Daily Archives: June 8, 2008

Tuesday, 08 July – The Heart of the Matter

08 July – Tuesday in the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Hosea 8:4-7, 11-13

They have set up kings, but not with my consent,
and appointed princes, but without my knowledge.
Out of their own silver and gold they have made idols,
which are doomed to destruction.
I spurn your calf, Samaria,
my anger blazes against it.
(How long will it be before they purge themselves of this,
the sons of Israel?)
A workman made the thing,
this cannot be God!
Yes, the calf of Samaria shall go up in flames.
They sow the wind, they will reap the whirlwind;
their wheat will yield no ear,
the ear will yield no flour,
or, if it does, foreigners will swallow it.

Ephraim has built altar after altar,
they have only served him as occasion for sin.
Were I to write out the thousand precepts of my Law for him,
they would be paid no more attention than those of a stranger.
They love sacrificing; right, let them sacrifice!
They love meat; right, let them eat it!
the Lord takes no pleasure in these.
He is now going to remember their iniquity
and punish their sins;
they will have to go back to Egypt.


Matthew 9:32-38

They had only just left when a man was brought to him, a dumb demoniac. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb man spoke and the people were amazed. ‘Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel’ they said. But the Pharisees said, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts out devils.’

Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness.

And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’


He felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd.

I have been feeling drained because of work and ministry. There was not much time for myself, but I felt fine with it. However, something tugged in my heart. I yearned for something more than just doing good work.

The song “Heart of Worship” played in my mind, especially these lyrics: I’m coming back to the heart of worship / and it’s all about You, Jesus. It then struck me that no matter how much I do to make the world around me a better place, it is most important to nurture my relationship with God.

The readings today tell of people who were lost and turned to things that looked like they were pointing to God, but only brought them further away from Him. Fortunately, Jesus Himself seeks us out, even sending people to help us quench that spiritual thirst in our hearts when we do not recognize it. Have you been feeling similarly lost? Stop and focus on Him today.

(Today’s reflection by Regina Xie)

Prayer: We pray to the Lord for a heart that seeks Him.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks to the Lord for reminders to focus on Him.

Upcoming readings:
09 Jul, Wed – Hosea 10:1-3. 7-8. 12, Matthew 10:1-7
10 Jul, Thu – Hosea 11:1-4. 8-9, Matthew 10:7-15
11 Jul, Fri – Hosea 14:2-10, Matthew 10:16-23
12 Jul, Sat – Isaiah 6:1-8, Matthew 10:24-33
13 Jul, Sun – Isaiah 55:10-11, Romans 8:18-23, Matthew 13:1-23 – Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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Sunday, 08 June – Living in a “sick” world

08 June – Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Hosea 6:3-6

‘On the third day he will raise us
and we shall live in his presence.
Let us set ourselves to know the Lord;
that he will come is as certain as the dawn
his judgement will rise like the light,
he will come to us as showers come,
like spring rains watering the earth.’

What am I to do with you, Ephraim?
What am I to do with you, Judah?
This love of yours is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that quickly disappears.
This is why I have torn them to pieces by the prophets,
why I slaughtered them with the words from my mouth,
since what I want is love, not sacrifice;
knowledge of God, not holocausts.


Romans 4:18-25

Though it seemed Abraham’s hope could not be fulfilled, he hoped and he believed, and through doing so he did become the father of many nations exactly as he had been promised: Your descendants will be as many as the stars. Even the thought that his body was past fatherhood – he was about a hundred years old – and Sarah too old to become a mother, did not shake his belief. Since God had promised it, Abraham refused either to deny it or even to doubt it, but drew strength from faith and gave glory to God, convinced that God had power to do what he had promised. This is the faith that was ‘considered as justifying him.’ Scripture however does not refer only to him but to us as well when it says that his faith was thus ‘considered’; our faith too will be ‘considered’ if we believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, Jesus who was put to death for our sins and raised to life to justify us.


Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus was walking on from there he saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.

While he was at dinner in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When he heard this he replied, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’


It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick.

A good friend and I were talking about the recent earthquake and tragedy in China the other day. During such events, many people would probably ask, “If there is really a God, why would He allow this to happen? How could a good and loving God allow His people to suffer such extreme pain?” These are valid questions. As I am not God, I will not have the answer to these questions; however, allow me to humbly suggest a few reasons on God’s behalf (some suggestions are based on a priest’s homily).

Firstly, God has asked us to be gardeners of the world. Have we been good gardeners or have we been damaging the environment? With every action, there is a consequence. Perhaps we (as global citizens) have caused the earthquake to happen through the careless ways we treat our environment and God has simply allowed this to happen to remind us that there are consequences to all our actions (through such events, we are reminded of what will happen to our souls if we are not repentant of our sins).

Secondly, if there were no suffering, this would be paradise. However, we must remember that we are on earth, not heaven yet.

Thirdly, imagine a world where there was no human tragedy. Human beings already have a tendency to be complacent and to think of ourselves as gods. If everything went well and there weren’t such events to remind us that there is a greater power than ourselves, would we really see a need for God?

Therefore, while we pray for those suffering from such tragedies, let such events remind us that we are not gods. May our eyes be opened to see that we are still living in a “sick” world and, even if we do not wish to admit it, we need a physician’s help to escape the eternal sufferings of hell. Let us draw close to the one and true physician – our Lord Jesus Christ – and ask Him for His mercy, forgiveness, love, healing, and His help.

(Today’s reflection by Jean Cheng)

Prayer: We pray for those who are suffering from the recent tragedies in China. May God receive the souls of the departed and protect their families who are still in this world.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks to God who allows these tragedies to happen in the world so that more people will remember to turn back to Him and be saved from the worst tragedy of all (i.e. eternal suffering in hell).


Upcoming readings:
09 June, Mon – 1 Kings 17:1-6; Matthew 5:1-12
10 June, Tue – 1 Kings 17:7-16; Matthew 5:13-16
11 June, Wed – Acts 11:21b-26; 13:1-3 Matthew 10:17-19 – Feast of St Barnabas
12 June, Thu – 1 Kings 18:41-46; Matthew 5:20-26
13 June, Fri – 1 Kings 19:9a. 11-16; Matthew 5:27-32
14 June, Sat -1 Kings 19:19-21; Matthew 5:33-37
15 June, Sun – Exodus 19:2-6a; Romans 5:6-11; Matthew 9:36-10:8; Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
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