Saturday, 5 November 2016 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are reminded yet again by the word of God written in the Sacred Scriptures that we should not allow ourselves to be controlled by money, possession, greed and all the materialistic culture which this world is espousing and spreading to all the people, lest we lose our path and focus, as God reminded us that we cannot be servant both to Him and to money.

First of all, it does not mean that we should sell off all our belongings and shun all forms of earthly possessions. Wealth, money and possessions are in themselves neutral in nature, as they are just tools that can be used either for good purposes or for wicked and selfish purposes. Wealth can be used to bring happiness and relief to others, when we are charitable enough to share what we have more with those who have less, but it can also lead to sorrow, pain and suffering when in our obsession for it, we caused harm upon others.

It is when we become enslaved and serve money and all forms of worldly possessions that we end up falling into the deep trap set up for us by the devil and all those seeking our destruction. These have enticed us to continue to desire for more of what we have, and even to jealously guard our possessions from others, thinking that we alone deserve to have what we have. That was the attitude shown by the Pharisees at that time, for which our Lord rebuked them.

As Christians, we are called to be less selfish and show more care and concern for our brethren in need. We cannot be closed off within ourselves or be selfish, not thinking about those brethren of ours around us, whose life can be helped even with just a small charity and compassion from us. And that is the challenge that we as Christians should take on, in how we can devote ourselves ever more to love and care for our suffering ones and for those who are poor and needy.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the ways of this world are selfishness, pride, arrogance, greed and filled with ego, but the ways of the world are selflessness, humility, prudence and generosity, filled with love, care and compassion for our needy brethren. And this is the reality of what we should realise, that we have been given the means and the opportunities to do many good things, and we should therefore make use of these opportunities given to us.

After all, our true treasure, one that we ought to seek, is not in this world. We gain nothing by accumulating treasures of money, wealth, properties, buildings or any other worldly goods and standards of success. Many if not most of these are transient and temporary, and they can be destroyed by the forces of this world in the blink of an eye. Instead, our true treasure can be found in God alone.

And how do we build up this true treasure of ours? It is by showing charity, mercy and compassion to the sick, to the poor and the ostracised, to one another, giving ourselves out of love to those who need our love. It does not have to be always contributions of wealth, money or material goods that can bring about one’s happiness, but also our presence, filled with love and concern for those who need these.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, are we all ready to take up this challenge? Are we ready to show care and love for our brethren? Are we willing to be selfless and to share our joy and blessings with those who have less or none? We are the ones whom God had empowered and blessed to be His children and His people, and thus it is just right for us to share these blessings and goodness with those who need them.

May the Lord bless us and keep us in His grace always. And may His love flourish within us, that filled up with His love and joy, we may always become source of joy and grace for all the peoples. God be with us all. Amen.

Saturday, 5 November 2016 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)
Luke 16 : 9-15

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “And so I tell you : use filthy money to make friends for yourselves, so that, when it fails, these people may welcome you into the eternal homes. Whoever can be trusted in little things can also be trusted in great ones; whoever is dishonest in slight matters will also be dishonest in greater ones.”

“So if you have been dishonest in handling filthy money, who would entrust you with true wealth? And if you have been dishonest with things that are not really yours, who will give you that wealth which is truly your own? No servant can serve two masters. Either he does not like the one and is fond of the other, or he regards one highly and the other with contempt. You cannot give yourself both to God and to Money.”

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and sneered at Jesus. He said to them, “You do your best to be considered righteous by people. But God knows the heart, and what is highly esteemed by human beings is loathed by God.”

Saturday, 5 November 2016 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)
Psalm 111 : 1-2, 5-6, 8a and 9

Alleluia! Blessed is the one who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commands. His children will be powerful on earth; the upright’s offspring will be blessed.

It will be well with him who lends freely, who leads a life of justice and honesty. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered and loved forever.

His heart is confident, he needs not fear, he gives generously to the poor, his merits will last forever and his head will be raised in honour. 

Saturday, 5 November 2016 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)
Philippians 4 : 10-19

I rejoice in the Lord because of your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me before, but you had no opportunity to show it. I do not say this because of being in want; I have learnt to manage with what I have. I know what it is to be in want and what it is to have plenty. I am trained for both : to be hungry or satisfied, to have much or little. I can do all things in Him Who strengthens me.

However you did right in sharing my trials. You Philippians, remember that in the beginning, when we first preached the Gospel, after I left Macedonia you alone opened for me a debit and credit account, and when I was in Thessalonica, twice you sent me what I needed.

It is not your gift that I value but rather the interest increasing in your own account. Now I have enough and more than enough with everything Epaphroditus brought me on your behalf and which I received as “fragrant offerings pleasing to God.” God Himself will provide you with everything you need, according to His riches, and show you His generosity in Christ Jesus.