Saturday, 30 January 2021 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Mark 4 : 35-41

At that time, on that same day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.”

So they left the crowd, and took Him away in the boat He had been sitting in, and other boats set out with Him. Then a storm gathered and it began to blow a gale. The waves spilled over into the boat, so that it was soon filled with water. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.

They woke Him up, and said, “Master, do You not care if we drown?” And rising up, Jesus rebuked the wind, and ordered the sea, “Quiet now! Be still!” The wind dropped, and there was a great calm. Then Jesus said to them, “Why are you so frightened? Do you still have no faith?”

But they were terrified, and they said to one another, “Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

Saturday, 30 January 2021 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Luke 1 : 69-70, 71-72, 73-75

In the house of David His servant, He has raised up for us a victorious Saviour; as He promised through His prophets of old.

Salvation from our enemies and from the hand of our foes. He has shown mercy to our fathers; and remembered His holy covenant.

The oath He swore to Abraham, our father, to deliver us from the enemy, that we might serve Him fearlessly, as a holy and righteous people, all the days of our lives.

Saturday, 30 January 2021 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Hebrews 11 : 1-2, 8-19

Faith is the assurance of what we hope for, being certain of what we cannot see. Because of their faith our ancestors were approved. It was by faith that Abraham, called by God, set out for a country that would be given to him as an inheritance; for he parted without knowing where he was going.

By faith he lived as a stranger in that promised land. There he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, beneficiaries of the same promise. Indeed, he looked forward to that city of solid foundation of which God is the Architect and Builder.

By faith Sarah herself received power to become a mother, in spite of her advanced age; since she believed that He Who had made the promise would be faithful. Therefore, from an almost impotent man were born descendants as numerous as the stars of heavens, as many as the grains of sand on the seashore.

Death found all these people strong in their faith. They had not received what was promised, but they had looked ahead and had rejoiced in it from afar, saying that they were foreigners and travellers on earth. Those who speak in this way prove that they are looking for their own country. For if they had longed for the land they had left, it would have been easy for them to return, but no, they aspired to a better city, that is, a supernatural one; so God, Who prepared the city for them is not ashamed of being called their God.

By faith Abraham went to offer Isaac when God tested him. And so he who had received the promise of God offered his only son although God had told him : Isaac’s descendants will bear your name. Abraham reasoned that God is capable even of raising the dead, and he received back his son, which has a figurative meaning.

Friday, 29 January 2021 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this day as we listened to the word of God in the Scriptures all of us are reminded of what we all need to do as Christians in being faithful and in remaining true to this faith we have in God. All of us need to build the kingdom of God on Earth, through our actions and active participation in the good works of the Church. The Lord had called us to this purpose, and we should commit ourselves to it.

Our first reading today, taken from the Epistle to the Hebrews remind us what being a Christian is, in showing love and mercy to others, in showing care and compassion on those who need them, in displaying solidarity and genuine affection for those who have been dispossessed and those who are suffering, because ultimately, the Lord Himself had shown us all of these, by His loving mercy and compassion through Christ.

And He has not left us all alone, as He continued to watch over us and guided us all these while, through inspiring of countless peoples, all those called to follow in His ways and to walk in His path of love. The Lord has always been with us through every steps of the journey, and we may not realise it but through our interactions with one another, the love which is present among us in our community, God is always present there.

This is then what the Lord had meant by the kingdom of God in the parables that He has used to explain it today, in the Gospel passage we heard. It is like a growing seed that flourishes and multiplies, bearing much rich harvest, just as we have heard recently from the parable of the sower, and also like a mustard seed growing into a large tree on which birds of the air can take shelter in.

Each and every one of us are members of this Church, into which God has entrusted us many things. But, unless we make the effort to grow the Church and be active in our contributions, a seed will remain just as a seed and nothing more. On the contrary, if the seed successfully germinates and grow, well taken care of and given the right conditions for its growth, then it will grow immensely and become a great and all encompassing tree.

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, the kingdom of God is already here upon us, in the Church, in our Christian community in the world today. The Lord is the King, enthroned in our hearts and as the Head of the living and visible Church. Through us and our actions, we make concrete and real the kingdom of God in this world. All of us have to take part in the good works of God and contribute actively by our actions.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today let us all ask ourselves, what can we do in our lives to be a part of this growing kingdom of God in our midst? There are lots of things and opportunities that we can do, in order to be a contributing and faithful Christian in our communities. We do not have to do great and wonderful things, as even small and seemingly insignificant contributions will eventually be a very great one when combined together.

That is why, let us all work together as one Christian family, as fellow brothers and sisters, all disciples of the Lord, in doing whatever we can to bring about God’s truth and love into this world by our own exemplary life and actions. Let us all glorify the Lord by our actions, our commitment and dedication. May the Lord bless us all and be with us in our journey, at every steps of the way. May God’s love shine through us and be the foundation of a great kingdom of God in this world. Amen.

Friday, 29 January 2021 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 4 : 26-34

At that time, Jesus also said, “In the kingdom of God it is like this : a man scatters seed upon the soil. Whether he is asleep or awake, be it day or night, the seed sprouts and grows, he knows not how. The soil produces of itself : first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when it is ripe for harvesting, they take the sickle for the cutting : the time for the harvest has come.”

Jesus also said, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what shall we compare it? It is like a mustard seed which, when sown, is the smallest of all the seeds scattered upon the soil. But once sown, it grows up and becomes the largest of the plants in the garden, and even grows branches so big, that the birds of the air can take shelter in its shade.”

Jesus used many such stories, in order to proclaim the word to them in a way that they would be able to understand. He would not teach them without parables; but privately to His disciples He explained everything.

Friday, 29 January 2021 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 36 : 3-4, 5-6, 23-24, 39-40

Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and live on it. Make the Lord your delight, and He will grant your heart’s desire.

Commit your way to the Lord; put your trust in Him and let Him act. Then will Your revenge come, beautiful as the dawn, and the justification of your cause, bright as the noonday sun.

The Lord is the One Who makes people stand, He gives firmness to those He likes. They may stumble, but they will not fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.

The Lord is the Salvation of the righteous; in time of distress, He is their refuge. The Lord helps them, and rescues them from the oppressor; He saves them for they sought shelter in Him.