Thursday, 14 January 2021 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us are reminded through the words of the Lord in the Scriptures to be always obedient and faithful to Him and to His commandments, laws and ways. We should not allow ourselves to be swayed and tempted to sin, to do what is against the will of God, against His teachings and ways. As Christians we are all called to be righteous and good in life, and to be exemplary in our actions and way of living at all times.

In our first reading today from the Epistle to the Hebrews, the author reminded the faithful converts among the Jewish people of the rebellion and disobedience of their ancestors, as reiterated in our Psalm today as we heard of the rebellion of the Israelites at Massah and Meribah, which referred to one of the most terrible and wicked rebellion of the Israelites as they at that time still journeyed out of the land of Egypt during their Exodus.

The Israelites remained stubborn and rebellious despite everything that God had done for them, in bringing them out of the land of their slavery and protecting them from the oppression by the Egyptians and their Pharaoh. They refused to believe in Him and put their faith and trust in Him despite all the love that He has shown them, in providing for them with plenty of food, the manna and flocks of birds, with water to drink even as they journeyed through the dry and lifeless desert.

They had been disobedient, rebellious and stubborn, and yet, the Lord still loved them and wanted to care for them. They did test His patience again and again, many times, and suffered punishments and consequences for such deliberate acts of disobedience. Nonetheless, the Lord still led them and guided them patiently until they reached the land that He has promised to them and to their ancestors.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we heard in the Gospel passage today of how the Lord Jesus healed a man of his complaints, his leprosy and his sickness. The Lord showed pity and love for the man, and willingly healed the leper, making him whole once again. The Lord touched the leper and miraculously healed him. This is the love that God has for each and every one of us, and which He has patiently showed us all these while.

The Lord wants us to be healed from our sickness and troubles. However, we are not sick, aren’t we? Many of us are physically well and perfectly healthy. But what I refer to, is the sickness of our sins, our spiritual sickness. For each and every one of us who have sinned, have been afflicted by those sins we committed, and therefore, had been corrupted and made to fall further and further away from the path of the Lord.

But the Lord did not let us all alone by ourselves, or to suffer the consequences of our sins by ourselves. Instead, He extended His loving hands of mercy and His generous love, that each and every one of us may find forgiveness through Him, be reconciled and reunited to Him that we may not perish, but enter into the eternity of happiness and glory that He has always intended for us, from the very beginning, but prevented by our sins.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore reflect on our way of life and our actions, and think of how we can appreciate better the love that God has constantly showed us, in all the patience He has shown us despite our numerous disobedience and stubbornness. Let us all no longer harden our hearts and be open to receive the Lord into our hearts, and let us all grow to love Him more and more with each and every passing moments.

May the Lord be with us always, and may He continue to bless us all, and may He strengthen us to be ever more faithful in all things, and be ever more courageous in standing up for our faith in the Lord, at all times. May God be our Guide and Light always, now and forevermore. Amen.

Thursday, 14 January 2021 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 1 : 40-45

At that time, a leper came to Jesus and begged Him, “If You want to, You can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I do want to; be clean.”

The leprosy left the man at once and he was made clean. As Jesus sent the man away, He sternly warned him, “Do not tell anyone about this, but go and show yourself to the priest, and for the cleansing bring the offering ordered by Moses; in this way you will give to them your testimony.”

However, as soon as the man went out, he began spreading the news everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter any town. But even though He stayed in the rural areas, people came to Him from everywhere.

Thursday, 14 January 2021 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 94 : 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

Come and worship; let us bow down, kneel before the Lord, our Maker. He is our God, and we His people; the flock He leads and pastures. Would that today you heard His voice!

Do not be stubborn, as at Meribah, in the desert, on that day at Massah, when your ancestors challenged Me, and they put Me to the test.

For forty years they wearied Me and I said, “They are a people of inconsistent heart; they have not known My ways.” So I declared an oath in My anger, “Never shall they enter My rest.”

Thursday, 14 January 2021 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Hebrews 3 : 7-14

Listen to what the Holy Spirit says : If only you would hear God’s voice today! Do not be stubborn, as they were in the place called Rebellion, when your ancestors challenged Me in the desert, although they had seen My deeds for forty years. That is why I was angry with those people and said : Their hearts are always going astray and they do not understand My ways. I was angry and made a solemn vow : They will never enter My rest.

So, brothers, be careful lest some of you come to have an evil and unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. Encourage one another, day by day, as long as it is called today. Let no one become hardened in the deceitful way of sin. We are associated with Christ provided we hold steadfastly to our initial hope until the end.