Monday, 4 September 2017 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day first of all we heard the assurance which St. Paul mentioned in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth, when he told them of what will happen to all those who are faithful to God and have kept His laws and commandments. God will lift them all up and together with all those who have gone before them, and were faithful, all these God will raise up together to enjoy forever His everlasting inheritance.

This is the promise which God has given us, and which He has revealed to us through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Who is our Lord and Saviour born from a humble virgin of Nazareth named Mary. Through His Son, God has endeavoured to bring all of His faithful and beloved people to salvation, and through Him, God has revealed His love and favour to His people. Yet, as we heard in the Gospel passage today, even His own townspeople in Nazareth rejected Him and refused to believe in Him.

Why was that, brothers and sisters in Christ? That is because they refused to open themselves, their hearts and minds to the Lord Who desired to speak to them and to let them know His truth. Yet, the people of Nazareth were blinded by their presumption of knowledge, thinking that because they had seen Him growing up from a very young age, Son of the local carpenter, a job not seen by many with respect, then they had the right to consider what the Lord Jesus had proclaimed to them as something false and preposterous.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us reflect on this passage from the Scriptures and how the people of Nazareth had treated Jesus. And let us also look at our own lives, in how we have related ourselves to the Lord. Have we been truly faithful to Him in our ways? Or have we instead been like the people of Nazareth who refused to believe in Jesus and in His truth? And it is often that we do not believe in Him as we should.

We are often too busy with our daily preoccupations, and we are often too distracted with our worldly concerns, that we forgot about God, and we ignore Him. That is when we distance ourselves from Him and end up falling into sin. We have spent so much time trying to gain for ourselves positions of honour, power, glory and worldly possessions, yet what can all these things bring us, brothers and sisters in Christ?

None of them can bring us lasting satisfaction, and in the end, only God can fully satisfy us, for it is He alone Who knows all that we ever needed and will ever need. He has come into this world to reveal this truth, that He is the true source of our joy and happiness, and not in all the distractions which had prevented us from truly being able to love Him and devote ourselves to Him. And it is often our ego and pride that came between us and God.

The people of Nazareth, a small and poor village, stood by their ego and pride, refusing that such an insignificant little village like theirs could have been the place where the Messiah of God would come from, and less still, to be the One Whom they have seen growing up, the Son of a local carpenter. And thus, doubt remained in their hearts, and they refused to believe, because they had hardened their hearts and minds against God.

Is it what we should do, brothers and sisters in Christ? No, it is not. Rather, as Christians, all of us must walk a different path, that is a path of humility and obedience to God. We should open our hearts and minds to welcome the word of God speaking to us in our hearts, so that we may be able to listen to Him and realise what it is that He really wants us to do with our respective lives.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all commit ourselves to the Lord anew, and let us all be open to welcome His truth and love inside each and every one of us. Let us listen to God’s will and endeavour to walk in His path henceforth, from now on, ever faithful to His laws and ways. May God be with us always. Amen.

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