Monday, 26 August 2019 : 21st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, through today’s Scripture readings, all of us are reminded of the need for us to be truly faithful to the Lord in all things, and not be like hypocrites in our faith and in how we live out our lives. When we are faithful to God, let our every actions, every words that come out from our mouth and our every deeds proclaim the greater glory of God, and are done with the pure intention of loving and serving God alone.

We are reminded in our Gospel passage today, when the Lord Jesus released His scathing rebuke of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, many of whom have often opposed Him and His many good works by their actions and their selfish attitudes, their pride and their stubbornness in refusing to believe in God despite the truth which He Himself had brought into this world and willingly revealed before all of His beloved people.

The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law were highly respected and also feared within the community of the people of Judea and Galilee at that time, because they were the ones who were knowledgeable about the laws and customs of Moses and Israel, and they were also the intelligent ones, the privileged ones who were highly educated and influential within the society. Their actions and words carry a great deal of weight and influence, power and sway.

But the Lord pointed out how their actions and deeds were often not like their words. They spoke of being faithful to God on one hand, and yet, their actions, their public show of piety and devotion, in their very strict interpretation and observation of the laws and customs of the people of Israel were devoid of the love and true faith that one has to have for God. Instead, their actions and deeds were often self-serving and self-glorifying.

From what we have heard in the Lord’s words against the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law we can see how those people did not truly have God at heart, but trying to make use of the opportunity and the situation to bring more benefit, advantage, power, fame and whatever it is that satisfy them to their own selves. They want great returns and in a sense, profit from what they have done, and they did not place God first and foremost in their minds and in their hearts.

Unfortunately, brothers and sisters in Christ, this is what many of us as Christians have been doing all these while as well. If we spend some time to reflect carefully on our own lives, how many of us can confidently say that in our every actions, words and deeds in life, we have been truly faithful to God and did everything for His greater purpose and for His greater glory? Or have we rather followed our own desires and our own ambitions instead?

Let us all really spend some time to think about our every actions and all that we have done thus far. And let us all discern how we can move on and be more faithful to God in all the things we say and do. Let us all no longer be subservient to our desires and to the whims of our ego and pride. We need to take the concrete effort to put God first and foremost in our lives, and resist the temptations of worldly glory and the temptations of the flesh.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we have been reminded in today’s Scripture passages not to follow the path of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, let us all pray to God our loving Father, that He will always continue to guide us through this journey of life, that each and every one of us will be ever more faithful and be more dedicated to Him, so that in our every words, actions and deeds we will always glorify God.

May the Lord bless us all and may He continue to be our Light, the One Who guides us all through to the right paths, despite the darkness and the many temptations present in this world. Amen.

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