Saturday, 18 September 2021 : 24th 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 we heard the words of the Lord in the Sacred Scriptures speaking to us with regards to the need for us to follow the Lord with all sincerity and commitment that we should have in obeying His will and commandments. We have to make good use of all the gifts and abilities, the opportunities and blessings that He has given to us. Each and every one of us have been granted the gifts of faith from God, which He had sown in us, awaiting for us to respond to them and to allow them to grow in us.

In our first reading today, the Apostle St. Paul has mentioned in his Epistle to St. Timothy, about the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, which he and the other Apostles and all the disciples and the followers of the Lord have preserved and stood up for. St. Paul reminded St. Timothy as well as the other members of the Church that all of them ought to remain faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the whole world and the One true King of all, the One Who has come into the world as the perfect manifestation of God’s love for His people, that is all of us.

Then, in our Gospel passage today, we heard from the Gospel of St. Luke on the account of the Lord teaching His disciples and the people using the parable of the sower, the famous parable that I am sure many of us are very familiar with. In that particular parable, a sower came bearing seeds to be sown, and he scattered the seeds randomly in places, and such that the seeds ended up in completely different places and conditions, from the roadside and rocky places unsuitable for any plant growth, to the most fertile soils that yielded many rich returns to the sower.

As the Lord explained it during His discourse as we heard in our Gospel passage today, the parable of the sower is a clear reference to the Lord and His work among us all in this world, the field of the Lord and the place of His toils and labours. The Lord has sowed His seeds among all of us, the seeds of the Word of God, the truth and the faith that He has planted in us, in each and every one of the children of mankind. He has also given us many gifts, talents and abilities, opportunities and other things.

Those seeds that fell by the roadside represent those who did not even allow the Lord to speak to them, or impart His Word of truth to them, and therefore the seeds of faith were snatched from them by the evil one and his agents before they even had the chance to take root and grow in us, just as the birds of the sky in the parable came and eat those seeds. Similarly, those seeds that did land on the rocky ground, although they managed to germinate and grow, but very quickly they dry up and die, as they did not have the right conditions to grow well.

The seeds that fell among the thistles and brambles managed to germinate and grow into young plants, but the thistles and brambles, which are weeds, compete against them for nutrients and water, and other resources, and hence, as the thistles and brambles grow around the saplings, the young plants could not grow and compete against the weeds, which often grow very quickly and can easily outcompete other plants growing together with them.

As the Lord mentioned, that represents those who has allowed the Lord’s Word and truth to come into them, but yet, they allowed the temptations of the world, of worldly desires and glory, among many other things to distract them and to keep them away from the Lord and His salvation and grace. And the same can happen to us if we allow ourselves to be swayed by the temptations of our flesh, of worldly desires, of fame and ambition, glory, wealth, power and many other things.

Instead, all of us are called to be like the case when the seeds fell on rich and fertile soil, where the seeds germinated well, grew well and eventually returned a massive produce manyfold of the original seeds that were sowed there. That is what we are all expected to be, brothers and sisters in Christ, that is to bear rich fruits of our faith, by our every actions and words, by our every deeds and interactions with one another, in our lives that we lead an exemplary life focused on God.

And how do we do that? Often, it does not require us to do amazing or wonderful things. Instead, we should aspire and strive to do our best in even the simplest and most mundane thing in life, in every little things we say and do, in our daily interactions with one another, in our habits and actions, with our relatives and friends, and even with all those whom we encounter throughout life. We are all called to be righteous in all things, and we should be true disciples of the Lord in words just as in deeds. Are we willing then to commit ourselves in this manner, brothers and sisters in Christ?

Let us all discern our path in life and the actions that we ought to take as Christians, as those who believe in the Lord. Let us all ponder on how we can better live our lives as the followers of Christ. May the Lord continue to be with us in our journey and help us to find our way to Him, and may He strengthen us with the courage to remain faithful at all times to the Lord and be fruitful in our lives. May God bless us always, in our every good works and endeavours. Amen.

Saturday, 18 September 2021 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

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

Luke 8 : 4-15

At that time, as a great crowd gathered, and people came to Jesus from every town, He began teaching them with a story : “The sower went out to sow the seed. And as he sowed, some of the seed fell along the way, was trodden on, and the birds of the sky ate it up.”

“Some seed fell on rocky ground; and no sooner had it come up than it withered, because it had no water. Some seed fell among thorns; the thorns grew up with the seed and choked it. But some seed fell on good soil and grew, producing fruit, a hundred times as much!” And Jesus cried out, “Listen then, if you have ears to hear!”

The disciples asked Him, “What does this story mean?” And Jesus answered, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God. But to others it is given in the form of stories, or parables, so that, seeing, they may not perceive; and hearing, they may not understand.”

“Now, this is the point of the parable : The seed is the word of God. Those along the wayside are people who hear it; but immediately, the devil comes and takes the word from their minds, for he does not want them to believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are people who receive the word with joy; but they have no root; they believe for a while, and give way in time of trial.”

“Among the thorns are people who hear the word, but, as they go their way, they are choked by worries, riches, and the pleasures of life; they bring no fruit to maturity. The good soil, instead, are people who receive the word, and keep it, in a gentle and generous mind, and, persevering patiently, they bear fruit.”

Saturday, 18 September 2021 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

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

Psalm 99 : 2, 3, 4, 5

Serve YHVH with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.

Know that YHVH is God; He created us, and we are His people, the sheep of His fold.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His Name.

For YHVH is good; His love lasts forever; and His faithfulness, through all generations.

Saturday, 18 September 2021 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

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

1 Timothy 6 : 13-16

Now, in the presence of God, Who gives life to all things, and of Jesus Christ, Who expressed before Pontius Pilate the authentic expression of faith : preserve the revealed message to all. Keep yourself pure and blameless, until the glorious coming of Christ Jesus, our Lord, Who God will bring about at the proper time : He, the Magnificent Sovereign, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

To Him, alone, immortal, Who lives in unapproachable light, and Whom no one has ever seen or can see, to Him, be honour and power, forever and ever. Amen!