Monday, 4 February 2019 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture which related to us about the power of God that He exercises in our world, the salvation which He has given to His people, and which He reminded us through various occasions, how He saved His beloved ones by His mighty power through His servants, as mentioned in the Epistle to the Hebrews, from the days of Moses and the judges of Israel, and then in the Gospel itself we heard the miraculous deed that the Lord Jesus performed as He cast out demons from a man in Gadara region.

We heard of God’s wonderful love and providence for His people, in how He helped all those who have placed their faith in Him. He liberated them from the tyranny and oppression of the Egyptians, the Amalekites, the Canaanites and many others who have became the enemies and oppressors of Israel through the centuries of their stay in the land promised and given to them. He brought them out of their troubles and provided for them, and blessed them.

Then, in the same Epistle to the Hebrews, we heard the mention of all those who have been persecuted and have received oppression and challenges, and yet refused to give in to the demands and pressures from those who sought to destroy them or to subvert them to abandon the Lord. They remained in good faith and committed themselves despite the pains and sufferings, putting their trust in the Lord fully.

The Lord reassured all those who have heard of all these things happening, especially for the early Jewish Christians who were oppressed both by the Jewish authorities and by the Romans and the Gentiles, that He was still with them, providing for them and guarding them despite all the troubles, pains and sorrows that they had to endure. Through the words of the Epistle, the Apostles were bringing this reassurance of God’s promise that He will stand by His people and that ultimately there is nothing, no matter how great, can stand up against God’s power and will.

In the Gospel passage today, we heard how the Lord Jesus cast out from a man who had been ostracised and cast aside from the community because of the numerous multitudes of evil spirits and demons that had possessed him, so many that they called themselves as legion. The Lord showed His might and power by casting out those demons from the man, from whom everyone else had fled. He showed His people, that God’s love and power overcomes everything.

We see how the Lord loves each and every one of us, even those of us who are in the deepest darkness, dirtiest and most tainted by sin. He does not want any one of us, His beloved ones, to suffer the consequences of our unrepented sins, that is, eternal damnation in hell. He Who created us out of love, with His desire to love us and to share the perfect love found in Him with us, certainly wants each and every one of us to be reconciled with Him.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, what is the true significance of today’s Scripture readings to us all? It is the fact that each and every one of us are God’s beloved people, that we should put our complete trust in Him, knowing that He is always ever present in our midst, and standing by us, even in the moments of our greatest sorrow, suffering, agony and pain. God will not abandon us no matter what, and He will always be there. To trust in God is something that we should be doing.

Let us all therefore learn to put our trust in God, and love Him as much as we can, knowing that He has loved us first, with so much love, that He always stands by us, even in our most difficult moments. Let us all be thankful for all the love and grace that He has given to each and every one of us, and strive to do our best in life, to be faithful and to serve the Lord with all of our hearts and strength. Amen.

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