Saturday, 6 November 2021 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Psalm 144 : 2-3, 4-5, 10-11

I will praise You, day after day; and exalt Your Name forever. Great is YHVH, most worthy of praise; and His deeds are beyond measure.

Parents commend Your works to their children and tell them Your feats. They proclaim the splendour of Your majesty and recall Your wondrous works.

All Your works will give You thanks; all Your saints, o YHVH, will praise You. They will tell of the glory of Your kingdom; and speak of Your power.

Saturday, 6 November 2021 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Romans 16 : 3-9, 16, 22-27

Greetings to Prisca and Aquilas, my helpers in Christ Jesus. To save my life, they risked theirs; I am very grateful to them, as are all the churches of the pagan nations. Greetings also to the church that meets in their house. Greetings to my dear Epaenetus, the first in the province of Asia to believe in Christ. Greet Mary, who worked so much for you.

Greetings to Andronicus and Junias, my relatives and comparisons in prison; they are well known Apostles and served Christ before I did. Give greetings to Ampliatus, whom I love so much in the Lord. Greetings to Urbanus, our fellow worker, and to my dear Stachys. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send their greetings.

I, Tertius, the writer of this letter, send you greetings in the Lord. Greetings from Gaius, who has given me lodging and in whose house the church meets. Greetings from Erastus, treasurer of the city, and from our brother Quartus. Glory be to God! He is able to give you strength, according to the Good News I proclaim, announcing Christ Jesus.

Now is revealed the mysterious plan, kept hidden for long ages in the past. By the will of the eternal God it is brought to light, through the prophetic books, and all nations shall believe the faith proclaimed to them. Glory to God, Who alone is wise, through Christ Jesus, forever! Amen.

Friday, 5 November 2021 : 31st 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 and reminded to be prudent in how each and every one of us live our lives so that we do not end up falling into the temptations of pride and sin. We are called to remember that we live in this world to serve the Lord and not to serve our own selfish desires and greed, not for our own gain and benefits, but rather for the greater glory of God.

In our first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in Rome, we heard of the Apostle speaking to them regarding the matter of serving God and all that he had done to glorify the Lord and to proclaim His truth among the nations. In that occasion, St. Paul told all of the people that everything that he had done, all the great deeds and hard works he had made and contributed, were all done for the greater glory of God, and when he boasted, he boasted not about himself or his own personal achievements. Rather, everything were done for the greater glory of God.

That was how St. Paul dedicated himself, his life and his efforts to serve the people of God, to bring more and more to follow the Lord and to know His truth, by going from place to place and reminding the people of the Lord’s truth and salvation. He always strived to seek the salvation of many, both Jews and Gentiles alike, reaching out to them and speaking courageously despite the challenges and trials that he had to go through, the opposition and persecution that he had to endure in the process, all those things he did not do for himself, but for God’s glory.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord speaking to His disciples using the parable of the dishonest steward, which may sound rather strange to us if we do not understand the context of what we have been hearing, and what actually the Lord intended to tell the people and His disciples using that parable. In that parable, we heard the Lord relating the story of a dishonest steward who was about to be dismissed from service because of his alleged mismanagement of his master’s property.

That dishonest steward is a representation of those who have been wicked and unfaithful, a rebuke and criticism which the Lord actually made against the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law in an indirect manner, because they had acted in the same way as that dishonest steward. How is that so? That is because the dishonest steward who had been dishonest in his dealings and in his mismanagement, chose to commit even more vices and selfish deeds to preserve himself. In doing what he had done, he in fact had proven that what was alleged about him regarding his mismanagement was likely to be true.

The dishonest steward acted in order to enrich and take care of himself, and to advance his own desires and cause, and as he was about to be dismissed, he also thought about himself first and thinking how he could secure for himself a good life even after he was dismissed. That is exactly what happened when we allow ourselves to be misguided and led by our desires, our ego and our greed. All those things lead us down the slippery path of disobedience and sin, and just as the dishonest steward, we may end up doing more and more dishonest, unjust and evil actions to satisfy ourselves and our desires.

As Christians, all of us are reminded to distance ourselves from this attitude and way of life. Worldly things and matters like money and possessions by themselves are not inherently evil, but it is our desire and attachment to them which led us to disobey the Lord and to fall into the path of evil. As such, like St. Paul mentioned in his Epistle and as we have heard regarding his actions and works, first and foremost we have to seek the glory of God and focus ourselves on Him rather than to focus our attention on ourselves. We must strive not to indulge our ego and desires.

Let us all help one another in this, brothers and sisters in Christ, that we will not end up falling into the temptations and the allures of the evil one, in all of his many efforts to lead us to our downfall. Let us all help one another in focusing our attention and effort on the Lord. May the Lord continue to guide us and strengthen us in our journey of faith, that we may remain faithful through life, now and always. Amen.

Friday, 5 November 2021 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 16 : 1-8

At that time, Jesus told His disciples, “There was a rich man, whose steward was reported to him because of fraudulent service. He summoned the steward and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? I want you to render an account of your service, for it is about to be terminated.'”

“The steward thought to himself, ‘What am I to do now? My master will surely dismiss me. I am not strong enough to do hard work, and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I will do : I must make sure that when I am dismissed, there will be people will welcome me into their homes.'”

“So he called his master’s debtors, one by one. He asked the first debtor, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ The reply was, ‘A hundred jars of oil.’ The steward said, ‘Here is your bill. Sit down quickly and write fifty.’ To the second debtor he put the same question, ‘How much do you owe?’ The answer was, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ Then the steward said, ‘Take your bill and write eighty.'”

“The master commended the dishonest steward for his astuteness : for the people of this world are more astute, in dealing with their own kind, than are the people of light.”

Friday, 5 November 2021 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 97 : 1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4

Sing to YHVH a new song, for He has done wonders; His right hand, His holy arm, has won victory for Him.

YHVH has shown His salvation, revealing His justice to the nations. He has not forgotten His love, nor His faithfulness to Israel.

The farthest ends of the earth all have seen God’s saving power. All you, lands, make a joyful noise to YHVH, break into song and sing praise.

Friday, 5 November 2021 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Romans 15 : 14-21

As for me, brothers and sisters, I am convinced, that you have goodwill, knowledge, and the capacity to advise each other; nevertheless, I have written boldly in some parts of this letter, to remind you of what you already know. I do this, according to the grace God has given to me, when I was sent to the pagan nations. I dedicated myself to the service of the Good News of God, as a minister of Christ Jesus, in order to present the non-Jews to God, as an agreeable offering, consecrated by the Holy Spirit. This service of God is, for me, a cause of pride, in Christ Jesus.

Of course, I would not dare to speak of other things, but what Christ, Himself, has done, through me, my words and my works, with miracles and signs, by the power of the Holy Spirit – so, that, non-Jews may obey the faith. In this way, I have extended the Good News to all parts, from Jerusalem to Illyricum.

I have been very careful, however, and I am proud of this, not to preach in places where Christ is already known, and not to build upon foundations laid by others. Let it be as Scripture says : Those not told about Him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.