Tuesday, 7 November 2017 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in the Gospel passage today the Lord Jesus reminded us of the need for all of us Christians to follow Him and to listen to His will, and not be distracted by the many temptations of life in this world. In that Gospel Jesus used the parable of the feast and its guests in order to teach the people, showing them the fact that while many have been called, but few will be chosen in the end.

The man who held the feast is none other than God Himself, Who has invited His people to come into the eternal banquet of heaven. Yet, as we heard from the passage, God’s call went unheeded, as those who were invited to the feast refused to come for the event. They came up with various reasons why they could not come to the event as we heard in the passage.

All of these represent just how stubborn we mankind can be in resisting God’s call, and how temptations can easily turn us away from God’s path and into the path to our doom. There are many of these temptations that we are all quite familiar with, the temptation of power, of wealth, of worldly glory, of pleasures of the flesh, of wickedness, and many others.

These are the obstacles that can indeed hamper us in our way towards salvation and eternal glory in God, for these things can distance us from God, and make us to be unworthy of Him. Many of us also have this misconception, thinking that God is forever merciful and loving, and that there is no way that God will cast us all who have believed in Him into the sufferings in hell. Yet, that is the reality, that even Christians may end up in hell, should they wander away from the Lord’s path.

God offers us His mercy and love freely, but should we refuse to accept that mercy and love, and stubbornly close our hearts and minds against Him, then in the end, it is we ourselves who have caused our downfall into damnation. God is always ready to forgive us our sins and trespasses, and He is always willing to welcome us back and to be reconciled with us, but are we willing to be forgiven?

And more importantly, are we willing to make the sacrifices to make changes in our lives that we may be truly reconciled with our God? It is easier said to be done, if we want to be truly faithful to God. There will be inconveniences, but that is what all of us as Christians need to be prepared to do if we are to follow God.

Then we should also heed what we heard in our first reading today, where St. Paul in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in Rome pointed out how Christians should live their lives. We should follow what St. Paul had mentioned, in our interactions with one another. What does this mean? As mentioned, we should love one another tenderly and genuinely, seeking to be compassionate to those who are in need. We should reach out to our brethren who are unloved, weak, poor or those who are hated by the world.

These will not be easy, as we have to persevere against those who disapprove of our actions and our faith in God. Yet, through our commitment to Him, if we truly love Him, we will not easily fall into temptation, just as our holy predecessors, the saints and martyrs had done. Let us all therefore draw ever closer to the Lord, and ensure that in everything we say, and we do, we always do them for the greater glory of our God.

May the Lord be with us always, and may He continue to bless us and all of our works day after day, so that, through our efforts, and through the love which we show Him, we will be able to resist the many temptations of power, of money, of glory, of fame, of the many other things that Satan is using to bring about our downfall. May the Lord empower each and every one of us to become His committed disciples. Amen.

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