Tuesday, 17 July 2018 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day the Scriptures mentioned to us first of all, God’s assurance to His people in the kingdom of Judah, led by king Ahaz that He would be with them regardless of the opposition and troubles that they were facing at the time. At that time there were many enemies rising up against Judah, composed of the kingdom of Aram and the northern kingdom of Israel. The two kingdoms have allied themselves in a plot to destroy Judah.

The people had no faith in God, as they have often disobeyed Him and worshipped pagan idols and gods instead of worshipping Him. All of these they have done, despite the fact that God had performed so many good deeds and miracles among the people. He had delivered them from the hands of their former Egyptian masters who enslaved the Israelites for many years, and the enemies of Israel, such as the Amalekites, Philistines and many others were defeated by God’s might.

They did not have a faith that lasted a long time, and their lukewarm attitude and preoccupation in worldly matters ended up tempting them to walk away from the path which the Lord had shown them. That is because their hearts were filled not with love and desire to love God, but instead with pride, with selfishness and all sorts of wickedness that prevented them from being truly faithful.

In the Gospel passage today, the same problems were faced by the Lord Jesus, Our God and Saviour, Who went to His people in various parts of Galilee, performing miracles and many good works before the people. He healed the sick, including the mother of St. Peter among them, opened the eyes of the blind, loosened the tongues of the mute and opened the ears of the deaf. He even raised people back from the dead, as He had done with the daughter of Jairus, the son of the widow of Naim and many more.

Despite all of these obvious signs, many of the people still refused to listen to the Lord or to believe in Him. They doubted Him and presumed to know Him, especially those who have known Him in Nazareth and having seen Him growing up in their midst, and therefore, assuming that He could not have performed all those miraculous deeds on His own, and doubting Him.

They failed to believe in Him, because they were too focused on the things of this world, and view everything from the perspective of the world. They allowed themselves to be swayed by the falsehoods and all the lies which Satan placed in their hearts to make them doubt and to harden their hearts and minds against the Lord Who tried to speak to them and to show them the truth.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, having heard of the accounts from the Scriptures telling us both of what happened during the years of the Old Testament, and during the time when the Lord Jesus performed His earthly ministry, all of us are called to reflect on our own attitude in life and how we have lived our lives thus far. Have we been faithful to the Lord, or have we instead lived our lives in our own way?

We are often too preoccupied in our respective, busy lives, filled with many concerns and desired of worldly nature, which prevent us from listening to the Lord calling us to Him, and which distract us from the path which we ought to take in our journey towards Him. That is why so many of us failed to respond to God’s call, and walked the same path as those who have disobeyed the Lord in the past.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, are we going to continue this attitude in life? Are we going to continue to live in sin and refuse to follow the Lord just because we think that we know what is better for us? Let us all today learn to be humble, that first and foremost, we must place God at the centre of our lives, as our focus and priority, and know that not everything in this world is about us.

And we have to learn to quieten ourselves, in our minds and in our hearts, so that we can find out better what it is that the Lord wants us to do in our own respective lives. This is why it is so important that all of us as Christians must know how to pray, and pray with the correct intention and faith. By having an active and vibrant prayer life, we can then better resist the temptations to sin and know better God’s will and love for us.

May the Lord be with us and be our Guide, that throughout our struggles and journey in life, and despite the challenges and tribulations that come our way, we will always remain strong and resolute in our faith and dedication to God. Let us all strive with a renewed faith, day after day, to be ever more faithful to the Lord in our lives. Amen.

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