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. Oct 2021 .
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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
Homilies/Reflections

Appreciate the Lord in His works
By REV. FR. SAMUEL FREDERICK

Lev. 23:1.4-11.15-16.27.34-37, Mt. 13:54-58. Today's first reading, the Israelites are told to remember and celebrate the key festivals throughout the year, so that they and their descendants will never forget what God has done for them, through the whole Exodus and journey to the Promise Land. From the time of Moses until the time of Jesus, the first feast mentioned and celebrated each year was the most important feast – the Sabbath, Passover, feast of Unleavened Bread, the feast of Pentecost which recalls the law given on Sinai and feast of the Tabernacle. Those days combined a formal liturgy in the Temple (Lev. 16:1-19) with the colourful, outdoor ceremony of driving a goat (scapegoat) into the desert, loaded with all the people’s sins, to be hurled over a precipice (Lev. 16:20-28). The Psalmist reiterates this idea and adds the aspect of using instruments and songs to celebrate the remembering of God’s actions. However, as odd this seems to us, it pleased the popular religiosity of those days. What bothered the prophets far more than this consigning of sins to Azazel was the discordance between liturgical and daily life.

In today's Gospel, Jesus blended liturgy and life into authentic harmony. He began His word at Nazareth by quoting from Isaiah, about “glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives, recovery of sight for the blind and release for prisoners.” This was His response to the Year of Jubilee, discussed in Leviticus. However, Jesus encountered stiff, envious resistance in His hometown. Seeing that they lacked an open heart to welcome a generous God, He could work but few miracles there. Despite having spoken with authority and undeniable truth and wisdom of God, the people of Nazareth hardened their hearts and refused to believe that such a person, the mere Son of the village carpenter, of a poor village at the very fringe of the Jewish world and community, could be the Messiah and Holy One of God. If we allow our own ego and pride, false judgments and biases to becloud our thoughts and discernment, we can end up being like those who had rejected the Lord. They could not fathom, or appreciate, or even accept the Lord’s truth and revelation, as they were deeply ingrained and entrenched in their beliefs and prejudices, as such lost the opportunity of God's graciousness.

May the Lord be our guide and hope in our journey of faith through life, that we will always be focused on Him and centre our lives and existence on Him alone! Amen!! Good morning, peace be with you!!!

 
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