Tuesday, 18 June 2019 : 11th 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 speaking to us about the need for all of us to be truly faithful in all the things we do, in being genuinely faithful through our dedication and love for the Lord. And being true in our faith requires us all to be filled with love, and not just any love, but love that is selfless and generous, to all people.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord Jesus saying that we all should love everyone, including even our enemies and all those who have persecuted us and rejected us. He called on us all to bring love to our fellow brethren, regardless of who they are and give our very best in love for others not counting for the love to be returned or reciprocated. This is indeed something that is easier said than done.

Why is that so, brothers and sisters in Christ? That is because loving an enemy is something that is not easily done, as when we love, we commonly love with the intention of being reciprocated and appreciated, to be loved back in the same way if not more than how we have loved another person. But to love an enemy seems to be like a folly, a giving of one’s love to someone whom in our minds may be unworthy and undeserving.

But that is where we really need to change our mentality and mindset, to redirect our thoughts and change our prejudices about others. For we must understand that love is not a transaction or something where we expect to gain things for our own benefit. If we think of love in that manner, then perhaps it is time for us to change our mindset and how we see love in our daily interactions and lives.

Love in truth is not of receiving but in fact of giving, the giving of oneself and even making sacrifices for another. That is in essence, what true love is all about. True love does not lead to jealousy, and neither does it lead to selfishness and desire, but rather, it leads to happiness in knowing that we have given of ourselves for the sake of another, and the other person is better because of the love which we have given.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we do not have to go far to see the example, other than what the Lord Jesus Himself had shown us all. The Lord Jesus had shown us all what it means by true love, love that is selfless, self-giving, in all that He had done for our sake, even to us all who have disobeyed and not listened to Him all these while. St. Paul himself said of how wonderful God’s love for us is, that even if it is possible for someone to love and to be willing to die for the sake of a very good person and friend, God did so for all of us who are wicked and sinners.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, each and every one of us are called to follow the examples of Our Lord in the generous and true love that He has shown to each and every one of us. He has loved us all so greatly that we should love Him in the same way as is only right for us to do so. It is indeed not easy for us to love everyone, especially those who have hurt us and caused us harm and pain.

May the Lord help us all to be more loving and to be more forgiving, to all our brothers and sisters just as He Himself has done it. May He strengthen in us this love that we have so that each and every moments in our lives we may draw ever closer to Him and be more faithful with every passing moment. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Matthew 5 : 43-48

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “You have heard, that it was said : Love your neighbour and do not do good to your enemy. But this I tell you : love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in Heaven. For He makes His sun rise on both the wicked and the good; and He gives rain to both the just and the unjust.”

“If you love those who love you, what is special about that? Do not even tax collectors do as much? And if you are friendly only to your friends, what is so exceptional about that? Do not even the pagans do as much? As for you, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Tuesday, 18 June 2019 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 145 : 1-2, 5-6ab, 6c-7, 8-9a

Alleluia! Praise YHVH, my soul! I will sing to YHVH all my life; I will sing praise to God while I live.

Blessed are they whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in YHVH their God, Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and all they contain.

YHVH is forever faithful; He gives justice to the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. YHVH sets the prisoners free.

YHVH gives sight to the blind; YHVH loves the virtuous; but He brings to ruin the way of the wicked. YHVH straightens the bent. YHVH protects the stranger.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Corinthians 8 : 1-9

Now, I want you to know about a gift of divine grace among the Churches of Macedonia. While they were so afflicted and persecuted, their joy overflowed, and their extreme poverty turned into a wealth of generosity. According to their means – even beyond their means – they wanted to share, in helping the saints.

They asked us for this favour, spontaneously, and with much insistence, and, far beyond anything we expected, they put themselves at the disposal of the Lord, and of us by the will of God. Accordingly, I urged Titus to complete, among you, this work of grace, since he began it with you.

You excel in everything : in the gifts of faith, speech and knowledge; you feel concern for every cause and, besides, you are first in my heart. Excel, also, in this generous service. This is not a command; I make known to you the determination of others, to check the sincerity of your fraternal concern.

You know well, the generosity of Christ Jesus, our Lord. Although He was rich, He made Himself poor, to make you rich, through His poverty.