Saturday, 16 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 speaking to us about the love which God has for us all, His beloved people, despite of all of our disobedience and sins against Him. He still loved us all regardless, although our sins and wickedness have indeed caused Him great sorrow and anger. He is still willing to give us all chance, one after another, to allow us to be reconciled with Him and to return to His loving embrace.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the first reading today from the Book of Genesis showed us the downfall of man, the moment when men fell into the trap set against them bu Satan, who sought our mutual destruction with him and his fellow fallen angels. Satan tempted our ancestors to sin against God, tapping into our worldly desires and our vulnerabilities to pride, ego and all sorts of worldly thoughts that ended up causing us to disobey God, much as our ancestors had done.

The fruits of disobedience is sin, and sin caused us to be separated from God, as sin is a corruption upon our beings, a disease that is slowly eating upon our souls and our existences. And because sin is by nature wicked and evil, those who have sin in them have no place before God, and God Who is all good and perfect will not allow sin to exist before Him. In fact, unrepentant sinners will suffer grievously because of their own sins, which brought about their damnation before God.

There is therefore a massive chasm separating us from God, and this chasm is sin, as well as its consequence, that is death. And the fate awaiting us all sinners is eternal death, total separation from God for eternity, and this is the same as for us to endure an eternity of suffering, despair, unhappiness and loneliness, as we have been sundered from the source of all life and love, God Himself. Without Him, we are truly nothing, and our existence is totally meaningless.

Is that the fate that God wanted us to endure for eternity? Certainly that is not the case. God loved each and every one of us when He created us. He gave us life and the gift of His love. As a result, it is not in God’s will and intention for us to suffer because of our sins, and that was why, He promised to us all the salvation which He was to send into this world, through none other than Christ, His own beloved Son, by Whose actions we have been saved.

Through our Lord Jesus, the love of God had been made manifest in this world in the flesh, and in the Gospel passage today, He showed the love and mercy by which He desired all of His loved ones to be reunited with Him. He saw all the people who followed Him, desiring to be healed from their many afflictions, and to hear His teachings, many of them from sinful backgrounds, desiring to be forgiven from their mistakes and sins. And the Lord cared for them, spiritually as well as physically.

The Lord did so when He saw all of them being hungry, after following Him for so many days. He miraculously multiplied the seven loaves of bread into food enough to feed four thousand men assembled, together with many thousands more of women and children. After He had fed the people and they were all full, He continued to teach them and to perform His miracles and healings among them.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, through all these, we can see how God loves each and every one of us, and how He desires for us all to be reconciled to Him. He has given all of us opportunities, again and again, for us to abandon our ways of sin, and to seek Him and His generous mercy. But are we willing to accept His offer of mercy? If we are willing to do so, then just as those people who went to follow the Lord for many days, suffering from hunger and other things during their journey, we too have to endure sufferings and difficulties at times as well.

Let us all therefore turn towards God, and entrust ourselves to His loving mercy and compassion. May the Lord guide us all, and may He continue to love us as He has always been, and draw us all closer to Himself. Amen.

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