Homily (Reflection) for Wednesday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time (I) (25th August, 2021) on the Gospel


1Thess 2:9-13;

Ps 138:7-12. (R.v.1);

Matt 23:27-32.

Topic: Whitewashed tombs.

Jesus likened the scribes and the Pharisees in today’s gospel as whitewashed tombs that look beautiful outside but full of bones of the dead and all sorts of filth inside. They appeared righteous but full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Consider our call as Christians properly described as salt of the earth and light of the world. But for each to be relevant, salt must keep its taste and light give light from its stand. Otherwise they will be useless, cf. Matt 5:13-15).

We often forget that call to be a Christian is a call to a way of life; a call “to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world” (Tit 2:12; cf. 1Pt 4:3). Christians are not theirs because they have been bought with a price, cf. 1Cor 6:19-20. 7:23; Rom 14:7. They have been crucified with Christ and therefore dead to sin, cf. Rom 6:11; Gal 2:20. Christians are created for good works, cf. Eph 2:10. They do not repay evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all, cf. 1Thess 5:15.

Christian living and non-Christian living oppose each other, cf. Gal 5:17. Saint Paul advised in 2Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness?” And in Romans, we read, “We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin” (Rom 6:6).

Based on these and many more, dear brothers and sisters, are we really Christians or whitewashed tombs? May we “Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near” (Is 55:6).

Bible Reading: Rom 6:1-23; 14:7-9; Jas 1:19-27.

Thought for today: ...you also must consider yourselves dead to sin (Rom 6:11).

Let us pray: Lord, help us purge entirely every sort of filth within us – Amen.

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