Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we quickly approach the coming of the Solemnity of the Ascension, during which we remember that forty days after His glorious resurrection, our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into His heavenly glory, we recall our Lord’s promise that even though we see Him no more, just as much as the Apostles did not see Him anymore after that, the faith in Him and His truth still remained and will prevail in the end.
He has not left us behind without hope, for He Himself has assured us that He is always with us, and sent us the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to guide us in our path and to lead us to the right paths, as He had done so with the Apostles, who despite the difficulties and challenges they faced, they continued to persevere on through against the odds and against all the forms of oppression they faced.
And according to the Lord, the sin of the world is disbelief, the lack of faith in Him, which was shown by all those who refused to believe in the Lord, and all who opposed the works of the Apostles, as exemplified in the first reading today, by all those who rose up against St. Paul and Silas, the slave owners of the city of Philippi, instigating the officials to throw them into prison and to torture them.
That is because the world, filled with wickedness and evil, ruled by Satan and his allies, is not willing to let the Lord’s truth and ways to be propagated lest their own ways are threatened. Similarly, therefore, there were many enemies of the Apostles, all those who sought to undermine their works and to stop the preaching of the Good News and the truth of the Gospel.
And yet, again and again, God has always provided for His faithful ones, for all those who cling to His truth and obey His will. He has always loved all of them, and did not leave them behind. Even if His servants were to suffer persecution, prejudice and torture at the hands of their enemies, but many of them remained resolute and true to their faith, because they knew that God Who is always ever faithful will bless them with eternal grace and joy as He promised.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, as Christians all of us are called to serve Him in the same manner as the Apostles had done, to be courageous in proclaiming God’s truth, not just through words and proclamations, but even more importantly, through our actions and deeds, by doing what the Lord had commanded us to do, and therefore gain for ourselves the justification of our faith.
There will be lots of challenges and difficulties, and it is often that even those who are close to us may suddenly detest us and disown us because we believe in the Lord and in His ways, and refuse to conform to the ways of the world. But we have to persevere, for it is in living faithfully in accordance with God’s ways that we shall be saved, by our devotion and commitment to His cause.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all renew our commitment to live a faithful life to the Lord, giving our all to Him and give our best ability in order to love Him and to love our fellow neighbours, as He had told us to do. May the Lord be with us in this journey of life, and may He strengthen our faith, so that we will always be ever courageous and strong amidst the challenges we may encounter in life because of our faith in God. God bless us all. Amen.