Saturday, 16 July 2022 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Our Lady of Mount Carmel)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the patronal feast of the members of the Carmelites religious order. This day is a celebration of the great patroness of all the Carmelites as well as the Mother of all of us the faithful people of God, who through the apparition she had made to St. Simon Stock, who was one of the founders and early leaders of the Carmelites order. Back then, almost a millennium ago, the Carmelites was the only religious order founded by the Crusaders in the Holy Land, and it was told that some of their members had resided in the vicinity of Mount Carmel, which led to the association with Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

It was told that when St. Simon Stock went to relocate the orders works and property to England from the Holy Land, the Blessed Mother of God appeared to him and handed to him the now famous Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother promised that all those who wear that brown scapular with faith and commit themselves to the Lord will receive grace and help on the hour of their death, and that they will receive the assurance of eternal life. This was the beginning of the now famous devotion of the Brown Scapular wearing, in which many of the faithful wear the brown scapular as a sacramental.

Today, as we celebrate this Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, one of the Marian feasts and celebrations of the year, we are all called to reflect on the examples and the faith that Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel has shown in her own life, in her commitment to God and all that she had done as part of her mission and ministry, in loving her Son, our Lord and Saviour, and not only that, but after He entrusted each and every one of us to be His mother’s own children, Mary, our Lady of Mount Carmel never ceased to reach out to us, appearing before us and providing us with help from time to time, including in encouraging the devotion of the brown scapular.

Through Mary, God has shown us His saving grace, not only that He shows us His love, but through His own mother’s obedience and love all of us have seen the sure promise of the everlasting joy and happiness with God in Heaven. However, we must also accompany all these with real action and commitment to live our lives faithfully according to the path that God has shown us all. Otherwise, faith that is without action and concrete works, will be truly dead and meaningless, as it will in fact hinder the path of one’s journey towards God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, for those who have particular devotion of the brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, we ought to remind ourselves that the sacramental brown scapular itself serves as a reminder and mark for us to keep in mind that we belong to the Lord, marked by His Sacraments, that of Holy Baptism, and for most of us, the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist and Confirmation, among the other Sacraments that we have received. Each and every one of us as Christians are members of God’s Church, and are also expected to do as the Lord had told us to do, and what He had taught us to do in our lives.

Today, as we reflect on the readings of the Sacred Scriptures and on the role of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the path of our journey towards salvation in God, let us all reflect whether our attitudes in life had been correct thus far, whether we have let our pride and ego, the temptations of worldly power and glory from misleading us down the path of ruin. If this has been the case, then we should begin making the effort to turn back wholeheartedly towards God, and do not allow the devil and other forces from leading us further down the path of ruin.

As I often mentioned, the best example for us to follow is none other than the faith which Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel herself has often shown, in her full obedience and commitment to God’s works and missions, in her love for God and for all of us, and in her righteousness and virtues. Each and every one of us have sinned and erred in one way or another, and some of us have sinned more while others sinned less. Nonetheless, all of us, each and every one of us are called to the forgiveness by God and to be reconciled to Him. Through Mary, our mother, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, we can find an easier and better path towards the Lord, our God and Saviour.

Let us all hence renew our faith in God and devote ourselves to Him ever more through our own devotion to His blessed Mother, the most wonderful Lady of Mount Carmel. Let us all share our faith with one another, and strive to do our best to live a virtuous and exemplary Christian living from now on, obeying the Law and commandments, the will of God at all times. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

Saturday, 16 July 2022 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Our Lady of Mount Carmel)

Matthew 12 : 14-21

At that time, the Pharisees went out, and made plans to get rid of Jesus. As Jesus was aware of their plans, He left that place. Many people followed Him, and He cured all who were sick. But He gave them strict orders not to make Him known.

In this way, Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled : Here is My Servant, Whom I have chosen; the One I love, and with Whom I am pleased. I will put My Spirit upon Him; and He will announce My judgment to the nations. He will not argue or shout, nor will His voice be heard in the streets. The bruised reed He will not crush, nor snuff out the smouldering wick until He brings justice to victory, and in Him, all the nations will put their hope.

Alternative reading (Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel)

Matthew 12 : 46-50

At that time, while Jesus was talking to the people, His mother and His brothers wanted to speak to Him, and they waited outside. So someone said to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside; they want to speak with You.”

Jesus answered, “Who is My mother? Who are My brothers?” Then He pointed to His disciples and said, “Look! Here are My mother and My brothers. Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

Saturday, 16 July 2022 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Our Lady of Mount Carmel)

Psalm 9 : 22-23, 24-25, 28-29, 35

Why, o YHVH, do You stand afar? Why hide from us in times of distress? 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. In their pride the wicked say, “There is no God.” They see no further.

Their mouths are filled with cursing, deceit and threats; spite and mischief are under their tongues. They lie in ambush near the villages, murdering the innocent and the unfortunate, spying upon their next victim.

But You see those in misery, o God, and You take it in hand. The unfortunate commits himself to You; the orphan turns to You for help.

Alternative reading (Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel)

Luke 1 : 46-47, 48-49, 50-51, 52-53, 54-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God, my Saviour!

He has looked upon His servant, in her lowliness, and people, forever, will call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name!

From age to age, His mercy extends to those who live in His presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans.

He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.

He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.

Saturday, 16 July 2022 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Our Lady of Mount Carmel)

Micah 2 : 1-5

Woe to those who plot wickedness and plan evil even on their beds! When morning comes they do it, as soon as it is within their reach. If they covet fields, they seize them. Do they like houses? They take them. They seize the owner and his household; both, the man and his property.

This is why YHVH speaks, “I am plotting evil against this whole brood, from which your necks cannot escape. No more shall you walk with head held high, for it will be an evil time.” On that day, they will sing a taunting song against you; and a bitter lamentation will be heard, “We have been stripped of our property in our homeland. Who will free us from the wicked who allots our fields.”

Truly, no one will be found in the assembly of YHVH to keep a field for you.

Alternative reading (Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel)

Zechariah 2 : 14-17

Sing and rejoice, o daughter of Zion, for I am about to come, I shall dwell among you,” says YHVH. “On that day, many nations will join YHVH and be My people, but My dwelling is among you.”

The people of Judah will be for YHVH as His portion in His holy land. He will choose Jerusalem again. Keep still in YHVH’s presence, for He comes, having risen from His holy dwelling.