Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the Scriptures speaking to us about our obligation as Christians, to be true to our faith in God, by showing just how much we have understood the faith we have been called to, through our actions and deeds. Faith is as what the Lord Jesus made it clear in our Gospel passage today, what it means to be a follower of Christ.
In the first reading passage, taken from the first Epistle of St. Peter, we heard of how as Christians we have been transformed from our old ways and paths, from the path of desire, greed, pride and worldliness, into the path of love. We have been called to follow the Lord’s own examples in His most generous love, and to abandon behind our old ways of greed, of ambition, and of desire for all sorts of worldly temptations and glory.
In the Gospel passage today, the Lord showed us yet again by His interaction with the disciples, beginning with St. James and St. John, who went to Him with their mother, asking Him to grant them special privileges and advantage over the other disciples of the Lord. They were asking for favouritism and jockeying for power in conflict with the other disciples. But the Lord would have none of that.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we heard how the Lord rebuked His two disciples for their wrong perception and understanding of the faith, and what it means to be His disciples. At that time, they were still thinking and misunderstanding the Lord Jesus as just another one of the worldly rulers, and compounded by the general misconception of the Jewish people of what the Messiah would do, and Who He would be, when He came to His people.
They all thought that the Messiah would come as a great King, much like king David and king Solomon in ancient times. They thought that the salvation of Israel would mean the destruction of all of their enemies and the reestablishment of the kingdom of Israel, which had physically existed hundreds of years before Christ, but was destroyed by the Assyrians and the Babylonians.
Therefore, they thought that by following the Lord, Who would be King, then they could amass for themselves power, glory, fame, influence, and many more things. Certainly some of them had this misconception, and they misunderstood what it means to be the disciples of the Lord. Hence, when the Lord saw them bickering over the matter and became angry at St. James and St. John, He rebuked all of them.
The Lord rebuked them for their pride and desire for worldly power, and He showed them that as His followers, as Christians, they must be humbler yet, and they must be ever be ready to serve one another, just as the Lord Himself had shown them. The Lord showed that even He has come into this world in order to love His people and to care for them, and not to be a tyrant over them.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have to realise that each one of us face the same temptation as the Apostles and disciples of the Lord had faced, however, are we allowing all those wickedness to influence us and to lure us away from God’s path and saving grace? Let us all therefore seek to be ever more committed to the Lord, resisting the temptations to sin, for worldly power, glory, fame and all the things that are obstacles in our way to the Lord.
Let us instead turn ourselves towards the Lord, and place Him at the very centre and focus of our lives. Let us all be genuine Christians in each and every actions we take, and learn to be truly faithful in all things. May God be with us all, and may He bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.