Thursday, 11 March 2021 : 3rd Week of Lent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture we are called to turn back to God and to abandon our sinful ways, that we do not continue in our stubborn disregard of His laws and commandments and that we should not fall further and further into the temptations of our desires, on those wicked thoughts and the allures of worldly possessions.

In our first reading today we heard from the Book of the prophet Jeremiah, of the Lord reminding His people through Jeremiah, speaking to them regarding the need for repentance and to change their ways, highlighting how they had disobeyed Him and rejected His prophets and messengers for so many times. They had wandered off away from the path that God had set before them, preferring to follow the pagan idols and beliefs rather than to listen to the Lord.

In our Gospel passage then we heard of the Lord Jesus speaking to the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law regarding the matter of how Jesus healed the man who had been beset by evil spirits. The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law accused the Lord of having colluded with the demon lord Beelzebub, which was truly a serious accusation. The Lord then rebuked those who accused Him by pointing out the folly of their accusation and argument.

If the devil and his fellow evil spirits and demons were divided among themselves, among each other, then that would have led to civil war and destruction. If one thing was certain, it is that the devil and his fellow rebel spirits, the evil forces were all united in their desire to destroy us and to bring about our downfall. Instead of the false accusation the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law brought against Him, and the unfounded accusation that He had been colluding with Beelzebub, the Lord revealed that it was by the power of God that He had done everything He did.

The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law refused to see reason and many of them continued to resist Him and tried their best to make His ministry and work difficult, questioning and doubting Him throughout the way, all were because of their own worldly desires and ambitions. They saw the Lord and His teachings as threat to their own influence, prestige and power within the community. That is why they did not want Him to be successful and tried all they could to undermine Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are all called not to be swayed by worldly temptations, by our desires or by any other things that can become great obstacles in the way of us reaching the Lord. We are reminded by what we have heard in today’s readings that we must stay united with God, open our hearts and minds to listen to Him and His truth. Let us not be blinded by our desires and pride like what happened to the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law at that time.

As the Lord mentioned, those who were not with Him, were against Him, and if we allow this division to exist among us Christians, then we will cause ruin to happen to us and the Church. We must stand united together against the assaults of the devil and all those who sought our downfall and destruction. As I mentioned earlier, completely contrary to what the Pharisees said, and according to what the Lord said, the devil and all the demon lords and princes are no less united in their efforts to crush us, and to snatch us away from God and His salvation.

That is why during this season of Lent all of us are called to reject all sorts of wickedness and evils, and embrace once again God’s ways and obey His laws and love Him with a renewed spirit and joy. Are we willing and able to commit to this path shown to us by the Lord, brothers and sisters in Christ? Let us all turn towards the Lord and dedicate ourselves to Him, obeying Him and His laws from now on. Let us all sin no more and be exemplary in our way of life so that we can be inspiration for one another in how we ought to live up to our faith.

May the Lord be with us always, and may He strengthen each and every one of us so that we may remain firm in our conviction to serve Him and follow Him despite all the trials and challenges, all the temptations and obstacles we may encounter in our path. May God bless us all and our every good endeavours, now and always. Amen.

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