Saturday, 5 June 2021 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures we are all reminded to be good and faithful, to be righteous and just in all of our actions and dealings, that we may be exemplary and as good inspirations to one another in faith. All of us are called to give of ourselves to the Lord wholeheartedly, sincerely and with good commitment.

In our first reading today, we heard the conclusion of the story of Tobit which we have heard for much of the past week. Tobit was an Israelite exile in the land of Assyria, who encountered an unfortunate incident and had lost his eyesight, but through his prayer and virtue, God listened to Tobit and helped him, sending to him the Archangel Raphael to assist him and to restore his eyesight. He showed us that He truly loves us and He hears our prayers.

Not only that, but Archangel Raphael also helped and guided Tobias, Tobit’s son, on his journey to meet Tobit’s friend, Ragouel. He helped Tobias in the journey, and not just that, but he also helped to free Sara, Ragouel’s daughter, from the oppression and troubles she had from the demon Asmodeus. The Archangel Raphael showed Tobit and his family, and all of us, the love of God and the generous mercy and compassion that He has for each and every one of us.

And in today’s first reading, Archangel Raphael revealed himself to Tobit and his family, that all that he had done, all are God’s way of showing His love and care to His faithful ones. Archangel Raphael showed Tobit how God knows all that he had done, in him being virtuous and just, in caring for his fellow exiles, burying one of his fellow countryman who had died, and showed care and concern for his own brethren, showing no concern for his own selfish needs and desires. And God of course listened to his prayers and knew what is needed.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the moment when the Lord and His disciples encountered an old, poor widow at the Temple of Jerusalem, who donated two small copper coins to the Temple treasury, and compared to all others who donated plenty of money and offerings, what the widow gave to the Temple was almost worthless and paltry in comparison. But she gave all that she had, even when she herself did not have enough to go on for herself.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us are called to reflect on all these things that we have heard and witnessed. We are all called to love the Lord wholeheartedly just as much as the Lord Himself has loved us. As Christians, we should devote ourselves and our time to walk in the path that the Lord has set before us. And if we have not done whatever we could to glorify the Lord and to follow Him, then we should commit ourselves more and follow God with ever greater zeal and faith, in each and every moments of our lives.

Today, we should look upon the examples and inspiration set up by St. Boniface, a great saint and servant of God, who was a renowned missionary to the region now known as Germany. His dedication and contribution in all things were so profound that he was called the Apostle to the Germans. St. Boniface helped to establish a firm foundation of the Church by his contributions and works, reaching out to the still pagan populations in Germany, while strengthening the faith in those who had already believed in Christ.

It was not an easy journey as there were plenty of obstacles and also opposition against his work. In a now famous occasion, St. Boniface converted the people of an entire town when he chopped off a great sacred oak revered by the local pagans, and when a great gust of wind brought down the oak and nothing happened to the saint, the whole populace believed in God and turned to the Christian faith, giving themselves to be baptised in the faith. Through this occasions and many other moments of his works, St. Boniface reached out and preached the truth of God to many people.

And he gave it all to the mission he has been entrusted with, just like the poor widow giving everything she had in the offering to the Temple. St. Boniface helped to strengthen the foundation of the Church and converted many pagans to the true faith, and eventually, in his missionary works among the pagan Frisians in northern Germany, he was martyred during one of his missionary journeys, when he was ambushed by group of armed robbers, and killed. To the very end, St. Boniface remained firmly faithful to the Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore follow in the examples showed by the saints, especially that of St. Boniface, and let us all be true and genuine Christians, in all things, in all and every one of our actions and works. Let us all turn towards the Lord and put ourselves with full trust to the Lord. May the Lord continue to guide us and strengthen us at all times, and may He empower each one of us with the strength and courage to carry on living our lives with faith and commitment. May God bless us all, now and always. Amen.

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