Wednesday, 16 November 2016 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Margaret of Scotland and St. Gertrude, Virgin (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints and Virgins)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the Lord’s words in the Scriptures, about what we as Christians should do in order to live as true and devoted Christians. We should heed the Gospel passage today where Jesus related to the disciples, the parable of the silver pounds.

In that parable, we witnessed the contrast between the wise and diligent servants who invested the silver pounds and gained back more than what were given to them, and the lazy servant who did not do anything with what he had been given with, but instead, hiding it and therefore gained nothing. This should be understood in relation to our own lives, to how we as Christians should live our lives in this world.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the silver pound represents the gifts of the Lord, God Who is represented in that parable as the lord who became king in a faraway land, as he who had given his servants part of his wealth to be taken care of. Some were given more while others were given less, but they were all entrusted with the silver pounds after all.

God gave us all talents and abilities, different from one to another person. Some has more and some has less, but in the end, all of these are still the precious gifts of the Lord, the greatest of which is this very life and the breath we take in and out every single moment we are alive. He has given us many possibilities, chances and opportunities that come with whatever He has blessed us with, and now, just as the servants in the parable, we are given a choice on what we are to do with these gifts which have been given to us.

Are we going to keep these to ourselves? Are we going to use the gifts and talents we have for our own selfish benefits? Then perhaps we should look on what happened to that lazy servant who kept and hid the silver pound and did nothing to it. In the end, whatever it was that had been entrusted to him was taken away and given to those who had shown that they deserve it more.

In the same manner, if we do nothing that will bring about joy, love and happiness to our brethren around us who need them, we are not growing at all in the sight of God, but stagnant and wicked, and what it was which God has blessed us all with, He will withdraw and give to those who are more deserving of it. This is a reminder to all of us that we as Christians cannot be passive or be lukewarm in our faith. Instead, we have to be truly committed, and we have to really give our very best and dedicate ourselves to love and serve the Lord our God and His people.

Today, we celebrate the feast of two holy women whose lives have been exemplary and good, as model Christians for us all to follow and to be inspired with. St. Margaret of Scotland and St. Gertrude has shown us all, and many others in the past centuries, how we all ought to carry ourselves as Christians in the world, and what we should contribute for the sake of our brethren in need.

St. Margaret of Scotland was an English princess who married the King of Scotland and therefore became the Queen of that country, and was renowned for her great piety and devotion to the Lord. She helped to instigate religious reform and renewal in Scotland, and became a great role model on piety and charity among her people.

She spent much of her time in prayer and in charitable works, often spending time with the poor and the less fortunate in her kingdom, and praying at the Holy Mass and other devotional events in many occasions. She helped to guide her husband the King and her sons, three of whom eventually also became the King of Scotland. She helped to ensure that the king ruled with justice and with firm adherence to the faith in God.

Meanwhile, St. Gertrude was a great German religious sister, a member of the Benedictine order widely praised and renowned for her great piety and works, through her many visions and mystical experiences, through which she shared with many others, religious and laity alike, how one ought to become closer to God through prayer and devotion, particularly towards the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as one of its early proponents.

The examples of St. Margaret of Scotland and St. Gertrude should inspire us all to become ever more dedicated as Christians, that we should give ourselves to the effort to love and care for each other, and be welcoming to our brethren who are coming to seek the Lord, and also to repent from our past and sinful ways, and be thoroughly converted to God.

May the Lord help us all, and by the intercession of St. Margaret of Scotland and St. Gertrude, may God forgive us all our sins, and may He awaken us the strong and unquenchable desire to love Him and to seek Him all the days of our lives. Amen.

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