Wednesday, 28 June 2017 : 12th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we heard about the false prophets from Jesus our Lord, Who told His disciples to beware of all those people who pretended to be good on the outside, and yet, on the inside, they are truly wicked and evil. This is not what the Lord want from us all Christians, as all of us are called to be good and to devote ourselves to the Lord, both inside and outside, that our whole being truly bring glory to God.

If we truly belong to God, then our actions and deeds must indeed reflect that nature, that we do what the Lord had told us to do, and be genuine in our actions. Otherwise, we will be like the hypocrites, who pretended that they believed, and yet in their actions, showed what was contrary to their faith. All of us must be genuine Christians in actions and deeds, and we must really spend the time and put the effort to live in accordance with what the Lord taught us.

Remember, brothers and sisters in Christ, that the Lord Jesus in the Gospel today said how bad trees will produce bad fruits, while good trees will produce good fruits. And all those trees that are bad will be cast out into the fire and given to be burnt away. All those trees are representing us mankind, both with our good and bad deeds, with all of our imperfections, which then ends up in our actions, be it that they are righteous or wicked.

Bad trees will produce bad fruits, which will not be desired or wanted, and the Lord will cast these out on the day of the harvest, or the Day of Judgment, out to the eternal damnation. Do we want to end up with this fate, brethren? Certainly we do not want to end up like that. Yet, that will be our lot, if we do not truly practice our faith and instead doing what is wicked in the sight and presence of God and man alike.

And we cannot hide our intentions and actions, for even though we may be successful in hiding them from others around us, but the Lord will always know all of our intentions and actions. Nothing that we do that we can hide away from the Lord Who knows everything that is in our hearts and in out minds. If we are like the hypocrites, who pretended to do good on the outside but yet having malicious intent in the heart, or for those whose faith is just for show, the Lord will know it all.

We should instead be like the fruitful vine of Abraham, who has devoted himself wholeheartedly to the Lord, and obeyed the will of God with commitment and zeal. We should follow his examples, in how he has devoted himself wholeheartedly and committed himself to God in all that He had asked him to do. And because of the faith of Abraham, countless people who were his descendants have been blessed because of him.

He was sincere in his faith, and no falsehood could be found in him. He is the example of one who has true faith in God, and we ought to look up to him. If our faith can be like that of Abraham, then surely the Lord will find no fault in us, and He will bless us all and welcome us into His eternal glory and happiness. That is what all of us can look forward to, if we follow the Lord faithfully.

Perhaps we all should also heed the examples of St. Irenaeus, a holy bishop and martyr of the Faith, who was the Bishop of Lugdunum, now known as Lyon in Roman Gaul, now France. He was a devout priest and later on bishop, who was determined to root out all heresies among Christians, by his numerous works through which he helped to dispel the falsehood of those heresies, most serious of which is the syncretic and heretical Gnosticism, which had a strong hold among many of the people at the time.

Through his extensive works, St. Irenaeus helped to keep many from falling into heresy, and in his exhortations and evangelisations, he helped to bring many more souls to salvation through the Church. He has given his all for the sake of the Lord and for the people of God. In the end, it was told by some sources, that he suffered martyrdom, but nonetheless, by his life, he has bring glory to God and to His people.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, shall we walk in the footsteps of Abraham, our father in faith, and St. Irenaeus, the brave and courageous servant of God and defender of the faith? Let us all devote ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord in the same manner as these holy predecessors of ours had done, shunning all that is evil, all pretensions and be honest in our devotion to God. May the Lord help us in our efforts and endeavours, and may He guide us always in our lives, that we will be able to find our way to His salvation. Amen.

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