Saturday, 18 September 2021 : 24th 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 we heard the words of the Lord in the Sacred Scriptures speaking to us with regards to the need for us to follow the Lord with all sincerity and commitment that we should have in obeying His will and commandments. We have to make good use of all the gifts and abilities, the opportunities and blessings that He has given to us. Each and every one of us have been granted the gifts of faith from God, which He had sown in us, awaiting for us to respond to them and to allow them to grow in us.

In our first reading today, the Apostle St. Paul has mentioned in his Epistle to St. Timothy, about the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, which he and the other Apostles and all the disciples and the followers of the Lord have preserved and stood up for. St. Paul reminded St. Timothy as well as the other members of the Church that all of them ought to remain faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the whole world and the One true King of all, the One Who has come into the world as the perfect manifestation of God’s love for His people, that is all of us.

Then, in our Gospel passage today, we heard from the Gospel of St. Luke on the account of the Lord teaching His disciples and the people using the parable of the sower, the famous parable that I am sure many of us are very familiar with. In that particular parable, a sower came bearing seeds to be sown, and he scattered the seeds randomly in places, and such that the seeds ended up in completely different places and conditions, from the roadside and rocky places unsuitable for any plant growth, to the most fertile soils that yielded many rich returns to the sower.

As the Lord explained it during His discourse as we heard in our Gospel passage today, the parable of the sower is a clear reference to the Lord and His work among us all in this world, the field of the Lord and the place of His toils and labours. The Lord has sowed His seeds among all of us, the seeds of the Word of God, the truth and the faith that He has planted in us, in each and every one of the children of mankind. He has also given us many gifts, talents and abilities, opportunities and other things.

Those seeds that fell by the roadside represent those who did not even allow the Lord to speak to them, or impart His Word of truth to them, and therefore the seeds of faith were snatched from them by the evil one and his agents before they even had the chance to take root and grow in us, just as the birds of the sky in the parable came and eat those seeds. Similarly, those seeds that did land on the rocky ground, although they managed to germinate and grow, but very quickly they dry up and die, as they did not have the right conditions to grow well.

The seeds that fell among the thistles and brambles managed to germinate and grow into young plants, but the thistles and brambles, which are weeds, compete against them for nutrients and water, and other resources, and hence, as the thistles and brambles grow around the saplings, the young plants could not grow and compete against the weeds, which often grow very quickly and can easily outcompete other plants growing together with them.

As the Lord mentioned, that represents those who has allowed the Lord’s Word and truth to come into them, but yet, they allowed the temptations of the world, of worldly desires and glory, among many other things to distract them and to keep them away from the Lord and His salvation and grace. And the same can happen to us if we allow ourselves to be swayed by the temptations of our flesh, of worldly desires, of fame and ambition, glory, wealth, power and many other things.

Instead, all of us are called to be like the case when the seeds fell on rich and fertile soil, where the seeds germinated well, grew well and eventually returned a massive produce manyfold of the original seeds that were sowed there. That is what we are all expected to be, brothers and sisters in Christ, that is to bear rich fruits of our faith, by our every actions and words, by our every deeds and interactions with one another, in our lives that we lead an exemplary life focused on God.

And how do we do that? Often, it does not require us to do amazing or wonderful things. Instead, we should aspire and strive to do our best in even the simplest and most mundane thing in life, in every little things we say and do, in our daily interactions with one another, in our habits and actions, with our relatives and friends, and even with all those whom we encounter throughout life. We are all called to be righteous in all things, and we should be true disciples of the Lord in words just as in deeds. Are we willing then to commit ourselves in this manner, brothers and sisters in Christ?

Let us all discern our path in life and the actions that we ought to take as Christians, as those who believe in the Lord. Let us all ponder on how we can better live our lives as the followers of Christ. May the Lord continue to be with us in our journey and help us to find our way to Him, and may He strengthen us with the courage to remain faithful at all times to the Lord and be fruitful in our lives. May God bless us always, in our every good works and endeavours. Amen.

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