Tuesday, 18 September 2018 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, the Scripture passages chosen bring us to reflect upon the nature of the Church, its significance and our role as members and partakers of God’s Church and its numerous works and ministries among the people of God in this world.

In the first reading today, St. Paul in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in Corinth spoke of all of us, God’s people, who believe in Him and who have received baptism, the Sacrament through which we have been liberated from our taints of sin, have been made into One Body, the One Body of Christ, the Church.

By baptism, we have been made members of this Church, and have been united to one another, by our Communion with Christ. That is because by our common Baptism, and by our worthy reception of the Lord’s own Most Precious and Holy Body and Blood in the Eucharist, we have become One Body and One Spirit in Christ.

But then, it does not end there, brothers and sisters in Christ. The story of our Christian life and our salvation by God does not end just by our baptism, or by our membership in the Church, or by our faith in God. Rather, it is by our continuing faith and fulfilment of that faith through our concrete and good works that we live a good and exemplary life in God.

Many of us have this misconception, both within and outside the Church, that we are saved by faith alone. No, this is not completely true, as yes, faith is what saved us, but our faith cannot be an empty faith that is meaningless and useless for us. Instead, our faith must be substantiated and proven by our actions, our words and our deeds, through the good works we do, in accordance and guided by our faith.

That is why, as members of the one Body of Christ, the Church, we are called to follow the commandments which God has given us, and the mission which He has entrusted to His Church through His Apostles. As Christians we are called to show true Christian love and compassion to one another, especially to those who are suffering, in pain or those who are experiencing great sorrows.

We are called to be beacons of hope and light for one another, that we may guide each other in our respective journey of life. And we have to do this through our actions, which we do in accordance with God’s will and with how God has taught us to do. But we must also remember that we cannot do everything on our own. We must be able to work together with the other members of the Church, our fellow brethren in faith.

That is because to each one of us, God has given different gifts and talents, each according to our abilities and to how God has intended us to live, and how He created us. St. Paul mentioned this in the same passage taken from the Epistle to the Corinthians, when he told the people, that not everyone can be Apostles, or speak with tongues, or perform miracles and wonders. To each and every one of the disciples were given various and diverse gifts.

This means that in the Church, we cannot exist by ourselves or do everything on our own. Instead, we must learn to work together, making good use of each others’ strengths and learn to help one another in overcoming our respective weaknesses and shortcomings. It is only by good and concerted effort from each of us, members of God’s Church, that many wonderful good works will come to fruition, for the benefit of all those who seek God’s salvation.

Are we able then to strive to work together with our fellow brothers and sisters in faith? Especially for all of us in the Church ministries, we must be able to work together, overcoming whatever grievances, prejudices, misunderstandings, conflicts, gossips, lies, and other obstacles that often appear within our Church groups and establishments. Otherwise, if we allow all of these things to be in the way of our efforts to build a vibrant and evangelising Christian communities, then it will cause much setback for the good works of the Church, many souls can be lost, and the blame will squarely be on us.

This is why, from now on, let us all come to realise the contributions that each one of us can give, for the common good of the Church and all the faithful, in all the talents and gifts that God has given us. Let us all work together, and coming together as a community that prays for each other, that is concerned for the well-being of one another, and that wants to see each and every one of its members to be spiritually filled by God’s love. Let us all turn towards God with a renewed zeal and courage.

May God bless us all, and may He continue to be our Guide, that each and every one of us may be filled with the strong desire to love Him and to love our fellow brethren, through our actions and deeds, and be truly committed and living our lives in accordance with our living and vibrant faith. Amen.

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