Thursday, 14 November 2019 : 32nd 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 reminding us all of the coming of the kingdom of God as the readings take a more apocalyptic nature through these last few weeks of our current liturgical year. It is a timely reminder for us all to reflect on our respective lives all these while, how we have lived them in faith or in lack of faith. We should make use of the opportunities that God has given us all these while.

In the Gospel passage today, we heard of the signs and warnings that the Lord presented to the Pharisees and to the people whom He taught, of the coming of the time of reckoning and the arrival of the kingdom of God. He presented to them the revelation of God’s truth and reminded the people to open their hearts and minds to welcome the Lord openly and to prepare themselves for His coming.

In this occasion, the Lord reminds His people to trust in Him, to welcome His Wisdom into their hearts, into our hearts and minds. We should not allow pride and our own prejudices, our own judgments and our own power to be barriers and obstacles in preventing us from trusting and believing in God. That was exactly what happened to the Pharisees and the elders of the Israelites who hardened themselves and refused to believe in the Lord and in His revelation of truth.

The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, the elders and the chief priests in the Sanhedrin often argued that the Lord Jesus could not have been the Messiah of God, because He appeared to do things that were contrary to their own interpretation of the Law. However, in truth, that was because they have also been mistaken in their understanding and interpretation of the Law, and based their judgment on their flawed understanding and wisdom.

They looked highly on themselves as the guardians of knowledge and the precepts of the Law, as those who were highly educated and knowledgeable about many things, and as a result therefore, looked down frequently on all those whom they deemed to be inferior to them in status, ability, education, knowledge, influence and many other things. They saw themselves as being the indispensable ones who were needed for the survival of the state.

That was why they hardened their hearts and often opposed the Lord and His works as they saw Him as a great threat and rival to their own influence, authority and power. They were also prejudiced by the fact that the Lord and His disciples came from Galilee, an impoverished and backward region on the outskirts of the Jewish community at that time. They saw that most of His disciples were relatively uneducated unlike themselves, and thus correspondingly looked down on them.

They therefore trusted in their own understanding and flawed knowledge and comprehension of God and His plans and truth. Rather than putting their trust in God’s Wisdom, they rather proudly believe in their own supposedly superior intellectual abilities as compared to the rest of the people. That is why they were so stubborn and why they were not able to have faith despite having the knowledge of the faith.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let this be a reminder to all of us not to be tempted by the pride and desires in our hearts, and let us all seek to be humble instead before the Lord, opening our hearts and minds to Him and asking Him to be present in us, and guiding us so that we may find the path to His saving grace and righteousness. May God continue to be with us and be with us throughout our journey in life. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

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