Friday, 26 August 2016 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded again firstly by St. Paul who wrote in his letter to the Corinthians, that the message of Christ, the Good News, is not a message of comfort and joy as what many would immediately associate it with. Rather, the message and truth of Christ, while these offer comfort and happiness to all those who have believed, but to those who refuse to listen to Him, these made no sense at all.

This is to highlight the differences between putting our trust on the wisdom of God or to put our trust instead in our own human power and wisdom. St. Paul made the distinctions clear, by comparing the attitudes of those who believe in God, with the attitudes of the Jews and the Greeks, among those who refused to believe, namely the Pharisees, the elders and the teachers of the Law, and the philosophers among the Greeks.

These people were highly educated and intelligent people. And they also occupied very important positions in the society, highly respected and regarded by others around them. However, because of these, they became proud of themselves and became haughty, refusing to listen to the Lord and to the truth that He brought with Him into the world.

God showed this in the Gospel in the parable of the five wise and five foolish women, which story must be very familiar to us. The five women who were wise did not represent the wisdom of the world, as possessed by the Pharisees, the elders, the teachers of the Law and the Greek philosophers, who instead were represented by the five foolish women.

Why is this so, brethren? That is because just as the five foolish women just brought barely enough oil for their lamps to last a while, thus in the similar way those supposedly wise people in the world depended on their own intellect and human wisdom which were imperfect and limited in order to perceive and understand this world. But when they tried to use the same to explain the Lord, they were not able to understand His actions.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, do we also put too much of trust in our own powers and abilities? Have we become proud just because we are capable of great feats and deeds in this world? Well, we ought to be happy for the good things that we have accomplished, and yet, we should not be swallowed and be taken over by the pride and greed that are found within us.

Sin is born when we close our hearts and minds to God, because we think that we do not need Him, or that because we think that we can do everything without Him. That is the foolishness of our human wisdom and pride. And because of that Lucifer had fallen from his grace and became the wicked being he is now, the devil, rejected and cursed for all eternity.

Do we also want to share his fate? Certainly we should avoid such a fate. Rather than putting our trust in our own feeble and untrustworthy human abilities, we should trust in them knowing that God alone is the One Who gives us the grace to be successful in this life, for He is indeed the very One Who gave us those wonderful deeds and abilities.

Let us all therefore renew our devotion to the Lord, and learn to give of ourselves entirely to Him. Let us fear no longer, or be doubtful, for God our Lord and Father will protect us and give us the wonders of His love, that we may not be orphans anymore, but instead be filled with eternal grace and happiness. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

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