Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of hope, as we just celebrated yesterday the first aspect of Advent, that is hope. For in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ we have gained a new hope in the Lord, and received from Him a new encouragement and strength, that where once our situation seemed to be hopeless.
In the Gospel today, we heard about the Lord Jesus and how He healed the man who was paralysed, through his faith and the faith of all those who lifted him and the mat up through the roof to bring him down in front of the Lord. Through this, we see how the Lord brought healing and new hope to all those who had been downtrodden, those who had been sick and afflicted.
And most importantly, through what Jesus had said, He heals all of our afflictions, not just of the bodily and physical afflictions, but even more importantly, the afflictions of the heart, mind and soul, that is sin. If sickness can be cured by doctor’s prescriptions and medicine, by certain diets and abstinences from certain unhealthy foods, sin cannot be cured except by the forgiveness from God.
And Jesus is God, His Divine Word made incarnate into flesh, taking up the shape and reality of Man. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law refused to believe this fact, despite that the prophets and messengers having declared this throughout many centuries beforehand in their messages and the Scriptures they wrote. They refused to believe that Jesus could forgive their sins, even though He forgave even them their sins from the cross.
Of all the sickness, as I have mentioned, the disease of the soul, that is sin, is the most dangerous of all. And the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, even though they were free from the disease of the body, but their refusal to admit their sins and their refusal to believe in Jesus have left their souls diseased with sin, and if left uncured, this will lead them into damnation in hell.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, sin has separated us from the love and grace of God, and because of our disobedience against God’s will, we have been sundered and made unworthy. Yet, God loves each and every one of us, and by His generous will, He wants to heal each and every one of us from our afflictions, our sins that separated us from Him.
And that was His coming into this world is about, that by His love, God has sent to us His only Son, so that through Him and by the works He had done, all of us may be made worthy, all who accepted His offer of love, mercy and forgiveness. In this season of Advent, all of us are given the opportunity to take a step back and reflect on our own lives as we prepare ourselves for the celebration of Christmas.
Let us ask ourselves, how do we really celebrate Christmas? Do we celebrate Christmas by following what the secular world is always doing? Do we celebrate in revelry and in partying without end, rejoicing with our friends and families, but forgetting Who it is that we really need to celebrate about this Christmas? Christmas is about the Lord, brethren, for it is a celebration and a joyful time to remember that because He came into this world, we all have hope once again.
We should spend our time this Advent to pray, to reassess and indeed re-strengthen our relationship with God. It is a time for us to realise and understand just how sinful and wrong we have been, and prepare ourselves by seeking God with faith and devotion just as how the paralytic man and his four helpers had faith in Jesus. If we seek Him with faith and genuine desire to repent, certainly God will hear us and forgive us our sins.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all pray that each and every one of us may draw ever closer to the Lord, and be forgiven our sins and trespasses, so that we may truly rejoice and be happy with true joy this Christmas, welcoming and thanking God Who have come into the world because of His love for us, and by His love, we have been healed. Do not harden our hearts like those of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law. May God bless us all. Amen.