Friday, 28 July 2017 : 16th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Lord in the Scriptures speaking to us about first of all, the ten commandments which He gave to His people, the ten most important laws and ordinances which He had revealed unto us, that we might obey Him and be found worthy of His love and grace. The Ten Commandments was, and is indeed still, and will be the foundations of our belief in God, and in how we ought to carry out our lives in accordance to His will.

We heard then in the Gospel, the parable which our Lord Jesus told His disciples, the famous parable of the sower, in which He told them of the fate of the different seeds spread by the sower, depending on where those seeds fall at. Some fell on the roadside and were eaten up by the birds of the sky, while some others fell on rocky grounds and were scorched quickly by the sun, and still others fell among thistles and brambles, and they were choked to death by those weeds. And some fell on rich soil, where the seeds grew bountifully and provided fruits in many multiples of what had been planted.

The stories and parables from the Scriptures today speak to us about how we ought to listen to the Lord and understand what it is that He wants us to do, so that our lives may be found worthy and good in the sight of God. The Ten Commandments summarised perfectly what we need to do in our lives, which the Lord Jesus summarised even further into a set of two important law and precepts, that is the Law of Love.

First, He mentioned that out of all that we mankind do in our lives, we must first of all love the Lord our God, with all of our strength, with all of our might and capabilities, giving our all to serve and love Him. That is the first and most important of all the laws and commandments, for because if we overlook or ignore this commandment, then the rest of the Law and the Commandments are null and void because the Law exists only for a single purpose, that is to guide mankind to obey the Lord and to love Him with all of their hearts.

However, loving God is easier said than done, brothers and sisters in Christ. Loving the Lord does not mean that we say to Him, 'Lord, I love You, Lord.' and then we consider ourselves of having loved Him and shown our devotion to Him. It is not enough that we say using words or through empty and meaningless promises or commitments, if we do not mean what we say and understand what it means for us to truly love God with all of our hearts.

This is where the second important Law and commandment that Jesus told us came into play, as He told His disciples that we mankind must also love one another just as we love ourselves, loving and caring for our fellow brothers and sisters, this is also easier said than done, as we may think that we know how to love our fellow men, our brothers and sisters, but if we look more carefully into how we have lived our lives thus far, many of us will realise just how difficult it is for us to love others just as we love ourselves.

Our human nature is always calling us to fulfil our own desires and needs first, before we turn and care towards others around us. It is our ego and greed that often drive us in life, desiring to gather more power, more influence, and more happiness upon ourselves, but in the process, we often cause inconvenience and even suffering on others. The simple reason for this is because our desires and wants will inevitably overlap one another, and for us to gain what we want, we often have to cause others to suffer a loss.

This is the cause for much sorrow and pain in our world, both past and present. Many atrocities and evil deeds have been caused by human greed and ambitions, which led to us focusing on ourselves and acting selfishly for our own self-preservation and personal glory, without regard for others. This is when the Word of God cannot grow in us and the faith in us perish, as the Gospel today spoke of those seeds that failed to grow properly or bear fruit because they were not given the right conditions to grow in.

When we fill ourselves with greed and selfishness, ego and pride, we smother the Word of God and the seeds of faith which God had given to us. It is much easier for us to follow the path of greed and ego, for these satisfy our desires and give us pleasures in life. However, this path leads us towards downfall and towards damnation, as because of those sins we have been made unworthy before God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we are all called to turn away from this path towards our destruction, and God calls us to turn towards Him with all of our hearts, and this is the time for us to do so. Let us not wait until it is too late for us to do so, but begin to turn towards God, beginning from ourselves, from our actions and deeds in life. We should conduct our lives with love, showing mercy and compassion on those who are around us.

Let us no longer be egoistic or greedy, but instead open ourselves to God's infinite love. Just as He has loved us first with His unconditional love, we too should appreciate this love and show Him the same love, which saw Him bearing up the cross, filled with the burdens of our sins and punishment, and died for our sake. There is no greater love than for one to give up his life for his friend, according to the words of Jesus Himself. Thus, let us all die to our pride, ego and desire, and let us be ever more generous with our love to one another instead.

May the Lord be with us all, and may He guide our footsteps, so that we may draw ever closer to Him, and find the way to His salvation. Let us all love the Lord with all of our strength and abilities, and be ever more worthy of His grace. Amen.

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