Friday, 26 March 2021 : 5th 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 focus our attention to the Lord and His truth, humble ourselves and accept that truth which He has brought to us. We should not harden our hearts and minds against Him, and instead we should allow Him to enter into our hearts and minds and transform us.

In our first reading today, we heard of the persecution and the trials faced by the prophet Jeremiah, who was sent by God to the people of the southern kingdom of Judah in is twilight days. Jeremiah often called the people to repent from their sins and to turn away from their wicked ways. He laboured hard to speak God’s truth and His will among the stubborn people, and this brought him much opposition and many enemies.

But Jeremiah remained firm in his faith and conviction, and while he did grumble and complain over all that he had to suffer, which was understandable given the very tough circumstance he was in, nonetheless, he held firmly to his belief and trust in the Lord. He trusted that the Lord is always by His side, guiding Him and protecting Him, and would remember all that he had done for His sake, rewarding His faithful ones while exacting just punishment on those who continued stubbornly to resist.

In our Gospel passage today then we heard about the Lord Jesus and how He proclaimed the truth of God to the people of Judea, the descendants of the same people to whom the prophet Jeremiah had ministered to many centuries previously. Many of those people also refused to believe in the Lord, doubted Him and opposed Him, particularly many from among the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law.

They were angry when the Lord openly referred to Himself as the Son of God, and God as His own Father. They wanted to arrest Him for having blasphemed against God, and eventually, during the Passion of the Lord, not long after this encounter between the Lord and the people in Jerusalem and Judea, those opponents of the Lord managed to charge Him on this same accusation after they had Him arrested and tried before the whole Sanhedrin, the Jewish high council.

But had they read and understand the Scriptures and the words of the prophets more carefully, they would have realised from all the truth that the Lord Jesus had spoken, from all the miraculous deeds and wonders that He had performed before so many of them, that He could only be the Messiah, or the Saviour of the whole world, Who had been prophesied by the prophets and Whose coming had been long anticipated and awaited.

Yet, many among the people refused to accept the truth, and among those who did this were those who held on to their pride and ego, their worldly desires for power, influence and status, refusing to allow the Lord to shine over them as He gained more and more followers throughout His ministry. They saw Him as a threat to their power and status within the society, and thus worked and plotted against the Lord, inciting the people with false leads in the process.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, through what we have heard in these readings from the Scripture, we are therefore reminded that we must really be careful with our ego, with the desires in our hearts and minds, and with the many temptations by which the devil is constantly and consistently trying to tempt us with into disobedience against God’s will, to oppose the Lord as those people had once done against Him, and their ancestors also rose up against the prophet Jeremiah.

Let us all during this season of Lent be filled with remorse and regret for our sins, sincerely desiring to be forgiven from all the things we have committed that were against the will of God. Let us all be reconciled with God, seeking for His mercy and kindness, through true and genuine repentance. May God be with us always, and may He bless us and guide us in our journey towards righteousness. May God bless our many good works and endeavours for His greater glory. Amen.

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