Saturday, 5 October 2019 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of God speaking to us about the love which He has for us all His people, and the assurance which He has given to His people that He will bless them and protect them, even if they had fallen into sin and disobeyed Him and suffered because of all of that. God is ever loving, merciful and compassionate, but then at the same time, we should not take this generosity and love for granted.

He has always taken care of us, but we are often too busy and distracted from being able to understand and appreciate this generous love God has given us. Instead, we tried to find our happiness, joy and satisfaction in the many other things in this world, following the temptations and falsehoods spread by the evil one instead of looking for the truth. But we must realise that following the path of the devil will not bring us any good things in the end, only destruction and eternal regret.

In our Gospel passage today, the Lord Himself confidently proclaimed before all of His disciples, that He has seen the downfall of Satan, struck down in defeat, falling from Heaven into his downfall. And this is spoken because first of all, the Lord Himself had struck down Satan at the beginning for his prideful rebellion against Him, as mentioned in the Book of Revelations, how he even convinced a third of the Heavenly Hosts in his rebellion, those who would become the fallen angels and demons.

At that time, Satan was unable to achieve his goals and was defeated together with his forces, and were thrown out of Heaven. Knowing that he had no way to defeat God Who is Almighty and All-Powerful, he instead targeted us, the ones whom God loves, by tempting us and trying to pull us away from God and into the damnation and annihilation that Satan and the fallen angels themselves had been sentenced to.

We see just how much his temptations and efforts had led to many souls, throughout the ages, to fall into those temptations and therefore sinned against God. He tempted them with many pleasures of this world, the joy of having many worldly possessions and things, wealth and money, fame and glory, status and standing within the community, among many others. And all these distracted us from being able to find the path towards God.

And we also have certainly heard how the devil even tried to tempt the Lord Jesus, when He came into the world to be our Saviour. The devil likely did not know the full purpose and intention of the Lord’s coming, but he still tried nonetheless, tempting the Lord Jesus with satisfaction of food for the stomach, when he asked Jesus to turn the stone into bread, pandering to the greed in us, and then also with pride and our desire for attention when he brought Jesus up to the Temple’s parapets and asked Him to jump from there, and also when he showed the whole glory and power of the earth’s kingdoms that he would give if only the Lord Jesus worshipped him as god.

We need to see how the Lord Jesus rebuked Satan for his efforts in tempting Him, resisting and rejecting his efforts and advances, staying completely faithful to the mission which His Father has entrusted to Him. The Lord said that God alone should be worshipped as the one and only true God, and we must have trust in His words and obey His will. Ultimately, we have to realise that for all the good things that the devil presents to us, just as he did to the Lord Jesus, all of those things are temporary and illusory.

It means that all those good things of this world, which the world has often tempt us with, in our society obsessed with excessive consumerism and hedonistic lifestyles, they are all distractions that we need to learn to control and resist, to refuse the distractions of the devil, who made his path to look more appealing and good for us, even though the end is nothing less than eternal darkness and despair of damnation.

Instead, let us all spend this day reflecting on our own way of life, and how we can be more committed and faithful to the Lord despite the challenges we may face in this journey of faith, so that we may choose the right course of action in each and every moments of our lives, by choosing the side of the truth and by accepting the cross of Christ as we walk down this journey of faith. Let us all grow ever more faithful and be closer to the Lord and be good inspirations for one another, in strengthening our faith in God and in resisting the temptations and the efforts of the devil to destroy us.

May the Lord continue to guide us in our journey, and may He grant us the strength and commitment to be able to walk courageously and faithfully from now on, to devote our time, effort and attention to serve God with all of our hearts, with all of our minds and all of our strength. Amen.

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