Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the Scripture passage, in which we continued the story told by St. Paul the Apostle to the Church and the faithful in Galatia. St. Paul told them how he came to be the Apostle of Christ, and how he conducted his ministry during the early years of his mission. He met with the other Apostles in Judea and Jerusalem, and he was affirmed in the mission by those Apostles who supported his efforts.
Yet, St. Paul did not have it easy throughout his mission, as he encountered difficult moments when he had to even go against the other Apostles at times, for their indecisiveness regarding the matter of the obligations for Christians to follow and obey the old law of the Jewish people, that is the laws of Moses. There were many among the Jews, especially among the Pharisees and the teachers who became believers of Christ, who wanted the imposition of Jewish traditions and practices in its entirety on the Christian faithful, even among those who were of non-Jewish or Gentile origin.
St. Paul disagreed with those who wanted such an imposition, and argued with them, and also with the some of the Apostles and elders of the Church who did not take a firm action against those who wanted such an irresponsible action and un-Christian attitudes to go on. The disciples and the Apostles therefore argued among themselves, and yet, whatever disagreements they must have had at that time, eventually through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they overcame those differences.
What is the key, brothers and sisters in Christ? How did they overcome their issues and troubles? It is because they discerned carefully the will of God, and took into consideration their weaknesses and the challenges they encountered through prayer, that is through intimate and close relationship with God. They are in close relationship with God, following the example set before them by none other than the Lord Jesus Himself.
In the Gospel passage today, we heard how the Lord Jesus taught His disciples the prayer that He Himself made, directed to God His Father. Although He is indeed the Son of God, but this prayer is in fact the proof of the amazing love and closeness which He enjoyed with His Father in heaven. In His prayer, the Lord’s Prayer or Pater Noster, we are reminded of the special relationship which we have with God, Who is our loving Father.
Through prayer, we help ourselves by quietening our minds and hearts, our senses and our entire being, and indeed, making ourselves closer to God. This is when we will be able to discern well what it is that God is willing to tell us in the depths of our hearts and in the deepest recesses of our minds. Otherwise, if we allow the noise of this world to overcome us, that is why we end up placing our own selfish needs and desires before our obligation to God.
We should instead reflect on the words of the Lord’s Prayer, which we may have uttered frequently both during the Holy Mass and in our own devotions and prayers, but perhaps failed to understand or say it meaningfully. If we look through the words of the prayer, we will realise that first of all, our focus in this life, should be to centre ourselves on God and to put God’s will above all else, and thank Him for all the good things He has done for us.
Are we able to refocus our attention to the Lord in this manner? In the same prayer, the Lord Jesus also asked His Father to forgive us mankind our sins, just as we have forgiven others who have sinned against us. This is how the Apostles were able to forgive one another their faults and return their focus to serve the greater glory of God. That is why we also need to do the same in our own lives, and in how we live up our own Christian lives.
Let us all turn our attention towards the Lord, and renew our commitment to live from now on, in the way and the path that God has shown us, and that we may become ever closer to Him, through prayer and through quality time spent with Him. May the Lord be with us and may He continue to guide us through this journey of life, that we may continue to glorify Him by our deeds, day after day. Amen.