Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard from the Scriptures, about the calling of Nathanael the wise, who would also be known as St. Bartholomew, one of the Lord’s Twelve Apostles. He was an educated and intelligent person, whose wisdom was known, but he was always seeking for something in his life that was missing, and he found it in the Lord Jesus Christ.
It was also told how the Lord had brought with Him love as He entered into the world. Once, darkness and evil reigned throughout the whole world, ever since sin and wickedness entered into the hearts of men. Ever since the days of sin’s first entry into the world, many wicked deeds had been done by men, from the slaying of Abel by Cain, to the attempted murder of Joseph by his brothers, the plotting of Saul against David, and many others.
All these were caused by sin, by the weaknesses of our human flesh, the temptations which many of us are unable to resist. We fell into the temptation of greed, of our desire for power, for fame and worldly glory. Sin have caused us to do bad and evil deeds, causing hurt, pain and even death for our fellow mankind. And these were exactly what the Lord wanted to eradicate through His coming and entry into the world.
He came into the world, bearing His love into a world darkened with sin and evil. This is the light and the hope which He had shown to His people, and also to Nathanael, bearing to them the warmth of His hope and love, to soothe the people who have suffered under the wickedness of evil, and from each others’ evil deeds. He showered them with love, care and mercy, and revealed to them what they ought to do in order to receive His mercy and forgiveness.
And God did not just say that He loved us all, but He also showed it by true example. He came unto us, walking in our midst, healing those among us who were sick, suffering and dying. He restored hope to the hearts of those who had been oppressed and shunned by the society. He blessed and healed the ones who were rejected and hated because of their background, their social status and their conditions.
And above all, He surrendered Himself to the cross, willingly took it up and bearing on it all the huge and seemingly insurmountable and impossible weight of our sins, all of its burdens and consequences, so that instead of us, He would be the One to bear all of them, and be punished instead of us. It was His love which had made Him to do all of these.
By His love God had shown us Himself that instead of hatred and jealousy, we can learn how to forgive and to love one another, and instead of desiring and being desperate in greed for worldly glory and fame, we can seek fulfilment in the Lord and whatever He will provide us all. He showed us that love and mercy is the way forward for all of us.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, now the question is, will we follow the lead of our Lord? Will we follow Him in what He had taught us? Will He find in us love and mercy? Are we not the children, the sons and daughters of God? If He is our Father, then should we not follow Him in our ways and deeds? Otherwise, would we not then bring shame and scandal to Him?
Let us all reflect on this, brethren, and think carefully of what we can do as Christians, to live up to our faith and to be more committed in all of our ways to the Lord our God. May through us and our examples in life, we may inspire many others to walk in His presence and to follow us all together into His salvation. May God help us in our good endeavours, and may He forgive us our sins and wickedness, and welcome us into His everlasting grace. Amen.