Friday, 18 January 2019 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the Lord speaking to us through the Scripture passages which we have just heard, the invitation to enter into the wondrous and joyful peace of God, which He has given to us all through Christ, His Beloved Son, Our Lord and Saviour. But it was also mentioned that unless we walk in the path of the Lord and disobey no longer, we will not be able to enter fully into that graceful rest in Him.

That is how the Gospel passage today revealed to us what we need to do in order to be able to enter fully into the rest which God has promised and provided for all those who walk in His ways and obey His will. In that passage we heard the healing of a paralytic man by the Lord Jesus, to whom the Lord said, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” And later on, the man was able to walk freely again without any more debilitation.

Why did the Lord say to the paralytic man, that his sins have been forgiven, while his condition was physical in nature? The man suffered from paralysis of the body which prevented him from being able to move easily, and was bedridden. The reason for this is that, the Lord Jesus wanted His disciples and all the people to see sin as a serious sickness of our being, which He alone can heal and amend, and nothing else. And this disease of sin inevitably will also bring about disease to the rest of our being, be it in our mind or in our body or in both.

If we are not cured from the sins that are present within us, then we will end up falling deeper and deeper into the darkness, and into the trap that the devil has set up for us, in order to make us fall into eternal damnation as he had intended. He hardened our hearts and minds with pride and greed, with ego and desires, that prevented us many times from being able to seek out His mercy and forgiveness.

That is what St. Paul wrote in the Epistle to the Jewish Christians, or the Hebrews, as he spoke of the salvation of God that has come into their midst, and yet, there were many who were resistant and stubborn in thinking that they did not need God’s healing grace and salvation. And this applied to the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, who had witnessed the great miraculous deeds the Lord had performed, and yet, they who have the greatest knowledge about the coming of the Messiah and the Scriptures did not want to believe in Him.

And this is likely caused by the pride and ego they had in them, thinking that their version of faith and Jewish customs could not have been wrong. And they were dead set in their ways, not being able to see the works of God unfolding before their eyes. They saw the Lord as an upstart and as a great rival for influence in the community of the people, and they increasingly saw Him as a threat to their worldly influence and authority.

They all might be perfectly healthy in the body and mind, unlike the paralytic man who was so weak and ill that he was not even able to move on his own, having the need to be carried by his friends to the presence of God. However, unlike the paralytic man, who received healing from God, both in body and in his soul, cleansed from his sins, because of his great faith, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law present at that occasion remained in sin.

This is how pride, ego, ambition, greed and worldly desires can be so dangerous, as they are great obstacles in our way to attain the salvation in God. Instead, we must be like the paralytic man, who made the effort, despite all of his difficulties and debilitation, in all humility, to present himself before the Lord and asking Him to heal him from all of his sicknesses and afflictions.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we too must realise that deep inside, we are still sick from the corruption of sin, caused by our disobedience against God. Are we able then to humble ourselves and to seek God with all of our hearts and minds from now on? We should turn towards God with all of our strength, and seek Him and His merciful love, for the healing and salvation of our souls. May the Lord, our loving God and Father, continue to love us and bless us, each and every days of our life. Amen.

Thursday, 17 January 2019 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony, Abbot (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture telling us about the the healing which the Lord Jesus performed on a person who suffered from leprosy. The leper came up to Him and begged Him to heal his afflictions. The Lord was moved by the faith and the effort showed by the leper, and He healed him from the leprosy, allowing the leper to return to the larger community from where he had been exiled from.

And this is linked to what we have heard in the first reading today, the Epistle that St. Paul wrote to the people and the faithful among the Jewish community, reminding them of the need for conversion of hearts and minds, to turn away from their past sinful ways and actions. It was mentioned how sin is the fruit of rebelliousness of man, who disobeyed God and refused to listen to His will. And the reason for this link, is because sin is also a form of sickness.

If leprosy is a disease that strikes at the flesh, damaging the muscles and the tissues of our body, which eventually can cause death unless it is treated and managed, then sin is also a disease that is far more serious, as it affects very deeply within our beings, corrupting and attacking at the very souls and cores of our whole beings. This corruption will end up causing us, our whole being, to fall deeper and deeper in the trap of sin, and eventually, may fall into eternal damnation.

In order to be healed, it is often that we cannot heal ourselves just by waiting and doing nothing at all. We will need to actively seek for healing, by coming to those who are able to heal us. That was how many of us managed to be healed, because we got our conditions diagnosed properly and then received the right medicine to help us to recover from the illness or sickness as quickly as possible.

In the same way, we also need healing for our sins, to be touched by God Who is able to forgive us from our sins. It is by God’s grace and forgiveness alone that we can be healed from our sins. Unless we humble ourselves before God and seek His love and mercy, it may be very difficult for us to overcome this great obstacle of sin, which prevented us from being fully loved and embraced by God.

And unfortunately, the reason for why it is often difficult for us to seek God’s mercy is because of our own ego and pride, which became a major obstacle in the journey towards our forgiveness. In our ego and pride, we often think that we cannot go wrong, that we know what is best for us. And we are often reluctant to acknowledge our sins because we fear God’s anger, or because we are not sure how we should proceed to settle those sins.

This is caused by our own ignorance and failure to understand and to appreciate the love which God has for each and every one of us. If only we can try to know more about His love and mercy being constantly present in our midst, and accept that generous offer of forgiveness and reconciliation that He had offered to us. Today, we celebrate the feast of a holy man and devout servant of God, whose life can probably be an inspiration for us on how we should become closer in love for God.

St. Anthony the Abbot, also known as St. Anthony the Great lived during the mid fourth century after the birth of Christ, as one of the famous early Christian monks, who helped to popularise the concept of monasticism among the faithful. He lived in then the Roman province of Egypt, born to a wealthy landowning family but then chose to leave everything behind and sold his properties to feed the poor, and went to the desert to be a monk.

St. Anthony lived a life totally devoted to the Lord in seclusion and prayer, and wandered the desert and the caves for many years, leading a very holy and exemplary life. However, the devil did not remain passive amidst all of those years, and actively tried to attack and tempt St. Anthony by various means. It was told that many evil spirits and demons physically and spiritually struck at the holy man, with many temptations. But St. Anthony overcame all of them with prayer.

The holiness and dedication that St. Anthony the Great had shown all of us should become an inspiration on how we should live our own lives in this world. There are indeed plenty of temptations and pressures for us to follow the ways of the world, that is the way of Satan, and not the way of the Lord. And it is indeed difficult to resist those temptations, which will come at any time and from various sources, just as those evil spirits and tempters that attacked St. Anthony had done.

However, we can follow the example shown by St. Anthony, in his prayerful dedication to the Lord, that is his constant and ever-fervent connection with his God, Who is his anchor, strength and protection. With the Lord by his side, St. Anthony was able to resist the temptations of the devil and all of his wicked forces, and became a light of inspiration for countless others among the faithful throughout the subsequent centuries and millennia, to this very day.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, are we able to walk in the footsteps of this holy man of God? We are called in our own respective capacities, in whatever we do in life, to bring glory to God by aligning ourselves closer to Him, and not to succumb to the many temptations of life. We are called to love the Lord ever more, and open ourselves to receive His love and mercy, and not to harden our hearts and minds against Him. That is why we need to pray more, and have good quality of prayerful life from now on, each and every days of our life.

May God, our loving Father, continue to love us and bless us in all of our deeds, and may He continue to guide us in our journey of life, so that in everything we say and do, we will always glorify His Name, and walk in His ways. St. Anthony the Great, holy Abbot and servant of God, pray for us sinners. Amen.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture reminding us of the many works that the Lord Jesus has done in our midst among His people, in the Gospel passage which we heard. The Lord Jesus travelled from places to places with His many disciples, performing many works and miracles, healing the sick and casting out demons, teaching the people on God’s truth and revealing the meaning of His laws.

This hard work and commitment we have heard, that the Lord and His disciples worked even until late at night and early in the morning, to serve the Lord’s people and to bring them closer towards God and His salvation. Jesus continued working even until late, so that more and more people could come to Him and be healed from their afflictions, be it from physical diseases or from troubles of the mind and soul, like those who were possessed by demons.

But the Lord also showed that He did not do all these for His own personal glory, and He did it all first and foremost because of His love for each and every one of us, and His love and obedience for the Father’s will, Whose will is our salvation and liberation from suffering because of our sins. When the people lauded Him and wanted to make Him their King, He quietly stepped aside and went away from the place to another place.

It was the same action that He did as He told His disciples, that although there were many more seeking His healing at that place, but He was called to do His work at many other places. Hence, He continued to travel from place to place, befitting what He Himself said, that the Son of Man had no place to lay down His head. He did everything for our sake, for the love He has for each and every one of us, and for the love and obedience He has to His heavenly Father.

And His greatest mission was mentioned in our first reading today, the continuation of the passages taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews, in which the Apostle St. Paul wrote to the Jewish Christian communities, linking the role and works of Christ to the role of the High Priest of God, which essentially explained what He has done for the sake of all of them, by His sacrifice on the cross.

To some of the Jews, the death of Christ in such a humiliating way on the cross, His rejection by the chief priests and the Sanhedrin Council would have amounted to a defeat and humiliation. But St. Paul told them that it was not so, for it was in truth part of what Christ has come into this world for, to be our High Priest, offering not the blood of animals but His own Body and Blood, of the Lamb of God, the Son of God incarnate in Man, that while He offered Himself as the perfect oblation for the forgiveness of our sins, He opened for us the path to eternal life.

This, is the culmination of the many good works that the Lord Jesus had performed in this world, that He gave everything up for us out of love, even laying down His own life for us. Now, are we then willing to believe in Him, and love Him with ever more zeal and devotion with each and every passing days? Let us all thank Him, Who has done everything for our sake, ceaselessly and tirelessly trying to help us through His compassionate love.

May the Lord, our loving God and Father continue to love us as He has done all these while. May He continue to bless us each and every day, and also with the grace to know His love and the strength to obey His will, in our every actions, words and deeds. May God be with us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews, speaking about God’s dominion and power which He has given to His Saviour and Son, Jesus Christ. This was conveyed to the Jewish Christian community, many of whom believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah and Prophet, but many of them did not yet hold the position of believing that Jesus is the Son of God.

St. Paul wrote that to the Lord Jesus has been given the authority from His heavenly Father, that even though to all He appeared as a Man, the Son of Man, but He was not like any other men. For He was in truth, more than just a Man. Even the Angels and the evil spirits, who were fallen angels and all those who rebelled against God with Satan, they have to obey to Him and listen to His commands. That is why in the Gospel passage today, we heard how the Lord commanded the evil spirit to leave the man who was possessed by it.

In that passage, we heard the evil spirit himself proclaiming loudly before all who were gathered, Who the Lord Jesus truly was, that He was the Holy One of God, the One sent into the world with power and authority to heal mankind and to redeem them from their sins. Ironically, when the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law and all those who should have welcomed the Lord because they were knowledgeable of the prophecies concerning Him, failed to do so and even rejected Him, an evil spirit proclaimed Him as Lord.

This is a testimony of truth that is beyond all doubt, for an evil spirit may be able to do all sorts of falsehoods and lies, and spread untruths to make others fall into sin, but even it and the other evil spirits, and also the devil himself cannot tell lies before the Lord, Who is their Lord and Master as well. Satan was once the most brilliant Angel, Lucifer that fell because of his own ego and pride, and many Angels followed in his footsteps, cast out of heaven and becoming fallen angels and demons.

Therefore, as they were still creatures of the One and only Lord and King, Creator and Master of the entire universe, they had to obey the King of kings, and in Jesus, Who is both Man and God, with fullness of authority and power over them, the devil has no power and means to acknowledge but the truth. They knew that they had no power over Him and His humanity, for His humanity is spotless and perfect without any taint of sin.

Yet, it was God’s own people that rejected Him and refused to believe in Him and His words. They rather trusted and believed in their own ego and pride, in the things that caused Satan and all the fallen angels to fall from God’s grace before. They hardened their hearts against God’s love, and as a result, although they have witnessed firsthand the wonderful works and miracles of God, they failed to believe and instead, persecuted those who believed in the Lord’s truth.

St. Paul therefore wrote to all those Jewish communities and people who believed in the Lord despite the opposition of those who were influential in their community, including many of the chief priests, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law. St. Paul wrote to them to keep the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the One Whom the Lord has promised to His people as His Saviour, and Whose loving sacrifice on the cross has brought about the redemption of our sins.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we are called to reflect on this love which God has for each and every one of us, and we are called to love God in the same way that He has loved us first. He was so generous in His love, that despite our disobedience and sins, He Who loves each and every one of us do not wish us to be destroyed. Instead, He gave us every opportunity to be saved, and through His own Son, He has made this into a reality.

Let us all therefore live our lives from now on with faith, committing ourselves to the will of God, loving Him each and every days of our lives, and devoting our efforts, time and attention to Him. Let us glorify God through our actions, words and deeds from now on. May God bless us all now and forevermore. Amen.

Monday, 14 January 2019 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we begin the time of the Ordinary Time, which will take place between now and the beginning of the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday. And although this period of time is called the Ordinary Time, but we must not think of it as a time when things are ordinary and nothing special is commemorated or observed. On the other hand, we should reflect on the flow of the liturgical year in order for us to understand what we need to do as Christ’s followers.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this period of time between Christmas and the season of Lent was marked at the beginning yesterday by the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which commemorated the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ in the River Jordan, at the age of approximately thirty years, marking the beginning of His earthly ministry, when He began to teach the people and proclaim the truth of God to them.

And this is significant because, all of us as Christians have shared in the same baptism that He has received, marked by the Holy Name of the Trinity, as God’s own children. At the baptism of Our Lord, the Holy Trinity was also present, the Father’s voice that proclaimed the Sonhood of Christ, Christ Himself as the Son, and the dove descending upon Him as the Holy Spirit, three Divine Persons, One God all present then, just as at the baptism of each and every one of us.

As such, we can see that we share in the same ministry and work the Lord Himself has taken up at His baptism, to obey the will of God and to do the good works of God. He began His works, as we heard in the Gospel passage today, calling upon those whom He had chosen, to become His disciples and followers, to be the fishers of men. And from then on, the works of God begun and His Church grew.

We are also therefore called to follow in the footsteps of the Apostles and the disciples, to continue the many good works they have begun. The Lord has commanded them all to go forth to the nations, and to baptise them in the Name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, as the Church had done for the past two millennia and more, and also to proclaim the truth of the Lord as written in the Scriptures and as preserved in the Apostolic Tradition of the Church.

But the works are far from being done and completed. In fact, there are still many avenues and opportunities available for us to provide our talents and abilities, our time and effort in bringing the truth of God, His love and His promise of salvation to more people among all the nations and races. And it is through us, those who belong in the Church in the modern day, those who have received the Sacrament of Baptism, to continue the mission that God had entrusted to us, His disciples.

Now, are we able and willing to commit our effort and time to serve the Lord and to do what we are supposed to do as Christians, as those who believe in God and walk in His ways? Are we able to practice our faith daily, in each and every actions we do, and in everything we say, so that those who see us may truly know that we belong to God, and that hopefully they too may come to believe in God and be saved?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let these time of grace, although named the Ordinary Time of the year, give us a new direction in life, to make a new ‘ordinary’ moments of our life, that doing the will of God become something that is ordinary for us, meaning that it becomes a habit and something we really look forward to at all times. Let us therefore commit ourselves in this manner, and dedicate ourselves to serve Him from now on, as what each and every one of us need to do. May God bless us all and our every endeavours. Amen.

Sunday, 13 January 2019 : Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which is liturgically marking the last day of the current season of Christmas before we enter the Ordinary Time prior to the coming of the season of Lent in early March this year. On this day we commemorate the moment when the Lord Jesus was baptised at the River Jordan by St. John the Baptist, marking the occasion when the Lord finally began His ministry in this world after approximately thirty years since His birth.

St. John the Baptist was apprehensive at first when the Lord came up tp him asking to be baptised by him. He recognised Jesus as the One Whom he had been working all the while for, in order to prepare a straight path for His coming, and of Whom he had testified before the people, that not even he was worthy of untying the straps of His sandals, and how although he baptised with water, but the Lord would baptise them with the fire and the Holy Spirit.

But the Lord insisted despite St. John the Baptist’s reluctance, for everything was to be done in accordance with God’s will. The baptism of Our Lord Jesus was a momentous occasion, in which, the Lord Himself, God Incarnate in the flesh of Man, went through the same rite of passage as all of us the faithful people of God, just as by Him assuming His humanity has united His humanity to our own human existence.

The act of baptism itself, as St. John the Baptist performed it at the Jordan River, is a powerful symbol and reminder, that the people of God have been saved and liberated from slavery, as the Israelites in the ancient times were brought out of the land of Egypt where they were enslaved by the Egyptians and their Pharaoh. When the Pharaoh sent his army and chariots to chase after the Israelites, God opened the Red Sea before them and allowed them to pass through the sea unharmed.

Therefore, by the passing through the waters of the Red Sea, God’s people had been brought by the great power of God from slavery into freedom. And this is linked to another slavery by which not just the sons of Israel, but all mankind suffer from, that is the slavery to our sins. Sin is born out of disobedience and unwillingness to obey the will of God, and its consequence for us is death. Unless we are freed from the slavery of sin, we will surely perish.

This is where God revealed the great wonders of His love for each and every one of us, that even when we have sinned against Him, disobeyed His commandments and disregarded His will, but because God still loves us regardless of these wicked things we have done, He gives us a new hope and deliverance, just as He has once liberated His people from the tyranny of the Egyptians and their Pharaoh.

This time, He is liberating us from the greatest slavery that has enslaved all of us mankind, that is sin and death. And the symbolism of water that is used at baptism is indeed very profound, for water is both the symbol of death and life, as it can cause destruction by its powerful force, and yet, it is also necessary for the presence and propagation of life. Without water, life cannot exist, and water is essential for the maintenance of life.

By this symbolism of water, which is both used at the baptism of the Lord at the River Jordan, and in our own Christian baptism, the Holy Sacrament of Baptism, the Lord unites us all who have received this blessed and holy Sacrament, to His own experience of suffering and death, as well as to His glorious resurrection and triumph over sin and death itself. We share in the same redemptive experience that the people of Israel had experienced by the Red Sea and throughout the Exodus, and now we have even much more than that.

For God Himself has willingly endeavoured to save us, by His mighty deeds, in leading us out of the tyranny and enslavement by sin, through none other than His own beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Who is God incarnate, the Word of God made Man, through Whom God has given us our salvation. The Lord unites our own mortality to His own humanity, and gathers all of our unworthiness, our sufferings and pains, our sins and all the defilements present in us, and placing them upon Himself on the cross He bore, He became the source of our salvation and eternal life.

That is why, on the celebration of the Easter Vigil, on which day most people who are baptised as adults receive this blessed Sacrament of Baptism, we have the reading of the passage from Exodus on the salvation of Israel crossing through the Red Sea. Just as the Israelites passed on from their old life of slavery and suffering into a new life of blessing and grace with God, thus, we too, have passed on from our old life of sin and disobedience against God, into a new existence and life that is blessed and holy.

That is why, the Sacrament of Baptism is the first of the Sacraments to be received by any Christians. We received it either as a small infant, if we had been born into faithful, Christian families, or as someone who have desired and sought conversion to the true faith, and went through a period of instruction, after which we were baptised just as the Lord Himself was baptised in the Jordan.

At the moment of baptism, our old life and our old iniquities and sins are washed away and cleansed, and our existence is renewed and made blessed by God. Our old life and sin have been destroyed just as we share in the death of Christ on the cross. And through baptism, God made us all His adopted sons and daughters, just as at Baptism of the Lord Jesus, the voice of the Father was heard, “This is My Son, My Beloved. My favour rests on Him.”

This is why we have also been made the sons and daughters of God, by virtue of our shared humanity with Christ. If Christ is the Son of God, and if we are His brothers and sisters by our shared humanity, then we too can be called children of God. And because God has taken us to be His children, the fullness of His love and grace are slated to be ours. But we must also remember at the same time, that baptism is not the end of the journey for us.

Although baptism has erased the taints of original sin and the sins we have committed previous to our baptism, but this does not mean that we cannot sin anymore after our baptism. We are surely aware how many of us Christians keep on falling back again and again into sin, not listening to the will of God, our loving Father, and instead, preferring to follow the lies and falsehoods of Satan, the deceiver.

Satan knows that through baptism, he has lost his hold on us, and sin and death no longer has their grip on us. But, he still does not want to let us go, and as long as we still continue living in this world, our earthly existence, our bodies and our beings are still vulnerable to sin, and this is where the devil is trying very hard to try to pull us back into sin. And we must be careful lest we fall back into the same predicament, for if we live in a state of sin, we may yet fall into eternal damnation.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today, as we commemorate the glorious and wonderful moment of the baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ, let us all remember the moment of our own baptism. If we cannot remember it because we have been baptised as infants, then the least we can do is, try to remember the date and time of our baptism, by asking our godparents or parents, who surely can remember the time of that very crucial event in our life.

Let us today give thanks to God for the gift of baptism, in His willingness to take us as His adopted sons and daughters, and for the love which He has shown us, day after day. Baptism is only the beginning of a new journey in which we must make sure that we listen to the will of God. Baptism is the beginning of the time of grace and yet also struggle in which we must often face divisions and even persecutions for standing up to our faith.

May the Lord bless each and every one of us always, and may He allow us to remember the joy of our baptism, and that we may know what we need to do in our lives now that we have been made God’s own beloved children. Let us love Him more and more, each and every days of our life. Let our life and existence glorify God and let us proclaim the wonders of His love by our own loving actions to our fellow brethren. Amen.

Saturday, 12 January 2019 : Saturday after the Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the story in the Gospel passage, of the exchange between St. John the Baptist and his disciples, as they discussed about the actions of the Lord Jesus, Whom at that time was rising in popularity, having begun His ministry in this world after His own baptism by St. John the Baptist. The disciples of St. John the Baptist were wary and concerned that their own master was being eclipsed in importance and prestige by this seemingly new Teacher and Prophet.

But St. John the Baptist said in all humility before all of them, acknowledging that although he might be decreasing in importance, but more importantly is that the Lord, his Master, of Whom he had spoken, was rising in importance. As the servant of God, he had done all that he could do and was called to do, in order to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord’s Saviour. And now that the Saviour has finally come and revealed Himself, his struggles and hard works were coming to an end.

St. John the Baptist could have been angry and jealous at the apparent competition from the Lord Jesus, had his intentions and desires in serving the Lord be one that was selfish and wrong. Instead, he humbled himself and fulfilled what the Lord had commanded him to do, preparing the path and making the way of the Lord straight. He trusted in God and His will, and devoted himself to serve the intentions of God, that is the salvation of mankind.

What is important was not personal ambitions or desires, but instead, the spiritual well-being and the salvation of all those who have fallen into the pit of sin. St. John the Baptist knew this very well, as he called those multitudes of people to repentance, constantly reminding them of the imminent coming of the kingdom of God. To him, what matters was not that of popularity or worldly glory and praise, but rather, that God’s people turn their hearts once again towards Him that they may be saved.

And then, just as St. John the Baptist had done, the Lord Jesus also devoted Himself to the mission entrusted to Him by His heavenly Father, that is the salvation of all of God’s people. He did not do all the things for personal glory, or fame, or ambition, but instead for the greater glory of His Father, and for the good of all those to whom He has been sent, all those whom His Father has bestowed on Him to shepherd.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, thus this is what each and every one of us as Christians are expected to do, in following the good examples set by Our Lord and Saviour Himself, and by His servant, the faithful St. John the Baptist. We ought to be humble, be selfless and be obedient in all of our daily dealings and actions, not aiming to satisfy our own ego, ambition and selfish desires, but instead, putting our faith, trust and focus on God and God alone.

Each and every one of us as Christians have this important obligation, to be faithful to God, and then to propagate this faith in our own communities. We are called to be role models for our fellow brethren, by our own faithful actions in life, imitating rightly what the saints had done, and walking in the footsteps of the Lord Himself. After all, brothers and sisters in Christ, we must remember that God gave everything for us, even to the point of suffering unimaginable pain and suffering, and dying for us on the cross.

Let us therefore discover a new purpose in our life, that is to love and serve God, by everything we say and do, and by our every actions in life. May the Lord be with us always, and may He continue to show us His loving and compassionate mercy, each and every days of our life. May He bring us ever closer to Him, so that we may grow deeper in our faith, and remove from ourselves, all sorts of ego, ambition, pride and hubris. May God bless us all, now and always. Amen.