Tuesday, 15 November 2022 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Luke 19 : 1-10

At that time, when Jesus entered Jericho and passed through the city, a man named Zaccheus lived there. He was a tax collector and a wealthy man. He wanted to see what Jesus was like, but he was a short man and could not see Him because of the crowd.

So he ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree. From there he would be able to see Jesus, Who was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, Zaccheus, come down quickly, for I must stay at your house today.” So Zaccheus climbed down and received Him joyfully.

All the people who saw it began to grumble, and said, “He has gone as a guest to the house of a sinner.” But Zaccheus spoke to Jesus, “Half of what I own, Lord, I will give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay him back four times as much.”

Looking at him Jesus said, “Salvation has come to this house today, for he is also a true son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”

Tuesday, 15 November 2022 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Psalm 14 : 2-3ab, 3cd-4ab, 5

Those who walk blamelessly and do what is right, who speak truth from their heart and control their words.

Those who do no harm to their neighbours and cast no discredit on their companions, who look down on evildoers but highly esteem God’s servants.

Those who do not lend money at interest and refuse a bribe against the innocent. Do this, and you will soon be shaken.

Tuesday, 15 November 2022 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Revelations 3 : 1-6, 14-22

Write this to the Angel of the Church in Sardis, “Thus says He Who holds the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars : ‘I know your worth : you think you live but you are dead. Wake up and strengthen that which is not already dead. For I have found your works to be imperfect in the sight of My God.”

“‘Remember what you were taught; keep it and change your ways. If you do not repent I will come upon you like a thief at an hour you least expect. Yet, there are some left in Sardis who have not soiled their robes; these will come with Me, dressed in white, since they deserve it. The victor will be dressed in white and I will never erase his name from the book of life; instead, I will acknowledge it before My Father and His Angels.'”

“‘Let anyone who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the Churches.'”

Write this to the Angel of the Church in Laodicea, “Thus says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of God’s creation : ‘I know your works : you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! You are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold so I will spit you out of My mouth.'”

“‘You think you are rich and have piled up so much that you need nothing, but you do not realise that you are wretched and to be pitied, poor, blind and naked. I advise you to buy from Me gold that has been tested by fire, so that you may be rich, and white clothes to wear so that your nakedness may not shame you, and ointment for your eyes that you may see. I reprimand and correct all those I love. Be earnest and change your ways.'”

“‘Look, I stand at the door and knock. If you hear My call and open the door, I will come in to you and have supper with you, and you with Me. I will let the victor sit with Me on My throne just as I was victorious and took My place with My Father on His throne. Let anyone who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the Churches.'”

Monday, 14 November 2022 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all called to keep our faith in God and remaining firm in our commitment and obedience to God and His will. Each and every one of us as Christians are reminded to put our trust in the Lord, and we should all believe in Him wholeheartedly, and not be easily swayed by the many temptations found all around us. This is the message that the Lord wants us all to know through His Church and the Scriptures so that in everything we do in this life here on Earth, we will always be ever vigilant, and remember that in the end, we have to account our actions, and our words and deeds, as well as our failures to act and do the will of God, at the end of time, when we face Him, our Lord and Creator, and the Judge of all the living and the dead.

As the current liturgical year is drawing to an end soon, and as we approach the beginning of the new liturgical year with the season of Advent in just less than two weeks’ time, the readings from the Sacred Scriptures take a rather apocalyptic tone with the clear purpose of reminding us that as we continue on living in this world, we cannot be ignorant of the things that we are expected to do as followers and disciples of the Lord, in each and every moments of our lives. We cannot continue on living year after year, moment after moment as we usually have done, in immersing ourselves in worldly desires and pursuits, and forgetting or ignoring our Christian call and mission, the obligation we have to do God’s will, His Law and commandments.

In our first reading today, taken from the Book of Revelations of St. John the Apostle, written at the time when St. John was exiled at the island of Patmos in his old age, we heard of the vision received by the Apostle of the Angels of the Church, that God had sent to protect the Church in the various places that the communities of the faithful had been established. This revelation was also meant to strengthen the various members of the faithful and the Church in those places, amidst all the persecutions and hardships that they had to endure, that the Lord has, is and will always be by their side, no matter what. He is always with them, guarding them, protecting them and giving them guidance, through His Holy Spirit and His Angels, and St. John wanted to remind them all about that.

Yet, the Apostle also reminded them in the same occasion how the faith of those faithful communities had been wavering and faltering, and he reminded them all therefore to once again be faithful and obedient again to God. He told them all to put their whole trust and faith in Him, and to follow Him once again wholeheartedly, and not be swayed by the temptations of the world or by any other coercions or pressures from various quarters trying to pull the faithful away from the Lord, His path and the salvation in Him. St. John thereafter continued on with his writing on whatever he had seen and received in vision regarding the Revelation of what will happen in the end of time, that despite all the hardships and persecutions that the faithful people of God had to suffer, they shall all be triumphant with God in the end.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the blind man who sought the Lord’s help and healing, crying out to Him incessantly, calling on Him to heal him and open his eyes, that he might see again. Despite the people around him chiding him and telling him to be quiet, the blind man kept on crying out for the Lord regardless. He had total faith in the Lord that He could heal him from his maladies, and indeed, that faith touched the Lord and He healed him from his blindness. That, brothers and sisters in Christ, is the kind of faith which we all should have in God, that we seek Him with all of our strength, despite of challenges, trials and difficulties all around us. That is the love and faith which the Lord has called on us all to have in Him, the dedication and commitment which each one of us as Christians ought to have.

On the contrary, many of the other people of the time of the Lord’s ministry refused to believe in Him and even challenged and opposed Him and His works. It was about all those people that the Lord Himself spoke of how while they were able to see things clearly with their eyes, but in truth they were blind, blinded by their own ego and pride, and all the things which prevented them from seeing the truth of God in all that He Himself had done before their own eyes, and hence, they disobeyed the Lord and sinned, because although they had all witnessed everything that God Himself had done, and heard all the words of God’s truth and wisdom directly, they had failed to believe, as they did not open their hearts and minds to God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we heard from these words of the Scriptures, we are reminded that all of us should also be faithful to God in real and genuine ways, like that of the blind man and also like the innumerable saints, martyrs and holy men and women of God who had gone before us to the Lord with glory because of their ceaseless and courageous dedication to the Lord. Many had suffered for their faith, and yet they persevered on regardless because they believed in God and His providence. They did not give up their faith because they know that God has always been by their side, being with them, guiding them and providing for them along their journey and path, and that they will be triumphant with God in the end. Those who gloated over and persecuted them enjoyed only for a moment, and they will face their due in time.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, hence, let us all persevere in faith in the manner our predecessors had done. And let us all be ever more faithful and committed to God in each and every moments of our lives, so that, when the time comes for us to account our actions and lives before the Lord, the great and just Judge at the Judgment, we will be found and deemed truly worthy of the Lord and His eternal dominion. May God continue to bless us in our every good efforts, works and endeavours, and guide us through our every journey and path, now and always. Amen.