Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the lamentation of Jesus on the evils that exist in the world, the forces of evil that prowl about seeking the destruction of all that is good, and the thwarting of all the good works of the Lord, designed to break mankind free from the tyranny of this force of darkness, represented by Satan and all of his fellow fallen angels, the demons.
But we also hear of the method on how to handle this great wickedness and evil, by the means of faith and zeal, and most importantly through the power of prayer, made in genuine devotion and love for God, which are our armour against the power and advances of the evil one. And therefore, we are not naked and defenseless against the attacks of the devil, for God is with us, as long as we put our trust in Him and live according to His teachings and love.
Today Jesus spoke of His upcoming suffering and death, the Holy Passion which He would go through in Jerusalem. He knew of the fate of the many prophets who had been sent to the people of God and to the Holy City, who were rejected, cast aside and were tortured for their faith and works by the people who adamantly refused to believe in them and in the One who sent them.
Why did Jesus lament on Jerusalem and her people? Not because He feared the suffering and death that was to come for Him, and not because He was complaining about the treatment which His prophets had received, and which He would soon receive as well, but it was because He was genuinely and utterly concerned about the wickedness with which the city of Jerusalem, which in fact referred to God’s people, had lived, and how if they continued in such actions, they would be lost to Him forever into death.
Yes, as Jesus had said, with the metaphor of a chicken, a mother hen trying to gather her chicks under the protection and care of her wings, so does the Lord try His best to bring all of His beloved people, that is all of us, under His love and protection. God never intended us to suffer the consequences of our sins, that is death and separation from Him, but He wants us to be reunited with Him in full reconciliation and love.
This however, would not be possible if we do not embrace the ways of the Lord and continues with our ways of living in sin and darkness. If we allow Satan to have his ways on us, indeed we are defenseless, naked and weak against his assaults on our body, mind, heart and soul, which he corrupts through sin, and which therefore will bring mankind into eternal damnation.
This is why we have to heed the words and teachings of St. Paul, where in his letter to the Church and the faithful in Ephesus, he said that we need to wear the complete and whole ‘armour’ of God. This armour is not a physical armour of medieval knights we often associate with, but the spiritual armour which God gives to all those who put their complete trust and faith in Him.
And this spiritual armour is powerful tool against Satan’s attacks, and as long as we hold up high the shield and keep the armour together, no attack from Satan, no matter how vile and wicked they are, will be able to penetrate the defenses to reach into the depths of our soul, and thus we will remain free from corruption, the corruption of sin and wickedness.
This armour consists of faith, justice, zeal, truth and the grace of salvation in God. We have to be mindful that we are in constant and ever continuous battle, a spiritual battle for the sake of our souls. What is at stake is no less than our very souls which will be under great harm if we are not aware of this spiritual warfare raging around us. The angels, our guardian angels are also fighting for us, against the forces of the devil sent to corrupt us. But we cannot leave them to fight alone, as most importantly is that we have to take an active role in this spiritual warfare.
Hence, we have to wear the spiritual armour of faith, that is the firm belief in the truth and love of God, not dividing our focus and attention to the distractions and the corruptions of the world, and not listening to the lies and sweet words of Satan and his angels. And then we also must wear the shoes of zeal, that in all of our words, actions and deeds, we have to always implement our faith, whatever we believe in, and put them into concrete action, done for our own salvation and for the salvation of those around us.
And it is also important that we wear the armour of justice and truth, as all of our actions must be just, especially when we deal with one another and when we interact with each other. We must uphold justice and truth in all the things that we do. The moment that we allow injustice, desires and falsehood to darken our actions, then we can say that we have failed to prevent the devil and sin from penetrating into the depths of our heart and soul.
If we want to seek salvation in God, therefore, we must be serious in our faith and devotion to God, and we must be ever ready and vigilant. And the way to do this, according to St. Paul is through devout and genuine prayer. Yes, genuine prayer and not just recitation of prayer without a clear intention from the heart. It is indeed possible for us to pray just for the sake of praying, but our heart is not focused at the Lord and instead on some other things.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all make it a habit to pray from our heart, to seek the Lord with all of the strength of our soul and heart, giving the best of our love as holy offering to God, who will then in turn affirm that love and strengthen our faith, giving us powerful armour and defense against all the possible assaults of the evil one and sin.
May all of us be strong amidst the persecution and the temptations of evil, and may we all be able to resist the temptations to follow Satan into our destruction, and let us all grow ever stronger in faith and love, and practicing them actively and regularly in our own lives, and show justice and mercy in all of our actions as well, that evil has no place in our hearts and we will be saved through the justification of our faith and actions. Amen.