Liturgical Colour : Red
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the words of the Scripture giving us assurance that if we put our trust in God, we will not be disappointed, that is because He is the only One Who can be completely trusted and depended on, even though we may find His path to be difficult and challenging.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, God has given each and every one of us free will, that we may choose how we are to live our lives, and whether we want to choose Him as Our Lord and Saviour, or whether we would rather follow the devil in rebelling against God’s laws and ways. He has given us this choice, that we may decide whether we want to follow the path He has laid before us, or rather take a different path.
Yet, many of us are not aware of God’s grace and love. We are not aware that He has given us the opportunity to be filled with grace, by walking in His path, and He even invites us all to come to Him, as what the Lord Jesus said to His disciples, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.” This is the reality and truth which Our Lord wants to present to us.
This means that He wants us to realise that despite the challenges that we may encounter if we remain faithful to Him, but in the end, it leads to an eternity of joy and happiness, rather than an eternity of suffering because of our damnation, if we choose the seemingly easier path of the devil. Yet, unfortunately, many of us willingly chose to follow the path of the evil one, because of the temptations and persuasions he has levelled on us.
Many of us are rather short-sighted in a sense that we would rather experience joy and happiness for the moment that we live in. We do not want difficulties or suffering, and we would rather choose the easy way out, and that is why, we end up being tempted by the devil with false promises of comfort and safety, and we succumbed to those temptations, falling into sin. Only when we have been trapped deep within his traps, that we realise our folly, and it may be then too late for us to get out of the trouble.
Let us instead look up to the examples of our holy predecessors, many of whom have resolutely remained faithful despite the challenges and difficulties they have encountered. Many of them chose to remain faithful despite threats and indeed facts of suffering and martyrdom that they encountered. And thus was the story of St. Lucy or St. Lucia, the saint whose feast we celebrate today, a holy virgin and martyr.
St. Lucy was a Christian woman born to a noble family in Syracuse, and her father died while she was still young. She dedicated her life and consecrated her virginity to God from the time of her youth. However, she had many suitors as she was reported to be very beautiful. She was also arranged in marriage to a pagan nobleman. However, St. Lucy continued in her faith and devotion, giving much of her riches to charity to the poor and the homeless, much to the consternation of the pagan nobleman.
She was therefore denounced before the governor as a Christian, and was ordered by the governor to offer sacrifice to the Roman Emperor as was mandatory, but she refused to do so. She would rather choose suffering and death rather than to abandon her faith, and when the governor tried to defile her sacred virginity in a brothel, miraculously no one could move her from the place where she was at, and in the end, her life was ended with a sword.
The devotion to St. Lucy continues until today, as many people are inspired by her faith and piety, by her commitment and charitable actions, through which she showed her way of following the Lord’s path, which may be filled with challenges, sorrow and difficulties, and yet in the end, only eternal glory awaits her and all those who have chosen the same path.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore follow in her footsteps and seek to remain true to our faith, remembering that the Lord Jesus Himself had said that all those who want to follow Him must take up their crosses and follow Him. Let us all therefore, faithfully bear up our crosses in life, with its joys and sorrows, and help one another to persevere on our way to reach out to the Lord. May God be with us always, and bless each and every one of us and our endeavours. Amen.