Thursday, 18 January 2018 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture speaking to us first of all about what happened between king Saul of Israel and David, whom God had chosen to be the successor and replacement of Saul due to his disobedience. And then, in the Gospel passage, we heard about the Lord Jesus and His ministry among the people, drawing many people who came to Him to listen to His words and to be healed.

In the first reading we heard, king Saul became increasingly jealous of David, because his achievements were more celebrated than his, and he knew that the Lord has chosen David to become his successor and replacement. Therefore, in his jealousy and refusal to obey God’s will, Saul wanted to eliminate David so as to preserve his kingdom to himself and to his own family even if that was to go against God’s will.

But Saul’s son, Jonathan, was David’s good friend, and he knew of what his father was planning against David. Thus, he went out of his way to warn David and to help him escape from Saul’s intended wicked plans for him. And Jonathan also spoke on behalf of David before his father Saul, asking the king to rethink his decision to move against David. Through his arguments and words, he managed to prevent the king from achieving his intended plans.

It was Saul’s pride and ambition which caused him to do all the things that led him further down the path of sin and disobedience against God. He was blinded by his pride which prevented him from obeying and recognising the fact that he was disobedient, and that was why he was overlooked, to be replaced by David, who was more faithful and committed than he was, in the leadership of the people of Israel.

Saul instead doubled down on his wickedness, and tried to have David killed so as to remove this threat to his kingship and authority. But that was not what God intended to happen with David. Regardless of all that Saul had planned, none of them materialised, and God’s will was still to be done. Then, we heard from the Gospel about the time when Jesus went about from place to place to teach the people and to heal them.

Many people came to Him and believed in Him. He made Himself available to them, as the Saviour King Who came to save His beloved ones. He came to serve and not to be served. He showed all by His examples, by His own dedication and commitment to His Father’s will, and by this, He was glorified. This is the same example that each and every one of us should follow as Christians, as those who believe in the Lord and profess our faith in Him.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us reflect on these Scripture passages which we have just heard. Let us reflect on our own individual lives, our every actions and deeds. Have we been obedient to the Father’s will as the Lord Jesus had done, and as His servant David had done? Or have we instead allowed ourselves to be swayed and turned asunder by worldly ambitions and desires as what king Saul had done?

There are still many things which each one of us as Christians are able to do in living our lives faithfully and with commitment. We need to look beyond the concerns of this world, and learn to let go of our pride and human desires, which have so often caused us to fall into sin and causing the divisions and intrigues among ourselves. That is in fact, part of the reason which caused so many divisions in the Church.

Today, as we begin the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, let us all pray sincerely and earnestly, that all of those who have been misguided and swayed by false teachings and untruths may rediscover the true faith in God, which can be found in the Church alone, the one and indivisible Church, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church under the leadership of the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, the one who was entrusted by the Lord with the governance over His entire people.

May the Lord be with us all, that all of us may live our lives ever more faithfully, day after day, that in everything we say and do, we will draw ever closer to Him and to His salvation. May He bless us all, and bring us closer to true unity in the Church, that one day we will be completely reunited again, as God’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Amen.

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