Friday, 9 January 2015 : Friday after the Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are reminded of the purpose of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ into this world. He came not just for nothing or just to save the righteous ones, but even more importantly, from the story of the healing of the leper, we should know that Jesus came into the world in order to save the weak, the sinners, the wicked and all those who have been lost to Him.

Remember that Jesus Himself said to the Pharisees to rebuke them? He said that He came into the world not to save the righteous nor the healthy, but to save those who need His help, those who are separated from His love, and all those who are far away from His grace. He came as a doctor to heal the illness of the sick, and for our case, this illness and sickness is sin, the taint and corruption on our body and soul that prevented us from receiving the grace of God.

In short, Jesus desires for us to be forgiven from our sins, to be cleansed from our iniquities and sins, and to be made whole again, so that no one will be lost in the end. All those who are lost will be brought back together again, so that in the grace of God they may be saved. That is the meaning and intention of God’s love, which He freely offers to all those who seek Him and who are willing to listen to His urgings and calls.

But all this cannot happen without our part to play, and we need to do something on our part ourselves. God offers us His salvation and grace freely, but if we are not responsive and unreceptive to His offers, then it will be useless for us. We will not be part of God’s salvation. We must be receptive and also take the initiative to allow the work of God to take place in ourselves, so that God’s salvation may come to work for us.

Jesus Himself said that if we need anything, we only have to ask and it shall be given to us, and we just have to knock at the door, and the door will be opened for us. That is the truth, and God is generous with His love. The problem is of course that many of us for various reasons refuse to do these, and therefore shutting ourselves out from the richness of God’s grace.

Many of us are too proud to ask for God’s help, or to lower ourselves to seek God’s mercy and forgiveness, and that is why many of us are still lost in the darkness of this world, and many of us continue to sin because we are too proud and haughty, thinking too highly of ourselves to humbly beg for the forgiveness for our sins. And on the other hand, many of us are also too afraid to ask for God’s help because we fear His punishment, His anger and His wrath, and hence, again we continue to live in sin.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, if any of us are among these two groups of people, then we should indeed reflect, on the love of God, which He had shown through Jesus and through His loving sacrifice on the cross, the torture and sufferings He went through for our sake. We should open wide the doors of our heart to allow the Lord to come into us and to transform us from being the creatures of evil and sin into the people of the Light.

Therefore, let us all show love in our actions, loving one another and caring for each other, forgiving one another of the faults and mistakes we have done to each other. We have to live out our faith with real action, and we have to open up ourselves to the Lord, not to enclose ourselves within our pride and fear. Do not let pride prevent us from seeking out to the Lord and seeking His forgiveness for our sins. And of course, we should not allow our fear to come in the way of our seeking of the love of God.

May our Almighty and loving God be with us always, that we may not lose our way as we find our way towards Him and His salvation. May all of us grow stronger in faith and love, so that in all things we say, do and act, we may have the love of God in us. Let us throw far, far away all forms of pride and fear from our hearts and embrace God with love. God bless us all. Amen.

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Friday, 9 January 2015 : Friday after the Epiphany (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 5 : 12-16

At that time, one day, in another town, a man came to Jesus covered with leprosy. On seeing Jesus, the man bowed down to the ground, and said, “Lord, if You want to, You can make me clean.”

Stretching out His hand, Jesus touched the man and said, “Yes, I want to. Be clean.” In an instant the leprosy left him. Then Jesus instructed him, “Tell this to no one. But go and show yourself to the priest. Make an offering for your healing, as Moses prescribed; that will serve as evidence for them.”

But the news about Jesus spread all the more, and large crowds came to Him, to listen and to be healed of their sickness. As for Jesus, He would often withdraw to solitary places and pray.

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Friday, 9 January 2015 : Friday after the Epiphany (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 147 : 12-15, 19-20

Exalt the Lord, o Jerusalem; praise your God, o Zion! For He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your children within you.

He grants peace on your borders and feeds you with the finest grain. He sends His command to the earth and swiftly runs His word.

It is He who tells Jacob His words, His laws and decrees to Israel. This He has not done for other nations, so His laws remain unknown to them. Alleluia!

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Friday, 9 January 2015 : Friday after the Epiphany (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 5 : 5-13

Who has overcome the world? The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus Christ was acknowledged through water, but also through blood. Not only water but water and blood. And the Spirit, too, witnesses to Him for the Spirit is truth.

There are then three testimonies : the Spirit, the water and the blood, and these three witnesses agree. If we accept human testimony, with greater reason must we accept that of God, given in favour of His Son. If you believe in the Son of God, you have God’s testimony in you.

But those who do not believe make God a liar, since they do not believe His words when He witnesses to His Son. What has God said? That He has granted us eternal life and this life is in His Son. The one who has the Son has life, the one who do not have the Son of God do not have life.

I write you, then, all these things that you mau know that you have eternal life, all you who believe in the Name of the Son of God.

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