Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today St. Jude in his Epistle in our first reading reminds us all that as Christians, all of us have to hold fast and strong to the laws and the precepts that the Lord has passed down to us through His Church, doing all that is righteous and just, acceptable to the Lord our God, so that in all the things that we do, we may be ever faithful and be worthy of our God.
It means that we should not give in to fornication of the flesh and the soul, and neither should we do things that bring about harm and darkness upon each other. We must remain firm in our commitment and our faith to God, even though the world and all of the enemies of the Lord are trying actively to hinder us on our journey onward towards the salvation and eternal life in God.
In the Gospel today, we heard about how the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law were openly doubting the authority of Jesus, even went as far as asking Him directly in front of the people, under what authority He has been acting and doing all that He has done. That is as far as someone can go in trying to discredit or undermine another’s authority by openly showing doubt in front of so many people.
And yet, Jesus rebuked them and countered them excellently, pointing out to the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law that His authority is indeed from God, even more so if St. John the Baptist himself had come from God. He put them the question that prevented them from trying to undermine His authority any longer, as they were not able to disclaim whatever St. John the Baptist had done as a mere human action, but indeed divine instead.
And if you are wondering why were the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law so adamantly set in their opposition against Jesus, then we should just take note and understand more of the situation at that time, where the Jewish society were dominated by the powerful elders and the masters of the laws and customs of the Jewish society, the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law and the chief priests.
In those days, where many cultures and customs were competing against each other, and when multicultural societies were the norm, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law were self-appointed guardians of the Jewish society and culture, and they took a particularly strict and often unreasonable approach in enforcing the laws of Moses to the people.
And thus they looked at anyone who did not belong to them, and performing miracles, teaching about the faith to the people as rivals, especially those who did not subscribe to the same view as theirs. They enjoyed the adulation and praise from the people, and the fame and glory that accompanied their position. And naturally, as is our human nature, they feared the moment when any of these were to be taken away from them. And thus, they were willing to even oppose God just so that they could preserve themselves.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is not the way that we should behave, even as St. Jude in his Epistle had reminded us all the faithful ones. We have to let go of all these and we must not allow ourselves to be controlled by our desire, our wants, our needs and all that make us hunger for more, either wealth, or possessions, or any other forms of worldly attachments, that are bound to keep us away from the Lord.
Let us all instead commit ourselves to works of charity, caring for one another, and bringing the true faith to them, by first practicing it in our own lives. May our words, actions and deeds speak loudly of our faith in God, and while remaining humble and true to our devotion to God, He Who has come into the world, Jesus our Lord, so that all of us may be saved. May God bless us all. Amen.