Friday, 13 October 2017 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded that as Christians all of us are called to serve the Lord with our devotion and piety, with commitment to obey and follow the laws and commandments in our every actions and deeds. Otherwise, if we do not, we shall fall into the trap of sin and wickedness, and we will end up being condemned by God.

As the Lord Jesus mentioned in the Gospel today, that all those who are not with Him, are against Him, and all those who have walked away from Him and rejected Him, will be lost from Him and be condemned. That is because He is the One and only One focus which we should have in our lives, as the centre of our lives and the pinnacle of our human existence.

And through what we have heard in the Gospel today, the threat of evil spirits and possession by those spirits are truly very real. The devil is our great enemy, and he and his fellow fallen angels are out there, ready to strike against us mankind, and corrupt us into our downfall. And the devil and his allies find it the easiest for them to strike at those who are weak and defenceless, those whose spiritual defence are lacking.

Those who do not believe in God, doubted Him and worked against Him are those who are under the greatest risk of falling into the temptations of the devil, and the evil spirits came to possess them. And as the Lord mentioned, those who do not keep themselves vigilant against the attacks by the devil are at risk, because the devil shall bring forth even more evil spirits to strike at them, and they become even worse.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, appropriately, on this day we celebrate a very special occasion, that is the hundredth anniversary of the Last Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, who had appeared to the three children at Fatima, Jacinta, Francesco and Lucia, every thirteenth day of the month beginning on the thirteenth of May 1917 and lasted until this day, a hundred years ago.

On this day, Our Lady of Fatima appeared to the children for the last time, and she performed a great sign which was seen by many, when the sun seemed to dance around the sky, in a dazzling show of God’s miraculous wonders, known also as the Miracle of the Dancing Sun. And in that occasion, Our Lady of Fatima also mentioned how many sinners were still in need of God’s forgiveness, and that they needed to atone for their sins.

She said, “Let them offend the Lord no more, for He is already much offended.” This is a stark reminder of what we have just heard in the Gospel passage today, that those who do not obey the Lord and stand against Him will be rejected by God, because of their sins and disobedience. We may think that God is a loving and benevolent God, and that much is true, however, we often forget that, while God does not despise us the sinners, but He despises all the sins which we commit in our lives.

Through His mother, God has frequently called upon us mankind to return to Him, to repent and turn away from all of our sins and wickedness, to be forgiven and to be reconciled with Him, so that we will not suffer the fate of the devil and all those who rejected God, that is hell and eternal damnation. That is not what God wants for us, and it is not why He had created us, for He wants each and every one of us to be with Him, to be united with Him perfectly in love.

And how do we do this? It is by deepening our relationship with God, spending time with Him and putting Him as the priority in our lives. For many of us, God has been relegated to the second, third and even to the last place, and we have placed many of our worldly matters and concerns ahead of our love for God. That is why we allow the devil to come into our bodies, corrupting our minds and hearts.

Let us therefore strengthen our relationship with God through prayer and devotion, by allowing God to enter into our hearts and dwell within us, so that we may be strengthened in faith, and therefore, we may draw closer to God. Let us all ask also for the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima, that she may always pray for us, and intercede for our sake, at all times, that all of us sinners may come to reconciliation with God.

May the Lord be with us always, and may through the loving care and intercession of His Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Fatima, we may find the best and most direct path to Him, and be worthy to receive the eternal glory and life He promised to all of us His faithful ones. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

Friday, 13 October 2017 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 11 : 15-26

At that time, some of the people said, “Jesus drives out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the chief of the demons.” Others wanted to put Him to the test, by asking Him for a heavenly sign.

But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, “Every nation divided by civil war is on the road to ruin, and will fall. If Satan also is divided, his empire is coming to an end. How can you say that I drive out demons by calling upon Beelzebul? If I drive them out by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons drive out demons? They will be your judges, then.”

“But if I drive out demons by the finger of God; would not this mean that the kingdom of God has come upon you? As long as a man, strong and well armed, guards his house, his goods are safe. But when a stronger man attacks and overcomes him, the challenger takes away all the weapons he relied on, and disposes of his spoils.”

“Whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever does not gather with Me, scatters. When the evil spirit goes out of a person, it wanders through dry lands, looking for a resting place; and finding none, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ When it comes, it finds the house swept and everything in order. Then it goes to fetch seven other spirits, even worse than itself. They move in and settle there, so that the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

Friday, 13 October 2017 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 9 : 2-3, 6 and 16, 8-9

The wicked are in power; the weak suffer harassment; the poor become victims of evil schemes. Exploiters boast in their power and greed; the covetous blasphemes and defies God.

All of them saying in their heart, “Nothing will trouble me. I am secure, powerful and happy.” YHVH is King forever and the pagans have vanished from His land.

They lie in ambush near the villages, murdering the innocent and the unfortunate, spying upon their next victim. The evil one lurks in secret, like a lion in its covert, waiting to seize his prey and drag him off in a net.

Friday, 13 October 2017 : 27th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Joel 1 : 13-15 and Joel 2 : 1-2

Gird yourselves, o priests, and weep; mourn, o ministers of the altar. Come, spend the night in sackcloth, o ministers of my God! For the house of your God is deprived of grain and drink offering.

Proclaim a fast, call an assembly. Summon the elders, and all who live in the land, into the house of your God, and cry out to YHVH, “What a dreadful day – the day of YHVH, that draws near, and comes as ruin, from the Almighty!”

Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm on My holy mountain! Let all dwellers in the land tremble, for the day of YHVH is coming. Yes, the day is fast approaching – a day of gloom and darkness, a day of clouds and blackness. A vast and mighty army comes, like dawn spreading over the mountain : such as has never occurred before, nor will happen again in the future.