Thursday, 14 July 2022 : 15th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Camillus de Lellis, Priest (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all reminded of the love and the consolation that God can give us, and we are reminded of all that God had done for us, His beloved people in the past. Through the Lord alone we can find true joy, peace and satisfaction, and there is nowhere else that we can gain this true happiness except that through God. That is why each and every one of us are called to turn towards Him, placing our trust and hope upon Him. All of us should spend the time and effort to come towards God and to communicate with Him, that we may know His will for us.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Isaiah in which the prophet spoke of the prayers and wishes that the people of Judah had made to the Lord, which the prophet gathered and offered to the Lord. The prophet Isaiah beseeched on behalf of the people the Lord’s providence and love, the peace that they desired and the happiness that they sought in Him, when they were distressed and troubled. Chronologically, at that time, the kingdom of Judah where the remnants of the faithful Israelites remained, was surrounded by powerful enemies, especially that of the rapidly growing Assyrian Empire.

The Assyrians then had just recently destroyed and conquered the northern kingdom of Israel, as well as other nations and countries surrounding Judah, and for the case of Israel, the Assyrians brought their inhabitants and people off into exile in faraway regions of Assyria and Mesopotamia. They therefore also threatened the existence of Judah, which certainly must have terrified many in that kingdom and country. But the Lord reassured His people and revealed His presence and guidance for them through His prophets, including that of the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah therefore helped the people to communicate with God, for them to know His will and all that He has promised to them, while at the same time, Isaiah also pleaded on behalf of the people regarding their predicament and troubles. The Lord certainly already knew all about the sufferings and trials that His people were suffering from, as He knew everything that happened in the world. However, the petitions and the pleading from the people would have moved Him to come to their rescue, as that showed just how the people were willing to follow the Lord and have faith in Him.

The Lord has called on us to come to Him and to seek His help and love, just as we heard in our Gospel passage today. The Lord Jesus told His disciples and the people the famous words, “Come to Me all you who labour and are heavily burdened and I will give you rest.” And to this, He also added on that His burden and weight were light, contextually as compared to the other burdens and weights that we will have to bear if we trust instead in other means and ways instead of putting our faith and trust in the Lord.

What this ought to remind us is first of all that, being Christians does not mean that we will have an easy and comfortable life. On the contrary, we may have to suffer and persevere through many challenges and trials as we navigate this world as faithful Christians, in each and every opportunities and moments throughout our lives. There may be a lot of obstacles, more for some, less for others, in our path in life as Christians. But in the end, following the path of the Lord will lead us to the ultimate victory and triumph with God, and in the end, the sacrifices and sufferings we may have to suffer will be well worth it.

Today, let us all discern and reflect on the examples that were presented to us by St. Camillus de Lellis, the saint whose feast the Church is commemorating on this day. St. Camillus de Lellis was a dedicated priest who spent a lot of his time and effort in caring for the well-being of his flock, all those who came to him seeking help, and he cared for them all, making sure that they gained access to physical and medical care and attention, as well as spiritual and mental guidance, to help them to persevere through the many challenges of the world. St. Camillus de Lellis spent a lot of time and effort for the poor, the sick and the needy, and helped them in various ways.

Not only that St. Camillus de Lellis spent a lot of effort to care for the sick, doing what he could to help those who were suffering, but eventually, he was inspired and touched through all of his experiences, to establish a religious order and congregation dedicated to the care of the people who are sick and suffering, which came to be known after their founder as the Camillians, also known officially as the Order of the Clerks Regular, Ministers of the Infirm. Through this congregation, St. Camillus de Lellis called and inspired many people to come and help in the many charitable efforts and works that the Camillians would later be well known for.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore do whatever we can to follow the Lord and to entrust ourselves to Him, knowing well that through Him alone there is hope and salvation, true joy and everlasting happiness. Let us all also be called and inspired to follow in the great examples of His saints, like that of St. Camillus de Lellis, in sharing the truth and knowledge of the love and compassion of God in how we interact and deal with one another, in showing genuine care and concern for our fellow brothers and sisters, now and always. May God bless us always, and may He continue to guide us and strengthen us through the challenges and trials we may face, in each and every moments of our lives. Amen.

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