Wednesday, 11 January 2017 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we have heard about our Lord Jesus Christ being told to us both from our first reading, taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews, from our Psalm and from the Gospel according to St. mark, where we were told about the good works of Jesus our Lord, the One Who had come into the world, God became Man, so that through Him all of us may be saved from our fate of eternal damnation because of our sins.

We heard in the first reading from the Epistle to the Hebrews, how Jesus our Lord came into our world sharing our nature of flesh and blood, that the Divine Word and Son of God took up the raiment of human flesh and blood, through His mother Mary was born as the Son of Man, so that, by sharing in all the human nature we have, save for our sinfulness, He might unite all of us to Himself, and by offering Himself as the High Priest of all mankind, He might save us all.

Jesus is indeed the High Priest of all of us, and just like the priests of the ages old, He offered sacrifice for the sake of the sins of the people, but unlike those priests who offered sacrifices of animal fats and blood to the Lord, burnt offerings and sin offerings, Jesus offered Himself, His own Most Precious Body and Blood, the perfect and unblemished Lamb of God, the perfect offering and sacrifice, the only One which is worthy for the absolution of all of mankind’s countless sins.

And why is this so, brothers and sisters in Christ? Why did Jesus do so much for our sake, even to sacrifice Himself on the cross for us? That is because He loves each and every one of us. God loves us all, as He created all of us out of His great love for us. He did not create us to abandon us and to see us destroyed because of our sins. Yet, it was we ourselves who have rejected God and rebelled against Him, we refused His offer of mercy and love.

And yet, amongst the stubborn people, our Lord had endeavoured to come and to heal them from their afflictions. He went among them and walked among them, showing gentle love and mercy to those who were sick and dying, healing them from those afflictions of the flesh. And more importantly, He also healed from them the afflictions of their souls, that is sin. He welcomed sinners back into His embrace and called them to repent from their sinful ways.

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, sin is a disease of the flesh, one that will eventually devour us whole if we do not do anything about it. Sin corrupts our souls, hearts, minds and also our bodies. While the diseases of the flesh can be healed by doctors and by medical technology available today, but sin can only be healed by One, that is God Himself. No one else has the authority to forgive sins but God.

But are we willing to be forgiven? Are we willing to be healed from the affliction of our sins? It is our reluctance and refusal to be forgiven, because of our pride and our desires that led to our downfall. Are we the ones who place obstacles on our own path? The Lord wants to heal us and to forgive us our sins, but are we willing to accept His offer of mercy?

All that He asked of us is for us to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to Him, and to give our full commitment to repentance and to change our ways. We may think that this can be easily done, but in reality, it has been proven many times that mankind found it hard to commit themselves to God, and they kept getting distracted and tempted on their journey towards the Lord.

Let us spend some time to contemplate this matter, and think about what we can do in order to bring ourselves ever closer to God’s mercy and love. And let us also help one another to reach out to the Lord and let us make sure that none of us are lost to Him along the way. May God bless us all and all of our endeavours. Amen.

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