Monday, 17 July 2017 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the beginning of the tale of Israel in Egypt as told through the Book of Exodus. After we have completed the discourse from the Book of Genesis, about how God established His covenant with Abraham and his descendants, now we read about how Israel first thrived in Egypt and then they were persecuted by the Pharaoh, King of Egypt, who feared that the Israelites were becoming more powerful and thriving by the day.

Thus, the Pharaoh made them to be slave labours to build his cities and monuments, and he placed heavy works and burdens on their shoulders. He punished them heavily and even ordered for the extermination of all the newborn male children of the Hebrews, the people of Israel, as he hoped that through these means, he would be able to exterminate the entire people of Israel and got rid of the potential trouble they might bring to him and his kingdom.

But God was with His people, and He provided for them in their time of greatest need. Even though they were beset with troubles and the Pharaoh ordering all the newborn sons of the Israelites to be thrown into the Nile River, yet their numbers continued to increase and somehow God’s providence rescued His people. And that was also when He sent to His people, the promised deliverance through His servant, Moses, who was also thrown into the River Nile, and yet saved by the daughter of Pharaoh to become a Prince of Egypt.

This was what God has planned for His people, and nothing could undo His good works no matter how they tried to do so. The Pharaoh tried to destroy Israel and enslave them, but as we all know, God sent Moses to His people and to Pharaoh, and through ten great plagues and His other deeds, including opening the Red Sea and allowing His people in front of them, God saved His people from their slavery in Egypt and from their suffering.

Thus, this is a reminder of God’s love and faithfulness to His Covenant with us. All those who are faithful to God have nothing to fear, for God will reward them justly for their faith and dedication to Him. This is what we also heard in our Gospel passage today, in which the Lord reminded that His coming into this world would not herald immediate peace and harmony as some would otherwise be mistaken, thinking that God came to bring eternal peace and happiness, and no more suffering or sorrow would exist.

No, brothers and sisters in Christ, the reality is that, indeed God will do all that, but in time to come, at the time of His own choosing. As He came into this world bearing His truth, dispelling the lies and the falsehoods of the devil, it immediately and definitively attracting a serious reaction from the devil, the author of all those lies and falsehoods, with which he has seduced and tempted many in the world for long ages. Surely he will not just sit still allowing those whom he had seduced and tempted to be freed from his clutches.

No, indeed, the devil and all of his forces will be busy at work trying to prevent this from happening. And that is why as Jesus our Lord mentioned, there will be discord and trouble brewing all around us, if we choose to remain faithful to the Lord and walk in His ways. There will be temptation, opposition and challenges from even our loved ones and those whom we trusted, our friends, families and relatives. And there will be times when we really rather give up and surrender to whatever it is that the devil wants us to do, that is to sin and to disobey God.

Remember, brothers and sisters in Christ, what we have heard from the Scriptures today, about God Who loves all of His people, and Who gave His tender mercy and compassion to them when they were in trouble and when they were suffering from persecution. He liberated them from their enslavement in Egypt and fulfilled His promises to them in His due time. This is what all of us need to think about and understand, how God loves us and how He will always be with us, no matter what happens.

Let us therefore spend some time to reflect and to think what are the things that we can do in our lives to be more devoted and committed to the Lord. Let us find a way for us to continue to devote our lives to God’s cause and to remain faithful to Him. Let us all help one another, especially if we see our brethren suffering for his faith, and do whatever we can do to help, so that eventually together, all of us may continue to walk in the path of God and receive salvation together as one faithful people. May God be with us always, now and forever. Amen.

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