Sunday, 20 January 2019 : Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

John 2 : 1-11

At that time, three days after Jesus called Nathanael, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also invited to the wedding with His disciples. When all the wine provided for the celebration had been served, and they had run out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

Jesus replied, “Woman, what concern is that to you and Me? My hour has not yet come.” However His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Nearby were six stone water jars, set there for ritual washing as practiced by the Jews; each jar could hold twenty or thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them to the brim. Then Jesus said, “Now draw some out and take it to the steward.” So they did. The steward tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing from where it had come; for only the servants who had drawn the water knew. So, he called the bridegroom to tell him, “Everyone serves the best wine first, and when people have drunk enough, he serves that which is ordinary. Instead you have kept the best wine until the end.”

This miraculous sign was the first, and Jesus performed it at Cana in Galilee. In this way He let His glory appear, and His disciples believed in Him.

Sunday, 20 January 2019 : Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Corinthians 12 : 4-11

There is diversity of gifts, but the Spirit is the same. There is diversity of ministries, but the Lord is the same. There is diversity of works, but the same God works in all.

The Spirit reveals His presence in each one with a gift that is also a service. One is to speak with wisdom, through the Spirit. Another teaches, according to the same Spirit. To another is given faith, in which the Spirit acts; to another, the gift of healing, and it is the same Spirit.

Another works miracles, another is a prophet, another recognises what comes from the good or evil spirit; another speaks in tongues, and still another interprets what has been said in tongues. And all of this, is the work of the one and only Spirit, who gives to each one, as he so desires.

Sunday, 20 January 2019 : Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 95 : 1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a, 9-10a and 10c

Sing to YHVH a new song, sing to YHVH, all the earth! Sing to YHVH, praise His Name.

Proclaim His salvation, day after day. Recall His glory among the nations, tell all the peoples His wonderful deeds.

Give to YHVH, you families of nations, give to YHVH glory and strength. Give to YHVH the glory due His Name.

Worship YHVH with holy celebrations; stand in awe of Him, all the earth. Say among the nations, He will judge the peoples with justice.

Sunday, 20 January 2019 : Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Isaiah 62 : 1-5

For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, for Jerusalem I will not keep silent, until her holiness shines like the dawn and her salvation flames like a burning torch. The nations will see your holiness and all the kings your glory. You will be called by a new name which the mouth of YHVH will reveal.

You will be a crown of glory in the hand of YHVH, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. No longer will you be named Forsaken; no longer will your land be called Abandoned; but you will be called My Delight and your land Espoused. For YHVH delights in you and will make your land His spouse.

As a young man marries a virgin, so will your Builder marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so will your God rejoice in you.

Saturday, 19 January 2019 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today the Scripture passages reminded us of this great Lord, Master and High Priest that we have in our midst, that is Our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God Most High, Who has come into our world, born of His mother Mary, to be our Saviour, bringing God’s truth and salvation to all of us, His beloved people. And it is His desire that all of us mankind, sinners who have been separated from Him, should be liberated from those sins and be saved.

Today, in the Gospel passage we heard of the moment when Levi, the tax collector, was called by the Lord to follow Him. Levi listened to the Lord, and left everything behind, following Him to be His disciple. The conversion of Levi was a significant event, as it revealed even more of God’s intentions for us, His mercy and loving compassion for each and every one of us. God wants us to be forgiven from our sins, and to turn away from our own sinfulness and embrace His love.

At that time, among the Jewish people, the tax collectors were considered and regarded as the worst of the worst among them, as they were viewed with contempt for their actions and relationships with the Romans, who were the overlords of the Jewish community of the time. The tax collectors were viewed as racial and national traitors, for having collaborated with the Romans and helping in the oppression of the people of God.

The taxes imposed by the Romans on the Jewish populace were highly unpopular, and they caused the tax collectors like Levi to be hated even more. But the Lord came to this supposedly most unworthy and most unlikely of those whom the Lord had called to be His disciples and followers. That was why the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law balked at Him when He called Levi to be His follower, and not only that, He even went to his house to have a meal with him and his fellow tax collectors.

And then the Lord revealed the very truth about His mission on earth, and that is to call on sinners and those who have fallen away from the grace of God, to reconcile all those who are still living in the darkness of sin, and who are still enslaved by the power of the devil and by the many temptations of this world. He does not want anyone to fall into damnation, as long as He is able to prevent it by calling on His people to repent from their sins.

And He does this, by completing the mission which His heavenly Father has given Him, that is to bear the combined burden and weight of humanity’s many sins, to be the High Priest of all of us mankind, the One and true High Priest, Who by the offering of His Most Precious Body and Blood on the altar of the cross, become for us the source of our everlasting life and glory, of our salvation and liberation from the tyranny and power of sin.

The Lord has willingly done all of these, because of His great and enduring love for each and every one of us, of His care and compassion for us, despite our rebelliousness and stubbornness. All of these are caused by His commitment to the Covenant which He had established with each and every one of us, and He saw the potential and the hope that is present within each and every one of us, even in the greatest sinners.

And we saw the result of that in none other than the calling of Levi, a tax collector who turned into a faithful disciple of the Lord, making use of his many talents to serve the Lord with all of his strength. He became a great Apostle, one of the four people who wrote the Holy Gospels, and travelled to many places in the service of God, spreading the truth that He had brought into the world, and most importantly, calling even many more sinners to the forgiveness of God.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, are we convinced yet of the great love and compassion of God? God has been so gracious in His love and mercy wants us to be reconciled with Him, and to receive the fullness of His grace. And then, we are also called to serve the Lord and follow Him as Levi had done. Let us all continue the good works of the Apostles and disciples of the Lord, calling even more people to the Lord, by our own righteous, virtuous and faithful life.

May God bless us all, His beloved children, and may He grant each and every one of us, the courage and the strength to love Him and to seek His mercy, from now on. Amen.

Saturday, 19 January 2019 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Mark 2 : 13-17

At that time, when Jesus went out again beside the lake, a crowd came to Him, and He taught them. As He walked along, He saw a tax collector sitting in his office. This was Levi, the son of Alpheus. Jesus said to him, “Follow Me!” And Levi got up and followed Him.

And it so happened that when Jesus was eating in Levi’s house, tax collectors and sinners sat with Him and His disciples; there were a lot of them, and they used to follow Jesus. But Pharisees, men educated in the Law, when they saw Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, “Why does your Master eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

Jesus heard them, and answered, “Healthy people do not need a doctor, but sick people do. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Saturday, 19 January 2019 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Psalm 18 : 8, 9, 10, 15

The Law of the Lord is perfect : it gives life to the soul. The word of the Lord is trustworthy : it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right : they give joy to the heart. The commandments of the Lord are clear : they enlighten the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is pure, it endures forever; the judgements of the Lord are true, all of them just and right.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart find favour in Your sight, o Lord – my Redeemer, my Rock!