Liturgical Colour : Red
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we become witnesses of the Lord’s Word spoken to us through His Scriptures, where He spoke of how He had brought healing and salvation upon the world, and He did that through His wonderful works, the primary of which is the death of Himself on the cross, and then how He wondrously rose up from the dead, and was risen in glory, defeating and conquering death.
And we are His witnesses of His resurrection from the dead, as those who have been entrusted with the knowledge and the faith in the One through Whom God had justified the whole world, the whole race of mankind. And that is the essence and the core of our faith, that we believe in our loving God, through Whom we have all been saved by His actions, descending upon this world to be one like us, that by sharing our humanity, He may share with all of us as well, the glory of His death and resurrection.
That is the key message which the Scripture passages we heard today are trying to tell us. We as Christians are people of the Gospel, the Good News of the Lord’s salvation. And we all know that Christ had willingly agreed to shoulder the burden of our sins and wickedness, all the consequences and punishments that come with them, so that we may be saved and not perish in the darkness.
But the offer of Christ’s mercy, forgiveness and love will only be fully realised within us if we all accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, and agree to fully walk in His path, that is to become a real and genuine Christian. And what is the relevance of these all to us, brothers and sisters in Christ? That is because, we who follow the Lord as the Apostles and the holy women mentioned in the Gospel today, we are the workers of Christ, those through whose good works, we bring upon many the salvation of the Lord.
That is the mission entrusted by the Lord Himself to His Apostles and disciples before He left them to ascend to His heavenly glory. But He did not leave them behind, for He was indeed still with them, and He sent them the great Helper, the Holy Spirit to guide them and to help them in their missions and works. And we are their successors, the ones to continue the good works of the Apostles of the Lord.
What does this mean to us? It means that all of us as Christians should really value our faith and truly commit ourselves to living as Christians and as how Christians are supposed to be. And that is how we can best preach about the Lord to others around us. If we show how we live as an example to them, then surely through our works and actions, many will come to believe in the Lord and be converted to His cause.
Now the challenge for us is that we are called to do all these, which many of us certainly have not done thus far. We as members of the Church of God and as Christians ought to devote ourselves to the way of our Lord, that many more people would come to believe in Him, and therefore we may together gain the salvation in God and liberation from our sufferings and sins.
Pope St. Cornelius and St. Cyprian, the holy saints whom the Church celebrates today, were also devoted and committed in their actions, serving the Lord and His Church to the best of his abilities. Both Pope St. Cornelius and St. Cyprian served the Lord with great zeal, and although they often did not agree on certain matters, as evident in how once they came into a bitter conflict over the matter of the forgiveness and acceptance of those who have abandoned the faith and then later returned, but they were able to come together and resolved their differences for the good of the faithful.
Persecution of the faithful was particularly vicious at that time under the Roman Emperor Decius and his successors. Many of the faithful were under attack and under great trouble because of their faith. And both of these faithful saints were also part of the persecution, exiled to hard labour and to great tribulations. Yet, they never ceased to do great works, writing commendations and encouragements to their flock even from exile, to strengthen them amidst the difficult moments.
May God help us all in these endeavours in following the examples of these great saints. May the Lord help us in our works and commitments to bring our fellow brethren to Him, that all of us may be together saved in Him. May God with His holy saints show us the way to lead many to Him, that eventually all may receive grace and righteousness in God. Amen.