Friday, 22 September 2017 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded by St. Paul through his Epistle to St. Timothy, that all of us ought to remain true to our faith, and keep ourselves in the path of God’s righteousness. It will not be an easy journey for us, as our way will be filled with difficulties, temptations and all sorts of obstacles, as St. Paul had mentioned, in our struggles with money, possessions, worldly ambitions and other tempting pursuits.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, if we are not careful and if we are not vigilant with how we live our lives, we may end up falling for those temptations and slip into sin. It is easier for us to do what the world demanded from us than to walk faithfully in the way of the Lord. And the temptation is always there, pulling us away from God and His righteousness. Now, the question is, what are we going to do about it? Are we going to give in to the temptations, or are we going to stand up for our faith?

To be a good and devoted Christian, therefore, we cannot be a lukewarm disciple of the Lord. We cannot be a passive and inert Christian. That means, we cannot be conforming and be permissive in our actions and deeds in life. We cannot be thrown from side to side, just because we have no strong root of our faith. That is what will exactly happen to us, if we do not have that firm foundation in the Lord. We will be like a ship battered by the winds and the waves, and we will sink.

Nonetheless, for many of us, our faith is not a priority, and we are often distracted by our pursuit of fame, renown, personal and worldly glory, wealth and possessions, trying to gain more for ourselves all those things, which end up causing us to be drifting away from God, because He is not the priority in our minds and hearts. We end up becoming filled up with greed and desires, with ambition and haughtiness.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all reflect upon our lives, and think carefully about how we should proceed with those lives from now on. Are we going to continue living as we have lived, becoming slaves to our desires and human greed, to our ambition and love for the world? For money and for renown? For pleasures of the flesh and for power, glory and worldly goods?

Or do we rather change our ways for the better, discarding all those wickedness we have done, and all of the failures we have made, all the greed and human ambition, and instead we seek the Lord, the true Source of our joy and happiness. For we all have to realise that there is nothing in this world that can truly satisfy us, no matter how enjoyable and pleasurable they may be, as ultimately, all of them are merely temporary.

We should not be so fixated with whatever joys and good things we may find in the world, and become obsessed with gaining more of them for our own selfish gains and wants. If we make these as our treasures, let us all remember that first of all, those things do not last, and can be destroyed by fire, by water, by worldly forces and disasters, by wars and all other human deeds. Yet, if our treasure is in the Lord, we do not need to worry, since that treasure will truly last forever.

The folly of seeking worldly joy and happiness is evident, since no mortal man will bring forth his or her worldly treasures, their money and possessions, and all other things they have when they die. They will leave behind everything, and come before the Lord naked and empty without any status, possessions or wealth, and God will judge them not based on how rich or powerful they are, but rather by how much they have obeyed Him and done what He had taught them to do.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we have heard the message from the Scriptures regarding this matter. Let us all as Christians seek to be ever better disciple of our Lord, persevering through the temptations of this world, and grow ever better and deeper in our commitment and devotion to our Lord. May the Lord give us the strength to continue faithfully living and walking in His path, that eventually we will find our way to His eternal glory. Amen.

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