Saturday, 29 May 2021 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Paul VI, Pope (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Popes)

Mark 11 : 27-33

At that time, Jesus and His disciples were once again in Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking in the Temple, the chief priests, the teachers of the Law and the elders came to Him, and asked, “What authority do You have to act like this? Who gave You authority to do the things You do.”

Jesus said to them, “I will ask you a question, only one, and if you give me an answer, then I will tell you what authority I have to act like this. Was John’s preaching and baptism a work of God, or was it merely something human? Answer Me.”

And they kept arguing among themselves, “If we answer that it was a work of God, He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’” But neither could they answer before the people that the baptism of John was merely something human, for everyone regarded John as a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you what authority I have to act as I do.”

Alternative reading

Matthew 16 : 13-19

At that time, Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi. He asked His disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They said, “For some of them You are John the Baptist, for others Elijah, or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”

Jesus asked them, “But you, who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “It is well for you, Simon Bar-Jona, for it is not flesh or blood that has revealed this to you, but My Father in heaven.”

“And now I say to you : You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church; and never will the powers of death overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven : whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you unbind on earth shall be unbound in heaven.”

Saturday, 29 May 2021 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Paul VI, Pope (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Popes)

Psalm 18 : 8, 9, 10, 11

The Law of the Lord is perfect : it gives life to the soul. The word of the Lord is trustworthy : it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right : they give joy to the heart. The commandments of the Lord are clear : they enlighten the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is pure, it endures forever; the judgments of the Lord are true, all of them just and right.

They are more precious than gold – pure gold of a jeweller; they are much sweeter than honey which drops from the honeycomb.

Alternative Psalm

Psalm 95 : 1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a, 10

Sing to YHVH a new song, sing to YHVH, all the earth! Sing to YHVH, praise His Name.

Proclaim His salvation, day after day. Recall His glory among the nations, tell all the peoples His wonderful deeds.

Give to YHVH, you families of nations, give to YHVH glory and strength. Give to YHVH the glory due His Name.

Say among the nations, “YHVH reigns!” He will judge the peoples with justice.

Saturday, 29 May 2021 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Paul VI, Pope (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Popes)

Sirach 51 : 12a-20

I will give You thanks and praise and bless the Name of the Lord. In my youth, before I set out on my travels, I openly sought wisdom in prayer; before the Temple I asked for her and I will pursue her to the end of my days. While she blossomed like a ripening cluster, my heart was delighted in her; my feet followed the right path, because from my youth I searched for her.

As soon as I began listening to her, she was given to me, and with her, much instruction. With her help I made progress and I will glorify Him Who gives me wisdom, for I decided to put it into practice and ardently seek what is good. I shall not regret it. My soul has struggled to possess her. I have been attentive to observe the Law, and after my faults I have stretched out my hands to heaven and lamented my ignorance of her.

My love for her increased and I found her in repentance. It was through her from the beginning that I learnt to possess my heart. She will not forsake me.

Alternative reading

1 Corinthians 9 : 16-19, 22-23

Because I cannot boast of announcing the Gospel : I am bound to do it. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel! If I preached voluntarily, I could expect my reward, but I have been trusted this office against my will. How can I, then, deserve a reward? In announcing the Gospel, I will do it freely without making use of the rights given to me by the Gospel.

So, feeling free with everybody, I have become everybody’s slave in order to gain a greater number. To the weak I made myself weak, to win the weak. So I made myself all things to all people in order to save, by all possible means, some of them. This I do for the Gospel, so that I too have a share of it.

Friday, 28 May 2021 : 8th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard the words of the Lord reminding us that if we remain faithful to Him and are righteous and just in our way of life, faithful and obedient to the commandments and the Law that God has given to us, we shall be blessed and filled with grace, while if we abandon His path and follow the path of sin, we shall have nothing left to ourselves in the end. The path may seem easier for us if we walk in the path of worldliness and sin, but in the end, if we realise it, there will be nothing for us but regret if we walk down that path.

The path of the Lord is filled with great challenges and trials, and it requires us to commit ourselves, to follow the Lord wholeheartedly, and to bear fruits of our faith, which means that we cannot remain idle or ignorant of the truth of God, and as Christians we cannot be passive and think that we have nothing to do in life. We are all called to have faith in the Lord and not to put our trust in our worldly strength, wealth and possessions, prestige and power in all of their forms and sorts.

Instead, as we heard in our Gospel passage today, we must have faith in the Lord, and through faith, as symbolically and metaphorically explained by the Lord, we should keep that faith as through faith even what seemed to be impossible, like moving mountains and others, can be possible. For God will be our Guide and source of strength, and He will be with us through whatever it is that we are doing in life, in every moments of our time and in our every efforts. Nothing will go to waste so long as we trust in the Lord and dedicate ourselves to Him.

Today through that same Gospel reading we are also reminded to be careful of the trap of worldly temptations, the temptations of wealth and power, of fame and glory, as highlighted in the action of the Lord chasing out all the merchants and money changers that did their businesses in the courtyard of the Temple of the Lord. Many among them were dishonest in their actions, in cheating the pilgrims and others from their money by overcharging their services and products for the sake of gaining more money and profits for themselves.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is where we need to realise that we have to choose between serving God and serving the world and Satan, and all of those temptations that they had brought down to us. We have to make a firm decision to resist the pressure and the coercions by which the devil, Satan, is always trying to lure us into destruction through the false promises and sweet lies which he has always made to us. We must be careful lest we end up falling into his traps as he is always ever so persuasive and crafty.

This is why, brothers and sisters in Christ, through the Scripture readings we have received today, we are all called to deepen our spirituality and relationship with God. We should anchor ourselves strongly on the Lord and resist the allures, temptations, coercions and false promises of the devil and his allies, and endeavour and strive as much as possible to walk faithfully in the path that the Lord has shown before us, obeying Him and committing ourselves to His cause.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as Christians are we all willing to commit our time and effort to the Lord? Are we willing and able to give ourselves as a worthy offering, all our whole being to glorify the Lord by our every actions and dedications? This is our calling and vocation as Christians, to be the witnesses of the Lord and to be His disciples, through our every moments in life, in our every words, deeds and actions. We are called to proclaim the Good News of the Gospels through even the smallest things we do in life, and if we have not done so yet, then we really should push ourselves to do so.

Let us all reorientate ourselves and our lives, that we may become ever closer to God and be ever more faithful in each and every moments of our living in this world. May all of us be true to our faith, and dedicate ourselves to the cause of the Lord, to be truly faithful as Christians, as those whom God had called and chosen to be His own. May God bless us all, and may He remain with us always. Amen.