Friday, 26 August 2022 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 25 : 1-13

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “This story throws light on what will happen in the kingdom of heaven : Ten bridesmaids went out with their lamps to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were sensible. The careless bridesmaids took their lamps as they were, and did not take extra oil. But those who were sensible, took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom delayed, they all grew drowsy and fell asleep.”

“But at midnight, a cry rang out, ‘The bridegroom is here, come on and meet him!’ All the maidens woke up at once, and trimmed their lamps. Then the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, ‘Give us some oil, for our lamps are going out.’ The sensible ones answered, ‘There may not be enough for us and for you. You had better go to those who sell, and buy some for yourselves.'”

“When the bridegroom came, the foolish maidens were out buying oil, but those who were ready went with him into the wedding feast, and the doors were shut. Later the other bridesmaids arrived and called out, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered, ‘Truly I do not know you.'”

“So stay awake, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”

Friday, 26 August 2022 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 32 : 1-2, 4-5, 10-11

Rejoice in the Lord, you who are just, praise is fitting for the upright. Give thanks to Him on the harp and lyre, making melody and chanting praises.

For upright is the Lord’s word and worthy of trust is His work. The Lord loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of His kindness.

The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations and brings to nothing the peoples’ designs. But His plan stands forever, and His heart’s design through all generations.

Friday, 26 August 2022 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 1 : 17-25

For Christ did not send me to baptise, but to proclaim His Gospel. And not with beautiful words! That would be like getting rid of the cross of Christ. The language of the cross remains nonsense for those who are lost. Yet for us who are saved, it is the power of God, as Scripture says : I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and make fail the foresight of the foresighted. Masters of human wisdom, educated people, philosophers, you have no reply! And the wisdom of this world? God let it fail.

At first, God spoke the language of wisdom, and the world did not know God through wisdom. Then God thought of saving the believers, through the foolishness that we preach. The Jews ask for miracles and the Greeks for a higher knowledge, while we proclaim a crucified Messiah. For the Jews, what a great scandal! And for the Greeks, what nonsense! But He is Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God, for those called by God among both Jews and Greeks.

In reality, the “foolishness” of God is wiser than humans, and the “weakness” of God is stronger than humans.

Thursday, 25 August 2022 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Louis, and St. Joseph Calasanz, Priest (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints or Priests)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are reminded of the calling for all of us as Christians to remain faithful to the truth, teachings and the way of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We must always be ready and vigilant, and not to fall into the trap of complacency and sloth, or lukewarmness in faith and mediocracy. Each and every one of us as Christians are expected to live our lives full of faith and to do whatever we can in order to proclaim the truth of God and the glory of God through our daily living, our every words, actions and deeds.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth, as the Apostle exhorted the faithful there to continue to remain steadfast in their faith and obedience to God through His Son, their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He reminded them of the wisdom and the light that they all had received from the Lord Himself, as they received those through the Apostles, from St. Paul himself and the other missionaries, and inspired from the Holy Spirit that has been given to them by the laying of the hands. They had received the wisdom and truth of God, and are therefore called to be faithful witnesses of the Lord and their Christian faith.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord speaking to His disciples with the parable of the faithful and bad servants, through which the Lord wanted to highlight the importance for each one of us, His followers and disciples, to live our lives most worthily at all times, and to do whatever we can in obeying His Law and commandments, and in doing our best to proclaim the truth of God by our exemplary actions. We cannot live our lives the way that hypocrites had done, that we do things contrary to what we profess to believe in. And we can neither neglect our obligations and responsibilities in living a good and faithful Christian life, when we are all called to be leading virtuous and good Christian living.

That is because as the Lord highlighted, the moment of our reckoning, for our actions and deeds, and for our whole lives can come at anytime. Through that parable of the two stewards, the Lord compared their examples with our own lives, reminding us that the moment for us as the stewards of the Lord’s creation, accounting for our lives in this world, can happen at anytime. We all ought to remember and know that while the most certain thing that will happen to each one of us is death, but at the same time, the most uncertain thing for us is to know the time of our death, as no one will ever know when they exactly will reach the end of their worldly existence. God alone knows that detail.

That is why, all of us as Christians ought to prepare ourselves well for the inevitable, and we have to keep in mind what we have heard in today’s Scripture passages so that we can keep ourselves in check and also attuned to the expectations that the Lord has placed on us. If we have been delaying and been lukewarm in our faith, and not doing what the Lord has expected each one of us to do, then we really should spend the time to start doing what we should be doing, in living our lives in accordance with God and His ways from now on, and we can also seek inspiration on how to do so by looking upon the good examples set by our holy predecessors.

Today, we celebrate the feast of two great saints of the Church, whose examples and inspirations can and should inspire all of us to live our lives wholeheartedly full of faith, so that we may truly be good and worthy disciples and followers of the Lord Most High. St. Louis IX was the King of France during the High Middle Ages remembered for his great contributions to the Church both in his support for the Christian faith as well as in his role as the king and guardian of his kingdom and people. Meanwhile, St. Joseph Calasanz was a Spanish priest who was remembered for his efforts in caring for the needs of the poor and for establishing good education for the poor and the uneducated.

St. Louis IX was the King of France during the High Middle Ages, who ruled his kingdom for a long period of several decades during which time he dedicated himself to the advancement of his people and the betterment of his kingdom. He was remembered for his great contributions to the Church and also his zealous and faithful living, as he always dedicated himself to improve both the physical and spiritual well-being of his people, building churches and schools, as well as other institutions that were important in the livelihood of the people and his kingdom. He was also active in his efforts to defend the faithful and Christendom through the Crusades and more, both towards reclaiming the Holy Land and in rooting out the Albigensian heresy.

St. Joseph Calasanz was a courageous and faithful priest, who was remembered for his passion in bringing free education to the poor and the needy, as means to help them to overcome their constant cycle of poverty and suffering. Through education and his many other efforts, St. Joseph Calasanz also revealed God’s truth and love for His people, which he showed by his patient care and ministry in dedicating himself to the betterment of the lives and the education of the poor. He gave much of his time and effort to help those who are in need, and showing us all true Christian charity, love and action, that we should also be inspired to follow in our own lives.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, having heard of the life examples and inspirations from St. Louis IX and also St. Joseph Calasanz, all of us are also called to live our lives faithfully in God’s path, to proclaim His truth and love to all the people whom we encounter in our daily living. All of us are reminded to do our best at every moments such that we may ourselves be inspiration to one another in how we all live our lives in God’s presence. May the Lord continue to bless us all and may He remain with us, by our side, guiding and strengthening us in our journey of faith through life. May God bless us all, now and always, evermore. Amen.

Thursday, 25 August 2022 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Louis, and St. Joseph Calasanz, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints or Priests)

Matthew 24 : 42-51

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Stay awake then, for you do not know on what day your Lord will come. Obviously, if the owner of the house knew at what time the thief was coming, he would certainly stay up and not allow his house to be broken into. So be alert, for the Son of Man will come at the hour you least expect.”

“Imagine a faithful and prudent servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give them food at the proper time. Fortunate, indeed, is that servant, whom his master will find at work when he comes. Truly I say to you, his lord will entrust him with everything he has.”

“Not so with the bad servant, who thinks, ‘My master is delayed.’ And he begins to ill-treat his fellow servants, while eating and drinking with drunkards. But his master will come on the day he does not know, and at the hour he least expects. He will punish that servant severely; and place him with the hypocrites. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Thursday, 25 August 2022 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Louis, and St. Joseph Calasanz, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints or Priests)

Psalm 144 : 2-3, 4-5, 6-7

I will praise You, day after day; and exalt Your Name forever. Great is YHVH, most worthy of praise; and His deeds are beyond measure.

Parents commend Your works to their children and tell them Your feats. They proclaim the splendour of Your majesty and recall Your wondrous works.

People will proclaim Your mighty deeds; and I will declare Your greatness. They will celebrate Your abundant kindness, and rejoice in singing of Your justice.