Sunday, 21 July 2013 : 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflection)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we heard today of two stories which in both involve receiving the Lord into one’s home and showing their acceptance to the coming of the Lord. Abraham in the first reading welcomed the Lord who passed by his tent, and gave Him a meal and offering. In the Gospel, Martha and Mary, the family of Lazarus, welcomed Jesus the Son of God and Messiah into their house. Both involved hospitality of the hosts and how they react to the coming of the Lord to their humble abodes.

Abraham recognised the Lord and welcomed him into his tent, giving the best he had for the Lord to eat, as an offering of his love and his heart for the Lord. Martha and Mary also welcomed Christ into their home, giving their best to serve Him and made Him at home. But here comes the difference, highlighted in the case between Martha and Mary, in how they give their service to the Lord.

Martha cooked and prepared many food for Jesus, to serve Him good meals and good food, but she ended up being absorbed so much into her preparation and her work, that she forgot what the Lord truly wanted from her. She became engulfed in the world and in her work so much, that she forgot about love, about her own love for God. That is what the Lord truly desired from her, and indeed, from everyone in this world, all of us.

Mary gave her love and full attention to Christ, giving all her heart to Him, that she was truly focused and attentive to all the words that left His mouth, listening to the words of salvation, the Good News. The same had been done by Abraham, giving his obedience and full attention to the Lord, as He came to proclaim the words of His promise, His covenant, proven through the gift of his son, Isaac, through his wife, Sarah.

The same too then is expected of us. We too should give all our minds, our hearts, our being, and with all our strengths, to God and dedicate ourselves fully and entirely to Him. God our Lord is a loving God, and He cares for all of us, until He even gave His own Son, Himself, for the sake of all of us, that we may have life in us, and do not have to suffer our eternal punishment of death, that is our faith.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us not lose our sight on the Lord, our one and true God, the God who created us, God who gave us life, and God who granted us this world that we may live in prosperity and happiness, and most importantly, to follow in His ways, that we can share the happiness that we have in us, with one another, that together, we may be saved, saved from the tyranny of death and evil, and be freed into new life in Christ.

Let us renew our faith and our love for God, dedicating our hearts as true offering for Him. He does not desire our sacrifices and prayers, of endless litanies made without meaning, of gifts made without love, but He desires truly our love, our repentant heart, seeking always for His mercy, the desire, the strong and endless desire to be reunited with the One God who loves us.

In Christ lies salvation and hope, and in Him lies all the fulfillment, in all its perfection, of God’s grand plan to save mankind and all creation, ever since Satan snatched them from Him at the time of creation, by his lies to Adam and Eve, the first mankind. The grand plan had been in motion for countless years and a long time, ever since creation, through Abraham, whom God promised that salvation for mankind would come through him and his descendants, and ultimately was perfectly fufilled in Jesus, the descendant of Abraham, of Adam and Eve, and the descendant of David, who inherited his kingdom, and made it into an everlasting kingdom of God.

Christ gave Himself up for our sake, that all of us can share in His glory upon His glorious resurrection, and that we will receive life eternal as we are brought to our rightful places in heaven, at the side of the Lord, God who cares for us and gave it all for our sake. It will not be easy to follow Christ, as we will be rejected as the world had rejected the Lord. What is important is that we do not go astray from our path, and remain faithful to Christ our Lord, through our actions, our deeds, and our words.

Let us not be distracted by the world and its offers of pleasure and sin, and not to forget the Lord and His love and kindness. Let us be focused on the Lord and offer Him our greatest love, out of our sincere and repentant heart, just as what Abraham and Mary had done, that the Lord will always be in our minds, our hearts at all times, and therefore we too, will always remain in the Lord.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, open our hearts, open our minds, and let the Lord to come into us, dwell within us, as the Temple of the Holy Spirit, the Temple of God’s residence. We receive the Lord regularly in the Eucharist, and we accept Him into our hearts. That is why it is important that we remain focused at all times on the Lord, so that we will not be led astray by the temptations of this world.

Keep the Lord’s commandments of love, and practice our faith with devotion, loving our God with all our strength, in worship and praise, in the Mass, and in our daily lives, and love our brethren, especially those with great needs, through our actions, our service to the less fortunate, and through our deeds that bring happiness and love to those who lie in sorrow and those who are unloved.

Be strong, brothers and sisters, and may the blessing of the Lord our God, God who came down for our sake, for our salvation, the Lord of Abraham, the God of our fathers, be with us, and remain within us, giving us His love and light, to be shared among all the nations. God bless us all. Amen.

Sunday, 21 July 2013 : 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Luke 10 : 38-42

As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He entered a village, and a woman called Martha welcomed Him to her house. She had a  sister named Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet to listen to His words. Martha, meanwhile, was busy with all the serving, and finally she said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work? Tell her to help me!”

But the Lord answered, “Martha, Martha, you worry and are troubled about many things, whereas only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Sunday, 21 July 2013 : 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Colossians 1 : 24-28

At present I rejoice when I suffer for you; I complete in my own flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His Body, which is the Church. For I am serving the Church since God entrusted to me the ministry to make the Word of God fully known.

I mean that mysterious plan that for centuries and generations remained secret, and which God has now revealed to His holy ones. God willed to make known to them the riches and even the Glory that His mysterious plan reserved for the pagan nations : Christ is in you and you may hope God’s Glory.

This Christ we preach. We warn and teach everyone true wisdom, aiming to make everyone perfect in Christ.

Sunday, 21 July 2013 : 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Psalm 14 : 2-3ab, 3cd-4ab, 5

Those who walk blamelessly and do what is right, who speak truth from their heart and control their words, who do no harm to their neighbours.

And cast no discredit on their companions, who look down on evildoers but highly esteem God’s servants.

Who do not lend money at interest and refuse a bribe against the innocent. Do this, and you will soon be shaken.

Sunday, 21 July 2013 : 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Genesis 18 : 1-10a

YHVH appeared to Abraham near the oak of Mamre. Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent, in the heat of the day, when he looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them. He bowed to the ground and said, “My Lord, if I have found favour in Your sight, do not pass You servant by. Let a little water be brought. Wash Your feet and then rest under the trees.”

“I shall fetch some bread so that You can be refreshed and continue on Your way, since You have come to Your servant.” They then said, “Do as you say.” Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said to her, “Quick, take three measures of flour, knead it and make cakes.”

Abraham then ran to the herd, took a fine, tender calf, gave it to the servant who hurried to prepare it. He took butter and milk and together with the calf he had prepared, laid it all before them. And while he remained standing, they ate. They then asked, “Where is Sarah, your wife?” Abraham answered, “She is in the tent.” And the Visitor said, “At this same time next year I will return and Sarah by then will have a son.”