Sunday, 16 October 2016 : 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Hedwig, Religious and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this holy day of our Lord, we listened to several different discourses from the Holy Scriptures, telling us firstly from the Book of Exodus, the tale of the time when the Israelites defeated the people of Amalek, the greatest enemy of the people of God by the guidance of the Lord through Moses, His servant.

Then, we heard about how inspiration and true wisdom comes from God in the form of the Scriptures itself, as St. Paul mentioned in his correspondence letter to St. Timothy. The Scriptures are the words of the Lord, His servants and His prophets who all delivered the word of God to us all and made known to us all His will. By reading through the Scriptures we will then come to understand the way that God wants us to walk and tread on.

In the Gospel then we also heard about Jesus our Lord Who taught the people using the parable of an evil judge and a widow who harassed him day and night, from time to time, so that the evil judge who did not bother about anyone, would come to her rescue by giving what she righteously desired for, the protection and guarantee over her share of inheritance.

In the end we heard how the evil judge acquiesced to her demands and fulfilled what she had asked him, just so that he might be spared from her constant nagging and demands. In all these three readings and the Psalm which we heard, we can see a theme that is arising to us, telling us to look towards the One and the only One indeed Who can be the freedom and the liberation from our troubles.

God stood by His people on that day when Amalek unexpectedly and unprovoked launched an attack on the people of God, Israel. He stood by them faithfully as they fought against this ferocious and dangerous enemy, and eventually they triumphed, not by the might of their own arms, but because God was with them. This was shown to us through Moses who was told to raise his hand holding the staff of God in his hands. Whenever he lifted up his arms, the people of God would be winning, and when he became tired and lowered his arms, the people of God were losing against the Amalekites.

How is this relevant to us, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is relevant because we ourselves are always in a constant struggle and conflict, not just within our own lives in this world, with all of its goods and troubles, but even more importantly, the battle and conflict over our souls, the eternal soul within us that will determine our fate for eternity, whether it will be in glory with our God or in agony suffering torment for the consequences of our wickedness.

And we are not in this conflict alone, brethren. Satan is more than willing, and indeed wanting and desiring to claim us all, our souls, and bring all of these with him as he descends into hell with all of his fellow rebel angels. But on the other side, we have our guardian Angels, whom God had sent together with His many other Angels, all the servants and holy men and women He had called and inspired to lead us to the right path and to resist the pull of evil.

God protects us from the depredations of these demons and all those seeking to destroy us with themselves. However, it does not mean that we do not have to do anything and just wait patiently and quietly for salvation to come to us. In that same second reading, St. Paul as mentioned earlier on told St. Timothy about the importance of the Holy Scriptures for us.

It is therefore that by adhering and understanding the Word of God in the Holy Scriptures that we are able to appreciate better what our Lord wants from us, and which is the way that we need to take as we embark on this life. Otherwise we may lose our path and ended up committing ever more sins and wickedness that will eventually be held accountable against us.

How many of us spend time to read the Bible and its contents, trying to understand the Word of God contained inside it? How many of us attempted to comprehend the examples of the holy saints and the servants of God as written and recorded in the Old Testament, and the Apostles and the other disciples of the Lord in the New Testament? There are truly many examples of their courageous faith, and also some other examples of wickedness that we should avoid.

But we must also be careful lest we fall into another trap of the devil. Never think that the devil cannot use the Word of God as contained in the Scriptures against us, as he had shown when he used the Word and twisted its meaning against Jesus Who was fasting in the desert just after He was baptised in order to test Him and made Him fall. But he did not meet any success at all.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have to spend time reading through the Scriptures, for the Word of God is key to our ability to keep the faith and understand the Lord and His will, His commandments and ways. But we have to understand it and read it through the guidance and help from the Church and from our Faith. That is why we should not allow ourselves to have our own interpretation of the meaning of the Word if these are not in accordance with the teachings of the Church.

Let us all from now on devote ourselves to be ever more devoted and committed people and servant of our God, spending time to read the Scriptures and then commit ourselves to do what the Lord had told us to do through His words in the Scriptures, loving our brethren who are in need, be charitable and be loving to our unloved, hated and ostracised brethren, being merciful and forgiving to all those who have slighted or angered us whether intentionally or unintentionally.

May the Lord bless us all and keep us always in His grace, that we may draw ever closer to Him and at the end of our days, He may bless us and strengthen us, and consider us all worthy of His salvation and eternal life. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

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