Friday, 6 January 2023 : Weekday of Christmas Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all reminded yet again of the Salvation which God has brought into our midst, through the Incarnation of His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. By the Incarnation of the Divine Word of God made flesh, and born into this world through His mother Mary, which we are still celebrating as we are still in the midst this Christmas season, we have received the assurance of eternal life and joy if we keep up our faith and trust in Him, Our Lord and Saviour. And we heard from the passages of the Scriptures of the proof of the fulfilment of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ, by the testimony of Blood, Water and Spirit. All of these testimonies pointed out that Jesus Christ is indeed the One sent by God to redeem us all.

In our first reading today, taken from the Epistle of St. John the Apostle, we heard of the Apostle mentioning those testimonies of Blood, Water and Spirit by which the salvation in Jesus Christ was proven true and legitimate, and has become therefore the source of life and joy for countless people throughout the generations. What does these testimonies refer to? They can refer to many things that have happened throughout the Lord’s earthly ministry and mission that proclaimed Him as the true Messiah and Saviour of all mankind. Blood and water for example came forth from the side of the Lord when a Roman soldier, traditionally known as St. Longinus, pierced His side. The blood and water that came out from the Lord’s side became the source of purification and cleansing of our sins, just as we have been purchased by His Precious Blood and washed clean in this same Blood. St. Longinus himself, as the Scriptures described, became a believer because of this.

When St. Longinus pierced the Lord’s side, it was an action designed by professional soldiers and executioners to check if the criminal being sentenced to death had died or not. The spear pierced the Lord’s Heart through His side, and when blood and water came out, it is a proof that the person had died. Therefore through this testimony of Blood and water, we have seen that Christ truly died on the Cross, and His sacrifice had been perfectly and completely offered and given to God for our salvation. He truly died on the Cross and His sacrifice was not just symbolic or an illusion as some others had believed. This testimony proved to all of us that Christ is truly the Suffering Servant Whom God would send to His people to redeem them, by His sufferings and death, as spoken by the prophet Isaiah.

The testimony of Blood is also referred to in a way in one our two possible choices for the Gospel passages today, which detailed the full genealogy of the Lord Jesus from the time of Adam, through Abraham and then David, as the descendant of Man, from the very first one who fell into sin, that is Adam, and then to the one with whom God had made His first Covenant, that is Abraham, and finally to the one whom God had made to be King over all of Israel, and promised that his house and reign will last forever. Through this descent of bloodline from Adam, passing through both St. Joseph and Mary, as according to tradition, Mary herself was also born through the house of David, hence, God proved His promises to all of us, through His Incarnation and birth as the Son and Heir of David, and the Saviour of all mankind.

Lastly, through the testimonies provided at the moment when St. John the Baptist baptised the Lord Jesus at the River Jordan, which is contained in the other possible Gospel passage for today, we heard of the words of the Lord Himself affirming that Jesus is truly the Son of God, the One sent into this world to save it, and the Holy Spirit descended like a Dove to rest on the Head of the Lord, revealing to St. John and anyone who witnessed the occasion, that the Lord Jesus was not just merely an ordinary Man, but He is the Lord God Himself, the Divine Word Incarnate, affirmed by the Father from Heaven through His voice, and also by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God that descended upon Him, the Son of God born to be the Saviour of all. Through all these testimonies presented to us, we should indeed have firm faith that Jesus Christ is Our Lord and Saviour.

Unfortunately, in our world today, many of us, even amongst Christians, we all tend to carry on with our lives without regards for the Lord, and many of us sidelined Him, ignored Him and refused to walk in His path. Even in our Christmas celebrations and festivities, we have been so distracted by worldly matters and pleasures that we ended up forgetting Him in our Christmas joy and celebrations. And now that to much of the world, the time of Christmas has passed, Christ has been forgotten and sidelined even more. Yet, we must not forget that Christmas is still ongoing and we are still well within the Christmas season. As Christians, how does that translate in our lives? How does that show in our actions and way of celebrating Christmas?

That is why we should refocus our attention on the Lord and reorientate ourselves and our lives upon Him as the centre and focus of our lives and existence. In our current celebrations of the remaining time and season of Christmas, let us all return to the roots of the joy of this Christmas season. Let us all hence turn towards God with renewed faith and commitment from now on that we may indeed grow ever closer to Him and that we may redirect and realign our lives that we may truly be devoted Christians, in all things and in loving God and our fellow brothers and sisters. Because Christ has shown us all God’s most generous love, let us all show love in our every actions, works and deeds as well, in every opportunities provided to us.

May the Lord, our most loving and compassionate God, Who has sent us Christ to be our Saviour and Redeemer, continue to guide us in our journey of faith through life. May He bless us in our every good works and endeavours, for His greater glory and for the salvation of many more souls in this world. May all of us be good role models and examples to each other, in being best examples of faith and commitment to God, at all times. Amen.

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