Thursday, 17 November 2022 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we listened to the words of the Lord today contained within the Sacred Scriptures, we are all reminded of the Lord Whom we worship and serve, the one and only true God, our Lord and Master, our King and Ruler over the whole entire Universe, which we will celebrate together this coming Sunday on the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and King of the Universe. We are therefore reminded today that we worship this Almighty, all-powerful and glorious God, Whose love for us has brought about our salvation and liberation from sin. By His mercy and most compassionate love, each one of us have received the assurance of eternal life and freedom from the shackles of sin that had held us hostage and kept us chained to our fate of suffering and death.

In our first reading today, taken from the Book of Revelations of St. John the Apostle, we heard of the revelation shown to the Apostle, regarding the triumphant victory won by the Lord, enthroned in glory among the Cherubim and Seraphim, among the Angels and innumerable saints. St. John saw in the vision of the slaughtered Lamb of God, the Triumphant Lord, the Heir of David and Son of God, Who has won the ultimate victory against the forces of evil, sin and death. And he shared it with all of us, the faithful in this world so that we may have hope in Him and that we may trust Him to guide us down the path towards His grace, salvation and eternal life. Many of us have often forgotten the One Whom we are serving, and the One Whom we ought to be following in our lives. We act as if God is nobody, and that He has no place in our lives.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the words of the Lord speaking of the coming destruction of Jerusalem, the Holy City of God. He spoke of this eventual event on few occasions, and told His disciples how all the glory that was Jerusalem and its Temple, the majestic House of God built by king Herod the Great and his successors, would not remain standing, and all of them would be destroyed. This is in fact a reminder to all of us that all the glory of this world is merely passing and will not last forever, and whatever the people at that time took great pride in keeping, like the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law, the elders and the chief priests who often rejected the Lord and His truth, and refused to listen to Him because they thought of themselves being superior and better, for all the properties, power, influence and glory they had.

They thought that their Temple authority, their Law and rituals, their practices and all their entrenched positions in the society of the people of God. They thought that their power and privileges earned them the right to boast and to be praised, to be entitled honour and respect they often demanded from the other people, but they forgot that, first of all, all of them were supposed to serve God and help others to come closer to God, as the guardians and custodians of God’s Law and truth. Instead, they often misused their authority and power, persecuting and ostracising those whom they deemed to be less than worthy, those whom they deemed as sinners and beyond redemption, while parading their own efforts and works, their piety and observance of the Law.

In that, the Lord wants us all as Christians to keep in mind not to fall into the same trap of pride, ego and greed. As the later destruction of the city of Jerusalem and its magnificent Temple, and the scattering of the Jewish people into various places, showed that no worldly glory, power, privileges, power or anything of those sorts can remain or last forever. Whatever is in the world can be destroyed and lost within mere short while and a mere moment, and those who depend on those things, on their worldly power and foundation, will indeed be disappointed and humiliated as history itself has shown us. Instead, God wants us all to put our trust and faith in Him, entrusting ourselves to His providence and care, and doing everything we can to follow Him and to obey Him. That, brothers and sisters in Christ, is our calling as Christians, what we are all supposed to do.

Today, the whole Church celebrates the feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, whose life and dedication to the Lord should become inspiration and example for all of us as Christians. We have to discern our path in life based on what we know of the life of this holy and devout saint. St. Elizabeth of Hungary was a Hungarian princess and noblewoman who was married to a German noble, and was widowed at a young age. Throughout her life from her youth, and in her short time as a wife in a happy marriage, and afterwards, St. Elizabeth of Hungary had always been very pious and devout to the Lord, and she showed particular concern and care for the poor and the sick all around her, in her community and beyond. She spent a lot of time and effort to reach out to them and to care for them, and after she was widowed, she gave herself to a life of dedication to God.

Despite the opposition and hardships that she had to face in her determination to commit herself and her life to God, to the point that she was imprisoned at times and in house arrest, in the attempts by her family to dissuade her from her commitment, St. Elizabeth of Hungary never gave in to the temptations and pressures, and continued to carry on her efforts and works, and her piety and inspiration soon gained a lot of supporters by all those who were inspired by her tireless works and efforts for the poor and the sick, and those touched by her great personal piety, love and faith in God. She established hospitals and places where the poor and the sick can be taken care of, using her own funds and properties in doing so. She did not let worldly glory, attachments, wealth and all those things to distract her from doing God’s will, and whatever that God has called her to do in her own life.

Let us hence be inspired by the examples shown by St. Elizabeth of Hungary, in her faith and commitment to live a life truly worthy of God, in her piety and devotion to God, and her love for her fellow brethren, that each and every one of us may also draw ever closer to the Lord by following her examples and faith, and also those of innumerable other saints, holy men and women of God who had devoted themselves to the Lord in their own manner and ways. Each and every one of us as Christians ought to follow their examples and remind ourselves that we have to centre our lives on the Lord and rid ourselves from the excesses of worldly desires, pride, ego, attachments to worldly matters, all of which had become serious obstacles and downfall for so many of our predecessors.

May the Lord continue to guide us and strengthen us in our faith, and may He empower and encourage us all to continue to persevere in faith, that we may draw ever closer to Him, and live our lives ever more worthily of Him if we have not yet done so, from now on. May God bless us always, now and forevermore, and may He stay by our side and remain with us always. Amen.

Thursday, 17 November 2022 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we listened to the words of the Lord today contained within the Sacred Scriptures, we are all reminded of the Lord Whom we worship and serve, the one and only true God, our Lord and Master, our King and Ruler over the whole entire Universe, which we will celebrate together this coming Sunday on the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and King of the Universe. We are therefore reminded today that we worship this Almighty, all-powerful and glorious God, Whose love for us has brought about our salvation and liberation from sin. By His mercy and most compassionate love, each one of us have received the assurance of eternal life and freedom from the shackles of sin that had held us hostage and kept us chained to our fate of suffering and death.

In our first reading today, taken from the Book of Revelations of St. John the Apostle, we heard of the revelation shown to the Apostle, regarding the triumphant victory won by the Lord, enthroned in glory among the Cherubim and Seraphim, among the Angels and innumerable saints. St. John saw in the vision of the slaughtered Lamb of God, the Triumphant Lord, the Heir of David and Son of God, Who has won the ultimate victory against the forces of evil, sin and death. And he shared it with all of us, the faithful in this world so that we may have hope in Him and that we may trust Him to guide us down the path towards His grace, salvation and eternal life. Many of us have often forgotten the One Whom we are serving, and the One Whom we ought to be following in our lives. We act as if God is nobody, and that He has no place in our lives.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the words of the Lord speaking of the coming destruction of Jerusalem, the Holy City of God. He spoke of this eventual event on few occasions, and told His disciples how all the glory that was Jerusalem and its Temple, the majestic House of God built by king Herod the Great and his successors, would not remain standing, and all of them would be destroyed. This is in fact a reminder to all of us that all the glory of this world is merely passing and will not last forever, and whatever the people at that time took great pride in keeping, like the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law, the elders and the chief priests who often rejected the Lord and His truth, and refused to listen to Him because they thought of themselves being superior and better, for all the properties, power, influence and glory they had.

They thought that their Temple authority, their Law and rituals, their practices and all their entrenched positions in the society of the people of God. They thought that their power and privileges earned them the right to boast and to be praised, to be entitled honour and respect they often demanded from the other people, but they forgot that, first of all, all of them were supposed to serve God and help others to come closer to God, as the guardians and custodians of God’s Law and truth. Instead, they often misused their authority and power, persecuting and ostracising those whom they deemed to be less than worthy, those whom they deemed as sinners and beyond redemption, while parading their own efforts and works, their piety and observance of the Law.

In that, the Lord wants us all as Christians to keep in mind not to fall into the same trap of pride, ego and greed. As the later destruction of the city of Jerusalem and its magnificent Temple, and the scattering of the Jewish people into various places, showed that no worldly glory, power, privileges, power or anything of those sorts can remain or last forever. Whatever is in the world can be destroyed and lost within mere short while and a mere moment, and those who depend on those things, on their worldly power and foundation, will indeed be disappointed and humiliated as history itself has shown us. Instead, God wants us all to put our trust and faith in Him, entrusting ourselves to His providence and care, and doing everything we can to follow Him and to obey Him. That, brothers and sisters in Christ, is our calling as Christians, what we are all supposed to do.

Today, the whole Church celebrates the feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, whose life and dedication to the Lord should become inspiration and example for all of us as Christians. We have to discern our path in life based on what we know of the life of this holy and devout saint. St. Elizabeth of Hungary was a Hungarian princess and noblewoman who was married to a German noble, and was widowed at a young age. Throughout her life from her youth, and in her short time as a wife in a happy marriage, and afterwards, St. Elizabeth of Hungary had always been very pious and devout to the Lord, and she showed particular concern and care for the poor and the sick all around her, in her community and beyond. She spent a lot of time and effort to reach out to them and to care for them, and after she was widowed, she gave herself to a life of dedication to God.

Despite the opposition and hardships that she had to face in her determination to commit herself and her life to God, to the point that she was imprisoned at times and in house arrest, in the attempts by her family to dissuade her from her commitment, St. Elizabeth of Hungary never gave in to the temptations and pressures, and continued to carry on her efforts and works, and her piety and inspiration soon gained a lot of supporters by all those who were inspired by her tireless works and efforts for the poor and the sick, and those touched by her great personal piety, love and faith in God. She established hospitals and places where the poor and the sick can be taken care of, using her own funds and properties in doing so. She did not let worldly glory, attachments, wealth and all those things to distract her from doing God’s will, and whatever that God has called her to do in her own life.

Let us hence be inspired by the examples shown by St. Elizabeth of Hungary, in her faith and commitment to live a life truly worthy of God, in her piety and devotion to God, and her love for her fellow brethren, that each and every one of us may also draw ever closer to the Lord by following her examples and faith, and also those of innumerable other saints, holy men and women of God who had devoted themselves to the Lord in their own manner and ways. Each and every one of us as Christians ought to follow their examples and remind ourselves that we have to centre our lives on the Lord and rid ourselves from the excesses of worldly desires, pride, ego, attachments to worldly matters, all of which had become serious obstacles and downfall for so many of our predecessors.

May the Lord continue to guide us and strengthen us in our faith, and may He empower and encourage us all to continue to persevere in faith, that we may draw ever closer to Him, and live our lives ever more worthily of Him if we have not yet done so, from now on. May God bless us always, now and forevermore, and may He stay by our side and remain with us always. Amen.

Thursday, 17 November 2022 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we listened to the words of the Lord today contained within the Sacred Scriptures, we are all reminded of the Lord Whom we worship and serve, the one and only true God, our Lord and Master, our King and Ruler over the whole entire Universe, which we will celebrate together this coming Sunday on the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and King of the Universe. We are therefore reminded today that we worship this Almighty, all-powerful and glorious God, Whose love for us has brought about our salvation and liberation from sin. By His mercy and most compassionate love, each one of us have received the assurance of eternal life and freedom from the shackles of sin that had held us hostage and kept us chained to our fate of suffering and death.

In our first reading today, taken from the Book of Revelations of St. John the Apostle, we heard of the revelation shown to the Apostle, regarding the triumphant victory won by the Lord, enthroned in glory among the Cherubim and Seraphim, among the Angels and innumerable saints. St. John saw in the vision of the slaughtered Lamb of God, the Triumphant Lord, the Heir of David and Son of God, Who has won the ultimate victory against the forces of evil, sin and death. And he shared it with all of us, the faithful in this world so that we may have hope in Him and that we may trust Him to guide us down the path towards His grace, salvation and eternal life. Many of us have often forgotten the One Whom we are serving, and the One Whom we ought to be following in our lives. We act as if God is nobody, and that He has no place in our lives.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the words of the Lord speaking of the coming destruction of Jerusalem, the Holy City of God. He spoke of this eventual event on few occasions, and told His disciples how all the glory that was Jerusalem and its Temple, the majestic House of God built by king Herod the Great and his successors, would not remain standing, and all of them would be destroyed. This is in fact a reminder to all of us that all the glory of this world is merely passing and will not last forever, and whatever the people at that time took great pride in keeping, like the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law, the elders and the chief priests who often rejected the Lord and His truth, and refused to listen to Him because they thought of themselves being superior and better, for all the properties, power, influence and glory they had.

They thought that their Temple authority, their Law and rituals, their practices and all their entrenched positions in the society of the people of God. They thought that their power and privileges earned them the right to boast and to be praised, to be entitled honour and respect they often demanded from the other people, but they forgot that, first of all, all of them were supposed to serve God and help others to come closer to God, as the guardians and custodians of God’s Law and truth. Instead, they often misused their authority and power, persecuting and ostracising those whom they deemed to be less than worthy, those whom they deemed as sinners and beyond redemption, while parading their own efforts and works, their piety and observance of the Law.

In that, the Lord wants us all as Christians to keep in mind not to fall into the same trap of pride, ego and greed. As the later destruction of the city of Jerusalem and its magnificent Temple, and the scattering of the Jewish people into various places, showed that no worldly glory, power, privileges, power or anything of those sorts can remain or last forever. Whatever is in the world can be destroyed and lost within mere short while and a mere moment, and those who depend on those things, on their worldly power and foundation, will indeed be disappointed and humiliated as history itself has shown us. Instead, God wants us all to put our trust and faith in Him, entrusting ourselves to His providence and care, and doing everything we can to follow Him and to obey Him. That, brothers and sisters in Christ, is our calling as Christians, what we are all supposed to do.

Today, the whole Church celebrates the feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, whose life and dedication to the Lord should become inspiration and example for all of us as Christians. We have to discern our path in life based on what we know of the life of this holy and devout saint. St. Elizabeth of Hungary was a Hungarian princess and noblewoman who was married to a German noble, and was widowed at a young age. Throughout her life from her youth, and in her short time as a wife in a happy marriage, and afterwards, St. Elizabeth of Hungary had always been very pious and devout to the Lord, and she showed particular concern and care for the poor and the sick all around her, in her community and beyond. She spent a lot of time and effort to reach out to them and to care for them, and after she was widowed, she gave herself to a life of dedication to God.

Despite the opposition and hardships that she had to face in her determination to commit herself and her life to God, to the point that she was imprisoned at times and in house arrest, in the attempts by her family to dissuade her from her commitment, St. Elizabeth of Hungary never gave in to the temptations and pressures, and continued to carry on her efforts and works, and her piety and inspiration soon gained a lot of supporters by all those who were inspired by her tireless works and efforts for the poor and the sick, and those touched by her great personal piety, love and faith in God. She established hospitals and places where the poor and the sick can be taken care of, using her own funds and properties in doing so. She did not let worldly glory, attachments, wealth and all those things to distract her from doing God’s will, and whatever that God has called her to do in her own life.

Let us hence be inspired by the examples shown by St. Elizabeth of Hungary, in her faith and commitment to live a life truly worthy of God, in her piety and devotion to God, and her love for her fellow brethren, that each and every one of us may also draw ever closer to the Lord by following her examples and faith, and also those of innumerable other saints, holy men and women of God who had devoted themselves to the Lord in their own manner and ways. Each and every one of us as Christians ought to follow their examples and remind ourselves that we have to centre our lives on the Lord and rid ourselves from the excesses of worldly desires, pride, ego, attachments to worldly matters, all of which had become serious obstacles and downfall for so many of our predecessors.

May the Lord continue to guide us and strengthen us in our faith, and may He empower and encourage us all to continue to persevere in faith, that we may draw ever closer to Him, and live our lives ever more worthily of Him if we have not yet done so, from now on. May God bless us always, now and forevermore, and may He stay by our side and remain with us always. Amen.

Thursday, 17 November 2022 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 19 : 41-44

At that time, when Jesus had come in sight of the city of Jerusalem, He wept over it, and said, “If only today you knew the ways of peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Yet days will come upon you, when your enemies will surround you with barricades, and shut you in, and press on you from every side.”

“And they will dash you to the ground and your children with you, and not leave stone upon stone within you, for you did not recognise the time and the visitation of your God.”

Thursday, 17 November 2022 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 149 : 1-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b

Alleluia! Sing to the Lord a new song, sing His praise in the assembly of His saints. Let Israel rejoice in his Maker, let the people of Zion glory in their King!

Let them dance in praise of His Name and make music for Him with harp and timbrel. For the Lord delights in His people; He crowns the lowly with victory.

The saints will exult in triumph; even at night on their couches. Let the praise of God be on their lips, this is the glory of all His saints. Alleluia!

Thursday, 17 November 2022 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Revelations 5 : 1-10

Then I saw in the right hand of Him Who was seated on the throne a scroll written on both sides, sealed with seven seals. A mighty Angel exclaimed in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open this and break the seals?”

But no one in heaven or on earth or in the netherworld was found able to open the book and read it. I wept much when I saw that no one was found worthy to open the book and read it. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Shoot of David, has conquered; He will open the book of the seven seals.”

And I saw next to the throne with its four living creatures and the twenty-four elders a Lamb standing, although It had been slain. I saw Him with seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out to all the earth. The Lamb moved forward and took the book from the right hand of Him Who was seated on the throne.

When He took it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders bowed before the Lamb. They all held in their hands harps and golden cups full of incense which are the prayers of the holy ones. This is the new song they sang : “You are worthy to take the book and open its seals, for You were slain and by Your Blood You purchased for God people of every race, language and nation; and You made them a kingdom and priests for our God and they shall reign over the land.”

Thursday, 3 November 2022 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martin de Porres, Religious (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Religious)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, each one of us are reminded that as Christians we must not have the elitist attitude thinking that we alone are righteous and that others are less deserving of God’s salvation than us. We must not think that we are more worthy than others just because we follow His Law and commandments, and then ridicule and ostracise, being prejudiced or biased against others, or worse still, blaming others just because we think that they have not been faithful to God the way that we have been faithful. Instead, first and foremost we must remember that it is our Christian calling and obligation in fact to not only love the Lord with all of our hearts and might, but also to love our fellow brothers and sisters, without prejudice, in the same way.

In our first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Church and the faithful in Philippi, we heard the Apostle speaking to the people regarding the matter of circumcision and the faithful. In order to understand the significance of this discourse, we have to understand that back then there were significant friction between the members of the Christian communities including that in Philippi, between the new converts from among the Jewish diaspora as well as the new converts from among the Gentiles or the non-Jewish people like the Romans, the Greek and many others. The Christian faith and truths attracted both the Jewish people and the Gentiles alike, and the differences in their thoughts and practices bring about this discord between the faithful.

That is because according to the practices of the old Law as revealed through Moses and as shown in the Old Testament, the Jewish people had to undergo circumcision or the removal of the skin from the genital of their males, in order for them to be part of the Jewish community. This Law had been preserved from the days of Moses onwards to this day. However, the crux of the matter as highlighted by St. Paul, was the overemphasis on these external and outward practices and which also became sort of badge of pride and honour by the adherents of its practices which resulted in the people of God being elitist and exclusivist in their way of life and in how they interacted with others who do not belong to their group, or those whom they deemed as inferior and less worthy than they were.

The Pharisees, to which St. Paul himself belonged to, and which the Apostle highlighted in that very occasion, was in particular the most to blame for this attitude. For back then, many among the Pharisees were very proud of their observance of the Law of God, their piety and dedication. They looked down on others and made great show of their faith practices and piety. They imposed the very strict interpretation and excesses of the additions to the Law of God over the centuries to the whole people. Their prejudice against people who were sick and diseased, possessed, and others like the tax collectors and the prostitutes, were carried on to some among the early Christian converts originating from among the Jewish people, some of them like St. Paul himself, were Pharisees.

Therefore, there were disagreements and even attempts by those who supported the Pharisees and wanted the whole Church to adopt the very strict interpretation of the Law and all of its immense number of rules and regulations, imposing them even to the Gentiles who converted to the Christian faith. That would have made it very difficult then for the Gentiles to adopt the Christian faith, as back then, some of the Jewish practices and customs were viewed with disdain and even with outright disgust by the Romans, the Greeks and the other Gentiles. In particular, this involved the practice of male circumcision, which the Gentiles found abhorrent. That is why, people like St. Paul, a former Pharisee, wanted this practice to be made completely optional for the whole Church.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the words of the Lord Jesus as He confronted the Pharisees and the elders who were very critical at the Lord’s warm treatment of those whom the they considered as sinners and unclean like the tax collectors, as He went even to their place to have a meal with them. Such an action would have been unthinkable for the Pharisees and the elders who wanted to have nothing to do at all with those pagans and all those whom they deemed to be inferior, less worthy and wicked. This was exactly why St. Paul warned the faithful against these attitudes that are actually incompatible with all of us being Christians. A Christian should not be prejudiced, exclusivist and self-righteous in their attitudes.

On the contrary, we have to remember what the Lord told all those assembled, using the parable of the lost sheep and the lost silver coin. When He mentioned how the shepherd would go out forth to look for the one lost sheep despite the ninety-nine other sheep that were safe and sound, and how the woman would put all her effort to find her missing silver coin piece despite the other pieces that she had with her, it showed us all the kind of love and the effort with which God had done for our sake, out of His ever enduring and ever great love for us all. Through His generous love, He has reached out to us again and again, all of us sinners who are undeserving of His love, and yet, despite our rebelliousness and stubbornness, God continued to reach out to us nonetheless, with love. And that is what we as Christians are expected to do as well with our lives.

Today, we shoud also look upon the good examples set by our holy predecessor, on his feast day, namely that of St. Martin de Porres, the renowned patron saint of the poor and the needy, and of those who are underprivileged and ostracised. St. Martin de Porres was himself born in the New World, the Americas, as a mixed-race illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a freed nativewoman. St. Martin de Porres grew up in poverty and endured a lot of prejudices and sufferings because of his background, and although as he grew up he wanted to join the Dominicans as a member of the religious order, the prejudices and the challenges facing St. Martin de Porres as a mixed-race man prevented him from joining the Dominicans as a full member.

Nonetheless, St. Martin de Porres continued to persevere in his faith and faithful actions, devoting a lot of time and effort to care for his fellow brethren, especially to those who were sick and dying, those who were underprivileged and suffering. He performed many works, even menial works and labours for the sake of his community of Dominican brothers, as well as others. Soon after, many miracles and wonderful works occurred all around St. Martin de Porres, and many came to him for healing and advice. He continued to live humbly and faithfully in God’s path, and devoted his works to the good and the well-being of his brethren, obeying his superiors and listening to God’s will. He lived virtuously and humbly, to the very end of his life, a great example and role model for all of us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, having heard of St. Martin de Porres, his life and good examples, let us all therefore reflect upon all these and see in what way we as Christians can do and act in our own lives to be more like St. Martin de Porres and the innumerable other saints whose holy lives, whose love for the needy, the poor and the underprivileged can become our source of inspiration and examples, in how we ought to lead our own lives. Shall we not follow the path of the Pharisees and the elders, and the path of those who thought themselves as being worthy and righteous, but instead, walk ever humbly and faithfully in the path that God had set before us?

May the Lord continue to guide us in our journey of faith through life, and may He strengthen and empower each and every one of us to be able to live courageously with faith and devote ourselves and our attention to Him. May God bless us all and all of our good efforts and endeavours, all for His greater glory. Amen.

Thursday, 3 November 2022 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martin de Porres, Religious (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Religious)

Luke 15 : 1-10

At that time, tax collectors and sinners were seeking the company of Jesus, all of them eager to hear what He had to say. But the Pharisees and the scribes frowned at this, muttering, “This Man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So Jesus told them this parable :

“Who among you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, will not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and seek the lost one till he finds it? And finding it, will he not joyfully carry it home on his shoulders? Then he will call his friends and neighbours together, and say, ‘Celebrate with me, for I have found my lost sheep!’ I tell you, in the same way, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner, than over ninety-nine decent people, who do not need to repent.”

“What woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one, will not light a lamp, and sweep the house in a thorough search, till she finds the lost coin? And finding it, she will call her friends and neighbours, and say, ‘Celebrate with me, for I have found the silver coin I lost!’ I tell you, in the same way, there is rejoicing among the Angels of God over one repentant sinner.”

Thursday, 3 November 2022 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martin de Porres, Religious (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Religious)

Psalm 104 : 2-3, 4-5, 6-7

Sing to the Lord, sing His praise, proclaim all His wondrous deeds. Glory in His holy Name; let those who seek the Lord rejoice.

Look to the Lord and be strong; seek His face always. Remember His wonderful works, His miracles and His judgments.

You descendants of His servant Abraham, you sons of Jacob, His chosen ones! He is the Lord our God; His judgments reach the whole world.

Thursday, 3 November 2022 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martin de Porres, Religious (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Religious)

Philippians 3 : 3-8a

We are the true circumcised people since we serve according to the Spirit of God, and our confidence is in Christ Jesus rather than in our merits. I myself do not lack those human qualities in which people have confidence. If some of them seem to be accredited with such qualities, how much more am I!

I was circumcised when eight days old. I was born of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin : I am a Hebrew, born of Hebrews. With regard to the Law, I am a Pharisee, and such was my zeal for the Law that I persecuted the Church. As for being righteous according to the Law, I was blameless.

But once I found Christ, all those things that I might have considered as profit, I reckoned as loss. Still more, everything seems to me as nothing compared with the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord.