Saturday, 30 January 2021 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

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

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us are reminded today that faith is truly important for each and every one of us, and all of us need to have faith in God and trust in Him no matter what. We need to entrust ourselves to Him and do not fear what may come our way, no matter how difficult things may be. Yes, it is natural for us to be fearful and to be afraid, to think about what may happen to us and all other things, but in the end, we must hold on firmly to the belief that God will triumph with us in the end.

In our Scripture readings today we are presented with the story of faith as how it had happened throughout the history of salvation. We heard from the first reading today the story of Abraham and Sarah, who had been expecting a child from God, promised even in their old ages. Earlier on, Abraham had followed the Lord and responded to His call when he left behind his ancestral home and went to the land pointed out by the Lord to be his own land and the land to be possessed by his descendants.

God made a Covenant with Abraham, and promised him that he would be the father of many nations. Initially, Abraham also did doubt for a little as he took a slave named Hagar and had a son with her, named Ishmael. But God again reassured Abraham as well as his wife Sarah, that it was their son who would become the father of many nations just as God had promised. Initially Sarah herself was also skeptical, laughing when the Lord disguised as visitors came to Abraham to tell him of the news.

But eventually the Lord fulfilled all that He has promised and Isaac was born, the promised child that came to be as promised. And when God tested Abraham by asking him to bring his son Isaac to Mount Moria and offer him as a sacrifice, Abraham, as saddened and sorrowful as he might have been, obeyed the Lord and entrusted himself to Him, bringing his son and doing everything just as the Lord had said. The Lord interfered after having seen the faith of Abraham, and reassured Abraham once again that for his enduring faith, he would be blessed above all.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, from that reading therefore we have heard of the great faith of our forefathers, all those who put their complete faith in the Lord. And in our Gospel passage today we heard the account about the disciples and the Lord who were in the middle of the lake and whose boat was beset by a great storm with strong winds and waves. The disciples, many of whom were fishermen themselves, knew the danger and were very afraid of what would happen to them.

They feared that the great storm would destroy and sink their boat, and then all of them would perish. That was why they panicked and begged the Lord frantically to do something for them. They were all frightened and certainly feared death, and they had little faith in the Lord. The Lord, Who was then sleeping, woke up and calmed the storm, the waves and the wind, which immediately ceased and everything became still.

The Lord rebuked and chided His disciples for their lack of faith and trust in Him, in giving in to their fears and uncertainties. Again, although it is natural for us to feel afraid and to be uncertain, but this tells us that we must never allow ourselves to be controlled by those fears. We must not allow those fears from controlling us and our choice of actions.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today therefore we are all called to reflect on what it means for us to have faith in God. Is our faith in the Lord so shallow that we have not entrusted ourselves completely to His care? Have we even begun to trust the Lord more rather than worrying and trusting more in our own power? These are the questions that we should ask ourselves as we reflect on our paths going forward in life.

May the Lord continue to guide us and strengthen us that we may live ever more faithfully with each and every passing moments. May we draw ever more to Him and be inspired by the examples of our holy predecessors in faith, now and always. Amen.

Saturday, 30 January 2021 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

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

Mark 4 : 35-41

At that time, on that same day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.”

So they left the crowd, and took Him away in the boat He had been sitting in, and other boats set out with Him. Then a storm gathered and it began to blow a gale. The waves spilled over into the boat, so that it was soon filled with water. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.

They woke Him up, and said, “Master, do You not care if we drown?” And rising up, Jesus rebuked the wind, and ordered the sea, “Quiet now! Be still!” The wind dropped, and there was a great calm. Then Jesus said to them, “Why are you so frightened? Do you still have no faith?”

But they were terrified, and they said to one another, “Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

Saturday, 30 January 2021 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

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

Luke 1 : 69-70, 71-72, 73-75

In the house of David His servant, He has raised up for us a victorious Saviour; as He promised through His prophets of old.

Salvation from our enemies and from the hand of our foes. He has shown mercy to our fathers; and remembered His holy covenant.

The oath He swore to Abraham, our father, to deliver us from the enemy, that we might serve Him fearlessly, as a holy and righteous people, all the days of our lives.

Saturday, 30 January 2021 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

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

Hebrews 11 : 1-2, 8-19

Faith is the assurance of what we hope for, being certain of what we cannot see. Because of their faith our ancestors were approved. It was by faith that Abraham, called by God, set out for a country that would be given to him as an inheritance; for he parted without knowing where he was going.

By faith he lived as a stranger in that promised land. There he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, beneficiaries of the same promise. Indeed, he looked forward to that city of solid foundation of which God is the Architect and Builder.

By faith Sarah herself received power to become a mother, in spite of her advanced age; since she believed that He Who had made the promise would be faithful. Therefore, from an almost impotent man were born descendants as numerous as the stars of heavens, as many as the grains of sand on the seashore.

Death found all these people strong in their faith. They had not received what was promised, but they had looked ahead and had rejoiced in it from afar, saying that they were foreigners and travellers on earth. Those who speak in this way prove that they are looking for their own country. For if they had longed for the land they had left, it would have been easy for them to return, but no, they aspired to a better city, that is, a supernatural one; so God, Who prepared the city for them is not ashamed of being called their God.

By faith Abraham went to offer Isaac when God tested him. And so he who had received the promise of God offered his only son although God had told him : Isaac’s descendants will bear your name. Abraham reasoned that God is capable even of raising the dead, and he received back his son, which has a figurative meaning.