Wednesday, 8 January 2020 : Wednesday after the Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day through what we have heard in the Scripture passage and as we are still in the Christmas season, we are all reminded yet again of the wonderful love of God that He has made evident and presented to us through Jesus Christ, His beloved Son, Our Lord and Saviour. We heard from St. John in our first reading today taken from his Epistle, how God the Father sent His Son into our world out of His love for us.

And He did all these because He wanted us to be freed from our bondage to sin, from our predicament and fate of destruction because of the many sins we have committed in life through our disobedience against Him. Then we heard how the Lord came to His disciples in the middle of the lake, walking miraculously on the water as we heard in our Gospel passage today. This was how God showed His love and His ever present readiness to forgive us and His desire to be reconciled with us.

The disciples had fear in their hearts when they saw the Lord, and it is likely they could not believe what they had just seen. They thought that they had probably seen a ghost, but the Lord reassured them immediately and told them that it was indeed He Himself that they had seen walking on the water. In a more elaborate account from another Gospel passage not mentioned in today’s reading, St. Peter then walked towards the Lord, but when he saw the waves and the wind, he became fearful and began to sink.

This was caused by the same fear and the lack of trust in God, which made both St. Peter and the other Apostles to be afraid and unsure of what they had witnessed. But it is exactly how the devil struck at us, as he tried to manipulate our fears and insecurities when he put in doubts and things to tempt us away from the assurance of salvation in God. The devil knows very well that as long as our faith in God is firm and strong, he has no chance at all against us.

There are many ways how the devil often tries his chances against us. He would try to make us feel guilty and unworthy of God, by trying to persuade us that our sins and wickedness made us to be unworthy of God, and how God will punish us for the sins and all of our disobedient acts. The devil knows that by driving a wedge between us and God, we will be vulnerable when we are separated or in conflict with God.

And the devil likely will also try to tempt us with many things to distract our attention away from God. As long as our faith in God is not firm and God is not at the centre of our lives and existence, it will be easy for the devil to try and separate us from Him and therefore stir trouble for us and lead us further down the slippery path towards damnation. He is working very hard all the time for this outcome and we should realise this well.

How do we then proceed from now on knowing all these things? This is where we need to renew our connection with God, to rediscover that faith and trust which each and every one of us ought to have for Him. And we can do this by striving to put God back at the centre of our lives and always do everything, our every actions with God as the reason for them, and endeavour to do things with the purpose of glorifying God rather than ourselves.

And let us learn to trust God and know just how much He has loved us all the while. Our lives, our every breaths, all of our opportunities and blessings are caused by the Lord and all that He has done for us, and we ought to be thankful for these. We must realise that it is only in God that we can truly have complete and unconditional trust as ultimately, God’s love for us, for each and every one of us is also perfect and unconditional.

May the Lord continue to show His love to us, protect us and strengthen us in our courage and dedication to love Him and to serve Him despite the attacks from the devil and all those who seek our destruction and ruination. Let us all put our complete trust and faith in the Lord, now and always. Amen.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020 : Wednesday after the Epiphany (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Mark 6 : 45-52

At that time, immediately, Jesus obliged His disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, toward Bethsaida, while He Himself sent the crowd away. And having sent the people off, He went by Himself to the hillside to pray.

When evening came, the boat was far out on the lake, while He was alone on the land. Jesus saw His disciples straining at the oars, for the wind was against them; and before daybreak He came to them, walking on the lake, and He was going to pass them by. When they saw Him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw Him and were terrified.

But, at once, He called to them, “Courage! It is I; do not be afraid!” Then Jesus got into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely astonished, for they had not really grasped the fact of the loaves; their minds were dull.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020 : Wednesday after the Epiphany (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 71 : 2, 10-11, 12-13

God, endow the King with Your justice, the Royal Son with Your righteousness. May He rule Your people justly and defend the rights of the lowly.

The kings of Tarshish and the islands render Him tribute, the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts, all kings bow down to Him, and all nations serve Him.

He delivers the needy who call on Him, the afflicted, with no one to help them. His mercy is upon the weak and the poor; He saves the lives of the poor.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020 : Wednesday after the Epiphany (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 4 : 11-18

Dear friends, if such has been the love of God, we, too, must love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love comes to its perfection in us. How may we know that we live in God and He in us? Because God has given us His Spirit.

We ourselves have seen, and declare, that the Father sent His Son to save the world. Those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in them, and they in God. We have known the love of God and have believed in it. God is love. The one who lives in love, lives in God, and God in him.

When do we know, that we have reached a perfect love? When, in this world, we are like Him, in everything, and expect, with confidence, the Day of Judgment. There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives away fear, for fear has to do with punishment; those who fear do not know perfect love.