Wednesday, 19 January 2022 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (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 reminded to trust in the Lord and to believe in His love. We should not depend solely only on our own power and abilities. For with God everything is possible, and He will always be with us, guiding us and strengthening us, as He has repeatedly shown again and again throughout our history. As we listened and remembered again the words of the Scripture, we should reflect on how fortunate we are to have been beloved by God in this way.

In our first reading today, we heard the famous account of the battle and struggle between David and Goliath, the former being the champion of the Israelites and the one who have been chosen and anointed by God to be the one to succeed King Saul as the King of Israel, while the latter was the great champion of the Philistines, the people who oppressed the Israelites at that time and attacked the people of God. When the Israelites made a stand against the Philistines, they put the battle to be decided by the single combat between the champions.

Given the stature and physique of David and Goliath, it was apparent to any observers that David should have lost the struggle, as he was a lot smaller and looked less experienced than the mighty Goliath, who was not just an experienced soldier but was also a giant in body. Yet, behind that relatively smaller body of his, David hid a heart burning full of love for God, as when Goliath uttered profanities and curses against God, and when the king himself and all others were afraid, David stood up and answered the giant’s challenge.

When David was chosen as the new King of Israel as we heard in the earlier part of the Book of the prophet Samuel preceding today’s readings, he was neither the mightiest and greatest in stature amongst his brothers. Yet, with his youth and his heart full of faith and zeal, he has wrested lions and bears before to protect his flock of sheep. He killed them with his bare hands and risked his life to protect those that were precious to him. These were the qualities that made God to choose him as his chosen one, through whom the Kingship of Israel would dwell on, and eventually from which the Saviour, God’s own Son would be born.

In our Gospel reading today, the Lord confronted the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, who tried to use a sick and paralytic man to trap the Lord and find an excuse or reason to accuse Him of wrongdoing. The Lord stood up for the sick man and rebuked those who tried to use that man to harm Him. He told them the truth and the folly of their constant stubborn arguments, as those people still refused to believe in the Lord even after He had repeatedly explained to them and showed them the truth. They still insisted on their rigid interpretation and understanding of the Law, which was elitist and lacking in compassion towards the marginalised.

Similar to David and Goliath case, the Lord also went up against a powerful opponent as the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law represented a powerful force in the Jewish community at that time. Yet, the Lord spoke up the truth and was not deterred at all, just like how David was not afraid to stand up against Goliath, all because of his faith in God and because in the end, God and His way will be triumphant against all others. We do not have to be afraid despite challenges that we may have to face in our respective journeys in life.

That is why we should inspire one another to remain faithful to God, by reminding each other of the presence of God in our lives. Sometimes many of us are often too busy and distracted to realise the presence of God in our midst and therefore, we fall into the temptation of sin, and we give in to despair because we thought that we have no more hope in life, and we are alone in whatever journey and struggles we are going through. We have to believe that the Lord is always by our side, so that no matter what tough challenges and trials we may have to endure in our journey, everything is possible because God is with us.

Let us therefore be inspired today by the words of the Scriptures that we have heard, reminding ourselves constantly how the Lord has guided us and journeyed with us, just as when He helped and guided David in his courageous stand against Goliath, and when He Himself stood up for those who were sick and ostracised, as He reached out to all of them without worry or fear of repercussions from those with the authorities and power to make His works difficult. Let us not easily give in to despair but do whatever we can to do God’s will and do our best in life to be exemplary in life as good and devoted Christians.

May the Lord be with us all and may He empower each and every one of us to follow Him in each and every actions we take. May He also strengthen us and the Church with true unity this week as we celebrate this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity this week. Amen.

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