Thursday, 23 May 2019 : 5th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture reminding us of the commandments of God that He has presented to us and commanded us to do, that is to be the bearers of love, in all the things we say and do, so that towards our fellow men, our brothers and sisters we will always act with charity, with care and compassion to each other, putting best interests of each other at the forefront of our minds.

In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we heard the continuation of the passage from yesterday’s set of Scripture passages, in which we heard about the bitter division and conflict between the disciples of the Lord, among those who wanted to impose the whole strict observation of the laws of Moses to the rest of the believers and those who wanted to excuse the non-Jewish believers from the strict and tough observation of those laws.

And the Apostles, led by St. Peter mediated the situation, and made all of the faithful to come to a peaceful and harmonious conclusion, in which everyone agreed to a collaborated decision not to enforce the whole strict observation of the laws of Moses to the whole body of the Christian faithful, as long as everyone observed the central tenets of the Christian faith, essentially centred and focused on the commandments that God had given to His people, the commandments of love.

First of all, the laws of Moses itself were founded upon the same foundation, as God has revealed not a different but in fact the same Law through Moses, although imperfect in nature and revelation. The Ten Commandments that God gave to His people through Moses as the Lord Jesus Himself said, could be summarised into the fully revealed commandments that Christ Himself bestowed upon us, that is the love for God and the same love that we need to show our fellow men.

All the whole laws and rules, regulations and customs, practices and actions required by the laws of Moses ultimately stemmed from this core and essential commandment of love. But over time, the practice and the external appearances of these rules and regulations took more and greater importance than the essence and heart of the Law itself, that is love.

Those people who wanted to impose the harsh fullness of the laws of Moses on all the believers wanted to do so because they put the appearances and external applications of the Law over the true obedience and adherence to the Law of God, the Law of love. They have forgotten than God does not seek or desire all those external appellations and excessive showcasing of one’s faith, if love is not present in each and every actions they did.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, now each and every one of us as Christians are also called to reflect on our own lives. Have we been truly bearers of God’s love in our lives, through our every actions, words and deeds? Have we committed ourselves in everything to follow the will of God and to be filled with love in all things, in all that we do and in our every actions? Have we been living our lives thus far with real and genuine faith or have we instead been living our lives lacking in faith?

If we have thus far only obey the Lord externally and not inwardly, meaning that we have followed the rules and precepts of the Church, in attending the Holy Mass and doing what we have been commanded to do, and yet in our hearts God is not truly present, as shown by the lack of genuine love in our lives, then perhaps it is time for us to reevaluate our lives and actions from now on.

Let us all turn towards God with love, and let us all commit ourselves anew to Him with a new courage and commitment to love Him each and every days of our lives, and show the same love towards our fellow brethren. May God bless us and all of our endeavours. Amen.

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