Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of God in the Scriptures speaking to us about the matter of being united to God and not to dissent by our disobedience and refusal to believe in Him. We are reminded that if we are all united in God, we will stand firm despite the challenges and pressures from the world, and we will not be shaken and lost from God, for God loves us all, and as long as we keep our faith in Him, God will provide for us and protect us.
In today’s Gospel passage, the Lord Jesus rebuked some of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, who have slandered Him publicly by saying that He performed His miracles and exorcism of demons and evil spirits, by collusion and collaboration with Beelzebul, the prince of demons. The Lord said this with disbelief and probably even anger at the irony presented by those who criticised the works of the Lord.
They criticised the Lord that He was using demons to cast out other demons, but the Lord pointed out that it was not the devil and his forces that were divided among themselves, rather, the people of God, who were divided among themselves and unable to unite themselves in thought and belief in God. The devil, that is Satan and all of his allies are all united in the same purpose, that is to bring about our downfall and damnation, while we mankind are often prone to being divided among ourselves.
The moment that men do not put their trust and faith in God, that is the moment when the devil and all of his wicked allies strike, manipulating us and dividing us through pride, through ambition and human greed, through the temptations of desire and other worldly pleasures. The devil is waiting for us when we are at our weakest, to strike at us, knowing that when we are united, he cannot assail us. He tries his best to divide us, one against another, so that it is easier for him to strike us down, one by one.
The devil is using our pride and ego, ambition and desire, greed and jealousy against us. That was how he led the Israelites astray, by hardening their hearts and minds with pride and worldly desires, when the lust and desire for gold, wealth and power brought them to sin against God, in making an idol for themselves, and in disobeying the laws and commandments of God. They bickered and quarrelled among themselves, for God was not at the centre of their lives.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we must be mindful that this is how the devil is also constantly striking at us, by luring us with the temptation of power, of pleasures of the flesh, of money and wealth of this world, with fame, influence and glory, all the things that caused us to bicker among one another, and quarrel among ourselves. Even friendships and relationships have been torn apart by the pressure of worldly desires and ambitions.
This is how even within our Church, we often see divisions and conflicts, where the members of the Church ministries quarrel and bicker among each other, gossiping and backstabbing, complaining and being mean and hurtful to one another through our words and actions. The devil is truly busy at work, with all of his allies and agents, in trying to tempt us to sin, by planting in us the seeds of disagreements and dissensions.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, during this time of Lent, we are called and indeed challenged to overcome all of these negative thoughts, emotions and desires within us. But the path forward will not be an easy one, as there will be plenty of opposition, as the devil and his kingdom are hard at work, trying to subvert us and to prevent us from gaining salvation in God. There will be plenty of challenges in our path, and unless we make the conscious effort to restrain ourselves, we will end up being more and more divided among ourselves, and the devil will swoop in for the kill easily.
Let us all strive to be true disciples of Christ in this blessed season of Lent onwards, by turning ourselves and our lives back to be in accordance with God’s will and centre our focus and attention back towards Him. Let us also strive to overcome division and conflict, by putting love in all of our actions, words and deeds. Before we act and say something, let us always put ourselves into considerations of love.
Let us love one another sincerely and graciously, remembering of the love that God Himself has shown us, that each and every one of us may also love one another in the way that He has loved us all, so generously and so sincerely, that even though we have disobeyed Him and walked away from Him, time to time, again and again, He still continues to love us all despite all these. Let us all be generous with our love, and continue to live our lives well, as good and faithful disciples of the Lord from now on. Amen.