Thursday, 22 October 2020 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. John Paul II, Pope (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Popes)

Luke 12 : 49-53

At that time, Jesus said to the people, “I have come to bring fire upon the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and what anguish I feel until it is finished! Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on, in one house five will be divided : three against two, and two against three.”

“They will be divided, father against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Thursday, 22 October 2020 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. John Paul II, Pope (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Popes)

Psalm 32 : 1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19

Rejoice in the Lord, you who are just, praise is fitting for the upright. Give thanks to Him on the harp and lyre, making melody and chanting praises.

For upright is the Lord’s word and worthy of trust is His work. The Lord loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of His kindness.

But His plan stands forever, and His heart’s design, through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is YHVH – the people He has chosen for His inheritance.

But the Lord’s eyes are upon those who fear Him, upon those who trust in His loving-kindness to deliver them from death and preserve them from famine.

Thursday, 22 October 2020 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. John Paul II, Pope (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Popes)

Ephesians 3 : 14-21

And, now, I kneel in the presence of the Father, from Whom, every family in heaven and on earth has received its name. May He strengthen in you, the inner self, through His Spirit, according to the riches of His glory; may Christ dwell in your hearts, through faith; may you be rooted and founded in love.

All of this, so that you may understand, with all the holy ones, the width, the length, the height and the depth – in a word, that you may know the love of Christ, that surpasses all knowledge, that you may be filled, and reach the fullness of God.

Glory to God, Who shows His power in us, and can do much more than we could ask or imagine; glory to Him, in the Church, and in Christ Jesus, through all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, through today’s Scripture readings, all of us are reminded that God has revealed His love and truth, His salvation to each and every one of us through His Church that has been passed down to us from the Apostles who heard all these from the Lord Himself. The Lord has shown us His love and grace, and He has revealed to us how much He cared for each and every one of us and He will entrust all things to us. But we must not take all these for granted.

First of all, in our first reading today, we heard from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in Ephesus, of the Lord Who has called all of us mankind to Himself, extending His grace and salvation to all, to both Jewish and non-Jewish people alike. Contextually, we need to understand that at that time, the Jews believed that they, as God’s chosen people, the descendants of the Israelites, were those whom God had favoured and no one else had the right and privilege like theirs.

That was why many of the Jews, especially the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law among them, held the view that the Gentiles, a term used to describe the non-Jewish people, being pagans, were wicked and unworthy of God, sinners and they would perish and be destroyed. Those who wished to be saved must abandon their identity and embrace the Law of Moses, and became one of the Jewish community, severing their ties to their previous culture and identity.

But what St. Paul said was that, God did not intend for this to happen. And as a matter of fact, God called all of His people, loved them equally, whether they were culturally Jews or descended from the Israelites or not. God has revealed His love and His Good News to all, and sent His disciples, St. Paul and all the others, to be witnesses of this truth and love, to all the nations and to all peoples. We have therefore also heard these from the Lord and been called to be part of His Church.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we should also take heed of what we heard in our Gospel passage today, as we listened to the parable that the Lord Jesus used to explain to His disciples the need for all of them to live a virtuous and responsible Christian life. He used the example of stewards appointed and entrusted by their master to bring forward His point to them.

Each and every one of us are those stewards, entrusted by God with the care of this world and its people. God has blessed us and He has given us the means and the abilities to carry out these responsibilities in these lives we have, in our respective areas of responsibility. However, are we willing to embrace these with faith and commitment?

We have been called, and unfortunately, many of us were too busy to respond to the Lord’s call, and we slackened and waited, refusing to do what we were supposed to do in our lives to be committed and good Christians. In this manner, we were just like that lazy and wicked steward mentioned in the Lord’s parable in our Gospel today.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all discern carefully our path going forward in life. May the Lord continue to guide us as we proceed on in life, in following His will and in obeying His commandments and living our faith life with sincere and firm devotion. Let us seek the Lord’s guidance in all things, and walk with Him in the path that He has set before us. Let us embrace wholeheartedly the mission which the Lord has entrusted to us. Amen.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 12 : 39-48

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “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.”

Wednesday, 21 October 2020 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Isaiah 12 : 2-3, 4bcd, 5-6

He is the God of my salvation; in Him I trust and am not afraid, YHVH is my strength : Him I will praise, the One Who saved me.

You will draw water with joy from the very fountain of salvation. Then you will say : “Praise to the Lord, break into songs of joy for Him, proclaim His marvellous deeds among the nations and exalt His Name.”

“Sing to the Lord : wonders He has done, let these be known all over the earth. Sing for joy, o people of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

Wednesday, 21 October 2020 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Ephesians 3 : 2-12

You may have heard of the graces God bestowed on me for your sake. By a revelation He gave me the knowledge of His mysterious design, as I have explained in a few words. On reading them, you will have some idea of how I understand the mystery of Christ. This mystery was not made known to past generations but only now, through revelations given to holy Apostles and prophets.

Now the non-Jewish people share the Inheritance; in Christ Jesus the non-Jews are incorporated and are to enjoy the Promise. This is the Good News, of which I have become a minister, by a gift of God; a grace He gave me, when His power worked in me.

This grace, was given to me, the least, among all the holy ones : to announce to the pagan nations, the immeasurable riches of Christ, and to make clear to all, how the mystery, hidden from the beginning, in God, the Creator of all things, is to be fulfilled.

Even the heavenly forces and powers will now discover, through the Church, the wisdom of God in its manifold expression, as the plan is being fulfilled, which God designed from the beginning, in Christ Jesus, Our Lord. In Him, we receive boldness and confidence to approach God.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard from the Scripture passages, a reminder that as Christians and members of God’s Church, we must always be first and foremost, dedicated to God and centre our lives on Him. For it was through God that all of us have been vindicated and liberated from the chains of our sins. And as long as we live, we should glorify the Lord by our lives, at all times.

The first reading today from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians highlighted very, very clearly the role that Christ our Lord has played in the salvation of all mankind. The Lord Jesus has made peace between us and God, and He has reconciled us through His Cross, which reconnected us to God’s love and grace. By His perfect and humble obedience on the Cross, Christ has bridged what was once a great chasm separating us from God that was impossible to cross.

He came when we had no hope and were in wretched state. He extended God’s love and compassionate mercy to us, and redeemed us with love when we were in the greatest need for His love, care and mercy. He made a new Covenant with us when we were in darkness, lost and were distracted by sin, calling on all of us to return to Him with love and sincere faith and commitment. We can therefore see just how generous the Lord had been towards us all these while.

And all these are very timely kind reminders from the Lord to us, that each and every one of us ought to be ready and prepared for the Lord by living our lives each day with the full conviction and desire to proclaim our Christian faith through our lives, to serve the Lord and glorify His Name by our every living moments. We must always be ever ready and prepared, as the Lord reminds us again today, how the time of reckoning may come at any time, and we do not want to be caught unprepared.

How do we then live our lives that we truly become worthy of our Christian faith and God? We can therefore look upon the examples of the Lord Himself, as He dedicated Himself completely and humbly to obey the will of His heavenly Father, in reaching out to us all, the wretched children of mankind, in loving us all even when we have not been faithful and obedient to Him, and when we have abandoned and betrayed Him for false gods and idols.

We are all called to love as generously as the Lord has loved, to show the love of God in everything that we say and do, in all of our interactions with one another. We should be faithful bearers of our Christian faith in our community, and to be beacons of God’s light, to love and care where others had caused hurt and injury, to bring forgiveness and compassion where hatred and jealousy, anger and divisions had once reigned.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all called to be true disciples of Christ, not just in appearances or formality, but in real deeds, in all the little things we do that bring honour and glory to God. Are we willing and able to commit ourselves to the Lord in this way, brothers and sisters? God has called and chosen us to be His followers, but are we ready and willing to dedicate ourselves and answer His call definitively?

Let us all discern God’s call carefully, and think of what each and every one of us can do in order to respond to His call. Let us all wait no more, and give our very best to serve God and to love Him with all of our hearts, by living virtuously and most-Christianlike in all of our works and efforts, actions and interactions. Let us bring God’s light, truth, compassion and hope to this world, that through our efforts, more and more people can be saved. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 12 : 35-38

At that time, Jesus said to the people, “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 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!”

Tuesday, 20 October 2020 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 84 : 9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14

Would, that I hear God’s proclamation, that He promise peace to His people, His saints. Yet, His salvation is near to those who fear Him, and His glory will dwell in our land.

Love and faithfulness have met; righteousness and peace have embraced. Faithfulness will reach up from the earth while justice bends down from heaven.

YHVH will give what is good, and our land will yield its fruit. Justice will go before Him, and peace will follow along His path.