Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard the reading that is very famous and certainly known by all of us, that is the reading of the feeding of the multitudes of five thousand men and many more, uncounted women and children among all those who followed Jesus and heard His teachings. The feeding of the five thousand with a mere five loaves of bread and two fishes which Jesus miraculously transformed into food of abundance that filled them all showed the world that He is indeed the Christ, the Lord, the Almighty One who had come into the world.
And for He is God, He is our Lord and Father. He cares for us all with all of His heart, and His love for us is ever generous and boundless. He showed mercy and compassion when He saw the multitudes of people went hungry and weakened by the lack of food, even though they stayed on to listen to the teachings of Jesus. He would not let the people to go hungry, and He fed them with food, both physical and spiritual food.
The people were filled and satisfied, but many of them did not understand what God truly wanted from them. If we follow on the story, the people after that tried to seize Jesus and force Him to become their king, and rebel against their Roman rulers. They did so because they wanted earthly and worldly satisfaction, the satisfaction which only such greatness and wonders can give them.
They wanted earthly joy and satisfaction, the feeling of satiation similar to when we have our stomachs filled. But is this true joy and true satisfaction? No, it is not. Those are temporary joy and happiness, that often distract us from seeking and finding the true joy of our life, that is to be with our Lord, our loving God. We always crave for attention, crave for that satisfaction of the flesh, by seeking worldly pleasures, and as a result, we fall into sin.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have to seek the Lord, seek His truth and know about His love for us. We have to follow the example of Christ, who showed us how we should act and indeed react to the temptations lying all over around us. It will not be easy to overcome ourselves, our ego and our desires, but certainly it is possible for us to put in the effort to reject the worldliness offered by the evil one.
Jesus showed us the perfect example, that we may know how to live like a good and devoted Christian, as believers and followers of our God. We ought to imitate what Jesus had done if we would like to be true disciples of our Lord. He is humble, unassuming, and He is always obedient, even when the temptations of the world rose up to tempt Him to turn from His perfect obedience to the will of God.
He was tempted when He encountered Satan in the desert, beset with hunger and the great heat of the desert. He was tempted to show off His power by changing the stones into bread. But remember what Jesus said to Satan? Exactly, He said that men does not live on bread alone, but also on every words that come from the mouth of God. This is the spiritual food which our Lord Jesus had given us, the food that is the nourishment for our souls and for our spiritual well-being.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have shared in the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ since the time when we received it for the first time. And by that, we have the Lord dwelling in us and staying in our midst, just as God was with people, and therefore, we should keep ourselves, the Temple of His presence, to be always clean and worthy of Him, or else risk the retribution and punishment of His wrath.
We have to remember that God loves us, and that He cares for us greatly. But this does not mean that God ignores the sins and wickedness which we had committed. This does not mean that God looks away from those faults and corruptions which had kept us in the darkness. It means that God wants us to achieve sincere and genuine conversion, a total change of heart, mind, body and soul, so that in all things, we may be made whole and complete again, and blameless as on the day when we were created.
Let us vow, that as we continue to progress through this holy Easter season, we may be awakened to the need for genuine conversion and sincere faith. Yes, not faith that is just merely lip-service or empty, but also one that is living, vibrant, dynamic and real. This Easter, let us all renew our faith and commitment to the Lord. Let us no longer be paralysed by our fears and the temptations and challenges around us, but let us go forth with pride and faith, to be closer to God and to bring all mankind to Him. God bless us all. Amen.