Wednesday, 16 February 2022 : 6th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 8 : 22-26

At that time, when Jesus and His disciples came to Bethsaida, He was asked to touch a blind man who was brought to Him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When He had put spittle on his eyes and laid His hands upon him, He asked, “Can you see anything?”

The man, who was beginning to see, replied, “I see people! They look like trees, but they move around.” Then Jesus laid His hands on his eyes again and the man could see perfectly. His sight was restored and he could see everything clearly. Then Jesus sent him home, saying, “Do not return to the village.”

Wednesday, 16 February 2022 : 6th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 14 : 2-3ab, 3cd-4ab, 5

Those who walk blamelessly and do what is right, who speak truth from their heart and control their words, who do no harm to their neighbours.

Those who cast no discredit on their companions, who look down on evildoers but highly esteem God’s servants; who, at all costs, stand by a pledged word.

Those who do not lend money at interest and refuse a bribe against the innocent. Do this, and you will not be shaken.

Wednesday, 16 February 2022 : 6th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

James 1 : 19-27

My beloved, be quick to hear but slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not fulfil the justice of God. So get rid of any filth, and reject the prevailing evil, and welcome the word that has been planted in you, and has the power to save you.

Be doers of the word, and not just hearers, lest you deceive yourselves. The hearer, who does not become a doer, is like that one, who looked at himself in the mirror; he looked, and then promptly forgot what he was like. But those who fix their gaze on the perfect law of freedom, and hold onto it, not listening and then forgetting, but acting on it, will find blessing on their deeds.

Those who think they are religious, but do not restrain their tongue, deceive themselves, and their religion is in vain. In the sight of God, our Father, pure and blameless religion lies in helping the orphans, and widows in their need, and keeping oneself from the world’s corruption.

Tuesday, 15 February 2022 : 6th 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 all called to believe in the truth of God and to trust in Him. We should not be deceived by falsehoods and by the many distractions present all around us. We have to follow the Lord faithfully and remember everything that He had done for us. God has never abandoned us and left us alone, and He has always reached out to us, wanting us to be reconciled and reunited with Him, and therefore, to this extent, He has given us His salvation through Jesus Christ, His beloved Son.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Epistle of St. James the Apostle in which we heard of the Apostle’s reminder to all of us how each and every one of us can easily be swayed and tempted by our desires, by the many worldly concerns and thoughts, all the distractions that can lead us down the wrong path in life. It was not God Who tempted us because in truth it was us who gave ourselves to the temptations present all around us. We allow the allures of the world and its pleasures to delude us and to trick us down the wrong path.

If only that we have more faith in the Lord and trust in Him more, then it will be less likely for us to fall down this path. Unfortunately we often do not have enough faith in Him and we are still filled with doubt much as how the disciples of the Lord could not fully believe in all that they had seen and heard themselves in the miracles and signs that the Lord had performed before people. In this case, it refers to the miraculous feeding of the five thousand and then the other one when four thousand were fed with merely small amounts of bread. The Lord had done all that openly, and yet even His disciples were still slow to grasp its true meaning.

They must indeed have been amazed and probably even stunned by what they had observed and seen. Such deeds had not happened before in the past and it would not have been possible for it to be done by man alone. Even the prophets had not performed miracles to such a degree, and there was the Lord showing the truth about what He has constantly and gradually revealed to His people, in all that He had said and done. Yet, it was the stubbornness and the lack of genuine faith and trust in their hearts that had always constantly been the greatest barrier to them having a genuine faith in Him, preventing them from finding their path towards Him.

That was why, He reminded His disciples yet again about what they had seen, and reminding them that what they were following and committing themselves to were not just merely works of man alone. It was God’s works done in this world through Christ, His Son, through Whom God made Himself tangible and approachable by all of us. No longer that He spoke through messengers and intermediaries, for through Christ, His Son, He has come in the flesh, revealing the perfect manifestation of God’s enduring and infinite love for each and every one of us, His desire to care for us and to be reunited with us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s Scripture readings serve as a reminder for each one of us just how much more we as Christians need to trust in the Lord. Too often we trust in our own power, strength and judgment that we ignored God and His guidance, thinking that we can do everything by ourselves. And many of us have lukewarm faith in the Lord, one not based on true and genuine love for God, but rather, for appearances alone. Many of us also did not take our Christian faith seriously and even took it for granted, remaining idle and not doing as what we have been expected to do as Christians.

Today, let us all spend some time to reflect on our calling as Christians, to be true and courageous witnesses of the Lord and His truth. However, before we can do so, we have to have genuine trust in the Lord first, and our relationship with Him should not be just one of formality only. Instead, we have to nurture a growing and living relationship with God, which we can do first of all by spending more time with God through prayer and by spending quality time in communicating with Him, something that for many of us often have become an afterthought and been forgotten.

May the Lord continue to help us and guide us in our journey of faith that hopefully we may continue to grow in faith in each and every moments of our lives. May He strengthen our resolve to resist the temptations of the world and to be strong amidst the challenges and trials we may encounter throughout our journey of faith towards the Lord. May God bless us all in all things, now and always, forevermore. Amen.