Saturday, 27 January 2018 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Angela Merici, Virgin (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Virgins or Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the Scripture passages, telling us first of all, the anger of God directed to His servant David, king of Israel, because of his disobedience and waywardness, when he plotted the killing of Uriah, the husband of a woman who he desired to be his own wife. The Lord delivered His words through the prophet Nathan, who severely rebuked the king for his sins.

However, unlike his predecessor, king Saul, David regretted his sins and immediately humbled himself before God, recognising how unworthy he was because of what he has committed. And this made a great difference between him and Saul, and one of the many qualities which made the Lord to be pleased with David, and confirmed him in his role as the king and leader of His people.

Nonetheless, he still committed a serious sin before the Lord, and for that, as the prophet Nathan mentioned, the son born of the relation between David and Bathsheba would die. David implored the Lord and begged Him to spare the life of his son, even to the point of fasting and humbling himself all the more before Him. But God did not relent, for it was just punishment that He had inflicted on David, and the king accepted that fate.

David’s moment of weakness is something truly extraordinary, considering that he was such a faithful servant of God, devoted wholeheartedly to Him, and was exalted by God as His great servant. But we must not forget that David was still a man, just like each and every one of us, and therefore a sinner. All man are susceptible to sin and to fall into temptation, and David did fall in that one occasion and another.

That is a lesson for all of us, that we must be ever vigilant in our lives, that we do not allow the devil any opportunity for him to tempt us or to persuade us by his false promises and persuasions, so that we will be less likely to fall into his trap and sin against God. The Gospel passage today is yet another reminder for this, that we should put our trust in God and not be swayed by the worries of the world.

We heard about the moment when the ship boarded by Jesus and His disciples in the Lake of Galilee was hit by a great storm, with strong winds and waves battering on the ship, threatening to sink the ship. But Jesus remained calm and did not panic, unlike the disciples, who were filled with fear. They could have chosen to abandon the ship and jump into the water in order to save themselves, but thankfully, they did not.

Brethren, do you know that the Church is often portrayed and compared to that of a big ship? The Lord in the ship actually represents Him as the Head of the Church, and all of the disciples in that ship represent all of us who belong to God’s Church. And that storm, the winds and the waves represent the difficulties, challenges and the temptations that many of us have to face day after day, one after another in our respective lives.

But if we abandon the Church and the Lord, just because we think that we can save ourselves, we will end up sinking just as if those disciples were to jump into the water, thinking they could save themselves. If we put our trust in the Lord, He will guide us and protect us, and in the end, even though we had to suffer and face difficulties, we will be triumphant with Him and share His glorious inheritance.

Today, we happen to celebrate the memory of a holy saint and a dedicated virgin, St. Angela Merici, who dedicated her life to the Lord, a renowned educator and founder of a society of like-minded individuals who committed themselves to the education of young Christian girls, especially from those who were poor and did not have the opportunity to have a proper education.

St. Angela Merici and her fellow religious sisters also opened up many schools and orphanages to support their work and mission, caring for many of those who have none to take care of them, and giving them the love which they lacked before. And this should inspire each and every one of us as Christians, to live our lives with faith and commit ourselves to the Lord by our loving actions to one another.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, may the Lord continue to strengthen in us our faith, so that we will always persevere through the many challenges and difficulties in life. May we find our way to the Lord, by our commitment and dedication, following the examples set by our predecessors in faith, especially that of St. Angela Merici and her contributions to the faith and the salvation of many. St. Angela Merici, pray for us. Amen.

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