Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the soothing and reassuring words of the Lord Jesus, Who promised His disciples, that while they might be sorrowful, because their Lord would be taken away from them, first by His death on the cross, and then later on by His Ascension into heaven, He would never leave them alone, and He would not abandon them.
On the contrary, He would always be with them, and He would guide them through times of suffering and difficulties. This was what He told St. Paul the Apostle as he was ministering and preaching to the people in Achaia in Roman Greece among the mostly pagan population. He reassured St. Paul that He would always be with him throughout his journey, through all the difficulties and challenges that would face him.
And indeed, we see how opposition quickly faced St. Paul in his journey, St. Paul faced opposition from the Jews who were against his teachings and preachings. As such, he was brought to the civil authorities and was charged with false charges and all sorts of things that if we have remembered it well, the Lord Himself had also suffered from. But St. Paul faced everything with faith, entrusting himself to God’s love and care.
Despite of all the challenges he had to go through, St. Paul remained calm and continued to stay on focus on what he had to do for God’s sake. He did not even hesitate to lay down his life for the Lord, and continued to preach the Lord’s truth and Good News. Many believed because of him, and because of all the courage and the faith he had shown through his dedication to the mission he was entrusted with.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, now, all of us as Christians must truly realise that each and every one of us have been given the very same mission that the Lord has given to St. Paul and to the other disciples of His. We have been entrusted with the mission, that is to be witnesses of the Lord, and to preach His truth and the Good News He had brought into this world, that others may also come to believe in Him, and therefore, be saved together with us.
However, in reality, many of us did not only fail to do as the Lord had commanded us to do, but in fact, we live our lives in ways contrary to our faith, and if we look at our actions and deeds, we indeed bring embarrassment to our faith and to God. We profess our faith in God and we believe in Him, and yet, how many of us put Him as the priority of our lives? How many of us have an active and meaningful prayer life?
The reality and hard truth is that many of us Christians are too busy with ourselves, with all sorts of our desires and worldly concerns to be truly faithful to God. We have allowed ourselves to be swayed by selfishness and self-centredness encouraged by the world around us, to fill us and satisfy our ego, and stretch us to do even more wicked deeds and actions, unworthy of that of Christians.
This is unfortunately, the sad reality of our faith, among many of us Christians. Many of us are Christians in name and formality only. How can we then expect that people will believe in us, if our actions and words, our deeds and interactions do not show concretely that we truly belong to God? This is where we really need to take action, and heed the examples shown by the Apostles and saints, in their dedication to their faith in God and in how they lived their lives.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all be first of all, ashamed at all the sinful deeds that each and every one of us have done! If we are not ashamed at what we have done in our lives, in our wicked and unfaithful actions we have carried out thus far, then I am afraid that Satan has already had us in his clutches. Let us all be courageous and be resolute in rejecting him and all of his falsehoods and empty promises!
May the Lord be with us and may He continue to guide us all in our journey of faith, that each and every one of us Christians may be ever more Christ-like in our actions and deeds, and may we draw ever closer to His truth and love, each and every day of our lives. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.