Tuesday, 23 November 2021 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Clement I, Pope and Martyr, and St. Columban, Abbot (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs) or White (Abbots)

Luke 21 : 5-11

At that time, while some people were talking about the Temple, remarking that it was adorned with fine stonework and rich gifts, Jesus said to them, “The days will come when there shall not be left one stone upon another of all that you now admire; all will be torn down.” And they asked Him, “Master, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?”

Jesus said, “Take care not to be deceived, for many will come in My Name, saying, ‘I am He; the time is near at hand!’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and troubled times, do not be frightened; for all these things must happen first, even though the end is not so soon.”

And Jesus said, “Nations will fight each other and kingdom will oppose kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and plagues; in many places strange and terrifying signs from heaven will be seen.”

Tuesday, 23 November 2021 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Clement I, Pope and Martyr, and St. Columban, Abbot (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs) or White (Abbots)

Daniel 3 : 57, 58, 59, 60, 61

All the works of the Lord, bless Him, praise Him, exalt Him forever.

Angels of the Lord, bless Him, praise and glorify Him forever.

Heavens, bless the Lord; praise and exalt Him forever.

All the waters above the heavens, bless the Lord; praise and exalt Him forever.

All the powers of the Lord, bless the Lord; praise and exalt Him forever.

Tuesday, 23 November 2021 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Clement I, Pope and Martyr, and St. Columban, Abbot (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs) or White (Abbots)

Daniel 2 : 31-45

Daniel said to king Nebuchadnezzar, “In your vision you saw a statue – very large, very bright; terrible to look at. Its head was of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. As you watched, a rock cut from a mountain, but not by human hands, struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay; smashing them.”

“All at once the iron, clay, bronze, silver and gold crumbled into pieces, as fine as chaff on the threshing floor in summer. The wind swept them off and not a trace was left. But the rock that struck the statue became a great mountain that filled the whole earth.”

“That was the dream. Now the interpretation. You, o king, are king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given dominion, strength, power and glory, and into whose hand He has placed humankind, the beasts of the field and the birds of the air, making you ruler over them. You are that head of gold.”

“After you, another kingdom, inferior to yours, will rise. Then a third kingdom, of bronze, will rule the whole world. Last shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron; and just as iron breaks and crushes everything else, so will it break and smash all the others.”

“The partly-clay and partly-iron feet and toes mean that it will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of the iron, just as you saw iron mixed with clay. And as the toes were partly iron and partly clay, the kingdom will be partly strong and partly weak. Just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, the people will be a mixture but will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.”

“In the time of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom, never to be destroyed or delivered up to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and put an end to them; and it will endure forever. This is the meaning of your vision of a rock cut from a mountain not by human hands; the rock, which struck the statue and broke into pieces the iron, bronze, clay, silver and gold. The great God has shown the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation reliable.”

Monday, 22 November 2021 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures all of us are presented with the story of Daniel, the servant of God and his three friends, who were those brought from the land of Israel to the land of Babylon in their youth at the end of the kingdom of Judah. We heard how Daniel and his friends were brought into the court of the king of Babylon and eventually became his trusted advisers. Then in our Gospel passage today we heard the story of a poor widow who gave a very small offering from her poverty to the Temple treasury, and her example was praised by the Lord before His own disciples.

In that first reading we heard regarding Daniel and his friends, those four people were brought as exiles from their homeland to a far-off distant, strange and foreign land that they did not know at all. They mostly had nothing with them, uprooted from the land of their ancestors, likely separated or even having lost their own families as well. They had little or nothing with them, save their faith in God, that we all heard in how they remained firm in their faith despite the king’s steward persuading them to eat from the unclean food prepared for them.

Like the poor widow mentioned in the Gospel passage today, Daniel and his friends had little with them, a material poverty and lacking everything. Yet, they were full of faith and dedication to the Lord. The poor widow still chose to give to the Lord from whatever little that she had remained with her. In the same way, Daniel and his friends gave to the Lord from whatever little they had, humbled and humiliated they had been as a nation and people, and yet, they represented Israel’s remorse and desire to seek the Lord anew.

And this is the kind of faith that the Lord approved, brothers and sisters in Christ. He wants faith that is not just superficial and lacking in depth, but instead faith that is genuine and true, filled with commitment. That is what each and every one of us as Christians are called to do. We cannot be just paying lip service to the Lord and making empty proclamations of faith. Without real and genuine love for the Lord, then we are having an empty and meaningless faith that is not what is expected of us.

Today, all of us are therefore reminded to love the Lord wholeheartedly and to renew our commitment to Him, so that in our every actions and deeds, our words and interactions from now on, we will always strive to glorify God and serve Him to the best of our abilities. We are all called to give our time and effort, whenever we can, even when we ourselves have little to spare. If we truly love the Lord with all of our hearts, certainly we can give and offer Him everything we have without doubt and fear.

Today, we should also be inspired by yet another great role model and example that we can follow, in our Christian living. That is because today we mark the feast of the great and renowned St. Cecilia, the Patron of Church music and a holy virgin and martyr. St. Cecilia devoted herself thoroughly to the Lord and suffered greatly for that, and we should be inspired by her never-ending dedication and commitment to the Lord. And we should also do the same in our own lives as well.

St. Cecilia was a Roman noblewoman who had made vow of virginity before God. But she was forced by her family to marry a pagan nobleman named Valerian. She dedicated herself to God at her marriage and told her husband Valerian that he could not consummate their marriage as an Angel of the Lord was watching over her. When he asked for proof of the Angel, St. Cecilia told him to go to the Appian Way to see the Angel after being baptised by the Pope, and in the end, he did see the Angel after following St. Cecilia’s instructions.

In the end, it was told that St. Cecilia and her husband, as well as her husband’s brother were all martyred by the Roman prefect. They all suffered martyrdom, and it was indeed amazing how St. Cecilia’s faith was so great and her commitment to the Lord so noble that these inspired her husband and others to seek the Lord as well and to remain faithful to Him even through sufferings and trials, and even unto death and martyrdom.

They have given everything to God, and how about us, brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we able to follow in their footsteps and love the Lord with total commitment and devotion from now on if we have not yet done so? Let us discern carefully how we are going to live our lives as true and dedicated Christians in each and every moments of our living presence here in this world. May all of us draw ever closer to God and find our way to Him, following Him in the manner that Daniel and his friends, as well as St. Cecilia and many others had followed Him. Amen.