Friday, 20 October 2017 : 28th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day each and every one of us are reminded that in our faith and in how we live our lives according to that faith must be true and genuine, and we must not do as what the hypocrites like to do. The Lord Jesus often compared many of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law as hypocrites, as those who have not done as the Lord had commanded them to do.

What is a hypocrite exactly? A hypocrite is different from an unbeliever in that an unbeliever does not believe in God completely, and they often show it through outward signs, words or actions. On the other hand, a hypocrite is someone who is outwardly seems to believe in God and is a member of the faithful and yet in reality, they have no real faith in them.

The actions of a hypocrite in faith are done for the purpose of showing off their piety and devotion, just as the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had done, but they did these as mentioned, for their own personal glory and advancement, instead of for the greater glory of God as they should have done. God rewards the faithful for their deeds, as mentioned in the Scriptures today, but those who committed what is evil shall be judged accordingly.

Therefore, when we live our lives and go about our daily businesses, we must keep in mind that we have to practice our faith and do our works following what the Lord had taught us and indeed, commanded us all to do. We cannot just say that we have been saved without any need for further involvement or efforts just as some would say. The Church believes that each and every one of us are saved through faith, but not faith alone.

What does that mean? That means, according to the Epistle written by St. James the Apostle, faith without good works is as good as dead and meaningless. Faith without good works and good intentions for those works, is the same as the faith of a hypocrite. An empty faith without proper focus on the Lord is meaningless, and God knows everything inside our hearts, minds, indeed our entire being.

It does not matter how well we try to hide it, but the fact remains that God knows all that we ever think of, whatever we keep in the depths of our hearts and minds. And if we have not done what the Lord wants us to do, He will know it. He will also know if we have done His works, even though others might not have noticed them. And it is for these works that we will be judged, be it for the better or for the worse.

Those who have been righteous in their actions, and practiced their faith openly through those actions will be rewarded by God. Meanwhile, those who have not been truly faithful, are hypocrites, and do things for the sake of recognition and pursuit of worldly glory and human praise will be punished, condemned and be rejected by God. This is what each and every one of us need to know.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all from now on therefore be true in our devotion and commitment to God, that in every words that come from our mouth, in every actions that we do towards our brethren, we will always show faith, and not faith that is to be praised or applauded, but instead for the greater glory of God. Pride, greed and human desires may tempt us, but we must resist those temptations if we are to be true disciples of the Lord.

Let us all cast aside our pride and desires, and in the depth of our hearts, let us enthrone God as the Lord and Focus of our entire lives. Let us renew our devotion to Him, and be wholeheartedly committed to love Him and to serve Him, all the days of our lives. May the Lord be with us, and may He continue to guide us in our journey of life. God bless us all. Amen.

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