Saturday, 11 February 2023 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Our Lady of Lourdes)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today the Church celebrates the occasion of the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, marking that well-known Apparition of the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary at the site of Lourdes in rural southern part of France. This Apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes happened over a century and a half ago, in the mid 19th century, as Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes appeared before a young peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous, now better known as St. Bernadette, revealing her true nature and intentions to her. Despite the many challenges and doubts that St. Bernadette faced back then, eventually the Church acknowledged the vision and Apparition to be authentic, and celebrated universally as the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, with the site of Lourdes itself becoming one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the world.

Our Lady often appeared throughout history during times of great trials and hardships for the faithful people of God and for the world in general. She appeared in Hispania in the years of the persecutions against Christians during the earliest days of the Church to St. James the Apostle, now known as the Apparition of Our Lady of the Pillar, when Mary, who was probably even still living in the world back then, appeared to the Apostle to reassure him and to strengthen his resolve in proclaiming the truth of God to the people that he was ministering to. Mary also appeared in Guadalupe in Mexico, during the years immediately following the post-Columbian European expansion into the American continent, the New World when wars, conflicts, pandemics and other factors led to the sufferings and deaths of untold millions. Back then it was also right in the midst of the Protestant reformation when the Church became divided and splintered due to heretical teachings of those so-called reformers.

In all those occasions and others, the Blessed Virgin, Mother of God appeared to various people including that at Lourdes because she wanted to show us all the love of God and remind us of everything that her Son had done for our sake, in His sacrifice on His Cross out of ever pure and enduring love for each and every one of us. Despite our many transgressions and stubborn attitude in rejecting His kindness and love, God has always loved us regardless, and desired that each and every one of us may find our way back to Him, to be reconciled to Him, and at the same time He has also entrusted all of us to the loving care of His mother Mary, just as He had done so from His Cross. This way, each and every one of us are beloved and dear to her, and receive from her the most tender love that she has shown her Son, Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

In Lourdes, Our Lady appeared to the young, fourteen year old Bernadette Soubirous in the grotto of Massabielle where the Shrine to our Lady of Lourdes now stands. St. Bernadette initially did not know who it was that called her and appeared to her, but as she continued to meet Our Lady of Lourdes on more and more occasions, listening to her speaking and revealing more about herself, St. Bernadette kept on coming back to meet the Apparition of Our Lady. On this date, the eleventh day of February, was the date of the first apparition, and in total eighteen apparitions of Our Lady happened, and as people began to hear about the apparition of the Lady dressed in white with blue sash as encountered by the young St. Bernadette, they started to come to the site of the Apparition.

In one of the apparitions, Our Lady told St. Bernadette to dig the ground at that area and drink from the spring that would come forth from the ground. St. Bernadette did so faithfully and although it made her to appear dishevelled with mud, and dismayed some of her supporters, but the spring that came forth at the grotto site of the Apparition quickly gained a great reputation for healing, as the waters that came forth from the spring brought about quite a number of miraculous healings that scientists and doctors later on could not explain by whatever means, and the Church later certified as being authentic and miraculous in nature. That was the beginning of the famous healing miracles at Lourdes, and the beginning of the popular pilgrimage to the site of Our Lady’s Apparition, which drew millions of pilgrims and more every year.

When met by skepticism and doubt by the Church authorities, on the date of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, Our Lady told St. Bernadette Soubirous that she is the Immaculate Conception, which stunned the authorities, the local bishop and priest who therefore became convinced of the authenticity of the Apparition, as the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was just proclaimed by the Blessed Pope Pius IX four years prior to the Apparition, and at the age and time back then, with much more difficult communication and transport, there could have been no way for an illiterate young peasant girl like St. Bernadette to know this truth about the Blessed Virgin, the Immaculate Conception, unless the Apparition was indeed truly of the Mother of God herself.

From then on, for the next a century and half and more until today, Lourdes had become a place visited by innumerable pilgrims and Christian faithful, with various reasons, and many among them sought healing from their physical troubles and maladies. Many were cured miraculously by their faith in God, and with the help and intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes, His mother, who is also our loving mother. That is why today, on this World Day of the Sick, on the Feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, each and every one of us are reminded of God’s love for each one of us, which He has reassured us in many times, and which He lavished on us through the help of none other than His own mother Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, we are all seeking for healing for our various maladies and sickness, our various illnesses and troubles in life.

And even, just as we seek for God’s healing for us, among those of us who are perfectly fit physically and mentally, there is still the sickness of our souls, the corruption of sin that has always been ever present all around us. All of us mankind are sinners be it great or small sins that we have committed, or whether few or plenty in terms of the amount of sins we committed. Not only that, but it is the Lord alone Who is able to heal us from our sins, as while doctors and other means may heal us from our worldly sickness and troubles, no one can forgive sin save that of God Himself. Hence, each one of us on this day are reminded that we who are in need of God’s healing and mercy, all of us should come to seek Him wholeheartedly, and to humbly entrust ourselves to Him with the help from His most loving Mother Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes.

Let us ask then, for our blessed and loving Mother to pray and intercede for us, who are sinners and afflicted with many sickness and troubles, foremost of which is our corruption by sin. May Our Lady of Lourdes continue to pray and intercede for us sinners, and for those afflicted by various maladies, illnesses and sickness, all throughout the world. May the Lord have mercy on us and heal us from our troubles, and help us to come back to Him, and to be reunited with Him, in perfect bliss and happiness one day, free from the troubles of our flesh and our souls, pure and perfect once again. Amen.

Saturday, 11 February 2023 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Our Lady of Lourdes)

Mark 8 : 1-10

At that time, soon afterwards Jesus was in the midst of another large crowd, that obviously had nothing to eat. So He called His disciples and said to them, “I feel sorry for these people, because they have been with Me for three days and now have nothing to eat. If I send them to their homes hungry, they will faint on the way; some of them have come a long way.”

His disciples replied, “Where, in a deserted place like this, could we get enough bread to feed these people?” He asked them, “How many loaves have you?” And they answered, “Seven.” Then He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Taking the seven loaves and giving thanks, He broke them, and handed them to His disciples to distribute. And they distributed them among the people. They also had some small fish, so Jesus said a blessing, and asked that these be shared as well.

The people ate and were satisfied. The broken pieces were collected, seven wicker baskets full of leftovers. Now those who had eaten were about four thousand in number. Jesus sent them away, and immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and went to the region of Dalmanutha.

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Lourdes)

John 2 : 1-11

At that time, three days after Jesus called Nathanael, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also invited to the wedding with His disciples. When all the wine provided for the celebration had been served, and they had run out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

Jesus replied, “Woman, what concern is that to you and Me? My hour has not yet come.” However His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Nearby were six stone water jars, set there for ritual washing as practiced by the Jews; each jar could hold twenty or thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them to the brim. Then Jesus said, “Now draw some out and take it to the steward.” So they did. The steward tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing from where it had come; for only the servants who had drawn the water knew. So, he called the bridegroom to tell him, “Everyone serves the best wine first, and when people have drunk enough, he serves that which is ordinary. Instead you have kept the best wine until the end.”

This miraculous sign was the first, and Jesus performed it at Cana in Galilee. In this way He let His glory appear, and His disciples believed in Him.

Saturday, 11 February 2023 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Our Lady of Lourdes)

Psalm 89 : 2, 3-4, 5-6, 12-13

Before the mountains were formed, before You made the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity – You are God.

You turn humans back to dust, saying, “Return, o mortals!” A thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has passed, or like a watch in the night.

You sow them in their time, at dawn they peep out. In the morning they blossom, but the flower fades and withers in the evening.

So make us know the shortness of our life, that we may gain wisdom of heart. How long will you be angry, o Lord? Have mercy on Your servant.

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Lourdes)

Judith 13 : 18bcde, 19

My daughter, may the Most High God bless you more than all women on earth. And blessed be the Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth, Who has led you to behead the leader of our enemies.

Never will people forget the confidence you have shown; they will always remember the power of God.

Saturday, 11 February 2023 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Our Lady of Lourdes)

Genesis 3 : 9-24

YHVH God called the man saying to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard Your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree I ordered you not to eat?”

The man answered, “The woman You put with me gave me fruit from the tree and I ate it.” God said to the woman, “What have you done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me and I ate.”

YHVH God said to the serpent, “Since you have done that, be cursed among all the cattle and wild beasts! You will crawl on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. I will make you enemies, you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”

To the woman, God said, “I will increase your suffering in childbearing, and you will give birth to your children in pain. You will be dependent on your husband and he will lord it over you.” To the man, He said, “Because you have listened to your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I forbade you to eat, cursed be the soil because of you! In suffering you will provide food for yourself from it, all the days of your life.”

“It will produce thorn and thistle for you and you will eat the plants of the field. With sweat on your face you will eat your bread, until you return to clay, since it was from clay that you were taken, for you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

The man called his wife by the name of Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. YHVH God made garments of skin for the man and his wife, and with these He clothed them. Then YHVH God said, “Man has now become like one of Us making himself judge of good and evil. Let him not stretch out his hand to take and eat from the tree of life as well, and live forever.”

So God cast him from the garden of Eden to till the soil from which he had been made. And after having driven the man out, God posted Cherubim and a flaming sword that kept turning at the east of the garden of Eden to guard the way to the tree of Life.

Alternative reading (Mass of Our Lady of Lourdes)

Isaiah 66 : 10-14c

Rejoice for Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her. Be glad with her, rejoice with her, all you who were in grief over her, that you may suck of the milk from her comforting breasts, that you may drink deeply from the abundance of her glory.

For this is what YHVH says : I will send her peace, overflowing like a river; and the nations’ wealth, rushing like a torrent towards her. And you will be nursed and carried in her arms and fondled upon her lap. As a son comforted by his mother, so will I comfort you. At the sight of this, your heart will rejoice; like grass, your bones will flourish.

Friday, 10 February 2023 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Scholastica (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all reminded through the Scriptures to put our faith and trust in God and His truth, and not in the falsehoods and wickedness of Satan. God loves each and every one of us, and He has created us out of His pure and most enduring love for us. Meanwhile, Satan, as well as all of his wicked allies and forces, all were aiming only at our eventual downfall and destruction, snatching us away from God Who truly loves each and every one of us. They have always been busy at work in trying to subvert the messages of God’s truth and to tempt us so that we fall into the slippery path towards damnation and evil. We heard how Satan tricked our ancestors and made his false promises and spoke lies to tempt us to sin by disobeying God and His commandments.

In our first reading today, we heard of the continuation of the past few days’ account from the moment of the Creation of the world and the Universe, and specifically today we focused on the very moment that Satan came before Adam and Eve, tempting both of them with the very tempting allure of worldly power and glory, of knowledge, wisdom and understanding, to become even like God by knowing all things good and evil. Satan was in fact playing on our desires and wants, and in our moment of weakness, he struck where it caused us to lose our focus and faith in the Lord and His providence, that we chose to trust in the words of the great deceiver and enemy rather than to keep our faith and trust in the Lord. We chose to embrace the path of the world, the path of pride, ego and greed, and as a result, we fell into sin, just as Satan himself has fallen.

As a great and mighty, brilliant and amazing Angel and spirit that God had created, Lucifer, the original name and identity of Satan, was truly an amazing and great being, that showcased the marvels of God’s creations and wonders. However, this Angel was taken over by his vanity and pride, and began plotting rebellion and desires to take over the control over Heaven and all of God’s kingdom, to sit on God’s Throne and to rule over all. Hence, by his pride and ego, Satan had fallen, defeated and cast out of Heaven, and in his defeat, he sought to bring us down together with him and all of his fallen and defeated allies. Hence, he struck at us using the same things that had led to his downfall in the first place, the vices and wickedness of the world, the temptations to sin against God.

It is here also that we should notice the contrast and comparison we can make between our first and Gospel reading passages today. In the beginning, man and woman were made all good and perfect, and they had nothing lacking in them. They were naked and without anything to wear just like the other animals and plants of the field, and yet they were not embarrassed or ashamed. Yet, the moment they ate of the fruits of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil, they became aware of their nakedness and became embarrassed and panicked, seeking to hide themselves and their naked beings, and also hiding away from God. In the Gospel on the other hand, we heard of the Lord Jesus healing and opening the ears and loosening the tongue of a person who had been suffering from being deaf and mute.

Through this comparison, actually, we can see that because of sin, we have become ‘blinded’ and made to be unaware of God’s love and truth, as we allowed the veil and corruptions of sin to cover us and to prevent us from seeing the truth about God’s love and compassionate kindness towards each one of us. We became lacking in faith and trust in Him, and chose therefore to embrace the wickedness of our worldly desires and the many temptations all around us. Our ancestors, Adam and Eve became embarrassed and afraid of their nakedness and actions, because they were swallowed by their vanity and pride, and while they were once focused only on God, His love and kindness, they have become focused on their own selves and desires, turning inwards and away from God’s path.

Hence, the irony was that, while their eyes were indeed ‘opened’ by their newly gained knowledge about themselves, but sin had blinded them and made them to be unaware of the wickedness that they had done in disobeying God and in rebelling against Him. Yet, the Lord did not give up on us and continued to love us all most generously after all, and He gave us His own beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to deliver us from the hands of the devil, and from the tyranny of sin, evil and death. Through Him and His works, just as we heard in our Gospel passage today, He embodied and showed us all the perfect manifestation of God’s ever patient and enduring love for each and every one of us. He still loved us despite all of our stubborn attitudes and behaviours, because all of us are truly precious to Him.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, having heard from these readings from the Sacred Scriptures and reminded of how we mankind had often disobeyed the Lord, rejected His generous mercy and love, and continued to sin against Him, can we all spend some time to discern well our path forward in life? Can we all do whatever we can to resist those many temptations all around us, the temptations to sin and to do what is abhorrent and wicked in the sight of God? God is indeed ever patient and loving, but we should never take His love for granted, ever again. If we continue to walk down this path of sin and disobedience, eventually the time will come when we have no more way out of the predicament and our fate that is destruction and eternal damnation, and at that time, no amount of regret will ever console us or give us any hope, anymore. Let us all not wait until we regret for eternity in hellfire with Satan and his fellow fallen allies, and regret our rebelliousness.

Today we also celebrate the Feast of St. Scholastica, a renowned and great woman of God, a saint of the Church, who was the twin sister of St. Benedict of Nursia, another holy man of God. Her examples in commitment and love for God should indeed become source of hope and inspiration to each one of us in how we ourselves should live our lives with great faith. She was remembered for her great piety and personal holiness, as well as for her dedication to prayerful life and for her discipline in obeying the Law and commandments of God, through her obedience to the Rule of St. Benedict that her brother had established as the rule and norms for his community of the faithful. Through her examples and dedications, many others had become called and responded to God’s call, encouraging many more people to commit themselves ever more to the Lord, in their lives and in leading righteous lives, just as we all should as well.

May the Lord continue to watch over us and help us to journey ever closer to Him, and by heeding the good examples set by St. Scholastica and the innumerable other saints, holy men and women of God, that we may find our way to Him and His salvation. May God continue to bless us in everything that we say and do, and may He empower all of us to live ever more faithfully in His presence, now and always, and be good role models and inspirations to many others all around us. Amen.

Friday, 10 February 2023 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Scholastica (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Mark 7 : 31-37

At that time, again Jesus set out : from the country of Tyre He passed through Sidon and, skirting the sea of Galilee, He came to the territory of Decapolis. There, a deaf man, who also had difficulty in speaking, was brought to Him. They asked Jesus to lay His hand upon him.

Jesus took him apart from the crowd, and put His fingers into the man’s ears, and touched his tongue with spittle. Then, looking up to heaven, He said with a deep sigh, “Ephphata!” that is, “Be opened!”

And immediately, his ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak clearly. Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone about it; but the more He insisted, the more they proclaimed it. The people were completely astonished and said, “He has done all things well; He makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.”

Friday, 10 February 2023 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Scholastica (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 31 : 1-2, 5, 6, 7

Blessed is the one whose sin is forgiven, whose iniquity is wiped away. Blessed are those in whom YHVH sees no guilt and in whose spirit is found no deceit.

Then I made known to You my sin and uncovered before You my fault, saying to myself, “To YHVH I will now confess my wrong.” And You, You forgave my sin; You removed my guilt.

So let the faithful ones pray to You in time of distress; the overflowing waters will not reach them.

You are my Refuge; You protect me from distress and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Friday, 10 February 2023 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Scholastica (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Genesis 3 : 1-8

Now the serpent was the most crafty of all the wild creatures that YHVH God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say : You must not eat from any tree in the garden?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden, but of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden God said : You must not eat, and you must not touch it or you will die.”

The serpent said to the woman, “You will not die, but God knows that the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.” The woman saw that the fruit was good to eat, and pleasant to the eyes, and ideal for gaining knowledge. She took its fruit and ate it and gave some to her husband who was with her. He ate it.

Then their eyes were opened and both of them knew they were naked. So they sewed leaves of a fig tree together and made themselves loincloths. They heard the voice of YHVH God walking in the garden, in the cool of the day, and they, the man and his wife, hid from YHVH God among the trees of the garden.

Thursday, 9 February 2023 : 5th 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 Lord in the Scripture passages, we are reminded always again and again of God’s love and kindness, which He has lavished on each and every one of us since the very beginning of time. God has created us all out of His love for us, and He has provided us with everything we need, ever caring, kind and compassionate towards us, and He has always reached out to us, even after we have fallen away from His path of righteousness and grace. God has never abandoned or forgotten about us, and He has always loved us all the same. Yet, we mankind were still often stubborn and refused to follow God’s path, or accept His love, compassion and mercy, as we allow ourselves to be swayed and tempted by sin.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of Genesis in which the story of how God created our first ancestors, blessed them and provided for them in the Gardens of Eden, was told to us. Back then, man was supposed to live in perfect bliss, happiness and harmony, to be with God in the state of fullness of grace, and having no need to worry or any suffering at all. God made everything to be good and perfect, all wonderful and amazing, all creation to be entrusted to us as their caretakers and guardians, as stewards and as the Lord’s servants, His representatives and workers, in caring for everything that God Himself had made. The Lord entrusted all of those to us, expecting us to be good and faithful stewards to His creation, to be filled with righteousness and obedience to His will.

Unfortunately, we have instead lapsed into sin, and allowed the devil to have his way with us, as we embraced his lies and sweet words over that of obeying God and His commandments. We chose to entertain Satan who tempted us all with the temptations of worldly glory and desires, of greed and ambition, to seek to know more and to become even like God, just as Satan said to Adam and Eve, our ancestors. They allowed themselves to be swayed and convinced by the falsehoods of Satan, and chose to disobey God, and hence, became corrupted by sin. Thus that was how original sin came to afflict each and every one of us. Sin corrupted us and tore us away from the Lord, sundering us from His love and grace, and it all came from our inability to resist the temptations to sin.

Yet, God never gave up on us, and while we have to suffer the consequences of our sins, forced to wander off in this world and away from the perfect bliss of Eden that was intended for us, the Lord continued to watch over us and provide for us the means by which we may find our way back to Him. He has always patiently cared for us and provided for all of our needs, even when we still refused to budge and were stubborn in our rebellion against Him. Not only that, He even promised that He will liberate us all from the tyranny of sin, evil and death, and will gather us back to Himself, which He has done through the sending of His own Son, Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, into our midst, to be the source of our Hope and to lead us all as our Good Shepherd into the right path, that all of us may be reconciled to Him.

In our Gospel passage today, we then heard of the account of the encounter and exchanges between the Lord Jesus Himself and a Syro-Phoenician woman. Back then, the Jewish people were often prejudiced against the non-Jewish people, and the Syro-Phoenician woman was one of the people inhabiting regions neighbouring the Jewish areas in Judea and Galilee, and the Jews, especially the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law among them, often considered their neighbours to be inferior and unfit for God’s grace and love, because they deemed themselves as God’s chosen people, and hence the only ones who were deserving of God’s love and salvation. Not only that, but they took great pride in that, and they scorned those who did not share their thoughts and ideas, and all the pagan peoples.

At the first glance, it might seem that the Lord Jesus was being very rude and dismissive towards the Syro-Phoenician woman. However, the Lord did not do that with the intention to ridicule or being truly prejudiced against the woman. Instead, the Lord actually wanted to make a point before all the people assembled and all of the disciples, that it is indeed folly and unbecoming of God’s people to have such an elitist and biased attitude which they had been keeping up to that point. The Lord used that example by showing to everyone just how persistent and committed the woman was, and what a strong belief and faith that she had in the Lord, that despite everything that the Lord had said to her, she still insisted to seek the Lord and to ask and beg Him to heal her daughter who was very sick. She continued to trust and to be faithful to the Lord, and this faith is a great example to all of the disciples, as well as to all of us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore do our best to resist the evils and the temptations of sin all around us. Let us all recall that every one of us have been created all good and perfect by the Lord, and are expected to lead a life that is truly attuned to God’s will, believing in Him and having faith and trust in Him much as how the Syro-Phoenician woman had lived hers, and in her persistence to follow the Lord despite all that she had to face and endure. Each and every one of us are reminded that if we do not do our part, and do not resist the temptations of sin, all around us, it will be harder and harder for us to resist the pull of sin and we may end up falling deeper and deeper into the wrong paths, as we can easily lose focus on our true focus and attention, that is the Lord, our God and Saviour.

May all of us continue to grow ever more in faith, and may we all grow ever stronger in our devotion and love for God, and may all of us do all that we can in order to glorify Him by our lives, our actions, words and every deeds. Let us all turn towards the Lord with renewed faith and zeal, and let us all be good examples and inspirations to one another, so that we may encourage each other to keep our faith and to turn away the falsehoods and lies of Satan. May God be with us always, and may He guide us to Himself, and help us to walk ever more faithfully in His Presence, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Thursday, 9 February 2023 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 7 : 24-30

At that time, when Jesus left the place where He rebuked the Pharisees, He went to the border of the Tyrian country. There He entered a house, and did not want anyone to know He was there, but He could not remain hidden. A woman, whose small daughter had an evil spirit, heard of Him, and came and fell at His feet. Now this woman was a pagan, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she begged Him to drive the demon out of her daughter.

Jesus told her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to puppies.” But she replied, “Sir, even the puppies under the table eat the crumbs from the children’s bread.” Then Jesus said to her, “You may go your way; because of such a response, the demon has gone out of your daughter.”

And when the woman went home, she found her child lying in bed, and the demon gone.