Wednesday, 29 March 2017 : 4th Week of Lent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we quickly approach the coming of the Holy Week and the end of the season of Lent, we are all reminded of the very purpose of our preparation and all of our penance in this time of Lent, and that is for us to remember that we are expecting the coming of the Lord and the fulfilment of His promise to all of us mankind, that He will rescue us from our troubles and difficulties, and from all the challenges and sufferings we have had to endure.

All of us have lived in the darkness, separated from the love and grace of God because of our sins. We have lost our way and became stranded in the darkness, and our future had become uncertain, and what seemed to be our fate was to face judgment for our sins, and be condemned for eternity in hell with Satan and all of his fellow demons and evil spirits.

But God would not let that to happen to us, as He created all of us out of His great love, and indeed, He loves each and every one of us. And that is why He had given us the greatest help of all, in Jesus Christ, the Saviour Whom He had promised to all of us His people, just as He had promised our ancestors through the prophets and messengers He had sent into the world.

Jesus is the ultimate personification of God’s love for us, as He is the Divine Word of God Himself, God Who is Love, Who had chosen to wrap Himself and His divinity in the human flesh, and taking up our very own human nature, so that all of us may share in His humanity, and as He raises Himself up on the cross, which we commemorate on this upcoming Good Friday, He brought up upon Himself all of our shortcomings, all of our sins and mistakes, all of our imperfections and defilements, and offered Himself to God as a perfect sacrifice to atone for all the combined monstrosity of our sins.

That is the essence of God’s great love for us, so great that He was willing to lay down His life for us, and suffer the great and mighty burden of the cross. The cross of Christ was not just a physical burden, as the wooden cross, while heavy, it was indeed still bearable by any man. But it was the spiritual burden of the combined weight of our sins that bore down on Christ and press down on His shoulders, and He endured all of that on the long journey from Jerusalem to Calvary.

And that is what we all need to remember every time we are contemplating and thinking of doing something that we know is wicked and inappropriate in accordance with the Lord and His ways. Every time we want to disobey God and turn against Him, even in the smallest of things, we have committed sin against Him, and we are adding to the burden that had been placed on our Lord.

Yet, the Lord took up His cross without complaints, and He persevered on, step after step, moving on towards His death at Calvary, with great and unquenchable love in His heart, knowing that all of us have been misguided by sin, and all of us are in need of redemption and liberation from those sins. This is what we need to know, brothers and sisters in Christ, the love which God has for us, and the mercy pouring forth freely from His most merciful and loving heart.

Nonetheless, whether this mercy has any effect on us depends entirely on our willing and conscious acceptance of His mercy. God freely and willingly gives us His mercy and forgiveness, and indeed, He wants us to be forgiven and to be freed from those sins that had corrupted us. However, if we ourselves are the ones who object to be forgiven and refuse the mercy He has shown us, and continue in our sinful ways, how can we then be forgiven?

That is why, in this season of Lent, all of us must devote ourselves to change our ways, to turn our back against those wicked and mistaken paths we have once taken in life, and commit ourselves to a new life blessed by God, by doing what is right and just in God’s presence, and also by helping all those who are struggling with their faith, all those who have turned away from God’s ways and continued to live in a state of sin.

Let us all show by our examples, by our loving actions and deeds, by our compassion and patience, by our virtues, justice and righteousness, that we belong to the Lord, and show our brethren the path for them to reach out to the Lord, their loving God. May this time of Lent be the time for reconciliation and mercy, that all of us may draw ever closer to God, to His love, and be worthy of His mercy and compassion. May God be with us all. Amen.

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