Monday, 1 April 2019 : 4th Week of Lent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture giving us encouragement and strength, with the message of hope in the power of God’s salvation and healing, as all of us come to the loving embrace of God, in the healing that He brought into this world as mentioned in the Gospel passage today, and also in the wonderful vision of the prophet Isaiah, who received from God the assurance of a new Jerusalem, a new place for all the faithful, where no sorrow will exist anymore.

In today’s Gospel passage, we heard the healing of the son of an official, who had been very sick and in a really terrible condition. The official travelled to meet Jesus, Whom has been renowned for His many miracles and healing of the sick people, of all various kinds of diseases and troubles. The official pleaded with the Lord to heal his son, and the Lord saw the faith that the official had in Him and in the power of God.

But take note that Jesus did not go personally to heal the son of the official. He merely said, ‘Go, you son has been healed!’ and the official believed in the words of Jesus and went back home. On his journey home, one of his servants declared that the official’s son has recovered, right at the very moment when the Lord said that his son would be healed. Imagine the joy that the official must have experienced, all because of his faith in God.

In order to appreciate the importance of this event, we must understand and appreciate it in conjunction with what occurred throughout the Gospels, especially when we see the faith that this official had shown, in tandem with the faith of the woman who had haemorrhage, as well as the faith of Jairus, the synagogue official, and the faith of the army centurion, who similarly as the official, believed that even the mere words of Jesus could heal their beloved ones.

And this ought to be contrasted with the attitudes of many of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, who have witnessed many times, the many miracles and wonders that the Lord Jesus had performed before them and the people, and yet refused and failed to believe in the truth that God had made clear and evident before all of them. They have seen all the great wonders that God had performed, but the reality is that, God had no place in their hearts.

That was why they did not believe in God and His works, doubting Him and even challenging, opposing and persecuting all those who believed in His truth and works. They wanted proof again and again from the Lord Jesus, while they have actually seen all the wonders with their own eyes, because the doors of their hearts have been closed to God. No matter what God had done for them, the ego and pride, the ambition and desire that are in them have prevented them from having that important faith in God.

Now, in this time of Lent, all of us are reminded of the healing and salvation that God has brought into our midst, through His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. But in order to be healed, we will need to have faith, like the faith of the official and all the others I have mentioned, those who seek the Lord for healing, mercy and forgiveness for their sins. Healing and forgiveness only comes when we empty ourselves of ego, of pride, of our human ambition and desire, of our stubbornness and attachments to sin.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, each and every one of us must realise that we are suffering now because of our sins, due to our disobedience against God and His will. And no one can free us from the bondage to sin save that of God alone. Now, the question is, are we willing to commit ourselves to the path of God’s mercy and forgiveness? If we are willing to do so, then we need to reconsider how we have lived our lives thus far, and see in what way we can live our lives more meaningfully and more faithfully in accordance to God’s will.

Are we able to put God at the centre of our lives? Are we able to make Him the very reason of our every words, actions and deeds? This will require effort from us to change our way of life, and how we focus our efforts and attentions. If we have once been proud, ambitious, selfish and greedy, let us all now learn humility, selflessness, generosity and charity in all the things we do in life from now on.

May the Lord be with us always, as we continue this journey of life with faith. May He continue to bless us and guide us, that in everything we encounter in life, we will always have the courage to remain true and devoted to Him, in each and every days of our life. May God, our loving Father and our Saviour, be our source of healing and may He forgive us all our sins and wickedness. Amen.

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