Friday, 16 September 2022 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Cornelius, Pope and Martyr, and St. Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 16 : 1, 6-7, 8b and 15

Hear a just cause, o Lord, listen to my complaint. Give heed to my prayer for there is no deceit on my lips.

I call on You, You will answer me, o God; incline Your ear and hear my word. For You do wonders for Your faithful, You save those fleeing from the enemy as they seek refuge at Your right hand.

Keep me as the apple of Your eye; under the shadow of Your wings hide me. As for me, righteous in Your sight, I shall see Your face and, awakening, gaze my fill on Your likeness.

Friday, 16 September 2022 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Cornelius, Pope and Martyr, and St. Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

1 Corinthians 15 : 12-20

Well, then, if Christ is preached as risen from the dead, how can some of you say, that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is empty, and our belief comes to nothing. And we become false witnesses of God, attesting that He raised Christ, whereas He could not raise Him, if indeed, the dead are not raised.

If the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith gives you nothing, and you are still in sin. Also, those who fall asleep, in Christ, are lost. If it is only for this life, that we hope in Christ, we are the most unfortunate of all people. But no, Christ has been raised from the dead, and He comes before all those who have fallen asleep.

Thursday, 15 September 2022 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we gather to reflect on the words of the Lord in the Scriptures we just heard, we remember that this day we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, remembering the great sorrow that Mary, the Mother of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, had experienced and suffered from, having witnessed everything that her Son had to suffer during His ministry, and then having to see her own Son being persecuted and tortured, betrayed by His own disciple, abandoned by others and condemned to die a most painful and humiliating death on the Cross for sins and faults that He Himself had not committed, and framed for crimes that He was not responsible for.

As with any mothers, seeing her own Son to suffer in such a manner must have been so difficult for Mary. Yet, she persevered through it all, and as sorrowful and painful it must have been for her, she remained true to her commitment to the mission entrusted to her, as the Mother of God, the Mother of the Saviour, to Whom she has dedicated much of her life to, in caring for Him since before He was even born into this world, and right up through most of His life, and unto the very foot of the Cross, where she witnessed her Son dying both as the Paschal Lamb of Sacrifice and the High Priest of all mankind, offering Himself for the salvation of all the whole world.

Mary had received premonition and warning for all these from Simeon the old prophet and servant of God who was awaiting the Messiah or Saviour of the world at the Temple of Jerusalem just as we heard in our Gospel passage today. Simeon told her how Mary would have to see her Son as a Sign for all the nations and how she would have to witness and experience great moments of pain, suffering and anguish, which he described as likened to a sword piercing her very own heart, the most loving and Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Mother of God. All those eventually came true and we knew the image of the grieving Mary, who grieved over the death of her Son.

That is why Mary has always been so attentive to us throughout history, as she continued to reach out to us, appearing in many occasions to different people, encouraging the people of God to be faithful to Him and to return to Him with regret and the desire to be forgiven from their many sins. That is because just as she has experienced losing her Son to suffering and death, and knowing that He had suffered and died for all of our sake, for our redemption and salvation, surely she did not want the sacrifice made by her Son to be wasted by us, as many of us still ignore Him and refuse to follow Him and His truth, and fail to recognise His love.

Not only that, but Mary herself has also been entrusted to each one of us as our own loving mother, as the Lord Himself as we heard in our Gospel passage today, entrusted Mary to St. John the Apostle, His beloved disciple to be his own mother, and he as the son entrusted to Mary. This is a symbolic act by which the Church and the Lord has extended the loving hands of Mary, her love and compassion, her motherly care and her attention to us, her beloved children, to each one of us as her own adopted and equally beloved precious children. We are all so fortunate that our mother even in her sorrow continues to show us her love, through which she has always hoped that we may find the salvation in her Son.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, what has always brought sorrow to our loving Mother’s heart is our constant disobedience and refusal to listen to the words that her Son has always spoken to us. All of us have received His truth and love, His instructions, will, Law and commandments, His teachings and ways through the Church and the Scriptures, but we often still preferred to follow our own paths in life, and those paths more often than not led us down the path of sin and ruin. Many of us have fallen on the wayside in our path towards God and His salvation, tempted and swayed by the many efforts of the devil and his allies in their works to prevent us from being reunited and reconciled with God.

That is why today, as we commemorate this Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, let us all reflect first of all on everything that the Lord, our God and Saviour had done for our sake, in His ever enduring and wonderful love, in reaching out to us with love and in sacrificing Himself for our sake so that through Him we may have life and not perish. Then we also should remember the love that His mother Mary has shown us all, and how we have been entrusted to her as her own adopted children. She has always prayed and interceded for our sake, and wanted the best for us, ever reminding us to turn towards her Son and to be righteous and good at all times.

Let us all therefore ask our beloved Mother Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, to continue to love us patiently and to not be sorrowful anymore, by our commitment and desire to repent from our sins and by our efforts to live our lives with faith from now on, making good use of all the opportunities given to us, in each and every moments to be exemplary in life and to inspire one another to follow the Lord and to be ever faithful always. May God be with us always and may His blessed Mother, Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, our Mother, pray for us always. Amen.