Thursday, 30 December 2021 : Sixth Day within Octave of Christmas (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are called to continue to remember that this is still now part of the Christmas season, and all that we have heard today reminded us that God in His ever enduring and supreme love for all of us have given us the perfect gift in Jesus, His most beloved Son, Whom He sent to the world to be part of our lives, to be the Bridge that brought us closer to Him and helped in reuniting and reconciling us to Himself. Too often we have been caught up in our busy life schedules and forgot about all these, ignoring God and His ever generous love.

In our first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. John, the Apostle reminded all the faithful to keep in mind their Christian calling, that is to follow the Lord and His path, to love Him more than anything else by their words and deeds, and not to succumb to the temptations of worldliness among other things. St. John reminded us all because it is very easy for us to love the world more than we love God, for the world often offers us easy pleasures and quick satisfaction that can tempt us to desire more of them.

St. John reminded all of us that the Word of God, the Word of Life has come upon us and dwells in our midst. He is the Divine Word Incarnate, the Word of God made flesh, the Son of God born through His mother Mary as the Son of Man, entering into our world and gracing us with His love, the perfect manifestation of God’s Love, made fully tangible and approachable, that all of us may know the truth of God, His love and ever generous compassion towards us. It is all these that we have been celebrating this Christmas season.

It is the same Jesus Christ Whom as a young Infant, was brought to the Temple of Jerusalem, the House of God to be offered to God, as in accordance to the Law of Moses, as we heard in our Gospel passage both today and yesterday. The old prophetess Anna confirmed again what the old man of God Simeon had already spoken regarding the Child Jesus, before His parents, Mary and St. Joseph, who heard how this Child indeed would become the Saviour of all and amaze all by His power and deeds. It is this same Child that would later on grow to become the One to bear the Cross of suffering, dying and offering His own life for our sake.

For Christmas is indeed inseparable from the Passion of the Lord and His Resurrection at Easter. Through Christmas and all that we celebrate, we remember God Who has made Himself tangible to us, and sharing in our human existence, resolving to take upon Himself all of our sufferings, our human sufferings due to our sins, which would not have been possible without the Incarnation, and bore it upon Himself as the worthy offering in atonement for our sins. Through that act of supreme and most selfless love, God had redeemed us and saved us, assuring us who keep our faith in Him, the assurance of eternal life and true joy.

Yet, as mentioned just earlier, it is very easy for us to forget about all these, and forget why we call ourselves as Christians in the first place. In a world filled with a lot of selfishness and various temptations, of pleasures of the flesh, of wealth and glory, of fame and influence, power and others, we often sidelined the Lord and ignored His ever generous love, choosing instead to listen to Satan and all the temptress’ seductions, believing in their lies instead of God’s truth and ever enduring love for us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we continue to celebrate the joy of Christmas, let us always remind ourselves and one another of the reason of our celebrations and rejoicing. Let us not be easily swayed and tempted by the excesses of worldly pleasures and instead seek the true joy and happiness that can be found in God alone. Let us all be good role models to one another and inspire everyone whom we encounter in our daily lives with the light and hope of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In these dark and difficult times, let us bring hope and encouragement to others, especially to those who are suffering and sorrowful without anyone to console or help them.

May the Lord continue to guide us and bless us in our every good works and endeavours, and may He continue to inspire and encourage us to be the bearers of His light and hope in our world today. May our love for the Lord continue to grow and remain strong despite the challenges and trials we may encounter in life. Amen.

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