Saturday, 11 January 2020 : Saturday after the Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we heard the words of the Scripture, on which we are reminded first of all on the matter of sin, which we must take seriously as sin is a serious obstacle on our way towards God the Father, and we have to be wary and be vigilant against our vulnerability towards those sins. And we must know how merciful God is towards us, as His love for us truly exceeds even the multitudes of our sins.

And God is calling on us to turn away from those sins and embrace His merciful and compassionate love. And He is also calling on us all today on the need for us to reach out to our brethren around us, to call on them and to remind one another on the need to realign our lives once again with God. The Lord has provided us with His truth through His Son, Our Lord Jesus as St. John mentioned in his Epistle in our first reading passage today.

We need to know that it is our Christian duty and obligation for us to reach out to our brethren who are falling out of their faith and path towards God. If we do not do so while we are perfectly capable of doing so, then we are actually partly to blame if they end up falling further and deeper into sin, because we have committed a sin of omission by our failure to act. We have to help one another in our journey of faith as we are bound to face challenges along this journey.

Now, we should look at the good examples set by St. John the Baptist in our Gospel passage today, as the inspiration and example we should hold up to, as we strive to become a better disciple and follower of the Lord. We all know how St. John the Baptist was vigorous in his works in calling on the people to repent from their sins and baptised many people at the River Jordan, which he still continued to do as we heard in our Gospel passage today.

That was when some of the disciples of St. John the Baptist came to him and complained that the Lord Jesus, Who was baptised by St. John the Baptist himself not long previously, was also baptising and getting more and more people to follow Him. The disciples made such a comment out of fear and jealousy, thinking of Jesus and His disciples as the rivals of their master, St. John the Baptist and themselves.

But St. John the Baptist was instead happy that more and more people were flocking to the Lord, and he reiterated what he has once told the Levites and the priests earlier on, that he was just a mere servant, whose role was to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. He humbly did his best and continued his works; and was happy that he was able to prepare the way well for his Lord and Master, the One Saviour promised for the salvation of the world.

The attitude and dedication of St. John the Baptist are the things that all of us as Christians must be inspired to adapt and follow well, as first of all, as what we have discussed earlier, the Lord has called on us all to be caring for one another and to help those who are falling away from His salvation and grace. And then, the humility which St. John the Baptist clearly exhibited is a good reminder for all of us that we are all serving the greater purpose and for the greater glory of God and not for ourselves.

Are we able to do the same in our own lives, brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we able to do our best in our respective lives that our lives may glorify God, and especially in our contributions as members of God’s Church, that we may inspire others around us whose faith are lukewarm and are in danger of slipping further and further into sin. Do not allow pride, greed and other negative things into us, as the devil is hard at work trying to distract us through the many temptations present all around us. Let us follow the humility and dedication showed by St. John the Baptist.

Hopefully we may become bright beacons of God’s light in this darkened world, to help lead everyone to God, that all of us will be saved together and live forever in God’s presence. May God be with us always. Amen.

Saturday, 11 January 2020 : Saturday after the Epiphany (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 3 : 22-30

At that time, Jesus went into the territory of Judea with His disciples. He stayed there with them and baptised. John was also baptising in Aenon, near Salim, where water was plentiful; people came to him and were baptised. This happened before John was put in prison.

Now John’s disciples had been questioned by a Jew about spiritual cleansing, so they came to John and said, “Rabbi, the One Who was with you across the Jordan, and about Whom you spoke favourably, is now baptising, and all are going to Him.”

John answered, “No one can receive anything, except what has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before Him.’ Only the bridegroom has the bride; but the friend of the bridegroom stands by and listens, and rejoices to hear the bridegroom’s voice. My joy is now full. It is necessary that He increase, but that I decrease.”

Saturday, 11 January 2020 : Saturday after the Epiphany (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 149 : 1-6, 9

Alleluia! Sing to the Lord a new song, sing His praise in the assembly of His saints. Let Israel rejoice in his Maker, let the people of Zion glory in their King!

Let them dance in praise of His Name and make music for Him with harp and timbrel. For the Lord delights in His people; He crowns the lowly with victory.

The saints will exult in triumph; even at night on their couches. Let the praise of God be on their lips, this is the glory of all His saints. Alleluia!

Saturday, 11 January 2020 : Saturday after the Epiphany (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 5 : 14-21

Through the Son of God we are fully confident that whatever we ask, according to His will, He will grant us. If we know that He hears us whenever we ask, we know that we already have what we asked of Him.

If you see your brother committing sin, a sin which does not lead to death, pray for him, and God will give life to your brother. I speak, of course, of the sin which does not lead to death. There is also a sin that leads to death; I do not speak of praying about this. Every kind of wrongdoing is sin, but not all sin leads to death.

We know, that those born of God do not sin, but the One Who was born of God, protects them, and the evil one does not touch them. We know, that we belong to God, while the whole world lies in evil. We know, that the Son of God has come and has given us power to know the truth. We are in Him Who is true, His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God, and eternal life. My dear children, keep yourselves from idols.