Tuesday, 31 August 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 4 : 31-37

At that time, Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee, and began teaching the people at the Sabbath meetings. They were astonished at the way He taught them, for His word was spoken with authority.

In the synagogue, there was a man possessed by an evil spirit, who shouted in a loud voice, “What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I recognise You : You are the Holy One of God.”

Then Jesus said to him sharply, “Be silent and leave this man!” The evil spirit then threw the man down in front of them, and came out of him without doing him harm. Amazement seized all these people, and they said to one another, “What does this mean? He commands the evil spirits with authority and power. He orders, and you see how they come out!”

And news about Jesus spread throughout the surrounding area.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 26 : 1, 4, 13-14

YHVH is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? YHVH is the rampart of my life; I will not be afraid.

One thing I ask of YHVH, one thing I seek – that I may dwell in His house all the days of my life, to gaze at His jewel and to visit His Sanctuary.

I hope, I am sure, that I will see the goodness of YHVH in the land of the living. Trust in YHVH, be strong and courageous. Yes, put your hope in YHVH!

Tuesday, 31 August 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Thessalonians 5 : 1-6, 9-11

You do not need anyone to write to you about the delay, and the appointed time for these events. You know, that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people feel secure, and at peace, the disaster will suddenly come upon them, as the birth pangs of a woman in labour, and they will not escape.

But you, beloved, are not in darkness; so that day will not surprise you like a thief. All of you are citizens of the light and the day; we do not belong to night and darkness. Let us not, therefore, sleep as others do, but remain alert and sober.

For God has not willed us to be condemned, but to win salvation, through Christ Jesus, our Lord. He died for us, so that, we might enter into life, with Him, whether we are still awake or already asleep. Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another, as you are doing now.

Monday, 30 August 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 Lord speaking to us through the Scripture, we are all called to remember that even though our journey as Christians may be tough and challenging, we must not give up our faith and hope in the Lord, as the Lord is truly our hope and strength, and through Him alone we can gain the full assurance of eternal life and true joy, in the end, when our faith in Him will bear fruits, a most joyful fruit for each one of us.

In our first reading today, we heard from the description by the Apostle St. Paul to the faithful in Thessalonica how all the faithful shall rise on the last day, at the time of the final judgment of the world, echoing what we may have also read from the Book of Revelations of St. John, how God would take all those who are faithful to Him, and rescue them. We heard from that account by St. Paul, how all, past and present and future, all will rise in body and spirit, and fully reunited with God, to share with Him the eternal glory and joy that He has promised to us.

In our Gospel passage today, we then heard about the moment when the Lord went to His hometown in Nazareth and then read the scroll of the prophet Isaiah in the town’s synagogue. That very passage proclaimed the Lord’s coming into the world as its Saviour, and as He Himself proclaimed those words, He announced to all gathered that the Lord is truly faithful to His people, loving all those precious to Him and has always fulfilled His words, and the coming of Jesus as the Messiah of the world is the perfect example of that.

The Lord reassured all of us that what He has promised us will come true, just as the Lord has shown His works, all the miracles and healing that He has performed among the people, all throughout Galilee and Judea. The Lord healed many of the sick, cast out many demons, opened the eyes of the blind, and the ears of the blind and the loosened the tongues of the deaf, and taught among the people, revealing God’s truth to them, fulfilling the words of the prophecy of Isaiah as mentioned in the scroll.

Yet, He was ridiculed and rejected, as the people of His own hometown of Nazareth refused to listen to His truth, and in fact were angered by His revelation that He was the One referred to in the prophecy of Isaiah. Those people must have heard about and perhaps might have even seen the miracles performed by the Lord. Then, why did they refuse to believe in Him? That is because they would have seen the Lord when He was still young, as He spent His growing years there.

Therefore, they likely could not believe and accept the fact that a mere local village boy, the mere Son of the village carpenter, could have been the promised Saviour of the people of God, less still the Saviour of the whole world. But it is in this presumption and thoughts which hindered their ability and willingness to listen and to be open to the Lord’s truth, hardening their hearts and minds against Him, and preventing the Lord from doing His works among them.

What is the significance of all of these passages that we have just read then, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is that each and every one of us should trust in the Lord, and listen to Him, and not be swayed easily by the temptations of pride, ego, our human desires and other distractions that may prevent us from finding our way to the Lord. This is why we should spend the time to reflect carefully on the path that we are going to take in life. And we should remind ourselves of God’s love for us, and His faithfulness to the Covenant that He has made and sealed with us.

Let us all grow more in our faith and trust in Him, opening our hearts and minds to welcome Him into them, so that by the Lord’s guidance and strength, we may be inspired to live our lives in ever greater commitment and devotion to Him, and in greater desire to love and show care and compassion for one another, just as we should do as Christians, as God’s beloved people, doing what He has shown and taught us to do, in each and every moments of our lives. May God bless us all, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Monday, 30 August 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 4 : 16-30

At that time, when Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, as He usually did. He stood up to read, and they handed Him the book of the prophet Isaiah.

Jesus then unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written : “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me. He has anointed Me, to bring good news to the poor; to proclaim liberty to captives; and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed; and to announce the Lord’s year of mercy.”

Jesus then rolled up the scroll, gave it to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. Then He said to them, “Today, these prophetic words come true, even as you listen.” All agreed with Him, and were lost in wonder, while He spoke of the grace of God. Nevertheless they asked, “Who is this but Joseph’s Son?”

So He said, “Doubtless you will quote Me the saying : Doctor, heal yourself! Do here, in Your town, what they say You did in Capernaum.” Jesus added, “No prophet is honoured in his own country.” Truly, I say to you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens withheld rain for three years and six months and a great famine came over the whole land.”

“Yet, Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow of Zarephath, in the country of Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha, the prophet; and no one was healed except Naaman, the Syrian.”

On hearing these words, the whole assembly became indignant. They rose up and brought Him out of the town, to the edge of the hill on which Nazareth is built, intending to throw Him down the cliff. But He passed through their midst and went His way.

Monday, 30 August 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 95 : 1 and 3, 4-5, 11-12a, 12b-13

Sing to YHVH a new song, sing to YHVH, all the earth! Recall His glory among the nations, tell all the peoples His wonderful deeds.

How great is YHVH and worthy of praise! Above all gods, He is to be feared. For all other gods are worthless idols, but YHVH is the One Who made the heavens.

Let the heavens be glad, the earth rejoice; let the sea and all that fills it resound; let the fields exult and everything in them.

Let the forest, all the trees, sing for joy. Let them sing before YHVH Who comes to judge the earth. He will rule the world with justice, and the peoples, with fairness.

Monday, 30 August 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Thessalonians 4 : 13-18

Brothers and sisters, we want you not to be mistaken about those who are already asleep, lest you grieve as do those who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose; it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus. God will bring them together, with Jesus, and for His sake.

By the same word of the Lord, we assert this : those of us who are to be alive at the Lord’s coming, will not go ahead of those who are already asleep. When the command by the Archangel’s voice is given, the Lord, Himself, will come down from heaven, while the divine trumpet call is sounding.

Then, those who have died in the Lord, will rise first; as for us who are still alive, we will be brought along with them, in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the celestial world. And we will be with the Lord forever. So then, comfort one another with these words.