Sunday, 15 February 2015 : Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Quinquagesima Sunday (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we approach ever closer to the beginning of the Lenten season which will begin on this coming, the Ash Wednesday, today we celebrate the Quinquagesima Sunday, or the Seventh Sunday before Easter, as a reminder of the saving power and works of our Lord Jesus Christ, who had come unto this world and became incarnate as Man, that through His mission and works, He might bring healing to a sickened people.

Truly, the readings today, both that of the sixth Ordinary Sunday and the Quinquagesima Sunday are talking about the sickness of the flesh, and thus lead us all to understand that we are all, by our nature, sickened with sin, that is the sickness of the soul, or to link to the readings today even more closely, sin is the leprosy of the soul.

In the first reading, God stipulated the law regarding leprosy and what ought to be done to a person who has leprosy, to His people through Moses. Lepers ought to declare themselves as unclean and walk in shame, while at the same time they also must isolate themselves and exile themselves from the community of the people of God. They ought to remain outside the encampment where the people of Israel stayed in the presence of God.

At the first glance, this may seem to be very harsh and it may seem that God was punishing those with leprosy very severely. But in fact, the truth is that God desires their healing and salvation. If we read the entirety of the Book of Leviticus, and discern the meaning of what God had commanded to His people, we will find that for the case of leprosy, when those afflicted were cured of their condition, they have to present themselves to the priests who would then gave worthy sacrifice for the Lord and welcomed them back into the community of the people of God.

Thus, the same has happened to all of us mankind. We are all sick from the sickness of sin that affects our soul and tainted it. Sin is an abomination and filth that separates us from the loving embrace of our Lord and God, and sin has no place in His presence. Therefore, it would not indeed be too different from the lepers in the past, when Israel walked through the desert from Egypt to the Promised Land, that they were temporarily cast out of the society and had to wander in the wilderness beyond the confines of the camp of the faithful.

We have been separated from God and from being worthy of His salvation by the taint of sin, and as the Gospel of Quinquagesima Sunday also shows us, that blindness is another form of illness that we are suffering from. The blind man begged for Jesus to heal him, and in his faith, he was cured completely from his blindness. Here, there is again yet a clear link between what we heard and another story, when Jesus healed yet another blind man.

The blind man from his birth, who used to beg at the entrance of the Temple was healed by Jesus, and he gave thanks to God and testified to the glory of God, and yet, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law accused him of sinning and of committing the sin by having been healed on the Sabbath day. They cursed him and were angry against him, but indeed, that other story from the Gospel also yet show us how, all of us men are sick, sickened by sin.

For sin blinded our hearts and minds against the love and mercy of God, and also prevented us from recognising the good works of the Lord present around us. It was precisely just as what the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had done to Jesus and His works. They refused to recognise God’s love made evident and real through Jesus Christ, who was willing to endure the worst of sufferings and scourges, and bear the consequences of all of our sins with Him to the cross.

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, Christ brought about healing and justification to all those who believe in Him, in all those who have abandoned their old ways of sin and evil, and decided to follow Him and walk in His ways for the rest of their lives. This healing and cleansing is the healing of our soul and heart, as well as our mind and body from the corruption of sin and the desires of the world. He is the High Priest, who had offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice to reconcile us with God.

The sad fact is that, like the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, too many of us are still too proud to accept our sinfulness as a fact and reality, and too many of us are too haughty and prideful to seek for God’s forgiveness and to humble ourselves before His presence. It is also in our nature to boast of our abilities and greatness, as well as achievements, but not our shortcomings and failures, especially that of sin.

As we approach the season of Lent, and as later we are to celebrate the Most Holy Week of our Lord’s Passion, suffering, death and resurrection from the dead, all of which are part of His works to bring about our salvation and the deliverance of all those who put their trust and faith in Him, let us therefore reflect on our own lives and attitudes. Have we been truly faithful to the Lord, and have we been reflecting and be aware of our own sinfulness and wickedness in life that prevented us from being truly be with our loving God?

As St. Paul mentioned in his epistle we heard for this Quinquagesima Sunday, that our faith must be complemented with hope and love, the three cardinal and most important gifts of the Lord to all of us. If the three are not present together, then they are incomplete. And the greatest gift of all is indeed love, for it is love itself that drove our Lord to come down and to do His works to save us all. Sinners as we are, and unworthy as we are, He still loves us all very much.

Thus, we cannot say that we are truly faithful to the Lord, unless we imitate the love which Christ had shown to us all, who in His gentle and tender love had brought about our healing, the healing we receive so that our entire being are purged from the sickness of sin and evil. But we have to open our hearts to His love and mercy, and the best way to do this is to practice them in our own lives.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us be truly faithful to our Lord from now on, and show our thanks and gratitude for the love and mercy which He had shown us. Although we are sinners, unworthy and wicked, He was still willing to give Himself for our sake, and even to suffer and die for our sake. Let us all from now on be thoroughly transformed in faith, hope and love, that through these gifts which we exercise in our daily actions and deeds in life, we may grow stronger and more just in the eyes of our Lord, and be worthy for His eternal life. God bless us all. Amen.

Sunday, 15 February 2015 : Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Quinquagesima Sunday (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 1 : 40-45

At that time, a leper came to Jesus and begged Him, “If You want to, You can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I do want to, be clean.” The leprosy left the man at once and he was made clean.

As Jesus sent the man away, He sternly warned him, “Do not tell anyone about this, but go and show yourself to the priest, and for the cleansing bring the offering ordered by Moses; in this way you will give to them your testimony.”

However, as soon as the man went out, he began spreading the news everywhere,so that Jesus could no longer openly enter any town. But even though He stayed in the rural areas, people came to Him from everywhere.

Homily and Reflection :
https://petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com/2015/02/14/sunday-15-february-2015-sixth-sunday-of-ordinary-time-quinquagesima-sunday-homily-and-scripture-reflections/

Sunday, 15 February 2015 : Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Quinquagesima Sunday (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 10 : 31 – 1 Corinthians 11 : 1

Then, whatever you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do it for the glory of God. Give no offense to the Jews, or to the Greeks, or to the Church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything. I do not seek my own interest, but that of many, this is, that they be saved.

Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.

Sunday, 15 February 2015 : Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Quinquagesima Sunday (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 31 : 1-2, 5, 11

Blessed is the one whose sin is forgiven, whose iniquity is wiped away. Blessed are those in whom the Lord sees no guilt and in whose spirit is found no deceit.

Then I made known to You my sin and uncovered before You my fault, saying to myself, “To the Lord I will now confess my wrong.” And You, You forgave my sin, You removed my guilt.

Rejoice in the Lord, and be glad, you who are upright; sing and shout for joy, you who are clean of heart.

Sunday, 15 February 2015 : Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Quinquagesima Sunday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Leviticus 13 : 1-2, 44-46

YHVH said to Moses and Aaron, “If someone has a boil, an inflammation or a sore on his skin which could develop into leprosy, he must be brought to Aaron the priest, or to one of the priests, his descendants.”

“This means that the man is leprous : he is unclean. The priest shall declare him unclean; he is suffering from leprosy of the head. A person infected with leprosy must wear torn clothing and leave his hair uncombed; he must cover his upper lip and cry, ‘Unclean, unclean.'”

“As long as the disease lasts he must be unclean; and therefore he must live away from others : he must live outside the camp.”

(Usus Antiquior) Quinquagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 15 February 2015 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Offertory

Psalm 118 : 12-13

Benedictus es, Domine, doce me justificationes Tuas : in labiis meis pronuntiavi omnia judicia oris Tui.

English translation

Blessed are You, o Lord, teach me Your justifications. With my lips I have pronounced all the judgments of Your mouth.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Haec hostia, Domine, quaesumus, emundet nostra delicta : et, ad sacrificium celebrandum, subditorum Tibi corpora mentesque sanctificet. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivis et regnas in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

May this offering, we beseech You, o Lord, cleanse away our sins, sanctify us in soul and body, and fit us, Your servants, for the celebration of the sacrifice. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Communion

Psalm 77 : 29-30

Manducaverunt, et saturari sunt nimis, et desiderium eorum attulit eis Dominus : non sunt fraudati a desiderio suo.

English translation

They did eat, and were filled exceedingly, and the Lord gave them their desire. They were not defrauded of that which they craved.

Post-Communion Prayer

Quaesumus, omnipotens Deus : ut, qui caelestia alimenta percepimus, per haec contra omnia adversa muniamur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivis et regnas in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

We beseech You, o Almighty God, that we, who have partaken of heavenly nourishment, may be fortified by it against all adversaries. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Quinquagesima Sunday (II Classis) – Sunday, 15 February 2015 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Violet

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke

Luke 18 : 31-43

In illo tempore : Assumpsit Jesus duodecim, et ait illis : Ecce, ascendimus Jerosolymam, et consummabuntur omnia, quae scripta sunt per Prophetas de Filio hominis. Tradetur enim Gentibus, et illudetur, et flagellabitur, et conspuetur : et postquam flagellaverint, occident eum, et tertia die resurget.

Et ipsi nihil horum intellexerunt, et erat verbum istud absconditum ab eis, et non intellegebant quae dicebantur. Factum est autem, cum appropinquaret Jericho, caecus quidam sedebat secus viam, mendicans. Et cum audiret turbam praetereuntem, interrogabat, quid hoc esset.

Dixerunt autem ei, quod Jesus Nazarenus transiret. Et clamavit, dicens : Jesu, Fili David, miserere mei. Et qui praeibant, increpabant eum, ut taceret. Ipse vero multo magis clamabat : Fili David, miserere mei. Stans autem Jesus, jussit illum adduci ad se. Et cum appropinquasset, interrogavit illum, dicens : Quid tibi vis faciam?

At ille dixit : Domine, ut videam. Et Jesus dixit illi : Respice, fides tua te salvum fecit. Et confestim vidit, et sequebatur illum, magnificans Deum. Et omnis plebs ut vidit, dedit laudem Deo.

English translation

At that time, Jesus took unto Him the Twelve, and said to them, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man, for He shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and scourged, and be spit upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will put Him to death and on the third day He shall rise again.”

And they understood none of these things, and this word was hidden from them, and they did not understand the things that were said. Now it came to pass, when He drew nigh to Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the wayside, begging. And when he heard the multitude passing by, he asked what this meant.

And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, and he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” And those who went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace. But he cried out much more, “Son of David, have mercy on me.” And Jesus standing, commanded him to be brought unto Him, and when he came near, He asked him, saying, “What will you want that I do unto you?”

But he said, “Lord, that I may see.” And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight, for your faith had made you whole.” And immediately he saw, and followed Him, glorifying God, and all the people when they saw it, gave praise to God.