Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day through the readings from the Sacred Scriptures, we are reminded that as Christians, all of us have to be truly devoted to the ways shown to us by our Lord Jesus, as He had taught us through His disciples. We cannot be Christians and yet in our words, in our actions and in our deeds, we show things that are contrary to what we believe in.
Our faith in the Lord must be sincere, deep and genuine, and based on our heartfelt desire to love Him and to serve Him all of our days. We must truly love one another and seek peace and harmony in all things. We must follow the examples of the Lord our God in all that He had done, in all that He had shown us how to do. He has taught us to love Him and if we love Him, we will also love one another in the same manner.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, through the exhortation He had made in our Gospel passage today, Jesus our Lord is challenging us to go beyond what has been expected of us in accordance with the Law. We cannot just obey the laws and commandments of God without understanding them, or else we will end up being just like the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, who obeyed the laws to the letter, but on their true heart’s intentions and purpose, their hypocrisy was evident.
Let us ask ourselves, brothers and sisters in Christ. How often is it that in our own daily lives, we have been angry at our brethren, at another person, just because we are jealous at what they have, which we do not have? The Lord said that even the intention is enough for us to drive ourselves towards committing the crime of sin, so if we do not restrain ourselves and those negativities, such as anger, jealousy, desire and all, we will end up leading ourselves into sin.
Therefore, as Christians, all of us need to have that zeal in us, that commitment and devotion, which we must have to be true disciples and followers of our Lord Jesus, or else we will be easily swayed by the temptations of this world, by all the pressures for us to do otherwise, to do differently from what the Lord had taught us and shown us, because these were things that are easier to be done than to be faithful to God.
Why is that so? It is easier for us to hate someone and be angry at someone for a misstep or wrongdoing or pain that has been inflicted upon us by that someone. It is in our human nature and habit for us to do so, by our instincts and experiences. However, it is far more difficult for us to forgive and let go of our anger, allowing us to think rationally and not be carried away by our anger and emotions.
Similarly, it is easier for us to do what is evil and wicked, as because of sin, we have been made vulnerable to those desires that led us to sin. It is easier for us to seek the desires for the pleasures of the flesh, for other forms of worldly desires, for recognition, for power and all the things which inevitably lead us into conflict with one another, as we mankind are by our nature selfish and stubborn, not wanting to give in or to let go.
No, brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us as Christians cannot be like this. We must seek to be humble, to be peacemakers, and let us put our attention especially on the sermon which Jesus made on the mountain, the Beatitudes, in which He spelled out clearly, how Christians, all of us who believe in the Lord and follow Him ought to live.
We must be sincere in our faith to the Lord, and through our action we must bring peace and harmony with one another, for all of us are brothers and sisters in the same Lord. Whatever actions that others had done that caused us to be angry, let us not be quick to be angry, for remember that perhaps in our own actions and words, we might have made someone else unhappy and angry too.
Let us all rather seek to love one another, and therefore also love the Lord our God with sincerity and tenderness. Let us all renew our commitment to Him, and devote ourselves to a holy and loving life from now on, as the true and beloved children of God. May God bless us all. Amen.