Friday, 9 September 2022 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Claver, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Luke 6 : 39-42

At that time, Jesus offered this example, “Can a blind person lead another blind person? Surely both will fall into a ditch. A disciple is not above the master; but when fully trained, he will be like the master. So why do you pay attention to the speck in your brother’s eye, while you have a log in your eye, and are not conscious of it?”

“How can you say to your neighbour, ‘Friend, let me take this speck out of your eye,’ when you cannot remove the log in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the log from your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your neighbour’s eye.”

Friday, 9 September 2022 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Claver, Priest (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Psalm 83 : 3, 4, 5-6, 12

My soul yearns; pines, for the courts of YHVH. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young, at Your altars, o YHVH of hosts, my King and my God!

Happy are those who live in Your house, continually singing Your praise! Happy, the pilgrims whom You strengthen, to make the ascent to You.

For YHVH God is a sun and a shield; He bestows favour and glory. YHVH withholds no good thing from those who walk in uprightness.

Friday, 9 September 2022 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Peter Claver, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

1 Corinthians 9 : 16-19, 22b-27

Because I cannot boast of announcing the Gospel : I am bound to do it. Woe to me, if I do not preach the Gospel! If I preached voluntarily, I could expect my reward, but I have been trusted with this office, against my will. How can I, then, deserve my reward? In announcing the Gospel, I will do it freely, without making use of the rights given to me by the Gospel.

So, feeling free with everybody, I have become everybody’s slave, in order to gain a greater number. So, I made myself all things to all people, in order to save, by all possible means, some of them. This, I do, for the Gospel, so that I, too, have a share of it.

Have you not learnt anything from the stadium? Many run, but only one gets the prize. Run, therefore, intending to win it, as athletes, who impose upon themselves a rigorous discipline. Yet, for them the wreath is of laurels which wither, while for us, it does not wither.

So, then, I run, knowing where I go. I box, but not aimlessly in the air. I punish my body and control it, lest, after preaching to others, I myself should be rejected.

Thursday, 8 September 2022 : Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today the Church celebrates together the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which marks the birthday of Mary, the Mother of God, the moment when she came into this world, as the future Mother of the Saviour of the world. Today the whole Church rejoices in this anniversary of the birthday of this most blessed Woman through whom the salvation of this world has come from. The Lord has fulfilled His long-awaited promise to His people through Mary, the simple young woman living in the unassuming small town of Nazareth in Galilee, and who would become the great Mother of our Saviour and also the greatest among all the saints. That is what we are celebrating today, the memorial of our blessed Mother Mary on her birthday.

In our first reading today, taken from the Book of the prophet Micah, we heard the Lord’s reassurance for His people that His salvation would come to them just as He has promised previously through the other prophets. We heard how the Lord proclaimed that Bethlehem, the city of David, would be the place where His Saviour and Deliverance came from, and although that city might have been a small and insignificant one among the other cities of Israel and Judah, but it was through this place that the Lord’s great plan of salvation would be accomplished, through the Woman whom the Lord Himself proclaimed to be the bearer of the Messiah or Saviour.

That was how the Lord brought His salvation into this world, through a humble woman from a small little town at the periphery of the Jewish community at that time, someone utterly unremarkable in the eyes of the world. And yet, it was through Mary that God willed to bring His salvation into this world, Christ, His own Begotten and Beloved Son, the Divine Word Incarnate, born of the House of David through Mary’s marriage to St. Joseph, the one who was descended and also the rightful heir of David. According to Scriptural evidence and Apostolic traditions, Mary herself also belonged to the House of David as well.

Through Mary and her motherhood, the Lord made manifest His love for each and every one of us mankind in the flesh, as He embraced us all through Jesus Christ His Son, the Divine Word of God Incarnate. Mary has been prepared by God’s will and grace, made Immaculate and conceived without the taint of sin, and throughout her life, she has always been full of grace, free from the taint of sin because she has been full of love for her Son, and for the Lord, obeying Him and following Him in whatever He has told her to do, and she followed her Son throughout His later ministry and even to the foot of His Cross and beyond.

It was through Mary and her full and active participation in the Lord’s work of salvation which allowed us to see the light of God’s hope as revealed to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, born into this world through Mary’s womb. Thus, today as we celebrate the birthday of Mary, the Mother of God, it is also a celebration of the hope of our Light and Salvation in Christ. And today all of us are also reminded that Mary is truly the surest path for us towards God and His salvation, as she is the one closest to her Son, and she is also truly close to us, as she has never forgotten to think about us all daily, all the time.

Why is that so, brothers and sisters in Christ? That is because the Lord Himself has entrusted Mary, His mother to us, from His Cross just as He has also entrusted us all to her, that we may be her children just as He is her Son, and that she may also be our mother just as she is His Mother. And that is why we celebrate all the more joyfully because we remember our own beloved mother’s birthday today, as we remember the love she has for us, all the intercessions she had made on our behalf, whether we realise it or not. Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, as our mother, Mary has always gazed upon us and wanted us all to be saved through her Son, and she certainly never ceased reaching out to us with love.

She has appeared to many throughout the past centuries, most famously at Guadalupe, Lourdes and Fatima, and there were many more approved apparitions of Mary throughout history, highlighting just how much beloved we are to her, and how concerned she has been regarding us. Mary our mother often made her appearances especially after a period and time of strife and chaos, during a time of crisis and spiritual troubles in our human history, and she wanted to help us all find our way to return back to her Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. That is why today, just as we commemorate and celebrate her birthday or Nativity, we ought to remind ourselves to follow her examples in faith.

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, each one of us should remember to dedicate ourselves to the Lord through following His mother’s examples, her dedication and faith, the great obedience and love she has shown throughout her love for the Lord and His precepts, her humble nature and submission to God’s will and willingness to allow herself be led to the path that God wants her to go through, showed us that Mary is truly a prime role model and example for all of us in how each one of us should live our own lives with faith and dedication, with humility and the desire to serve the Lord and to glorify Him by our every actions, words and deeds throughout our lives.

May the Lord continue to guide us and strengthen us in our journey, and may He empower each one of us that we may continue to walk ever more faithfully in His path, guided through the patient love of His mother Mary, who is our loving mother too, and may her constant intercession and care for us continue to inspire us to persevere in faith in each and every moments of our lives. May God bless us all in our every good efforts and endeavours. Amen.