Saturday, 4 September 2021 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture, we are all reminded of the need for us to be truly faithful to the truth of the Lord and we have to follow Him, obey Him and truly love Him in all that we do in our lives, by the true obedience and commitment to His path. All of us have been called by the Lord to be His disciples, and we are all reminded not to be idle or to pay merely lip service to Him.

In our first reading today, we heard about the reminders from the Apostle St. Paul to the faithful and the people of the Church in Colossae, the Colossians, that they all have been rescued by God from their sinful existence, and God had redeemed all of them. Therefore, as is right and just, they should all commit themselves to the Lord and His path, to be righteous and worthy of God in all things, so that in the way that they lived their lives, they may be truly exemplary.

St. Paul exhorted the Colossians to stand firm in their faith and in the hope that they all have in the Lord. He called on all of them to keep the Gospel and the truth which they had received from the Lord. He called on all of them to live in the manner that they had been expected to live, to be good role models in faith and to be inspiration for many others to follow. He encouraged them all not to be swayed by worldly temptations or by any fears that could prevent them from finding their true path in the Lord.

Then, in our Gospel passage today, we heard of the Lord speaking to Pharisees who asked Him regarding the behaviour of His disciples who picked up and crushed grains of wheat for them to eat during the day of the Sabbath. The Pharisees asked this because the Sabbath day was a day of great importance, and which according to the Law of God and particularly in its interpretation by the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, in which there should not be any activities or work by the people.

However, as mentioned by the Lord, the true intention of the Lord in giving this Law to the people was not to prevent them from doing all work, but rather to do our best not to allow the distractions of worldly temptations and desires to lead us down the path of hypocrisy and selfishness. The Lord wants each and every one of us to be truly faithful, and appreciate the full meaning and intention of the Law, in it is spirit and not just in the letter of the Law.

The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law for example, observed the Sabbath strictly as were most others at Jesus’ time, and yet, many of them ignored the plight of the sick and the needy, and by using the Sabbath as an excuse, they even criticised the Lord in other occasions for performing His healing miracles, that instead of rejoicing at the wonderful deeds of the Lord, they took pride instead at their way of observing and obeying the Law which they likely valued more than their love for the Lord.

It does not mean that they did not love the Lord or did everything in the wrong way. Instead, what the Lord meant is that, their fixation and overemphasis on the procedures and practices rather than understanding the whole meaning and significance of the Sabbath prevented them from truly observing the Law in the right way. They did what was asked of them superficially, but spiritually, within their hearts, they were lacking true and genuine faith that they ought to have for the Lord.

Now, the question is, are we all doing the same with our own lives as well, brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we doing things the wrong way in how we live up to our faith? Are we all following God wholeheartedly or are we merely fulfilling the commandments and rules because of obligation and wanting to do what we have to do? Or are we truly and sincerely being faithful to the Lord? Are we able to commit ourselves with true love and commitment, and are we capable to dedicating ourselves each and every moment with zeal for God?

Let us all devote our time and effort from now on, and let us commit ourselves to walk in the path of the Lord, and be genuine in our deeds and actions, and be inspirational and exemplary so that through us, more and more may be convinced to believe in the Lord, and through us, they may be saved together with us. May the Lord be with us always, and may He bless us in our every deeds and in our every endeavours and good works. Amen.

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