadness, because they had closed their minds. And He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was healed. As soon as the Pharisees left, they met with Herod’s supporters, looking for a way to destroy Jesus.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr and St. Sebastian, Martyr, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)

Psalm 109 : 1, 2, 3, 4

The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand till I make Your foes Your footstool.”

From Zion the Lord will extend Your mighty sceptre and You will rule in the midst of Your enemies.

Yours is royal dignity from the day You were born in holy majesty. Like dew from the womb of the dawn, I have begotten You.

The Lord has sworn, and He will not take back His word : “You are a Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”

Wednesday, 20 January 2021 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr and St. Sebastian, Martyr, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)

Hebrews 7 : 1-3, 15-17

Scripture says that Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, came out to meet Abraham who returned from defeating the kings. He blessed Abraham and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything.

Let us note that the name Melchizedek means King of Justice, and that king of Salem means king of Peace. There is no mention of father, mother or genealogy; nothing is said about the beginning or the end of his life. In this he is the figure of the Son of God, the Priest Who remains forever.

All this, however, becomes clear if this Priest after the likeness of Melchizedek has in fact received His mission, not on the basis of any human law, but by the power of an immortal life. Because Scripture says : You are a Priest forever in the priestly order of Melchizedek.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all reminded today that God is always ever faithful to the Covenant that He has made with us and our ancestors, and that He has loved us all beyond everything else, with a love so pure and great, that He has promised and made oath through the Covenant, that He will bless us forever and gather us all into His presence, unless we ourselves reject Him and refuse to believe in Him.

And this Covenant He has fulfilled through Jesus Christ, the beloved Son of God, sent into the world to be our Saviour. The Lord has dedicated Himself to us that He willingly embraced us personally, and descending from the heavens, He assumed our human nature and existence, that His love became concrete and tangible in Christ. Through the Lord Jesus, Our Lord and Saviour, we have seen the proven love of God in the flesh.

Then in our Gospel today, we heard of the confrontation between the Lord and the Pharisees who criticised Him and His disciples because the disciples were picking on the grains in the field as they were hungry. Because this happened on the Sabbath day, by the strict literal interpretation of the law of God revealed by Moses and the Jewish traditions, that was considered as a violation of the Law of God. The law of the Sabbath stipulated that there should be no action or work done on that day.

However, if one were to understand the intent and purpose of the law of the Sabbath, then we will realise that the law of the Sabbath was not meant to oppress man and impose hardships on them, especially when they were in trouble or were in need. In fact, there had been occasions when the law was overruled such as when the Israelites agreed to act on the Sabbath when their enemies were about to overwhelm and destroy them on the Sabbath during the Maccabean rebellion.

And of course there was also the example presented by the Lord Jesus on the much revered King David of Israel himself with his men, when they were tired and hungry after being chased by their enemies during the difficult early years of his refuge from king Saul. King David and his men ate of the bread that was preserved only for the use of the priests in the House of God.

In all of these, we can see that the Law of God was not a law that is so strict and unreasonable, unlike how they were interpreted by the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, who grew proud of their interpretation of the law and their own enforcement of such standards on the rest of the faithful, forgetting that the Law of God was first and foremost intended for the people of God to find their way and return to the Lord, that they may learn to love the Lord, Who has loved them first before all else.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore today as we listened to these readings from the Scripture, we are all reminded of the wonderful love which the Lord has shown to each and every one of us, the generous love by which He has blessed us all these while, from the smallest among to the greatest, from the greatest of sinners to the greatest of the holy ones, all without exception.

The Lord wanted us all to find Him and to respond to His call when He calls, that we may find our way in this increasingly darkened world, that we will not lose our way in our journey of life. Are we willing to look for the Lord and dedicate ourselves to Him, brothers and sisters? Let us all reflect on this as we discern the meaning and importance of the words of the Lord that we have just heard today.

Let us all spend some time to thank the Lord in our hearts, and be appreciative of all that He has done for us. Let us all draw ever closer to Him and be ever more faithful at all times, and dedicate ourselves to Him, in our every actions and every commitment in life. May God bless us all, now and always, forevermore. Amen.