Tuesday, 20 June 2017 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day all of us heard from the Lord Jesus Himself, urging us and exhorting us to love, for love is the true mission and command which the Lord had given to us to do, to be loving and to be graced with love, and not one that is conditional or selfish, but instead, love that is selfless and perfect, unconditional just as He has loved us first in the same manner.

Everyone can love themselves, for it is in our human nature to look first to ourselves and to satisfy our own needs and desires first. It is easy to love ourselves for we are always filled with pride, pride for our own human achievements and capabilities, pride for our talents and endowments. But are we able to love others in the same manner as how we have loved ourselves?

And then, it is easier for us to love others who also love us or have loved us first. For we know that if we show our love to them, then they will show their love for sure, or even have loved us first. In that manner, however, let ask ourselves, if our love is truly sincere? Is it love that we have shown? Or was it rather selfishness and our human desire showing themselves instead of love?

When we love, we do not seek for returns or rewards, and when we show our love to each other, we do not desire or seek for recognition or affirmation. For if we seek all these when we love, then our love is not perfect and neither it is fulfilling for us. For this kind of love is selfish love, and the more we show this kind of love, the more we expect to be loved back. Otherwise, we end up angry, or becoming jealous and unhappy.

That is precisely why there are many people in this world today, and even many among us as Christians, who did not show true love in our life, in our actions and deeds. We are selfish when we love, and that is why many of us ended up with ruined marriages, with adultery and lack of faithfulness in our families. That is because we treat our relationship, particularly that of marriage, family life, and often even friendships as transactions.

When we look at our relationships, we tend to look at everything and try to find values in each of them for ourselves. When things do not go the way we want them, or when we do not get the reward or recognition that we wanted, then we became angry, agitated, and unhappy. Then, let us ask ourselves, is this the kind of love which the Lord had taught us to do in life? Or is it something else?

Remember, brothers and sisters in Christ, God showed us all the way forward, by showing us His unconditional love. Even though we have rebelled against Him, many times in life, and even though we have disobeyed Him on many occasions, but the Lord still continues to love us, and He is ever willing to welcome us back through reconciliation. It was His love that made Him to even be willing to die on the cross for us.

Are we able to love unconditionally and show that love to one another? Are we able to commit ourselves to that love? It is our calling and also challenge as Christians to be loving towards one another, even towards our enemies and all those who have hurt and brought pain to us. It is by forgiving the faults of others that we will grow stronger in the love of God.

Remember, brethren, that the Lord Himself has forgiven us our sins. Whenever we pray the Lord’s Prayer, do we really mean it when we say, ‘Forgive us our sins just as we forgive those who have sinned against us?’ Let us be generous with love and mercy, compassion and understanding for one another. Let us shun all forms of hatred, anger and jealousy, all forms of negativities against each other.

May the Lord be gracious to us, and may He continue to love us as He has always been. May His love be found in us, and grow ever stronger, as we continue to care and love for our fellow brethren, showing genuine Christian love and charity to one another, that we may draw ever closer to God and be worthy of Him because of the love we have for Him, and also for our fellow men. Amen.

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