Saturday, 16 November 2019 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Margaret of Scotland, and St. Gertrude, Virgin (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints and Virgins)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are told through the Scriptures of the many wonders of God, His many works and all that He has done for our sake all these while because of His great and unending love for each and every one of us. He has blessed us all His people at all times despite of our frequent and constant disobedience and sinfulness.

As we heard from our Gospel passage today, through the parable of the evil judge that the Lord Jesus used to explain on this matter, we can see how even an evil, wicked and selfish judge could still bend to the desires of an old woman who went to him constantly and nagged at him incessantly in trying to get him to help her to get her case settled and to fight for her case. The evil judge eventually acceded to her requests and listened to her.

By comparing the behaviour and attitude of the evil and wicked judge, with that of the Lord, our God, we can then see just how if an evil person knew how to do something that is right even for a less than righteous and noble reason, then all the more that God, Who loves us all very dearly and treats us as very precious in His sight, will bless us and take care of us, especially when we ask of Him for a specific grace and help.

Yet, many of us chose to turn away from Him and ignore all the love, care and compassion which He has shown us all these while. And this is mainly caused by our own preoccupation in life, in our relentless pursuits for worldly satisfactions and joys, for the pleasures of the body and for the fulfilment of our desires, be it for money, for fame, for glory and prestige in the society among many others.

We often put trust in our own abilities and strengths, and we do not remember God and His love even in times of difficulties. And when we encounter challenges and difficulties, we then often blame God and became angry at Him for having allowed us all to endure through those difficult challenges and trials. It is then that we need to remember again what we have heard from the Book of Wisdom in our first reading today.

Through that passage from the Book of Wisdom, we are reminded of how God has provided for all of His faithful ones throughout the ages, as how He wished it to be and how He has fashioned all things in accordance with His will. God has been with His people Israel regardless of how they have treated Him, freed them from their slavery in Egypt and provided for them throughout all the many years of their Exodus, even when they rebelled against Him and chose to worship the pagan gods instead of Him.

How have we ourselves lived our lives so far, brothers and sisters in Christ? Have we been ungrateful, unappreciative and ignorant of how great God’s love and kindness towards us have been? Have we allowed pride and our desires to get in our way of being able to love God and to be faithful to Him? Perhaps then it is right that today we should look upon the examples of two of our holy predecessors in faith who have dedicated themselves to the Lord, to be our own inspirations.

St. Margaret of Scotland was the queen of Scotland who was renowned for her upright and virtuous life, her just and loving attitudes towards us, her compassion for the poor and the needy throughout the kingdom. She was very charitable and devoted, performing many charitable works and also instilled great love for God among her family members and her sons, who would become the kings of Scotland.

Despite her privileged status and birth, St. Margaret of Scotland did not let all of those to prevent or stop her from being filled with God’s love, sharing the love of God with her brethren just as the Lord has loved and blessed her first. Through her, we can indeed see just how God performed His wonderful works of love in this world, through St. Margaret of Scotland herself, and also therefore, through us all, by our own actions, words and deeds.

Meanwhile, St. Gertrude was a Benedictine religious sister and mystic who was renowned for her visions as well as for her great spiritual life and connections to God. St. Gertrude spent much of her time in prayers and contemplations, loving God to the best of her abilities and devoting her time and effort to glorify Him at all times. She also wrote extensively, some of which still survived to this day. Through her writings, many others became inspired by the great faith and love that she had for God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, having heard of the inspiring life of these two saints, let us all be inspired and be strengthened in our own lives, that we may also dedicate ourselves to God, and love Him with all of our hearts and with all of our strength because ultimately, He has loved us all first so wonderfully and dearly, that He took up the Cross, suffered, was crucified and died, out of love for us and for the sake of our salvation.

May the Lord enkindle in each and every one of us a strong love for Him, love that imitates and matches the same love which He Himself had shown us. May He bless us all and continue to guide us all through our lives and in all of our good endeavours. Amen.

Saturday, 16 November 2019 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Margaret of Scotland, and St. Gertrude, Virgin (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints and Virgins)

Luke 18 : 1-8

At that time, Jesus told them a parable, to show them that they should pray continually, and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain town there was a judge, who neither feared God nor people. In the same town there was a widow, who kept coming to him, saying, ‘Defend my rights against my adversary!'”

“For a time he refused, but finally he thought, ‘Even though I neither fear God nor care about people, this widow bothers me so much, I will see that she gets justice; then she will stop coming and wearing me out.'”

And Jesus said, “Listen to what the evil judge says. Will God not do justice for His chosen ones, who cry to Him day and night, even if He delays in answering them? I tell you, He will speedily do them justice. But, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

Saturday, 16 November 2019 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Margaret of Scotland, and St. Gertrude, Virgin (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints and Virgins)

Psalm 104 : 2-3, 36-37, 42-43

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

Then He smote all the firstborn, the first fruits of their manhood. He led Israel out of the alien land, laden with silver and gold, and none were left behind.

For He remembered His promise to Abraham, His servant. So He led forth His people with joy, His chosen ones with singing.

Saturday, 16 November 2019 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Margaret of Scotland, and St. Gertrude, Virgin (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints and Virgins)

Wisdom 18 : 14-16 and Wisdom 19 : 6-9

While all was in quiet silence and the night was in the middle of its course, Your Almighty Word leapt down from the royal throne – a stern Warrior to a doomed world. Carrying Your fearful command like a sharpened sword and stretching from heaven to earth, He filled the universe with death.

All creation in its different forms was fashioned anew at Your command, in order to protect Your people. The cloud covered the camp with its shadow, dry land emerged where water had been. A safe passage was opened through the Red Sea, the tempestuous flood became a green plain where the whole nation of those protected by Your hand passed across, witnessing Your astounding deeds.

They were like horses led to pasture, or like frolicking lambs, praising You, their Lord, Who had delivered them.