Friday, 31 August 2018 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the readings of the Scriptures again reminding us the importance for us to listen to God and to trust in His will and obey His commandments, for His ways and wisdom are far greater than the very greatest of our wisdom and intellect, and no human achievement is indeed possible without God’s blessings.

In the first reading today taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth, we heard of St. Paul speaking of the truth which the Lord had brought to His people, His wisdom which has been revealed to the whole world. And he pointed out how there were those who refused to listen to the Lord or shutting themselves off from the truth simply because they could not get rid of their pride and arrogance.

And this is related to what we heard in today’s Gospel passage, where we heard the Lord Jesus teaching His disciples by the means of a parable. He spoke to them about the parable of the five wise women and the five foolish women, comparing them to the comparison between the wisdom of men and the wisdom of God. The five foolish women represented those who put their trust in human wisdom and refused to obey God’s truth and wisdom.

Meanwhile the five wise women represented all those who trusted in the Lord and obeyed Him. Those who were wise were prepared for the coming of the bridegroom who was delayed in coming, while the ones who were foolish were caught unprepared by the delay and were not ready when the bridegroom suddenly came in the middle of the night. This is actually a reminder of how fleeting and impermanent our human existence is.

How is that so? First of all, many of us live our lives in this world with the intention to satisfy our own desires and wants. We live our lives seeking for things that make us happy such as having more money, more material goods, more prestige, fame, glory and other parameters of ‘success’ as defined by the world.

And quite a few among us were obsessed with attaining more and more of those indicators of worldly success and to satisfy our ever growing desire. We must know, brethren, that we mankind are very difficult to satisfy with any sorts of worldly goodness and temptations, for the more that we have and gained, the more it is that we desire, for even more of what we have gained.

We must remember, brothers and sisters in Christ, that it does not matter how much money we accumulate, or how much prestige and fame we gather in the community and the society, or how many possessions and things we have with us, but none of these will matter when we are called to face the day of reckoning, when we encounter the moment of our death as the Lord willed it.

All of us spend much of our time trying to enrich ourselves in various ways, and to gather for ourselves as many worldly satisfactions as we could gather. But in the end, none of these could give us the chance to live even a moment longer than the time given to us by the Lord. And in the end of it all, many of us would come to regret that we have not done what we should have done, and instead, falling into temptation, we sinned against God and disobeyed Him.

As a result, many have fallen into damnation out of our inability to resist the many temptations the devil has prepared against us, and out of our own lack of commitment to the Lord, as well as our lack of preparation, that we are caught unprepared when the time comes for each one of us to give an account of what we have done and what we have failed to do in our respective lives.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, having heard our Scripture passages today, let us all spend some time to reflect on each and every one of our lives today. Let us all think of how we can improve our lives by living them more closely attuned with the Lord, and by devoting ourselves ever more to the Lord, Our God. Let us all seek to be more faithful, from now on, by truly living up to our faith in each and every action we do.

May the Lord strengthen us in our faith and affirm us in our commitment to live each and every day of our lives with us all being ever ready and ever prepared whenever it is the Lord wants to call us to Himself. We are called to be holy just as Our Lord is holy. Therefore, let us from now on be true Christians, filled with God’s love and faith. Let us all put our complete trust in Him and not in our worldly strengths. May God bless us all. Amen.

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