Thursday, 19 January 2017 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in today’s readings we continued to hear yet again about our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, Who is our Master and our Saviour. It was through Him that we have received salvation and the promise of eternal life. It was through Jesus that God had made us all mankind whole again and became worthy of His grace and love.

We were once delinquents, rebels and we were those who were condemned to destruction and suffering, because we have not been faithful to the covenant which God had made with us and with our ancestors. Yet, because He loves us all so tenderly, and because His love for us is so great, there is nothing that could stop Him from doing what He had done in order to secure a different future and fate for us. He rescued us all from the depths of darkness and brought us into the light.

He is the One Whom God had appointed to be the Mediator, the One to mediate between us and our Lord and Creator. It was through Jesus that mankind which was once sundered from God, had been reunited with Him, because Jesus through His suffering and death on the cross, and also then through His glorious resurrection, had become the steady bridge through which we mankind can cross through the chasm separating us and God.

The deep chasm that existed between us and God came about because of our sins, that is because of our disobedience and our refusal to listen to the Lord and our reluctance to follow Him. It was because of all these that many of us had wandered far away from the Lord, and embraced all sorts of the wickedness found in this world. But God wanted us to find our way back to Him, and that was why He sent us Jesus, His only begotten Son, to be our Guide and Help.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, our Lord had done so much for us, as He had not only given Himself to rescue us, but He also even took upon Himself the burdens of our sins, and also bear for our sake, the consequences and the punishments for those sins. He did all these so that all of us who believe in Him will not perish and die because of our sins, but instead, by having been forgiven, we will be saved.

Many of us are reluctant to believe in the Lord, or to follow Him because we are doubtful and not sure in our hearts. We are still often divided between Him and the world, all the concerns of worldly origins, that we find if difficult for us to commit ourselves to Him. And yet, it was through Him alone that we can be saved. God will not abandon us, just as He did not abandon our ancestors, but instead did all He could in order to help them.

We should follow the example of the people of Judea at the time of Jesus, which we heard in the Gospel today, in how they came in large numbers to the Lord, looking for Him and wanting to be healed from their afflictions. They braved hunger and even rain, in order to be able to come to the Lord Jesus, to hear Him teaching them and also to get themselves healed by Him. Are we able to show the same conviction as they did?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is important that each and every one of us as Christians should commit ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord. Let us no longer be burdened by the many concerns and doubts we have, but instead, learn to trust everything to the Lord, and to believe in Him with all of our might. Let us all follow Him just as the people at the time of Jesus had done, and be healed from all of our bodily and more importantly, spiritual afflictions, that is to be forgiven from all of our sins.

May the Lord bless us all, empower us to live more genuinely in the faith, and help us so that all of us may come together to glorify Him with full faith and trust in Him, knowing that He will succour us and deliver us from destruction and darkness into the light and new hope in Him. Lastly, let us also pray that the divisions that exist between the faithful people of God may be healed, and all those who call themselves Christians may be reunited as one people, one flock and one Church under the Vicar of Christ, our Pope, as we embark and progress through this week of prayer for Christian unity. May God be with us all. Amen.

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