Saturday, 9 February 2019 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the loving and wonderful works of God, our Lord and loving Creator, Who has willingly loved each and every one of us, and remained in that love despite of our refusal to believe in Him, our stubbornness and lack of faith. God loves us so much, that He sent us all His greatest gift of all, the perfect manifestation of His everlasting love, that is none other than Jesus Christ, His begotten Son, to be our Saviour.

And today, we are reminded of the Lord Who is our loving Shepherd and Guide, our Teacher and Hope, the One through Whom we have received the truth about God and His saving grace, like light piercing through the great veil of darkness that have occupied us all these while. He came into the world, filled with that burning love and compassion, pitying us for our sufferings, and wanting to show us His generous and rich mercy.

That was what the Gospel passage today showed to us, when the Gospel passage told us how the Lord Jesus and His disciples ministered to the people without cease, and continued to work despite them having insufficient amount of rest and sleep. The Lord Himself told His disciples to get some rest while He continued to teach the people and ministered to them. All of these were possible because of nothing less than the pure love with which God cared for us so tenderly and mercifully, that He still wants to forgive us despite of our stubbornness and rebelliousness.

Although the Lord Jesus Himself must have been tired, but He went on nonetheless, caring for the needs of the people with all of His strength, to be their Guide, Leader and Shepherd. It was mentioned clearly in the Gospel today, how He saw the people all who were like sheep in the flock without a shepherd. Sheep without a shepherd will become lost, and will be in great danger because there are many things out there in the wild that can harm them, like predators and other natural dangers.

That was why the Lord became their Shepherd, loving His people and caring for them, lest they become lost from Him, and fall into the depredations of Satan and all of his wicked allies, the forces of darkness and evil, all those seeking the ruination and damnation of souls of man. And in another occasion in the Gospels, He referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd, as the One Who will stand by His sheep at all times, no matter what circumstances and challenges.

The Good Shepherd gives up His life for His sheep, and this was what the Lord Jesus emphasised to the people to show them just how much He loved each and every one of them, to be their guide and their shield from all those who seek to harm them. And the ultimate expression of this love, is what we have seen in the cross of Christ, when He laid down His own life, bearing the heavy weight and burden of the cross, that each and every one of us may live.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded both of the wonderful love of God, as well as the responsibility and mission to which each and every one of us have been called to, as all those who have heard the word of God and responded to His call to be Christians, as all those who believe in Him and walk in His ways. Just as God Himself has loved us all so greatly, we too are called to show this same love to our fellow men, our brothers and sisters.

Let us all show this love, selfless and pure, to our brothers and sisters who need them, especially those who have no one to love them and to care for them, all those who have been ostracised and cast aside, who are in need, hungry and sick, downtrodden, sorrowful and filled with pain. We should follow the examples of the Lord, by showing the same love and compassion to them, to share with them the wondrous love of God.

May the Lord be with us always, and may He, our Good Shepherd continue to guide us in this path of life, that we may continue to love Him and serve Him despite the challenges and difficulties we have to endure throughout life. Amen.

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