Wednesday, 27 July 2022 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 13 : 44-46

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, hidden in a field. The one who finds it, buries it again; and so happy is he, that he goes and sells everything he has, in order to buy that field.”

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a trader, who is looking for fine pearls. Once he has found a pearl of exceptional quality, he goes away, sells everything he has and buys it.”

Wednesday, 27 July 2022 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 58 : 2-3, 4-5a, 10-11, 17, 18

Deliver me from my enemies, o God, from those who rise up against me. Deliver me from evildoers; rescue me from the bloodthirsty.

Look, they lie in wait for my life; the mighty conspiring against me, for no fault of mine, o YHVH. I have done them no wrong; yet, they prepare to attack me.

O my Strength, I look up, to You; for You, o God, are my Fortress. My loving God will come to help me and let me see my enemies fall.

But I will sing of Your might; in the morning I will sing of Your love. For You have been a Fortress to me, a Refuge in time of distress.

O my Strength, I will sing praises to You; for You, o God, are my Stronghold; You are a loving God.

Wednesday, 27 July 2022 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Jeremiah 15 : 10, 16-21

Woe is me, Mother, why did you bring me to the light? A man of dissension throughout the land! I owe them nothing, neither do they owe me, yet they all curse me!

I devoured Your words when they came. They were my happiness and I felt full of joy when You made Your Name rest on me. I never associate with worldly people, amusing myself with scoffers! When Your hand was upon me I stood apart and You filled me with Your anger. Why is there no end to my sorrow or healing for my wound? Why do You deceive me, and why does my spring suddenly dry up?

Then YHVH spoke to me, “If you return I will take you back and you will serve Me again. Draw the gold from the dross and you will be as My own mouth. You must draw them to you and not to go over to them. I will make you a fortress and a wall of bronze facing them; if they fight against you they will not overcome you; I am with you to free you and save you. I will redeem you from the wicked and free you from the hands of tyrants.”

Tuesday, 26 July 2022 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Joachim and St. Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the words of the Lord speaking to us through the passages of the Sacred Scriptures, regarding the matter of God’s love for each one of us, and how each one of us are also called to lead a life that is both holy and worthy of God. We are constantly being reminded to turn towards God with faith, sin no more and to do no more what is wicked and unbecoming of our status as Christians. We are all called to be holy just as our Lord and God is holy, and to be righteous and just in the way that He has shown and taught us.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Jeremiah, of the prayer which the prophet Jeremiah made on behalf of the people of God in Judah, which began with the Lord’s words mentioning how the Lord was sorrowful of the sufferings and the plight endured by His people in Jerusalem and Judah. They had endured a lot of trials and tribulations because of their own mistakes and disobedience against God, in turning towards the pagan gods and idols instead of the Lord, following the wicked ways of the world rather than turning back towards the Law and the commandments of God.

The Lord has sent His prophets again and again to help set His people on the right path and to remind them of what they had to do as His disciples and followers, as His flock and His people. However, the people had often hardened their hearts and minds, closed themselves off from the Lord and disobeyed Him time and again, and they often persecuted those prophets and messengers who had been sent to remind and guide them in the right paths. Yet, God was still ever patient in reaching out to them, because ultimately should they remain in sin, they would be lost to Him forever.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard the continuation of the parable which the Lord told His disciples, the parable of the wheat and the weeds, in which an enemy had spread weeds among the wheat crops in a field. The weeds cannot be removed from the wheat without killing the wheat crops themselves, and they also compete with the wheat crops for nutrients, water, space and more. The owner of the field, who represents the Lord our God, let both to grow together until the day of the harvest, when all the wheat were collected into the barns while the weeds are finally removed, burnt and destroyed.

This is a reminder to all of us, God’s beloved people that if we continue to live our lives in the manner of the wicked and if we remain in the state of sin, then we are like weeds growing in the field of the Lord, that is this world. On the other hand, if we are faithful to the Lord, then we are like the wheat growing wonderfully and fruitfully in the field of the Lord. And we have that choice whether we want to be like the wheat or to be like the weeds. God has given us all plenty of time and opportunities, the choices and the means for us to embrace Him, His love, His truth and His path. If only that we have the courage and the willingness to commit ourselves to that path towards His salvation.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are all reminded that while we still have the time and opportunity to do so, we should do our best to turn towards the Lord with contrite hearts and minds, seeking Him with all our hearts and with all our might and strength, and we should do our best to glorify God by our lives and actions from now on. We are all called to be exemplary in faith and to be role models for one another so that we can be true disciples of the Lord and truly are the healthy and fruitful wheat of the Lord’s field. That is our calling as Christians today, and we should do better by looking upon the examples of the great saints, our holy predecessors.

Today, we mark the Feast of the grandparents of the Lord, St. Joachim and St. Anne, the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. Although there was not much information that Apostolic tradition had on them, but as we saw how Mary turned out to be, as a truly devoted and dedicated woman, and as a committed servant of God, her parents must have prepared and guided her well. St. Joachim and St. Anne were remembered as loving parents who loved their daughter Mary and who taught her well in obeying God and in the ways of the world. They were Mary’s role models in life, and they should be ours too.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore seek the Lord with renewed faith and commitment, and do our best to live our lives in a true Christian manner, distancing ourselves from sin and wickedness, and being faithful in all things that we may become inspiration and role models for one another. May St. Joachim and St. Anne, their faith and dedication to God, their love for their daughter Mary, the Mother of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, continue to inspire us always. Amen.