Saturday, 18 July 2020 : 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, on this day all of us we are reminded of just how fortunate we have been to receive the grace and love of God through His Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord and Saviour, Who have come into the world, becoming the salvation and the fulfilment of the many promises and the prophecies that God had spoken to His people. He is the manifestation of God’s infinite and enduring love for each and every one of us.

Sadly, as today’s Scripture readings have also pointed out to us, despite the Lord’s generosity, love and kindness, the people had not been grateful for the generous love and compassion they have received. On the other hand, they had refused to accept God’s love, or that they had instead chosen to follow the path of the devil rather than to follow the Lord’s path. They persecuted His messengers and prophets and continued to live in a state of sin.

In our first reading today, we heard the account from the prophet Micah, one of the many prophets sent to the land of Israel, to remind the people of their God and the need for them to be reconciled with Him. The prophet Micah was among those prophets who had suffered, been rejected and reviled by the people, who refused to listen to them and made it difficult for them to carry out their ministry.

Thus, amidst the call to repentance and the call to walk with God with righteousness as the prophet Micah was famous for, the Lord also warned His people through Micah, that because of their wickedness, their selfishness and sins, they would be punished unless they change their ways, and their lamentations and regret would be as great if not even greater than the voice of their hubris and pride before God.

Unfortunately, as we heard in our Gospel passage today, despite having passed many generations, the descendants of God’s people still had not truly learnt their lesson, as they continued to plot against God and His servants, and that time, they acted against the Lord Jesus, the Messiah and Son of God Himself when they refused to listen to Him and His truth. They had seen the Lord’s many miracles and wonderful works, His great wisdom and the fulfilment of God’s many prophecies, but they hardened their hearts and minds with pride and ego, with greed and worldly desires.

In that same passage, we heard the premonition of what would happen to the Lord, as the rejection of the people who continued to refuse to believe in God, eventually led to them to arrest the Lord, laid false accusations against Him, and betrayed Him over to the Romans to be sentenced to death on the Cross. And yet, then, until the very end, reflecting on all these, we can see just how God is so loving and patient towards each and every one of us, that even from up on the Cross, in great pain and excruciating suffering, He forgave all those who persecuted Him and cried out for His death.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all spend some good quality time to reflect upon what we have heard in the Scriptures today. The Lord has always loved us all dearly and we must consider ourselves very fortunate and blessed to have this opportunity to be loved in such a way, that as sinful, imperfect, and terrible we had been, God has always been willing to welcome us back to Him and be reconciled with us.

However, we must also remember that reconciliation and forgiveness also go hand in hand with our desire to be forgiven, our conviction and resolve to reject the past life of sin, to abandon our disobedience and wicked actions and ways of life, and instead, from now on, embracing anew God’s generous love, mercy and compassion. We have to be open to God’s love and mercy entering our lives and existence, that we may be transformed into people of light and be rid of the darkness of sin that have afflicted us for so long.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all commit ourselves anew to God and let us seek Him with all of our hearts, knowing just how much He loves us and is willing to welcome us back and forgiving us our sins. Let us not take His love, kindness and compassion for granted, as we must also remember that if we remain in sin, then there is nothing left for us but eternal death, and eternal darkness, a suffering in everlasting despair out of which we have no hope of getting out from, because we have consciously rejected God’s love.

May God be with us always, and may He strengthen us with His love. May He continue to bless our work and endeavours, and guide us to the right paths in life. May God bless us all, now and always. Amen.

Saturday, 18 July 2020 : 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, 18 July 2020 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

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

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.

Saturday, 18 July 2020 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

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

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.