Friday, 6 September 2019 : 22nd 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 of the importance of following and putting our trust in God in everything, for He is the very reason of our existence and our lives, and He is the One through Whom everything is made possible for us. God is the centre of our lives, whether we realise it or not, and He is the Head of the Church as mentioned in our first reading today.

As St. Paul made it clear in his Epistle to the Colossians, Christ is the Head of the Church, which is His Body, composed of all of us God’s faithful people brought together and united by the common virtue of our Baptism. Through baptism we have been made the members of this Church and are united in Communion with one another, sharing the grace of God which He had given us all through Christ, Our Lord and Saviour.

And because of this, we have all been called into a new way of life, a path that God Himself has shown us, to leave behind our old, sinful and wicked way of life and embrace fully His truth and love. And this is made even clearer through what we have heard in our Gospel passage today, in the famous parable that the Lord taught His disciples, the parable of the new and old cloths with their respective new and old patches, and new and old wineskins with the new and old wine.

In that parable, the new and old cloths, as well as the new and old patches, and the wine and wineskins represent our way of life at present and the way that the Lord has shown us. And when I am speaking about our way of life, it is about the way of life as how we commonly know it, as how the world always shows us, and not the way that God wants us to take in our lives. And from what we have heard in the parable, the two ways are not compatible with each other.

The Lord used the parable to bring forth this point clearly to the people, showing that old things cannot be matched with the new or else both items will be spoilt or destroyed. Similarly therefore, the path that the Lord has shown us and which all of us Christians ought to follow is not compatible with the way of life as we commonly know it in this world today. And God is calling on us to turn away from our sinfulness and to embrace His ways.

But are we willing and able to make that commitment, brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we committed to walk down the path that God has led us into, or are we instead more comfortable in being distracted by the many temptations present in the world today, all sorts of temptations that have kept us away from God and His path? Are we able to make the sacrifices and take the efforts needed to follow Christ with all of our strength?

Let us all discern carefully our path forward in life, thinking of what we can do in order to serve God with ever more faith and commitment from now on. God has given us all the means for us to follow Him, and now what we need is just the change in our heart and mind, in our orientation and focus as what we have heard in the parable of the Lord, that a new wine needs a new wineskin, and a new cloth piece is needed to patch a new cloth.

It means that each and every one of us need to turn towards God with all of our hearts and minds, and we need to make Him the very purpose and heart of our every words, actions and deeds from now on. Let us no longer be distracted and tempted by all sorts of worldly temptations, of greed for worldly power, for fame and wealth, and for all sorts of things that often mislead us from the path of God’s righteousness. Let us all be truly faithful and be genuine in our love for God from now on, just as He Himself has loved us all with all of His loving heart all these while. Amen.

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