Thursday, 27 October 2016 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we are reminded today that the journey of our life is not an easy one if we decide to follow the Lord and devote ourselves to His ways. There are certainly going to be challenges and difficulties on the way forward, as there are those who are opposed to the ways of the Lord and His faithful ones, prowling about seeking our downfall and destruction.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, there is always and there will always be that constant struggle between us and those who follow the ways of the world, those who walk with the devil and his allies, all those who gave in to the temptations of their greed and desires, and fell to the pressure of their human pride, arrogance and hubris, resulting in them opening themselves up to all sorts of things that brought upon them corruption and sin.

That was why it was so easy for the people of Israel to fall into sin, as soon as they left the land of Egypt, as they fell into the temptations of Satan, trying to pull them away from the Lord’s salvation. They were tempted in the body and were found wanting, as they grumbled and complained against God Who have brought them to freedom by alleging that He had brought them out of the rich food and feast they had enjoyed in Egypt even though they were enslaved there.

They were not satisfied despite all that God had given them, despite Him having led them to the land promised to them and to their ancestors. They rebelled against Him, followed the ways of the pagans around them, casting their God aside for mere pagan idols and Baal, the false gods of their neighbours. And in doing so they have brought themselves to their downfall.

They allowed Satan to dwell in their hearts and corrupt them with his lies and false promises, and thus, they have opened the floodgates that brought them nearer and nearer to eternal damnation and hell. And yet, because of the tempting nature of earthly and worldly pleasures, all the human greed and predisposition to be tempted by these, they tend to refuse to let these go, even at the price of the salvation of their souls. And many more still were not aware of this fact.

Therefore, today, while it is indeed increasingly becoming more and more difficult for us to remain as faithful and devoted Christians, it is imperative for us all to spend time thinking about this matter and reflect on what we can do as the people of God in trying our best to follow Him, to be true to His ways, resisting the temptations of this world and the lures of the devil, and at the same time, showing our care and concern for our brethren who are in need of our help.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, let us all think of what we can do to help each other, both in persevering through the difficulties and challenges together, so that none of us may give up and let go of the promise of the salvation of God in exchange for the temporary goodness, respite and pleasure in this world, and also even to bring all those who hate us, all who have persecuted us, to see the light of God, be converted and be forgiven of their sins and faults.

This is the aim that all of us Christians should have, that we become real and genuine brethren to each other, showing care, love, concern and compassion to one another, and desiring to save all those who are now still living in the darkness and in ignorance of the ways of the Lord, so that all of us may together walk towards the salvation in the Lord, and together receive the sure promise of eternal life and glory with Him. May God bless our endeavours and help us. Amen.

Thursday, 27 October 2016 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Luke 13 : 31-35

At that time, some Pharisees came to Jesus and gave Him this warning, “Leave this place and go on Your way, for Herod wants to kill You.”

Jesus said to them, “Go and give that fox My answer : ‘I drive out demons, and I heal today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish My course!’ Nevertheless, I must go on My way today, and tomorrow, and for a little longer; for it would not be fitting for a Prophet to be killed outside Jerusalem.”

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you slay the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I tried to bring together your children, as a bird gathers her young under her wings, but you refused! From now on, you will be left with your Temple, and you will no longer see Me, until the time when you will say, ‘Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord.'”

Thursday, 27 October 2016 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Psalm 143 : 1, 2, 9-10

Blessed be the Lord, my Rock, Who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.

My loving God, my Fortress; my Protector and Deliverer, my Shield where I take refuge, Who conquers nations and subjects them to my rule.

I will sing a new song to You, o God, I will make music on the ten-stringed harp, for You Who give victory to kings and deliver David, Your servant.

Thursday, 27 October 2016 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Ephesians 6 : 10-20

Finally, be strong in the Lord with His energy and strength. Put on the whole armour of God to be able to resist the cunning of the devil. Our battle is not against human forces but against the rulers and authorities and their dark powers that govern this world. We are struggling against the spirits and supernatural forces of evil.

Therefore put on the whole armour of God, that in the evil day, you may resist and stand your ground, making use of all your weapons. Take truth as your belt, justice as your breastplate, and zeal as your shoes to propagate the Gospel of peace. Always hold in your hand the shield of faith to repel the flaming arrows of the devil. Finally, use the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, that is, the word of God.

Pray at all times as the Spirit inspires you. Keep watch, together with sustained prayer and supplication for all the holy ones. Pray also for me, so that when I speak, I may be given words to proclaim bravely the mystery of the Gospel. Even when in chains I am an ambassador of God; may He give me the strength to speak as I should.