Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of God through the Scriptures speaking to us about the need for us to realise at first, just how sinful we have been all these while, in our actions and deeds, in our words and in how we deal with one another in our respective lives. And we must realise how sin can be very dangerous for us, if we do not do anything in order to resist the temptation to sin, and to keep ourselves free from those sins.
In the first reading today, taken from the Book of the prophet Sirach, we heard about the reminder that sin is truly our great enemy, and how each and every one of us are sinners, whether it be great or small, significant or minute, but each one of us have sinned, and sin has corrupted our hearts, minds, and our very existence. Sin is disobedience against God, and because of sin, we have been sundered and separated from God’s grace.
But in the same reading we also heard how it was said that God’s compassion and mercy were indeed very great. This in fact is not wrong, as God’s love and compassion for each and every one of us is indeed very great, that He patiently waited and tried to reconcile us to Himself, through His many prophets and messengers, all those whom He has sent into our midst to call us back to Him, that we may repent from our sinful ways.
Yet, what the prophet Sirach reminded each one of us is that, we must never test God, by trying out His patience and by continuously being disobedient through our constant sins before Him. We also should not think that sin has no consequence for us, as perhaps at the moment when we sin without having any repercussions, doing what are wicked and sinful in the sight of God and men, no one may seem to hold us to account for our sins, but the time of reckoning will come for us, at the time that we least expect.
Why is that so, brothers and sisters in Christ? That is because it does not matter what status, power, glory or wealth we have in life, but all of us will eventually have to face death in the face, and death is the ultimate equaliser for all, as whether we are rich or poor, strong or weak, intelligent or not so intelligent, influential or nobody, we are all bound to die because of our sins. Just as sin came because of our disobedience, thus death came because of sin.
The Lord reminded us as well in the Gospel passage today, that each and every one of us must be wary of sin, in all of the things that we say and do, that we do not end up falling deeper and deeper into this trap of sin that has ensnared many of those who have gone before us. He used such dramatic expressions and language, telling the people to chop of their hands, their legs, plucking off their eyes if those have caused them to fall into sin, not for them to listen and obey to His words literally, but rather, for us all to understand that sin truly is dangerous.
Sin is like a terrible and dangerous disease that can easily and rapidly spread unless we do something about it. Our hands, legs and limbs, our eyes and all our organs are all without blame by themselves, and they are all capable of both good and wicked deeds alike. By themselves they are neither good nor wicked, for it is our hearts and minds that are filled with either things that are holy or unholy in nature.
What God wants each and every one of us to do is that we must make the conscious effort to cut ourselves off from sin, not by mere external actions, but through total internal and wholesome conversion, of our hearts, minds and souls, so that while once we may have lived in darkness and filled with sin, now we should begin anew, in a journey that is filled with a new purpose, that is to serve God with all of our strength.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today let us all awaken ourselves from our long slumber, and realise how fortunate each and every one of us to have been given these opportunities by God. He has given us chances after chances to bring our lives into order, and to turn our sinfulness back into a life of faith and dedication. Let us all not wait any moment longer, for none of us can know the exact moment of our death, and when it comes, it may already be too late for us.
May God be with us always, and may He strengthen us throughout our journey in life. May He grant us the courage to live faithfully according to His ways, and help us all to refocus our lives on Him, that we may gradually move away from our sinful past, and enter into a new and more meaningful existence in faith. Amen.