Wednesday, 8 September 2021 : Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 1 : 1-16, 18-23

This is the account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, Son of David, Son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (their mother was Tamar), Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron of Aram. Aram was the father of Aminadab, Aminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon.

Salmon was the father of Boaz. His mother was Rahab. Boaz was the father of Obed. His mother was Ruth. Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David, the king. David was the father of Solomon. His mother had been Uriah’s wife. Solomon was the father of Rehoboam. Then came the kings : Abijah, Asaph, Jehoshaphat, Joram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah.

Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the deportation to Babylon. After the deportation to Babylon, Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel and Salathiel of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud, Abiud of Eliakim, and Eliakim of Azor. Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, and Akim the father of Eliud. Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar of Matthan, and Matthan of Jacob.

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and from her came Jesus Who is called the Christ – the Messiah. This is how Jesus Christ was born : Mary His mother had been given to Joseph in marriage, but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her husband, made plans to divorce her in all secrecy. He was an upright man, and in no way did he want to discredit her.

While he was pondering over this, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and now she will bear a Son. You shall call Him ‘Jesus’ for He will save His people from their sins.”

All this happened in order to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet : The Virgin will conceive and bear a Son, and He will be called Emmanuel, which means God-with-us.

Alternative reading (shorter version)

Matthew 1 : 18-23

This is how Jesus Christ was born : Mary His mother had been given to Joseph in marriage, but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her husband, made plans to divorce her in all secrecy. He was an upright man, and in no way did he want to discredit her.

While he was pondering over this, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She has conceived by the Holy Spirit, and now she will bear a Son. You shall call Him ‘Jesus’ for He will save His people from their sins.”

All this happened in order to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet : The Virgin will conceive and bear a Son, and He will be called Emmanuel, which means God-with-us.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021 : Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 12 : 6ab, 6cd

But I put my trust in Your unfailing love, my heart will rejoice on seeing Your salvation.

I will sing to YHVH, for He has been good to me!

Wednesday, 8 September 2021 : Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Micah 5 : 1-4a

But you, Bethlehem Ephrata, so small that you are hardly named among the clans of Judah; from you shall I raise the One Who is to rule over Israel. For He comes forth from of old, from the ancient times.

YHVH, therefore, will abandon Israel until such time as she, who is to give birth, has given birth. Then the rest of His deported brothers will return to the people of Israel. He will stand, and shepherd His flock with the strength of YHVH, in the glorious Name of YHVH, His God.

They will live safely, while He wins renown to the ends of the earth. He shall be peace.

Alternative reading

Romans 8 : 28-30

We know that in everything, God works for the good of those who love Him, whom He has called, according to His plan. Those whom He knew beforehand, He has also predestined, to be like His Son, similar to Him, so, that, He may be the Firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

And so, those whom God predestined, He called, and those whom He called, He makes righteous, and to those whom He makes righteous, He will give His glory.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021 : 23rd 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 Scriptures, we are all called to follow the Lord wholeheartedly, to be truly sincere in our faith and dedicate ourselves to glorify the Lord by our own actions and deeds, be it great or small. We have to be sincere in following the Lord, in the manner of His Apostles and the many other disciples, the countless saints and martyrs who had devoted themselves and given their lives in the service of the Lord.

In our first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in the city of Colossae, the Apostle spoke about the attitude that Christians, as God’s people, as His chosen ones and those who have answered His call. And because of that, it is something that we have to embrace wholeheartedly, in welcoming God into our hearts and walking down the path that He has prepared for us and shown us. As God’s beloved people, we should dedicate ourselves thoroughly, and through baptism, as St. Paul mentioned, we have been made partakers of this New Covenant that God has made with all of us.

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, we have been made parts of the Lord’s promise, to follow Him and to be transformed through Him, that by embracing Him, we may be purified from our sinful ways, from the corruption of our wickedness and evils, to be, as St. Paul said, ‘circumcised’ which means that we have received that spiritual transformation, remade and reforged in the faith, and transformed from a people of darkness into the people of the true light, the Light of Christ.

The Lord has called us all to follow Him, as we heard in our Gospel passage today on how He has called those whom He had chosen to be His disciples, and twelve among whom He has chosen to be the members of His inner circle, of which eleven of them would become the members of the Twelve Apostles. The Lord called on all those Apostles to be His chief and principal disciples, to be the ones sent into the world in order to deliver the truth and the Good News of the Lord to everyone.

They would go on to embark on many journeys all around the world, proclaiming the truth of God and standing up courageously for their faith in God. They gave their all to the Lord and committed themselves wholeheartedly to the missions entrusted to them. Many people and communities came to believe in God through them, and many souls were saved by their labours and hard works, their dedication and love for God and for their fellow men.

And all of us, as Christians, we are all called to follow in the examples of the Holy Apostles and the disciples of the Lord. We may think that we are unworthy and incapable of doing so, but in truth, those same Apostles were themselves called from humble and insignificant, ordinary origins, and what matters is that they allowed the Lord to lead them, to strengthen them and to guide them in their path and faith. And whenever they stumbled, they prayed to the Lord for guidance and help.

Brothers and sisters, as we inherit the many great works that the Apostles and the many other disciples of the Lord had initiated and done, the Lord has called on all of us to put our trust in Him and to allow Him to change and transform us all through His love and truth. But are we all willing to welcome Him? Are we all willing to accept the crosses that we are going to bear, the sufferings and trials that we may have to bear in our respective journey of faith?

Let us discern this carefully, and consider what each and every one of us can do to be part of the Church, as active and contributing members, to commit and dedicate ourselves just in the same way that the Apostles and disciples of the Lord had committed their lives and efforts for the greater glory of God. Let us grow to be ever more faithful in all things, and let us inspire one another to do the same, in being active and evangelising Christians. Amen.