Saturday, 26 November 2016 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard the Word of God from the Sacred Scriptures telling us of the hope of our future inheritance, the promise of everlasting life in pure bliss and joy in the perfect realm and world God has promised before us, to all those who are faithful to Him, that He will bring all of us into paradise, to enjoy forever the fruits of His love, never to be sorrowful or sad anymore, ever again.

At the end of the Book of the Revelations of St. John the Apostle, after all the parts describing the great persecution and sufferings that will await the faithful, and subsequently what happened to the wicked, who endured the great wrath of God, and had their cities and all things destroyed, in the end, after all things have been judged, God will reveal to all the heavenly Jerusalem, the true Holy City where all the faithful ones will dwell with their God forevermore.

But the path to reach this heavenly inheritance will not be an easy one, brothers and sisters in Christ, otherwise everyone would have been easily saved and no one would have to face condemnation and hell. There will be plenty of obstacles, dangers and threats to our safety and even to our very own lives, and we should not be complacent in this matter lest we falter.

It is easy for us to be complacent if we do not live our lives with faith and be courageous in living up to what the Lord expects us to be. It is easy for us to fall into the trap of the temptations of the world, that is when we fall into the lures of pleasure of the flesh, of drunkenness and other vices and wickedness just as our Lord Jesus highlighted in today’s Gospel passage.

This is especially true in our era today, the time that we are living in, when we are experiencing daily the pressure to conform to the expectations of this world. We live in a world often obsessed with success, with fame and greed, with individualism and the ego of man, so much so that we end up being pressured to conform to these ways, which are often contrary to the ways of the Lord our God.

Take for example the abundance of materialism as a culture in and around us, through various advertisements and other means of communication. We are always inundated with so many of these messages and influences, that we are in danger of losing our focus and our way, becoming more and more attached and obsessed with the values and pursuits of worldliness rather than striving to become more faithful disciples and followers of our Lord.

We have to take note of the seriousness of this matter and prepare ourselves, brethren, for all that God had said in the Scriptures He will do in His own time, and when He comes to deliver judgment to all, we certainly will not want to end up on the wrong side, as our vices and wickedness outweigh our good deeds and virtues. We must not think that there is always time available for us, and therefore we can delay seeking God’s mercy and forgiveness until the very end.

Indeed, we do not even have the slightest idea or hint of when this will happen, and it can happen anytime. The Lord may just suddenly appear and declare His salvation to all whom He deems to be worthy, and if we are not prepared, we will be like those five foolish women who did not bring extra lamp oil with themselves. As a result, they missed the opportunity given to them, and God rejected them.

As Christians, all these readings and the readings for the past few weeks should have awakened in us the sense of great urgency to live in accordance with the ways of our Lord and at the same time, it is also a reminder for us to learn to resist worldly temptations of wealth, money and possessions. Otherwise these will easily tempted us as how they have tempted our ancestors and predecessors.

Let us all therefore strengthen our own spiritual life and connection to God through sincere and fervent prayers. Let us all put our focus and effort to serve the Lord through various means and commit ourselves day by day, by loving one another, showing charity and mercy to the poor, the weak, the ostracised, the unloved, and those who are sick and dying.

Let us all show forth our faith to others and to the whole world. Do not be afraid of ridicule, rejection and even persecution, but just do what we can do in order to remain as true Christians amidst this difficult time. God will be with us and He will guide us to Himself. Rich will be our reward when He comes again in glory and find us in our faith and worthy of Him. May God bless us all. Amen.

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