Wednesday, 11 January 2023 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 1 : 29-39

At that time, on leaving the synagogue, Jesus went to the home of Simon and Andrew with James and John. As Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with fever, they immediately told Him about her. Jesus went to her and, taking her by the hand, raised her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

That evening at sundown, people brought to Jesus all the sick and those who had evil spirits : the whole town was pressing around the door. Jesus healed many who had various diseases, and drove out many demons; but He did not let them speak, for they knew Who He was.

Very early in the morning, before daylight, Jesus went off to a lonely place where He prayed. Simon and the others went out also, searching for Him; and when they found Him, they said, “Everyone is looking for You.” Then Jesus answered, “Let us go to the nearby villages so that I may preach there too; for that is why I came.”

So Jesus set out to preach in all the synagogues throughout Galilee; He also cast out demons.

Wednesday, 11 January 2023 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 104 : 1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9

Give thanks to the Lord, call on His Name; make known His works among the nations. Sing to Him, sing His praise, proclaim all His wondrous deeds.

Glory in His holy Name; let those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and be strong; seek His face always.

You descendants of His servant Abraham, you sons of Jacob, His chosen ones! He is the Lord our God; His judgments reach the whole world.

He remembers His covenant forever, His promise to a thousand generations, the covenant He made with Abraham, the promise He swore to Isaac.

Wednesday, 11 January 2023 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Hebrews 2 : 14-18

And because all those children share one same nature of flesh and blood, Jesus, likewise, had to share this nature. This is why His death destroyed the one holding the power of death, that is the devil, and freed those who remained in bondage all their lifetime, because of the fear of death.

Jesus came, to take by the hand, not the Angels but the human race. So, He had to be like His brothers and sisters, in every respect, in order to be the High Priest, faithful to God and merciful to them, a Priest, able to ask pardon, and atone for their sins. Having been tested through suffering, He is able to help those who are tested.

Tuesday, 10 January 2023 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today marks the beginning of the Ordinary Time of the year, the first of the two Ordinary Time periods in which this one spans the period between the Christmas season and the season of Lent that will begin later on Ash Wednesday towards the end of February for this year. During this period, while it is called Ordinary Time, it is often most typical for us to misunderstand what the ‘ordinary’ in Ordinary Time actually means. This ordinary does not imply or mean mundane or usual at all, but rather it implies the time and occasion where we are supposed to continue to live our lives faithfully and with great dedication, as good examples and role models for one another, that we may indeed be the beacons of God’s light and truth in the midst of our respective communities.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Epistle to the Hebrews in which the author of the Epistle spoke about how mankind has been honoured and considered even greater than the Angels of God, and the author also spoke of the dominion and glory which God has given to His Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour, Who came down into our midst, to this world to save us all from our fated destruction due to sin and death. Through Him, all of us have received the sure guarantee of eternal life and the light of hope, all of us who believe in Him and remain in His love and grace. The Lord Jesus has come into this world so that we may directly experience the love of God, and that God’s love may become tangible and approachable by us, no longer a distant wish but having become a reality in the flesh.

Through Christ, all of us have been united to His suffering, His death on the Cross and His glorious Resurrection, through which He gathered us all and redeemed us by the most loving and selfless sacrifice He had offered and made on the Cross, both as our High Priest and also as the sacrificial Paschal Lamb. He united us all to His perfection and glory, His human nature being the same with us, and by sharing in our humanity, He has therefore shown us the path out of the darkness and into the eternal light of God. Christ, according to St. Paul, is the New Adam, Who, in contrast with the old and first Adam who led mankind into sin by his disobedience and sins, Christ as the New Adam led us all into the righteousness of God by His perfect submission and obedience to the will of God, His heavenly Father.

Through Christ, all of us have been made the children of God by adoption, as fellow brothers and sisters of the same Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Our Lord and Saviour. And that is what we have been reminded of through this day’s Scripture readings. All of us are God’s people, His children and followers, and we all belong to Him, His one flock and family. As such, all of us as Christians have the important responsibilities and obligations, duties and things that we will be expected to do and follow in our lives. We cannot be acting in ways contrary to what we believe in and what we are expected to do as Christians, or else we are acting like hypocrites and all those who have no faith in God. If our actions and works, our words and beliefs do not align with our Christian faith and teachings, then we may end up scandalising our faith and the Lord Himself.

That is why as we enter into this Ordinary Time and season, all of us are reminded and called to an active participation in the life and works of the Church, to be missionary and evangelising in our lives as disciples and followers of Christ so that in everything we say and do, at all times, we will always proclaim the truth and love of God, and be beacons of His light and hope in the midst of our darkened world full of evil and sin. As Christians, each and every one of us are called and expected to do what the Lord Himself has taught to us and revealed to us through His Church, by the works of the Apostles and the saints, and also by the Wisdom and the knowledge that the Holy Spirit has imparted upon us. Each one of us as God’s people, members of His flock and His followers should reflect well His righteousness and truth, at all times.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us ponder and discern well what our path forward will be, as we continue to progress through each and every days of our lives in this world. We should not indeed let our Ordinary Time and season be ‘ordinary’ in any sense that we are not doing anything or remaining idle. Instead, we should make good use of the opportunity provided to us by the Lord to make these days and moments truly ‘extraordinary’ by doing whatever we can in order to proclaim the truth and love of God in the midst of our respective communities, reaching out to those who have not yet heard God’s truth and love, and caring for the need of our fellow brothers and sisters, especially all those who are less fortunate than us, those who are suffering and in despair, everyone who are in need of help and love.

Let us all hence do whatever we can, in our every opportunities and at every possible moments, to glorify the Lord by our lives, to show forth the light of God’s grace, salvation and truth at all times and in all occasions, in every places and in every people. Let us all be good role models and source of inspiration to our fellow brethren all around us, and let us all do our part as Christians to do the will of God and to contribute our efforts and works for the greater glory of God and His Church. All of us are expected and reminded to be ever more faithful in carrying out ourselves and our duties as those who walk in the light of Christ’s Presence, and as those whom the Lord had called and chosen from among the nations. We have to be active in doing what is expected of us so that hopefully through our examples more and more people will be inspired and encouraged to do the same as well.

May the Lord continue to guide us each day throughout this season of Ordinary Time, so that we all may continue to live our lives most faithfully and most obediently, doing whatever we can to glorify the Lord through our lives, our actions and works, our words and interactions among many other things. May He empower each one of us and strengthen us all in faith, so that we may always draw ever closer to Him and continue to persevere and flourish in our faith in Him regardless of the challenges and trials we may have to face in our journey of faith with Him. Amen.