Saturday, 13 February 2021 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard the downfall of man, who have disobeyed the Lord and chose to listen to the lies of the devil, and as a result, committed sin against God and was banished from the Gardens of Eden, where they should have remained and lived in great bliss and joy with the Lord. Yet, through what we have heard today we are also reminded that nonetheless, God still loved us even with our imperfections and with our disobedience, as His love endured throughout to even this very day.

In our first reading today we heard of the story of Adam and Eve, and their expulsion from Eden because of their disobedience in eating of the fruits of the forbidden Tree of knowledge of good and evil, in direct contradiction to the Lord’s instructions to keep away from the tree. Satan was also punished and cursed, but one important difference is that, while because of their sins, mankind must then suffer, but God did not abandon them or want them to be destroyed. On the contrary, from that very beginning He has proclaimed how He would save them all and liberate them from the clutches of the evil one.

The devil would be crushed by the woman, although he would have the chance to strike at the sons and daughters of man. And this salvation came through Mary, the woman who was prophesied and expected, to be the mother of the Messiah or Saviour. The Saviour Himself is Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Divine Word Incarnate, Son of God, born in the flesh to walk amongst us and to gather us all to Himself. Through Christ all of us have received a new hope of true happiness and eternal life, one that is everlasting and will never end.

The Lord could have destroyed us all outright for our disobedience and sins, and for all the stubbornness that we have shown Him all throughout time and history. We have committed so many wicked deeds and made so many others to suffer in order to satisfy our own selfish desires and ambitions that we should have deserved annihilation and destruction. Yet, the Lord was still willing to give us chance and to patiently guide us down the right path towards Him. We have wronged Him so much and yet, He still loved us equally if not even more.

In our Gospel reading today we heard how this love was manifested in some form as the Lord famously performed His miracle of the feeding of the four thousand men and many other thousands of women and children with just seven loaves of bread. At that time, the people had been following the Lord for many days without having proper sustenance as the place where they gathered were not really convenient for them to obtain food and other necessities.

But the Lord had pity on them, and looked on them with great compassion, in not just teaching them and helping them to find their way, as a Shepherd guiding the lost sheep, but He also provided them with the sustenance until they all had enough to eat and were fully satisfied with much leftovers to spare. Through this act of great love and rich in symbolism, God wants us all to know that we are truly beloved by Him and are precious to Him, without exception.

To this end, not only that the Lord fed His people with the loaves of bread, but through His ultimate and most loving sacrifice on the Cross, He gave them the best gift of all in His own Most Precious Body and Blood, the Bread of Life offered freely for us that all of us who partake in Him may receive new life through Him and be justified through Him. The Lord truly loved us so much that He was willing to go through all that just to lead us out of our predicament and be reconciled with us again.

Now, what are we then going to do with our lives, since we know just how much God has blessed us and just how fortunate we are? Are we going to continue to be stubborn and refuse His compassion and mercy? Or are we going to embrace Him like that of a prodigal son embracing his father, seeking for forgiveness and renewed relationship and love? The choice is indeed ours, brothers and sisters in Christ, whether we want to choose life over death, and eternal life over eternal damnation.

Let us all seek the Lord with a new zeal and spirit from now on, strengthened and encouraged by all that the love of God has done for us. Let us all walk with Him once again and strive to live worthily of Him, that in following Him and being faithful to Him, we will finally receive the glory and eternal joy that we have been promised and which we have been intended to live in, now and forevermore. May God bless us always, in all things. Amen.

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