Thursday, 18 February 2021 : Thursday after Ash Wednesday (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we remind ourselves with the help of the readings of the Scripture of the path that we ought to take as we proceed forward in life. We are reminded that we have been given the free will and the opportunities to choose the path we are to take in life, to choose between God’s righteousness and virtues, or that of evil and wickedness, sin and the falsehoods of the devil, all of his false and empty promises.

In our first reading today taken from the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses the leader of the Israelites during their Exodus from Egypt after having revealed the Law and commandments of God that he has received from the Lord, presented to the elders and all the people of Israel, the choice between following what is right and just according to the Law, or to continue to be disobedient and walking down their own paths, in opposition against God.

Moses made it known to all of the people that their actions and choices would be held against them, and if they so chose to disobey and walk the path of sin and disobedience then they would not be part of the glorious inheritance and blessings that the Lord has intended for all of His faithful people. The Lord will bless those who have chosen His path, and those who have not, He will still call them to Himself and attempt to bring over to Him.

However, if they constantly and consistently refuse to believe in Him, then it was by their own conscience and by their own choice that they have chosen their lot among those condemned and rejected, for it was themselves who rejected God and His most generous and loving kindness towards us. We have to choose between God and the world, between Him and the temptations of wealth, glory and human desires.

In our Gospel today, we heard the Lord making His point before His disciples, saying that He Himself would suffer at the hands of those who refused to believe in Him, and He, the Son of Man, would be persecuted and crushed for the sins of mankind, condemned to die on the Cross and through His death, bring about the salvation of all mankind through His resurrection.

And the Lord said that in order to be His followers, they would have to deny themselves, pick up their crosses and follow Him wholeheartedly, or otherwise, they could not become His true disciples. He pointed to them the same choice that Moses had presented before the whole assembly of Israel, the choice between following God and following their own human ambitions, desires, pride, ego and all the temptations present in the world.

As Christians all of us are called to heed this call, and realise this choice which we have to make, in choosing between following and obeying God or to follow the whims of our desires and all the temptations present around us. Are we willing to commit ourselves to the Lord, brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we willing to make the effort and give the necessary contributions and sacrifices to be good and faithful Christians?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all spend time to discern these and how we are to lead a more wholesome and faithful Christian living from now on. Let us all make good use of this season of Lent to redirect our lives and actions, to change our lives for the better and to dedicate ourselves from now on for the greater glory of God, and being good examples in life, to show what it truly means to be Christians, in living up our faith, and in picking up our crosses and follow the Lord.

May God be with us always and may He strengthen us with conviction and courage that all of us may come to stand up for our faith, and be filled with genuine desire of love for the Lord and our fellow brothers and sisters from now on. Amen.

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