Friday, 1 February 2019 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the word of God reminding each and every one of us that we must be obedient to the will of God, be patient while living our lives in faith for while we may encounter plenty of challenges and difficulties along the way, but in the end, our patience in faith will bear rich fruits, from which we shall receive just rewards from God for all of our commitment and devotion to Him.

In today’s Scripture passages, God speaks to us by the means of parables, in which through Jesus Christ, He revealed to us what the kingdom of God is like, which He compared to a growing mustard seed and like that of seeds being sown in fertile and rich soil, growing into a healthy and good, fruitful plant. All of these are reminders for us all to be patient in faith, as all those who have grown a plant before would have known, how it takes a lot of time and effort before a plant can grow into its full maturity.

In the first reading today, from the Epistle of the Hebrews, the faithful Jewish Christians in the early Church were encouraged and reminded of the good deeds that they have done in faith, despite all sorts of persecutions and challenges that they had to endure. They were encouraged to continue the good deeds and the love that they had shown to one another, and even though persecutions would continue, but God will reward their faith in the end.

In what we have heard from our first reading passage and the Gospel passage today, we are all reminded that our faith is one that needs to be practiced and lived with all of our hearts and minds, with all of our efforts and strength. It is not enough for us just to claim our Christian faith and belief, and yet doing nothing to fulfil God’s will and do what He has asked and commanded us to do as His followers and disciples.

Yet, it is often that many of us Christians are unaware of what we have to do in our own respective lives, in living up to our faith. Many of us are ignorant and complacent of the demands and requirements of our Christian faith, to live out what we believe in our lives, through what we say and do, and by all of our actions and deeds. Many of us often do not realise the importance of living our faith as we should have, and many of us do not have the patience to follow the Lord and obey Him as we should have.

Many of us seek quick fixes and shortcuts, preferring path with lesser challenges and difficulties. But this is where we can easily end up falling into the traps prepared for us by the devil, who is always ready to strike at us just as how plants can be easily struck down by various unfortunate events as they grow from a small seed into a fully grown plant. The devil often strikes at us with temptations and persuasions meant to distract us and to lure us away from God’s salvation.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are called to reflect on our own lives. How have we lived our lives thus far? Have we been obedient to the Lord and live up to what we have faith and belief in? Or have we instead chosen to follow the false ways of Satan and his fellow tempters and wicked spirits? We are called to discern on how we have our lives so that we may know how to progress in our respective lives from now on.

Let us all understand of what we need to do in our own lives as Christians, which often does not require us to start with a great and difficult venture. It all boils down to the appreciation of our faith in our daily living, in our every actions, in every words we say to one another, that we show the good examples of our faith, and how we can convince others of this faith that we have. Indeed, as mentioned earlier, there will be challenges and inconveniences, difficulties and troubles that inevitably will come our way, but this should not discourage us from trying our best to live our lives as we should, in accordance to the ways of the Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us turn ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord from now on, loving Him and loving one another to the best of our abilities. Let us devote our attention and effort to serve Him at all times, now and forevermore. Amen.

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