Friday, 10 February 2017 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Scholastica, Virgin (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, in the first reading all of us heard the well-known story of how Satan, the devil, disguised as a serpent tricked our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, into eating the forbidden fruit of the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil, which caused them to sin before God, and therefore, were cast out of the Gardens of Eden, and came under the thrall of sin and death.

It was a very important and defining moment in all of the history of humanity, as the moment when mankind turned away from God and sin entered into their hearts, making them defiled and wicked in the sight of God. It was the moment when darkness overcame us and we became rebels, delinquents, all those who have not obeyed the Lord and therefore would not have had any part in the inheritance originally promised to us by God.

Our fate would have been destruction, death, and damnation in hell, together to suffer the eternity of pain and despair with Satan and his fellow rebel angels, those who have not obeyed the Lord and instead chose to follow their own paths, succumbing to the temptations of their desires, their greed and their pride. But this was not what God intended for us when He created us, because He loved us all, and wanted us all to be freed from this fate.

That is why He sent us the deliverance through His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. He came into this world in order to deliver us from our troubles, as we witnessed in the Gospel today, in how He went around, healing the sick and those who were beset by the evil spirits, and lifting up the hearts and minds of those who were in despair and who were downtrodden.

He came to heal us all, of all our bodily complaints and diseases, all of our human and worldly afflictions, but even more importantly, He is the only One Who can heal us of our troubles in our soul, that is our sins. While all the medicines and the cures in this world are able to heal us and make us better after we take them, capable of curing even the most difficult and deadly of diseases, and new cures being discovered from time to time, nothing will ever be able to cure us from our sins, save by the grace of God.

God came offering us mercy and forgiveness, to heal us from the taints of original sin that had corrupted our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. He came offering us this healing through Christ, Who went around healing us and bringing us the revelation of His truth, God’s ways which He offers to all those who live in sin, that they may find the folly and the mistake in their current path, and therefore, hoping that they will change their ways and repent their sins.

But the problem lies in the fact that we often resist the forgiveness of God. We often run away from God’s mercy, either because we are too afraid of Him that He will be angry at us and punish us, or because we are too proud to admit that we have been wrong, and therefore, we persisted in our ways of sin, and did not repent from our faults.

All these are the common reasons why mankind often slipped further and further into sin. These are the reasons why many people were lost forever from God, because of their own reluctance, refusal and stubbornness to reject the offer of God’s mercy and love. This is what all of us Christians must take note about, and what we need to reflect on, lest we ourselves also fall to the same trap.

We should now heed the examples of the holy saint whose feast we celebrate today, namely that of St. Scholastica, a holy and devout woman, who lived in the early days of the Church. She was the twin sister of another holy saint, St. Benedict of Nursia, the founder of the Benedictine religious order. St. Scholastica herself led a faithful and pious life just as her brother had.

St. Scholastica dedicated her whole life to God, living in prayerful existence and it was told that she practiced many acts of charity to her neighbours and peers, and also helped many others who are in need of help, both physically and spiritually. She was an exemplary woman, whose holiness and deeds were matched by her own brother, St. Benedict, whose dedications and faith became a beacon of light leading many others to God.

As Christians, all of us should follow the example of St. Scholastica, learning to be upright and just in all of our dealings and actions. We should become examples for each other, reminding one another to remain true to the teachings of our faith in the Church, and devote ourselves day after day to the works of charity, and dedicate ourselves to those who are in need.

May the Lord help us in all of our endeavours, and may He strengthen in us our faith, and awaken the love and devotion we ought to have for Him in our hearts. May the Lord bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

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