Saturday, 24 October 2020 : 29th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture, we listened to the words of the Lord reminding us of the gifts that each of us have been given by God, and how we need to dedicate ourselves to Him or else, if we do not, we will be found wanting for our lack of faith, and for our lack of fruitfulness in that faith, as per what we heard of the Lord’s words in our Gospel passage today, that all those who sin and do not repent, and act in accordance with faith, will be condemned.

In our first reading today, we heard of the words of St. Paul in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in Ephesus in which he spoke of the various gifts and talents that God has given to us His people, in its variety of calling and missions entrusted to us. And through this, God wants us all to know that we are all as members of the same Church of God, must be active in living our faith and in committing ourselves to the mission God has entrusted to us. We must support each other in the fulfilment of the successful ministry of the Church.

Not everyone has been called to be priests, or missionaries, or married people with families, each and every one of us have our own respective calling in life. Each of us has been given unique sets of talents and abilities that we can use to fulfil these callings we have received from God, to touch the lives of others and to bring God’s love and light to one another. We can help one another as members of God’s Church, working in tandem to accomplish many things together.

St. Paul continued on in saying how Christ is the Head of the Church and all the faithful are parts of the same Body of Christ, that is the Church. As he spoke of how the parts of the Body are working together in tandem and cohesion with each other, therefore all of us are members of the Church ought to work together as well, cooperate and do our best in our respective capacities, that we may be able to coordinate our efforts for the greater glory of God and to fulfil the mission He has entrusted to all of us.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord speaking to us through the examples of the Galileans who died in the struggle between the Roman governor and the locals, and also those people who perished in the tower of Siloah. The Lord wanted to make examples of those cases known to the people who heard Him, that they perished not because of their own sins and misdeeds, and they did not perish just because they were more wicked but all would perish unless they repented from their sins.

This is to highlight to us all that we have to stay away from sin, and we have to do what we can as Christians, living our faith virtuously and commit ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord. We have to play our part as Christians in being part of the Body of Christ, in reaching out to our fellow brothers and sisters, as Christians, all committed to dedicate our time, effort and attention on serving the Lord to the best of our abilities. Are we willing and able to commit ourselves to do this?

Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Anthony Mary Claret, the founder of the Claretians and also an Archbishop, renowned for his works in Cuba as the shepherd of the faithful. He was a dedicated shepherd who gave much of his effort and attention on his flock, caring for their needs and providing for them. St. Anthony Mary Claret was instrumental in his work and efforts in reaching out to his people, touching the lives of many and converting many to the faith.

When he was recalled to Spain to become the Queen of Spain’s confessor, St. Anthony Mary Claret continued to dedicate his life and efforts to serve the poor and care for those who are in need of spiritual guidance and help. He devoted much time and effort to establish schools and education for the people among other efforts. Through all these, we can see how St. Anthony Mary Claret had done with whatever has been placed under his power to contribute to the Church of God.

We can also do the same with our lives, brothers and sisters in Christ. And we are all called to follow the Lord as St. Anthony Mary Claret and the other saints had done, to give our very best in our respective capacities and callings in life, be it as those whom God had called to be His priests and missionaries, or as the members of the laity and all who have been called to lead good examples of Christian living in our families, showing how each and every one of us can serve the Lord together, and complement each other in our efforts. May God bless us all in our every good endeavours, for His greater glory, now and always. Amen.

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