Monday, 6 November 2017 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the essence of what we heard in today’s Scripture readings is a reminder for all of us as Christians, that we all need to go out of our comfort zone, reaching out to our brothers and sisters in practicing and living our lives faithfully. This is what all of us are called to as Christians, and not to be passive and inactive, thinking that once we have received the grace of the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation, and that is it for us.

In the Epistle written by St. James, there is a famous saying which many of us may be familiar with. “Faith without works is dead.” And he wrote more about that phrase, in which I summarise as, faith that is not accompanied with actions inspired by that faith, good works in accordance with what we believe in the Lord, is meaningless and useless in the eyes of the Lord. And salvation will not come to those who profess the faith in God, and yet do not practice what they believe in.

That is why, we must understand this important tenet of our faith, lest we misunderstand it, just as there are those who misinterpreted and misunderstood this approach of our faith. It does not mean that we are saved by our good works or that by doing more then we are considered to be of higher standard and quality as compared to others who did not do as much.

Instead, it means that we are still saved by our faith in God, by our belief in Him. Yet, what is important is that, our faith emphasises the need for us to have a genuine and living faith, which means we must not be idle in our faith, and in living our lives. We cannot call ourselves as faithful, unless we truly live in accordance with our faith and actively expressing our faith through our actions, directed through love for our brethren in need. This is our faith, evidenced through our ‘good works’.

We are all called to love generously, to care without any prejudices or bias. We should not only love those who we think can love us back, or return us the love that we have given. That is what the Lord Jesus mentioned in the Gospel passage today, with His parable, comparing this to those who invite people to come to the wedding banquet. Those who are invited should not be just those who we also love, but should be everyone without prejudice.

In the same manner, the Lord Jesus had told us to love even our enemies, and all those who hate us. We ought to pray for those who persecute us and forgive those who have caused us suffering and harm. This is what we should do as Christians, rather than perpetuating the endless cycle of hatred and violence, which is common in this world. Are we all able to challenge the conventional ways of this world and showcase our Christian faith through our actions?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore renew our faith and commitment to the Lord, by trying our best in each and every day to show love in our actions and deeds, to care for our brothers and sisters, strangers and all who are in need of our love, attention and help. We should not be ignorant to their needs, and be selfish in our actions. We should not put ourselves above the rest, and we definitely should not do things that can cause detrimental effect on others just so that we can benefit from it.

Let us all seek to become true Christians, by following the examples of the holy saints and all those whose life have been exemplary, so that we may give more of ourselves and become ever better Christians, dedicated wholly to God in all things. May the Lord bless us and guide us in His path, now and always. Amen.

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