Saturday, 7 September 2013 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflection)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we heard and be reaffirmed today, of the love our God has for all of us. That the Lord in His love, has given all of Himself through His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. He gave to us an outpouring of His love, and in His strong desire to bring us and reunite us back to Himself, He had sent us prophets and messengers to deliver His will to the people and to guide them to return to Him.

In the same way, through Moses His servant, He had revealed to His children about Himself, how He cares very much for their wellbeing, and showed them His love even when they constantly rebelled against His love, worshipping other gods instead of Him. He even gave them a set of law, the Law He gave to His people through Moses, as a guide for them in their lives that they will always remain ever faithful and ever loving, and stay in the grace of God at all times.

Yet, despite this, the people of God did not remain faithful, and they still rebelled constantly against the Lord, defying His laws and commandment, shutting out prophets and murdering them for showing the truth about their sinful ways, and for nagging them to return to God their Father who loves them. But the Lord did not give up on them, and continued to show His love without end, even when His children often did not love Him back.

The Lord in His anger and wrath could easily have wiped us out because of our rebelliousness, our sins, and our stubbornness, but He kept His faith in all of us, and willing for us to repent our sinful ways and return to the Lord. That was why, He gave His all and become one of us through Jesus, incarnate of the Blessed Virgin His mother, and through that, become a source of hope and salvation for all mankind.

Christ came into this world as the Messiah, the awaited Saviour, but He is also a prophet and a teacher, who explained the true meaning and intention of the Law and rules that God had given mankind through Moses and His other prophets and messengers. He showed that the Law does not exist to lord over the people of God, and neither should it become a yoke to burden the people.

The Pharisees did obey the Law, indeed, they appeared to be pious and obedient people of the Law. However most of them, and the teachers of the Law obeyed the Law in a perverted manner, in a twisted version of their own ‘Law’. Their love for the Law is superficial, and they enslaved themselves and the people they led without having the Lord at the centre of their lives.

That is why, brothers and sisters, today we are reminded of the need to truly love God and give of our whole self to Him, just as He had loved us and gave us His entire being to us, and He was not even shy to shed His own Body and Blood that we may live. Let us not love our Lord and God only superficially as the Pharisees had once done.

Yes, we need to obey rules and laws, but we must not be enslaved to them. Rather, let us make use of the Law of God as a way for us to better control and coordinate ourselves that we will be able to stay true to the Lord and remain firmly in God’s love and favour, that we will not fall into the temptations of the evil one. God bless us all. Amen.

Monday, 26 August 2013 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflection)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we hear the woes that Jesus said bluntly towards the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law, and the religious leaders of God’s people, the chief priests and all who were supposedly holy and became examples for the people to follow. Yet, they abused their authority and subverted the true purpose of their works and instead of serving God and His people, they truly serve only themselves.

To be the disciples and children of God is not enough with just superficial and momentary devotion and prayers to the Lord our God. That is not enough, brothers and sisters, as these mean that most likely we do not have true faith in our hearts, we do not have true love, especially love for our God and love for all His children. Empty prayers and rituals are meaningless and do not have any relevance for our love of God.

That was exactly what the Pharisees and the chief priests, with the teachers of the Law were doing in the time of Jesus and His ministry. They were truly influential leaders of the faithful, as no king had been present in Israel ever since the fall of Jerusalem six hundred years earlier, and the exile of Judah to Babylon. Ever since, the priesthood and the priests had taken control and leadership over the society, and in the process, grow ever more excessive in their worldly excesses and things that displeased the Lord.

Doubling their role as both the religious leaders of the people, and also as leaders in the matters of the world such as politics, economics, and others had corrupted their true purpose, that is to lead the people towards the Lord, and leading them in worshipping the One God who loves them. Instead, they misused their authority to keep everyone in check, that no one should overstep their boundaries and challenge their teaching authority, which they claimed came from the Law itself.

The Lord gave His commandments and laws to His people, that they will continue to walk in His path and remain in His love, and that they will know what is love, both the love for God and the love for men, fellow brothers and sisters, the same children of God. Yet, the Pharisees had made distinctions between peoples, and looked down on those whom they deemed as not pious enough, or rather not as ‘pious’ as themselves. To them piety meant strict observation of the Law and also visible acts of piety such as holy acts and public prayers.

The Pharisees paid much attention into their rites and human-made laws. They worried so much and put so much attention into detail of such laws, such as the absurdity of the handwashing laws, which dictated that they have to observe washing their hands entirely and thoroughly without fail, a washing that entailed complete washing of the entire arm, from the tip of the finger towards the elbow. Failing to do such observances would certainly bring jeers from the Pharisees, as they precisely had done on the disciples of Christ, whom to them were not as pious as them, for not following the ‘Law’.

As you can see, brothers and sisters in Christ, the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law, and the chief priests entirely missed the point of having the Law of God in the first place. The Law is not to be followed for the sake of being followed, nor should it be a kind of obligation or punishment, a yoke placed on the shoulders of peoples, that they live under the slavery of the Law.

Indeed, the Law is intended by God for love, that the love between Him and His people become ever more perfect, stronger, and bound with the seal of that Law. That all of His children learn the value of love, and take care of one another, as the same brothers and sisters, children of the same, One God. He did not wish to add more burden to us, after we had been burdened by the yoke of slavery of sin. Yes, brethren, He in fact had come into this world in Jesus Christ, in order to save it, and free all of us from that bondage to sin and evil.

That is why, as is proper for them, the Lord Jesus rebuked the leadership, the authority, and the moral uprightness of the Pharisees, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law, before all the people, that all will learn of the true nature of the Law, and indeed the true nature of God. God is a loving God who is loving, merciful, and slow to anger, and not an angry God who presses hard on His people with strict laws and punishments.

And Jesus Himself made a great example of God’s love, through His own loving actions, teaching the Law in all its fullness, and showing His care for the people of God, in food, in fulfilling their spiritual hunger, and also satisfy their thirst with the everlasting water of life. What is this water of life? It is in all our hearts, brethren, it is none other than love! And Jesus died on the cross, shedding His own life, that we all may live and share His divine and infinite love for us, and ultimately that we may be free.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us ever be mindful of the love God had shown us, through His giving of laws to us that we may remain in His love, and by the giving of Himself for our sake through Jesus Christ our Lord, that we will uphold His Laws, the commandments of love. Let us be loving children of God, and truly be obedient to God instead of paying lip service as the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had done. It is not that rituals and observances are wrong, brethren, but we must always remind ourselves that we do them not for the sake of doing them, or for boasting, but for the glory of God and for the love of God. God bless us all. Amen.

Monday, 19 August 2013 : 20th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John Eudes, Priest (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priest)

Matthew 19 : 16-22

It was then a young man approached Jesus and asked, “Master, what good work must I do to receive eternal life?” Jesus answered, “Why do you ask Me about what is good? One only is good. If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments.”

The young man said, “Which commandments?” Jesus replied, “Do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honour your father and mother, and love your neighbour as yourself.”

The young man said to Him, “I have kept all these commandments. What is still lacking?” Jesus answered, “if you wish to be perfect, go and sell all that you possess and give the money to the poor, and you will become the owner of a treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow Me.”

On hearing this answer, the young man went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.

Sunday, 11 August 2013 : 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 12 : 32-48

Do not be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms. Get yourselves purses that do not wear out, and an inexhaustible treasure in the heavens, where no thief comes and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Be ready, dressed for service, and keep your lamps lit, like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding. As soon as he comes and knocks, they will open the door to him. Happy are those servants whom the master finds wide-awake when he comes. Truly, I tell you, he will put on an apron, and have them sit at table, and he will wait on them. Happy are those servants, if he finds them awake when he comes at midnight or daybreak!

Pay attention to this : If the master of the house had known at what time the thief would come, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect.

Peter said, “Lord, did You tell this parable only for us, or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Imagine, then, the wise and faithful steward, whom the master sets over his other servants to give them wheat at the proper time. Fortunate is this servant if his master on coming home, finds him doing his work. Truly, I say to you, the master will put him in charge of all his property.”

“But it may be that the steward thinks, ‘My Lord delays in coming,’ and he begins to abuse the male servants and the servant girls, eating and drinking and getting drunk. Then the master will come on a day he does not expect, and at an hour he does not know. He will cut him off, and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.”

“The servant who knew his master’s will, but did not prepare and do what his master wanted, will be soundly beaten; but the one who does unconsciously what deserves punishment, shall receive fewer blows. Much will be required of the one who has been given much, and more will be asked of the one who has been entrusted with more.”

 

Alternative reading (Shorter version)
Luke 12 : 35-40

Be ready, dressed for service, and keep your lamps lit, like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding. As soon as he comes and knocks, they will open the door to him. Happy are those servants whom the master finds wide-awake when he comes. Truly, I tell you, he will put on an apron, and have them sit at table, and he will wait on them. Happy are those servants, if he finds them awake when he comes at midnight or daybreak!

Pay attention to this : If the master of the house had known at what time the thief would come, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect.

Sunday, 4 August 2013 : 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflection)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Brothers and sisters in Christ, our Lord today warns us against the sin of greed, the sin of pride, and the sin of selfishness. Especially in the aimless accumulation of wealth and accumulation of possessions, that we lose sight of the true aim in our life, that is our Lord and God. Wealth and accumulation are well-known sources of temptations that can divert us and our attention away from the path to salvation, that is the path to God.

The Lord also reminded us that we are mortals, mortals because of the original sins of our ancestors, and we are dust, because we are created from dust. Yet, though we are dust, we have life in us because the Lord breathed into us the breath of life, that is the Spirit of life. Yet, we still have limit in our lives in this world. Our lives are temporary, and everyone will eventually meet the end of their respective lives, at the appointed time that God has for all of us.

That is why, the Lord always stresses the importance of being ever vigilant in our lives, to always lead a righteous and upright life, filled with love and obedience to the will of God. We may be mortal and our lives may be short, but if we put our faith and complete trust in God, we will be immortals! Why? That is because the Lord had promised all of us salvation through His Son, and with the Risen Lord Jesus, we too will be reborn to a new life, and receive at the end of our earthly lives, new and eternal life in the glory and bliss of God’s heavenly kingdom.

Yes, that is our inheritance, brothers and sisters in Christ, the true inheritance that we will receive from the Lord, that He had promised us, and Christ His Son had made available to all of us through His death and resurrection from the dead. It is important that we seek the true treasure and not false treasures of the world. Seek what brings us true happiness, the true happiness that only God can give.

We have to choose brothers and sisters, just because we cannot serve two masters as Christ had made it clear to His disciples, we too have to choose between the wealth of the world, and the eternal wealth of the Lord. It does not mean that one is entirely in opposition to the other though. It does not mean that we have to impoverish ourselves of one while we seek the other. What is important is, that we know that ultimately, the wealth and possessions of this world serve only a temporary purpose, bring only a temporary satisfaction, and only temporary pleasure and happiness, while the wealth that we have in God is eternal, and is perfectly and completely satisfying to all of us.

Yes, we can be both rich in this world and in the world after, that is in the eyes of man, and in the eyes of God. That is if we are able to wisely use whatever had been given to us, and look beyond the temptations of the evil one and the allure of wealth, and also to be able to look beyond ourselves and our own desires and needs, to see the true use and function of the wealth and possessions we have received in this world.

We must never ever have the mentality of selfishness in ourselves, and only thinking about our own benefits and happiness, especially at the expense of others, which usually happen when we begin to put our own interests first. We must not be like the rich man who wasted his time in this world worrying about his own future and thus accumulated much wealth which he stored in barns and storage spaces, that he would, in his mind, think that he has a secure and prosperous future to be spent in happiness.

Yes, I want to again stress of our own mortality and the fragility of our own lives. It is unwise to spend so much time worrying about the future and then close ourselves from any concerns beside concerns for ourselves. We do not know when our death will be, nor in what way our death will come to us. It will come to us whenever we are most unprepared, just as the Second Coming of Christ will be. The time is appointed by the Lord, and we have no way to know about it.

Many of us are obsessed with maintaining our beauty, our lives and attempting to even make it better whenever possible. Plastic surgery, and even genetic manipulations to ensure that we can live longer and live more prosperously, gaining more fame through beauty and our possessions. Yet what do these all do? These things will not ensure our beauty nor our prosperity forever. If death knocks at our door tomorrow, despite all these things that we do, would they not all be wasted?

Much more resources should have been allocated to other, better purposes in our lives. It is not that we cannot indulge ourselves or bring happiness to ourselves, but we must never be consumed by our search for such wealth or happiness, that we forget about everything else, about those beloved to us, about God, and about everyone around us who needs us, who needs our love, care, and compassion.

Our wealth in this world is also not permanent. Many things may happen that can wipe out all of our hard-earned savings and ‘happiness’ in an instant, and after that a lifetime of work may be wasted. Earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, floods, fires, and many other natural calamities that may happen anytime in our world unexpectedly, will wipe out most of our hard work if not all in much shorter time than that required to gather them.

And yes, death. What would those goods stored in barns and storages do if we die at the time appointed for us to die? Will they be able to provide anything for us in the afterlife? Or perhaps help us to climb from hell into paradise? No, they have not such power. Only God has such power, that is through Christ His Son, whose death had provided us all with a means to reach the true reward, that is everlasting life.

Seek not to build wealth that can be destroyed or wealth that can be stolen or disappear any moment, with or without our knowledge. Seek not wealth or pleasure that are short-lived and temporary, and disappear as quickly as the fleeting motion of our short, mortal lives on earth. Seek rather the eternal wealth and treasure in God, in heaven, that will never disappear, that will never expire, and that will never be destroyed. Let us all, while we still have the time, begin and continue to build our treasury in heaven, filling up with the wealth of our true treasure, that is love.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us follow the advice of the Lord, and begin from today, to open the storage of the things we have kept only for ourselves, and offer them to everyone in need. No, I am not just talking about money, wealth, or material possessions. Most important of all treasures is love itself, which God has placed in all of us, but we like to lock it deep within our hearts, that it does not become visible or evident. The same happens to faith and hope.

As long as we remain shut to the world and to the love of God and the plight of others, our wealth in God will never grow, because we never make use the gifts that God had given us and bless us with, that is in His Holy Spirit. If we exercise the faith, the hope, and the love He had given all of us through the Spirit, it will grow and multiply, thirty, sixty, hundredfold and more. Let us begin from today, if we have not done so, to invest in the building of our wealth in heaven, that when we are called back to God, He will truly see us as wealthy in His eyes. Not the wealth of the world, but the true and undiminished wealth of love.

May the Lord inflame in us the fire of His love, and may He push us to go out and render our service to others who are in need of our help and our love. May we be able to share our love with one another, as fellow children of God who loves us. God bless us all, always and forevermore. Amen.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Ignatius Loyola, Priest (Scripture Reflection)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today, Christ reminded us in the readings, how precious is the Lord to us, how wonderful is His kingdom, that is for us to inherit as eternal reward, if we remain faithful to Him who always loves us. The Kingdom of God is truly a precious and priceless gift to all, that everyone should indeed focus their attention on, as in the allusion made by Christ, that the kingdom of God is likened to a precious and top-quality pearl, so much so that one should sell all they have, just that they can own that wonderful and beautiful pearl.

So beautiful and perfect is the entire glory of God, that as stated in the first reading today, when Moses talked to the Lord face-to-face in the fullness of His glory and majesty, he would be bathed in His perfect and wonderful light, such that his face became the countenance of the Lord Himself, brilliant and radiant like the sun. Such was the glory of God reflected on the face of Moses, that he was compelled to hide his face by the means of the veil, so great is such glory that no one but Moses was allowed to see.

Our Lord Jesus Christ too was glorified on the mountaintop when He was transfigured from His human persona, and revealed the fullness of His glory and majesty. He revealed Himself to Peter, James, and John who were present at His Transfiguration. In that event too, we saw the same thing that had happened to Moses, in how Jesus Himself was transfigured into a figure of perfection and brilliance, except that the light itself came from Christ Himself, not because it was a reflection of God’s glory and majesty as in the case of Moses.

Why is this very important, brothers and sisters in Christ, that we listened to the word of God on how Moses faced God face-to-face? And why I mentioned Christ and His Transfiguration? That is because, brothers and sisters in Christ, we have been made in the image of God, that is our very face and countenance is a reflection of the very image of our God, the Creator Himself. We have the face of the Lord, but yet, we are not perfect as the Lord is perfect.

We were once perfect, in the early days of creation, when Adam and Eve still walked the Gardens of Eden, when they were still pure and without blame. After they had followed the devil instead of the Lord, they had lost sight of the treasure that the Lord would have given them for eternity. Mankind would have had no need to suffer, the suffering that is because of our sin and our rebellion against the Lord. Yet, we are the most beloved ones of the Lord, created in His own image, and He loved us still even after we had been corrupted by the sins our fathers had committed. That was why He sent Jesus Christ to the world, that man may be reunited once again with Him.

In our world, the devil has many tools to steer us away from the true path towards the Lord. There are many things that he can use, in order to continue his subversion of mankind, just as what he had once done to Eve and to Adam. He offered Eve the knowledge of things good and evil, and the tempting suggestion that eating the fruit of the forbidden tree would make her God’s equal. These are the same things he can utilise in our world today, to make us falter in our journey of faith.

We must set our focus right, on the true treasure that is the Lord and His love, and not be distracted by the false and temporary treasures of the world, such as wealth, properties, pleasure, and many other thing this world offers us, and our world offers us as things that we should all pursue. It is not that it is wrong to have money, wealth, and pleasure, because it is perfectly fine for us to have these, if these would help us to live in our increasingly challenging world. We do need money and worldly goods to be able to live on and survive.

What is important is that we do not become distracted by them, that we lost track of our real treasure, that is God. So precious is this wealth to us that we all should be motivated to seek it, and the wealth and treasures we have in this world should be directed to help us to obtain the real treasure. We do not have to go to the extent of selling everything in order to get that true treasure, but certainly, we need to put in effort in order to gain our true treasure and reward in God.

Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, the priest and founder of the Jesuit order, the largest religious order and movement in our Church today, of which our current Pope, Pope Francis, is a member of. St. Ignatius Loyola was born in Spain to a family of noble, who inherited much wealth and affluence in the society. St. Ignatius Loyola was destined to be a great knight and noble, and participated in much activities that the nobles used to do at that time.

St. Ignatius Loyola was born to a life of privilege, to a life of wealth and sufficiency, with all the things that all of us surely would have craved for. He was brought up to be a knight, seeking valour and fame through all his activities, seeking ever greater fame as he grew up, participating frequently in battles and duels in order to gain more fame and power. Yet, as he progressed on through life, he grew unsatisfied by these ‘treasures’ that he had.

St. Ignatius Loyola eventually left all that he had and abandoned the inheritance, the fame, and the glory he had once had, and instead, became the knight of Christ. Therefore, he no longer served himself, his own ego, his own pride and glory, but instead he gave it all to serve the Lord our God. Christendom then was in great turmoil, with people leaving the Church to the Reformation heresy every day. More and more left the Church tempted by the devil and his tools in this world, those who rebelled against the Lord and His Church.

That marked the beginning of the Jesuit order, which was first established by St. Ignatius Loyola and several of his companions. The Jesuit order rapidly grew and spread throughout Europe and Christendom at the time, combatting heresies and evils of the world, converting many back to the true faith, and stemmed the tide of destruction caused by the Reformation. The Reformation itself might have had good intentions, but in its implementation, it was a disaster for the faith, for God’s people, for the Church of God.

That was what the Jesuits, under the leadership of St. Ignatius Loyola was trying to combat and fight, in the Name of the Lord, which was the reason behind their name, that is the Society of Jesus. They, who had found the true treasure in God, and truly treasure this treasure, the priceless treasure, sought to ensure that others too can find their true treasure that is the Lord our God, and not to be misled by the devil into the chasm of damnation in hell, because of their heresy and transgressions against the true faith, as was rampant during the time of St. Ignatius Loyola.

The Jesuits are still active today, and together with many other religious orders, they work to continue the good works started by St. Ignatius Loyola and many other saints, so that more and more souls may be saved and prevented from falling into the traps of Satan. The hard work by St. Ignatius Loyola and his successors ensured that many are saved and received their true treasure in God, their eternal reward of everlasting life in the bliss of heaven.

We too, brothers and sisters in Christ, can do our part to bring more souls and indeed, ourselves to the Lord and His salvation, by ensuring that we keep our focus right, that is to focus ourselves on the real treasure that is the Lord our God, and do not become distracted by the world and all its temptations. Instead, let us use whatever graces and blessings that had been given to us, in wealth and other things, that we may use them as best as possible, to help us to achieve the real treasure of our lives. May St. Ignatius Loyola intercede for us that the Lord will always keep us strong in our struggle against evil and keep us in His embrace and favour, always, forever and ever. Amen.

Monday, 29 July 2013 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martha (Scripture Reflection)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast day of St. Martha, the sister of Lazarus, whom Christ had risen from the dead. St. Martha and her sister Mary were faithful followers of Christ, who cared for Him as we have read in the Gospel today. Both of them faithfully took care of the Lord and listened to Him as He went on through His ministry.

Jesus too cared for them, and blessed them with His love. He loved them so much that when Lazarus died, He wept. He was touched by the sisters’ dedication and love for one another, and He Himself is a loving God. In His mercy and love, He had sent His Son Jesus, to be our Saviour, to bring us from the grip of death into a new life in Him, just as He had done with Lazarus, His beloved. Yes, so that we may live, brethren, a new life in God, and a final escape from death and hell that was our fate.

For our sins and faults, and the rebellion of our fathers against the will of God had angered God and made us unworthy of His Holy presence. We had been made dirty by sin and the evils of the world, corrupted by the trickery and temptations of Satan and his agents. For such evils against the holiness of God, there is only one fate for all of us, that is death and eternal punishment in hell, in the fires and darkness prepared for Satan and his angels for eternity, for their own rebellion against God.

But the Lord does not want to leave us to our fate, nor does he want to abandon us in darkness and corruption. He loves all of us, the most beloved and perfect of all His creations, so much that He gave the way to salvation, the escape path from that certain destruction which awaits all of us. He provided the straight way for all of us, the straight highway to salvation, towards reunion with Him in eternal bliss of heaven.

That was why He sent us Jesus, His own Son, the Word of God made flesh, that in His coming to this world, He made it possible for us to be reunited with God, for the Son of God had become one like us, albeit without sin. He had become one of us, of man, the Son of Man, born in the humble stable, but destined for eternal kingship. Yes, brethren, He is to be the King of Israel, the King of all creation, the King of the Universe. In Him all of God’s promises to mankind is fulfilled and perfectly completed. In Him lies all our hope and our future.

Christ is willing to help all of us, because of His love for us. A love so great that with that love He endured the cup of suffering He drank, to suffer on the way to Calvary, throughout His Passion, and to die on the cross in a slow, painful death, rejected by His own people and condemned by the priests and the people themselves, though He is without sin, and have been condemned for a false reason. He offers us this love, to all without exception, that everyone may be saved and have life.

He is our Lord and our Shepherd, our guide through life, that we, who have been lost, the lost sheep, may return towards Him, the Good Shepherd, who had given His all in order to find us and save us. He sought us the lost ones, in the darkest corners of the world, in places of sin, where we dwell. He knocks at the doors of our heart and seek to come in to us, that He may speak in the silence of our hearts.

Yet, brothers and sisters in Christ, we are often occupied with things of the world, with things that distract us from the Lord. We often enclosed ourselves in our space of comfort, that we turned a deaf ear to the urging and the knocking of the Lord on the doors of our hearts. These distractions also include our daily works and businesses, and also our daily concern for things such as food, money, and other things that distract us from the Lord.

That was what happened to St. Martha in what we read from the Gospel of Luke. She loved the Lord indeed and she tried her best to show her love to God by giving the best service available to the Lord in His visit to her house. But she became too preoccupied and engulfed by her works, that she had forgotten what is the most important thing that the Lord wants from her and from all of us, that is love and undivided attention, and total devotion to Him.

It is not wrong to do what St. Martha had done, and indeed she was also sincere in her love for God in doing what she thought was the way for her to serve the Lord. However, what is important is that we must not let our work and busy schedule to subvert our true intention, and especially if we begin to attack others who chose to serve the Lord in another way, as Mary, Martha’s sister had done. Brothers and sisters, do not let our pride to get in our way to the Lord. Pride is our downfall just as it had once brought Lucifer, the fallen angel, down from his glory.

Let us humbly seek the Lord and ask for His mercy, as we approach Him, the merciful and most loving God. Let us listen to Him with all our attention, the way that Mary had done, and give our best to serve the Lord as Martha had done. May the Lord guide us through this life, that we will always walk in His ways and follow Him to the end of that path, that is salvation, when we are once again reunited with the Lord our God who loves us.

St. Martha, pray for us sinners who are still in this world. With all the saints, the holy men and women of God, be with us and protect us, as we walk our path of life, that we will always remain focused on the Lord and do not become distracted by the world and the temptations that Satan and his forces have arrayed against us that we fall. May the Lord bless us all with faith, with hope, and with love, to remain His always, and be victorious in our struggles against the evil one. God bless us all. Amen.