Thursday, 30 January 2020 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day the Lord reminds us all that our faith in Him will truly bear wonderful and good fruits, and we will not be disappointed with all that we have given or sacrificed to God, for God will indeed bless us wonderfully many-fold more than what we have given to Him. And we heard first of all in our first reading, a great prayer of thanksgiving that David prayed to God, giving thanks for all that He had done for him.

The context of this is such that David at that time had been secure in his reign as king over all of Israel, after having to endure years in exile and difficulty when he was once a fugitive even from his own land because Saul, the king before David, wanted him dead for being a rival king chosen by God. When Saul was killed by the Philistines, his supporters placed Ishbaal, Saul’s son as king in opposition to David. And during the early years of David’s reign over Israel, claimants and rebels rose up against him.

But despite all of these troubles, David remained firm in his faith to the Lord, doing His will and obeying Him to the best of his capabilities. Indeed, he was not perfect and he fell into sin and disobedience once in a while, for example when he was tempted by his own officer’s wife that ended up with David plotting the death of that officer and therefore sinned before God. And another occasion would be when David, in a momentary occasion of pride, conducted a census of all of Israel because he wanted to know how many people and how great his kingdom was.

But David repented wholeheartedly from all those moments of weakness and sin. He asked God for forgiveness and turned himself humbly before the Lord, and the Lord forgave David because He knew just how much David, His servant, loved him from his heart. And that was why God secured David’s reign and kingdom, and when David wanted to build a great Temple to be the House of God, God told David that it would be his son instead who would build the Temple for Him, and God would make the reign of David’s son secure.

God was with David and His reassurance that David’s house and reign would be forever secure made David to be overjoyed and filled with such happiness that he made such a jubilant praise in his prayer to God as we heard it in our first reading passage this day. David extolled God for His great faithfulness and love, His wonders and amazing deeds for His faithful ones, and how He has raised David from just a mere youth and simple shepherd to be a great king over all of Israel.

This is what the Lord spoke of when we heard in our Gospel passage in which Jesus spoke of the need for the light to be placed on a lamp-stand and not to be hidden, and how we shall receive in whatever measure that we have given, and we will receive even many more than what we have given. King David has shown us all how he gave his life and service to God, and God in return blessed David and protected him many more times that he has given to God.

What does this mean for us, brothers and sisters in Christ? It means that all of us as Christians should not hesitate to make good use of whatever gifts and talents that God has given to us, the unique abilities that He has blessed us with and for which He has called us to a variety of vocations and ministries in life. God has called us all to follow Him and to make use of those talents and abilities He has given us to serve Him for His greater glory.

But many of us prefer to hide these talents and wonderful capabilities, just as the Lord mentioned using the parable of the lamp, the light that is hidden rather than placed on the lamp-stand for all to see. Our faith requires us all to be active in living our lives with faith, and we should embody our faith in our every words, actions and deeds, or else, our faith is empty, meaningless and dead. And such a faith is not good at all for us. We have seen how king David was truly faithful to God, living to the best of his ability to be faithful in all things.

Are we able to follow in his footsteps, brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we able to walk courageously in the path that God has set before us, becoming the beacons of light bearing the light of God’s truth to the many people we encounter and interact with each and every days of our lives? Let us all seek the Lord and commit ourselves anew from now on, and be ever more faithful to Him, each and every days of our lives. May God bless us all as how He has blessed David, now and forevermore. Amen.

Thursday, 30 January 2020 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 4 : 21-25

At that time, Jesus also said to His disciples, “When the light comes, is it put under a basket or a bed? Surely it is put on a lamp stand. Whatever is hidden will be disclosed, and whatever is kept secret will be brought to light. Listen then, if you have ears!”

And He also said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. In the measure you give, so shall you receive, and still more will be given to you. For to the one who produces something, more will be given; and from him who does not produce anything, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

Thursday, 30 January 2020 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 131 : 1-2, 3-5, 11, 12, 13-14

Remember David, o YHVH, and all his readiness; how he swore an oath to YHVH, to the Mighty One of Jacob.

“I will not enter my house nor get into my bed; I will give no sleep to my eyes, no slumber to my eyelids; until I find a place for YHVH, a dwelling, for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

YHVH swore to David a promise, and He will remain true to it : “I will keep your descendants on your throne.”

“If your sons keep My Covenant and the decrees I have taught them; their sons, too, will sit forever upon your throne.”

For YHVH has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling : “This is My resting place forever; this I prefer; here, will I dwell.”

Thursday, 30 January 2020 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Samuel 7 : 18-19, 24-29

Then king David went in, sat before YHVH and said, “Who am I, o YHVH God, and who is my family that You have brought me so far? Yet this was not enough for You, o YHVH God, for You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a long time to come. Is this the way men act, o YHVH God?”

“You have set apart Your people Israel to become Your people forever; and You, YHVH, have become their God. Now, o YHVH God, keep forever the promise You made and have now revealed to me regarding myself and my family, that Your Name may be honoured forever and people may say, ‘YHVH of Hosts is God over Israel.’”

“The house of Your servant David will be secure before You because You, o YHVH of Hosts, God of Israel, have made it known to Your servant and have said to him : ‘Your family will last forever.’ This is why I have dared to address this prayer to You. So now, o YHVH God, since You are the faithful God, and have promised me this good thing, please bless my descendants, that they may continue forever before You. For You, o YHVH God, have spoken and, with Your blessing, my family shall be blessed forever.”