Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scriptures reminding us yet again of the need for us to believe in the Lord, our loving God and Creator, Who has given Himself to us so completely, that He has given us nothing less than His own Most Precious Body and His Most Precious Blood, He Who is our Bread of Life, sharing Himself with us, through the Eucharist we have received.
The Bread of Life has come down upon us all, offering Himself to us, that all of us who have shared in Him receive true satisfaction, fulfilment not just in the flesh and the body, but more importantly, in our spiritual nourishment and fulfilment. For through Christ, we have been made whole again, receiving the fullness of God’s grace once again, which have been prevented by the sins we have committed.
It was about Him that the courageous servant of God, St. Stephen the Protomartyr preached and witnessed about before all the people even when faced with intense opposition and persecution by the Pharisees and the members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish High Council. It was his faith for the Lord Who has offered His own Body and His own Blood for our salvation, that grace and life have been restored to us all.
St. Stephen willingly embraced martyrdom, even though he knew he would endure pain and the sufferings of death, because he knew that unless he remained faithful and true to his Lord and Master, the Bread of Life, the One through Whom alone mankind can have true and everlasting life, his existence and life would have been meaningless and empty. He committed himself wholeheartedly to God, the very reason for his existence.
And this, brothers and sisters in Christ, is what each and every one of us should have done as well. All of us as Christians should serve and devote ourselves to the Lord in the same way as St. Stephen and many of our holy predecessors had done, as shown by the examples of the many saints and martyrs throughout the entire history of the Church. All of them shared the same conviction and desire to love and to serve the Lord, the Master of all life.
Yet, unfortunately, the current reality of the lives of many of us Christians is such that God no longer takes the most important place in our lives, and He is indeed no longer the centre and focus of our whole existence. We are often busy and distracted by the many concerns and temptations of life, with the temptation and allures of money, of worldly corruptions, of immorality and pleasures of the flesh, of ego and human ambition, and many other obstacles that are aplenty in our respective lives.
We often put God aside and forget about Him, living our lives seeking for the satisfaction and pleasure of our human desires, and thus, instead of seeking the One Who alone can give us true satisfaction and joy, we instead look for things that are impermanent and not truly satisfactory, in our pursuit for worldly glory, power, for money and for other ways that we mankind are often exposed to, in our desire for worldly happiness and satisfaction.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are called to reflect on our own lives and how we have lived our lives thus far. Are we living our lives for things that are not leading us to true happiness and satisfaction, in our pursuit for worldly success and glory? Or have we instead been walking in the footsteps of our holy predecessors, in living and working for the glory of God instead for our own glory?
Let us all redirect and reorientate our lives, and dedicate ourselves anew to the Lord, that from now on, we may labour and work for the greater glory of God, and to be fully attuned and harmonised with God in our everyday lives and actions, in our every words and dealings in life. May the Lord, our Master and the Bread of Life continue to do His marvellous works in us, that our lives may truly glorify Him and we will be worthy to be with Him in the end. Amen.