Tuesday, 12 February 2019 : 5th 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 reminding us all about the obligations that each and every one of us ought to have for the Lord, our loving Father and Creator, the One Who has created everything that are within this existence and universe. In the first reading today, we heard from the Book of Genesis, the continuation of yesterday’s account on the creation of the world by the Lord, culminating with the creation of all those whom God has created in His own image, that is all of us mankind.

He created each and every one of us out of love, because He wants to share the perfect and boundless love present within Himself, for He is love Himself. He did not create us to cause us to be troubled and enslaved unnecessarily to man-made laws and regulations that did not have their roots in God’s divine Law. The Law of God is perfect and filled with love, and it is a delight for us all to follow His Law.

Unfortunately, as what the society of the Israelites had experienced during the time of the Lord, there was the societal elite in the form of the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law, all those who held the knowledge of the Torah, that is the Scriptures and the Law, those who held the influence and power within the community, all of those who guided and led the people of God with their laws and rules, regulations and enforcements. And they enforced laws and rules that were unfortunately against the true meaning and intention of the Law of God.

The Lord criticised the way that those leaders had followed and enforced the rules and demanded the people to obey what they have imposed to the people. They imposed a very strict and rigid interpretation of the Law, and instead of truly understanding the significance and importance of the Law that God has given us, they took to nitpick the details of the Law and enforced them as external profession of faith.

That was why many among the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law were not internally oriented correctly towards the Lord in their way of life and in their actions. Outwardly they might appear to be faithful and committed, exemplary in their prayerful life and deeds, but as the Lord Jesus Himself rebukingly pointed out to the people, that those people did so because of the desire to glorify themselves and to gain influence and worldly approval.

And they allowed, as mentioned in the Gospel passage today, the people to overrule the precepts of the commandments and the Law, with regards to care for the family and parents, as well as in matters of marriage and in offering sacrificial offerings, to the point that it invalidated the whole meaning and intention of the Law. They did this with certain arrangements that brought about profit and advantage to the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law and the priests involved.

That was why the Lord was often critical at those people, who have not only misunderstood the Law of God and its application, but even worse still, manipulated the Law for their own advantage and personal ambitions and desires, and misguided the people into the wrong path. They showed each and every one of us, the path that we must not take, in our journey towards becoming a better and more faithful servant of God.

Instead, brothers and sisters in Christ, we should grow stronger in our love for God, and place Him at the centre and as the main and sole focus of our life’s attention. Everything that we say, we act and we do in this world should be aimed for the greater glory of God, and in everything we do, we should show our love for God, by truly spending quality time with Him, and more importantly, by listening to Him and knowing what it is that He has called each and every one of us to do in our respective lives.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today let us all renew our commitment and our desire to love God through our actions, words and deeds. He Who loved each and every one of us created us with love, so that we may share in His love. Let us therefore share that love which God has given us, with one another, so that all of us will grow stronger in love, be more gentle towards our fellow brethren, and grow more caring and compassionate, especially when we see our brethren who are in need of help.

May the Lord continue to sow in us, the seeds of His love, that He may continue to help us to grow better in faith, in our love for Him and in our fellow men, so that day after day, each one of us may grow ever closer to Him, and in time to come, we will be worthy to receive the eternal and true glory that He has promised us all who have been faithful to Him. May God bless us all, in all of our works and endeavours. Amen.

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