Liturgical Colour : Green
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard of the importance to uphold what is good, and to live uprightly and justly, to abandon all taints of sin, and keep ourselves pure and dedicated to the Lord our God. We have to really appreciate, understand, and indeed be grateful of this faith that we have in the Lord. We have to treasure this faith that is within us, and keep it not hidden, but let it shine out for all to see, spreading the love that is within us to all mankind.
We cannot be hypocrites who profess the faith and outwardly appear to be faithful to the Lord, but really in fact is empty and without faith and love in God or our fellow mankind. We must practice our faith and make real the devotion that we have in God. As we belong to God, so then must our actions and deeds reflect this holy nature that is within each of us, because the Holy Spirit had been sent to us as our strength in life.
The Lord also highlighted the importance for us to seek peace with God our Lord and Creator, which He aptly portrayed using the example of an accuser and an accused on their way to the place of judgment. He stressed that it is important for the accused to seek peace, reconciliation, and ultimately resolution of the issue with the accuser, before the accused is judged and punished for what he or she had done.
That accused one is us, my dear friends. We who are all sinners with varying kinds and degrees of sins are the accused, the accused one before the Lord our God, who will be the judge of us all, the Great Judge. If we do nothing and continue to live in our sinful ways, we will face our fate according to what the Lord had told His disciples, that the accused will face punishment suitable to the faults he or she had done. And brethren, the punishment and consequence of sin is death.
Not just any death, brothers and sisters, but an eternal death and suffering, in total separation from the mercy and love of God, with no hope of release or salvation from such state. That is true hell for us, not the popularly depicted hell of fire and flames, but the hell of total separation from God’s love and mercy, the hopelessness of men fallen into eternal damnation. That is hell. That is the punishment and the judgment given to us, who had failed to reconcile ourselves with the judge and the accuser, none other than the saints and the angels, who observed all that we do and stand before us at the presence of God.
Yet the Lord did not leave us alone, and that is why He sent us the greatest help in Jesus, His Son, that through Him, we have hope for salvation, and we have hope of a new life in the holiness and purity that is of the Lord, just as a criminal pardoned and forgiven of his sins, and given a new lease of life, a new opportunity to do what is good, and sin no more.
Through Jesus, we are taught the value of love, the nature of love, and the same in terms of mercy and kindness. Through Him we receive the knowledge of what we ought to do if we seek to be absolved from our trespasses, which earned us the punishment of death in the first place. Through Jesus therefore, we ought to be able to break free from that chain of sin and death which had engulfed us for a very, very long time.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us learn from the Lord, from His examples, and from His words, just as they are written and recorded in the Holy Scriptures. That is what we ought to do, and from now on as well, may all of us be closer and be more intimate in our relationship with our Lord, bringing ourselves ever closer to the throne of the Lord’s mercy and love.
May we not ever be separated from Him, and may we be empowered always, by His Holy Spirit, that in His love and infinite mercy, we can be closer to Him, and remain by His side, faithfully following His path towards salvation and eternal glory in heaven with Him who loves us so much that He sent us Jesus Christ to be our Saviour, His only Son. May the Lord watch over us and bless us always. Amen.