Saturday, 18 February 2017 : 6th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are presented with the passages from the Sacred Scriptures, calling us to be faithful to the Lord our God, by the examples of our forefathers, who had been made just and righteous by their faith, from the time of Abel, whose faith was a great and shining light amidst the darkness in the hearts of men, to the time of Enoch and Noah, and finally to the time of Jesus itself.

While mankind had been corrupted by sin, and through their disobedience they had been sundered from God’s love, but among the sons and daughters of mankind, there had been those who were willing to resist the temptations to sin, and preferred to walk in the path of the Lord, following the path of righteousness and faith, and for that, they had been greatly rewarded.

Abel had been faithful to the Lord, and offered to Him a worthy sacrifice, and He had been faithful to the Lord’s commands, offering only what was the best for Him. Abel gave his offering with a sincere heart, and God answered Abel’s faith with His approval. But Cain was jealous of his younger brother’s acceptance by the Lord, while his offering was rejected, because he was likely not sincere and genuine in offering his own gifts.

As we know, Cain murdered Abel for that, and were cursed for what he had done. For he had sinned before God and men alike. But Abel did not suffer and die for nothing, for his faith in God had justified him, and by his blood, the blood of his martyrdom for his righteousness had made him just, and God surely welcomed him into His place in heaven.

Enoch was exceptional among the sons and daughters of mankind, for he alone among all others, have been raised and lifted up directly to heaven, not having to endure the pain of death, which is the punishment and consequence for our sins. Enoch was righteous and just in all of his actions, and therefore God rewarded him with the gift of heavenly grace, for his faith and dedication to Him.

And Noah had been faithful amidst a world filled with wickedness, evil and all sorts of sin. He alone among all others had been faithful, and therefore God rescued him and his family from the great flood, with which God cleansed the whole world from the taints of mankind’s great sins. By his faith, Noah had been made worthy and brought away from the calamities that befell all others around him.

And it is the great contributions and examples of these three great predecessors of ours which should inspire us to also walk in their footsteps and be obedient to the Lord as they had been obedient and faithful. In the Gospel today, Jesus was transfigured before His disciples on Mount Tabor, where He revealed the truth about Himself and His glory to St. Peter, St. John and St. James, showing to them Who He really was, and indeed what they and all other men and women are going to be, as a preview of the time that is to come.

The story of the Transfiguration of our Lord is more than just the revelation of our Lord Jesus as the Divine Word of God and the Messiah to His disciples, but even more so, because He has taken up the nature of our flesh and blood, and therefore as the perfect Man, He had shown us all our future, if we are to follow Him and obey Him in all of His laws and precepts.

The Transfiguration of our Lord is a prelude and a brief taste for us to see how God revealed to us what awaits all those who have kept their faith in Him. This is because by sin we have been made dirty and tainted, unworthy to receive the grace of God, but at the same time, God wants us to be cleansed and be purified from all those things that had tainted us, all for the same reason that God loves each and every one of us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all spend some time to reflect on today’s Scripture passages, and ask ourselves whether we have been faithful to God in all of our actions, words and deeds. Have we loved and showed care for one another, for our brethren and neighbours around us, just as the Lord had taught us to do? Have we committed ourselves faithfully to be true disciples of our Lord, or is our faith just an empty and meaningless faith without action?

Let us all remind one another, that each and every one of us will always do our best to help each other to reach out to the Lord and to His salvation, that we may always persevere to resist the temptations to sin and the pressure to commit things that cause corruption and wickedness to enter into our beings. Let us all pray that all of us may become more like Christ in our ways, that we will be transformed by His light and His love, that we are no longer children of sin and darkness, but instead like Abel, Enoch and Noah of the ancient times we may be found worthy to be with God and receive His eternal life and grace. God bless us all. Amen.

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