Monday, 5 November 2018 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are all reminded through the words of the Scripture, to be more Christ-like in our actions and deeds in life. We are all called to be more sincere in giving our love and care to our fellow brethren, to show true love to one another, again just as Christ had shown us through His own life and work among us.

In the first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in Philippi, we heard of the Apostle’s very significant words of reminding us of this truth, that all of us must consider others as being more important than ourselves, and for us not to seek our own interests, instead, seeking for the good and interest of others who are present around us.

This is related to what the Lord Jesus mentioned in the Gospel passage today, as He taught the people with a parable, using a feast for example, when the Lord exhorted His disciples to go forth and invite those who were poor and less fortunate, instead of those who were already rich and well-to-do. The Lord’s intention was that in all of our actions we must not place ourselves, our desires and wants to be ahead of our concern for others.

Why is that so? That is because, looking at the situation of the time, the community of the people was one of expectation of satisfaction and personal desire. When someone does something to another person, it is a given that something in return is expected. And often times, people will compare what is being given back in return for what has been given. When someone did not give back what was given, or in equivalent value, then problem would arise.

We grow up and live in a society where we expect to receive something back when we give, and before we even love others, we want others to love us first. All of these in fact, is caused by the greed within our hearts, the desire for worldly comfort and accomplishments, satisfactions and pleasures. By our corrupted human nature, we are affected by this greed and desire inside us.

That is why, as Christians, as those who follow Christ and believe in Him, each and every one of us must distance ourselves from these attitudes and behaviours, which we may be very accustomed with. To be a true Christian would mean first of all, to put God as the first and foremost, the centre and the very focus of our lives, and then to put others before our own selves, and therefore, there can be no room for ego, pride and greed in our hearts.

We mankind often bicker and fight, disagree with one another and even end up hating one another just because we cannot overcome the ego and the greed within each one of us. And that is also why we can see just so many instances of people who suffer because of the tyranny of injustice, when man desires for something and that desires lead to someone to act unjustly and even hurt their fellow brethren.

This is what we cannot do as Christians, as those who believe in Christ and walk in His ways. In fact, we must be ready to stand up for the cause of the weak and the poor, for all those who have been unjustly treated. We also must practice the same with our own lives, with our own actions towards others. How can we call ourselves as Christians if we have been unjust towards our fellow brethren?

Let us look at the example of our Lord Jesus Himself, Who loved us so much, that not only He was willing to forgive us our sins and wickedness, but even to die for us sinners, and bear the sins we have with us upon Himself, that through His suffering and death on the cross, we may have life eternal. He showed us what the true meaning and significance of love is, and He loved us all so greatly that He has done all those things for our sake.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us therefore renew our faith in God and turn towards Him with renewed love, zeal and faith. Let us commit our time, effort and attention to the Lord, and seek to devote ourselves to Him from now on, ever more through our actions in life. Let us be men for others, and show love and concern for those in our midst who are suffering and in need. May the Lord be with us always, and may He continue to guide us in our loving works. Amen.

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