Saturday, 22 September 2018 : 24th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

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

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the words of the Scripture speaking to us about first of all, the resurrection from the dead as St. Paul explained it in his Epistle to the Corinthians. In that Epistle, he was addressing the concerns and the skepticism shown by quite a few people on the matter of the resurrection from the dead, especially from the Jewish people and the pagans alike.

When St. Paul was in Athens, in another occasion, at the moment when he went to the Areopagus, the place where philosophical debates often took place, he preached about the resurrection of the one True God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who was risen from the dead. And some of the pagan philosophers who were there laughed at St. Paul, mocking him for his belief in the resurrection, while yet, there were also some among them who were intrigued and willing to listen more to what St. Paul was preaching.

And in other cases, some of the people were willing to listen to St. Paul and his fellow disciples of the Lord, as they preached to them the truth about God. There were whole villages and towns, and even those among the influential and powerful members of the society, even among the Romans, who were converted to the true faith. But at the same time, there were also many communities and peoples who rejected the Apostles, and even threw them out out their cities, stoned them and rejected them.

What we heard here were related to what we heard in our Gospel passage today, in which the Lord spoke to His disciples and to the people regarding the parable of the sower. In that famous parable, we heard the Lord speaking about a sower who spread seeds that ended up falling onto several different places, from the roadside, to a rocky ground, to a ground filled with thorns and thistles, and to a rich soil.

In the first example, the seeds that fell on the roadside and got eaten up by the birds represent those who have received the seeds, which represent the word of God, and refused to internalise those words into themselves, and the devil, represented by the birds according to the Lord, went and snatched the word of God and the faith from them. These were the attitudes shown by those who refused to listen to the Apostles and their teachings, such as the Pharisees and some of the pagans who dismissed the Christian faith and truth.

And then, those seeds that fell on the rocky ground, according to the Lord, are those who receive the word of God, listened to them, but they did not allow the word of God, and the faith, to grow deep roots in them. To them, faith is just something that is superficial and even a formality. These are the attitudes shown by the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, who were rebuked by the Lord for their superficial faith and attention on appearances, but not on the genuine, and true faith that encompasses the whole being.

The seeds that fell on the soil with thistles, brambles and thorns, were those who according to the Lord, who could not resist the temptations of the world, the temptations and pressures of human pride, worldly glory, greed and desires. That was why many people rejected the teachings of Christ and His truth, as they closed themselves, their hearts and minds from the truth of God. They would rather continue to live in their current state of sin.

What the Lord wants is truly, for us to be like the rich soil, in which the seeds that fell grew, not just giving back what its worth in weight has, but rather, thirty, sixty, hundredfold and more. This is what will happen, should we be open to God’s truth and words which He wants to speak in our hearts and minds. But are we allowing God to do so? Are we open enough to accept the Lord speaking to us deep within us?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today, let us all reflect on our lives and our attitudes towards living our lives with faith. How have we believed in God all these while? Have we been actively allowing God to speak to us through His messengers, His disciples and all those whom we encounter in our respective lives? If we have not, then perhaps it is time for us to contemplate on what we can do in order to allow God to enter into our hearts and change our lives?

Let us all turn towards the Lord henceforth, devoting ourselves to Him and committing ourselves anew to His cause. Let us allow God to perform His wonderful works through us, for the good and the salvation of all mankind. May God be with us all, and may He bless us in all of our endeavours, now and always. Amen.

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