Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we quickly approach the season of Lent, and its advent this Ash Wednesday, we remember in the Scripture passages today about God’s mercy. God is ever loving and merciful to all of His children, who have been separated from Him and became lost in the turbulence of this world and swallowed by the darkness of sin.
Yet, God never gave up on us, and on every opportunity He always tried to help each and every one of us to find our way back towards Him. He has always kept the door of His mercy open to welcome us back. However, it is we ourselves who often reject God’s very generous offer of mercy. We thought that God is a God without mercy and love, where in fact it was we ourselves who have closed the doors of our hearts to Him.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is often our attachments to the things and temptations of this world which have caused us to be distracted and kept away from God. That was why Jesus mentioned in the Gospel today about the difficulties that the rich people were facing, as exemplified by the young man who was rich and was willing to follow Jesus until He asked him to leave behind all of his worldly belongings.
Jesus was not attacking or criticising the rich because of their possessions. This is a misconception which many people often have, thinking that Jesus always condemns the rich and their possessions. Instead, in reality, He was actually condemning the inability to detach and let go, which means that we mankind are often too engrossed and grow too attached to our worldly possessions that we are unable to move on in our faith.
We cannot become too dependant on them, and be hesitant to let go of what we have, when the time comes for us to let them go. After all, all these possessions are indeed blessings and graces which God had granted to each and every one of us. To some of us have been given more, while others have received less, but all of these ultimately came from the Lord, and they do not belong to us.
Rather, whatever we have received, we should be generous in sharing them and using them for good purposes, for God had given us much gifts, and to those to whom He had given more, then more will be expected from them. We cannot bring whatever we have to the world that is to come, that is beyond death. We all know that upon death, all of us will leave behind our earthly treasures, and instead, look forward towards the true treasures found in God alone.
That said, it does not mean that each and every person should sell everything that they have and give all of them to the poor. It means rather that we should do our best in our abilities in order to make good use of whatever blessings and goodness we have received, so that by doing what the Lord had asked us to do, while we may decrease in our earthly riches, but we gain far more bountiful riches in God.
As Christians, all of us should spend some time thinking through what the Lord Jesus had told His disciples today, and also heed what He had asked the young man to do. All of us have to let go of our pride, our human greed and desires, and all the other things which had prevented us from reaching out to God, and from finding our way to Him.
All of us need to spend more time with the Lord, to deepen our relationship with Him, and learning to be humble and to be obedient to God. Let us all also understand that we need to build for ourselves the true treasures of heaven, and not be distracted by the illusory and the temporary wealth of this earth. May all of us grow ever stronger in our faith, and grow ever closer to the Lord our God. Amen.