Tuesday, 4 June 2019 : 7th 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 speaking to us about the glorification of God by the works of the Lord Jesus and His Apostles, who fulfilled the many wonderful works that God had planned for the salvation of His beloved people. The Lord Jesus prayed to His heavenly Father in our Gospel passage today, in continuation of the Scriptural discourses of the past few weekdays on prayer.

And in today’s portion as mentioned, the Lord Jesus spoke of the glorification of God as the Son of God would soon glorify the Father by what He was about to do, in perfect obedience and following what the Lord has willed, that for the salvation of the world, the Son of God and Saviour of the world had to suffer, to bear the pains of the Cross which are the suffering and the burden of the sins of mankind.

Yet, it was precisely by humbling Himself so completely and by obeying His Father’s will so completely that the Lord Jesus accomplished exactly what the Lord has planned for the salvation of His people. The Lord Jesus took up willingly the heavy burden of the Cross so that by His humble obedience, He might reverse the damage and harm that sin had done to each and every one of us, and glorify God in all things.

Perhaps we will be better able to appreciate all these if we understand them in the context of how we mankind fell into sin in the first place. All creation, including Adam and Eve, the first of mankind were created without blame or blemish, and sin once did not have any hold over them. But temptation got the better of them and caused them to disobey God’s commands and will, and sin therefore entered into the hearts and minds of man, corrupting them and making them unworthy.

That is why the Lord crafted a remedy for us through none other than another Man, Who showed perfect obedience to God instead of obedience to the will and desire of man as Adam and Eve had done in succumbing to the temptations of the devil. Yes, in His humanity, the Lord Jesus was also tempted to give up the enormous task that He had to undertake as what the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane showed us, but He remained completely obedient to His Father’s will, and thus becoming the New Adam, through Whom salvation came to our fallen race.

Ultimately, we should see and realise that sin came about because the desire in our hearts and minds to glorify ourselves and to bring satisfaction and joy to ourselves. It is selfishness, pride and greed that often lead us down the path of disobedience and sin. Instead, Christ and His Apostles offered us another path, the path of selflessness and obedience to God, which they showed by their own examples.

In our first reading today, we heard of the words that St. Paul spoke to the assembled elders of the people of God in Ephesus, which he made as a farewell just before he was about to embark on his last journey to Jerusalem to be tried for his crimes against the authorities. From Jerusalem, St. Paul would go on to Rome where he would finally be martyred, and he spoke based on his many experiences of being ridiculed and rejected, oppressed and made to suffer because of his faith and obedience to God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us should learn from the examples shown by the Apostles and by the Lord, in their obedience to God’s will in all the things they do and in all that they had to endure because of their obedience and faith. Are we able to follow in their footsteps, brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we able to persevere as they had persevered despite the pains and troubles they had to endure?

Let us all put our trust in God, knowing that if we glorify Him by our commitment and obedience, we will be in God’s good hands. Let us all turn wholeheartedly to Him from now on, and dedicate ourselves to Him, all the days of our lives. May God bless us all and our every endeavours. Amen.

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