Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture telling us first of all from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in the city of Ephesus, of what is expected from all of us as Christians, in how we live our lives and in our communities. The Christians of that time were urged by St. Paul to look beyond their differences, and work together to find unity in action and in spirit.
In today’s Gospel we heard of the Lord Jesus speaking to us about the superficiality and hypocrisy of the people of God, who knew of the signs of nature and the times, and yet, they did not or fail to know the signs of God. This has to be understood in the context of the history and the dynamics of the community at that time, in which people were often divided, as the people of Ephesus were, along the lines of race, religious and cultural divide, and the differences in outlook and background.
Therefore, at that time, the society was actually very divided against each other and even often, within one’s own racial, religious and cultural groups, where there were also often disagreements, disunity and conflict. All of these were ultimately caused by our own human desires and selfishness, the allures of power, of glory, and of worldly satisfactions and pursuits of vanity, which clashed along each other’s, and therefore, resulting in the disagreements and disunity.
This comment by both St. Paul and the Lord Jesus came at a time when the people often acted very selfishly towards each other, be judgmental on each other, and without hesitation, attacking and striking at their fellow men without any consideration, and less so love or understanding of each other’s actions. This is what, to St. Paul, and to the Lord Jesus, actions that were based on worldly expectations and standards, and which are contrary to our Christian way of life.
This is why through what the Lord Jesus and St. Paul shared with us in today’s Scripture passages, on the need for all of us to embrace true Christian way of life and enact this in our own living. In how we live our lives, in how we act and interact with each other, and in all of our work in the community, we must embody and show true spirit of Christianity, and this means that we need to be filled with love, compassion, concern and care for our fellow men.
We should not act on one another with prejudice, or with hatred or jealousy, or with the intention to hurt or harm the other person. As Christians, we must act with love, to show concern on those who are troubled and injured, sick or in pain, and to learn to forgive, despite the faults that we have done upon the other. It is in the world’s way and in our human nature for us to hate, and to keep grudges against those who have hurt us. But as Christians, we are challenged to overcome this.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is important that we reflect on this, and think of ways that we can do, so that gradually, we may come to attune ourselves more closely to the way of the Lord. Let us all turn ourselves, our heart, our mind, our body and our whole being, towards the Lord, and seek to devote ourselves, day after day, for the greater glory of God, from now on. May God bless us in this endeavour, and May He continue to be with us and be our Guide. Amen.