Thursday, 28 October 2021 : Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, Apostles (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Luke 6 : 12-19

At that time, Jesus went out into the hills to pray, spending the whole night in prayer with God. When day came, He called His disciples to Him, and chose Twelve of them, whom He called ‘Apostles’ : Simon, whom He named Peter, and his brother Andrew; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James son of Alpheus and Simon called the Zealot; Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who would be the traitor.

Coming down the hill with them, Jesus stood in an open plain. Many of His disciples were there, and a large crowd of people, who had come from all parts of Judea and Jerusalem, and from the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon. They gathered to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases. And people troubled by unclean spirits were cured.

The entire crowd tried to touch Him, because of the power that went out from Him and healed them all.

Thursday, 28 October 2021 : Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, Apostles (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Psalm 18 : 2-3, 4-5

The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament proclaims the work of His hands. Day talks it over with day; night hands on the knowledge to night.

No speech, no words, no voice is heard – but the call goes on, throughout the universe, the message is felt to the ends of the earth.

Thursday, 28 October 2021 : Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, Apostles (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Ephesians 2 : 19-22

Now, you are no longer strangers or guests, but fellow citizens of the holy people : you are of the household of God. You are the house, whose foundations are the Apostles and prophets, and whose cornerstone is Christ Jesus. In Him, the whole structure is joined together, and rises, to be a holy Temple, in the Lord.

In Him, you, too, are being built, to become the spiritual Sanctuary of God.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021 : 30th 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 God in the Scriptures, we heard how the Lord called us to be His people, sending to us His Holy Spirit to show us the path forward, so that we may know how we should proceed in life in following Him. He has called us all to Himself, and revealed us His wisdom and truth through the Holy Spirit, but at the same time, that we may find our way to Him, as He gave us the freedom and free will to choose our path.

However, unfortunately, many of us chose to ignore Him and His truth, and even among us who call and consider ourselves as Christians, as those who should have believed in Him and walked in His path, many of us still lived in a state of ignorance and rejection of God. Many of us acted in a way that is in contrast to what the Lord had revealed, taught and shown to us. In that way, we are just like what we have heard in our Gospel passage today, when the Lord chastised those who claimed to know the Lord and yet, did not truly know Him.

In that occasion, the Lord answered someone who asked Him if it was difficult for one to enter into the kingdom of God. The Lord told the man and the other people the reality that many people would try to enter into the kingdom of God and yet they would not be able to do so, because of various reasons. The Lord told them all that many would claim to know the Lord and sought Him, but they would falter along the way and would not find their way to Him, and they would be left outside, to suffer the eternal pain and consequences of their infidelities.

Why is this so, brothers and sisters in Christ? Why is it that following the Lord is such a difficult thing to do? That is because many of us prefer to follow our own personal ambitions, desires, our greed, ego and pride, over that of following the Lord and obeying His Law and commandments. The Lord has called us all to follow Him, and He has also revealed to us His truth, and yet, many still refused to do so, delayed to do so and walked elsewhere instead of going towards Him, all because we find that following the whims of our desires felt much better for us than to obey the Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are all reminded through our Scripture passages today to stay focused on the Lord and to follow Him wholeheartedly. We are all called to turn away from the way of evil and sin, from our selfish desires, from all greed and pride. Are we all able to do this? Or are we going to continue to allow sin to lead us down the wrong paths in life? Sin is truly dangerous and unless we are vigilant and careful in how we live our lives, we may end up being dragged and pulled into our downfall.

Unfortunately, it is much easier said than done, and many of us often constantly fail to resist the pull and allure of temptations to sin, to disobey the Lord and to walk our own path. Every day we always face this dilemma, the challenges and the difficulties of staying true to our faith in God. This is where all of us have to be resolute and to persevere together, helping one another to stay true to our faith, and not to slide into the path of wickedness and sin. We have to do our best to listen to the Lord, to discern carefully our path in life.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, God has given us the gift of truth and wisdom as He has mentioned in our Scripture passages today, that through His Holy Spirit, He has revealed everything to us, and the choice is now ours to make, whether we want to follow the Lord and commit ourselves to Him or whether we want to continue walking down those paths of sin and evil. We have the free will given by God to choose whether we want to walk in the path of worldly pleasures, that may appear to be easy and all good now, and yet, leads us to eventual downfall and suffering, or whether we want to commit ourselves to the apparently more difficult path of Christ, and yet one that leads to eternal life and true joy.

May the Lord continue to guide us and strengthen us, and may He empower us all to live ever more faithfully in His presence. May God bless all of us and our every efforts and endeavours, all for His greater glory, that we shall always find joy in living our lives as Christians to the best of our abilities. Amen.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 12 : 22-30

At that time, Jesus went through towns and villages teaching, and making His way to Jerusalem. Someone asked Him, “Lord, is it true that few people will be saved?”

And Jesus answered, “Do your best to enter by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has gone inside and locked the door, you will stand outside. Then you will knock at the door, calling, ‘Lord, open to us!’ But He will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from.'”

“Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets!’ But He will reply, ‘I do not know where you come from. Away from Me, all you workers of evil.’ You will weep and grind your teeth, when you see Abraham and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves left outside.”

“Others will sit at table in the kingdom of God, people coming from east and west, from north and south. Some who are among the last, will be first; and some who are among the first, will be last!”

Wednesday, 27 October 2021 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 12 : 4-5, 6

Look upon me and answer, o YHVH my God! Give light to my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest my enemy say, “I have routed him,” lest my foes rejoice of my fall.

But I put my trust in Your unfailing love, my heart will rejoice on seeing Your salvation. I will sing to YHVH, for He has been good to me!

Wednesday, 27 October 2021 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Romans 8 : 26-30

Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes for us, without words, as if with groans. And He, Who sees inner secrets, knows the desires of the Spirit, for He asks for the holy ones, what is pleasing to God.

We know that in everything, God works for the good of those who love Him, whom He has called, according to His plan. Those whom He knew beforehand, He has also predestined, to be like His Son, similar to Him, so, that, He may be the Firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And so, those whom God predestined, He called; and those whom He called, He makes righteous; and to those whom He makes righteous, He will give His glory.

Tuesday, 26 October 2021 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the words of the Scriptures speaking to us about the coming of the Lord’s salvation and His kingdom, the kingdom that He has promised us, the kingdom of God to which we are all called to enter, to receive one day the fullness of glory, true happiness and pure joy that we can only find in the Lord alone. Today we are all called to turn towards the Lord and put our hope in Him.

In our first reading today, from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in Rome, the Apostle reminded them all of the hope in God’s salvation, which all of them had been promised and which they would receive, if they could be patient and remain true to their faith, acknowledging how everyone had been looking forward to and desiring the love and salvation from God, after having suffered the many trials and challenges we have to face because of our sins.

St. Paul was in fact referring to the salvation of man from their original fall into sin. Mankind had chosen to listen to Satan and his lies, and to follow the temptations of their flesh and desires rather than to trust in God. And St. Paul reminded the faithful that all of us have to be patient and to persevere through the challenges that we may face in life. We cannot allow ourselves to be swayed easily by the lies of the devil, and all of his false promises, through which he and the other forces of evil ever always tried to distract us, mislead us and bring us into our downfall.

They would always try to tempt us with an easy life, that if we want to enjoy things we have and in our lives, and find pleasures in this life, then we should walk in the path that has been shown to us. In that way, they tried to make us regret following the Lord and instead turn towards the easier and more convenient path instead, one that has been presented to us as the better path in life. The Lord’s path certainly often seems to be the more challenging and difficult one to follow.

Yet, we must not lose faith, brothers and sisters in Christ, and we have to trust in the Lord and His providence. We must believe that if we remain faithful to Him, and true to His path, then in the end, there is nothing less than true glory and happiness in following Him. The Lord has always been faithful to the Covenant that He has established with our forefathers and which He had renewed and made evident to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour.

In our Gospel passage today, we listened to the words of the Lord speaking to us, as He spoke of the parable about the kingdom of God to the people listening to Him. He compared the kingdom of God to that of the mustard seed, which is planted and then later on would grow to be a large tree, from a mere small seed, and how mighty that tree would be as compared to the very small seed that was the mustard seed, from among the smallest of the seeds to be one of the largest among the trees.

Then He also compared it to the measures of flour with yeast, which is put together into dough and let to raise. When under the right and optimum conditions, the yeast would then make the dough to rise up and enlarge greatly when the leavened bread was to be made. However, just like the germinating mustard seed and the growing young mustard plant, everything would not have happened unless the right and appropriate conditions were provided.

That is why, brothers and sisters in Christ, effort and commitment is need for us to walk faithfully in the path that the Lord has set before us. There will be opposition, challenges, trials and even persecutions facing us as we commit ourselves to this path set before us by the Lord, but we must realise that it is also part of the efforts of those who sought our downfall to lead us down the wrong path, by persuading us to give up the fight. We have to persevere in faith, brothers and sisters in Christ, and seek the true joy that we can find in the Lord alone.

Let us not seek the temporary joy and fulfilment that the false path of Satan and sin have offered us, but instead let us turn towards the Lord with renewed faith and love for Him, turning away from the path of evil and sinfulness, embracing His mercy and compassionate love from now on. May God be with us always and may He strengthen each and every one of us in our journey of faith through life towards the glorious kingdom of God. Amen.

Tuesday, 26 October 2021 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 13 : 18-21

At that time, Jesus continued to say to the people, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? Imagine a person who has taken a mustard seed, and planted it in his garden. The seed has grown, and become like a small tree, so that the birds of the air shelter in its branches.”

And Jesus said again, “What is the kingdom of God like? Imagine a woman who has taken yeast, and hidden it in three measures of flour, until it is all leavened.”

Tuesday, 26 October 2021 : 30th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

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

When YHVH 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, “YHVH has done great things for them.” YHVH had done great things for us, and we were glad indeed.

Bring back our exiles, o YHVH, 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.