Thursday, 17 June 2021 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 6 : 7-15

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “When you pray, do not use a lot of words, as the pagans do; for they believe that, the more they say, the more chance they have of being heard. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need, even before you ask Him.”

“This, then, is how you should pray : Our Father in heaven, holy be Your Name, Your kingdom, come, Your will be done on earth, as in heaven. Give us today, our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we forgive those who are in debt to us. Do not bring us to the test, but deliver us from the evil one.”

“If you forgive others their wrongdoings, your Father in heaven will also forgive yours. If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive you.”

Thursday, 17 June 2021 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 110 : 1-2, 3-4, 7-8

Alleluia! I thank YHVH with all my heart in the council of the just, in the assembly. The works of YHVH are great and pondered by all who delight in them.

Glorious and majestic are His deeds, His righteousness endures forever. He lets us remember His wondrous deeds; YHVH is merciful and kind.

The works of His hands are faithful and just, trustworthy are all His precepts, ordained to last forever, bearers of truth and uprightness.

Thursday, 17 June 2021 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Corinthians 11 : 1-11

May you bear with me in some little foolishness! But surely you will. I confess that I share the jealousy of God for you, for I have promised you, in marriage, to Christ, the only Spouse; to present you to Him, as a pure virgin. And this is my fear : the serpent that seduced Eve, with cunning, could also corrupt your minds, and divert you from Christian sincerity.

Someone, now, comes, and preaches another Jesus, different from the One we preach, or you are offered a different spirit from the One you have received, with a different gospel from the one you have accepted – and you agree! I do not see how I am inferior to those super Apostles. Does my speaking leave much to be desired? Perhaps, but not my knowledge, as I have abundantly shown to you in every way.

Perhaps my fault was, that I humbled myself, in order to uplift you, or that, I gave you the Gospel free of charge. I called upon the services of other churches, and served you with the support I received from them. When I was with you, although I was in need, I did not become a burden to anyone. The friends from Macedonia gave me what I needed. I have taken care, not to be a burden to you in anything, and I will continue to do so.

By the truth of Christ within me, I will let no one in the land of Achaia stop this boasting of mine. Why? Because I do not love you? God knows that I do!

Wednesday, 16 June 2021 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are presented with what we are expected to do as Christians, that is to be genuine in our faith and way of life, and to dedicate ourselves to the Lord with sincere heart and devotion, not because we want to be praised or adored for our actions. We are all called today to reexamine our path in life, and consider carefully what each and every one of us can do as those who believe in Christ and as those who walk in His path.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord speaking to His disciples with regards to the matter of prayer and fasting, and how they ought to be doing it and how they should not follow the way that the Pharisees were doing their prayers and fasting. The contrast was drawn between the way that the Pharisees conducted their prayers and other deeds in public so that everyone could see them and praise them, and how true believers ought to avoid doing that. This is because praying, fasting and any other actions of faith we do, should all be done with the intention of glorifying God and focusing ourselves on God rather than anything else.

That is why it is important that when we fast, we do it for the right purpose. Fasting is not so that people praise us for our piety, righteousness or holiness, but fasting is rather meant for us to restrain ourselves and our desires, to resist against the many temptations that are attempting to pull against us and drag us into disobedience and therefore sin against God. If we treat fasting as a show of faith, then does it not actually defeat the purpose of fasting? That is because we end up indulging in the desires and our pride instead of regretting our sins and wickedness in life, as we should.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is also the same with prayer as well. Prayer is not just for show or for entertaining our human desires for praise and honour, acknowledgement or glory. And we should also stop entertaining our ego and pride in doing so. Prayer is not about ourselves and indeed, is much less about what we want or what our desires are. Many of us may not have realised that we have been praying the wrong way, when we spend our prayers praising ourselves or in launching a litany of wants and desires, in asking God to fulfil what we wanted.

That, brothers and sisters in Christ, is the wrong way of praying, just as fasting for appearances and praise is also the wrong way for fasting. Prayer is an intimate way of communication between us and God, and therefore, we should make sure that we make our prayer as one that is filled with our love for the Lord and with our sincere desire to communicate with Him, to know His will and to deepen our relationship with Him. If we are able to do this, then we have prayed in the right manner, and if we know how to do so, we should also know how to do the other acts of faith in the right way.

And as Christians it is important that we ‘walk the talk’, that is we have to be good role models for our fellow brothers and sisters, in each and every one of our dealings, in our actions and interactions with one another, so that we may inspire each other and help one another to remain faithful to the Lord, as well as in building a genuine and healthy relationship with the Lord. This is why our Christian faith must not be just for show, or just a mere front to satisfy our personal ego and desires, but rather, we have to seek the Lord with all of our hearts and with all of our might.

We should remember well what St. Paul the Apostle wrote in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in Corinth, in our first reading today, that all those who sow meagrely shall also reap meagrely, while those who labour hard and do their best, in being faithful, then they shall all be rewarded for their great faith, not because they sought for the reward, but rather because through that genuine effort and faith, they enter blissfully into God’s grace and are bestowed blessings and wonders by God, Who is ever faithful to His people and beloved ones.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today let us all reaffirm our faith in the Lord and let us all commit ourselves anew to Him, so that in all things, we may always glorify Him through our actions, words and deeds, and that we may grow ever closer to Him, in each and every days of our lives. May all of us have the courage and the strong, sincere desire to love the Lord, to be with Him and to communicate with Him regularly, that we will truly be attuned to Him and may be faithful in walking down the path that He has shown us. May God be with us always, and may He bless us all in our every good works and endeavours. Amen.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 6 : 1-6, 16-18

At that time, “Be careful not to make a show of your good deeds before people. If you do so, you do not gain anything from your Father in heaven. When you give something to the poor, do not have it trumpeted before you, as do those who want to be noticed in the synagogues and in the streets, in order to be praised by people. I assure you, they have their reward.”

“If you give something to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your gift remains really secret. Your Father, Who sees what is kept secret, will reward you. When you pray, do not be like those who want to be noticed. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues or on street corners, in order to be seen by everyone. I assure you, they have their reward.”

“When you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father Who is with you in secret; and your Father Who sees what is kept secret will reward you. When you fast, do not put on a miserable face, as do the hypocrites. They put on a gloomy face, so that people can see they are fasting. I tell you this : they have been paid in full already.”

“When you fast, wash your face and make yourself look cheerful, because you are not fasting for appearances or for people, but for your Father, Who sees beyond appearances. And your Father, Who sees what is kept secret, will reward you.”

Wednesday, 16 June 2021 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 111 : 1-2, 3-4, 9

Alleluia! Blessed is the one who fears YHVH, who greatly delights in His commands. His children will be powerful on earth; the upright’s offspring will be blessed.

Wealth and riches are for his family; there, his integrity will remain. He is for the righteous a light in darkness; he is kind, merciful and upright.

He gives generously to the poor; his merits will last forever; and his head will be raised in honour.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Corinthians 9 : 6-11

Remember : the one who sows meagerly will reap meagerly, and there shall be generous harvests for the one who sows generously. Each of you should give as you decided personally, and not reluctantly, as if obliged. God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to fill you with every good thing, so that you have enough of everything, at all times, and may give abundantly for any good work.

Scripture says : He distributed, he gave to the poor, his good works last forever. God, Who provides the sower with seed, will also provide him with the bread he eats. He will multiply the seed for you and also increase the interest on your good works. Become rich in every way, and give abundantly. What you give will become, through us, a thanksgiving to God.