Thursday, 1 July 2021 : 13th 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 Scriptures, we are called to remember the love of God by which He has reached out to us and called us into His loving embrace. In return, all of us should also love the Lord wholeheartedly, and let us all commit ourselves to the Covenant which He has established with each and every one of us.

In our first reading today we heard of how the Lord called His servant Abraham, our father in faith and asked him to bring his beloved son Isaac, the son whom God had promised to Abraham, to Mount Moriah to be offered to the Lord as a sacrificial offering. Such a command by the Lord, especially what he was to do with Isaac, his own beloved and long awaited son must have come as a great shock to Abraham and must have saddened him greatly, considering just how long and how much he has expected the coming of Isaac.

Nonetheless, Abraham obeyed without question, and faithfully and dutifully performed everything as the Lord had commanded him to do. He brought Isaac to Mount Moriah just as the Lord asked for, and he brought him up the mountain, with full faith and entrusting everything to the Lord. We can see clearly here the great faith which Abraham had in the Lord, and how he entrusted himself so completely to the Lord. This is something that all of us as Christians should be inspired from. Many of us have not been as faithful as Abraham had been in the way he dedicated himself.

Abraham gave everything to the Lord, even his most precious one, Isaac. And the Lord blessed Abraham for his faith and obedience, as He saw how Abraham gave everything, even his most beloved one and did not spare Isaac. Of course God did not actually wish to have Isaac offered as a sacrifice, and hence, He stopped Abraham and showed him a ram that He sent as the replacement offering instead of Isaac. He reaffirmed His Covenant with Abraham and his descendants, and showed His faithfulness to all of us this way.

And then, linking to this story of Abraham and Isaac at Mount Moriah, we then come to the Lord Jesus, in our Gospel reading today, as He healed a paralysed man who was brought to Him on a stretcher. He showed the love of God expressed through none other than the same Christ, the Son of God and Saviour of the whole world, born into this world to be the Saviour of all. He forgave the sins of the paralysed man and healed him from his afflictions, allowing him to move and walk freely once again.

The Lord said that to the paralysed man, despite the protests of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who were there among the assembled people and refused to believe that the Lord Jesus could have forgiven the man from his sins. Yet, they had seen all that happened, and saw how the man was healed from all of his troubles, and became whole once again. Through this, the Lord Jesus in fact also revealed the Lord’s true intentions, that is to offer His own Son, the Lord Jesus, to be the sacrificial Victim for the salvation of the world, for the forgiveness of all sins.

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, the sacrifice of Our Lord at Calvary mirrored closely the sacrifice of Mount Moriah, with Mount Moriah itself having often been identified as the site of the Crucifixion outside of Jerusalem, and just as the Lord obeyed His Father’s will so completely just as Isaac obeyed his father, Abraham and as Abraham himself obeyed his Lord and Master. The Lord Jesus willingly took up the wood of the Cross and bore it up the hill of Calvary, so that by His Passion, His suffering and death, and having shouldered upon Himself the multitudes of the burdens of our sins and transgressions, He may deliver us all from the fate of destruction due to our sins.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, are we still not convinced of God’s love and compassion for us? God has given us His only Begotten Son, His most beloved One to suffer and die for our sake. If He has always loved us and has always been faithful to the Covenant which He had made with us, then we should also love Him and commit ourselves to Him in the same way, following the examples of Abraham, our father in faith. Let us all turn towards the Lord and dedicate ourselves to Him, each and every moments of our lives. May God be with us all, and may He empower us all to live ever more faithfully in His presence, with each and every passing moments in life. Amen.

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