Saturday, 27 October 2018 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

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

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day from the Scriptures we heard about the gifts that God has given to us all Christians, the gift that He has blessed us with, and which all of us have, in our own distinct gifts and talents, some of which we may have discovered and nurtured, and there are still probably more that we have not yet realised yet. These gifts are God’s gifts for us, which is meant for one purpose, that is for us to bring glory to God.

And how do we do so? How do we bring glory to God? It is by doing what the Lord wants us to do, that is by obedience to His will. Those gifts that God has given us, are meant for us to be used for the greater glory of God through our own actions, as we are ultimately, God’s creations. And when God’s creations are glorified, God too, is glorified. And when we use these gifts for the benefit of one another, fellow brethren in Christ, then we also bring glory to God.

However, unfortunately, many of us have not been able to make use of these gifts for the right purposes and for the right intentions, as we have been influenced and corrupted by sin. All of us are sinners, and that is the reality that affects every single one of us, without exception. Our disobedience against God has caused us to sin, and because of that, we have also allowed our gifts to be ignored, misused or abandoned.

We have made use of our gifts, our abilities, our power and talents for the wrong purpose in many occasions, causing suffering, pain and injustice for others, for our fellow brothers and sisters, all for the sake of satisfying our own personal ambitions, glory and human achievements. That is why, through sin, we are making use of what God has given us, in the wrong manner and in the wrong occasion and for the wrong purpose.

In the Gospel today, we heard of the Lord Jesus Who spoke to the people about what happened at that time, when conflict arose between the Romans and the Galileans, as the latter were killed in the Temple of God, and their blood spilt in that holy place. And it was also mentioned about the accident that happened in the fall of the tower of Siloah. The Lord mentioned how those people who died in such a tragic manner, they did not die because of their greater guilt as compared to those others who did not meet their end in such a way.

Rather, death is a natural end point and consequence for our earthly lives and existences. And death exists because of our disobedience against God and refusal to do His will, which led us to sin. Death is the sting of sin against us, and death is the ending of life as we know it, as it is the gift of life which God has given us, and unless we make good use of this precious gift of life, then the Lord had already forewarned us, that our lot will be that of eternal death, that is hell.

God gives us many gifts and blessings, which we are expected to use in our lives, for the benefit of our fellow brothers and sisters. And this is mentioned in the Gospel passage today by the Lord’s use of the parable of the fig tree and its fruits. The fig tree is in fact a representation of each and every one of us, mankind, who have been given the ability to bear fruits, that is the fruits of the blossoming of the gifts that God has given each one of us.

But if that fig tree was barren and without fruit, then there is no reason for the tree to remain in existence or to be placed on the fertile ground, since that fig tree is essentially useless, not being capable of producing good fruits even though it has been given much in the way of nutrients, provisions and good care. The master of the garden wanted the fig tree to be uprooted and cast out, but the gardener asked for one last chance to be given to the fig tree.

If that fig tree bears fruit, then it will be spared. Otherwise, it will be uprooted and destroyed should it remain barren. This is a reminder for us that we should also bear fruit in our own respective lives, the good fruits of the Lord’s will, through our love for Him and for our fellow men, through our compassion and charity, through our wise ways and understanding of our faith. If our fruits are wicked and bad, because of our sins and continued disobedience against God, then we too shall perish.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, each and every one of us have been given the opportunities in our respective lives, by the Lord, Who wants us to grow well in faith and to bear good fruits of the Holy Spirit, and not the wicked fruits of sin and evil. That is why, all of us must realise this fact and take action, or otherwise, we will end up caught unawares and unprepared, when the Lord suddenly calls us back to His presence, at the time of His own determination.

Let us not waste any more time, brothers and sisters in Christ, or assume that we have plenty of time. At any time, we may be called by God to give an account of our own lives, and should we fail to be true and worthy to Him, then we will suffer nothing less than an eternity of suffering in hell, prepared for those who have not produced the good fruits of love, compassion, hope, justice and integrity, but the wicked fruits of pride, sloth, greed, hatred, jealousy and evil, such as Satan and his fellow fallen angels.

May the Lord be our Help and Guide, and may He continue to lead us to Himself, that each and every one of us may find our way to Him, and not be lost amidst the sway of temptations and allures of the devil and the challenges we face in this life in this world. May we come to bear good fruits of our faith, and be worthy of God’s grace and everlasting life in Him. Amen.

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