Friday, 8 January 2021 : Friday after Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded that through Christ, all of us have been saved and rescued from our great predicament of sin, that we all have been healed and made whole once again through His loving sacrifice on the Cross. He did all of these by the outpouring of His own Blood, the Most Precious Blood by which He has absolved all of us from our sins.

In our Gospel passage today we heard of the Lord Jesus and His action in healing a leper who sought healing from Him. The man asked the Lord to make him clean from his leprosy, a terrible condition that had sundered and separated him from the community for according to the Law, those who had been afflicted by leprosy had to leave the community and wander off in the wilderness in order to prevent its spread.

Then the Lord reached out to the leper and said that He wanted to heal him. He healed him immediately from his leprosy and he was whole once again. By this He has restored the link that the leper had once had with his community and returned him to a new life free from the terror of the leprosy. And this is in fact symbolic of what the Lord Himself had done to us.

What I mean is that, all of us, while we were still in the state of sin, corrupted and darkened by all the terrible evils in this world, then the Lord has also reached out to us and touched us by His generous love. He has healed us from our sins, which have no other cure besides the forgiveness from God. Through those sins, we have been separated from God just as how the leper had been separated and cast out from the society. But thanks to God, that is not our end fate.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are all called to remember this amazing love that God has shown us, His mercy, compassion and forgiveness. All of us have received healing from the Lord and if we are faithful, we shall receive the fullness of His eternal glory, grace and love. This is what St. John in our first reading today has emphasised, reminding us of the love of God.

The Lord has shown us His love, by the testimonies of water, Spirit and Blood. In two days’ time, we are going to celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, marking the end of the liturgical season of Christmas, and reminding us that through the Lord Jesus and His Baptism at the Jordan, and the Holy Spirit descending on Him, God revealed to all that this was truly His Son, the Beloved One sent into the world in order to save it.

And as I mentioned earlier, by the outpouring of His Blood from the Cross, the love of God has been bared to us in its fullness. By His Precious Blood we have been cleansed and we have received the assurance of grace and salvation. However, many of us are still ignorant and in denial of God’s generous love, compassion and kindness. The Lord has called us and is reaching out to us, but many of us have not yet responded to Him or even shut Him out of our lives.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us reflect on our lives and consider carefully how we are to proceed in life. Let us all turn towards the Lord and remind ourselves of just how great the love that He has shown us, and how He had suffered grievously, endured the worst punishments and humiliations, and died on the Cross for our sake. Let us all therefore seek Him and entrust ourselves to Him and His love with ever greater devotion from now on.

May the Lord be with us always and may He bless us all in all of our efforts and good endeavours from now on. May God be our Guide and strength in this journey of life. May the Lord’s love be with us and within us always. Amen.

Friday, 8 January 2021 : Friday after Epiphany (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 5 : 12-16

At that time, one day, in another town, a man came to Jesus covered with leprosy. On seeing Jesus, the man bowed down to the ground, and said, “Lord, if You want to, You can make me clean.”

Stretching out His hand, Jesus touched the man and said, “Yes, I want to. Be clean.” In an instant, the leprosy left him. Then Jesus instructed him, “Tell this to no one. But go, and show yourself to the priest. Make an offering for your healing, as Moses prescribed; that will serve as evidence for them.”

But the news about Jesus spread all the more; and large crowds came to Him, to listen and to be healed of their sickness. As for Jesus, He would often withdraw to solitary places and pray.

Friday, 8 January 2021 : Friday after Epiphany (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 147 : 12-13, 14-15, 19-20

Exalt YHVH, o Jerusalem; praise your God, o Zion! For He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your children within you.

He grants peace on your borders and feeds you with the finest grain. He sends His command to the earth and swiftly runs His word.

It is He, Who tells Jacob His words; His laws and decrees, to Israel. This, He has not done for other nations, so His laws remain unknown to them. Alleluia!

Friday, 8 January 2021 : Friday after Epiphany (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 5 : 5-13

Who has overcome the world? The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus Christ was acknowledged through water, but also through Blood. Not only water but water and Blood. And the Spirit, too, witnesses to Him for the Spirit is truth.

There are then three testimonies : the Spirit, the water and the Blood, and these three witnesses agree. If we accept human testimony, with greater reason must we accept that of God, given in favour of His Son. If you believe in the Son of God, you have God’s testimony in you.

But those who do not believe make God a liar, since they do not believe His words when He witnesses to His Son. What has God said? That He has granted us eternal life and this life is in His Son. The one who has the Son has life, the one who do not have the Son of God do not have life.

I write you, then, all these things that you may know that you have eternal life, all you who believe in the Name of the Son of God.