Monday, 6 March 2017 : 1st Week of Lent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all reminded that as those whom God had chosen to be His own people, much as the Israelites had been, each and every one of us had been bound by His laws and precepts, as first of all God revealed to His people in the desert, which we heard today in the Book of Leviticus, our first reading.

God charged them to be righteous, just and upright in all of their deeds, to be holy just as God Himself is holy, for they are the people of God, and to exercise love, mercy and compassion in all the things that they say and do, and not to cause harm, pain, suffering and anguish for others around them, as what mankind normally always liked to do.

God had called His people from the world, and He sanctified them and made them holy, and He placed His laws before them, so that they would continue to be different from the ways of the world around them. And therefore, all of us have also been called to do the same, to be different from what the world has deemed to be acceptable to it, to be a true and devoted Christian, in all of our deeds.

And indeed, in this season of Lent, it is the perfect time for us to do so, as it is the time for us to take a step back and reflect on our own lives. It is a time for change and conversion, for us to reevaluate our lives and reorientate them so that while once we may have lived in a state of sin, now we may be able to walk righteously and justly in the way of the Lord.

Therefore, during this season of Lent all of us are called to be generous with our love and mercy, to forgive all those who have wronged us and those who have caused us pain and suffering. We are called to share our love and blessings with all those who have little or none of these, that they too may experience the love of God, and enjoy what we all enjoy in this life.

It is a reality that there are many people who suffer in this world today, because of the greed of man, because of jealousy and hatred, because of all the negativities and evil that are present in our hearts. All of them had brought about all the injustice, the evil and the sufferings we know. As Christians, there are many things which we are able to do in order to help others who have no one else to help them.

However, it is also important that we also take note of what our Lord Jesus had told His disciples in our Gospel passage today. In that passage we heard about the famous Last Judgment sermon by the Lord Jesus, Who foretold before all at that time, what would transpire at the moment of the Last Judgment, which we at present are also looking forward to.

In the Last Judgment, those who have been found to be righteous and just in all of their deeds, caring and loving for the poor and for the less fortunate, those who have shown compassion and mercy upon others will receive their reward from God, as those whom God had found to be worthy to be the recipients of His everlasting and glorious inheritance, the blessed eternal life in fullness of bliss with Him.

However, all those whom God had rejected and cast aside because of their sins had been made such, not just because they had committed acts and deeds that were wicked and evil before God, but also when they have the capacity of doing something that is right and good, and then did nothing and remained idle, while others around them were seeking for help and succour from their troubles.

That’s right, brothers and sisters in Christ, sin before God is not just that of the sin of action, but also the sin of omission. What does this mean? It means that if we are perfectly capable of doing something that is right and good, something that will help others around us, and yet we consciously refused to do so, because of various reasons, but all of which are selfish reasons, because we are lazy, because we are doubtful and unwilling to step beyond our comfort zone, then we will be condemned precisely because of our failure to do what is required of us.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, in this season of Lent, let us make best use of the time given to us, so that we may exercise prudence in our actions, and be moved to do what God had asked us to do. Let us turn our back from our past ways of sin, and embrace God’s forgiveness and mercy, while at the same time being loving and merciful ourselves, extending our helping hands upon others who need our help.

Let us be generous to give of ourselves to the poor, to the lonely, to all those who have been rejected by others, and to all those who are still living in the darkness of sin. Let us help one another, and be the bearers of God’s light in our world today, so that our light may dispel the darkness of sin, and purified from our sins, may we all be worthy to enter into the heavenly kingdom of God, and receive from Him, the crown of everlasting glory. May God be with us all, bless us all in our actions, and help us to have a fulfilling and blessed time of Lent. Amen.

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