Friday, 17 February 2017 : 6th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we all heard the proclamations of the Scripture reminding us not to follow in the footsteps of the proud, the arrogant and the haughty ones. In the first reading we heard about the story of the Tower of Babel, which was the place where God scattered all of His people because of their pride and arrogance.

In that passage, we heard about how mankind after the time of Noah had grown powerful, great and filled with many great things and riches of the world. Everyone spoke the same language since they were descended from Noah and his family, and all the people gathered together, having ambition in their hearts to surpass even the glory of God, plotting to build a great tower which height would reach out to heaven itself.

It was their pride that had become their undoing, as it had for Satan, who fell from his haughtiness, and became an example for all others who thought that they could become like God, or to be even greater than God. He wanted to surpass God and the other Angels, such was the pride and ambition in his heart, who had been created with great and unsurpassed beauty and might among the Angels of God, as Lucifer.

But Lucifer rebelled against God, and disobeyed Him. And he was defeated, and was humiliated and cast out of heaven. Such was his fate because of his pride, and such was therefore also the fate of those others who followed in his footsteps, the people who tried to build up the great tower of Babel. They were scattered and confused in their language, as a reminder that no matter how great, mighty and powerful we are, our power and might are nothing if we are not with God.

It is what the Lord wanted us all to remember, even as we now continue to live our respective lives here on earth. He Himself has come into this world in order to show us the way. Many kings and lords of this world were powerful, proud of their power, intellect, achievements and greatness, but He, Who is the King of all kings, and Lord of all lords, came into this world humbly, not flaunting to others His might and power, even though His power is true power, and His might is real might.

He came into this world to humbly work the works that His Father has entrusted to Him to do, that is the salvation of this world. He bore the burden of the cross for our sake, His people, that by all of His sacrifice, He might save us all from the hopelessness and despair because of our sins, and from all the sufferings caused by our disobedience against God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we should also heed what our Lord Jesus had said in the Gospel today. He said that it is better for someone to lose one’s life and lose other things for the sake of the Lord, rather than for someone to try to save his or her life, and at the cost of his or her own soul. It is a kind reminder by our Lord that to be His disciple, we often will need to make sacrifices, and also to endure rejection and opposition from others.

Are we as Christians ready to take up the challenges and the crosses of our life together with Jesus? Are we ready to follow in the footsteps of our Lord, be humble and be meek in all things, and not to be proud, arrogant or haughty just because of our human achievements, power and greatness? It is important that we should resist the temptations of our flesh, through which the devil is constantly trying to pull us into sin.

Let us all follow in the footsteps of the seven Holy Founders of the Servite order. These seven men were people of exceptional piety and devotion to the Lord, and each of them were committed to serve God’s people, and for that reason, they established the congregation of the Servites. They led others into a life of poverty, simplicity and humility before God.

Many people were inspired to follow in their footsteps, to let go of their pride and their human ambitions, and instead endeavour to follow the Lord and be humble in all of their deeds. Let us all seek to be humble and to devote ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord. Let us all spend our whole lives and all the things that we do, glorifying the Lord by our deeds.

May the Lord bless us all and all of our endeavours and works. May He remain with us always, and keep us all in His loving grace. May God be with us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

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