Saturday, 30 September 2017 : 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scriptures speaking to us first of all from the prophet Zechariah who spoke about God’s dwelling amongst His people, for they are His people and He is their God. Many people would come to seek God and to be His people, and He would be their God.

Then in the Gospel today we heard Jesus our Lord speaking about the betrayal that would happen to Him, as His own disciple would betray Him to the chief priests, namely Judas Iscariot. Yet the disciples failed to understand this, even after Jesus had repeated the same prediction a few times. That is because they were not able to open their hearts and minds to welcome God’s truth into them.

In our world today there are still a lot of people who have not yet known God or understood His truths and teachings. And in fact, within the Church itself, for various reasons, there are still many of the faithful who have not possessed an adequate understanding of the faith, who do not live the faith as how it should have been lived.

That is why, there is a need for all of us Christians to be closely attached to the Word of God, through which we gained the knowledge of our faith, by the guidance from the Church, that we may better appreciate and understand what our faith is really about, and what is required from us all as Christians. And this Word of God, is the Holy Scriptures, God’s very own words as passed down to us through His prophets and messengers.

It is through the Scriptures that all of us read about the history of our salvation, beginning from the time when mankind first fell into sin and darkness, and then how God had, in numerous occasions, intervened for the sake of humanity, saving them from their distress, among them include the saving of Noah from the Great Flood that destroyed all the wicked men, and His salvation of the Israelites from the slavery in Egypt.

And we can know all these because of our exposure and regular immersion with the texts from the Holy Scriptures. It is apt and fitting today that we also celebrate the feast of St. Jerome, one of the great Church fathers, an ascetic and pious man, who was remembered especially for his translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible into the Latin Vulgate Bible, giving more people access to the wealth of messages and knowledge contained within the Book of the Word of God.

All of us need to ask ourselves, and reflect on how much effort we have put into ensuring that we constantly and regularly make the effort to read and understand the Holy Scriptures. Certainly, many of us had not done what we should have done, and as expected from us, because many of us would have found it even a waste of time and meaningless for us to read the Bible, less so to understand its passages.

Yet, without understanding the Scriptures, it will be difficult for us as Christians to understand what it is that God wants us to do in our lives. Consequently, we will end up getting more and more distant and separated from God, and then lose our way in this journey of life, easily falling into the traps that Satan and his allies have prepared for us, that we may end up facing our downfall through sin.

Let us all therefore follow the examples of St. Jerome, who devoted himself thoroughly to the Lord, in studying His will and commandments, and even unto translating the entire Scriptures for the benefit for the people of God. Let us all spend more and more time dedicating ourselves to read the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures, with the guidance of the Church and adhering to the teachings of the Church, that we may draw ever closer to the Lord.

May God be with us all, and may He continue to allow the faith in us to grow and deepen as we spend more and more time in dedication to Him. May the Word of God be our guide and inspiration in life. Amen.

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