Saturday, 9 July 2022 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Augustine Zhao Rong, Priest and Martyr, and Companions, Martyrs (Gospel Reading)

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

Matthew 10 : 24-33

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “A student is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. A student should be content to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If the head of the household has been called Beelzebul, how much more, those of his household! So, do not be afraid of them!”

“There is nothing covered that will not be uncovered. There is nothing hidden that will not be made known. What I am telling you in the dark, you must speak in the light. What you hear in private, proclaim from the housetops. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but have no power to kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of Him Who can destroy both body and soul in hell.”

“For a few cents you can buy two sparrows. Yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father knowing. As for you, every hair of your head has been counted. Do not be afraid : you are worth more than many sparrows! Whoever acknowledges Me before others, I will acknowledge before My Father in heaven. Whoever rejects Me before others, I will reject before My Father in heaven.”

Saturday, 9 July 2022 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Augustine Zhao Rong, Priest and Martyr, and Companions, Martyrs (Psalm)

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

Psalm 92 : 1ab, 1c-2, 5

YHVH reigns, robed in majesty; YHVH is girded with strength.

The world now, is firm; it cannot be moved. Your throne stands from long ago, o YHVH; from all eternity You are.

Your decrees can be trusted; holiness dwells in Your House, day after day, without end, o YHVH.

Saturday, 9 July 2022 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Augustine Zhao Rong, Priest and Martyr, and Companions, Martyrs (First Reading)

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

Isaiah 6 : 1-8

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted; the train of His robe filled the Temple. Above Him were Seraphs, each with six wings : two to cover the face, two to cover the feet, and two to fly with. They were calling to one another : “Holy, Holy, Holy is YHVH Sabaoth. All the earth is filled with His glory!”

At the sound of their voices the foundations of the threshold shook and the Temple was filled with smoke. I said, “Poor me! I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips living among a people of unclean lips, and yet I have seen the King, YHVH Sabaoth.”

Then one of the Seraphs flew to me; in his hands was a live coal which he had taken with tongs from the Altar. He touched my mouth with it and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin is forgiven.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us?”

I answered, “Here I am. Send me!”

Friday, 8 July 2022 : 14th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we all listened to the words of the Lord in the Scriptures, in which we are reminded of just how full of love the Lord is for each and every one of us. He has always loved us, patiently, reaching out to us sinners, even though we have consistently and persistently refused His efforts and kindness, all of the compassion that He has shown to us. God still called us, reached out to us, and gave us the opportunities to repent and to turn away from our sins because in the end, His love for us is still greater than His disgust for our sins and wickedness.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Hosea the words of the Lord calling on all the Israelites to return to Him, calling on them to embrace once again His love and receive from Him the assurance of blessings and graces that had been lost by their disobedience and sins. Back then, the prophet Hosea was ministering to a people and a kingdom rampant with many sinful actions, disobedient and wicked attitudes in the people’s way of life, in disregarding the Law and the commandments, in their persecution of the prophets and the messengers sent to remind them of their errors and mistakes.

The prophet Hosea brought the people the words of the Lord’s warning to them on what they would soon endure and suffer from as a consequence of their repeated disobedience and evils, all that they had done to anger the Lord and in rejecting His patient and constant outreach to seek reconciliation between them and Himself. They would be defeated and humiliated, crushed and broken, and they would be brought away in exile to the far-off regions by their enemies, because they had disobeyed and abandoned the Lord. And yet, the Lord still loved them and wanted them all to know that He still desired for them to be reconciled with Him.

But this required them all to turn back towards the Lord with faith, to rediscover the love which they ought to have for Him, the One Who had truly loved them very much and Who had dedicated Himself to care for this race of mankind, despite all of their infidelities and stubborn attitudes. The Lord patiently called on the people to embrace His kindness, His willingness to heal them from their troubles and pains, to enter into the new life and path that He is calling them to follow, and He gave them all many opportunities and means to reach Him, sending His messengers and servants to help and guide them along the way.

That was what the Lord Himself told His disciples to do in our Gospel passage today, as He sent them forth to the world, in His own words, that He was sending them like ‘sheep among wolves’, that is to go to the people whom He willed to call, but who were often still stubborn to resist the call and those who were still attached to their sinful way of life. The Lord told His disciples to do His will and presented to them the reality of being His disciples and missionaries, that they would likely have to face rejection and hardships, even arrest and martyrdom in the process, in proclaiming the truth and love of God among His people.

However, at the same time, the Lord also reassured His disciples that He was not leaving them all alone in this. He would still be with them and He would guide them through their journey, and gave them the strength, the Wisdom and the means to do their mission, through the gifts of the Holy Spirit and more. The Lord has shown His great love and compassion to us, and He reminds us all that each and every one of us are called to a new life as Christian believers, to believe wholeheartedly in His truth and love. As Christians, we are all called to live our lives obeying the laws and commandments that God had given us, and to follow His path of righteousness and virtue.

Then, all of us as Christians are also partakers of the same mission which the Lord has entrusted to all of His disciples and followers. Through our faith, we are all called to live our lives with devotion, and to commit ourselves to be part of the Church’s mission and outreach to our various communities. And we do not have to think hard or to look far in our mission outreach, or to do great and marvellous things. In fact, it is by living our lives well and in accordance with our Christian faith that we shall be doing the will of God and be part of this missionary journey as one Church. Often, it is in doing all the small little things we can in each and every moments of our lives, in our small daily actions that we can inspire others and more people all around us to believe in God as well, through us and our own good examples.

May the Lord continue to inspire and strengthen us all each day, so that by our commitment, hard works and contributions, we may always be exemplary in faith, and we may grow ever closer to God, being more dedicated and faithful as Christians, at all times. May God be with us always and bless our every good works and endeavours, for His greater glory, now and always. Amen.