Sunday, 25 July 2021 : Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Feast of St. James, Apostle (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

John 6 : 1-15

At that time, Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, near Tiberias, and large crowds followed Him, because of the miraculous signs they saw, when He healed the sick. So He went up into the hills and sat down there with His disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.

Then lifting up His eyes, Jesus saw the crowds that were coming to Him, and said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread so that these people may eat?” He said this to test Philip, for He Himself knew what He was going to do. Philip answered Him, “Two hundred silver coins would not buy enough bread for each of them to have a piece.”

Then one of Jesus’ disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass there, so the people, about five thousand men, sat down. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish, and gave them as much as they wanted.

And when they had eaten enough, He told His disciples, “Gather up the pieces left over, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with bread, that is, with pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

When the people saw the miracle which Jesus had performed, they said, “This is really the Prophet, the One Who is to come into the world.” Jesus realised that they would come and take Him by force to make Him King; so He fled to the hills by Himself.

Sunday, 25 July 2021 : Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Feast of St. James, Apostle (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Ephesians 4 : 1-6

Therefore, I, the prisoner of Christ, invite you, to live the vocation you have received. Be humble, kind, patient and bear with one another in love. Make every effort to keep among you, the unity of spirit, through bonds of peace. Let there be one body, and one Spirit, just as one hope is the goal of your calling by God. One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God, the Father of all, Who is above all, and works through all, and is in all.

Sunday, 25 July 2021 : Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Feast of St. James, Apostle (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 144 : 10-11, 15-16, 17-18

All Your works will give You thanks; all Your saints, o Lord, will praise You. They will tell of the glory of Your kingdom and speak of Your power.

All creatures look to You to be fed in due season; with open hand, You satisfy the living, according to their needs.

Righteous is YHVH in all His ways, His mercy shows in all His deeds. He is near those who call on Him, who call trustfully upon His Name.

Sunday, 25 July 2021 : Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Feast of St. James, Apostle (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Kings 4 : 42-44

A man came from Baal-shal-ishah bringing bread and wheat to the man of God. These were from the first part of the harvest, twenty loaves of barley and wheat. Elisha told him, “Give the loaves to these men that they may eat.”

His servant said to him, “How am I to divide these loaves among one hundred men?” Elisha insisted, “Give them to the men that they may eat, for YHVH says : ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’” So the man set it before them; and they ate and had some left, as YHVH had said.

(Usus Antiquior) Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of St. James the Greater, Apostle (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 25 July 2021 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Green

Offertory

Psalm 18 : 9, 10, 11, 12

Justitiae Domini rectae, laetificantes corda, et judicia ejus dulciora super mel et favum : nam et servus Tuus custodiat ea.

English translation

The justices of the Lord are right, rejoicing hearts, and His judgments sweeter than honey and the honeycomb, for Your servant keeps them.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Concede nobis, quaesumus, Domine, haec digne frequentare mysteria : quia, quoties hujus hostiae commemoratio celebratur, opus nostrae redemptionis exercetur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Grant us, we beseech You, o Lord, worthily to frequent these mysteries, for as often as the commemoration of this victim is celebrated, the work of our redemption is performed. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Communion

John 6 : 57

Qui manducat Meam Carnem et bibit Meum Sanguinem, in Me manet et Ego in eo, dicit Dominus.

English translation

He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood, abides in Me, and I in Him, says the Lord.

Post-Communion Prayer

Tui nobis, quaesumus, Domine, communio sacramenti, et purificationem conferat, et tribuat unitatem. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Let the communion of Your sacrament, we beseech You, o Lord, both cleanse us from sin and make us of one mind and one heart in Your service. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of St. James the Greater, Apostle (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 25 July 2021 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke

Luke 19 : 4-47

In illo tempore : Cum appropinquaret Jesus Jerusalem, videns civitatem, flevit super illam, dicens : Quia si cognovisses et tu, et quidem in hac die tua, quae ad pacem tibi, nunc autem abscondita sunt ab oculis tuis.

Quia venient dies in te : et circumdabunt te : et coangustabunt te undique : et ad terram prosternent te, et filios tuos, qui in te sunt, et non relinquent in te lapidem super lapidem : eo quod non cognoveris tempus visitationis tuae.

Et ingressus in templum, coepit ejicere vendentes in illo et ementes, dicens illis : Scriptum est : Quia domus mea domus orationis est. Vos autem fecistis illam speluncam latronum. Et erat docens cotidie in templo.

English translation

At that time, when Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, seeing the city, He wept over it saying, “If you had also known, and that in this your day, the things that are to your peace but now they are hidden from your eyes.”

“For the days shall come upon you, and your enemies shall cast a trench about you, and encompass you round, and straighten you on every side, and beat you flat to the ground, and your children who are in you, and they shall not leave in you a stone upon a stone, because you have not known the time of your visitation.”

And entering into the Temple, He began to cast out those who had sold therein, and those who bought from them, saying to them, “It is written, My house is the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” And He was teaching daily in the Temple.

(Usus Antiquior) Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of St. James the Greater, Apostle (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 25 July 2021 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 8 : 2 and Psalm 58 : 2

Domine, Dominus noster, quam admirabile est Nomen Tuum in universa terra!

Response : Quoniam elevata est magnificentia Tua super caelos.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Eripe me de inimicis meis, Deus meus : et ab insurgentibus in me libera me. Alleluja.

English translation

O Lord our Lord, how admirable is Your Name in the whole earth.

Response : For Your magnificence is elevated above the heavens.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : Deliver me from my enemies, o my God, and defend me from those who rise up against me. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of St. James the Greater, Apostle (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 25 July 2021 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Green

Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Corinthios – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians

1 Corinthians 10 : 6-13

Fratres : Non simus concupiscentes malorum, sicut et illi concupierunt. Neque idololatrae efficiamini, sicut quidam ex ipsis : quemadmodum scriptum est : Sedit populus manducare et bibere, et surrexerunt ludere. Neque fornicemur, sicut quidam ex ipsis fornicati sunt, et ceciderunt una die viginti tria milia.

Neque tentemus Christum, sicut quidam eorum tentaverunt, et a serpentibus perierunt. Neque murmuraveritis, sicut quidam eorum murmuraverunt, et perierunt ab exterminatore.

Haec autem omnia in figura contingebant illis : scripta sunt autem ad correptionem nostram, in quos fines saeculorum devenerunt. Itaque qui se existimat stare, videat ne cadat. Tentatio vos non apprehendat, nisi humana : fidelis autem Deus est, qui non patietur vos tentari supra id, quod potestis, sed faciet etiam cum tentatione proventum, ut possitis sustinere.

English translation

Brethren, let us not covet evil things, as they also coveted. Neither should you become idolaters, as some of them, as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed fornication, and there fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents. Neither should you murmur, as some of them murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

Now all these things happened to them in figure, and they are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore he who thinks himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall. Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human, and God is faithful, He Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able, but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it.

(Usus Antiquior) Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of St. James the Greater, Apostle (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 25 July 2021 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Green

Introit

Psalm 53 : 6-7

Ecce, Deus adjuvat me, et Dominus susceptor est animae meae : averte mala inimicis meis, et in veritate Tua disperde illos, protector meus, Domine.

Deus, in Nomine Tuo salvum me fac : et in virtute Tua libera me.

Response : Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Behold, God is my Helper, and the Lord is the Protector of my soul. Turn back the evils upon my enemies, and cut them off in Your truth, o Lord, my Protector.

Save me, o God, by Your Name, and deliver me in Your strength.

Response : Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Collect

Pateant aures misericordiae Tuae, Domine, precibus supplicantium : et, ut petentibus desiderata concedas; fac eos quae Tibi sunt placita, postulare. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Let the ears of Your mercy, o Lord, be open to the prayers of Your suppliants, and that You may grant their desires to those who seek, make them to ask only for those things that please You. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Saturday, 24 July 2021 : 16th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Sharbel Makhluf, Priest (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Lord speaking to us with regards to the matter of faith and believing in God, which is something that each and every one of us have to take seriously, and which we have to ponder and discern so that we know the path going forward in life as God’s faithful people, and not fall into the many traps or obstacles that threaten us in our way towards God and His salvation.

In our first reading today, we heard how the people of Israel made and renewed the ancient Covenant that their ancestors had established with God, as they all solemnly bound themselves to the Lord and committed themselves in that solemn Covenant, promising to obey the Lord and to follow His Law and Covenant wholeheartedly as they should. This happened not long after they had disobeyed and refused to believe in the Lord, making a golden calf idol to be a god over themselves, even though they had themselves seen and witnessed the wonders of the Lord, His love and might.

This is related to what we then heard from our Gospel passage today, with regards to the parable that the Lord had used to teach His disciples and the people, regarding the sowing of seeds of good wheat and the sabotage by an enemy who sowed the seeds of weeds that harm the wheat. This is used by the Lord often, in referring to farming and agriculture in His parables because many among the people were involved in that field and most of the people would have been familiar with the concepts that the Lord used to explain His ideas and teaching.

The enemy referred to the devil and all those seeking our ruin, while the sower and owner of the field is the Lord. We are the field on which the Lord had sown His good seeds, the seeds of faith, hope and love, the seeds of Christian charity, justice and righteousness. Yet, as we heard, at the same time, the devil and his forces also sowed the seeds of doubt, fear, infidelity and pride, the seeds of human greed and ambition, and the seeds of rebellion and selfishness, wickedness and evil. Through all these, the enemy wants us all to perish, by choking the good out from us, just as the weeds if left unchecked, would kill the wheat.

In agriculture and farming, the farmers always struggle to maintain the balance between the crops and the weeds, constantly making sure that the good plants thrive while the weeds are controlled, prevented from growing and thriving, and removed. Unless this is done meticulously and patiently, the wheat and all the good crops will perish or will not end up well. That is why, linking back to the first reading today, we are all reminded to put away from our hearts and minds, all the corruptions of our sins and evil ways, and turn wholeheartedly towards the Lord.

We ought to excise from our hearts, our minds, bodies and souls, from our whole beings, the weeds sown by the devil. We must be vigilant lest we fall into the many temptations we find all around us. We must be careful and do whatever we can to resist the lures of evil and seek the Lord with commitment and zeal. In order to do this, we ought to look at the Lord and His faithful servants, all of our holy predecessors whose lives had been worthy and good, in their obedience to God and in their pursuit of sanctity and righteousness in all things.

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Sharbel Makhluf, also known as St. Charbel Makhlouf, a renowned holy man from Lebanon, a truly holy and pious servant of God, whose life and even stories of what happened after his passing still inspired many Christians to this very day. St. Charbel Makhlouf was a Maronite Christian who was drawn from an early age to a life of piety and faith in the Lord, responding to God’s call and became a monk, dedicating his whole life to the Lord. As a monk and later on a solitary hermit, St. Charbel Makhlouf led a life wholly dedicated to God.

Yet, wonderful things happened when he passed away and miracles began to happen at the saint’s tomb, which led to many people, even non-Christians who came to believe in the Lord through the many miraculous things that happened at St. Charbel’s tomb. His piety and faith also inspired many others to walk in his footsteps and follow in the way of how he had lived his faith. We too should be inspired by how this saint and holy predecessor of ours had lived his life, and we should follow his examples and commit ourselves to the Lord in the same manner.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore seek the Lord and commit ourselves to the Lord, to His Law and commandments, and walk in His path from now on wholeheartedly. Let us grow in faith, and remove from ourselves, from our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, from our whole beings any distractions and temptations that may tempt us away from the Lord and His salvation. May God bless us all, and guide us to the right path, now and always. Amen.