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

Liturgical Colour : Green

Colossians 1 : 1-8

Paul, Apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God, and Timothy, our brother, to the saints in Colossae, our faithful brothers and sisters in Christ : Receive grace and peace from God, our Father, and Christ Jesus, our Lord. Thanks be to God, the Father of Christ Jesus, our Lord!

We constantly pray for you, for we have known of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of your love for all the saints. Indeed, you await in hope the inheritance reserved for you in heaven, of which, you have heard through the word of truth. This Gospel, already present among you, is bearing fruit, and growing throughout the world, as it did among you, from the day you accepted it, and understood the gift of God, in all its truth.

He who taught you, Epaphras, our dear companion in the service of Christ, faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, has reminded me of the love you have for me, in the Spirit.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture, all of us are called to trust in the Lord, to follow Him wholeheartedly and listen to Him, as we should. As Christians, all of us believe in the Lord and His truth, and we should trust that He will take good care of us and provide for our needs. He shall not abandon us to the wicked, and He shall deliver us from our troubles in the end, and we shall find eternal rest and true joy in Him.

In our first reading today, St. Paul the Apostle in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in Thessalonica mentioned about the Lord’s providence for His people, how He would care for them as His beloved ones, and they would receive from Him great grace and blessings, as they are the people of the Light, God’s own children. Yet, they also have to be vigilant and alert, lest they may be tempted by the various temptations of the world. They have to place their trust in the Lord and be faithful to His Law and commandments.

In that, through what St. Paul said in the latter part of today’s first reading and our Gospel passage today, we heard how God has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be Our Lord and Saviour. He is the One promised by the Lord, through His many prophets and messengers, and He has proved it all by His coming into the world. God has not held back even giving us His Son, to be born into our midst and to grace us with His presence, suffering and dying for us, for the salvation of our souls.

And in the Gospel passage today we heard of the miraculous deeds that the Lord had performed before all the people in Capernaum, just as He had impressed them with the wisdom of His words and the authority by which He had delivered His truth before everyone. He taught in the synagogue and then confronted the evil spirits that possessed a man. The evil spirits told the Lord that he knew Who He really was, and told everyone that the One before them was truly the Holy One of God, the One promised by the Lord through His prophets.

And if we recall the Gospel passage from yesterday, which told us about how the Lord was rejected and cast out by His own townspeople in Nazareth, and their lack of faith and refusal to trust Him, we can see the irony in that it was the evil spirits which were rebels against God that acknowledged Him and spoke the truth about Who He truly was. And this is because although they might have rebelled against God and were still defying Him, but they too were the subjects of the Lord and could not deny the truth before Him, of what they had already known.

Those evil spirits also likely hoped to undermine the Lord’s works of saving His people, by speaking the truth about Jesus’ true identity, which as we had seen from the reactions of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law could have caused further frictions and obstacles. But the Lord decisively acted and commanded those evil spirits to leave the man, and those spirits obeyed and had to leave the man, who was then thereafter healed from all of his afflictions and was fully restored.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us are called to reflect on what we have just heard in today’s Scripture readings. God has shown His love so evidently and so frequently for us, and yet many of us are still in denial of His love, and refused to believe in Him despite everything that we had seen Him doing, all the things that He had proven to us, and for all the blessings and wonders that He had provided for us. Many of us still lived in the state of sin, which is truly unbecoming of our identity as Christians.

Let us all therefore discern our path, that our lives may be more faithful and our actions, words and deeds be more aligned with God and His will. Let us all trust in the Lord and follow Him wholeheartedly, and believe in Him and His loving providence all the time. Let us no longer doubt Him or ignore His love, and embrace Him and His love with all of our hearts, with all of our strength. May the Lord be with us always, and may He bless us all in our every endeavours and good works. Amen.