Saturday, 5 September 2020 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Teresa of Kolkata, Religious (First Reading)

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

1 Corinthians 4 : 6b-15

Learn by this example, not to believe yourselves superior by siding with one against the other. How, then, are you more than the others? What have you that you have not received? And if you received it, why are you proud, as if you did not receive it?

So, then, you are already rich and satisfied, and feel like kings, without us! I wish you really were kings, so that we might enjoy the kingship with you! It seems to me, that God has placed us, the Apostles, in the last place, as if condemned to death, and as spectacles for the whole world, for the Angels as well as for mortals.

We are fools for Christ, while you show forth the wisdom of Christ. We are weak, you are strong. You are honoured, while we are despised. Until now we hunger and thirst, we are poorly clothed and badly treated, while moving from place to place. We labour, working with our hands. People insult us and we bless them, they persecute us and we endure everything; they speak evil against us, and ours are works of peace. We have become like the scum of the earth, like the garbage of humankind until now.

I do not write this to shame you, but to warn you, as very dear children. Because, even though you may have ten thousand guardians in the Christian life, you have only one Father; and it was I who gave you life in Christ through the Gospel.

Friday, 4 September 2020 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 4 : 1-5

Let everyone then see us as the servants of Christ and stewards of the secret works of God. Being stewards, faithfulness shall be demanded of us; but I do not mind if you or any human court judges me. I do not even judge myself; my conscience indeed does not accuse me of anything, but that is not enough for me to be set right with God : the Lord is the One Who judges me.

Therefore, do not judge before the time, until the coming of the Lord. He will bring to light whatever was hidden in darkness and will disclose the secret intentions of the hearts. Then each one will receive praise from God.

Thursday, 3 September 2020 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Corinthians 3 : 18-23

Do not deceive yourselves. If anyone of you considers himself wise in the ways of the world, let him become a fool, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s eyes. To this, Scripture says : God catches the wise in their own wisdom. It also says : The Lord knows the reasoning of the wise, that it is useless.

Because of this, let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you; Paul, Apollos, Cephas – life, death, the present and the future. Everything is yours, and you, you belong to Christ, and Christ is of God.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 3 : 1-9

I could not, friends, speak to you as spiritual persons but as fleshly people, for you are still infants in Christ. I gave you milk, and not solid food, for you were not ready for it, and, up to now, you cannot receive it, for you are still of the flesh. As long as there is jealousy and strife, what can I say, but that you are at the level of the flesh, and behave like ordinary people.

While one says : “I follow Paul,” and the other : “I follow Apollos,” what are you, but people still at a human level? For what is Apollos? What is Paul? They are ministers; and through them, you believed, as it was given by the Lord, to each of them. I planted, Apollos watered the plant, but God made it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God, Who makes the plant grow.

The one who plants and the one who waters work to the same end, and the Lord will pay each, according to their work. We are fellow-workers with God, but you are God’s field and building.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 2 : 10b-16

Because the Spirit probes everything, even the depth of God. Who, but his own spirit, knows the secrets of a person? Similarly, no one, but the Spirit of God, knows the secrets of God. We have not received the spirit of world, but the Spirit Who comes from God and, through Him, we understand what God, in His goodness, has given us.

So we speak of this, not in terms inspired by human wisdom, but in a language taught by the Spirit, explaining a spiritual wisdom to spiritual persons. The one who remains on the psychological level does not understand the things of the Spirit. They are foolishness for him; and he does not understand, because they require a spiritual experience.

On the other hand, the spiritual person judges everything, but no one judges him. Who has known the mind of God so as to teach Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Monday, 31 August 2020 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 2 : 1-5

When I came to reveal to you the mystery of God’s plan I did not count on eloquence or on a show of learning. I was determined not to know anything among you but Jesus, the Messiah, and a crucified Messiah. I myself came weak, fearful and trembling; my words and preaching were not brilliant or clever to win listeners.

It was, rather, a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might be a matter not of human wisdom, but of God’s power.

Friday, 28 August 2020 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Corinthians 1 : 17-25

For Christ did not send me to baptise, but to proclaim His Gospel. And not with beautiful words! That would be like getting rid of the cross of Christ. The language of the cross remains nonsense for those who are lost. Yet for us who are saved, it is the power of God, as Scripture says : I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and make fail the foresight of the foresighted. Masters of human wisdom, educated people, philosophers, you have no reply! And the wisdom of this world? God let it fail.

At first, God spoke the language of wisdom, and the world did not know God through wisdom. Then God thought of saving the believers, through the foolishness that we preach. The Jews ask for miracles and the Greeks for a higher knowledge, while we proclaim a crucified Messiah. For the Jews, what a great scandal! And for the Greeks, what nonsense! But He is Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God, for those called by God among both Jews and Greeks.

In reality, the “foolishness” of God is wiser than humans, and the “weakness” of God is stronger than humans.

Thursday, 27 August 2020 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Monica (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Corinthians 1 : 1-9

From Paul, called to be an Apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God, and from Sosthenes, our brother, to God’s Church which is in Corinth; to you, whom God has sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called, to be holy, together, with those, who, everywhere, call upon the Name of Our Lord Christ Jesus, their Lord and ours.

Receive grace, and peace from God, Our Father, and Christ Jesus, Our Lord. I give thanks, constantly, to my God, for you, and for the grace of God given to you, in Christ Jesus. For you have been fully enriched, in Him, with words, as well as with knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you. You do not lack any spiritual gift and only await the glorious coming of Christ Jesus, Our Lord.

He will keep you steadfast to the end, and you will be without reproach, on the day of the coming of Our Lord Jesus. The faithful God will not fail you, after calling you to this fellowship with His Son, Christ Jesus, Our Lord.

Saturday, 11 June 2016 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we commemorate the feast of one of the Holy Apostles of Christ, who although he did not belong to the Twelve Apostles, the principal Apostles and disciples of our Lord, but nevertheless, his role in the propagation of our Faith and in the development of the early Church was very crucial indeed.

St. Barnabas the Apostle travelled extensively with St. Paul the Apostle, who was also not counted among the Twelve Apostles, and yet both of them indeed played a very crucial role in the early and developmental years of the Church. Through their work and preachings throughout the Eastern Mediterranean region, from Syria to Roman Asia and Ephesus, to Cyprus and to Roman Greece, Macedonia and beyond, they have laid the important foundations of the Church in those places.

In doing so, he and the other Apostles have done what the Lord Himself commanded them to do, which we heard as part of our Gospel passage today. The Gospel spoke about the Lord Jesus sending out His disciples to preach the Good News and the kingdom of God to the people, and to bring the message of salvation to them.

And they were also sent with the authority to cast out demons and evil spirits, and to heal the sick and minister to the poor and the outcasts of the society. God gave them the power and authority to do so, and giving them the gifts of His Holy Spirit to bless and guide them along the journey, inflaming their hearts with the courage and hope, as well as with strength to carry out the mission which has been entrusted to them. And they did carry the mission with full faith in God and devoted all their time and efforts for that purpose.

And what is that mission, brothers and sisters in Christ? Our Lord Jesus Himself mentioned that just before He departed and ascended in glory to heaven, as the last of His commands to His disciples. The goal of all the faithful is to declare and to preach the Good News and the salvation of God as shown through Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Lord of all, and to bring these to all mankind to the very ends of the earth.

And St. Barnabas had carried out that mission faithfully and with great courage. He met many difficulties, challenges and even harsh persecutions from the Jews and the pagans alike. And with St. Paul he persevered through all of them, even though he had been cursed, rejected, shouted against, had stone cast on him, and cast out of the cities and towns he has been working and preaching in.

The works and examples of St. Barnabas can indeed be an inspiration to all of us. And we all need to realise that the works that the Lord had laid out for His Apostles had not ended yet, and neither had the work been completed, as it is still ongoing and in progress. The Church may be completely different from how it was during the time of the Apostles, at the time when St. Barnabas still lived and walked on this world, but the core mission of the Church remains yet the same.

Now in our world today, in fact the need is even far greater for us to reach out to the world and to all the people whom we have been sent to by the Lord. There are many areas in this world, and many more people who are in need of our help. God has sent us all to bring His word to them, to reveal to them His truth and salvation. But there are yet many more people who have not heard of the Lord, or they have misunderstood His truth, or even rejected Him.

It is important therefore that we should understand how important is the role which we have as part of the Church of God. We have to know that the works of the Apostles that continue on to this very day is now our responsibility and ours to bear. If none of us are to take up the challenge, then who else will? Who else will be there to bring the word of God to the multitude of people who still live in denial and in the darkness?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we live our lives today, let us all realise that there is much that we can do in order to be part of this Church’s effort to bring the light of the world into this world and reveal the wholeness of His truth to mankind. Let us pour forth our effort and works in order to contribute to the evangelising mission of the Church, by starting with ourselves and in our communities, devoting ourselves and our time for the Lord.

May God bless us all and give us the strength and courage to carry out this mission. May we not be daunted by the challenges we are to face ahead of us if we continue on this path, just as St. Barnabas had persevered through those challenges, the rejection from the world and even threats and dangers to his life. Let us never back down from the mission God had entrusted to us, and may we always be forever faithful to Him, now and always. Amen.

Saturday, 11 June 2016 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Matthew 10 : 7-13

At that time, Jesus spoke to His twelve disciples, “Go and proclaim this message : The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. You received this as a gift, so give it as a gift. Do not carry any gold, silver or copper in your purses. Do not take a traveller’s bag, or an extra shirt, or sandals, or a staff : workers deserve their living.”

“When you come to a town or a village, look for a worthy person, and stay there until you leave. When you enter the house, wish it peace. If the people in the house deserve it, your peace will be on them; if they do not deserve it, your blessing will come back to you.”