Friday, 8 April 2022 : 5th Week of Lent (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard from the Gospels yet another account of the confrontations that happened between the Lord and those who opposed Him, all those who refused to listen to Him and continued to stubbornly hardened their hearts and minds. The same thing had happened to the prophet Jeremiah in the past as well, and we heard the plots and the things that people had done to the prophet and servant of God. But God has always stood by His faithful ones and He would not let those who are dear to Him to suffer and be crushed. Even if they were to suffer, in the end, those who remain faithful to God shall triumph together with Him.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Jeremiah regarding the time when persecutions faced by Jeremiah at the hands of his enemies, which at that time opposed Jeremiah and his works among the people of Judah, calling on all the people to return back towards God with faith. God had sent him to His obstinate and stubborn people to remind them of His ever generous mercy, which He has always made available to them, but which they had frequently ignored and spurned.

Jeremiah had to go through a lot of troubles for the sake of the Lord, and yet, He endured all of it patiently, and entrusted himself and his works to the Lord. Of course there were moments when he was exhausted and tired of facing all the oppositions, and which he spoke to the Lord about, but in the end, he believed that God sent him for a good reason, and no matter what, in the end, those who believe in Him and trust in Him will never be disappointed. Jeremiah, just as many other prophets who came before him and those who came after him, might have to endure all those bitterness and hardships, but through their faith and dedication, they had done a lot of good works for the sake of the Lord.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard how the Lord were opposed by the Jewish people in Jerusalem and Judea who were against Him and were incensed and angry when He spoke of His truth, that He is indeed the Son of God, the Messiah or Saviour sent into this world. The people were stubborn and refused to believe in Him, because they refused to admit that the Man they saw before Him, a mere Son of a carpenter from Galilee, could have been the Saviour of the world. They refused to listen to Him because they were prideful and filled with ego and hubris, particularly those who saw themselves as more righteous than others.

Yet, the Lord kept on speaking the truth and would not be deterred by the opposition He had faced, just as Jeremiah had once done his best and continued to carry out the mission entrusted to him despite the challenges and oppositions he encountered. The Lord Jesus spoke the truth and revealed more and more of what the Lord, the Almighty God, would very soon be doing for the sake of the whole world, through Him, the One Who had been sent into this world as its Saviour and Hope. The Lord would soon enter into His Passion and He was prepared to carry out the mission entrusted to Him to the very end, even though He would have to endure the bitter sufferings for that.

Through our Scripture readings today continue to prepare us for the celebration of the Lord’s Passion, His suffering, death and resurrection which we will all focus on throughout the Holy Week next week. Now, we have heard all the trials and challenges that the faithful servants of the Lord had to endure in their works of faith, and ultimately, the Lord Himself would face the ultimate trial in His Passion, His crucifixion and death. All of us as Christians must remember the Lord’s words, that He had told us, how if we are to be His disciples, we have to carry our crosses and follow Him.

Are we ready to enter into the mystery of the Lord’s Passion, the most important events happening throughout the Holy Week leading to Easter? Are we able to focus our attention on Him and all that He had done for the sake of our salvation? Or are we going to remain stubborn and obstinate in the manner of how the Jewish people, especially the members of the Sanhedrin, the High Council of the Jewish people, the elders and the Pharisees had done, in opposing the Lord and His truth? Are we going to continue living in the state of sin, and walking down the path towards our destruction and death?

Let us all reflect on all these things carefully as we ponder the mystery of the Lord’s Passion, and let us focus our attention on Him as we remember everything that He had done for our sake, as He reached out to us with love, mercy and compassion, to be reconciled with us and to help us to return to Him. Let us all do our best to walk the path of this journey of faith, and do our best to endure whatever trials, challenges and obstacles that we may have to face in this journey, and not be afraid, following in the footsteps of Jeremiah and many other of God’s most faithful servants.

May God be with us all, and may He empower us all to live ever more faithfully in His Presence, now and always, evermore. Let us all be good inspiration for one another, and be role models of faith, at all times. Amen.

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