Friday, 18 June 2021 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture, we are all called to remind ourselves just how much we ought to treasure this faith we have received, the truth that we have been granted with, and all that we have been blessed by God, all these while. We have been so fortunate to be blessed in such a way, and yet many of us are still unaware of this fact, and many of us are ignorant, and instead, we take it all for granted.

In our first reading today, we heard the words of St. Paul in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth, speaking about his experiences and all that he had gone through in order to proclaim the truth of God, all of his labours for the greater glory of God among other things. He shared all the trials, difficulties and challenges that he had to suffer as he went around the Mediterranean, going from places to places preaching the word of God and spreading the truth of His salvation.

He endured all the ridicule, sufferings and torment, all these because he truly loved God and knew that in the Lord alone true joy and hope can come from. St. Paul himself was a famous young Pharisee, who since his youth had firmly believed in the ways of the Pharisees up to the moment of his conversion. As Saul, the young Pharisee, he could have been famous and powerful, influential and respected, as a prospective member of the Sanhedrin no less. And yet, he abandoned all that as he listened to the Lord’s call and walked in His path instead.

This is related to what we have then heard from our Gospel passage today, as we heard the Lord speaking to His disciples with regards to the matter of the treasures that one should seek in life. The Lord told all of them not to seek the treasures of the earth, all the things that can be destroyed by earthly means, by fire and moth and others, and which is not permanent and not the true treasures and joy that we should be seeking for. He told them to seek instead the true treasure that can be found in the Lord alone, and as such, all of those who believe in Him should strive to seek this true treasure of faith.

St. Paul abandoned the false treasures of worldly pride and desires, of worldly fame and glory, of human ambition and greed, which had often misled so many men throughout history, including many of the members of the Pharisees who were swayed by their desire of worldly power and influence, and ended up opposing the Lord and His good works. St. Paul made a conscious and firm decision, entrusting himself in the Lord’s providence and care, and hence, became one of His most ardent and faithful defenders, His champion in the face of the world’s opposition.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, now that we have heard all of these, each and every one of us have been called to reflect on our own way of life. Have we really been truly faithful to the Lord and have we truly entrusted ourselves to Him? Or have we instead allowed the temptations of worldly concerns and desires to dissuade us, distract us and prevent us from reaching the Lord and His salvation? The Lord has called us to follow Him, and yet, there are many obstacles in our journey towards Him, and by remembering what He and His disciple, St. Paul had said, we ought to keep in mind that we should always focus ourselves on the Lord and not be easily dissuaded by those temptations.

Let us all not be easily swayed by our desires or misled by our pride and ambitions, and we should also deepen our relationship with God, that we may be Christians who are truly in communion and united with God, and not just merely Christians in name or formality only. We should answer the Lord’s call with commitment and faith, as St. Paul and the other Apostles once did, and as so many other holy men and women, our holy saints and martyrs who had gone before us, had also done. They all had shown us the way forward as faithful Christians, as those whom God had called and chosen.

Are we all able and willing to follow the Lord wholeheartedly, brothers and sisters in Christ? Let us respond to His call with faith, and let us all seek Him with all of our might, that in all things, we may prioritise Him and seek in Him the true joy, the true treasure of our lives, and not be easily swayed or distracted by the false treasures of worldly temptations and pleasures, the temptations and lies of the devil, among many others. May the Lord be with us always, and may He strengthen each and every one of us in faith. Amen.

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