Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture, in which we heard how we have been given such a great grace and favour from God, His love and boundless mercy, which He Himself showed before us, in His love for us, incarnate in the flesh, the Son of God and Son of Man, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the ultimate gift of God to us, that through Him, the Lord Himself has come to dwell in our midst, amongst us, His beloved people.
This is the truth that the Gospel passage today proclaimed, as the Lord made Himself known to the people, especially to the disciples, particularly Nathanael, who was one of the central figures in today’s Gospel passage. Nathanael was one of the most learned and educated among the disciples of Jesus, and he was well-versed in the Scriptures. That was why, when he heard from the other disciples that the Messiah had come into their midst, and that He hailed from the small village of Nazareth in Galilee, he was immediately skeptical.
But that skepticism quickly gave way to faith and hope, because the Lord opened Himself up to Nathanael, and showed just how true and sincere His love for all of His people was. Through all of His wisdom and teachings, slowly the disciples and the future Apostles of the Lord learnt the truth about God the salvation which He has promised through His Son, Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world.
And He showed them all His love, as written by St. John in the Epistle he wrote that became part of our first reading passage today. God has given us His life, and that is how we know that He has loved us. For the Lord Himself said in another occasion, that no greater love exists, than for one person to give his or her own life, for the sake of a friend. And that was exactly what the Lord had done for us, dying on the cross, that we may live.
He showed us what the meaning of true love is, and not the selfish and wicked love for oneself that has been propagated by the devil, through the many temptations of the world that he had lured many of us into our downfall in sin. The devil presented us with an alternative to the path that the Lord had shown us, a different path, which is seemingly easier and more pleasant, but in truth, leads to eternal suffering and death.
But this path is one of ego, pride, greed and self-serving satisfaction, filled with selfishness and human desire. This is the path that we are well aware of, as it is present all around us, as the norms of how many of us often behave in life. We succumbed to our greed, desiring for more of the worldly goods, money, pleasures in life, power, fame, influence, human praise and glory, prestige and status, and many others.
In the process, many of us put our needs and desires above our concern for our fellow brethren, and in many historical occasions, this has led to the oppression of the weak and the poor, those who were ostracised and less fortunate. This was why so much pain and suffering existed in our communities, and why there were so much bitterness, hatred and evil in this world, all because we did not know the love of God, and had hardened our hearts against this wonderful love.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today, we are called to follow the example of the Apostles, and all those who have been willing to listen to the truth of Christ, and allowed Him to transform their lives by allowing His love to enter into their existence, affecting the way that they interacted with one another, and changed their lives’ perspective and focus, that they no longer centred their thoughts and desires on themselves, but instead on God alone.
Let us today open our hearts and minds, allowing the love of God to enter into our own respective lives. Let us always remember the loving sacrifice of Our Lord, each and every moments of our life, being thankful for all that He has done for us, all these while. May God continue to love us, now and always. Amen.