Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the Lord Who made a covenant with His servant Abraham, as recorded in the Old Testament, saying that He would establish His descendants and bless them forever, because of the great faith which Abraham had shown to the Lord, by obeying Him and following Him at every moments of his life.
But in the Gospel passage today, we see how the Lord Jesus was angry at those people who called themselves the descendants of Abraham and Israel. They claimed to be the descendants of those who were good and faithful servants of God, but in their actions and deeds, and in their lack of faith in God, and in what the Lord Jesus had delivered to them, they were nothing like that of their illustrious predecessors.
As we heard in the Gospel passage today, the people accused Jesus of having colluded with Satan and worked with him in His teachings among the people, just because He told them the plain truth and reality, which they refused to listen to and to believe in, as those plain truth and reality were difficult to be accepted. Yet, that was what had afflicted them, the reality that the people had sinned and erred against God.
But God was truly a patient and compassionate God, Who does not let Himself be angered unnecessarily because of His people’s constant disobedience and waywardness. Indeed, they had erred many, many times, and despite constant reminders and messages sent to them through the prophets, they continued to disobey because they have hardened their hearts and closed off their ears and minds from receiving God’s truth.
They claimed that they were faithful to the Lord and that they have preserved His laws. However, in reality, they were only paying lip service to Him and did not truly love Him as they should have. They were only obeying the laws and the rules because they were following the traditions of their predecessors, without truly understanding and appreciating why they did all that they had done.
This is not what God wanted from them. What He wanted from them was true dedication and love, that they turn themselves completely towards Him, abandoning their sinful ways and all of their wayward behaviour. He wanted them all to be like their forefather, Abraham, in his faith and dedication, and in how they lived their lives, trusting in God and being good and righteous towards one another.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, that is what the Lord is also calling us to, during this season of Lent, that we turn away from all of our past bad and wicked habits, to embrace His ways and to repent from our sins wholeheartedly. Are we able to commit to this change in our way of life? This is surely not something that is too difficult for us to do? After all, let us think about it, that God Himself had done so much for us, so as to send us all His own beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to save us by His death on the cross.
And that cross, which Christ bore willingly in great suffering and pain towards Calvary, and on which He was hung above for all of the people to see, is the source of our salvation, and it is where all of the combined weight and consequences of our sins have been gathered and taken by Christ, that He suffered and died in our place. If we believe in Him and put ourselves completely in Him, entrusting our fate to Him, He will give us the succour from all of our sins, and we will be worthy of the grace of eternal life.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore, as we approach the coming celebration of the Holy Week and the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, let us all draw closer to God and deepen our relationship by spending our time in prayer, in contemplation and deeper understanding of our own sins, and by being more charitable and generous in our love for our fellow brothers and sisters. Let us turn towards God and turn our back away from our sins.
May the Lord bless us all, and may He be with us all throughout our journey of faith, that we may find our way into the eternal glory promised to us by the Lord. Amen.