Thursday, 1 December 2016 : 1st Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard a reminder from God through His parable of the wise man who built his house on solid rock foundation and the foolish man who built his house on the shaky foundation of sand. It is a reminder for us on how we should live out our faith, not just by words or empty promises alone but also through real dedication, action and commitment.

Brethren, we are in the midst of the season of Advent, a time of preparation for us to prepare for the coming of the season of Christmas, when we will commemorate the anniversary of the Nativity, the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ into this world. The season of Advent is a time of discernment, of spiritual preparation and also of anticipation, because we are preparing for Christ, not just in the memory of His first coming, but also of His future and promised Second Coming at the end of time.

When someone builds a house, there are a lot of considerations to be made. If we want that house to be long lasting and strong, then many things must be carefully considered, calculated and prepared beforehand. We cannot just put brick upon brick, or wood upon wood and hope that all those will make up into a strong house that will stand and last again rain and wind.

Architects and designers need to be brought into the picture, especially if the building is larger in scale. Even so, no building can last and remain strong, no matter what material it was made from, if the foundation is weak and unstable. Even if the building is made from the strongest marble, or the hardest wood, or even from solid metal, but the foundation is weak, the whole building will eventually collapse.

What our Lord Jesus spoke about in the parable is actually about our faith. Our faith is the foundation of our life, for if we have no faith, then we have no foundation at all in this life. God is the foundation of our lives, for He created us and gave us life out of His love for us. Without God, we are nothing, and without God, we cannot survive.

And yet, if we look at our world today, we may realise that it is indeed sad to notice how many people are distracted away from their focus on the Lord, and instead, they put their trust in various worldly distractions instead. They put their trust in money, in fame, in human and worldly glory, and in all sorts of other things they made to be the foundations of their life.

And that is why, even many of the faithful were not able to survive and persevere when times of difficulty and when tribulations came to them. When they were challenged to be true to their faith, they gave up and made excuses, because their faith in God was not firm. They put rather their trust in other things and not in God, in Whom they should have depended.

Thus, on this day, let us ask ourselves, how have we lived our lives so far? Have we practiced what we believed in our own daily lives, in how we interacted with each other thus far, and in how we look upon our less fortunate brethren around us? Have we shown love, mercy and compassion to those who need them? Have we done anything to bring happiness and joy to each other? Or have we instead acted in our own self-interest and bring about sadness and division?

In this time of Advent, we have to prepare ourselves for the eventual coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Thus, we should spend more time in prayer and in quiet conversation with our God. Be with Him, and devote ourselves to Him. We should spend more time to talk with Him and do more good in order to help those who are in need of our help and attention.

May God bless us all in our works and may He empower us to be better disciples and better Christians, that in all the things we do, we always do it for the sake of the Lord and for His people. Amen.

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