Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the word of God, reminding us through the Scriptures, that all of us as Christians must live with God at the centre and the focus of our lives. All of us must live in such way as if God is truly indispensable and He must be the very reason for all of our actions, words and deeds. Otherwise, it is easy for us to fall into the temptations of the devil.
That was what we heard from the Epistle of St. James, our first reading today. St. James in his Epistle mentioned how we tend to seek things that satisfy our greed and desire for worldly matters, for riches of the world, for wealth and influence, and for all those that distract us from from keeping our attention solely on God alone. That was why the disciples were in fact jealous that there was another person who were teaching in the Name of the Lord.
They were afraid that the man would become a rival in to them in the effort to bring the Good News and teaching the people of the faith and truth of God. That was the reason why they reported and complained about the man’s action to the Lord Jesus. But I am sure all of them were surprised the moment they heard how the Lord reacted and replied to them.
Instead of supporting their thoughts and complaints, they were rebuked by the Lord Who told them off for their attitude and their refusal to allow God’s works to be done even by others who were outside of their group. The Lord said that as long as they did their works for the purpose of the greater glory of God, they were serving God faithfully and were good in God’s sight.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is where we really need to reevaluate our own lives and think about our own actions, words and deeds in the light of what we have just heard mentioned in the lives and the works of the Apostles of the Lord. In truth, how many of us have done something similar in our own lives?
How many of us are jealous at others just because we see others who are as good as or even better than us? How many of us want to be praised and honoured for our actions and deeds? And how many of us like to claim credit for ourselves? This is exactly why we have sinned, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we succumb to the temptations of the devil. We have to realise just how vulnerable we are to his attacks.
Remember, brothers and sisters in Christ, that the devil is always ever ready to strike at us when we are least prepared to face or resist his advances. He knows very well how he can snatch us from God and from His saving grace. He indulges in our pride, our ego, our greed and desires, by making us so full of ourselves and our ego. As a result, we become self-centred and selfish in our actions.
As Christians, we cannot let this happen to us. Instead, we have to actively resist the temptations that the devil present to us, all the time. We must also put God at the centre of our lives, and learn to be rid of our pride and ego. These are obstacles through which the devil is trying very hard to prevent us from ever reaching the salvation of God. Therefore, all of us should be ever humbler, the wiser and greater we are.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all pray therefore, that each and everyone of us will grow ever stronger in faith in God, that we may come to be more dedicated and closer to Him. Let us all beginning from our respective lives, do what the Lord had commanded us to do, that as Christians, we love the Lord our God with all of our hearts and to the very best of our abilities, and do the same towards all those who are around us.
May the Lord bless each and every one of us, and may He strengthen us all in faith, and draw us ever closer to Himself, day after another in our renewed striving for holiness. Amen.