Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the word of the Lord Jesus, reminding us that as Christians, each and every one of us ought to remember our obligation to obey and follow the way of the Lord as He had taught us through His Church. The Lord reminded us that we must be loving towards one another, and we must not hold any grudges or hatred towards our brethren.
The reality is that, many of us have grudges against each other, especially when we have conflicting desires and wishes, when our human ambitions clash, and we do not want to give in to each other. This is exactly why we bicker and fight, even within our families and our closest relationships. If we think that close friendship and family relationship prevent us from having all these, I am sure that all of us who fought our close friends and families, our spouses, children or parents will be able to realise the truth.
In the first reading today, we heard about how Elijah spoke to king Ahab of Israel about God Who finally was going to give rain to the land after three long years of absence, and the rain did come as He had promised. In the first place, the rain was held from the land of Israel as punishment for the people’s sins, which were caused by the sins of their king, Ahab and his wife, Jezebel.
Both of them had acted wickedly and committed sins abhorrent to God, by acting tyrannically and abusing the power and authority which had been given to them. One particular occasion was the murder of the vineyard owner Naboth, who refused to sell his vineyard, part of his ancestral land and rightful possession to the king. The king desired the vineyard as he wanted to turn it into his own vegetable farm.
The king was very angry and was emotionally affected after that refusal from Naboth, but his queen, Jezebel, inflamed his heart and encouraged him to act tyrannically by reminding him that as king, he could do whatever he wanted, and he could have whatever he wished to have. To that extent, they arranged a sham trial where Naboth was wrongly accused of blasphemy against God, and was stoned to death.
That was how power, human greed and ambition led man to sin against God. And unless we make the effort to resist the temptation of those worldly desires and power, we will end up falling into sin as king Ahab had done, and in doing so, he led many more people down the path of sin. And that is also because he had no faith in God, and God was not at the centre of his life, but rather himself and his selfish ambitions.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us are called to a holier life in our daily lives. And what does this mean? It means that as the Lord Jesus Himself had said, that as Christians, we must strive to be exemplary in our actions, forgiving those who have hurt us and not to hold grudges against each other. We are called to love one another, and even those who have not loved us or even hated us and persecuted us.
Remember that the Lord asked us to pray for our enemies and those who persecuted us? This is what we must then do, or else we risk holding grudges and hatred against each other, which eventually leads to sin. Is this what we want to happen to us? Surely, it is not. The Lord Jesus Himself forgave His enemies from the cross, all those who have condemned Him to death. If He has done so, then why can’t we?
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore devote ourselves, our effort and attention to be ever more faithful to the Lord, our God, by loving more generously, and placing Him at the centre of our lives. May God bless us all and may He be with us, all the days of our lives. Amen.