Friday, 11 March 2022 : 1st Week of Lent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures we are all reminded to be righteous and good in all of our actions and deeds, and to be truly faithful to God. Otherwise, we will be judged by whatever wicked and evil things we have committed, by whatever sins we have done, just as our good deeds will also be weighed in our judgment. In the end, those who are truly faithful to God will flourish while those who are lacking in faith will fall into damnation and eternal suffering. The Lord has reminded us of this as we enter into this season of Lent for our own benefit.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Ezekiel in which the Lord told His people through Ezekiel that He did not desire the death and destruction of any one of His beloved children, that is all of us. The Lord has expressed the truth that His love for us is enduring even despite all the disobedience and rebelliousness that we have often displayed all these while, and He has always been willing to be reconciled with us, calling us to return to Him with contrite hearts and repentant attitudes, desiring to reject our sins and evils.

He also reminded all of us that all of us will be judged by our deeds and all that we have done in this world, whether by words or real deeds and actions. And no one is truly beyond God’s salvation and grace, as He mentioned how even the sinners will be saved should they repent and turn away from their sins, just as much as the righteous will perish and be judged against by their evil deeds, if they persist in doing so. What the Lord wanted to point out is that there is truly no limit to His love, mercy and compassion, and each one of us are called to share in this love.

At the same time, we are reminded not to be complacent in living our faith and lives so that we do not end up falling into the temptations of sin or thinking that we are better than others and holier in any way. Even if this is true, we are called not to compete about this or attempt to discredit and undermine each others’ journey towards salvation, but rather, to help each other in our journey and way towards God. The Lord wants us all to show love for our fellow brothers and sisters, and not be selfish, thinking only about ourselves.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the words of the Lord saying to His disciples of how they ought to be faithful to God, in all the things they do in life. They are all called to be truly faithful and not just being hypocritical or self-serving in their attitudes. In order to follow the Lord wholeheartedly, we have to be ready to forgive each other, to be reconciled with our fellow brethren, for if we cannot even forgive our brothers and sisters for their smaller faults and mistakes to us, then how can we expect to be forgiven for our comparatively much greater sins?

That is why, during this season of Lent, all of us are called to reach out to one another, to show love to our fellow men, and to be merciful and forgiving, letting go of our pride, our ego and stubbornness, opening our hearts and minds, our entire beings to God’s love and grace. We should allow God to work His wonders and love through us. That is why we are all called to turn back towards the Lord and to repent from our sinful ways, and help each other in this respective journeys of faith we have. It is not a competition, for in the end, what awaits us in God is the same result and outcome.

In this season of Lent, let us all spend more time in prayer and contemplation, deepening our relationship with God and building a genuine connection with Him. Too many of us do not even have a superficial connection and relationship with God, less still a good and vibrant one. We are often too busy to even recognise God’s presence in our lives, ignoring His love and attention to us. He has always watched over us and patiently guided us towards Himself, but it is we who often neglected our responsibilities and abandoned our faith in God.

Let us all therefore strive to do our best to be better Christians in each and every moments of our lives, and this Lent is the best time for us to begin charting our path forward in being faithful to God and in living our lives to the best we can as Christians in our respective communities and places. May the Lord be with us all, and may He empower each and every one of us to walk with Him faithfully each day, living virtuously, now and always. Amen.

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