Tuesday, 18 July 2017 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard the continuation of yesterday’s passage from the Book of Exodus, in which we heard how Moses, the one whom God had chosen to lead His people out of Egypt, was born and was saved from death due to Pharaoh’s orders that all newborn boys of Israel must be killed. In this, God showed just how He guided His people and never stopped taking care of them, through the many deeds He had performed among His people.

And yet, many of His people continued to refuse to believe in Him, and even having doubts about Him, even when He had done all those amazing deeds for their very own sake. Take for example, how the Israelites responded to the Lord for having brought them out of the land of Egypt through mighty deeds and great plagues, with which He forced the Pharaoh to let His people go free from slavery. When He fed them with manna in the desert and gave them sweet and clear water to drink, they complained of not having enough food and water to be consumed.

They even said that they would rather suffer in slavery in Egypt but having enough food or drinks to be consumed. They would rather live as a slave rather than to die as a free man. But that is precisely because they had no faith in God, and their hearts were closed against God’s love and grace. He had given them so much, and yet, they spurned His love and even abandoned Him for pagan gods and idols, the most well-known one of which was their making of the golden calf just right after God brought them out of Egypt.

Eventually God punished all those who continued to rebel against Him and refused to repent from their unfaithfulness and stubbornness. However, God is ever loving and ever merciful. He would not stop loving us all, for after all, He created us all out of love, and He loved each and every one of us as His own beloved children. He gave them chances after chances, and opportunities after opportunities, and yet they still often doubted Him and rebelled against Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, that is why Jesus our Lord was right to be angry in what we heard in the Gospel passage today, in which He rebuked the cities of Capernaum, Chorazin and Bethsaida for their stubbornness and lack of faith. In many occasions throughout the Gospels and surely in many others unrecorded in the Gospels, Jesus had performed many amazing miracles and taught the people living in those cities about God, but they had not turned themselves completely towards Him.

Many of them did not follow Him because they had genuine faith in Him, but instead because they were awed and wishing to benefit personally from what they saw as a Wonder-Maker, and as One Who can fulfil all that they wished and wanted. But this is not what the Lord Jesus wanted from them. He did not come to satisfy all their needs and wishes, but instead, to tell them the truth of what they need to do in order to attain salvation and liberation from their slavery to sin.

This is what each and every one of us must take heed of us well, because all of us are called to a true faith in God, in which we should live our lives filled with sincere and genuine devotion to the Lord. God is calling us to a real faith, and to turn ourselves fully and completely towards Him. If we have sinned and disobeyed Him, God wants us to be wholly converted and changed, that we ought to unbind the shackles of those sins that had burdened us all these while.

He has given us many opportunities and means through which we can accomplish this. God gave us His Son to be our Saviour, to be the Redeemer Who liberated us from our shackles. What we now need to do in our lives therefore, is for us to believe and not just believe superficially, but embody our faith through our actions and deeds. That means, we must strive that in all the things we say, in the things we do, we always make sure that we obey the Lord and walk in His ways.

God loves each and every one of us, brothers and sisters in Christ, but many of us are yet unaware of this fact, primarily because many of us are closing our hearts to Him, and did not allow Him to enter into our lives. We are too busy with our daily preoccupations and works for us to notice just how much God cares for each and every one of us. What we need to do, is for us to spend some time, every day, in quiet communication with God, spending time with Him, asking Him, what it is that He wants us to do in our life today, tomorrow, and hereafter.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all from now on renew our commitment to God, and be ever more sincere and true in our faith in Him, doing whatever it is that we can do in order to be more committed and closer to God. May the Lord help each and every one of us in our endeavours, and may He awaken in each one of us, a strong desire and love for the Lord. Amen.

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