Wednesday, 1 February 2023 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all reminded of the love that God has given very generously to each and every one of us, in sending to us His only begotten Son, Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Through Christ, all of us have received the assurance of salvation and the path to eternal life, in which we shall be truly joyful and happy, and we have to persevere through the challenges, trials, obstacles and many hardships in this life to enter into the glorious kingdom of God. All of us are reminded not to be easily swayed and distracted by the many temptations all around us, the temptations of pride, ego, desire, worldly glory and many other things that may distract us from finding our true focus in God.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Epistle to the Hebrews in which the author of this Epistle spoke of the reminders for the faithful people of God to seek righteousness in God and to be good and virtuous in their lives for they have all been made the adopted children of the Lord by their sharing of the human nature of Christ, Who has borne our many sins and died for our sake on His Cross, so that we may be reconciled with God, our most loving Father and Creator. And as His children, the Lord as our loving and caring Father will chastise us according to His desire, to see us growing better in our actions and lives, so that we do not end up falling into the wrong path or into the darkness. He does not want us to be lost from Him once again, having already been reconciled with us.

Unfortunately, it is our stubbornness and often lack of faith that have led us to be rebellious and to refuse the Lord’s repeated generous and kind offer to forgive us our sins and mistakes. The Lord has given us many opportunities, assistance and reminders all these while, chastising and rebuking us, disciplining us as He saw fit. All these are not because He despised us, but on the contrary because He truly loves us very much. If He despised and hated us, He could have easily willed us out of existence and cast us all into the eternal darkness and damnation. He could have destroyed us and crushed us by the power of His will alone. But this is not what He chose to do with us. As our loving Father and Creator, Who loves us all very dearly, God wants nothing less than our redemption and complete reconciliation with Him.

But as we heard in our Gospel passage today, many among us are still stubborn, refusing to believe in the Lord and His truth, especially because of our pride and ego, our inability to accept the truth that we may be mistaken and faulty in our thinking, judgment and understanding. Like those people in the hometown of the Lord Jesus who judged and doubted Him simply because they thought they knew Him and that just because He was apparently the Son of the local carpenter, then He was unworthy of the great Wisdom and the deeds that He had carried out in the midst of the people of God. Those people presumed that whatever they had heard and witnessed must have been wrong or mistaken because it could not be feasible for this mere Son of a village carpenter to have done them all, or spoke of all the great words of Wisdom that He had spoken.

By looking down on them, those people had shown the ugly nature of their prideful existence and hearts, their stubborn minds and all that they had put in place to keep themselves from listening to God and His truth. The Lord has patiently reached out to them and showed them His love, and yet, they continued to oppose Him, rebuff Him, reject Him and His most generous offer of love and kindness. It is easy for us to dismiss those people as being rebellious and delinquent, but what we cannot forget is that, we ourselves have often shown the same attitude as well, the same stubbornness and refusal to listen to the Lord.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, having often witnessed and experienced God’s most generous love and kindness, we should all be thankful for the Lord and His constant love for us and for having been ever patient with us, despite our many stubborn rebelliousness and wickedness. However, we cannot continue to walk down this path of wickedness and sin, and we have to embrace Lord’s path, His forgiveness and mercy, or else we may end up falling deeper and deeper into this path of darkness and sin. We cannot continue to let ourselves be dragged ever deeper into this trap which the Devil and all of his wicked forces are always actively trying to put in our path.

Let us all hence commit ourselves anew to the Lord, dedicating our time and effort to grow ever closer to Him, in each and every moments, and let us all continue to strive in our effort to live ever more worthily of Him, by doing our best in following the Law and the commandments of God, in living our lives well according to the precepts and ways taught to us by the Lord, and reminding ourselves of the errors and the faults that we have committed all these while in our lives. Each one of us as the children of God are expected to be like our Father, Who is good and perfect in all things. Hence, we too should be good, faithful, committed and righteous at all times.

May the Lord continue to help us and guide us in our journey of faith throughout life, and may He continue to bless us in our lives, in our actions and works, so that we may continue to what is right and just in accordance with His will. May God be with us always, and may He strengthen and empower us with His love, His Wisdom, His grace and blessings, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

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