Thursday, 6 April 2017 : 5th Week of Lent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard about the faith of Abraham, the father of many nations and peoples, who had heard the Lord’s call and followed His call to go to the land He had promised to him and to his descendants. And that was why God blessed Abraham and made His covenant with him, and with all of his descendants.

But the Israelites at the time of Jesus refused to believe in Him when He came into this world to establish a new covenant with them. They were very proud of themselves as the descendants of Abraham, and yet in their actions, they showed what were contrary to how Abraham had lived his life. They were vain, filled with human ambitions and desires, acted unjustly upon others and did what was sinful in the sight of God.

They thought that by being born children and direct descendants of Abraham, then they alone deserved God’s love, grace and salvation. Unfortunately, because of their actions and wicked deeds, even Abraham himself would be ashamed to have these people calling themselves his descendants. Their actions have brought scandal to the name of Abraham, for they have not acted and did things in the same manner as Abraham had done.

They have not been faithful to God, and they have not done what the Lord had asked them to do. They gave in to worldly temptations of power, desire and all other sorts of things that kept them away from being truly faithful to God. And they forgot that, as God mentioned to Abraham at that time, and written in the book of Genesis, they need to obey the commandments of God and be actively involved in living up their part of the covenant.

Yes, a covenant is not a one-directional transaction between God and Abraham. A covenant instead is a transaction and agreement, between two parties, and in this case, involving both God and Abraham. Both sides would have to fulfil their respective part of the covenant, or else, the covenant would not be fulfilled. And that was what happened to the Israelites, as they disregarded their obligations to fulfil the commandments of God, they had lost their right for the covenant with God.

That was why they also suffered the consequences, having been conquered and put down by their enemies, having to leave behind which God had promised to them and to their forefathers, because of their lack of faith. They were brought to faraway lands and had to endure humiliation among the foreigners, who as written in the Scriptures, mocked them for their disobedience and fate.

Yet, the Lord is ever forgiving and loving, and that is what all of us need to remember as we progress through this time of Lent, and as we deepen our relationships with God. God sent us a new Hope in the person of Jesus Christ, His Son, the Saviour and Deliverer He had promised to all of us, as the sign of His love and faith, as well as commitment to His covenant with all of us, remembering the covenant He Himself made with Abraham.

To this extent, through Jesus God had established a new covenant with us all, one that will never end and be broken, for it is by none other than through His own Precious Blood and Body shed on the cross at Calvary, that He had sealed and made fulfilled the covenant that He made anew with us. This new Covenant is the covenant between us and God, and through this Covenant all of us are called to come closer to God, to be forgiven from all of our sins and to receive God’s everlasting grace.

Are we then able to commit ourselves to God in the same way that God had committed Himself. God is ever so faithful and committed to His words and covenants that He was willing to lay down His life for the sake of us all, the partakers of His covenant. If God Himself is willing to go so far for our sake, then should we all mankind then do the same? Shall we all show Him as great a commitment and faith that we can muster?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all renew our commitment to God from now on. Let us all be renewed in faith, and show it through our actions and deeds. Everything we say and do, we should do it with genuine Christian love and charity. Let us all give ourselves to the service and help for our brethren in need, all those around us who are in need of help, and have no one to help them. May the Lord bless us all and our endeavours, and may He bring us all to His everlasting glory, all of us who partake in His wonderful covenant. Amen.

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