Thursday, 14 November 2019 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture reminding us all of the coming of the kingdom of God as the readings take a more apocalyptic nature through these last few weeks of our current liturgical year. It is a timely reminder for us all to reflect on our respective lives all these while, how we have lived them in faith or in lack of faith. We should make use of the opportunities that God has given us all these while.

In the Gospel passage today, we heard of the signs and warnings that the Lord presented to the Pharisees and to the people whom He taught, of the coming of the time of reckoning and the arrival of the kingdom of God. He presented to them the revelation of God’s truth and reminded the people to open their hearts and minds to welcome the Lord openly and to prepare themselves for His coming.

In this occasion, the Lord reminds His people to trust in Him, to welcome His Wisdom into their hearts, into our hearts and minds. We should not allow pride and our own prejudices, our own judgments and our own power to be barriers and obstacles in preventing us from trusting and believing in God. That was exactly what happened to the Pharisees and the elders of the Israelites who hardened themselves and refused to believe in the Lord and in His revelation of truth.

The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, the elders and the chief priests in the Sanhedrin often argued that the Lord Jesus could not have been the Messiah of God, because He appeared to do things that were contrary to their own interpretation of the Law. However, in truth, that was because they have also been mistaken in their understanding and interpretation of the Law, and based their judgment on their flawed understanding and wisdom.

They looked highly on themselves as the guardians of knowledge and the precepts of the Law, as those who were highly educated and knowledgeable about many things, and as a result therefore, looked down frequently on all those whom they deemed to be inferior to them in status, ability, education, knowledge, influence and many other things. They saw themselves as being the indispensable ones who were needed for the survival of the state.

That was why they hardened their hearts and often opposed the Lord and His works as they saw Him as a great threat and rival to their own influence, authority and power. They were also prejudiced by the fact that the Lord and His disciples came from Galilee, an impoverished and backward region on the outskirts of the Jewish community at that time. They saw that most of His disciples were relatively uneducated unlike themselves, and thus correspondingly looked down on them.

They therefore trusted in their own understanding and flawed knowledge and comprehension of God and His plans and truth. Rather than putting their trust in God’s Wisdom, they rather proudly believe in their own supposedly superior intellectual abilities as compared to the rest of the people. That is why they were so stubborn and why they were not able to have faith despite having the knowledge of the faith.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let this be a reminder to all of us not to be tempted by the pride and desires in our hearts, and let us all seek to be humble instead before the Lord, opening our hearts and minds to Him and asking Him to be present in us, and guiding us so that we may find the path to His saving grace and righteousness. May God continue to be with us and be with us throughout our journey in life. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

Thursday, 14 November 2019 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 17 : 20-25

At that time, the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was to come. He answered, “The kingdom of God is not like something you can observe, and say of it, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘See, there it is!’ for the kingdom of God is within you.”

And Jesus said to His disciples, “The time is at hand, when you will long to see one of the glorious days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Then people will tell you, ‘Look there! Look here!’ Do not go with them, do not follow them. As lightning flashes from one end of the sky to the other, so will it be with the Son of Man; but first He must suffer many things, and be rejected by this generation.”

Thursday, 14 November 2019 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 118 : 89, 90, 91, 130, 135, 175

O YHVH, Your word stands forever, firmly fixed in the heavens.

Your faithfulness lasts throughout the ages – as long as the earth You created.

Your ordinances last to this day, for all things are made to serve You.

As Your words unfold, light is shed, and the simple-hearted understand.

Favour me with Your smile and teach me Your statutes.

Long may I live, to sing Your praise, may Your ordinances always be my help!

Thursday, 14 November 2019 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Wisdom 7 : 22 – Wisdom 8 : 1

Because Wisdom, who designed them all, taught me. In her is a spirit that is intelligent, saintly, unique, manifold, subtle, active, concise, pure and lucid. It cannot corrupt, loves what is good and nothing can restrain it; it is beneficent, loving humankind, steadfast, dependable, calm though Almighty. It sees everything and penetrates all spirits, however intelligent, subtle and pure they may be.

Wisdom, in fact, surpasses in mobility all that moves, and being so pure pervades and permeates all things. She is a breath of the power of God, a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; nothing impure can enter her. She is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of God’s action and an image of His goodness.

She is but one, yet Wisdom can do all things and, herself unchanging, she renews all things. She enters holy souls, making them prophets and friends of God, for God loves only those who live with Wisdom. She is indeed more beautiful than the sun and surpasses all the constellations; she outrivals light, for light gives way to night, but evil cannot prevail against Wisdom.

Wisdom displays her strength from one end of the earth to the other, ordering all things rightly.