Tuesday, 31 August 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture, all of us are called to trust in the Lord, to follow Him wholeheartedly and listen to Him, as we should. As Christians, all of us believe in the Lord and His truth, and we should trust that He will take good care of us and provide for our needs. He shall not abandon us to the wicked, and He shall deliver us from our troubles in the end, and we shall find eternal rest and true joy in Him.

In our first reading today, St. Paul the Apostle in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in Thessalonica mentioned about the Lord’s providence for His people, how He would care for them as His beloved ones, and they would receive from Him great grace and blessings, as they are the people of the Light, God’s own children. Yet, they also have to be vigilant and alert, lest they may be tempted by the various temptations of the world. They have to place their trust in the Lord and be faithful to His Law and commandments.

In that, through what St. Paul said in the latter part of today’s first reading and our Gospel passage today, we heard how God has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be Our Lord and Saviour. He is the One promised by the Lord, through His many prophets and messengers, and He has proved it all by His coming into the world. God has not held back even giving us His Son, to be born into our midst and to grace us with His presence, suffering and dying for us, for the salvation of our souls.

And in the Gospel passage today we heard of the miraculous deeds that the Lord had performed before all the people in Capernaum, just as He had impressed them with the wisdom of His words and the authority by which He had delivered His truth before everyone. He taught in the synagogue and then confronted the evil spirits that possessed a man. The evil spirits told the Lord that he knew Who He really was, and told everyone that the One before them was truly the Holy One of God, the One promised by the Lord through His prophets.

And if we recall the Gospel passage from yesterday, which told us about how the Lord was rejected and cast out by His own townspeople in Nazareth, and their lack of faith and refusal to trust Him, we can see the irony in that it was the evil spirits which were rebels against God that acknowledged Him and spoke the truth about Who He truly was. And this is because although they might have rebelled against God and were still defying Him, but they too were the subjects of the Lord and could not deny the truth before Him, of what they had already known.

Those evil spirits also likely hoped to undermine the Lord’s works of saving His people, by speaking the truth about Jesus’ true identity, which as we had seen from the reactions of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law could have caused further frictions and obstacles. But the Lord decisively acted and commanded those evil spirits to leave the man, and those spirits obeyed and had to leave the man, who was then thereafter healed from all of his afflictions and was fully restored.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us are called to reflect on what we have just heard in today’s Scripture readings. God has shown His love so evidently and so frequently for us, and yet many of us are still in denial of His love, and refused to believe in Him despite everything that we had seen Him doing, all the things that He had proven to us, and for all the blessings and wonders that He had provided for us. Many of us still lived in the state of sin, which is truly unbecoming of our identity as Christians.

Let us all therefore discern our path, that our lives may be more faithful and our actions, words and deeds be more aligned with God and His will. Let us all trust in the Lord and follow Him wholeheartedly, and believe in Him and His loving providence all the time. Let us no longer doubt Him or ignore His love, and embrace Him and His love with all of our hearts, with all of our strength. May the Lord be with us always, and may He bless us all in our every endeavours and good works. Amen.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 4 : 31-37

At that time, Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee, and began teaching the people at the Sabbath meetings. They were astonished at the way He taught them, for His word was spoken with authority.

In the synagogue, there was a man possessed by an evil spirit, who shouted in a loud voice, “What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I recognise You : You are the Holy One of God.”

Then Jesus said to him sharply, “Be silent and leave this man!” The evil spirit then threw the man down in front of them, and came out of him without doing him harm. Amazement seized all these people, and they said to one another, “What does this mean? He commands the evil spirits with authority and power. He orders, and you see how they come out!”

And news about Jesus spread throughout the surrounding area.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 26 : 1, 4, 13-14

YHVH is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? YHVH is the rampart of my life; I will not be afraid.

One thing I ask of YHVH, one thing I seek – that I may dwell in His house all the days of my life, to gaze at His jewel and to visit His Sanctuary.

I hope, I am sure, that I will see the goodness of YHVH in the land of the living. Trust in YHVH, be strong and courageous. Yes, put your hope in YHVH!

Tuesday, 31 August 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Thessalonians 5 : 1-6, 9-11

You do not need anyone to write to you about the delay, and the appointed time for these events. You know, that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people feel secure, and at peace, the disaster will suddenly come upon them, as the birth pangs of a woman in labour, and they will not escape.

But you, beloved, are not in darkness; so that day will not surprise you like a thief. All of you are citizens of the light and the day; we do not belong to night and darkness. Let us not, therefore, sleep as others do, but remain alert and sober.

For God has not willed us to be condemned, but to win salvation, through Christ Jesus, our Lord. He died for us, so that, we might enter into life, with Him, whether we are still awake or already asleep. Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another, as you are doing now.