Friday, 10 September 2021 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, reminding all of us to discern carefully our path in life, and to commit ourselves with renewed faith and sincerity in following the Lord, without hypocrisy and other things that can become hindrances and obstacles in our path as we journey on towards the Lord. We are all called to embrace the Lord wholeheartedly and be righteous in our deeds, walking alongside God in our lives, entrusting ourselves to His guidance.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Epistle of St. Paul to St. Timothy, as the Apostle wrote to his godson, St. Timothy, who was also renowned as one of the earliest bishops of the Church. St. Paul thanked God for His love and kindness, for His compassion and mercy in calling him, once a great sinner, to be His disciple and to be converted to the truth. The Lord had called St. Paul to follow Him, from a life of disobedience and sin, as St. Paul while he was still young as Saul was notorious for his intense persecution of Christians.

St. Paul embraced the Lord and allowed Him to lead him down the right path. Once, he has misunderstood the Law of God, as a young and zealous but ultimately misguided in his path as a young Pharisee. Through his conversion and turnaround, from the greatest enemy of the Church and the faithful, St. Paul became one of the Lord’s greatest defender instead. He humbled himself before the Lord and having been brought into darkness when he was struck down before Damascus with blindness and then restored to the light, St. Paul allowed the Lord to lead his path and to show him the truth.

That was how God called St. Paul and made him to be a great servant for His cause, and as the Apostle also humbly accepted his role and learnt from the other Apostles, and sought for their guidance throughout his ministry. St. Paul then made use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that he had received from the Lord, and became the beacon of His light among the people, helping and guiding them and many others throughout their journey of faith, including that of St. Timothy, who was encouraged and strengthened by St. Paul through his letter to him.

St. Paul himself also sent many other letters, the Epistles, to many communities of the faithful, to the Romans, the Corinthians, the Thessalonians, the Ephesians, Colossians, and many other communities of the faithful, encouraging each and every one of them to remain true and faithful to the Lord in faith, and not to give in to worldly temptations, but entrusting themselves to the Lord’s providence and care, to love Him with all of their strength and might so that they may grow ever more wonderfully in His presence, in faith.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture, we are all called to heed the Lord’s call to live our lives ever more faithfully in each and every moments of our lives. All of us have been called to follow Him from the darkness we were in, and to embrace wholeheartedly the truth that He has revealed before all of us. It is now up to us, whether we want to follow Him and commit ourselves to Him, or whether we want to walk in the path of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, whom the Lord criticised in our Gospel passage today, as those who were blind leading the blind, and whose hypocrisy led to them being so focused on the faults of others that they failed to recognise their own shortcomings and faults.

Are we all able and willing to listen to the Lord with gracious heart and with newfound love for Him? Or are we too busy being immersed in our various worldly pursuits and desires, in all the temptations that we experience each day? Are we willing to allow the Lord to come into our hearts and transform us into His great instruments in the same manner that He has done so for St. Paul the Apostle, as well as for so many other holy men and women who had gone before us?

Let us all strive so that our every words, actions and deeds may be worthy of the Lord from now on, and that we may walk ever more faithfully with Him, in His presence, dedicating our time, effort and attention to glorify Him in each and every moments of our lives. Let us all do our very best to be inspiration to each other as good Christians in all things, and be the beacons of God’s light and truth in our respective communities and among all the people of God. May the Lord be with us all, and bless our every good works and endeavours. Amen.

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