Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day all of us heard how the Lord’s coming would create contradictions and conflicts, because of the incompatibility between the ways of the Lord and the ways of Satan, that is sin. That is because for us to be faithful to God, and to be steeped in the ways of sin are mutually exclusive and incompatible with each other.
Just as the Lord mentioned in another occasion in the Gospels, that we mankind cannot serve both God and money, as He related the parable of the wicked and untrustworthy servant to the people, therefore as Christians we cannot be half-hearted in our faith, or else, we will end up being lukewarm and be tempted to sin against God. And if we disobey God through sin, how can we then be truly faithful to Him?
Basically, as St. Paul mentioned in today’s first reading, which was taken from his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in Rome, all of us have two choices in life, on whether we want to embark down the path of sin, or whether we want to commit ourselves to the path of the Lord, that is righteousness and justice. And it is these choices we made, or are going to make, which eventually cause the difficulties and challenges we heard in the Gospel passage today.
It is because if we try to be righteous, those who have not chosen the righteous path will despise us, and they will rise up against us. It has happened before at the time of Jesus, when those who spoke the truth of God were silenced, just as the prophets from the earlier times were persecuted and silenced for speaking God’s words. If the world has persecuted the Lord Himself, then surely they will persecute us all the more and make things difficult for us.
On this day, all of us as Christians are asked to reflect and to spend some time to consider how our actions in life all these while have been, on whether they have been faithful and in accordance with God’s ways and teachings, or whether they have been unfaithful and as show of disobedience against God’s will. We will realise that in certain occasions, be it occasionally or frequently, we might have chosen to disobey God in the choices we made throughout life.
In fact, there are many Christians out there, among us, who often pick and choose what we want to believe in, and what we do not want to believe in. And hence, they are those who are so called ‘Cafetaria Christians’, those who refuse to believe wholeheartedly and completely to the Lord, and instead, choose what they want to do. Then, it is no longer faith, but our own selfish desires.
Let us all throw away all these attitudes, and become true Christians, that in our every actions, words and deeds, we will always stand up for the true faith, and not to discount it in any way. We must be ever more committed to the Lord, and resist the temptation to do otherwise. This will not be easy, but if we do not do anything, we will fall easily into the pressure to sin, as many of those around us will be pressuring us to conform to their worldly ideals.
Therefore, as Christians, we really must be able to stand up for our faith, not through being confrontational, but instead through dedication and real works, through actions showing how we are truly faithful to God. And hopefully, through our works and actions, we may even convince many others to follow our footsteps, and thus, through us many more can be saved from their fated destruction.
Let us draw ever closer to God, and ask Him for His protection, that despite the oppositions from the world, and despite the challenges and difficulties we may face throughout these lives, we may be able to persevere through them all, and find our way towards God and His salvation. May the Lord be with us always, and may He empower us to become His good disciples and followers. Amen.