Friday, 3 September 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 5 : 33-39

At that time, some people asked Jesus, “The disciples of John fast often and say long prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees. Why is it, that Your disciples eat and drink?”

Then Jesus said to them, “You cannot make wedding guests fast while the Bridegroom is with them. But later, the Bridegroom will be taken from them; and they will fast in those days.”

Jesus also told them this parable : “No one tears a piece from a new coat to put it on an old one; otherwise the new coat will be torn, and the piece taken from the new coat will not match the old coat. No one puts new wine into old wine skins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and be spilt, and the skins will be destroyed as well.”

“But new wine must be put into fresh skins. Yet, no one who has tasted old wine is eager to drink new wine, but says, ‘The old is good.’”

Friday, 3 September 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 99 : 2, 3, 4, 5

Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God; He created us and we are His people, the sheep of His fold.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and bless His Name.

For the Lord is good; His love lasts forever and His faithfulness through all generations.

Friday, 3 September 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Colossians 1 : 15-20

He is the image of the unseen God, and for all creation, He is the Firstborn, for, in Him, all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible : thrones, rulers, authorities, powers… All was made through Him and for Him. He is before all and all things hold together, in Him.

And He is the Head of the Body, that is the Church, for He is the first, the first raised from the dead, that He may be the first in everything, for God was pleased to let fullness dwell in Him. Through Him, God willed to reconcile all things to Himself, and through Him, through His Blood shed on the cross, God established peace, on earth as in heaven.

Thursday, 2 September 2021 : 22nd 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 Scripture, all of us are called to live our lives in an exemplary Christian way, and to be worthy of God by following the path that He Himself has shown us. And we are also called to reach out to our fellow brothers and sisters, and be part of the Church’s evangelising mission, in calling more and more people to believe in the Lord and His truth, of which the best way is by our living our lives worthily, as true and genuine Christians.

In our first reading today, we heard the words of St. Paul the Apostle as he exhorted the faithful to to lead a lifestyle and to act in accordance with the way of the Lord, that they do not fall into temptations and remain faithful in all things, and to persevere through the difficulties and the challenges that we may face through life. We must be careful and wary lest those difficulties and challenges deter us from doing what we can and should do as Christians, in showing our faith and love for God and our fellow men alike.

In our Gospel passage today, we then heard of the moment when the Lord called some of His Twelve Apostles, as He was at the Lake Gennesaret or the Lake of Galilee, in which the four fishermen had been spending long hours the previous night in order to catch fish without any success. As the Lord saw those fishermen, Simon and his brother Andrew, and the brothers James and John, He told them to try and reach out for fishes again, despite their fruitless search over the past night.

He told them all to ‘put out into the deep waters’ and lower their nets there. Although they were skeptical at first and told the Lord that they had not found anything despite all night efforts, they obeyed in the end, and immediately, there were so many fishes trapped in the nets that it almost made the fishing boats to sink under their weight. Those four fishermen, amazed by what they had witnessed, believed in the Lord, chose to abandon their fishing trade and followed Him, becoming the first of the Lord’s disciples.

What we have just heard in our Scripture passage today is actually a symbolic representation of what each and every one of us are called to do as Christians, that is to listen to the Lord and to obey His will, by allowing Him to lead us and to help guide us in what we should do, just as He has told the fishermen, the future four disciples and Apostles to reach out and put their nets our into the deep waters. We have to do what the Lord has asked us to do, and trust in Him in the path that He is leading us through.

It is often that we are not able to gain true success in what we are doing, simply because we trust more in our own strength and powers rather than to listen to the Lord. We do things in our own way, and some of us are stubborn even after the Lord has shown us advice and guidance. Instead, we should be like the Apostles who listened to the Lord even though they had reservations and doubts earlier on. They chose to follow the Lord, and they saw the benefit in doing so.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, at the same time we are all also reminded that we should not be afraid to reach out beyond our comfort zone, which is when the Lord mentioned ‘to go and put out in the deep waters’. Too often many of us are hesitant to follow the Lord because we are afraid of the risks and we are more concerned about our safety and needs. And this is also because we did not have enough trust and faith in the Lord. If only we can trust in the Lord more, then surely we can even do many things we might have think to be impossible.

The question is, are we all willing to commit ourselves to the Lord wholeheartedly? Are we willing to entrust ourselves to His care and providence, and are we capable of walking down this path that the Lord has shown us with faith? Each and every one of us have been entrusted by the Lord with specific mission and responsibility in life, and as St. Paul mentioned in his Epistle in our first reading today, all of us are called to lead a life that is worthy of God, to be faithful and committed to Him, and to be exemplary in all things.

May the Lord continue to bless us and guide us in all things, and may He strengthen each and every one of us so that we may always persevere in faith, and will not easily give in to worldly temptations. May He remain with us all and may He bless us all in our every good efforts and endeavours, at all times, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Thursday, 2 September 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 5 : 1-11

At that time, one day, as Jesus stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, with a crowd gathered around Him listening to the word of God, He caught sight of two boats, left at the water’s edge by fishermen, now washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to pull out a little from the shore. There He sat, and continued to teach the crowd.

When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon replied, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing. But if You say so, I will lower the nets.” This they did, and caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. They signalled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came, and they filled both almost to the point of sinking.

Upon seeing this, Simon Peter fell at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Leave me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and his companions were amazed at the catch they had made, and so were Simon’s partners, James and John, Zebedee’s sons. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. You will catch people from now on.” So they brought their boats to land and followed Him, leaving everything.

Thursday, 2 September 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 97 : 2-3ab, 3cd-4, 5-6

YHVH has shown His salvation, revealing His justice to the nations. He has not forgotten His love, nor His faithfulness to Israel.

The farthest ends of the earth all have seen God’s saving power. All you, lands, make a joyful noise to YHVH, break into song and sing praise.

With melody of the lyre and with music of the harp. With trumpet blast and sound of the horn, rejoice before the King, YHVH!

Thursday, 2 September 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Colossians 1 : 9-14

Because of this, from the day we received news of you, we have not ceased praying to God for you, that you may attain the full knowledge of His will, through all the gifts of wisdom and spiritual understanding.

May your lifestyle be worthy of the Lord and completely pleasing to Him. May you bear fruit in every good work and grow in the knowledge of God. May you become strong, in everything, by a sharing of the glory of God, so that you may have great endurance and perseverance in joy.

Constantly give thanks to the Father, Who has empowered us to receive our share in the inheritance of the saints, in His kingdom of light. He rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son. In Him, we are redeemed and forgiven.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Lord speaking to us through the Scriptures, we are all reminded of the need for all of us to follow the examples set by the Lord in His ministry, in answering to the Lord’s call for us to follow Him, to respond to the vocation and mission that He has entrusted to each and every one of us. As Christians we cannot be idle in our lives, and instead, we have to be active in doing God’s will.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard the story of the Lord’s ministry from the Gospel of St. Luke, in which He went to heal the mother-in-law of St. Peter who was very sick, and having gotten her healed, He ministered to all the people who came to hear of the miraculous healing and then brought many sick ones and those who troubles to the Lord that He might heal all of them. The Lord healed their sick and revealed God’s love and ceaseless dedication to His Covenant through all of that.

Then, we heard how the Lord then told His disciples to move on from that place, even though there were still many who wanted Him to stay on and heal their sick there. When the disciples questioned Him, the Lord very clearly said that He was still needed in many other parts of the country, and that He had been sent to the entire people of Israel, the people of God, and not just a small segment of people. He could not stay on there and be comfortable of being the centre of attention, and ministering only to them.

Any other people would have been greatly tempted by the temptations of power and glory, of fame and influence, as the Lord Himself must have also been tempted. But He has resisted the advances of the devil, whom we know had tested Him not just once but thrice with great temptations. The Lord showed all of us that first of all, we have to do the will of God, to be exemplary in our faith and to do whatever we can to be faithful witnesses of His truth and to show care and concern for our fellow brethren.

And then at the same time, we must not forget that everything we do, we do it for the love of God and for the genuine love and concern for our fellow brothers and sisters. We must be vigilant lest we may be tempted to do things for our own personal desires and satisfaction, for our own achievements and sense of pride. If we fall into these temptations, then we must know that even those with noble intentions in the beginning may end up falling into path filled with sin, when one began indulging in their desires and the temptation to be selfish.

As St. Paul mentioned in his Epistle to the Colossians in our first reading passage today, the Lord has given us all the gifts of faith, and has shown us the path that we all ought to follow, and what we all now need to do is to bear fruit and to make good use of those gifts that the Lord has given to us, and which He has planted in us. We have to allow the Lord to show us the way, to lead us down the right path, and guide us the right path, as He certainly will do for us. The question is, are we willing to do so, brothers and sisters in Christ?

It is often a lot of easier to profess our faith by our mouth and by words alone, and yet we do nothing in order to prove that our faith is more than just merely words or formality. We often spend too much time worrying about our worldly concerns and matters, and we are often afraid to venture forth out from our comfort zone, and as a result, many among us did nothing to grow spiritually or to bear rich fruits of our faith, even though the Lord has clearly given us so many gifts and blessings all these while, and all the opportunities He has given to us.

Today, we all also celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which was instituted by our current Pope and Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis, as a reminder for all of us that as we live in this world, we all have the responsibility to take good care of this world as its stewards. Through this commemoration, let us all therefore discern carefully the actions that we can take in order to be faithful Christians, to be men and women for others, to be caring for those who are suffering, for the poor and the sick, and for those who are unloved, and at the same time, also acting and living responsibly in this world. When the world suffers from exploitation and human greed, ultimately it will lead to many more suffering among us mankind, especially the poorest and the most vulnerable among us.

Let us all do whatever we can, brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us, the entire members of the Lord’s Church, that all of us, even in the smallest things, may contribute to the great efforts of the Church, in spreading the truth of God and His Good News, and as faithful and good stewards of all creation, for the benefit of all alike. For without care for the creation and the world, then many more of us will come to suffer in the years to come, and this is not what we should be expecting to see.

Let us all do whatever we can to prevent more harm from coming to this beautiful world that God has created for us. May God bless us all, and remain with us always, now and forevermore.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 4 : 38-44

At that time, leaving the synagogue, Jesus went to the house of Simon. His mother-in-law was suffering from high fever, and they asked Him to do something for her. Bending over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her. Immediately, she got up and waited on them.

At sunset, people suffering from many kinds of sickness were brought to Jesus. Laying His hands on each one, He healed them. Demons were driven out, howling as they departed from their victims, “You are the Son of God!” He rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, for they knew He was the Messiah.

Jesus left at daybreak and looked for a solitary place. People went out in search of Him, and finding Him, they tried to dissuade Him from leaving. But He said, “I have to go to other towns, to announce the good news of the kingdom of God. That is what I was sent to do.” And Jesus continued to preach in the synagogues of Galilee.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 51 : 10, 11

But I am as a green olive tree that thrives in the house of God : I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever.

I will praise You forever, for all You have done; and proclaim Your good Name before the faithful ones.