Sunday, 22 August 2021 : Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday as we listened to the words of the Scripture, we are all reminded of our faith in the Lord, and of the obligations that each and every one of us have as Christians, and that is to hold firmly to the Law and commandments that the Lord has given to us all, revealed to us through Christ, His Son, Our Lord and Saviour, and passed down to us through the Church, through His Apostles and disciples, and their successors.

In our first reading today, we heard of the story from the Book of Joshua, in which Joshua, the leader of all the Israelites, as the one who led the Israelites into the promised land, gathered all the whole assembly of the Israelites and reminded them to remain faithful to God and not to be easily swayed by the other gods and idols, and thus, he told them to make a stand right there and then, who they would follow and serve, whether the Lord or whether they preferred to follow the pagan gods and false idols instead.

We heard then how the people chose to follow the Lord and promised to follow Him and His path, and so would their descendants. Joshua then charged all the people to keep in mind the Lord’s Law and commandments, all that He had revealed and given to them, and pass them on to their descendants. They were charged with passing down all the stories and the faithful witnesses of the Lord’s great wonders and deeds, as He led them all out of the land of Egypt, took care of them throughout their Exodus in the desert, and finally led them to the promised land they were dwelling in.

Yet it was not easy for them to remain faithful to the Lord, or from time to time, again and again, they lapsed and fell into the wrong paths, as they abandoned the Lord and embraced the worship of pagan and false idols, and God sent to them His servants, the Judges and later on the prophets, to keep them in check, to guide them and to redirect their attention towards the Lord, and to remind them that as the people of God, they had an obligation to follow the Law of God and His commandments.

It is then we come to hear the account from the Gospel passage today, in which we heard the aftermath of the Lord’s miraculous feeding of the multitudes of thousands of people, and His discourse on the Bread of Life. At that occasion, the Lord told the people frankly and without hiding the truth, that He would gave them all His Body and His Blood for them all to partake, as real food and drink that they may eat and drink from. And this made the people to wonder and question Him and His truth, as they found it difficult to accept this truth, that the Lord as the Bread of Life is giving them His own Precious Body and Blood.

Many of the Lord’s disciples and the people who followed Him left Him at that time, and those who were left behind were few, including the Twelve who remained faithful, and who still trusted the Lord and His truth. Yet even they found the truth difficult to understand and endure, as represented by St. Peter, they told Him that such a harsh truth would be difficult for anyone to bear and stomach, and even they found it difficult to believe themselves, as some of them undoubtedly were still hesitating and still had doubts in them.

It was then that the Lord doubled down even more, by telling them that what He has revealed to them was just part of the greater revelation, that if they found it difficult to accept what He has just revealed to them, then it would be even tougher for them to accept and appreciate the things that they would come to witness, such as His Passion and death, and His Resurrection and Ascension into heaven, which He did allude to in that occasion. And through this, we can see that to be Christians is not one simple matter or easy feat.

Often times we may have to go against the popular opinion or even logic in our faith, and we have to face persecutions, trials and troubles for our faith and trust in the Lord, and for standing up to His truth and love. Yet, we have to persevere and prevail, for the Lord’s truth has been revealed to us, the fullness of His love, care and compassion towards us as He has shown us through Christ, His Son. By His loving sacrifice on the Cross, He, our Eternal and True High Priest offered Himself, as the worthy Paschal Lamb of God, a sacrifice and offering of His own Most Precious Body and Blood, that we all who partake in His Body and Blood receive the assurance of eternal life through Him.

All of us as Christians have received this truth, and the revelation of God’s love. Therefore, as faithful servants and followers of the Lord, we should do our very best to commit ourselves to live righteously and strive to walk in His path, doing whatever we can, in our own capacities, and within our own communities and in the opportunities given to us, so that we may indeed be worthy of being called God’s chosen people, the members of His Church, with Christ as our Head, and we as the parts of this united Body of Christ, all sharing in the same Bread of Life.

Each and every one of us should embrace the Lord’s call for us to be more active in our faith life, and we should discern carefully what each and every one of us can do in order to be part of the Church’s efforts and good works in reaching out to more and more of our fellow brothers and sisters, especially those who have not yet known the Lord, and those who may have had a wrong idea or impression Him and our Christian faith. It is up to us to be genuine witnesses of our faith and be inspiration to one another as Christians.

Let us all therefore today commit ourselves anew to the Lord, making commitment and dedication that lasts a lot longer and far more than the promises made by the Israelites of old before God and Joshua. Let us all follow in the path of the Apostles and the many other faithful disciples of the Lord, following the inspiring examples of the saints, and striving to lead a worthy and holy life, that we can become a source of inspiration ourselves to help inspire one another, especially those who lack the faith and are filled with doubt.

May the Lord, our most loving God and Father be with us always, and may He help us to remain strong in our faith, and may He encourage and strengthen us as we continue to walk through our life’s journey with true and sincere devotion to Him, now and always. Amen.

Sunday, 22 August 2021 : Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

John 6 : 60-69

At that time, after the Jews heard Jesus, many of His followers said, “This language is very hard! Who can accept it?”

Jesus was aware that His disciples were murmuring about this, and so He said to them, “Does this offend you? Then how will you react when you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit that gives life, not the flesh. The words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life. But among you there are some who do not believe.”

From the beginning, Jesus knew who would betray Him. So He added, “As I have told you, no one can come to Me unless it is granted by the Father.” After this many disciples withdrew and no longer followed Him. Jesus asked the Twelve, “Will you also go away?

Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We now believe and know that You are the Holy One of God.”

Sunday, 22 August 2021 : Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Ephesians 5 : 21-32

Let all kinds of submission to one another become obedience to Christ. So wives to their husbands : as to the Lord. The husband is the head of his wife, as Christ is the Head of the Church, His Body, of Whom He is also the Saviour. And as the Church submits to Christ, so let a wife submit in everything to her husband.

As for you, husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her. He washed her and made her holy by baptism in the Word. As He wanted a radiant Church without stain or wrinkle or any blemish, but holy and blameless, He Himself had to prepare and present her to Himself.

In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they love their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. And no one has ever hated his body; he feeds and takes care of it. This is just what Christ does for the Church, because we are members of His Body.

Scripture says : Because of this a man shall leave his father and mother to be united with his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a very great mystery, and I refer to Christ and the Church.

Sunday, 22 August 2021 : Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 33 : 2-3, 16-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23

I will praise YHVH all my days; His praise will be ever on my lips. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the lowly hear and rejoice.

The eyes of YHVH are fixed on the righteous; His ears are inclined to their cries. But His face is set against the wicked, to destroy their memory from the earth.

YHVH hears the cry of the righteous and rescues them from all their troubles. YHVH is close to the brokenhearted and saves the distraught.

Many are the troubles of the just, but YHVH delivers them from all. He keeps all their bones intact, and none of them will be broken.

Evil will slay the wicked; the enemies of the just will be doomed. But YHVH will redeem the life of His servants; none of those who trust in Him will be doomed.

Sunday, 22 August 2021 : Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Joshua 24 : 1-2a, 15-17, 18b

Joshua summoned all the tribes of Israel in Shechem, and assembled the elders, judges and secretaries. And together they presented themselves before God.

Addressing the people, Joshua said to them : “If you do not want to serve YHVH, make known this very day whom you shall serve – whether they be the gods your ancestors served in Mesopotamia or the gods of the Amorites who formerly occupied the land in which you now live. As for me, I and my household will serve YHVH.”

The people answered : “May God not permit that we ever abandon YHVH to serve other gods! For it was He Who brought us and our ancestors out of Egypt, the house of slavery. It was He Who did those great wonders that we have seen; He protected us on the way and through all the land where we passed. So we shall also serve YHVH : He is our God!”

(Usus Antiquior) Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 22 August 2021 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Green

Offertory

Psalm 30 : 15-16

In Te speravi, Domine; dixi : Tu es Deus meus, in manibus Tuis tempora mea.

English translation

In You, o Lord, have I hoped. I said, “You are my God, my times are in Your hands.”

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Propitiare, Domine, populo Tuo, propitiare muneribus : ut, hac oblatione placatus, et indulgentiam nobis tribuas et postulata concedas. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Look with favour upon Your people, o Lord, look with favour upon their gifts, that being appeased by this oblation, You may give us pardon and grant us what we ask. 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

Wisdom 16 : 20

Panem de caelo dedisti nobis, Domine, habentem omne delectamentum et omnem saporem suavitatis.

English translation

You have given us, o Lord, bread from heaven, having in it all that is delicious, and the sweetness of every taste.

Post-Communion Prayer

Sumptis, Domine, caelestibus sacramentis : ad redemptionis aeternae, quaesumus, proficiamus augmentum. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Having received Your heavenly sacraments, o Lord, we beseech You that we may profit unto the increase of everlasting salvation. 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) Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 22 August 2021 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Green

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

Luke 17 : 11-19

In illo tempore : Dum iret Jesus in Jerusalem, transibat per mediam Samariam et Galilaeam. Et cum ingrederetur quoddam castellum, occurrerunt ei decem viri leprosi, qui steterunt a longe; et levaverunt vocem dicentes : Jesu praeceptor, miserere nostri.

Quos ut vidit, dixit : Ite, ostendite vos sacerdotibus. Et factum est, dum irent, mundati sunt. Unus autem ex illis, ut vidit quia mundatus est, regressus est, cum magna voce magnificans Deum, et cecidit in faciem ante pedes ejus, gratias agens : et hic erat Samaritanus.

Respondens autem Jesus, dixit : Nonne decem mundati sunt? Et novem ubi sunt? Non est inventus, qui rediret et daret gloriam Deo, nisi hic alienigena. Et ait illi : Surge, vade, quia fides tua te salvum fecit.

English translation

At that time, as Jesus was going to Jerusalem, He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee, and as He entered into a certain town, there He met ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off, and lifted up their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

Jesus Whom when He saw, He said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And it came to pass that, as they went, they were made clean. And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, and with a loud voice, glorifying God, and he fell on his face before His feet, giving thanks, and this was a Samaritan.

And Jesus answering, said, “Were not ten made clean? And where are the nine? There is no one found to return, and give glory to God, but this stranger.” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. For your faith had made you whole.”

(Usus Antiquior) Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 22 August 2021 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 73 : 20, 19, 22 and Psalm 89 : 1

Respice, Domine, in testamentum Tuum : et animas pauperum Tuorum ne obliviscaris in finem.

Response : Exsurge, Domine, et judica causam Tuam : memor esto oprobrii servorum Tuorum.

Alelluja, Alleluja.

Response : Domine, refugium factus es nobis a generatione et progenie. Alleluja.

English translation

Have regard, o Lord, to Your covenant, and do not forsake to the end the souls of Your poor.

Response : Arise, o Lord, and judge Your cause, remember the reproach of Your servants.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : Lord, You had been our refuge, from generation to generation. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 22 August 2021 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Green

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

Galatians 3 : 16-22

Fratres : Abrahae dictae sunt promissiones, et semini ejus. Non dicit : Et seminibus, quasi in multis; sed quasi in uno : Et semini tuo, qui est Christus. Hoc autem dico : testamentum confirmatum a Deo, quae post quadringentos et triginta annos facta est lex, non irritum facit ad evacuandam promissionem.

Nam si ex lege hereditas, jam non ex promissione. Abrahae autem per repromissionem donavit Deus. Quid igitur lex? Propter transgressiones posita est, donec veniret semen, cui promiserat, ordinata per Angelos in manu mediatoris.

Mediator autem unius non est : Deus autem unus est. Lex ergo adversus promissa Dei? Absit. Si enim data esset lex, quae possit vivificare, vere ex lege esset justitia. Sed conclusit Scriptura omnia sub peccato, ut promissio ex fide Jesu Christi daretur credentibus.

English translation

Brethren, to Abraham were the promises made, and to his seed. He did not say, and to his seeds, as of many, but as of one, and to your seed, which is Christ. Now this I say, that the testament which was confirmed by God, the law which was made after four hundred and thirty years, had not been disannulled, to make the promise of no effect.

For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise. Why then was the law? It was set because of transgressions, until the seed should come, to whom He made the promise, being ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator.

Now a mediator is not of one, but God is one. Was the Law then against the promises of God? God forbid. For if there had been a law given, which could give life, verily justice should have been by the Law. But the Scripture had concluded all under sin, that the promise by the faith of Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

(Usus Antiquior) Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Double II Classis) – Sunday, 22 August 2021 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Green

Introit

Psalm 73 : 20, 19, 23, 1

Respice, Domine, in testamentum Tuum, et animas pauperum Tuorum ne derelinquas in finem : exsurge, Domine, et judica causam Tuam, et ne obliviscaris voces quaerentium Te.

Ut quid, Deus, repulisti in finem : iratus est furor Tuus super oves pascuae Tuae?

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

English translation

Have regard, o Lord, to Your covenant, and do not forsake to the end the souls of Your poor. Arise, o Lord and judge Your cause, and do not forget the voices of those who seek You.

O God, why have You cast us off unto the end. Why is Your wrath enkindled against the sheep of Your pasture?

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

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, da nobis fidei, spei et caritatis augmentum : et, ut mereamur assequi quod promittis, fac nos amare quod praecipis. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Almighty, eternal God, grant us the increase of faith, hope and charity, and that we may deserve to attain what You had promised, make us to love what You had commanded. 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.