Saturday, 12 January 2019 : Saturday after the Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the story in the Gospel passage, of the exchange between St. John the Baptist and his disciples, as they discussed about the actions of the Lord Jesus, Whom at that time was rising in popularity, having begun His ministry in this world after His own baptism by St. John the Baptist. The disciples of St. John the Baptist were wary and concerned that their own master was being eclipsed in importance and prestige by this seemingly new Teacher and Prophet.

But St. John the Baptist said in all humility before all of them, acknowledging that although he might be decreasing in importance, but more importantly is that the Lord, his Master, of Whom he had spoken, was rising in importance. As the servant of God, he had done all that he could do and was called to do, in order to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord’s Saviour. And now that the Saviour has finally come and revealed Himself, his struggles and hard works were coming to an end.

St. John the Baptist could have been angry and jealous at the apparent competition from the Lord Jesus, had his intentions and desires in serving the Lord be one that was selfish and wrong. Instead, he humbled himself and fulfilled what the Lord had commanded him to do, preparing the path and making the way of the Lord straight. He trusted in God and His will, and devoted himself to serve the intentions of God, that is the salvation of mankind.

What is important was not personal ambitions or desires, but instead, the spiritual well-being and the salvation of all those who have fallen into the pit of sin. St. John the Baptist knew this very well, as he called those multitudes of people to repentance, constantly reminding them of the imminent coming of the kingdom of God. To him, what matters was not that of popularity or worldly glory and praise, but rather, that God’s people turn their hearts once again towards Him that they may be saved.

And then, just as St. John the Baptist had done, the Lord Jesus also devoted Himself to the mission entrusted to Him by His heavenly Father, that is the salvation of all of God’s people. He did not do all the things for personal glory, or fame, or ambition, but instead for the greater glory of His Father, and for the good of all those to whom He has been sent, all those whom His Father has bestowed on Him to shepherd.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, thus this is what each and every one of us as Christians are expected to do, in following the good examples set by Our Lord and Saviour Himself, and by His servant, the faithful St. John the Baptist. We ought to be humble, be selfless and be obedient in all of our daily dealings and actions, not aiming to satisfy our own ego, ambition and selfish desires, but instead, putting our faith, trust and focus on God and God alone.

Each and every one of us as Christians have this important obligation, to be faithful to God, and then to propagate this faith in our own communities. We are called to be role models for our fellow brethren, by our own faithful actions in life, imitating rightly what the saints had done, and walking in the footsteps of the Lord Himself. After all, brothers and sisters in Christ, we must remember that God gave everything for us, even to the point of suffering unimaginable pain and suffering, and dying for us on the cross.

Let us therefore discover a new purpose in our life, that is to love and serve God, by everything we say and do, and by our every actions in life. May the Lord be with us always, and may He continue to show us His loving and compassionate mercy, each and every days of our life. May He bring us ever closer to Him, so that we may grow deeper in our faith, and remove from ourselves, all sorts of ego, ambition, pride and hubris. May God bless us all, now and always. Amen.