Wednesday, 18 September 2019 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture reminding us all of the need for us to turn wholeheartedly towards God in all things and attune ourselves to Him, knowing Him well and being in closer relationship with Him, walking in the path which He has shown us and obeying His will. It is by doing all these that we grow more attuned to Him and be more able to follow Him.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord Jesus Who showed His frustrations against the people who kept on being stubborn and put all of kinds of attitudes in refusing to believe in the truth that God has brought into the world. It was mentioned how when St. John the Baptist came into the world and worked among the people, many of them also doubted him and questioned him, finding him eccentric in his ascetic lifestyle.

On the other hand, when the Lord Himself came and seemingly acted in a different way, they also judged Him by His actions, focusing on His so-called unconventional approach of seeking people like the tax collectors, prostitutes, and calling His disciples from among those and from people who were simple, uncouth and uneducated, poor fishermen and illiterate people as His followers.

All of these ultimately point out the wrong focus and emphasis of the people who were looking at merely all the externals and appearances, and failed to understand the true intention of the Lord, the meaning and purpose of His actions and thoughts. They also judged Him and that of St. John the Baptist by the standards of the world, and not by the standard of the Lord. They thought in the manner as how the world would have done it and that was why they criticised the Lord and His servants as such.

But deep within, they did not know what they were doing, and unfortunately, in their misunderstanding and lack of real and genuine faith, they continued to do what they thought were right even though they were in fact mistaken in their ways. Yet, when the Lord and His servants pointed out their shortcomings and misunderstandings, they became angry and defensive as they refused to admit that they were wrong.

Why is that so? That is because their ego and pride took the better of them and made them to be stubborn and angry, emotional and to refuse to listen to reason. That is why they closed the doors of their hearts and minds to God, and no matter what the Lord told them, they refused to budge and change their mind and heart. The Lord has always been patient to them and kept on trying, but as long as they were unwilling to listen, His words will have no effect.

Now, let us all think about our own actions in life. Have we been like those same people whom the Lord had rebuked for their inability to believe in Him? Have we been too caught up in our numerous preoccupations and worldly concerns and things that we end up overlooking and forgetting about God and His truth and love for us? Have we been so ignorant of His presence in our midst just because we refuse to open our hearts and minds to Him?

Let us all reflect on this, brothers and sisters in Christ, and let us all seek to understand more deeply how God has done so much for us, out of His great love for each and every one of us. Let us all not be distracted any longer by the numerous temptations in life but instead seek to bring ourselves ever closer to God and align ourselves with His will from now on. Let us all follow God and entrust ourselves to Him wholeheartedly as we should have. May the Lord continue to guide us in our journey of faith, now and always. Amen.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 7 : 31-35

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “What comparison can I use for the people? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace, about whom their companions complain, ‘We piped you a tune and you would not dance; we sang funeral songs and you would not cry.'”

“Remember John : he did not ear bread or drink wine, and you said, ‘He has an evil spirit.’ Next, came the Son of Man, eating and drinking; and you say, ‘Look, a glutton for food and wine, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But the children of Wisdom always recognise her work.”

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 110 : 1-2, 3-4, 5-6

Alleluia! I thank YHVH with all my heart in the council of the just, in the assembly. The works of YHVH are great and pondered by all who delight in them.

Glorious and majestic are His deeds, His righteousness endures forever. He lets us remember His wondrous deeds; YHVH is merciful and kind.

Always mindful of His Covenant, He provides food for those who fear Him. He shows His people the power of His arm by giving them the lands of other nations.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Timothy 3 : 14-16

I give you these instructions, although I hope I will see you soon. If I delay, you will know how you ought to conduct yourself in the household of God, that is, the Church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth. How great, indeed, is the mystery of divine blessing!

He was shown in the flesh and sanctified by the Spirit; presented to the Angels and proclaimed to all nations. The world believed in Him : He was taken up in glory!

Wednesday, 11 September 2019 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Sacred Scriptures reminding us of the need for us to overcome our attachments to the world and to put our complete trust in God for He Who is ever faithful and good, loving and forgiving towards us will always have our best interest in His heart, and He will always be faithful to the Covenant which He has established with each and every one of us.

All of us need to have that faith and trust in God, and we need to put our complete faith in Him and in His providence. God will always be by our side no matter what, even in our most difficult moments and in the midst of great challenges. And we talk about this because it is exactly what we are likely to be experiencing in our own respective lives as Christians. To be Christians, as Christ’s followers mean that we will have to endure rejection and oppression, ridicule and suffering as Our Lord Himself had suffered.

But this is where we truly need to make our stand and decide, to be with Christ or to be away from Him. To follow His path will mean that we need to make sacrifices and to let go of certain things, worldly possessions and attachments, our desires and our natural greed and pride, our ego and our ambitions, as mentioned in our first reading passage today from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians, in seeking for the things that are above earthly things.

We naturally seek things of this world to bring about fulfilment and satisfaction in our life. We seek for satisfaction and the fulfilment of our bodily desires and these things are the temptations that often distract us from the path towards God. We tend to be so busy and preoccupied in trying to seek all those worldliness that we forgot about God and walked away from the path He has shown us.

But today, in the Gospel passage which we have just heard, we heard a part of the Beatitudes in which the Lord reminded and reaffirmed His disciples and all those who have the desire to follow Him. He reminded them all that despite all the challenges that they might have to face as His disciples and followers, but all those would not be in vain, for in the end God will be with them and will reward them wonderfully for their faith.

The Lord wants us to seek the true happiness and joy, satisfaction and eternal glory that can be found in Him and through Him alone. He wants us to avoid being distracted and tempted by the many temporary satisfactions and false pleasures of this world. And we must be aware that Satan and his allies are always ever busy trying to ruin us all by tempting us and turning us all against God by manipulating our desires and emotions.

This is where we need to be strong in our faith and to deepen our love and relationship with God. Otherwise, it will be easy for the devil to strike at us and snatch us away from God and His path towards salvation. God wants us all to trust in Him and to follow His path even when we are faced with difficulties and challenges in life. God will never abandon us in our moments of greatest need.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore grow ever stronger in our faith towards God, and let us all turn towards Him with ever greater love, and seek to love Him with more zeal and faith, each and every passing days. May the Lord continue to be by our side and may He help us to be strong in our faith and in our dedication from now on. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 6 : 20-26

At that time, looking at His disciples, Jesus said, “Fortunate are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours. Fortunate are you, who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Fortunate are you, who weep now, for you will laugh.”

“Fortunate are you, when people hate you, when they reject you and insult you and number you among criminals, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. Remember, that is how the ancestors of the people treated the prophets.”

“But alas for you, who have wealth, for you have been comforted now. Alas for you, who are full, for you will go hungry. Alas for you, who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. Alas for you, when people speak well of you, for that is how the ancestors of the people treated the false prophets.”

Wednesday, 11 September 2019 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 144 : 2-3, 10-11, 12-13ab

I will praise You, day after day; and exalt Your Name forever. Great is YHVH, most worthy of praise; and His deeds are beyond measure.

All Your works will give You thanks; all Your saints, o YHVH, will praise You. They will tell of the glory of Your kingdom; and speak of Your power.

That all may know of Your mighty deeds, Your reign, and its glorious splendour. Your reign is from age to age; Your dominion endures, from generation to generation.