Tuesday, 10 November 2020 : 32nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Pope St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the words of the Lord in the Scriptures, we are reminded of our duties as Christians, to listen to the Lord and to obey His will at each and every moments of our lives, through our actions and our dealings, our interactions and efforts within our respective communities. All of us have been called to serve God to the best of our abilities.

In our first reading today from the Epistle of St. Paul to St. Titus, the Apostle wrote to his brother bishop and also protege, St. Titus with regards to the faithful people of God, and how each and every one of them ought to act and behave in their respective positions and parts of the community at large. Each and every one of them had important roles to play as members of the Church of God, to be righteous and just according to the teachings and ways He had shown us.

As the members of the clergy, the bishops, priests and the deacons, each of them had important roles to play, in serving the greater community of God’s people, to minister to them and lead everyone towards the Lord, guiding the faithful down the right path and caring for them spiritually. And the laity also had their own respective roles to play as Christians, as family members, as fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, as children, as grandparents and grandchildren, to form faithful Christian families.

Not only that, but in whatever each and every one of them are doing, in their respective commitments and works, all of them are called to be exemplary in carrying out their Christian virtues and actions. This is what each and every one of us have been called to do, to be virtuous examples of our Christian faith in our every day workplaces, in our schools and in everywhere we are, reaching out to our fellow brothers and sisters through our good examples.

But we must then also must heed the Lord’s words in our Gospel passage today to guide us down the right path. In that Gospel passage, we heard the Lord using a parable to teach His disciples and the people, the parable of the dutiful servant in which the Lord compared our relationship with God in a way with the relationship between a master and his servant. The servant had a duty to serve his master well and to do what he had been told to do. But the master is under no obligation to congratulate or please the servant as mentioned.

What does this mean, brothers and sisters in Christ? It means that each and every one of us must not treat our faith as merely an achievement or as a means to satisfy our own desires and wants. Surely there are those of us who want to be praised for our actions and dedications to God, but our faith truly is not about ourselves. It is not about how much we have done, or that if we have done more then we deserve more praise and rewards. Whatever we have done and are going to do, we have to do it for the greater glory of God.

Today therefore all of us are called to follow the Lord more faithfully as Christians, to be committed to loving Him and our fellow brethren with sincerity and generosity, in each and every actions we take and at every moments of our lives. And we should be inspired further by the examples of the saints such as Pope St. Leo the Great whose feast day we celebrate today. There is a lot that we can learn from his examples and inspirations.

Pope St. Leo the Great led the Church as the Pope and Successor of St. Peter the Apostle at a very important time and juncture for the Church and the world, as the Roman Empire began to fall apart in its western regions, falling apart to the invasions from the barbarians that came and conquered many of its territories, wrecking a lot of havoc and confusion. Despite all these, Pope St. Leo the Great led the Church and the faithful through this most difficult moment, and was instrumental in strengthening the Church in standing up against the various heresies that also came up at that time.

Pope St. Leo the Great was firmly against the Arian heresy and its followers, as well as to other heresies like monophysitism and others, sending delegates to Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon to affirm the teachings of the faith as preserved through the Church, also writing extensively in defence of the true faith. Pope St. Leo the Great also dedicated himself wholeheartedly to the well-being of his flock, and in one well-remembered occasion, stood before the much dreaded king of the Huns, Attila at the gates of Rome, and managed to persuade him to turn away and not destroy the city.

Pope St. Leo the Great had showed us what it means to be a true and dedicated disciple of the Lord, as did many other great saints, holy men and women of God. Are we willing and able to follow their good examples, brothers and sisters in Christ? Each and every one of us are called and have been challenged to follow the Lord in each and every one of our own ways, to serve Him and glorify Him with all of our efforts and strength. May God be with us always, and may He guide us in our journey of faith, now and always. Amen.

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