Monday, 11 September 2017 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day all of us heard how we should put our trust in the Lord and not to harden our hearts or to close our minds to Him. We should entrust ourselves to the care of God, Who will take care of us and bless us with whatever we need. We witnessed how the Lord healed the sick man, showing His love for the man, and His mercy for the suffering He had.

But there were still those who opposed Him and refused to listen to Him, as shown in the actions of the Pharisees who laid traps to trap Jesus in His actions, hoping that by healing on the Sabbath, they could accuse Jesus of wrongdoing and disobeying the Law, and therefore arrest Him and get rid of Him, Whom they came to see as a great rival in the sight of the people.

Yet in this, they did not do what the Lord had commanded them, and instead, they were doing what they thought was right for them. They were trying to safeguard and satisfy their own self interests, instead of obeying what God had told them to do. They were appointed as the leaders of the people and as the guardians of God’s laws and commandments, and yet, they have not done what was asked of them.

They did not work for the greater glory of God but rather for themselves. And through all of these therefore, all of us as Christians must heed what the Lord Jesus had said and done amongst His people, as He has shown us the example of what we ought to be doing as those who walk in His path and believe in Him. We cannot be hypocrites in our faith, who are outwardly pious and good, and yet God and His precepts have no place in our hearts.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all reflect upon our own lives, our actions, words and deeds in this life. Have we been righteous and loving as Christ has been righteous and loving in all of His deeds? Have we acted in the manner that the Lord had taught us to be, following what the Church had taught us? Have we shown care, love and compassion to our brethren who are in need of love?

Many of us are not taking the necessary actions that are needed for us as Christians to be truly faithful and devoted to God. Many of us think that to be Christians is something that is easily done, and require little or even no effort from us. And if we think that being a Christian is an easy one, and we have not encountered difficulties thus far, perhaps then we have not stepped outside our comfort zone and do what has been expected from us.

Therefore, let us from now on strive to be ever more like our Lord Himself, stepping out from our comfort zone and challenging ourselves at all times to be ever faithful to the Lord through our words, actions and deeds. Let us all do what we can in order to commit ourselves to God and His ways, by extending our hands to help those who are in need, and caring for those who are hungry and homeless, those who are sorrowful and those who are sick.

Let us challenge ourselves to do ever more and do not be disheartened by what we will likely to encounter in our respective lives as we become ever more faithful to God. There will indeed be opposition and even ridicule and rejection for our works and actions, but that was exactly what had happened to the Lord Jesus as well. We must take heart and not be tempted to give up or to make compromises on our faith.

May the Lord help us in our journey, and may He empower each and every one of us to become ever better disciples of His. May the Lord bless us all in our endeavours, and may all of us draw ever closer to Him. Amen.

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