Monday, 26 November 2018 : 34th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the words of God through the Scriptures in which we heard about those who have given their all in the service of God, devoting their whole lives to God. We have heard from our first reading today from the Book of Revelations of St. John, of the great multitude of people, numbering a hundred and forty-four thousand, likely a symbolic way to represent a vast multitude of people who have suffered for the Lord’s sake and remained faithful to Him.

This is what the many faithful people of God had to endure, in living their lives faithfully for the sake of the Lord, remaining upright and true to their faith despite the persecutions and oppressions that they had to endure. They were subjected to different kinds of harassment, difficulties, challenges and oppositions, and yet, they remained true to God. Many of them suffered martyrdom for the sake of the Lord.

We may be wondering what actually gives these people the strength and the courage to do so. Then we need to also understand what the Lord said in the Gospel passage today, when He and His disciples saw a poor widow putting in merely two small coins into the Temple treasury as a donation. The rich and the powerful in the community put in a lot of money and wealth into the donation box, sometimes and likely even making a scene of their actions as signs of piety.

The Lord said that while those who were rich and mighty gave from their plenty, the poor widow gave from whatever she had even for her own living. Those two small coins could have gotten her food and sustenance for herself. In fact, those coins might not even have been enough to sustain her for even the day’s efforts and living, and yet, the widow still gave her very best to the Lord regardless. But why is that so?

That is because, brothers and sisters in Christ, she has faith in God and placed her trust in Him alone. Just as the vast multitude of saints and holy people that St. John saw in his apocalyptic vision of heaven and the end times, all of those multitudes of people have trusted in God and allowed Him to guide their way of life, their direction in life, and their actions and deeds, to withstand even the harshest and the most difficult of persecutions.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, the question that we need to ask ourselves is if we are able to give of ourselves and dedicate ourselves to God in the same manner as those holy men and women had done, and as the poor widow had so selflessly shown before all of us. Are we able to let go of the barriers and obstacles, of pride, of ego and our human desires and greed, which often had kept us from being able to find our way to the Lord?

Are we able to turn away from the worldliness of our time, the excesses of the pleasures of the body and the flesh, the lust of our generation, and all the other wicked temptations present in our midst, in this time and age? These are all instruments and methods through which Satan is actively trying to bring about our downfall and destruction. But many of us do not realise this, and many of us are oblivious to the fact of how just sinful we are in the sight of God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today, let us all reaffirm our faith in the Lord, and find ways in which we can dedicate ourselves to Him ever more, and put our trust in Him completely, just as our holy predecessors and the poor widow have shown us. May the Lord continue to guide us and watch over us, that we will continue to grow stronger in faith and remain true to Him despite all the challenges we may encounter in life. Amen.

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