Thursday, 24 March 2022 : 3rd Week of Lent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all reminded of the love of God and all that He had done for the sake of His beloved people, for all of us whom the Lord has always cared for since the beginning of time. The Lord will not abandon us His people, although we have often disappointed and angered Him with our various disobedience and lack of trust and faith in Him. We have often preferred to follow the false idols and guides in life, instead of entrusting ourselves wholeheartedly in God.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Jeremiah in which the Lord spoke to His people through Jeremiah, telling His prophet to remind and even rebuke the people for their disobedience and lack of faith. He reminded them all through Jeremiah how He had shown them the path to His righteousness and justice, and how He has presented them with His Law and commandments, all that He had done to guide them and help them find their way to Him, and yet, they still stubbornly refused to follow and disobeyed Him.

And not only that, but they have also persecuted the Lord’s prophets and messengers, refusing to listen to them and making their lives and works very difficult, much as what Jeremiah himself would also endure during his time working and ministering to the people of God in Judah. They would accuse Jeremiah of wrongdoing and even treason, for speaking the truth and the words of God, when the people preferred to listen instead to the false prophets who brought forth their false words and lies to tempt and misguide the people of God into the path of sin.

That was exactly what the Lord experienced as we heard in our Gospel passage today. In that occasion, we heard how the Lord Jesus was criticised and even wrongly accused of colluding and working with the prince of demons, Beelzebul, by the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, who opposed and had done a lot in resisting the Lord and His works among the people of God. Not only that they made it difficult for Him to perform His works, but they even made such false accusations and slander to discredit Him in the eyes of the people and to prevent Him from doing the good works of God.

That was where the Lord immediately rebuked those faithless and unreasonable people who had often pestered and made His works difficult, by pointing out how unreasonable and foolish their false accusations had been, by arguing that the Lord had colluded with the prince of demons in order to drive out evil spirits. He pointed out how the devil and all of his allies, namely all the evil spirits, demons and all the forces of evil and wickedness are all ought not to be divided against each other, or they would have destroyed each other and would not have been able to harm us.

Instead, on the contrary, the Lord wanted to point out that the devil and his allies were in fact strongly united in their common desire to see about our downfall and annihilation. They would do all they could and unite their efforts to bring us down and to drag us into the path of condemnation and destruction. It was in fact we mankind who are divided among ourselves by our allowance and complicity in allowing these wicked spirits and forces from dividing us and misleading us through their lies and efforts, much as what the people had done to the prophets and Jeremiah, and what the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had done to the Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, during this season of Lent, all of us are called through these readings of the Sacred Scriptures we have heard today to discern carefully our path in life and ask ourselves well, if we have done the same as those who had little faith in the Lord. Have we treated the Lord and His servants, all those whom He had called and chosen to be the ones to lay the path of righteousness before us, with contempt and opposition, or have we instead humbly and willingly listened to them speaking the words of truth in our hearts and minds?

Let us all consider our path carefully in this life going forward, brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us all not allow the devil and all of his forces of evil and wickedness from misleading us and tempting us away from God and His righteousness, from His salvation and grace. Let us all make the conscious effort to resist all of their lies and evil, and strive to do our best in following God and in living our lives to the best of our abilities in doing His will and obeying His Law and commandments, and being exemplary in all things we say and do in life. May God be with us all always and may He bless our works and efforts, that we may inspire many others to do the same as well. Amen.

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