Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs) or White (Priests and the Mass of our Lady)
Brothers and sisters in Christ, God is so faithful to all of us, even when we are unfaithful. He keeps His promise even when we stray away from His path and erred before Him. He is truly faithful and devoted to us, that He sent us salvation in Christ, through whom He made this whole world complete once again, in the. Blood of the slaughtered Lamb of God.
He is faithful to the promise He made to man, and to Abraham His servant. Even if He wanted to break that promise, He could not have done so, that is because it is His nature to be faithful and true to the promise, indeed, any promise that He had made to all of us. There is no instance at all, where the Lord had broken any of His promises, that is the covenants He had made with us.
Covenants are made between two parties, brethren, and if one side break their part of the covenant, that covenant is broken. That is precisely what had happened, we and our ancestors are the ones who had broken the covenant the Lord had made with us, through our rebelliousness, stubbornness, and sinfulness, beginning from Adam our forefather and Eve, his wife, tempted by Satan to disobey God, right down to us sinners, who sin daily and do things abhorrent in the eyes of God.
Yet, the Lord who punishes those who has done evil, is also loving, and despite us having trespassed against Him, in His love, He continues to embrace us, and hope for us to return to Him. That is why, through Christ His Son, He willed to reconcile us to Himself, and reestablish the covenant that had been broken, and at the same time fulfill the promises He had made to us and our ancestors.
Lord Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all God’s promises to mankind, and the One who marked the ultimate and infinite nature of God’s love and the perfection of the divine covenant. God promised man that He will send a deliverer through a woman, a descendant of Eve, the first woman, and the promise that while the snake, the deceiver would bite the children of the woman, that is Satan, will have power over mankind for a time, but the woman, from whom the Saviour came from, will crush the head of the snake, that is Mary, through whom Christ was incarnated into Man, will end the tyranny of Satan, through the death and resurrection of her Son, Jesus, God incarnate into Man.
God also fulfilled the promise to Abraham, by truly making his children as innumerable as the stars. The descendants of Abraham spread wide and numerous, and then, He also fulfilled it through Jesus, in making the descendant of Abraham great, everlasting through Christ, the descendant of David, and therefore of Abraham, through Mary His mother and Joseph, His foster-father.
To David, God had promised that He would establish his descendant on the throne of Israel forever, and that is fulfilled completely through Jesus, the son of David, and at the same time, the eternal and Almighty God. To Jesus will be given the eternal kingdom of glory, and He will be exalted by all creation, by all the angels, for He had broken the power of death, overcome it, and through His resurrection, He had made the whole world pure once again, from the taints of original sin, and bring mankind back towards the Lord.
Yet, many of us spurn and reject this expression of pure and unadulterated love. We prefer to mingle and linger in our sinfulness rather than opening ourselves to God’s infinite mercy and love. We love the darkness of Satan more than we love the Lord who is light and the true guide of our lives. That is because we perceive the lies of Satan as things good and enjoyable, while fearing the anger of the Lord because of our sinfulness. That anger however, is precisely because we refuse to turn away from evil, and continue committing what is evil in the eyes of God. If only that we turn ourselves back towards Him, He who is faithful and loving will surely welcome us back into His embrace.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the holy saints and martyrs of the Universal Church. We commemorate today, the feast of St. Isaac Jogues, St. John de Brebeuf, and their companions, who were martyred in North America, during a time of great evangelisation and missionary work in that country. At that time, most of North America, as was the rest of the New World were still largely populated by the natives of the continent, who looked suspiciously on the activity of the missionaries like the two saints.
Yet, St. John de Brebeuf and St. Isaac Jogues, together with many of their missionary companions, most of which were Jesuits, continued to work hard for the sake of the Lord, gaining converts among the pagan native populations. The hard work of the saints gained the conversion of even the entire Huron native American nation after long years of work in the bitter cold of Northern American winter conditions.
But rivalries between the native American tribes were common at the time, and the saints and their companions were caught in the midst of a vicious and terrible inter-native American tribal rivalry, which saw the Iroquois pagan natives completely defeating and eradicating the Hurons whom the saints had converted to the cause of the Lord. The saints were captured, tortured and mocked for their faith. Yet, they remained firm and devoted to the Lord, and they met their end at the hands of their torturers.
Therefore, brethren, we ought to be inspired by their example, the example they have made in their deep faith and devotion in God, that is in the One who has been promised to us mankind, to be our Saviour and salvation, as the deliverance freeing us from the tyranny of death and evil. Let us not be fearful to express our faith in God, and rather, as St. John de Brebeuf, St. Isaac Jogues, and their companions had done, show that faith through our actions, through our love and dedication to both our fellow men, as well as to God our Lord and Father.
May the Lord strengthen our faith, empower us, and bless us with His Holy Spirit, that our faith in Him will ever grow strong and never grow dim. Amen.