Sunday, 27 February 2022 : Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday as we gather together and listen to the words of the Lord in the Sacred Scriptures, we are all reminded how all of us have to be true to our faith in God, to be righteous and good in all things just as He has commanded and taught us to do in our lives. We have to be active in living our faith and not just paying lip service to the Lord only. We cannot be idle and ignorant of what the Lord had told us to do, through all the guidance He has shown us through His Church.

In our first reading today, we heard from the book of the prophet Sirach in which the Lord spoke to His people regarding how a person can be seen and witnessed from his or her actions and deeds, from their words and all their interactions, just as a tree’s qualities can be seen from its fruits among other examples. It was also mentioned how a potter usually tests his wares and products by testing them with fire, and all the hidden flaws will be revealed that way. Nothing can be hidden away and all can and may be revealed.

What does this mean, brothers and sisters in Christ? It means that we cannot fake our faith, or think that we can deceive others by our appearances if deep inside we do not truly have faith in the Lord. That was why, sadly, many people found it difficult to believe in God because many among us Christians do not even practice our faith and behave in the manner appropriate to our identity as those who believe in the Lord. That is exactly why many were scandalised by what they had seen in the attitudes of Christians, who behaved not according to what the Christian truth is all about.

This same sentiment is echoed by the Lord Himself as we heard it in our Gospel passage today, in which we heard the Lord speaking to His disciples regarding the matter how people should be truly faithful to God and be willing to reflect on their own attitudes first before they judge others or condemn others for being less faithful or worthy than they were, which was unfortunately a rather common situation among the people of Israel at the time, particularly among the members of the Pharisees and the elders and the chief priests.

They were the ones who always thought highly of themselves and conversely looked down on others, condemning others they deemed to be unworthy of God and His salvation like that of the tax collectors and prostitutes, or those who were possessed or were suffering from diseases and other afflictions. They thought of themselves as worthy and justified in their actions, in their exclusivity and refusal to engage in genuine dialogue with the Lord and His disciples, and instead preferring to hinder Him and putting obstacles in all the occasions and the places wherever He went to.

That was the example of what the Lord said as the blind leading the blind, and a man with a plank in his eye who chose to point out the speck in another’s eye, while ignoring the plank in his very own eye. Unfortunately, this was a common attitude not only just among the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, but also among us Christians as well. Many of us often think of ourselves as being better than others and are easily prejudiced and biased against those whom we perceived to be less than worthy of the Lord and His saving grace as well as love.

That is exactly how we fell to this same trap of self-righteousness, selfishness, self-aggrandisement and other traps that have often trapped many of us since the beginning of time. Ever since man first fell into sin, we have always struggled against the allures of worldly desires, of personal desires for pleasure and satisfaction, for self-fulfilment and happiness, often even at the cost of others around us. That was how mankind often brought about suffering to others around them, all because they thought first and foremost of themselves first, ignoring others and their needs.

And as long as our internal predisposition and orientation are not set right as we should have, then we will likely fall again and again into this path of sin, wickedness and evil, this path of selfishness and jealousy, of self-preservation and the desire for personal glory, satisfaction and attainment. This is why today, on this Sunday all of us are reminded by the words of the Lord Himself, that we have to begin making the efforts to nurture within us all, a true heart, mind and soul that are all attuned towards the Lord, filled with genuine faith and love for Him.

In our second reading today, we heard St. Paul in his Epistle and letter to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth, speaking about the matter of sin and death. He spoke of how sin is the sting of death, for through sin brought about by their disobedience and by succumbing to their desires, man had brought upon themselves the suffering and punishment of death. Sin is the weeds that the devil has sowed in our hearts, as we heard in one of the parables of the Lord, when the enemy came to sow the seeds of weeds among the seeds of good wheat.

Then St. Paul also spoke of how the Lord has triumphed over sin and death, and through Him, He has shown us this path of victory against sin and evil, against death and all the tyranny and bondage that they had over us all these while. Yet, it is us mankind who have often fell back again and again into sin, because we do not have that strong and genuine faith in the Lord, and we still have too many and too strong attachments to sin, to the many temptations and desires found in this world, to all the things that often distracted us in our journey towards the Lord.

First of all, as mentioned earlier, it is important that as Christians we have to realise that we must always be vigilant against our ego and pride, our desires and all the temptations present all around us. We have to be humble and to rid of ourselves all the excesses of our pride and ego, which often were the sources of our downfall. If we allow those things to mislead us and distract us from the path of God, then very easily we will end up following the wrong path in life, and falling ever deeper into the traps of sin, and eventually to eternal death and suffering.

If we do not want this to happen, then first of all we have to reorientate our lives from one that is centred on ourselves, our ego and desires, into new lives that are centred on God, on His truth and love. This is what the Lord wants from us, and this is what this Sunday’s Scripture readings had been intended to, in order to wake us up from our slumber in this world, and so that we may stir and do our best to seek the Lord with a renewed conviction, zeal and passion in our respective lives.

We have to realise that we are weak and imperfect, and we often need help in our journey through life. We cannot just solely depend on ourselves and our power alone, but instead we have to cooperate and work with God, allowing Him to lead us down the right path. And in order to do that, often we have to be in touch with Him and ourselves, knowing how sinful and flawed we have been. Otherwise, if we allow pride and ego to fill our minds and hearts, then in our self-righteousness, we will end up shutting the Lord out, and consequently, we will only end up getting more and more distant from one another.

That is why, brothers and sisters in Christ, instead of us comparing who amongst us are better, more worthy, more righteous, more pious or holy, let us all realise that we are all sinners in need of God’s healing and mercy. And the Lord is the only One Who can provide us our true happiness in life, and in Him we can put our full trust always. He has called us all to follow Him, and all that remains is for us to follow Him and trust Him wholeheartedly from now on. And as Christians, we should help and inspire one another in this journey of faith, supporting and strengthening one another instead of trying to outdo or compete with each other, nurturing in ourselves a heart filled with love for God and faith and trust in Him.

May the Lord, our most loving God, continue to bless us and guide us, and may He continue to watch over us, and help us to remain humble and committed to Him, that we may resist all the temptations of our ego and pride, our desires and the attachments we have to our worldly temptations and concerns. May God bless all of our good endeavours, works and efforts, in all things, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Sunday, 27 February 2022 : Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 6 : 39-45

At that time, Jesus offered this example, “Can a blind person lead another blind person? Surely both will fall into a ditch. A disciple is not above the master; but when fully trained, he will be like the master. So why do you pay attention to the speck in your brother’s eye, while you have a log in your eye, and are not conscious of it?”

“How can you say to your neighbour, ‘Friend, let me take this speck out of your eye,’ when you cannot remove the log in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the log from your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your neighbour’s eye.”

“No healthy tree bears bad fruit, no poor tree bears good fruit. And each tree is known by the fruit it bears : you do not gather figs from thorns, or grapes from brambles. Similarly, the good person draws good things from the good stored in his heart, and an evil person draws evil things from the evil stored in his heart. For the mouth speaks from the fullness of the heart.”

Sunday, 27 February 2022 : Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 15 : 54-58

When our perishable being puts on imperishable life, when our mortal being puts on immortality, the word of Scripture will be fulfilled : Death has been swallowed up by victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?

Sin is the sting of death, to kill, and the Law is what gives force to sin. But give thanks to God, Who gives us the victory, through Christ Jesus, our Lord. So then, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, and do not be moved. Improve constantly, in the work of the Lord, knowing that, with Him, your labour is not without fruit.

Sunday, 27 February 2022 : Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 91 : 2-3, 13-14, 15-16

It is good to give thanks to YHVH, to sing praise to Your Name, o Most High, to proclaim Your grace in the morning, to declare Your faithfulness at night.

The virtuous will flourish, like palm trees, they will thrive, like the cedars of Lebanon. Planted in the house of YHVH, they will prosper, in the courts of our God.

In old age, they will still bear fruit; they will stay fresh and green, to proclaim that YHVH is upright, “He is my Rock,” they say, “He never fails.”

Sunday, 27 February 2022 : Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Sirach 27 : 4-7

When a sieve is shaken the dirt falls through; so, too, the defects of a man are seen when he begins to speak. The kiln tests the potter’s handiwork; a man is tested by his conversation.

A well-tended tree is shown by its fruits, so a man’s feelings can be detected in what he says. Praise no one before he has spoken, since this is the acid test.

(Usus Antiquior) Quinquagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 27 February 2022 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Offertory

Psalm 118 : 12-13

Benedictus es, Domine, doce me justificationes Tuas : in labiis meis pronuntiavi omnia judicia oris Tui.

English translation

Blessed are You, o Lord. Teach me Your justifications. With my lips I have pronounced all the judgments of Your mouth.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Haec hostia, Domine, quaesumus, emundet nostra delicta : et, ad sacrificium celebrandum, subditorum Tibi corpora mentesque sanctificet. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

May this offering, we beseech You, o Lord, cleanse away our sins, sanctify us in soul and body, and fit us, Your servants, for the celebration of the sacrifice. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Communion

Psalm 77 : 29-30

Manducaverunt, et saturari sunt nimis, et desiderium eorum attulit eis Dominus : non sunt fraudati a desiderio suo.

English translation

They did eat, and were filled exceedingly, and the Lord gave them their desire. They were not defrauded of that which they craved.

Post-Communion Prayer

Quaesumus, omnipotens Deus : ut, qui caelestia alimenta percepimus, per haec contra omnia adversa muniamur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

We beseech You, o Almighty God, that we who have partaken of heavenly nourishment, may be fortified by it against all adversities. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Quinquagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 27 February 2022 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke

Luke 18 : 31-43

In illo tempore : Assumpsit Jesus duodecim, et ait illis : Ecce, ascendimus Jerosolymam, et consummabuntur omnia, quae scripta sunt per Prophetas de Filio Hominis. Tradetur enim Gentibus, et illudetur, et flagellabitur, et conspuetur : et postquam flagellaverint, occident eum, et tertia die resurget.

Et ipsi nihil horum intellexerunt, et erat verbum istud absconditum ab eis, et non intellegebant quae dicebantur. Factum est autem, cum appropinquaret Jericho, caecus quidam sedebat secus viam, mendicans. Et cum audiret turbam praetereuntem, interrogabat, quid hoc esset. Dixerunt autem ei, quod Jesus Nazarenus transiret.

Et clamavit, dicens : Jesu, Fili David, miserere mei. Et qui praeibant, increpabant eum, ut taceret. Ipse vero multo magis clamabat : Fili David, miserere mei. Stans autem Jesus, jussit illum adduci ad se. Et cum appropinquasset, interrogavit illum, dicens : Quid tibi vis faciam?

At ille dixit : Domine, ut videam. Et Jesus dixit illi : Respice, fides tua te salvum fecit. Et confestim vidit, et sequebatur illum, magnificans Deum. Et omnis plebs ut vidit, dedit laudem Deo.

English translation

At that time, Jesus took unto Him the Twelve, and said to them, “Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man. For He shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, scourged, and spat upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will put Him to death, and on the third day He shall rise again.”

And they understood none of these things, and this word was hidden from them, and they did not understand the things that were said. Now it came to pass, when He drew nigh to Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the wayside, begging. And when he heard the multitude passing by, he asked what this meant. And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.

And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And they who went before, rebuked him, that he should hold his peace. But he cried out much more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus standing, commanded him to be brought to Him, and when he came near, He asked him saying, “What will you want that I do to you?”

But he said, “Lord, that I may see.” And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight. Your faith had made you whole.” And immediately, he could see, and followed Him, glorifying God, and all the people when they saw it, gave praise to God.

(Usus Antiquior) Quinquagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 27 February 2022 : Gradual and Tract

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Gradual

Psalm 76 : 15, 16

Tu es Deus qui facis mirabilia solus : notam fecisti in gentibus virtutem Tuam.

Response : Liberasti in bracchio Tuo populum Tuum, filios Israel et Joseph.

English translation

You are the God Who alone does wonders. You have made Your power known among the nations.

Response : With Your arm You have redeemed Your people, the children of Israel and of Joseph.

Tract

Psalm 99 : 1-2

Jubilate Deo, omnis terra : servite Domino in laetitia.

Response : Intrate in conspectu Ejus in exsultatione : scitote, quod Dominus ipse est Deus.

Response : Ipse fecit nos, et non ipsi nos : nos autem populus Ejus, et oves pascuae Ejus.

English translation

Sing joyfully to God all the earth. Serve all of you the Lord with gladness.

Response : Come in before His presence with exceeding great joy. Know all of you that the Lord, He is God.

Response : He made us, and not we ourselves, but we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.

(Usus Antiquior) Quinquagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 27 February 2022 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Corinthios – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians

1 Corinthians 13 : 1-13

Fratres : Si linguis hominum loquar et Angelorum, caritatem autem non habeam, factus sum velut aes sonans aut cymbalum tinniens. Et si habuero prophetiam, et noverim mysteria omnia et omnem scientiam : et si habuero omnem fidem, ita ut montes transferam, caritatem autem non habuero, nihil sum.

Et si distribuero in cibos pauperum omnes facultates meas, et si tradidero corpus meum, ita ut ardeam, caritatem autem non habuero, nihil mihi prodest. Caritas patiens est, benigna est : caritas non aemulatur, non agit perperam, non inflatur, non est ambitiosa, non quaerit quae sua sunt, non irritatur, non cogitat malum, non gaudet super iniquitate, congaudet autem veritati : omnia suffert, omnia credit, omnia sperat, omnia sustinet.

Caritas numquam excidit : sive prophetiae evacuabuntur, sive linguae cessabunt, sive scientia destruetur. Ex parte enim cognoscimus, et ex parte prophetamus. Cum autem venerit quod perfectum est, evacuabitur quod ex parte est. Cum essem parvulus, loquebar ut parvulus, sapiebam ut parvulus, cogitabam ut parvulus. Quando autem factus sum vir, evacuavi quae erant parvuli.

Videmus nunc per speculum in aenigmate : tunc autem facie ad faciem. Nunc cognosco ex parte : tunc autem cognoscam, sicut et cognitus sum. Nunc autem manent fides, spes, caritas, tria haec : major autem horum est caritas.

English translation

Brethren, if I speak with the tongues of men, and of Angels, and does not have charity, I become like a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy, and know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and does not have charity, I am nothing.

And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burnt, and does not have charity, it does not profit me anything.

Charity is patient, is kind, charity does not envy, it does not deal perversely, it is not puffed up, it is not ambitious, it does not seek her own, it is not provoked to anger, it does not think any evil, it does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoiced in the truth, bears all things, believes in all things, hopes in all things, and endures all things.

Charity never falls away, whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease or knowledge shall be destroyed. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.

We see now through a glass in a dark manner, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain faith, hope and charity. These three, but the greatest of these is charity.

(Usus Antiquior) Quinquagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 27 February 2022 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Introit

Psalm 30 : 3-4 and 2

Esto mihi in Deum protectorem, et in locum refugii, ut salvum me facias : quoniam firmamentum meum et refugium meum es Tu : et propter Nomen Tuum dux mihi eris, et enutries me.

In Te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in aeternum : in justitia Tua libera me et eripe me.

Response : Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Be You, unto me a God, a Protector, and a place of refuge, to save me. For You are my strength, and my refuge, and for Your Name’s sake You will be my Leader and will nourish me.

In You, o Lord, have I hoped, let me never be confounded. Deliver me in Your justice, and set me free.

Response : Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Collect

Preces nostras, quaesumus, Domine, clementer exaudi : atque, a peccatorum vinculis absolutos, ab omni nos adversitate custodi. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Of Your clemency hearken to our prayers, o Lord, loosen us from the bonds of sin, and keep us from all adversity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.