Sunday, 27 June 2021 : Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday we listened to the words of the Lord speaking to each and every one of us and reminding us that we are all God’s beloved ones, and we have been intended for greater and more marvellous things by the Lord, because by His love, freely given to us, we have been so fortunate, for God to be so patient with us, so loving and so kind, despite all of our stubbornness and disobedience.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of Wisdom, the truth that God never intended for any one of us to endure suffering in any of its forms or to experience death. All of us were meant to share fully in the love of God, in all of its fullness, the overflowing love from the perfect love of the Most Holy Trinity, by which He intended us all to exist with Him in perfect bliss and harmony, to enjoy forever the happiness and joy that can be found together with Him alone.

When God created the world and the whole universe, as we heard in the Book of Genesis, everything was good, and all things have no flaw or evil in them. It was the same with us mankind as well, as when God created Adam and Eve to dwell in the Gardens of Eden, they were meant to live there and share the bliss of perfection and goodness with God, not to suffer in any way or to endure death. But our ancestors allowed themselves to be swayed by desire, by the falsehoods of the devil.

That was why, they ended up disobeying the Lord and eating the forbidden fruits of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The devil was able to convince them that they would be alright in disobeying God and that they would be able to gain immensely from such an action, by knowing all things good and evil, and therefore becoming like God Himself. It was pride and hubris, our human desires and greed therefore that led us astray and into our downfall.

Yet, despite all of that, God Who knew the sins and wickedness we committed, He did not crush or destroy us all, those whom He had made from His own image and as the most beloved of all of His creations. He gave them all a chance and even promised them all the salvation that would eventually come to them, through the Woman, as written in the Book of Genesis, and which would then come to fruition in Mary and her Son, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the whole world.

God could have crushed us there and then, to destroy sin and evil at its infancy, so that no more evil could exist in His presence. We must not forget that God is all good and perfect, and no sin can exist in His presence. When in the Old Testament, it was mentioned that man cannot survive in the presence of God or in seeing God, that is because, our sins and evil would destroy us first, as we cannot stand the perfect goodness of God.

It is our sins and evils that will judge us and bring us into damnation, and unless we remove these from ourselves, then we are bound towards the path of suffering and death. All of us perish because of our sins, as death is the punishment for sin, and sin came about because of our disobedience against God. As long as we have sin in us, we shall always remain sundered and separated from God, and in the end, left with nothing but eternal regret and suffering.

Yet, as mentioned, we are all indeed so fortunate because the Lord Himself did not want any of these to happen to us. He loved us all dearly and He created us all in the first place because of this love, and as such, He has always patiently waited on us to return to Him, sought for us and sent messengers, prophets, and servants, one after another to call us, to help us and lead us on the way to return to Him, that we may be fully reconciled with Him.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard the story of the Lord’s two wondrous miracles, which He performed before many, as the sign of God’s salvation and love for His people, for each and every one of us, as well as to be the undeniable proof that the Lord alone has the power to save us, to heal us and to free us from our troubles and challenges, from the chains of slavery under sin and the tyranny of death that we are all suffering from.

When the woman suffering for many years from the haemorrhage or bleeding problem came to the Lord with faith, seeking for healing from Him, the Lord healed her and restored her to good health, because of her faith in Him. The Lord indeed could have healed her and any of other worldly problems, issues and troubles, but it was her faith which allowed her to be healed, not just physically, but also in fact, spiritually as well. She had faith in the Lord and did all she could to reach out to Him, and this is something that we should take note of.

It was the same with the synagogue official, Jairus, who came seeking the Lord for help, for Him to heal his ailing daughter, who had faith in the Lord and believed that He could heal her and make her whole. And when later on, the people told him and the Lord that Jairus’ daughter had passed away from her illness, he still kept faith in the Lord and believed in the Lord, even when others who were there and weeped for the daughter laughed at the Lord for suggesting that Jairus’ daughter was just sleeping.

They kept faith in the Lord and trusted in the Lord, and God showed them and everyone, that they are to trust in Him and put their faith in Him, and not on other things. For He has healed something that was considered incurable, in how He healed the haemorrhage in the woman with bleeding, and then He did something that was considered impossible, in resurrecting a dead girl back into life, showing that He is truly the Lord and Master of all, Lord over life and death.

This means that not even sin and death can keep us away from God. As St. Paul said in his Epistle to the Romans, ‘Who can separate us from the love of God?’, a reminder that God’s love is even more powerful than sin and death. And by His love and grace, we can be forgiven, healed and reconciled with Him, and through Him we shall gain the promise of eternal life. Yet, more often than not, it is we who refused to accept the Lord, His love and mercy.

We are often stubborn and we often hardened our hearts and minds, refusing to embrace the Lord’s most generous compassion and forgiveness. This is why we ended up falling deeper into sin, and eventually into eternal damnation. If we have no faith in the Lord and refused to accept Him, then there is no hope for us, and we will remain outside of His love and grace. And yet, still, the Lord tries His best to reach out to us and calls us to return to Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are therefore called to the love that God has for us, and realise just how fortunate we are to have been beloved in such a way. We must never take God’s love for granted, and we have to appreciate the patience that God has for us all these while. Let us all turn ourselves wholeheartedly towards the Lord, and let us seek Him with renewed commitment and conviction. May God be with us always, and may He strengthen each and every one of us, that we may be ever faithful to Him and the Covenant which He has established with all of us. Amen.