Thursday, 7 February 2019 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the word of God in the Scriptures reminding each and every one of us of the mission which we have been given by the Lord, as mentioned in the first reading and the Gospel passage today. We heard of the moment when the Lord sent His disciples, seventy-two of them in total, ahead of Him on the journey to prepare the way for His coming and for His teaching among the people.

Those disciples were sent to reach out to the people to whom the Lord Himself was about to minister, to prepare the hearts and minds of the people that they may be receptive to God’s truth and salvation that were about to come into their midst. They were like the farmers who tilled the land and prepared it, softening it with the hoe, in order to increase the fertility of the soil, that when the seeds are sown, they will grow far better and produce much more crops.

Through all that we have heard especially in our Gospel passage today, we are reminded of the role which the Church is taking upon in our world today, that is to be the medium by which God exercised His power in this world, delivering His truth and love to all mankind, to bring the truth of God’s salvation and love especially to all those who have yet to hear and know of what God has made available to all.

Yet, this task that the Lord has entrusted upon His Church and commanded His disciples and followers to do, is not an easy one, for there are plenty of challenges and difficulties that are present in our journey, as the Lord Himself has warned His disciples, that they would encounter many challenges and opposition, and there would be instances when the people and the communities they were sent to, would reject them and refuse to listen to the message that they brought with them.

This is not surprising because some of the people have closed their hearts and minds, their senses to the truth of God, for various reasons. Some of them were proud and filled with ego, and thus refused to listen to the truth of God because they thought that there was no way that they could have been mistaken in their way of thinking and in their action. Thus they turned against the Lord and His teachings, even persecuting Him and His disciples.

That is the reality of the challenges and difficulties that we may encounter if we choose to follow the Lord and walk in His path. But should these challenges then deter us from following Him and having faith in Him? They should not. God gives us His reassurance, that whoever has dedicated themselves to Him and does his or her best to serve and love Him, those shall not be disappointed, for God always fulfils His words and promises.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, the question that awaits us is that, are we willing to dedicate ourselves to walk down the path that the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord had walked, looking at the examples of all those holy men and women who had gone before us. Many of them were persecuted and had to endure all sorts of troubles and challenges, but because of their determination and commitment, many souls of the faithful had been saved from certain damnation.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we as the members of the Church must play our part to obey God’s will and to listen to His commandments. And we must also have within each one of us, the desire to love God and to serve Him, by the selfless giving of ourselves, just as Christ Himself has shown us, and not be swayed by worldly temptations of power, ambition, greed, selfishness, material well-being and excesses and more.

Let us all renew our faith and commitment to God, from now on, that we may be worthy and be willing to follow the calling that the Lord has given to us, and walk down the same path on which the holy Apostles and disciples of the Lord had walked before. Let us all be exemplary in how we live our faith, and devote ourselves ever more to the Lord with each and every passing days. May God be with us always, and may He bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

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