Tuesday, 8 June 2021 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we listened to the words of God in the Scriptures today, we are all reminded as Christians to be active in living our faith and to say yes to the Lord, to Him calling us to serve Him. We should be the salt of the earth and the light of the world just as the Lord mentioned it in His parable to His disciples, that as Christians, we are truly active and devoted to the cause of the Lord, and live our lives in the most Christian way possible.

In our first reading today, St. Paul exhorted the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth to be faithful and dedicated to God, to respond to the Lord’s call with a resounding ‘Yes!’, and not to be hesitant anymore in responding and answering the Lord’s call. The Lord has given all of us His guidance and strength, and the Holy Spirit has also come down upon us through His Church, and by the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation that we have received.

Therefore, the Holy Spirit has dwelled within us and has given us wonderful gifts, that may be distinct depending on our calling and actions in our respective lives. But many of us have not realised, recognised and utilised these gifts that we have received from the Lord, and we end up hiding them, not recognising them and leaving these gifts, these talents and abilities, as well as opportunities to remain dormant within us. Many of us do not know what we are supposed to do with our lives, in serving the Lord and following Him.

And this is what the Lord meant when He said that if the salt has lost its saltiness, then it is useless, and if the light is hidden and cannot be seen, then it is useless either, and therefore is pointless to have either one of those. The Lord also used the example of salt and light because these two are indeed very important commodities that were crucial to many people of that time, just as it is still important even to the present day. It was very important for the people to have and use salt, because of its preservative qualities, allowing it to preserve food and keeping them longer, and at the same time also providing flavour to food that is bland.

Meanwhile, light is very important because at that time in particular, at a time and age when electricity and night lighting were not yet available, darkness of night always hindered many actions and activities, and unlike today when lighting and electricity are so easily available to many people all around the world, lighting in the form of burning candles and other forms of illumination were expensive and difficult to obtain. Hence, by using the examples of salt and light in His parable, the Lord wanted to highlight just how precious are the gifts that we have received from the Lord through His Holy Spirit.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, are we still going to be stubborn in refusing to acknowledge the gifts and opportunities that the Lord has provided for us, remaining idle and not doing what we can do in order to take part actively in the actions and works of the Church? All of us are reminded today that we cannot be idle and ignorant of our calling and responsibility as Christians. Without real and genuine action, commitment and contribution, our faith is truly meaningless and dead, and such faith is useless for us.

Let us reflect on these words that we have received from the Lord, and discern the path that we all ought to take from now on. Are we going to continue to ignore the Lord’s calling and the mission He has entrusted to us? Or are we going to allow Him to lead us down the path He has shown us, entrusting ourselves and our future to Him, and walking faithfully with Him, dedicating ourselves through service to others, by loving those whom He has placed in our path, and showing that we are truly Christians not just in name only?

May the Lord be with us all and may He strengthen us with the courage and resolve to be salt of the earth and the light of the world, to be no longer fearful but filled with faith and trust, in proclaiming the truth of God through our words and actions, in our community and to all whom we encounter throughout our lives. May God bless us all and our good works and endeavours, for His greater glory, now and always. Amen.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 5 : 13-16

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples and to the people, “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt has lost its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It has become useless. It can only be thrown away and people will trample on it.”

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a mountain cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and covers it; instead it is put on a lampstand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine before others, so that they may see the good you do and praise your Father in heaven.”

Tuesday, 8 June 2021 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 118 : 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 135

Wonderful are Your decrees; my soul cannot but keep them.

As Your words unfold, light is shed, and the simple-hearted understand.

I gasp in ardent yearning for Your commandments that I love.

Turn to me then and be gracious as to those who love Your Name.

You promised to direct my steps; free my path from evil.

Favour me with Your smile and teach me Your statutes.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Corinthians 1 : 18-22

God knows that our dealing with you is not Yes and No, just as the Son of God, Christ Jesus, Whom we – Silvanus, Timothy, and I – preach to you, was not Yes and No; with Him it was simply Yes. In Him all the promises of God have come to be a Yes, and we also say in His Name : Amen! giving thanks to God.

God Himself has anointed us and strengthens us with you to serve Christ; He has marked us with His own seal in a first outpouring of the Spirit in our hearts.

Monday, 7 June 2021 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture, we heard the words of encouragement from the Lord reminding us all that if we are faithful to the Lord and follow His ways, then we have nothing to be worried about, and we do not need to fear, for the Lord will bless us and protect us, and we will be provided for, and strengthened by grace. The Lord will always be by our side, even when we ourselves do not realise it. He has always been there for us, all the time.

In our first reading today, as we listened to the words of St. Paul in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth, we are reminded by the Apostle that no matter what sufferings and challenges we face in life, God is always by our side and He will never abandon us, no matter what. If we persevere faithfully through those trials and challenges, and remain faithful to Him, God will bless us and keep us in His grace and blessings. We have nothing to fear if we put our trust in the Lord, as our rewards in Him shall be great.

The Gospel, taken from the Gospel of St. Matthew recounted to us the famous Sermon on the Mount by the Lord Jesus, also known as the Beatitudes. In that Beatitudes, we heard about the Lord speaking to encourage those who are faithful to the Lord and are righteous and just in their way of life, living as true and genuine Christians, in showing love to one another, in bringing peace and harmony to the community, and in being selfless and generous in giving, all that the Lord has therefore called on all of us to do in our own lives.

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, through what St. Paul and the Lord Himself have told us, as Christians all of us are reminded to be virtuous and exemplary in our lives, that in our every actions, words and deeds we will always exhibit the most Christ-like attitude and behaviour, that came genuinely from our hearts, from our deep love for the Lord and from our enduring faith and commitment to the Lord. This is our Christian calling in life, and what each and every one of us are expected to do, in our own lives as Christians.

Unfortunately, many of us have yet to practice these in our own lives, and many of us live our lives much as the rest of the world have also done. Brothers and sisters in Christ, if that is the case, then are we not Christians just in name only? And in fact is it not scandalous and improper for us to even be calling ourselves as Christians, if our actions prove to be even contrary to the teachings of our faith? And yet, that is what quite a few of us have been doing, in being selfish and evil towards others, in manipulating and exploiting others, especially those who are weak and less fortunate.

And there are many more among us who have succumbed to the temptations of the world, the temptations of worldly pleasures and glory, that we have ignored and abandoned God’s truth and way, in exchange for the ways of the world. Is this what we are called to do as Christians? No, certainly we are not! As we heard from the Scriptures today, we are all called and challenged to be different from the world, to show love, care and compassion when there is so much hatred and evil in this world, and to show mercy, peace and reconciliation when there are so much violence and bitterness in our world today.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, are willing and able to commit ourselves anew to the Lord and His path from now on, if we have not yet done so? Let us all realise our Christian mission and calling, all that we have been expected to do, as part of this one Church and one community of the Christian faithful. Let us all devote our effort, time and attention to serve the Lord more faithfully, and persevere ever more strongly in faith, dedicating all that we can to bring glory to the Lord and to show our Christian faith, love and charity to one another.

May the Lord be with us all, and may He always bless us in our every endeavours, and let us also ask Him to strengthen us and to give us the courage, the energy to go on when things are challenging in our lives and in our path. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.