Sunday, 29 August 2021 : Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 7 : 1-8, 14-15, 21-23

At that time, one day, the Pharisees gathered around Jesus, and with them were some teachers of the Law who had just come from Jerusalem. They noticed that some of His disciples were eating their meal with unclean hands, that is, without washing them.

Now the Pharisees, and in fact all the Jews, never eat without washing their hands, for they follow the tradition received from their ancestors. Nor do they eat anything, when they come from the market, without first washing themselves. And there are many other traditions they observe; for example, the ritual washing of cups, pots and plates.

So the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders, but eat with unclean hands?” Jesus answered, “You shallow people! How well Isaiah prophesied of you when he wrote : This people honours Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. The worship they offer Me is worthless, for what they teach are only human rules. You even put aside the commandment of God to hold fast to human tradition.”

Jesus then called the people to Him again and said to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and try to understand. Nothing that enters a person from the outside can make that person unclean. It is what comes from within that makes a person unclean, for evil designs come out of the heart : theft, murder, adultery, jealousy, greed, maliciousness, deceit, indecency, slander, pride and folly. All these evil things come from within and make a person unclean.”

Sunday, 29 August 2021 : Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

James 1 : 17-18, 21b-22, 27

Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of Light, in Whom there is no change, or shadow of a change. By His own will, He gave us life, through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of offering to Him, among His creatures.

And welcome the word that has been planted in you, and has the power to save you. Be doers of the word, and not just hearers, lest you deceive yourselves. In the sight of God, our Father, pure and blameless religion lies in helping the orphans, and widows in their need, and keeping oneself from the world’s corruption.

Sunday, 29 August 2021 : Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 14 : 2-3ab, 3cd-4ab, 5

Those who walk blamelessly and do what is right, who speak truth from their heart and control their words.

Those who do no harm to their neighbours and cast no discredit on their companions, who look down on evildoers but highly esteem God’s servants.

Those who do not lend money at interest and refuse a bribe against the innocent. Do this, and you will soon be shaken.

Sunday, 29 August 2021 : Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Deuteronomy 4 : 1-2, 6b-8

And now, Israel, listen to the norms and laws which I teach that you may put them into practice. And you will live and enter and take possession of the land which YHVH, the God of your fathers, gives you. Do not add anything to what I command you nor take anything away from it. But keep the commandments of YHVH, your God, as I command you.

When they come to know of all these laws, they will say, “There is no people as wise and as intelligent as this great nation.” For in truth, is there a nation as great as ours, whose gods are as near to it as YHVH, our God, is to us whenever we call upon Him? And is there a nation as great as ours whose norms and laws are as just as this Law which I give you today.

(Usus Antiquior) Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 29 August 2021 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Green

Offertory

Psalm 33 : 8-9

Immittet Angelus Domini in circuitu timentium eum, et eripiet eos : gustate et videte, quoniam suavis est Dominus.

English translation

The angel of the Lord shall encamp round about those who fear Him, and shall deliver them. O taste, and see that the Lord is sweet!

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Concede nobis, Domine, quaesumus, ut haec hostia salutaris et nostrorum fiat purgatio delictorum, et Tuae propitiatio potestatis. 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, that this saving Victim may become both the cleansing of our sins, and the propitiation of Your might. 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

Matthew 6 : 33

Primum quaerite regnum Dei, et omnia adjicientur vobis, dicit Dominus.

English translation

Seek first the kingdom of God and all things shall be added unto you, says the Lord.

Post-Communion Prayer

Purificent semper et muniant Tua sacramenta nos, Deus : et ad perpetuae ducant salvationis effectum. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

May Your Sacraments, o God, ever purify and fortify us, and bring us to the effect 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) Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 29 August 2021 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew

Matthew 6 : 24-33

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus discipulis Suis : Nemo potest duobus dominis servire : aut enim unum odio habebit, et alterum diliget : aut unum sustinebit, et alterum contemnet. Non potestis Deo servire et mammonae.

Ideo dico vobis, ne solliciti sitis animae vestrae, quid manducetis, neque corpori vestro, quid induamini. Nonne anima plus est quam esca : et corpus plus quam vestimentum? Respicite volatilia caeli, quoniam non serunt neque metunt neque congregant in horrea : et Pater vester caelestis pascit illa. Nonne vos magis pluris estis illis?

Quis autem vestrum cogitans potest adjicere ad staturam suam cubitum unum? Et de vestimento quid solliciti estis? Considerate lilia agri, quomodo crescunt : non laborant neque nent. Dico autem vobis, quoniam nec Salomon in omni gloria sua coopertus est sicut unum ex istis.

Si autem foenum agri, quod hodie est et cras in clibanum mittitur, Deus sic vestit : quanto magis vos, modicae fidei? Nolite ergo soliciti esse, dicentes : Quid manducabimus aut quid bibemus aut quo operimur? Haec enim omnia gentes inquirunt. Scit enim Pater vester, quia his omnibus indigetis. Quaerite ergo primum regnum Dei et justitiam ejus : et haec omnia adjicientur vobis.

English translation

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will sustain the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

“Therefore I say to you, do not be solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat, and the body more than that of the raiment? Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor do they reap, nor gather into barns, and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of much more value than them?”

“And which of you, by taking thought, can add to his stature one cubit? And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They do not labour, and neither do they spin, but I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these.”

“Now if God so clothe the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more you, o you of little faith! Do not be solicitous therefore, saying, what shall we eat, or what shall we drink or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathen seek. For your Father knows that you have need of all these things. Seek all of you therefore first the kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

(Usus Antiquior) Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 29 August 2021 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 117 : 8-9 and Psalm 94 : 1

Bonum est confidere in Domino, quam confidere in homine.

Response : Bonum est sperare in Domino, quam sperare in principibus.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Venite, exsultemus Domino, jubilemus Deo, salutari nostro. Alleluja.

English translation

It is good to confide in the Lord, rather than to have confidence in man.

Response : It is good to trust in the Lord, rather than to trust in princes.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : Come, let us praise the Lord with joy, let us joyfully sing to God our Saviour. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 29 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 5 : 16-24

Fratres : Spiritu ambulate, et desideria carnis non perficietis. Caro enim concupiscit adversus spiritum, spiritus autem adversus carnem : haec enim sibi invicem adversantur, ut non quaecumque vultis, illa faciatis.

Quod si spiritu ducimini, non estis sub lege. Manifesta sunt autem opera carnis, quae sunt fornicatio, immunditia, impudicitia, luxuria, idolorum servitus, veneficia, inimicitiae, contentiones, aemulationes, irae, rixae, dissensiones, sectae, invidiae, homicidia, ebrietates, comessationes, et his similia : quae praedico vobis, sicut praedixi : quoniam, qui talia agunt, regnum Dei non consequantur.

Fructus autem Spiritus est : caritas, gaudium, pax, patientia, benignitas, bonitas, longanimitas, mansuetudo, fides, modestia, continentia, castitas. Adversus hujusmodi non est lex. Qui autem sunt Christi, carnem suam crucifixerunt cum vitiis et concupiscentiis.

English translation

Brethren, walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh, for the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, for these are contrary one to another, so that you do not do the things that you would.

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like, of that which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ have crucified their flesh with the vices and conscupiscences.

(Usus Antiquior) Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 29 August 2021 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Green

Introit

Psalm 83 : 10-11, 2-3

Protector noster, aspice, Deus, et respice in faciem Christi Tui : quia melior est dies una in atriis Tuis super milia.

Quam dilecta tabernacula Tua, Domine virtutum! Concupiscit, et deficit anima mea in atria Domini.

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

English translation

Behold, o God, our Protector, and look on the face of Your Christ. For better is one day in Your courts above thousands.

How lovely are Your tabernacles, o Lord of hosts! My soul longs and faints for the courts of the Lord.

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

Custodi, Domine, quaesumus, Ecclesiam Tuam propitiatione perpetua : et quia sine Te labitur humana mortalitas; Tuis semper auxiliis et abstrahatur a noxiis et ad salutaria dirigatur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Guard Your Church, we beseech You, o Lord, with Your continual kindness, and because without You human frailty falls, let it, by Your assistance, ever be both withheld from harm and guided to what is salutary. 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, 28 August 2021 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all called to remember our calling and mission in life as Christians, as those whom God has called to be His followers, that is to be active in our participation of the living of our faith that we do not just live our lives without meaning and faith, and we have to make good use of the gifts and talents that God has given to each and every one of us.

That is what was elaborated and symbolised by the Lord in the famous parable of the talents in our Gospel passage today, as we heard the Lord Jesus and His teaching to His disciples, making use of that parable of the talents to remind them to commit themselves to the cause of the Lord and to do whatever they can in their capabilities and opportunities to be the bearers of our faith in God. We should be active in our lives and in showing our devotion to God, and not merely just paying lip service to Him.

This parable of the talents highlighted the action of three servants who had been entrusted with different amount of silver talents by their master, talent being the unit used to measure weights at that time, which is why this parable is often known as the parable of the talents. One servant was given one talent of silver, while another was given two silver talents, and the other one five silver talents. Those talents represent the gifts and abilities, the opportunities the Lord has given to us, just as the master represents the Lord Himself.

And as we have heard from the passage and the parable within, the servants treated the entrusted talents differently, as those two who were entrusted with two and five talents respectively invested and made good use of what had been given to them, and when the master came back, those servants were able to present the master not only with the silver back, but even with double returns. Meanwhile, the servant who was entrusted with the one silver talent hid his talent and did not do anything with it, as he said that he was afraid of his master and his exacting nature, and thus, hid the talent.

This showed that he did not trust his master at all, and had no desire to do as he was supposed to do, or to obey his master’s will, and more concerned with his own self-preservation and selfish desires. This is why he refused to do anything with the talent, and we already heard what happened next then, as those who did good with their entrusted silver talents received even more from their master, while the lazy and untrustworthy servant was punished for his actions and also lack of action in making use of the talents entrusted to him.

What is its significance to us, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is a reminder to us all that each and every one of us are expected to make good use of the talents, gifts, abilities and opportunities that God has given to all of us. We may think that we have nothing special or have little ability to contribute anything, but this is often where we are wrong. Even in the smallest things we do, we can make a great difference. And just like the case of that servant given just one silver talent, it does not mean that if one is given less, then one cannot make good use of what he or she has been given.

On the contrary, all of us are always encouraged to contribute whatever we can, even in the smallest things, that in doing our best for the Lord, we may grow and bear many fruits of our faith in the Lord. The Lord has given us what we need, and now it is up to us to pick ourselves up and begin to do what we can do to follow the Lord and to commit ourselves to His cause, and in doing His will, in our communities and in wherever we have been called to serve and do our part as respective members of the Church.

Today, all of us should also be inspired by the great examples set by St. Augustine of Hippo, the great saint and Doctor of the Church, one of the four original Doctors and revered as one of the most important fathers of Western Christianity, for his many contributions to the Church, and his various writings, of which especially well known being the City of God and the De Trinitatis, the writing on the nature of the Most Holy Trinity, among many others that he had done, as well as in his many contributions to the local and Universal Church.

However, St. Augustine did not always begin with such a wonderful and faithful life. Instead, as we may recall from yesterday’s celebration of the feast of St. Monica, who was St. Augustine’s own mother, we may remember how St. Augustine used to lead a debauched lifestyle and sought worldly pleasures and ambitions, following heresies especially Manichaeanism, and in his many philosophical and worldly pursuits in his youth, before finally, through the unceasing prayers of his mother, and through God’s grace, he turned back towards the Lord and gave himself completely to Him, to His cause and for His greater glory.

St. Augustine dedicated himself henceforth as a most faithful servant of God, making best use of his energy and all of his talents, his abilities in inspiring numerous others to be faithful to the Lord. And he dedicated himself to the very end, doing whatever he could to serve the Lord and His people, both in Hippo, his diocese and especially throughout Western part of Christendom at the time. His many writings and contributions to the Church remained very influential, and many theologians and philosophers of the Church drew inspiration from St. Augustine, his life and his works.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have seen how St. Augustine dedicated himself to the Lord and turned away from a life of idleness and sin, and into righteousness and fruitfulness in the Lord. Through his efforts, many great things had happened, many people had been touched and called to follow the Lord, and this is just yet another example of what it means for us to invest in our ‘talents’, that it may grow and provide us with great returns, not in material things but rather in our spiritual growth and closeness to God.

May the Lord continue to guide us and inspire us in our journey of faith through life, and may He strengthen each and everyone of us that we may always persevere in faith from now on. May God bless us always, in all things, now and forevermore. Amen.