Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard about the work of God, who went here and there to cure and heal those who were sick, those who were possessed by the evil spirits, those afflicted by their sinful ways, and brought them to righteousness and salvation once again. And yet, some of His people doubted Him, even those who had seen His mighty deeds and power.
We can see this in the struggle which ensued between Jacob and God as Jacob made his way back from exile to the land of Canaan. He fled into exile to the house of his relatives back in Abraham’s homeland because of the great fear for his life, for having stolen the birthright and blessings which his brother Esau should have received from their father, Isaac.
And even though God had affirmed him in His love and showed how much he will be cared for, with all the blessings he received during his years in exile, having possessions, wealth, good wives and family with all of his children, but deep inside, he still had his doubts, and he still feared the retribution of Esau even as he travelled back to the land of Canaan, which God had promised him and his ancestor, Abraham.
That was why it is likely God appeared to him to show him that if he trusted in God, there would be nothing that he needed to fear from. He struggled with God and survived, and that was why he was given the name Israel, which literally means struggling with God. This is to show us that if God is behind us and giving us strength, then we really have no need to fear, for He will support us and help us in all that we need.
But doubt is indeed our greatest challenge, the inability to put our complete trust and faith in the Lord. And for the people of Israel, if we witness their actions and deeds throughout the entire Scripture, we see how they struggle to commit themselves to the Lord their God, as their hearts, minds and attentions are not fully focused on Him, but rather on the things of this world, trusting in their own power and abilities rather than putting their trust in the Lord.
They doubted Jesus because they were unable to comprehend the fullness of God’s truth and love, which He manifested perfectly in Jesus Christ, who healed many and cast out demons and sickness from many, simply because of one fact, that God loves us so much, and so great was His love, that He is willing to come down to earth to dwell with us and to succour us from the torture that is our sins.
And He has given us so much goodness for so little a price. All we need to do is to cast away our doubts and faithlessness, and embrace His love, which He had given for us freely, that we too may have love in us. And all of us who have believed in Him and followed Him, should realise that there is something for us to do, to help Him to bring the love which He had shown us, and the Good News of His salvation to the rest of the people, to all those who have yet to hear them and witness them.
The Lord had said, that the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few. Indeed, this is the problem facing this world now. There are so many opportunities in this world, to bring men closer to God and bring them from doubt into faith, but there are so few willing to devote themselves to the tough job and challenges of bringing that Good News to those who are willing to hear it, and yet have no opportunity to do so.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all reflect today and think about the mission which God had given us through His disciples. Do we remember what the Lord Jesus told them before He ascended into heaven? He commanded them all to go forth to all the nations, to the very ends of the earth, and to baptise all nations and all peoples in His holy Name, and make them His own, united through His Church.
It is here then that our role is important, as we are the ones to continue the good works of the Apostles and disciples of the Lord, who had begun what He had commanded them to do. We do not have to start with big things and then thinking that it is too much and impossible for us to do. Rather, start from something as simple as having a strong faith on our own, and then show that great faith through real and true actions, all of which reflect the nature that we belong to the faith and to the Lord.
Let us now pray that we will be able to carry out this mission, and that people through our works will come flocking to the Lord our God, so that all of us may receive together the salvation and grace which He had promised all those who believe in Him. May Almighty God bless us and guide us in this path, and in all of our endeavours in faith. Amen.