Liturgical Colour : Green
Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is easy to misunderstand what Jesus meant when He said that, He did not come to bring peace into the world, but conflict and discord. It is easy to misinterpret what Jesus meant and find contradiction with it, if we do not understand what He truly meant in His words. In fact, Jesus mentioned the apparent contradiction that exists always between Him and His ways, with the ways of this world.
The contradiction and all the opposition is the cause behind the discord and disunity that will exist between those who follow Christ and those who follow the ways of the world, which is really the ways of Satan, rebelliousness and disobedient behaviour against the Lord and His gracious order and kindness. This contradiction arises because the Lord cannot possibly tolerate the ways of those who are openly in rebellion against His will.
This is the meaning of why the Lord came not to establish an everlasting peace, but to unearth the discord and opposition of the world against Himself. It is not to be until the end of days, when the Lord will judge all creations and cast away all things wicked and evil away from His presence for eternity, then there will be a true, genuine and everlasting peace.
Therefore, we have to be vigilant and be careful in our life, for we need to know that this world did not welcome Jesus with peace and honour, and thus they will neither treat us in a different way. Discord and hatred will enter into the hearts of men when they are confronted with the truth of Christ among them, and families therefore can even be split, when there are some in the family who decide to abandon the wicked ways of the world and follow the Lord.
These had happened in the past with many families of martyrs in the early days of the Church. Many saints, especially holy women, who lived in a family who still worshipped the pagan gods in the Roman Empire, were asked to choose between God and their life, and they chose to die rather than abandoning their faith in God. They suffered grievous torture and persecution, and yet they did not give up.
Many in this world, especially as we know in our world today, do not welcome Christ and His teachings. More and more people move further away from the teachings of the Lord and fall deeper into the traps of Satan. It may not be obvious at first, but this world today is increasingly hostile to us, where the teachings of the Church and the central moral tenets of our faith are constantly under attack.
It is sad that many of the faithful are either unaware of this truth, and how many of them do not stand with God and His Church on various issues, and rather stand by the world and its ways, for various reasons. Some did so out of ignorance, while others purposefully did so in order to be accepted into the world, so that they will not be ostracised or rejected.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, shall we make a difference? Shall we be the new light in this darkened world? Let us no longer fear but be strong and be courageous to defend our faith. It may not have to end like what happened to the martyrs of the early Church, but it is doubtless that our lives will not be easy if we choose to walk in the way of the Lord. Yet, it is the path to righteousness and is rich in rewards.
Today we also celebrate the feast of St. Camillus de Lellis, an Italian priest of the late Renaissance period, who was an army member and fought in the wars that engulfed Italy at the time. Having seen great human sufferings and sickness throughout conflicts and many other unfortunate occurrences, he was truly touched by God, and repented from his ways of war and violence, and from then on sought to help mankind as best as he could.
Although it was not easy, but St. Camillus de Lellis tried his best to help those who suffer both physically from sickness, as well as spiritually and mentally from sin and other impurities of the world. He did not live long and always suffered from various afflictions, and yet he was truly a champion of peace, of love, and ultimately of the faith in the Lord. He truly practiced his faith with zeal and dedication.
Therefore, let us stand with our God, and let us stand with one another welcoming our Lord through our welcome for Jesus. Let us follow Him and vow to no longer following the path of evil. Following St. Camillus de Lellis, may we also become true bearers of peace and champion love for one another.
May God Almighty help us to keep us away from the evil one, and so that we may be ever faithful. May He make us wonderful testimony bearers of the faith, that more and more people will come to believe in the Lord, and bring true peace into this world. Amen.