Saturday, 18 June 2022 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture, we are all reminded of the words of the Lord telling us and reassuring us that there is nothing that we really need to worry about in life as the Lord Who is always by our side will always provide for us and strengthen us. He will not abandon us or ignore our plight, and in the end, those who keep their faith in God will be justified and will be blessed. Our first reading today from the Old Testament provided just one of the many proofs of these, just as I am sure that many of us have experienced God’s providence and help ourselves in our own lives.

In that first reading passage, taken from the Second Book of Kings, we heard of the account of what happened in the southern kingdom of Judah as the High Priest Jehoiada passed away, and the young king whose rise to power he had supported, namely king Joash of Judah, began falling away from the path of the Lord, and he began to reverse some of the reforms initiated and put in place by Jehoiada in leading the people back towards the Lord. This resulted in the people of God sliding back into the path to sin and damnation, and God raised the spirit of the son of Jehoiada, one named Zechariah as mentioned in our first reading, to speak up against the king and his wicked actions.

That led to him being persecuted and attacked, and eventually was martyred, as a faithful servant of God. We then heard of the retribution and justice from the Lord, as a short while later the forces of the Arameans defeated the kingdom of Judah and ended up with the death of Joash, who had caused the death of the righteous Zechariah. Joash got his just consequence of having persecuted and killed a righteous man, and for his refusal to listen to Zechariah and his criticism, served to remind him to return to God. Joash suffered and perished because of his mistakes and sins, in allowing the people of God to slide back into the path of sin and darkness.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the words of the Lord speaking to His disciples with the main intention of telling them that they must not be worried, concerned and afraid of what they would have to face and endure in the world, for the Lord will provide for each one of us in our hour of need. We have no need to be afraid or worried because no matter what we have to go through in life, the Lord will triumph with us in the end. Of course the path and journey towards there will not be easy, and there will be plenty of challenges going forward, but we should not let those from preventing us to walk in the path that the Lord has shown us, or distract us into the wrong paths.

Many of us have spent too much time focusing on our desires and concerns, our fears and worries that we have neglected our calling in life to be good and devout Christians. And we ended up doing things that bring harm to others and caused plenty of sufferings and pain, as what king Joash, his officials and many of our other predecessors had done. They sought worldly power and glory, and in trying to gain the approval of the world and the society, they had caused the people of God to lapse into the path of sin, and hence, they had fallen into the path from which it was difficult to get out from, the slippery path of sin.

And God did not forget about Zechariah and those who were righteous, as we heard how He justly punished Joash and his supporters for having persecuted and killed Zechariah. While Zechariah did have to suffer, but in the end, he was justified and triumphed in the end with God, while those who persecuted him faced their just consequences, as how Joash was humbled and brought low, and as mentioned in the Scriptures, that his deeds in murdering a dedicated servant of God and son of the High Priest, who was his own protector, had earned Joash a scorn and being despised by his own people, that he was not even entombed within the tombs of the kings of Judah.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, through what we have heard in the Scriptures today, all of us are reminded that we must not allow the temptations of worldly power and glory from distracting us in our journey towards God and His salvation. We must not let the temptations and pressures of worldly desires and the allures of sin from dragging us down the slippery path towards damnation. That is why, we have to learn to trust more in the Lord, and to put ourselves in His hands, and entrust our lives, our efforts and works, and everything we say and do, to Him. And we are also called to help one another and be sources of inspiration to each other so that we may remain ever faithful to God, at all times.

May the Lord continue to be with us, guiding us and strengthening us along the way, so that each and every one of us may grow ever more committed to walk in the path that He has set before us. May He help us all to endure the persecutions, oppositions, sufferings and trials that we may have to face, in each and every moments of our lives. May He empower us all that we may be better and more resolute Christians that can help one another to stay committed to our path in life, in serving God and in inspiring more and more people to come ever closer to God and His salvation. May God bless our every good works and endeavours, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

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