Thursday, 17 June 2021 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we all listened to the words of the Scripture we are reminded of the need for all of us as Christians to be vigilant against the attempts by the devil and all those who oppose the Lord, in trying to subvert us and turn us away from Him through lies and deception. We have to remain faithful to the Lord and focus on Him, and the best way for us to do this is to deepen our relationship with God through prayer, as we heard in our Scripture passages today.

In our first reading today, we heard St. Paul the Apostle in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth, reminding all of them to be focused on the truth of God and not to give in to the efforts of those who tried to bring about our downfall through falsehoods and heretical teachings, by which even that early in the history of the Church, the Church and the faithful had been badly affected by the false prophets and teachers who claimed to know the truth and yet spread false teachings and ideas against the true faith.

When St. Paul mentioned that he has the jealousy of God seeing the faithful agreeing and following the teachings of the false preachers and heretics, and ranted on regarding how while he was perhaps not as good as the other Apostles, but he still laboured among them, preached the faith in their midst and others that he had done. And he said all these because he was indeed frustrated at how easy the people had been swayed by the false truth, and how, despite all that the Lord had done for their sake, they readily abandoned Him for the falsehood of the devil.

This is because mankind is often too easily swayed by the temptations of their desires, their ambitions and pride, which often became obstacle in the path they walk towards God and His salvation. There are often too many distractions and also attempts by those who sought to lure us into paths that seemed to be easier and more profitable and enjoyable for us, and yet, which will lead us into the path of downfall and eternal regret. And all these are possible because our faith in the Lord is not strong and we do not have strong relationship with Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, how can we build up a genuine and strong relationship if we cannot even spend quality time and put the effort to build that relationship? And the first and best way that we should do is to pray and spend our time to pray sincerely and fervently, for it is through prayer that we communicate with the Lord and come to know His will. And through prayer, we can attune ourselves better to Him, and learn to trust Him better and to treat Him as our true Lord and Master, as One Whom we truly know.

That is why in our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord’s Prayer, the most ideal form of prayer, one that is not centred on ourselves and on our own selfish desires and wants, unlike what many of our prayers are like, but rather, centred and focused on God, with the emphasis on listening rather than speaking, for after all, God knows everything that is inside our hearts and minds. He is all-knowing and all-powerful, and we do not need to tell Him what we need. In fact He knows better than us what we truly need.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all turn towards the Lord now with a renewed faith and zeal, and endeavour to follow the Lord wholeheartedly and faithfully, at all times. We should spend more time and effort in prayer, reaching out to the Lord and allowing Him to speak to us in the depth of our hearts. This is why we need to do what we can to live a most prayerful life, where we spend quality time with the Lord and seek Him with all of our might and sincerely strive to walk in His path at all times.

May the Lord be with us all and may He strengthen our faith, and may through our prayers, we will get ever closer to Him, and endeavour to do His will, at all times, and following in the footsteps of the Apostles, like that of St. Paul and others who have given their all for the glory of God. Amen.

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