Sunday, 1 July 2018 : Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this Sunday, we listened to the Scriptures telling us first of all from the Book of Wisdom, on how God was all good, and had every good intentions, including when He created us mankind. He did not intend for us to be created and then perish or be destroyed. Yet, how come is it that, then something like hell and eternal damnation exist?

Hell and eternal damnation in it did not come from God, and it was not because God wanted to punish or condemn us that many of us mankind ended up falling into hell. Rather, hell, in truth, is the state of total and complete separation from the love and grace of God. Hell is the product of our own sins and disobedience, which caused us to be separated from God. And in time, when we continue to sin and refuse to turn away from those sins, we fall into hell.

Hell is the product of constant and conscious rejection of God’s generous mercy, which He continuously offers us, without end, to the moment when we draw our last breath and meet death at the end of our earthly journey. That is when we will meet our particular judgment, every single one of us, who will be judged to go to heaven, or to purgatory, or to hell based on what our lives had been before God.

For those who have disobeyed the Lord, and refused His love and mercy, an eternity in hell is likely to be the fate awaiting the souls condemned to it. The Lord did not want to make us to suffer that fate, but our own pride, ego, greed, all of the obstacles and temptations that made us fall, caused us to sin, and when the sins were repeated and grew in number, our own folly led us into hell.

Those who are righteous shall enter into heaven, by God’s judgement, while those who are still burdened by some taints of sin will go to purgatory, where by the teachings of our faith we believe that the souls of the virtuous will be purified from the taints of their sins, and will then be worthy, in good time, to rejoice and be reunited fully with God for eternity.

Ultimately, after we have discussed about what is to happen after we encounter death, all of us have to realise that while our earthly lives and existence are limited and temporary in nature, but our souls are eternal. Naturally, we want ourselves to be blessed by God and enjoy forever the gift and the grace which God had prepared for all of those who remain faithful to Him.

However, we have been hindered because of our sins, as mentioned earlier. Sin is a terrible corruption of our heart, mind, soul and indeed, the whole being, which is a sickness that is slowly eating up on us. Normally, sin would have brought us down and would have destroyed us, but, fortunately, all of us have a great hope, which has been revealed to us, in Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour.

In the Gospel passage today, two people came to the Lord, seeking for help and assistance, seeing that nothing else could have helped them. One was the woman who had a terrible haemorrhage or bleeding issue, and the other was Jairus, the synagogue official, whose daughter was very sick and dying. Both of them came to the Lord with faith, knowing that He could cure whatever affliction they asked Him to cure.

Now, how many of us actually act in the same manner as the two of them? How many of us actually go out of our way seeking the Lord to be healed from our afflictions? How many of us humbled ourselves, recognising ourselves as sinners and as those who have fallen into sin and cast out from the grace of God? Many of us were not able to do so, because we were too proud in our hearts and too enclosed in our minds to admit that we need God and His help.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, God alone is our help and our source of salvation. He alone has the power and ability to heal us from the sickness of our soul, that is our sins. And He wanted us to be healed, just as He said, that He came into this world, looking for those who are in need of healing and conversion. But sadly, the fact is that, many of those whom the Lord has come for, rejected Him and scorned Him, as they would rather seek solace in worldly comfort rather than seeking God’s ways and truth.

As St. Paul had said in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth, the Lord had made Himself poor so that through that poverty, we may have a share in His richness. And how did He do that? It is through none other and nothing less than the ultimate sacrifice He bore for our sake, by His crucifixion, death and later on, resurrection. He has emptied Himself so completely and surrendered everything so completely, because of His infinite and great love for us.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, are we willing to embrace God’s love and accept the generous offer of mercy and forgiveness which He has extended freely to us? Through the cross, the Lord has given us all a new hope, the hope of healing from sin and all the wickedness and obstacles that had prevented us thus far, from reaching out to the Lord and His salvation.

May the Lord awaken in our hearts, the spirit of humility and the desire to love Him, so that each and every one of us may come to be drawn by His everlasting mercy, compassion and tender love. May He continue to guide us in our journey, so that all of us will eventually find our way to His salvation, and receive from Him the crown of everlasting glory, having been healed from the corruption of our sins. May God bless us all, and all of our endeavours, now and always. Amen.

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