Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard the words of the Scripture speaking to us about being truly faithful to the Lord, not just through appearances alone, but also through real actions and dedications. In the words of our Lord, the light must not be hidden, but must be showed upon the whole world, that all may see the light in us and rejoice, and through us they too may believe in God.
In the first reading, we heard of the actions of the first Great King of the Persian Empire, Cyrus the Great, whose deeds were recorded both in secular history and in the Biblical historiography. Cyrus the Great conquered many nations, including the Neo-Babylonian Empire which had subjugated the kingdom of Judah and destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple, carrying its people into exile in Babylon.
And one of the first acts of Cyrus the Great after that conquest was his release of the edict of the emancipation of the Jews, through which he freed the Jewish people from their bonds and their exile, allowing them to return to their homeland and their cities, and allowing them to rebuild the Temple of God in Jerusalem which had been destroyed by the king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.
Thus, the people of God were vindicated by the action of one man, who feared God and did what he had been told by God, and he was considered a righteous man among the nations by the Israelites, a rare feat, for normally the people of Israel would look down upon the pagans and foreigners because of their lack of faith in God. This is just one example of how we ought to be faithful to God, by our actions and deeds in life.
There were also many other good men and women throughout the history of the Church who have been exemplary in their actions, and show their devotion to the Lord through their preaching, their works of evangelisation, their ministry to their fellow brethren, explaining the truth of the Gospels and the Scriptures to those who have not yet heard of God’s truth, and also those who have even suffered and died defending their Christian faith.
They are our role models, all those who have not hesitated or been shy to stand by for their faith. These holy saints have laid the foundation for the Church, that all of us may now be saved through it. They did not build the Church through rhetoric alone, but they had to show it through their every actions, by doing all that they could to live in accordance to the ways of the Gospel of Christ.
And as we now remember their memory, we are inspired by their actions and works, and that is why we have our saints and martyrs, and remembering all they have done, so that we may also do the same in our own lives. To each and every one of us have been given the same gifts as what had been given to the saints and martyrs, and what matters now is whether we are taking the necessary steps to make use of them in our respective lives.
Thus, the light that we have in us, must not remain hidden, but must be shown to all. For the light we have will light the path for others, who may see the way because of the light we share. We ourselves are guided by the light shown unto us by the saints and martyrs who had gone before us. The saints are like the beautiful stained glasses that shows their beauty when light passes through them.
God had shown us all His light, and our lives and actions, filled with faith and commitment to God will become an inspiration for others who see us, just as the saints and martyrs inspired us, and just as how many of us are awed at the beauty of the stained glasses illuminated by light in our Churches, telling us the stories of the work of God’s salvation, in the life of our Lord Jesus and in His saints.
Therefore, let us all today commit ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord, that from now on we may seek the greater glory of God in our lives, that through us, our faith and zeal, we may inspire ever more people to turn to God and seek His salvation and grace. May God be with us all, now and always. Amen.