Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day all of us are called to reflect through the Scripture passages that first of all, God is just and impartial, and He does not discriminate based on any criteria, be it race, language, culture or background and status. All of us are equal before God, without any distinction or prejudice, and He loves each one of us with the same degree of love.
In the first reading today, God reminds us that He loves each and every nations, every races and every peoples, instead of favouring just one nation, as what the Israelites at the time of Jesus tended to believe about themselves. They are just the first ones that God called, through their forefather Abraham. Eventually, God is calling all peoples of all the nations towards Himself. All will be judged by the virtue of their good deeds as well as by the wickedness of their sins.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have not been faithful for much of the time, as we tend to stray away due to the many temptations in this life. This is what have brought down many of us into sin. And sin will lead us eventually to eternal damnation should we remain unrepentant for our sins and mistakes, our disobedience against God. We have to keep this in mind, because sin is the greatest obstacle on our path as we journey towards the Lord.
And all mankind are predisposed and vulnerable to sin, ever since our first ancestors fell into sin by their disobedience. They disobeyed God and chose to follow the lies of Satan instead. As a result, sin corrupted many people, and indeed, sin is a disease of the soul, afflicting many and bringing many people into danger for their souls. By right, our just end will be death, which is the consequence of sin.
However, God does not want us to fall into this status. He wants each one of us to be reconciled to Him and to be healed from the disease of sin afflicting them. That is why in the Gospel today, we heard how Jesus took pity on all those who were afflicted with disease, and healed them all from their sickness. Similarly therefore, God wants us to be freed from the chains that are our sins, which we are suffering from.
Nonetheless, as we heard from the Gospel passage, out of the ten lepers, only one of them returned to the Lord Jesus to thank Him and worship Him, for having cured him from his predicament. The others did not notice, or did not realise, or simply did not care that they had to give thanks to God for all that He had done for them. This is one flaw which many of us Christians are also often to blame for, our lack of gratitude for God’s love and grace.
How many of us live our lives, without realising the grace by which we are inhaling our every breaths? Our very lives are gifts to us from God, and we live by the grace of His will. Indeed, in life we will encounter some bad times just as we should also have some good times. Yet, many of us are quick to judge that we fall into bad times because God has abandoned us, and we became angry at Him.
Thus, all of us Christians must be thankful for whatever God has blessed us with. Some of us may have been given more, while others have been given less. But this should not end up becoming source of conflict or contention between us. Rather, we should share the blessings we have with one another, especially with those who have little or none with them. Let us not ignore the plight and the cries of the poor, the hungry, the lonely and all those who are in need of our help.
St. Albert the Great, a member of the Dominican Order and bishop, whose feast we celebrate today, was also well remembered for his love, care and attention to the people, especially those entrusted to him as their shepherd. He travelled through his diocese on foot, traversing great distances to meet his people, listening to them and caring for them, especially those who are in need.
St. Albert the Great showed us all an example of how each and every one of us as Christians must behave and act in our lives. We should follow their examples and walk along their path, as these people have been faithful in their lives. Now the question is, are we able to do as we are expected as Christians?
God Who sees our charity and genuine love for our brethren, as well as our devotion to His cause will reward us in the end of it all, each according to our every deeds. Let us all strive to be truly faithful in all things and in all occasions towards the Lord our God. May the Lord help us and guide us in our life journey, that we will ever draw closer to Him. Amen.