Friday, 6 October 2017 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Bruno, Priest (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, through what we have heard in the Scriptures today, all of us see the importance of faith in our lives. For there will always be the pressures and temptations for us to lose the faith or to resist the faith, falling into sin as the people of Israel had demonstrated in the past.

In the first reading today, taken from the Book of the prophet Baruch, the prophet recalled the sins which the people of Israel had committed in various occasions in the past, in disobeying the Law and commandments of God, worshipping the pagan idols and offering sacrifices to those idols. They have tested the patience of God and even persecuted the Lord’s messengers and prophets.

And all of these happened even though God had performed many miracles and mighty deeds before them, where all of them witnessed the great power of God. Beginning from the time of the Exodus when God freed His people from the slavery in Egypt, when God showed forth His might by sending ten great plagues to strike at the Egyptians, who eventually had no choice but to let the Israelites to go free.

When the Egyptians tried to reassert their control over the Israelites, the Lord delivered His people from their hands, making them walk through the Red Sea on dry land, while crushing the chariots and armies of the Egyptians to the bottom of the sea as He set the sea against them and buried them under the waves. Yet, despite all of these that God had done for His people, they ended up betraying Him, and even setting up a golden calf idol over them.

The people of Israel had seen many wonders and miraculous deeds done by the Lord. Yet, they turned their backs to Him, and acted with impunity in disobeying the laws and commandments God had given to them. They fell because in them, the roots of the faith were not firm or strong, and temptations of the world, the temptations of pleasure and human greed ended up making them to fall into sin.

Their hearts were closed against God’s words and truth, because they were blinded by worldliness, by those same temptations and prejudices I mentioned earlier. That was why even though the people in Capernaum, Chorazin and Bethsaida had seen all the wonders and miracles of the Lord Jesus, but they failed to believe that Jesus was the Messiah and the Lord long awaited by His people.

This is a reminder to all of us as Christians that we all need to be truly faithful in all of our deeds, in our every actions and words, so that in everything we will always declare the glory of God, and walk faithfully in His path. And perhaps we should follow in the footsteps of St. Bruno, the holy man whose feast we celebrate today. He is also known as St. Bruno of Cologne, the founder of the Carthusian religious order.

St. Bruno was a renowned educator of the faithful, as a philosopher and theologian who educated the future leaders of the Church, from Popes to Cardinals, to bishops and abbots. Yet, he remained humble, and refused the promotion to the episcopate as a bishop when the opportunity came, renouncing any ambitions or desires for self-gratification or advancement.

St. Bruno truly had a great and true faith in God, as he was dedicated to the reform in the Church, and in teaching the people of God the truth about Him. And by showing his faith through real action and commitment, he has inspired many others who followed in his footsteps, becoming good Christians in their own stead. This is why it is so important for us all as Christians to be role models in faith, so that we will be beacons of light for others, for our fellow brothers and sisters in faith to follow.

Otherwise, we may end up falling into the temptations of this world, and failing to sin. Let us do our best, following the examples of our holy predecessors in faith, so that in everything we say and do from now on, we will always bring greater glory to God. May God be with us all and may He always bless our endeavours. St. Bruno, holy man of God, pray for us all. Amen.

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