Saturday, 17 July 2021 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all called to turn towards the Lord and remember constantly His mercy and love by which He has led us all these time through the journey of our respective lives. The Scripture readings today serve as good reminders for us to recall all the good things that the Lord had done for His people, from the Israelites in the days of the Exodus and then all that the Lord Jesus, our Saviour had done as He came and dwelled in our midst.

In our first reading today, we heard of the moment when the whole multitudes of the Israelites began their journey out of the land of Egypt after the Passover and after the last great plague ravaged Egypt so badly that the Pharaoh finally relented and let the Israelites to go free. The Pharaoh and many other Egyptians had lost their firstborn sons and suffered from all the great plagues that God sent against Egypt for their refusal to let the Israelites to go free and return to their homeland in Canaan.

God led the people of Israel out of Egypt, with all of their possessions, and all of their companies, a huge multitude of people blessed by God, a whole nation of over six hundred thousand people after four hundred and thirty years in Egypt. This was indeed a proof of God’s blessings to the house of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as Jacob’s family alone, extending to over seventy people, had by then therefore blossomed to a large nation, despite all the efforts by the Pharaoh and the Egyptians to snuff them out.

Despite the harsh treatments and slavery they experienced during the last decades of their stay in Egypt, the Israelites grew and spread ever more in numbers, and God was with them throughout the way. And Moses was sent to them to lead them out of Egypt, which became true by the great plagues which God had sent against the Egyptians. As we heard in that passage from the Book of Exodus, it was truly a joyful time for the people of God, finally free of their enslavement and being led to the land promised to them.

Then in our Gospel passage today, we heard the mention of Our Lord Whose coming into the world was the fulfilment of the prophecy of the prophet Isaiah, as the Lord had once spoken to His people through Isaiah that He would send His servant to the midst of His people, One Who would carry out His will and Who would suffer for them on their behalf, that through the sufferings and humiliations He had to endure, He has brought us healing and freedom, the freedom from the tyranny and bondage to sin.

Thus, all of us are therefore reminded of how we ourselves have been liberated from the slavery of sin, much as the Israelites had been liberated from their bondage at the hands of the Egyptians. We have been blessed by the great grace with which God has patiently showed us His love each and every moment, that despite all of our stubborn attitude and sinful, wicked behaviour, God’s love and mercy are still greater than all of these. He desires nothing else other than for us to be reconciled to Him, and in order to do that, we have to abandon our sins and reject our wicked attitudes and actions.

Today, all of us are called to reflect on our own way of life and how we have been living as Christians all these while. Have we been truly faithful to the Lord, brothers and sisters in Christ? Or have we allowed worldly desires and ambitions, temptations of the flesh and pleasures to distract and mislead us in our path in life? Have we allowed the devil and his lies to make us trust in him more than we trust in God? These are just some of the questions which we really ought to ask ourselves, and ponder if there are still more that we can do to be faithful disciples and followers of the Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all commit ourselves anew to the Lord, and let us all turn towards Him with renewed zeal and desire to serve Him and to love Him wholeheartedly, that we may indeed be faithful disciples of His, in everything that we say and do in life. Let our every actions, words and deeds proclaim the glory of God in the midst of our own communities, and let us all ourselves be sources of inspiration to one another, in how we are living up to our faith, that more and more may come to know of God and His love, and how He has freed us from the bondage to our sins. May God be with us always and bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

Saturday, 17 July 2021 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

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.

Saturday, 17 July 2021 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Psalm 135 : 1, 23, 24, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Alleluia! Give thanks to YHVH, for He is good, His kindness endures forever.

He slew the firstborn of Egypt, His kindness endures forever.

And brought Israel out, His kindness endures forever.

With strong hand and outstretched arm, His kindness endures forever.

He splits the Sea of Reeds, His kindness endures forever.

And made Israel pass through it, His kindness endures forever.

Drowning Pharaoh and his army, His kindness endures forever.

He remembered us in our humiliation, His kindness endures forever.

And freed us from our oppressors, His kindness endures forever.

Saturday, 17 July 2021 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Exodus 12 : 37-42

The Israelites left Rameses for Succoth, about six hundred thousand of them on the march, counting the men only, and not the children. A great number of other people of all descriptions went with them, as well as sheep and cattle in droves.

With the dough they had brought with them from Egypt, they made cakes of unleavened bread. It had not risen, for when they were driven from Egypt they could not delay and had not even provided themselves with food. The Israelites had been in Egypt for four hundred and thirty years. It was at the end of these four hundred and thirty years to the very day that the armies of YHVH left Egypt.

This is the watch for YHVH Who brought Israel out of Egypt. This night is for YHVH, and all the Israelites are also to keep vigil on this night, year after year, for all time.