Saturday, 24 September 2022 : 25th 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 as we listened to the words of the Scripture we are reminded yet again of the need for each one of us as Christians to be always mindful and aware of what we all need to do in our lives, in doing the actions that are in accordance with God and His ways, obeying His will and commandments, and keeping in mind that each and every single things that we say and do, all these will be accountable to God on the Day of Judgment. And not only that, but in all the things that we are able to do and in the capacity of doing, but not doing because we neglect our responsibilities, we shall also be made accountable for them as well.

That was the gist of what we heard from the Book of Ecclesiastes or Qoheleth in our first reading today. We heard how the author reminded those who were young that they ought to keep those words in mind, reminding them that each and every one of their actions will be accountable to God. There is nothing that we do which will not be known or unveiled to God. The Lord knows everything in our hearts and minds, and He shall judge us all by everything He knows of us. We have been given the opportunities and the time to do the things that God has shown us, to be His faithful disciples and witnesses in the midst of our communities.

And we should not be ignorant of that calling to do something, to participate in the good works and efforts of the Church, in its various outreach and commissions, and not only that but also in our own individual capacities, even to the smallest and simplest things like living our lives worthily and faithfully in accordance to the Law and commandments of God. In a world where there are plenty of temptations for us to disobey God and to embrace the path of worldliness and sin, each one of us have been called to seek the Lord wholeheartedly and to follow Him, while knowing that this path that God has called us to walk in, may not be an easy or smooth one.

As we heard in our Gospel passage today, the Lord spoke to His disciples regarding Who He truly was, and what He was about to endure during the moments of His Passion, suffering and death. Back then, no one would have known or expected that the Lord would have suffered such a grievous fate. In fact, many among the followers of the Lord would have expected that He would lead them all into glory and victory against the Romans and other oppressors, and reestablish the kingdom of David, the kingdom of God’s people Israel. The coming of the Messiah was understood as a time of great glory and triumph, where the Lord would gather His people and give them the freedom and victory against their enemies.

But they had misunderstood the Lord’s intentions, and the Lord Himself told them that in truth, He, the Messiah, the Son of Man, just as the prophets themselves had predicted, particularly that of the prophet Isaiah, He would have to suffer grievously for the sake of His beloved ones. He would have to be rejected and oppressed, punished and tortured, scourged, beaten and spat upon for the sake of our salvation and liberation. And yet, knowing all that would happen to Him, and all the sufferings that He would have to endure, the Lord Jesus still obeyed His Father’s will perfectly and carried out everything to perfection, suffering and dying on His Cross at Calvary.

Through that act of supreme love and sacrifice, the ultimate selfless expression of love, God has shown us first of all that He loves us in an infinitely wonderful way, and He has always cared for us all these times despite of our frequent disobedience and refusal to believe in Him. And not only that, but through His Son, the same Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the same suffering Son of Man, God showed us the perfect obedience and the perfect role model that His Son has done for us, so that we know that it truly means for us to be Christians. The Apostles and disciples of the Lord themselves followed His examples, remembering His new commandment and mandate at the Last Supper, that they ought to do whatever that their Lord and Master had done.

This is a reminder that each one of us following in the footsteps and examples of the Apostles and the innumerable saints, holy men and women of God, we have to listen to the Lord, obey His will, His Law and commandments, and do what He has called us to do and make good use of the time and opportunities that He has presented to us. We are all given many different and unique talents, opportunities and other things that can allow us to do so many great wonders, and we should realise that each one of us have this part to play as God’s people, to be active and committed in giving ourselves and our lives for the cause of the Lord at all times. This is what we should do instead of being distracted by the many temptations all around us, the temptations of power, wealth, worldly glory and many others.

Let us all realise that all of us have been given this opportunity to serve the Lord and to do good things, and through all of that, we may be found worthy by the Lord in the end, when He comes to judge all of us. Let us appreciate the opportunities that we have been given, and do whatever we can to glorify the Lord by our lives, by our every words, actions and deeds, even in the smallest things we say and do. May the Lord continue to be with us, guiding and strengthening us in each and every possible opportunities. May God bless our every endeavours and efforts, now and always. Amen.

Saturday, 24 September 2022 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

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

Luke 9 : 43b-45

At that time, while all were amazed at everything Jesus did, He said to His disciples, “Listen, and remember what I tell you now : The Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of men.” But the disciples did not understand this saying; something prevented them from grasping what He meant, and they were afraid to ask Him about it.

Saturday, 24 September 2022 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

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

Psalm 89 : 3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17

You turn humans back to dust, saying, “Return, o mortals!” A thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has passed, or like a watch in the night.

You sow them in their time, a dawn they peep out. In the morning they blossom, but the flower fades and withers in the evening.

So make us know the shortness of our life, that we may gain wisdom of heart. How long will You be angry, o YHVH? Have mercy on Your servant.

Fill us at daybreak with Your goodness, that we may be glad all our days. May the sweetness of YHVH be upon us; may He prosper the work of our hands.

Saturday, 24 September 2022 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

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

Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth) 11 : 9 – Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth) 12 : 8

Rejoice, young man, in your youth and direct well your heart when you are young; follow your desires and achieve your ambitions but recall that God will take account of all you do.

Drive sorrow from your heart and pain from your flesh, for youth and dark hair will not last. Be mindful of your Creator when you are young, before the time of sorrow comes when you have to say, “This gives me no pleasure,” and before the sun, moon and stars withdraw their light, before the clouds gather again after the rain.

On the day when the guardians of the house tremble, when sturdy men are bowed and those at the mill stop working because they are too few, when it grows dim for those looking through the windows, and the doors are shut and the noise of the mill grows faint, the sparrow stops chirping and the bird-song is silenced, when one fears the slopes and to walk is frightening;

Yet the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper is fat and the caperberry bears fruit that serves no purpose, because man goes forward to his eternal home and mourners gather in the street, even before the silver chain is snapped or the golden globe is shattered, before the pitcher is broken at the fountain or the wheel at the mill, before the dust returns to the earth from which it came and the spirit returns to God Who gave it.

Meaningless! Meaningless! The teacher says; all is meaningless!