Wednesday, 27 July 2016 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day the readings from the Scripture tell us about turning away from our evil and wicked ways, and then seek the Lord with all of our hearts. From the first reading taken from the Book of the prophet Jeremiah, we heard about the Lord Who promised His people that He would forgive them and welcome them back if they had a change of heart and were willing to leave behind their sinful ways and regret their past mistakes.

In this, we see God in His merciful love, which He is offering to all of us mankind. To the people of the kingdom of Judah, He had also offered the same mercy and forgiveness. Yet, as they refused to repent and continued in their sins, worshipping pagan gods and idols and brought profanation upon the holy altar of God. They refused to bend their knees and to obey the Lord, and for that, they suffered the consequences of their disobedience.

They have placed their bet in the world and in their own power, and they got what they had dealt with. But the Lord is always trying to give us a chance, and trying all the time to bring as many of us as possible back to His loving embrace. And that was why He gave us His own Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to bring to us the full revelation of truth about Him, His love and what we all should do to be saved.

And all of this is revealed in the Gospel today, as Jesus spoke of the parable of the treasure and the kingdom of God. In that parable, Jesus likened the kingdom of God with the treasure, which all of us should aspire for and should look for. The kingdom of God is likened to a pearl of great and unsurpassable quality, a pearl of such excellence and price that all who see it should hearken to it and get it.

And this is the problem which many of us have, brothers and sisters in Christ. It is often that we do not know what is the true treasure of our life. Instead, we end up looking for the wrong treasures in this life, either because of ignorance, or because of the temptations and persuasions we faced, from the community, from the norms of our world and all the other things that pushed us to seek all the worldly things instead of finding our way to the Lord.

Let us ask ourselves, what is the worth of all the money and possessions that we gathered? What is the worth of all the fame and the praise we heaped upon ourselves? All of these will not be of good use to us at the time when we leave this world behind to our judgment. Yes, we should know that we are not going to carry our wealth or all the human fame and praises with us. It is only our deeds and actions that will be our sole proof to be shown to God.

Thus, we should heed what our Lord Jesus said on another occasion, asking us not to put our trust or gather treasures for ourselves that can be destroyed by fire, or by water, or by rust or by moth and other worldly forces. Rather, build for ourselves the true treasures of the kingdom of heaven, the incomparable pearl of great quality, by doing what God has asked us to do, by obeying His laws and commandments, loving Him and our fellow brethren.

May God help us on our journey, and may He strengthen our faith that we may not stumble along the way and be tempted into sin again. But let us renew our commitment to live faithfully with our God, and strive to be ever faithful and be ever righteous in His presence. God bless us all. Amen.

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