Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, to follow Jesus, our Lord is not easy, for in following the Lord, we are going to have to suffer and go through trials and tribulations, just as Christ Himself faced His great trial, and ultimately was crucified on Calvary for our sake. Christ asks us today to carry our own crosses together with Him, and to face together the persecutions and the oppositions against the Lord and His divine mission, that is to save all mankind from the slavery of evil and sin.
Let us stay straight on this path, led by Christ, towards God. Let us orientate our heart properly and appropriately that we will always keep the Lord as the focus of our life. For our short and temporary life in this world is indeed short and fleeting. It is just a fleeting moment in the history of creation, but for us, what we do in our lives are indeed important, and if we do not do anything to make sure that we are on the right path towards the Lord, we will not be able to reach Him in the end.
Christ made our journey back to the Lord possible, for it is through His death and resurrection that a great bridge, Christ Himself, appeared between us and the Father who loves us. This is why Christ had to suffer, had to suffer from pain and rejection, and ultimately had to die on the cross, because without the sacrifice of Christ, who is our High Priest and intermediate between us and the Father, there can be no reunion between us and God, for we are separated from Him by a huge and unbridgeable chasm of sin and death. Only Christ, the Lamb of God, is worthy of being the only bridge that crossed that chasm, and through Him, we have a path back to our loving Father in heaven.
No greater love than the one who lay down his life for his friends, and this is exactly what Christ did for us, for we are not just like friends to Him, as we are His brothers, and His sisters. He loves us so much that He was willing to endure, and out of full obedience of His Father, willing to carry the cross, and the burden of all our sins, to Calvary to die and liberate us from the evil one and his hold on us. Nevertheless, for exactly the same reason, the devil hates Him so, and therefore, also hates all who believes in Christ who has liberated us from him through His Precious Blood.
Evil has many things up his sleeve in order to detract us from our direct path to the Lord. Temptations of this world are especially effective weapon the evil one uses against us. False gods are abundant in our world of today, from money, pleasures of the body, commercial temptations, and many others. As Moses said in the first reading, we do have a choice, whether we embrace these temptations and therefore serve the false gods instead of the one, true God, and turn our back on Him, or we can reject these temptations, and continue faithfully to seek the Lord our God.
This path will not be easy, since the world, filled with evil, hates the Lord, and therefore, will do all it can to make us suffer through our journey to the Lord. This suffering can be manifest in many form, and do not have to be physical suffering, but also mentally. This does not mean that we must hate or shun the world in return. Rather, let us embrace those sufferings and pains, and turn them into joy, knowing that the Lord is always with us through our long journey towards Him, and we know that if we stay faithful to Him and face our heart ever towards Him, He will reward us with His love and the place in His Kingdom, that we deserved.
But do not come to Him empty handed, since, there are many others out there who do not yet start their own paths towards the Lord, either lost, or even manipulated by the evil one to fight against God and us, His beloved children. Let us stretch out our hands and reach out to these lost brothers and sisters of ours. Remember, that Christ came to save all mankind, even those who rejected and cursed Him. He forgave them, and as long as they are willing to turn back towards Him, they too, will be given eternal life, together with us.
Let us humble ourselves and follow in the footsteps of the Lord, who has braved through death to save us from our own deaths. This Lent, let it be a fruitful and great season for our being, for our own faith, and for that of those around us. Let us make a solid choice towards the Lord, to attune ourselves fully with His great love, and sanctify ourselves, that when this season of Lent is complete, we are reborn anew, ever greater in faith, in hope, and in love, particularly in this holy Year of Faith. Amen.