Thursday, 11 February 2021 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, celebrating one of the most well-known Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, which happened over a century and half ago at the small town in southern France, now renowned all over the whole world for its miraculous spring water, the water of the grotto of Lourdes.

Every year, millions of pilgrims came to Lourdes to visit the sacred site of the Apparition remembering the moment when Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous at the grotto of Massabielle in Lourdes. Our Lady of Lourdes revealed herself to St. Bernadette as the Immaculate Conception and proved that she was indeed genuine and not a false apparation. Mary came to show herself to call her adopted sons and daughters, all of mankind back towards her Son, their Lord and Saviour.

At that time, as was with many other occurrences of the Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, there had been degradation and decline of the faith in many of the communities of the faithful. Just as the other famous Apparition at Fatima, which happened when the world was engulfed in the Great War and Russia was about to begin many decades of persecution of the faithful by the atheist Communists, thus at Lourdes at that time, the Blessed Mother of God appeared to warn all those who have veered away from the path of the Lord.

For at that time, the influence and hold of the faith over many of the people decline precipituously and rapidly, as many rebelled against the authority and the teachings of the Church, preferring to follow the ways of the world. The Lord was no longer the centre and the focus of the lives of many among the people as the tide of secularism and infidelity continued to take root within the community. Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes appeared to remind the people to be faithful towards the Lord and to listen to Him.

After all, it was what she herself had told the servants at the time of the wedding at Cana, when the Lord Jesus first performed a miracle publicly. Although initially the Lord did not want to help the wedding couple then in dire straits and in the verge of major humiliation due to them running out of wine in their own wedding celebration, but Mary insisted to help, and she told the servants to do whatever the Lord told them to do.

We can see even there at that moment how Mary had shown so much concern and care for the needs of others, reaching out for others who are in need and helping them, acting as intercessors and guide for them on the way to her Son, Jesus Our Lord and Saviour. She wants us to follow the Lord and to listen to Him, to trust in Him and allow Him to lead us, and she herself is the perfect and best of all the disciples and followers, following her Son throughout His ministry.

Now, all those people who came to Lourdes, all of them came beaten and broken, diseased and weak, either in the body and physique or in the spiritual and in the mind. They came seeking God’s mercy, love and kindness as He expressed it through His mother, Our Lady of Lourdes who helped and guided so many souls of people back towards her Son. She made available God’s wonderful graces through her constant intercession and by leading us all to the right path.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we celebrate this feast of Our Lady of Lourdes therefore, let us all look towards the Lord with a renewed faith and commitment, guided, led and inspired by His mother, Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, ever immaculate in life, dedicated and committed to God, our wonderful role model and inspiration. Let us all be exemplary in our own actions as well, so that we may be inspiration to our fellow brothers and sisters ourselves.

Can we be the guiding light for so many others who are still seeking the Lord and wanting to listen to Him and know Him? We are all called to a life of genuine discipleship and faith, and each and every one of us can play our part in actively leading a good and virtuous Christian living at all times. May God bless us always in our good endeavours and efforts, and may He, through His mother, Our Lady of Lourdes, continue to reach out to us and seek us. Amen.

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