Monday, 10 January 2022 : 1st 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, we are called to reflect on the Lord’s calling for each and every one of us in life, and we are also called to trust in Him, in the path that He has shown us. God has always called on us to follow Him, just as He had called His disciples, to walk in His path and to do His will. Ultimately, it is up to us whether we want to respond to His call or not.

In our first reading today, we heard of the passage from the first Book of the prophet Samuel, in which we heard how the prophet Samuel, one of the greatest prophets in the history of salvation, came to be conceived and born. Samuel was born of his mother Hannah, who had been barren for many years despite a most loving marriage to her husband Elkanah. In addition, Hannah herself was often bullied by Peninnah, Elkanah’s other wife, who despised and was jealous of Elkanah’s love for Hannah.

Thus, today we heard how Hannah was distressed at this bullying by Peninnah, who often teased and harried her for having no child when Peninnah herself had many children. Hannah was truly distressed, and later on, she would come to the House of God, praying before Him and begging Him to listen to her pleas, which the Lord did. And as Hannah also offered her firstborn son to the service of God, hence, when Samuel was conceived and born, he was offered to the Lord and became His servant.

Samuel has been called by God in his youth and he answered the Lord’s call with great faith and vigour. He would go on to dedicate his whole life to the Lord, guiding the Israelites as a great Judge, the last in the line of Judges sent by the Lord to the people of Israel. And as a prophet, he also spoke God’s words and proclaimed His will before the people, leading them and guiding them to the right path, to help them find their way through the darkness of the world.

In our Gospel passage today, we then heard how the Lord called His first disciples, whom He called from the fishermen of the Lake of Galilee, namely the brothers St. Peter and St. Andrew, as well as St. James and St. John, the sons of Zebedee. In that occasion, the Lord told all of them to follow Him and be the fishers of men. They would be His instruments in reaching out to the people whom the Lord wanted to call to His presence.

In that calling, the Lord revealed His intentions and love for each and every one of us. As Christians, all of us are called to be the bearers of the Good News of God, which He has entrusted to us as the ones walking in the footsteps of the Apostles. The Lord has called us all to embrace His path and proclaim His truth at every opportunities that He has given us in our lives. We are also charged with the same mission that the Lord has entrusted to His Apostles, to do what He has called us to do, to be His witnesses to all the peoples of all the nations.

Today, we mark the beginning of the first half of the Ordinary Time. Yet, we must not misunderstand the meaning of this Ordinary Time, as it was by no means meant to be ordinary in any way. Instead, it is a time for us to do whatever we can in our daily lives and in our daily actions to be true and faithful witnesses of Our Lord’s truth and to be the ones to do His great and wonderful works. Through us and our exemplary lives, we can inspire so many more to come to believe in the Lord as well, and to follow Him and be saved, together with us.

Let us dedicate ourselves with a new heart and a new spirit, dedicating ourselves to serve the Lord. Let us all draw ever closer to Him and do our very best to bear witness to His truth and love, at each and every moments of our lives. May God bless us always, in our every good endeavours. Amen.

Monday, 10 January 2022 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 1 : 14-20

At that time, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee and began preaching the Good News of God. He said, “The time has come; the kingdom of God is at hand. Change your ways and believe the Good News.”

As Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fish for people.” At once, they abandoned their nets and followed Him.

Jesus went a little farther on, and saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee; they were in their boat mending their nets. Immediately, Jesus called them and they followed Him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men.

Monday, 10 January 2022 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 115 : 12-13, 14 and 17, 18-19

How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the Name of the Lord.

I will fulfil my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people. It is painful to the Lord to see the death of His faithful.

O Lord, I am Your servant, truly Your servant, Your handmaid’s son. You have freed me from my bonds. I will offer You a thanksgiving sacrifice; I will call on the Name of the Lord.

I will carry out my vows to the Lord in the presence of His people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, o Jerusalem.

Monday, 10 January 2022 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Samuel 1 : 1-8

There was a man from Ramathaim, in the hills of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah. He was the son of Tohu, son of Jeroham, of the clan of Zuph. He had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children but Hannah had none.

Every year Elkanah went to worship and to sacrifice to YHVH of Hosts at Shiloh. The priests there were the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phineas. Whenever Elkanah offered sacrifice, he gave portions to his wife, Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. To Hannah, however, he gave the more delightful portion because he loved her more, although she had no child. Yet Hannah’s rival used to tease her for being barren.

So it happened every year when they went to YHVH’s House, Peninnah irritated Hannah and she would weep and refuse to eat. Once Elkanah, her husband, asked her, “Hannah, why do you weep instead of eating? Why are you sad? Are you not better off with me than with many sons?”