Friday, 30 September 2016 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today from the Holy Scriptures we have received the message that each and every one of us ought to be serious and sincere in our faith and devotion to the Lord, and not to be lukewarm and ignorant as what the people of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum had done. These were the cities in the region of Galilee where Jesus did most of His works and ministries in, healing people from their diseases and performing many other miracles among them.

And yet, these people found it difficult in themselves to believe in what Jesus had come to say to them. They were adamant in their lack of faith in Jesus, and in true commitment to His ways, as many of them came to follow Him because of what they saw in Him, as a miracle worker and wonder bearer, Who was able to made them to be awed and satisfied, but yet, when difficult times came, they abandoned Him readily and walked away from Him.

God had done so much for our sake, and yet, we often are ignorant of His love. He has blessed us with so many blessings and graces, even to the point of giving to us the greatest of His gifts, that is the gift of His perfect love, in His own Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus came into this world in order to save it, and to bring forth into the world the truth which He was telling them, that God has come into the world to dwell among His people, and be saved together with His glorious resurrection.

For He had given His all to heal us mankind from our injuries and wounds, He had voluntarily given up Himself to be the One to bear the burden of our sins, disobedience, wickedness, all of which should have led us to be punished and to fall into eternal damnation. Instead, He had decided to willingly bear those burdens upon themselves, that we may survive and not perish, and that all those who have accepted their salvation in God may find the way to be reunited with Him in eternal life.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, all of us are called to reflect on our own lives, and see what we have done thus far in order to be a true and good Christian, for each and every one of us. Have we been truly devoted and be committed to Him in our own way of life? Have our actions show love, care and concern for our brethren just as Jesus Himself had cared for us and loved us?

It is important that we should heed the examples of the holy saints and all those who have committed themselves to the Lord, that we know the path that we ought to undertake in order to proceed forward towards the Lord. These people have tried their best to make use of whatever God had given them and blessed them with, and use these for the benefit of their brethren.

St. Jerome was a great saint of the Western Christendom, who lived at the time of the Roman Empire after the Christian faith had been legalised in its existence, and the faith itself was spreading very rapidly among the people. St. Jerome was a convert to the faith, who then came to embrace the calling which God had made for him, following the Lord with all of his heart and effort as a priest and as a monk, who worked hard to evangelise to the people of God, particularly through his many writings.

He wrote extensively on many matters regarding the faith, and was most renowned through his work on the translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible into the Latin Vulgate Bible. As many of the people in the western part of Christendom did not speak or read Greek, the translation was crucial in providing the basis from which the word of God in the Sacred Scriptures were then on accessible to the people of God through the Church.

From his contributions, many souls have received the word of God, understood what God’s intentions were for them, and many of these have repented their sins and left behind their old ways of worldliness, greed, hatred and wickedness. They have therefore been saved through the good works of St. Jerome and his many successors, all those who have devoted themselves and their lives as true and genuine Christians.

We too, brothers and sisters in Christ, are able to do the same. Indeed, we have been given the same gifts as those that God had given His holy saints. But now the choice and the decision lie in our hands alone, whether we want to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others, by doing what God had commanded us to do, by giving ourselves to the cause of the Lord through our dedication to help His Church and by generously giving to our brethren in need.

May God help us in our endeavours, as well as in our journey to become ever closer to Him, that we all may draw ever more righteousness and justice from our deep and personal relationship with our God. May St. Jerome and the many other holy saints of our God pray for us all, that each and every one of us may be saved and may find righteousness and justice in the presence of God. Amen.

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