Friday, 15 July 2022 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 12 : 1-8

At that time, it happened that, Jesus walking through the wheat fields on a Sabbath. His disciples were hungry; and they began to pick some heads of wheat, to crush and to eat the grain. When the Pharisees noticed this, they said to Jesus, “Look at Your disciples! They are doing what is prohibited on the Sabbath!”

Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did, when he and his men were hungry? He went into the House of God, and they ate the bread offered to God, though neither he nor his men had the right to eat it, but only the priests. And have you not read in the law, how, on the Sabbath, the priests in the Temple desecrate the Sabbath, yet they are not guilty?”

“I tell you, there is greater than the Temple here. If you really knew the meaning of the words : It is mercy I want, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent. Besides, the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Friday, 15 July 2022 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 38 : 10, 11, 12abcd, 16

Once I said : In the noontime of my life I go; I am sent to the land of the dead, for the rest of my years.

I said : Never again shall I see YHVH in the land of the living; never again shall I see the inhabitants of the earth.

Like a shepherd’s tent, my dwelling has been pulled down and thrown away; like a weaver, You rolled up my life and cut it from the loom.

O Lord, give me back my health and give me back my life!

Friday, 15 July 2022 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Isaiah 38 : 1-6, 21-22, 7-8

In those days Hezekiah fell mortally ill and the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, went to him with a message from YHVH, “Put your house in order for you shall die; you shall not live.”

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to YHVH, “Ah YHVH! Remember how I have walked before You in truth and wholeheartedly, and done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of YHVH came to Isaiah, “Go and tell Hezekiah what YHVH, the God of his father David, says : I have heard your prayer and I have seen your tears. See! I am adding fifteen years to your life and I will save you and this city from the power of the king of Assyria. I will defend it for My sake and for the sake of David My servant.”

Isaiah then said, “Bring a fig cake to rub on the ulcer and let Hezekiah be cured!” Hezekiah asked, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the House of YHVH?” Isaiah answered, “This shall be for you a sign from YHVH, that He will do what He has promised. See! I shall make the shadow descending on the stairway of Ahaz go back ten steps.”

So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had covered on the stairway.

Thursday, 14 July 2022 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Camillus de Lellis, Priest (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all reminded of the love and the consolation that God can give us, and we are reminded of all that God had done for us, His beloved people in the past. Through the Lord alone we can find true joy, peace and satisfaction, and there is nowhere else that we can gain this true happiness except that through God. That is why each and every one of us are called to turn towards Him, placing our trust and hope upon Him. All of us should spend the time and effort to come towards God and to communicate with Him, that we may know His will for us.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Isaiah in which the prophet spoke of the prayers and wishes that the people of Judah had made to the Lord, which the prophet gathered and offered to the Lord. The prophet Isaiah beseeched on behalf of the people the Lord’s providence and love, the peace that they desired and the happiness that they sought in Him, when they were distressed and troubled. Chronologically, at that time, the kingdom of Judah where the remnants of the faithful Israelites remained, was surrounded by powerful enemies, especially that of the rapidly growing Assyrian Empire.

The Assyrians then had just recently destroyed and conquered the northern kingdom of Israel, as well as other nations and countries surrounding Judah, and for the case of Israel, the Assyrians brought their inhabitants and people off into exile in faraway regions of Assyria and Mesopotamia. They therefore also threatened the existence of Judah, which certainly must have terrified many in that kingdom and country. But the Lord reassured His people and revealed His presence and guidance for them through His prophets, including that of the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah therefore helped the people to communicate with God, for them to know His will and all that He has promised to them, while at the same time, Isaiah also pleaded on behalf of the people regarding their predicament and troubles. The Lord certainly already knew all about the sufferings and trials that His people were suffering from, as He knew everything that happened in the world. However, the petitions and the pleading from the people would have moved Him to come to their rescue, as that showed just how the people were willing to follow the Lord and have faith in Him.

The Lord has called on us to come to Him and to seek His help and love, just as we heard in our Gospel passage today. The Lord Jesus told His disciples and the people the famous words, “Come to Me all you who labour and are heavily burdened and I will give you rest.” And to this, He also added on that His burden and weight were light, contextually as compared to the other burdens and weights that we will have to bear if we trust instead in other means and ways instead of putting our faith and trust in the Lord.

What this ought to remind us is first of all that, being Christians does not mean that we will have an easy and comfortable life. On the contrary, we may have to suffer and persevere through many challenges and trials as we navigate this world as faithful Christians, in each and every opportunities and moments throughout our lives. There may be a lot of obstacles, more for some, less for others, in our path in life as Christians. But in the end, following the path of the Lord will lead us to the ultimate victory and triumph with God, and in the end, the sacrifices and sufferings we may have to suffer will be well worth it.

Today, let us all discern and reflect on the examples that were presented to us by St. Camillus de Lellis, the saint whose feast the Church is commemorating on this day. St. Camillus de Lellis was a dedicated priest who spent a lot of his time and effort in caring for the well-being of his flock, all those who came to him seeking help, and he cared for them all, making sure that they gained access to physical and medical care and attention, as well as spiritual and mental guidance, to help them to persevere through the many challenges of the world. St. Camillus de Lellis spent a lot of time and effort for the poor, the sick and the needy, and helped them in various ways.

Not only that St. Camillus de Lellis spent a lot of effort to care for the sick, doing what he could to help those who were suffering, but eventually, he was inspired and touched through all of his experiences, to establish a religious order and congregation dedicated to the care of the people who are sick and suffering, which came to be known after their founder as the Camillians, also known officially as the Order of the Clerks Regular, Ministers of the Infirm. Through this congregation, St. Camillus de Lellis called and inspired many people to come and help in the many charitable efforts and works that the Camillians would later be well known for.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore do whatever we can to follow the Lord and to entrust ourselves to Him, knowing well that through Him alone there is hope and salvation, true joy and everlasting happiness. Let us all also be called and inspired to follow in the great examples of His saints, like that of St. Camillus de Lellis, in sharing the truth and knowledge of the love and compassion of God in how we interact and deal with one another, in showing genuine care and concern for our fellow brothers and sisters, now and always. May God bless us always, and may He continue to guide us and strengthen us through the challenges and trials we may face, in each and every moments of our lives. Amen.

Thursday, 14 July 2022 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Camillus de Lellis, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Matthew 11 : 28-30

At that time, Jesus said to the people, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest. For My yoke is easy; and My burden is light.”

Thursday, 14 July 2022 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Camillus de Lellis, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Psalm 101 : 13-14ab and 15, 16-18, 19-21

But You, o YHVH, You sit forever; Your Name endures through all generations. Arise, have mercy on Zion. For Your servants cherish her stones, and are moved to pity by her dust.

O YHVH, the nations will revere Your Name, and the kings of the earth Your glory, when YHVH will rebuild Zion and appear in all His splendour. For He will answer the prayer of the needy and will not despise their plea.

Let this be written for future ages, “YHVH will be praised by a people He will form.” From His holy height in heaven, YHVH has looked on the earth to hear the groaning of the prisoners, and free those condemned to death.

Thursday, 14 July 2022 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Camillus de Lellis, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Isaiah 26 : 7-9, 12, 16-19

Let the righteous walk in righteousness. You make smooth the path of the just, and we only seek the way of Your laws, o YHVH. Your Name and Your memory are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for You in the night; for You my spirit keeps vigil. When Your judgments come to earth, the world’s inhabitants learn to be upright.

YHVH, please give us peace; for all that we accomplish is Your work. For they sought You in distress, they cried out to You in the time of their punishment. As a woman in travail moans and writhes in pain, so are we now in Your presence. We conceived, we had labour pains, but we gave birth to the wind. We have not brought salvation to the land; the inhabitants of a new world have not been born.

Your dead will live! Their corpses will rise! Awake and sing, you who lie in the dust! For you will grow like plants drenched with the morning dew, and the earth will bring forth its dead spirits.