Thursday, 11 August 2016 : 19th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Clare, Virgin (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Ezekiel 12 : 1-12

This word of YHVH came to me, “Son of man, you live in the midst of a house of rebels : they have eyes for seeing but do not see; they have ears for hearing but do not hear, for they are a house of rebels. Because of this, son of man, prepare for yourself an exile’s baggage in their sight as an exile does; and go as in an exile to another place in their sight. Would that they may understand, because they are a house of rebels.”

“You will gather your things, an exile’s baggage, by day to be seen by them, and you will leave in the evening as for a departure of deportees. While they look on, dig a hole in the wall and leave from there. As they look on, shoulder your baggage and leave in the dark. Veil your face and do not look at the land for I have made you a sign for Israel.”

I did as I was ordered, gathering my things by day, an exile’s baggage, and in the evening I made a hole in the wall with my hand. I left in the dark, in their presence, shouldering my baggage. In the morning, the word of YHVH came to me : “Son of man, did not the Israelites, these rebels, ask you, ‘What are you doing there?’ Answer them on behalf of YHVH : This oracle concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the Israelites remaining in the city.”

“Say, ‘I am a sign for you,’ for what I have done will happen to them : They will be deported, exiled. The prince among them shall shoulder his baggage in the dark and depart. They will dig a hole in the wall to let him leave by it. He will cover his face because he must not see the land with his eyes.”

Monday, 1 August 2016 : 18th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Jeremiah 28 : 1-17

Early in the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah spoke to me. Hananiah son of Azzur from Gibeon proclaimed in YHVH’s House in the presence of the priests and the people, “This is what YHVH the God of hosts and the God of Israel says : I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.”

“Within two years I will bring back to this place all the objects that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took away from YHVH’s House and carried to Babylon. I will likewise bring back Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all who were taken from Judah and deported to Babylon. For I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon – word of YHVH.”

Then Jeremiah replied to Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people, “So be it! May YHVH fulfil the words you have spoken and bring back from Babylon to this place the objects taken from the House of YHVH and all the exiles. Yet hear now what I say in your hearing and the hearing of all the people.”

“The prophets who came before you and me continually prophesied war, disaster and plague to many nations and great kingdoms. So the prophet who prophesies peace will not be recognises as truly sent by YHVH, until his predictions are fulfilled.”

Then Hananiah took the yoke from the neck of Jeremiah and broke it. Hananiah proclaimed in the presence of all the people, “YHVH says this : In the same manner within two years will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar from the neck of all the nations.” Then Jeremiah the prophet went on his way.

Some time later, a word of YHVH came to Jeremiah, “Go and tell this to Hananiah : This is what YHVH says : You have broken a wooden yoke but in its place you will get a yoke of iron. For this is what YHVH the God of hosts and the God of Israel says : I am placing a yoke of iron on the neck of all the nations to make them serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and they will serve him. I will even give him control over the wild animals.”

Then Jeremiah said to Hananiah, “Listen! Hananiah, you have not been sent by YHVH and yet you have deceived these people, giving them false hope with your lies. That is why YHVH says with regard to you : I am removing you from the face of the earth. You will die this very year because you have counselled rebellion against YHVH.”

And in the seventh month of that year Hananiah died.

Friday, 5 June 2015 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Tobit 11 : 5-17

Now Anna was sitting there, scanning the road along which her son should return. She saw Tobias and Raphael coming in the distance and said to the father of Tobias, “Your son is coming with the man who accompanied him.”

While Tobias and Raphael were still going along the road, Raphael said to Tobias, “I am sure that your father will regain his sight. Rub his eyes with the fish gall and when he feels his eyes itching, he will rub them and the film will come away like scales from his eyes. He will regain his sight and see the light.”

Anna ran to meet Tobias and threw her arms around his neck saying, “At last I have seen you again, my child. Now I can die!” And both of them began to cry. Tobit also got up and, stumbling, arrived at the door of the courtyard. Tobias ran to him with the fish gall in his hand.

He breathed on his father’s eyes, embraced him and said, “Father, have confidence!” Then he spread the fish gall on Tobit’s eyes. Tobias waited. When his eyes began to itch, Tobit rubbed them and with both hands scaled off the film from the corners of his eyes. When Tobit saw his son he threw his arms around Tobias’s neck and began to weep.

He said, “Blessed be You, o God. Blessed be Your Name forever. Blessed be Your holy angels. You have punished me, but You have taken pity on me, and now I can see my son, Tobias.”

Tobias was very happy. After entering the house he told his father about the important things that had happened in Media. He told his father about the successful outcome of his journey, how he got the money, and how he married Sara, daughter of Ragouel, who just then was approaching the gates of Nineveh.

Tobit, happy and praising God, went out to meet his daughter-in-law at the gates of Nineveh. All those who saw him, walking alone and unaided, were amazed that he could see. Tobit proclaimed to them that God had taken pity on him and cured him. Then he went to Sara and blessed her saying, “Welcome, daughter! May God be blessed for having brought you to us and may your father and mother also be blessed.”

It was a day of great rejoicing for all Tobit’s relatives who lived in Nineveh.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Marcellinus and St. Peter, Martyrs (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)

Tobit 2 : 9-14

That same night, after I had buried the body, I returned home. I washed myself and went out into the courtyard to sleep against the wall; my face was uncovered because of the heat.

I did not see that there were sparrows on the wall of the courtyard and, as my eyes were open, the hot droppings from the sparrows fell into my eyes and formed a white film on my eyes. I went to find doctors to attend to me for medical treatment but the more ointments they smeared on my eyes, the more blind I became because of the film.

Finally I became totally blind. I suffered from blindness for four years. All my brothers were burdened because of me. Ahikar kept me for two years before he departed for Elymiade. My wife Anna worked hard at a woman’s task, weaving. On the seventh day of the month of March she cut the cloth and delivered it to her employers. They paid her wages and gave her, over and above, a young goat for food.

When she returned home the kid began to cry. I said to her, “Where does the little kid come from? Did you steal it? Return it to its owners for we are not allowed to eat anything that is stolen.” But she said, “It is a gift which has been given to me in addition to my wages.”

“I do not believe it. I tell you to return it to its owners.” I was ashamed of her. She replied, “What about your own almsgiving and your good deeds? I have to put up with all this from you.”

Friday, 13 March 2015 : 3rd Week of Lent, 2nd Anniversary of the Election of Pope Francis, Vicar of Christ and Supreme Pontiff (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Hosea 14 : 2-10

Return to your God YHVH, o Israel! Your sins have caused your downfall. Return to YHVH with humble words. Say to Him, “Oh You who show compassion to the fatherless, forgive our debt, be appeased. Instead of bulls and sacrifices, accept the praise from our lips.”

“Assyria will not save us : no longer shall we look for horses nor ever again shall we say ‘Our gods’ to the work of our hands.”

YHVH said, “I will heal their wavering and love them with all My heart for My anger has turned from them. I shall be like dew to Israel like the lily he will blossom. Like a cedar he will send down his roots; his young shoots will grow and spread. His splendour will be like an olive tree, his fragrance, like a Lebanon cedar.”

“They will dwell in My shade again, they will flourish like the grain, they will blossom like a vine, and their fame will be like Lebanon wine. What would Ephraim do with idols, when it is I who hear and make him prosper? I am like an ever-green cypress tree; all your fruitfulness comes from Me.”

“Who is wise enough to grasp all this? Who is discerning and will understand? Straight are the ways of YHVH : the just walk in them, but the sinners stumble.”

Thursday, 14 August 2014 : 19th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Ezekiel 12 : 1-12

This word of YHVH came to me, “Son of man, you live in the midst of a house of rebels : they have eyes for seeing but do not see; they have ears for hearing but do not hear, for they are a house of rebels. Because of this, son of man, prepare for yourself an exile’s baggage in their sight as an exile does; and go as an exile to another place in their sight. Would that they may understand, because they are a house of rebels.”

“You will gather your things, an exile’s baggage, by day to be seen by them, and you will leave in the evening as for a departure of deportees. While they look on, dig a hole in the wall and leave from there. As they look on, shoulder your baggage and leave in the dark. Veil your face and do not look at the land for I have made you a sign for Israel.”

I did as I was ordered, gathering my things by day, an exile’s baggage, and in the evening I made a hole in the wall with my hand. I left in the dark, in their presence, shouldering my baggage.

In the morning the word of YHVH came to me : “Son of man, did not the Israelites, these rebels, ask you, ‘What are you doing there?’ Answer them on behalf of YHVH : This oracle concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the Israelites remaining in the city.”

“Say, ‘I am a sign for you,’ for what I have done will happen to them : They will be deported, exiled. The prince among them shall shoulder his baggage in the dark and depart. They will dig a hole in the wall to let him leave by it. He will cover his face because he must not see the land with his eyes.”

Friday, 25 July 2014 : Feast of St. James, Apostle (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red (Apostles and Martyrs)

Psalm 125 : 1-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6

When the Lord brought the exiles back to Zion, we were like those moving in a dream. Then our mouths were filled with laughter, and our tongues with songs of joy.

Among the nations it was said, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord had done great things for us, and we were glad indeed.

Bring back our exiles, o Lord, like fresh streams in the desert. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs and shouts of joy.

They went forth weeping, bearing the seeds for sowing, they will come home with joyful shouts, bringing their harvested sheaves.