Tuesday, 20 June 2017 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day all of us heard from the Lord Jesus Himself, urging us and exhorting us to love, for love is the true mission and command which the Lord had given to us to do, to be loving and to be graced with love, and not one that is conditional or selfish, but instead, love that is selfless and perfect, unconditional just as He has loved us first in the same manner.

Everyone can love themselves, for it is in our human nature to look first to ourselves and to satisfy our own needs and desires first. It is easy to love ourselves for we are always filled with pride, pride for our own human achievements and capabilities, pride for our talents and endowments. But are we able to love others in the same manner as how we have loved ourselves?

And then, it is easier for us to love others who also love us or have loved us first. For we know that if we show our love to them, then they will show their love for sure, or even have loved us first. In that manner, however, let ask ourselves, if our love is truly sincere? Is it love that we have shown? Or was it rather selfishness and our human desire showing themselves instead of love?

When we love, we do not seek for returns or rewards, and when we show our love to each other, we do not desire or seek for recognition or affirmation. For if we seek all these when we love, then our love is not perfect and neither it is fulfilling for us. For this kind of love is selfish love, and the more we show this kind of love, the more we expect to be loved back. Otherwise, we end up angry, or becoming jealous and unhappy.

That is precisely why there are many people in this world today, and even many among us as Christians, who did not show true love in our life, in our actions and deeds. We are selfish when we love, and that is why many of us ended up with ruined marriages, with adultery and lack of faithfulness in our families. That is because we treat our relationship, particularly that of marriage, family life, and often even friendships as transactions.

When we look at our relationships, we tend to look at everything and try to find values in each of them for ourselves. When things do not go the way we want them, or when we do not get the reward or recognition that we wanted, then we became angry, agitated, and unhappy. Then, let us ask ourselves, is this the kind of love which the Lord had taught us to do in life? Or is it something else?

Remember, brothers and sisters in Christ, God showed us all the way forward, by showing us His unconditional love. Even though we have rebelled against Him, many times in life, and even though we have disobeyed Him on many occasions, but the Lord still continues to love us, and He is ever willing to welcome us back through reconciliation. It was His love that made Him to even be willing to die on the cross for us.

Are we able to love unconditionally and show that love to one another? Are we able to commit ourselves to that love? It is our calling and also challenge as Christians to be loving towards one another, even towards our enemies and all those who have hurt and brought pain to us. It is by forgiving the faults of others that we will grow stronger in the love of God.

Remember, brethren, that the Lord Himself has forgiven us our sins. Whenever we pray the Lord’s Prayer, do we really mean it when we say, ‘Forgive us our sins just as we forgive those who have sinned against us?’ Let us be generous with love and mercy, compassion and understanding for one another. Let us shun all forms of hatred, anger and jealousy, all forms of negativities against each other.

May the Lord be gracious to us, and may He continue to love us as He has always been. May His love be found in us, and grow ever stronger, as we continue to care and love for our fellow brethren, showing genuine Christian love and charity to one another, that we may draw ever closer to God and be worthy of Him because of the love we have for Him, and also for our fellow men. Amen.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 : 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, 20 June 2017 : 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, 20 June 2017 : 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.