Sunday, 14 August 2022 : Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this Sunday after we have heard all of our readings and passages from the Sacred Scriptures, it is clear that the message the Lord has given us through His Church is that, all of us as Christians must remember that being the followers of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, is something that is not trivial and which will often require from us time, effort, commitment and even the willingness to suffer and to endure persecution in the midst of us living our lives with faith. Persecution has been part and parcel of the lives of many Christians from the very beginning, and that is true even right to this very day.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Jeremiah detailing to us what happened to the prophet as he was almost brought to death’s door as his many enemies, the officials of the kingdom of Judah, rose up against him and demanded the king to punish him to death for all that he had said and done in delivering the words of God’s truth, but which his enemies used as accusations to persecute him and to remove him, using accusations such as him being a traitor to the nation and to the people for his works, so that he would be put to death. It was then that the king told the men that they could do all they wanted to Jeremiah.

Contextually, Jeremiah brought God’s words to the remnants of Judah, who was then rebelling against the rule of the king of Babylon. Jeremiah warned the people of the impending destruction of Judah and Jerusalem, the city and its Temple, and how many of them would be brought into exile far away from their ancestral lands. All those things were due to the people’s own disobedience against God, their stubbornness in refusing to listen to Him and to the prophets and messengers whom God had sent to them to remind them of their obligation to follow the Law. They had closed their hearts and minds from God and refused to listen to His call.

But Jeremiah had help from God, as He sent some who were sympathetic to Jeremiah and his cause, and helped him to get out from the cistern in which the enemies of Jeremiah had hoped that the prophet would die from drowning and hunger. Not only that, one of them would also house and protect Jeremiah, even as the whole kingdom and city eventually fell just as Jeremiah himself had prophesied, and protected him from harm’s way. Nonetheless, we have heard just how terrible was the persecution and the challenges that Jeremiah had to endure in the midst of his ministry and work.

In our second reading today from the Epistle to the Hebrews, the author of this Epistle spoke of how many of the witnesses of the Lord and His truth had suffered because of what they believed in, and the author also encouraged all of them by telling them to look upon the Lord Jesus, their Lord and Saviour, Who has suffered Himself as He faced rejection and persecution from the world, from His enemies and from all those who refused to listen to Him. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews exhorted all of his target audience to be faithful and strong in enduring those challenges and trials, remembering how the Lord Himself suffered, and how they were all suffering the same thing together with the Lord. They were not alone in their suffering.

There had been many saints and martyrs, most prominently during the early days, weeks, years, decades and centuries in the history of the Church, when the Church and the faithful were still facing a lot of hardships, having to proclaim the truth of Christ, His Gospels and the Good News of His salvation against the various oppositions and hurdles from firstly the Jewish authorities, the members of the Sanhedrin composed of the Pharisees, the Sadducees and other most influential members of the Jewish community, many of whom were against the Lord Jesus and His teachings. There had been many early persecution against Christians by the Jewish authorities, and before his conversion, St. Paul the Apostle as Saul was one of the leaders of these bitter and harsh persecutions.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard from the Lord Jesus Himself, how He revealed before His own disciples that becoming His followers would not mean having good and peaceful lives. Instead, His teachings and truths would more likely than not bring about hardships and challenges, divisions and misunderstandings to arise even between close family members, relatives and friends. The Lord highlighted that fact, saying how family members would even rise against each other just because of their differences in opinion regarding the Lord and His truth. This would in fact presage how quite a few of the martyrs came to be because they were persecuted by the members of their own families, for refusing to abandon their faith in God.

That is the reality for us as Christians, as the followers of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in following Him and dedicating ourselves to Him. Our Christian faith and truth often come at odds against the acceptable norms and practices of the world, not only back then during the early years of the Church, but also even throughout history right up to this very day. There are still areas and parts of the world where believing in God and to be Christians may mean great sufferings and even high chance of death, from persecution and other reasons. We must never take our faith for granted, especially if we live in places where being Christians are acceptable and comfortable, or where everyone are Christians.

The Lord has revealed to us that more often than not being Christians require us to make a stand, and even at times we may have to go against those who are closest to us. But that is the reality and nature of the world, as not everyone readily accepts the Lord as their Saviour and King, while others may also be more lukewarm in their faith, accepting the ways of the world and as a result, also find our way of living our faith through life to be incompatible and unsuitable. Frictions and difficulties, disagreements and divisions are often then unavoidable, at times even when we have tried to avoid that from happening.

That is why this Sunday as we listened to these readings from the Scriptures, all of us are invited to reflect and discern on our lives as Christians. Have we as Christians been truly faithful and dedicated to God as we should have? And have we lived our lives in accordance to the Law and commandments that God has revealed and given to us through His Church and His servants? If we have lived our lives more in conformation to the world’s expectations and ways, then perhaps it is time for us to reassess the way how we lived our lives so that we may grow to be better and more committed Christians.

Let us all also keep in mind all of our fellow brothers and sisters who are suffering just because of their faith in God. May their courage and commitment to God just as what the saints and martyrs had shown us, continue to inspire us to live our lives ever more worthily in God’s path. Let us all remind one another that God is and will always be with us, His faithful servants, by our side at all times that we may be strengthened and inspired to do more for the glory of God. May all of our actions, words and deeds also always therefore be exemplary, that we may strengthen one another in faith, and perhaps even inspire more people to come to believe in God. Each and every one of us also share the same mission and expectation as God’s followers and disciples to proclaim Him and His truth to the people of all the nations.

May the Lord therefore continue to guide us and bless us, and may He strengthen and encourage us in faith that we may always be faithful to Him to the very end. May He bless our every works and good efforts, and our every dedication to His cause. Let us all strive to be ever more committed to the Lord and be good Christian role models in our everyday living, now and always. Amen.

Sunday, 14 August 2022 : Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 12 : 49-53

At that time, Jesus said to the people, “I have come to bring fire upon the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and what anguish I feel until it is finished! Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on, in one house five will be divided : three against two, and two against three.”

“They will be divided, father against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Sunday, 14 August 2022 : Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Hebrews 12 : 1-4

What a cloud of innumerable witnesses surround us! So let us be rid of every encumbrance, and especially of sin, to persevere in running the race marked out before us.

Let us look to Jesus the Founder of our faith, Who will bring it to completion. For the sake of the joy reserved for Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and then sat at the right of the throne of God. Think of Jesus Who suffered so many contradictions from evil people, and you will not be discouraged or grow weary.

Have you already shed your blood in the struggle against sin?

Sunday, 14 August 2022 : Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 39 : 2, 3, 4, 18

With resolve I waited for YHVH; He listened and heard me beg.

Out of the horrid pit He drew me; out of deadly quicksand, He settled my feet upon a rock and made my steps steady.

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and be awed and put their trust in YHVH.

Though I am afflicted and poor, yet the Lord thinks of me. You are my Help and my Saviour – o God, do not delay!

Sunday, 14 August 2022 : Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Jeremiah 38 : 4-6, 8-10

Then the officials told the king, “This man should be put to death, because he is weakening the will of the fighting men and the people left in the city. In fact he is not out to save the people but to do harm.”

King Zedekiah said, “His life is in your hands for the king has no power against you.” So they took Jeremiah and pushed him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, in the guard’s court. They lowered him by means of ropes. There was no water in the cistern but only mud; and Jeremiah sank into the mud.

Ebedmelech, an Ethiopian official of the king’s house, heard that they had lowered Jeremiah in the cistern. While the king was sitting at the Benjamin Gate, Ebedmelech went and spoke to him, “My lord king! These men have acted wickedly in all they did to Jeremiah the prophet. They threw him into the cistern where he will die.”

So the king ordered Ebedmelech the Ethiopian : “Take three men with you from here, and draw Jeremiah the prophet out from the cistern before he dies.”

(Usus Antiquior) Tenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 14 August 2022 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Green

Offertory

Psalm 24 : 1-3

Ad Te, Domine, levavi animam meam : Deus meus, in Te confido, non erubescam : neque irrideant me inimici mei : etenim universi, qui Te exspectant, non confundentur.

English translation

To You, o Lord, have I lifted up my soul. In You, o my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed, neither let my enemies laugh at me, for none of those who wait on You shall be confounded.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Tibi, Domine, sacrificia dicata reddantur : quae sic ad, honorem Nominis Tui deferenda tribuisti, ut eadem remedia fieri nostra praestares. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Let the sacrifices dedicated to You, o Lord, be rendered back, since You have given them to be presented for the honour of Your Name, so that in them You might afford us a remedy for all our ills. 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 50 : 21

Acceptabis sacrificium justitiae, oblationes et holocausta, super altare Tuum, Domine.

English translation

You will accept the sacrifice of justice, oblations and holocausts upon Your altar, o Lord.

Post-Communion Prayer

Quaesumus, Domine, Deus noster : ut, quos divinis reparare non desinis sacramentis, Tuis non destituas benignus auxiliis. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

O Lord, our God, we pray that in Your loving kindness You will not deprive of Your assistance those whom You do not cease to restore with divine sacraments. 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) Tenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 14 August 2022 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Green

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

Luke 18 : 9-14

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus ad quosdam, qui in se confidebant tamquam justi et aspernabantur ceteros, parabolam istam : Duo homines ascenderunt in templum, ut orarent : unus pharisaeus, et alter publicanus.

Pharisaeus stans, haec apud se orabat : Deus, gratias ago Tibi, quia non sum sicut ceteri hominum : raptores, injusti, adulteri : velut etiam hic publicanus. Jejuno bis in sabbato : decimas do omnium, quae possideo.

Et publicanus a longe stans nolebat nec oculos ad caelum levare : sed percutiebat pectus suum, dicens : Deus, propitius esto mihi peccatori. Dico vobis : descendit hic justificatus in domum suam ab illo : quia omnis qui se exaltat, humiliabitur : et qui se humiliat, exaltabitur.

English translation

At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, “Two men went up into the Temple to pray, the one was a Pharisee, and the other a publican.”

“The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself, ‘O God, I give You thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.'”

“And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven, but struck his breast saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I say to you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other, because every one who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”

(Usus Antiquior) Tenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 14 August 2022 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 16 : 8, 2 and Psalm 64 : 2

Custodi me, Domine, it pupillam oculi : sub umbra alarum Tuarum protege me.

Response : De vultu Tuo judicium meum prodeat : oculi Tui videant aequitatem.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Te decet hymnus, Deus, in Sion : et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem. Alleluja.

English translation

Keep me, o Lord, as the apple of Your eye. Protect me under the shadow of Your wings.

Response : Let my judgment come forth from Your countenance, let Your eyes behold the things that are equitable.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : A hymn, o God, becomes Yours in Zion, and a vow shall be paid to You in Jerusalem. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Tenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 14 August 2022 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Green

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

1 Corinthians 12 : 2-11

Fratres : Scitis, quoniam, cum gentes essetis, ad simulacra muta prout ducebamini euntes. Ideo notum vobis facio, quod nemo in Spiritu Dei loquens, dicit anathema Jesu. Et nemo potest dicere, Dominus Jesus, nisi in Spiritu Sancto.

Divisiones vero gratiarum sunt, idem autem Spiritus. Et divisiones ministrationum sunt, idem autem Dominus. Et divisiones operationum sunt, idem vero Deus, qui operatur omnia in omnibus. Unicuique autem datur manifestatio Spiritus ad utilitatem.

Alii quidem per Spiritum datur sermo sapientiae, alii autem sermo scientiae secundum eumdem Spiritum : alteri fides in eodem Spiritu : alii gratia sanitatum in uno Spiritu : alii operatio virtutum, alii prophetia, alii discretio spirituum, alii genera linguarum, alii interpretatio sermonum.

Haec autem omnia operatur unus atque idem Spiritus, dividens singulis, prout vult.

English translation

Brethren, you know that when you were heathens, you went to dumb idols, according as you were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God, said Anathema to Jesus, and no man can say, the Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Spirit.

Now there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit, and there are diversities of ministries, but the same Lord, and and there are diversities of operations, but the same God, He Who works all in all. And the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man unto profit.

To one indeed, by the Spirit, is given the word of wisdom, and to another, the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit. To another, the grace of healing in one Spirit, to another, the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discerning of spirits, to another, divers kinds of tongues, to another, interpretation of speeches.

But all these things one and the same Spirit works, dividing to every one according as He will.

(Usus Antiquior) Tenth Sunday after Pentecost (II Classis) – Sunday, 14 August 2022 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Green

Introit

Psalm 54 : 17, 18, 20, 23, 2

Dum clamarem ad Dominum, exaudivit vocem meam, ab his, qui appropinquant mihi : et humiliavit eos, qui est ante saecula et manet in aeternum : jacta cogitatum tuum in Domino, et ipse te enutriet.

Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam, et ne despexeris deprecationem meam : intende mihi et exaudi me.

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

English translation

When I cried to the Lord He heard my voice, from those who draw near to me, and He humbled them, He Who is before all ages, and remains forever, cast your care upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you.

Hear o God, my prayer, and do not despise my supplication. Be attentive to me and hear me.

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

Deus, qui omnipotentiam Tuam parcendo maxime et miserando manifestas : multiplica super nos misericordiam Tuam; ut, ad Tua promissa currentes, caelestium bonorum facias esse consortes. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

O God, You Who had chiefly manifested Your power in forbearance and mercy, multiply upon us Your pity, that, hastening on to Your promises, we may be made partakers of the blessings of heaven. 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.