Saturday, 10 September 2016 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it may be a bit difficult for us to understand the message and the meaning from the various readings and passages we heard today from the Sacred Scriptures, but they all really spoke to us, just as the Church had selected those particular passages for today, that we all as Christians ought to be true to our faith, and to be completely and thoroughly committed to our Lord without aberration.

In the first reading, St. Paul in his Epistle to the Church and to the faithful in Corinth spoke about being in Communion with God and what was the significance of such a privilege which had been accorded to all those who have accepted the Lord through holy baptism, and as members of God’s one and only Church, the vessel through which all those who profess their faith in God would be saved.

But at that time, pressure that existed against the faithful and the Church was truly great, as especially those who held public offices and wanted to continue their lives and careers as per normal found it difficult to balance and cooperate between their secular and worldly life as well as career with their Faith and belief in God. Many of them therefore compromised with their faith and belief in God in order to achieve what they wanted.

One of the examples mentioned by St. Paul was the sharing of the faithful of the offerings and food which had been made as sacrifices and offerings to demons and the pagan idols and gods. It was profane for members of the Church to participate in such actions, as that showed that they were willing to compromise on their faith, agreeing to worship the false gods and idols in return for acknowledgement and worldly opportunities.

Even considering the difficult conditions they were in, there were many among them who continued to commit wickedness and unworthy actions and deeds even after they have become a member of the Church and were counted among the faithful ones. In doing so, they have committed scandal in front of God and His people, and such actions were contra-productive in bringing about the salvation of God to the world.

These are the same people whom God Himself mentioned in the Gospel passage we heard today, when He rebuked all those with weak or nonexistent faith, those who built their houses on weak foundation that will topple and fall should a powerful wind or wave sweep over them. They did not have a genuine and strong faith and dedication to the Lord, and temptations or pressures from the world could easily take over them.

But the Lord was not asking us to rebel openly against the world and bring troubles upon ourselves. He was not asking us to go out into the open fields and places to proclaim openly our faith for all to see and hear. Indeed our goal is to preach to them the Good News with zeal and sincerity of faith, but it must be done with the patience and the courage which all of us should have in our faith.

We should look at the examples of our holy and devoted predecessors. These are the holy martyrs and saints, all those who often do not desire and indeed did not compromise their faith and the ways of the Lord they followed in order to satisfy or appease the world and its demands and wishes. Let us all seek to be true and devoted disciples and followers of our Lord as they had done, and commit ourselves day after day doing the good works of God. May God help us in our endeavours. Amen.

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