Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day through what we heard in the Scripture readings and the Gospel passage reminded us that being a disciple of our Lord is no easy feat, and certainly it requires from us dedication and commitment, that through our actions, our deeds and our ways, by whatever we do and say, we will always bring glory to God and proclaim His truth to the nations.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all ask ourselves these questions: ‘How many of us are truly living out our faith in our Lord Jesus? How many of us truly practice what we believe in our faith? Have we instead been lukewarm and ignorant of the tenets and teachings of our Church about the faith we have in God? Have we forgotten what it means to be a Christian? And indeed, what does being a Christian mean to us, and what it entails for us?’
These are the questions that we ought to internalise within ourselves, which we should spend some time thinking about, as we go through our own actions and deeds, what we have said and done in the past, and see if we have become conformists to the ways of the world, and thus ignored the way of the Lord, or whether we have stood fast to our faith and committed ourselves fully to the Lord our God.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, if we have had it easy all these while as Christians, well there is nothing wrong about it. But perhaps we should have a look again at how we live out our faith life. The ways of the devil, his allies and ultimately this world which is dominated by him and his fallen fellows, are inevitably opposite of that of the Lord’s, as these have rose up in rebellion against God, and now they sought to bring us to our downfall as well.
It does not mean that we have to come into conflict and trouble with the world, its ways and its forces, but it also means that we should not be conforming and letting everything goes the way it has been for this world, meaning that as Christians, we have to be strong anchor of the faith, and be beacons of light that shine brightly amidst this darkened world.
And sometimes, and in some occasions, even often, this may lead us into conflict within our society, with those whom we know and those whom we consider our very good friends and family as well. If we want evidence of what had happened in the past, we do not need to go further than see what happened to the Roman martyrs and saints, many of whom went through suffering, torture and eventually martyrdom because they rejected the old ways of pagan worships of their ancestors and followed the Lord, and their families, relatives and friends opposed them.
Even the closest of friends and family members turned to be their enemies as they rejected those who have followed the Lord and His ways. And this has been repeated many times throughout history, from time to time, again and again, even until this very day. We can relate this to the many occasions in many places around the world where many Christians still have to practice their faith in secret, in order to prevent themselves from being killed, tortured and made to suffer because of their faith.
Therefore, today, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we come together to give our solidarity to our brethren who are still suffering the daily effects and impacts of this clash between the ways of this world and the ways of our Lord, let us all give hope to each other, by doing our very best in order to live out our lives with dedication and faith to the Lord, that we show all the people that we belong to the Lord, He alone Who should be followed. And through this, hopefully we may enkindle the fire of faith and hope amongst those who are suffering.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all devote ourselves to God anew from now on, so that we will be able to draw closer to Him, and stay with Him throughout this life which we live in this world, that we may not lose our way, and be able to reach out to the Lord and His salvation, and therefore receive the fullness of grace and eternal glory with our God.
Let us all not be distracted by the temptations of worldly pleasures, glory and fame, all of which last only but a short while. It is a temporary distraction, yet one that is truly very dangerous as these can distract us and pull us away from finding our way to God. Let us help one another to persevere and to stay focused on our true goal, finding the Lord and reaching out to Him through righteousness and justice in life. May God help us in these endeavours, and bless us always. Amen.