Wednesday, 3 October 2018 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the word of God through the Scriptures, telling us first the story from the Book of Job, continuing the discourse on Job that we have had for the last few days. Job was a faithful servant of God who was tested and attacked by the devil, who took everything he possessed, and even had boils and ulcers on his skin, suffering grievously from all the assaults by the devil.

And yet, Job continued to be faithful to God and remained true to his faith in Him, knowing that if it was indeed God’s will that he should suffer, then it shall be done according to His will, and not what Job wanted. He mentioned in what we have as our first reading passage today, about the greatness of God and how His ways are far beyond our ways and His thoughts are beyond our thoughts and intelligences.

And in that spirit, Job entrusted himself completely to the will of God, putting himself at the mercy of what God wanted to do with his life. He humbled himself so much so as to make himself insignificant in the grander plan of God, and submitting himself so fully to the will of God. He was showing the attitude of being a true and committed servant of God, who entrusted himself to God completely.

This was what the Lord Jesus, Our Lord, God and Saviour showed us as well, in the Gospel passage we heard today. In that passage we heard about how the disciples whom the Lord called to follow Him wanted to go and settle their issues and businesses first, but the Lord told them that unless they put their heart and dedicate themselves completely to God’s cause, then they would not be able to follow Him with sincerity and commitment they ought to have.

The Lord also spoke that the foxes have holes and the birds have nests, but the Son of Man had no place to even rest His head. This is then followed by the question from the disciples who wondered where He lived and stayed. The Lord’s answer was merely, “Come and see!” In reality, probably the Lord did not have any fixed place to stay, but moving about from place to place as He carried on doing His work and ministry.

The Lord wants each and every one of us to know that to be God’s followers, as Christians, we must free ourselves from the bonds and the chains of our worldly desires, pride, arrogance, and all sorts of things that can prevent us from finding our way to God. It is often that we are chained to our desires and worldly ambitions, that we forget what is our purpose in life, and therefore we end up distancing ourselves from God.

Many of us put so much importance of our earthly possessions, wealth and all sorts of temptations, of money, of pleasure, of glory and fame, and many others, that we cannot put ourselves completely to the service of God. We spent so much time, attention and effort in trying to assemble for ourselves all sorts of worldly possessions and goods, pleasures and pursuits of worldly glory, trying to accumulate and gain more of these to satisfy our desires.

However, do we realise that actually, it does not matter how much we have accumulated and how much effort we have spent trying to gain all these worldly things, but we will never truly be satisfied, as our human nature will end up causing us to desire and want for more and more. And as we continue to be distracted by these pursuits of pleasure and worldly happiness, we will end up getting more and more distant from God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to turn towards God with all of our hearts, minds, and indeed with our entire beings. We need to adopt the spirit of Job in all of our actions and in how we live our lives, reminding ourselves that to serve the Lord is to give ourselves so completely as Job had been, and as how many of our predecessors in faith have done, in giving themselves totally, even to the point of suffering martyrdom at the hands of those who oppose the Lord and His ways.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all from now on strive to seek the Lord and to love Him with a renewed zeal and effort, that in everything we say and do, we will always seek the glory of God. May the Lord continue to watch over us and guide us in our journey towards Him, and bless us all in our every endeavours. Amen.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 9 : 57-62

At that time, as Jesus and His disciples went on their way, a man said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

To another, Jesus said, “Follow Me!” But he answered, “Let me go back now, for, first, I want to bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their dead; as for you, leave them, and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

Another said to Him, “I will follow You, Lord, but first let me say goodbye to my family.” And Jesus said to him, “Whoever has put his hand to the plow, and looks back, is not fit for the kingdom of God.”

Wednesday, 3 October 2018 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 87 : 10bc-11, 12-13, 14-15

I spread out my hands to You, I call upon You every day, o YHVH. Are Your wonders meant for the dead? Will ghosts rise to give You thanks?

Is Your love and faithfulness remembered among those gone to the netherworld? Are Your wonders known in the dark; Your salvation, in the land of oblivion?

But to You, o YHVH, I cry for help; every morning I pray to You. O YHVH, why do You reject me; why do You hide Your face?

Wednesday, 3 October 2018 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Job 9 : 1-12, 14-16

Then Job answered : “Very well I know that it is so. But how can a mortal be just before God? If one were to contend with Him, not once in a thousand times would He answer. His power is vast, His wisdom profound. Who has resisted Him and come out unharmed?”

“He moves mountains before they are aware; He overturns them in His rage. He makes the earth tremble and its pillars quake. He commands the sun, and it does not shine; He seals off the light of the stars. He alone stretches out the skies and treads on the waves of the seas. He made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and every constellation. His wonders are past all reckoning, His miracles beyond all counting.”

“He passes by, but I do not see Him; He moves on, but I do not notice Him. If He snatches away, who can stop Him? Who can say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’ How then can I answer Him and find words to argue with Him? If He does not answer when I am right, shall I plead with my Judge for mercy? Even if I appealed and He answered, I do not believe that He would have heard.”