Tuesday, 10 January 2017 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we begin the celebration of the Ordinary Time of the Liturgical Year, which will continue until the beginning of the season of Advent on Ash Wednesday. Today from the Scriptures, we heard about the Lord Jesus, our God and Master, to Whom the authority belongs, to make all things and all creations, good or evil, to bow down before Him and obey Him.

In the first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. Paul written to the Hebrews, the Apostle wrote about Jesus, Who have come into the world as the Messiah and Saviour, but He was not just like any other prophets or any other human beings, in that He was special, for He was not just a mere Man, but also the Almighty God, Lord and Master of all. He was the Son of Man Who is also the Son of God.

To Him, the Father has given the dominion over all things. For it was also through Him that everything in creation was created, from beings of the flesh to the beings of the spirit, of Angels and fallen angels, good and wicked spirits, even the evil spirits that were told in the Gospel today to have inhabited the man in the synagogue. That was why Jesus was able to cast out the evil spirit from the man, since He is the Master even over that evil spirit.

He taught with true authority, for power and authority truly belong to Him. That was why all were amazed at His teachings just as they were amazed at how even demons and evil spirits had to obey Him. Satan might boast of his might and power in the world, being once the mightiest of the Angels of God, as Lucifer, but he was still a creation, and nothing compared to the One and true Master of all. Even he had to obey the Lord, and in Jesus, Satan knew that his fate would be sealed.

But in his pride and desire to rule over all things, the devil supported by his angels and fellow evil spirits wanted to see us destroyed, and if he is to be defeated and destroyed, then he would want us to also suffer the same fate as well. And that was why he had always been at work, trying to undermine us and our efforts to seek the Lord. He placed many obstacles and temptations on our path, that we may falter and fall into sin.

That was also why, even though the Lord Jesus had clearly shown Who He was, what He was sent into this world for, and what He has done, to all the people to see, there were always those who refused to believe in Him, as most of the Pharisees and the elders, the teachers of the Law and the chief priests did. They refused to believe in Him because in their hearts which they had hardened, they followed the whim of the desires and pride.

They certainly knew that the words of the Lord Jesus were true, as they were certainly well versed in the matters of the Scriptures and the prophecies of the prophets. They were the ones who should have welcomed the Lord and recognised Him the first among all others, and then proclaimed Him to the other people. Yet, they did not do that because they were afraid that this Man would be their undoing, that they would lose their influence and the privileges they have enjoyed.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us should learn from all of these, and learn to be humble and to follow the examples of Jesus our Lord. He obeyed the will of His Father, and by His obedience we have all been saved, all of us who believe in Him and in His words. And although He has power and authority, dominion and control over all of creation, He did not boast of them, and neither did He become vain and proud in His ways.

Let us all Christians devote ourselves, our time and our efforts to serve the Lord humbly and with genuine faith. Let us not give in to the temptations of Satan and free ourselves from all forms of wicked deeds, from all pride and human greed. May the Lord help us in this endeavour, that we may live with Him filled with His grace and blessings. May He keep us in His love always, now and forevermore. Amen.

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