Thursday, 28 November 2019 : 34th 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 of the coming of the Lord’s salvation to His people, of the coming of God’s providence and liberation to His faithful ones. In our first reading we have heard about the moment when the prophet Daniel was delivered from the hands of his enemies while in the Gospel passage we heard of the Lord’s own ominous warning to the people and the city of Jerusalem.

In our first reading today, we heard of the predicament of the prophet Daniel who was forced to be thrown into the lions’ den by the machinations and plots of his enemies, who resented him for his courageous opposition to pagan worship and the pagan idols of Bel, the chief god of the Babylonians and the dragon of Bel. Daniel managed to prove that the priests of Bel were frauds and the dragon he defeated by the power and wisdom of God.

As a result, the enemies of Daniel among the nobles and the courtiers ganged up and plotted against him. Daniel was forced to endure the lions’ den, which the enemies of his hoped that the hungry lions, purposefully kept hungry and unfed that they would devour Daniel. But the Lord was with Daniel and protected him from his enemies and from the lion. In the end, the prophet Daniel was freed by the king and all of his enemies who slandered him were thrown instead to the lions and were immediately devoured.

Meanwhile, in the Gospel passage today, we heard of the prophetic and ominous warning that the Lord Jesus shared with His disciples and followers, of the coming of the destruction of Jerusalem, the city and its Temple, and how everything would be overturned and their world would be shattered. This was a revelation of what was to come, and eventually would come true with the downfall of Jerusalem just a few decades after the Lord’s death and resurrection.

Yet, amidst all the challenges and difficulties that the faithful people of God would have to face, all the bitter struggles and sufferings that they had to go through, the humiliations and betrayals that they had to endure, God reassured them again and again that He would be with them, and that despite all the trials and tribulations, in the end, the faithful ones will be triumphant together with God.

This is the kind of faith that all of us must have, brothers and sisters in Christ, the kind of faith that has allowed so many of the holy martyrs and saints of the Church to persevere through even the most brutal and terrible persecutions and oppressions of their faith and the Church. They all trusted in God and placed their faith in Him, and as a result, they remained firm and resolute even when faced with most severe of troubles, just as how the prophet Daniel remained firm in his conviction and faith.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we are all called to reflect on our own lives and whether we have been truly faithful to God in all of our actions and deeds thus far. If we have not yet lived our lives thus far with faith, then now is perhaps the good time for us to recollect ourselves and redirect our lives, our efforts and our attention towards the Lord, and take the necessary steps to make ourselves closer to God and to be more loving and faithful towards Him.

Let us all grow to trust more in God, and let us put ourselves in His loving embrace from now on, knowing that even when our lives are terrible, our trials are difficult and are seemingly insurmountable, God will never stop loving us and as a result, we should also devote ourselves in the same manner. Let us no longer worry or be too concerned with our own well-being, but learn to put our trust more in God.

May the Lord our God be with us always, and may He continue to love us all, each and every days and moments of our lives. May He bless all of our good works and endeavours, that we all may always work for the greater good and the glory of God. Amen.

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