Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture reminding us of the love which God has done for us, that in everything He has blessed us and provided for us, for all of our needs and for everything that He has done for us. From the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, all of us have received the reassurance of God’s grace and protection, providence and love.
From the Father, we have received the gift of life and the gift of adoption as sons and daughters, to be called as the children of the Lord God Most High. He has created us and given us life just as St. Paul preached and testified before all the philosophers and the people gathered at the Areopagus in Athens as we heard in our first reading passage today. And not only that, but God gave us even greater gift in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, Whom He had sent into the world to be our Lord and Saviour.
Through the Son of God, Who became incarnate in the flesh and became the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, God has reaffirmed this relationship that each and every one of us have with Him, as we share through Christ the relationship with God, His heavenly Father, Who is also our Father. And we have received this gift of Christ, by Whose sharing of our humanity united us all to His own suffering and death on the Cross, and therefore, gained for us the salvation and eternal life He promised us all.
And even after He has risen from the dead and ascended in glory to Heaven, which celebration we will celebrate tomorrow on the Solemnity of the Ascension, God did not leave us behind all alone in this world. Instead, He fulfilled the promise He made to us all of the Advocate or the Helper, the Holy Spirit of God coming down from heaven, and descending on the Apostles and through them, to all of us His faithful ones.
And the Lord promised all of us this Helper, the Holy Spirit that will strengthen us and give us the courage and strength to carry on living our lives with commitment and determination, despite the challenges and difficulties that we may face in life. Through the Holy Spirit we receive the truth, wisdom and understanding, just as St. Paul revealed the truth before the assembled people in the Areopagus.
At that time, the Greek people in Athens and in other parts of the Greek world and civilisation worshipped the pagan gods of the Olympians and other deities, intermingled with the many other local deities and gods of the Mediterranean region. Many of them did not know who they were worshipping, and in fact, many of those deities were representations of natural forces and power, and also exhibiting human behaviours, in whatever ways that the people imagined their divinities were like.
And there were so many of these gods and deities that St. Paul noticed that there was even a worship niche for the unknown God. That was when St. Paul revealed to the people who were assembled there in the Areopagus, the truth about the one and only true God Who was unknown to them. By the wisdom and the truth of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle spoke passionately of the one true God and the one true Divinity Whose existence was laid bare and shown to the people who had thus far followed the wrong path.
Some of them came to believe in what St. Paul had said, and were touched in their hearts by the message of truth, while others dismissed it as merely an oddity. Yet, it was the hard labour and commitment of the Apostles in continuing to do what God had commanded them to do even in the midst of ridicule, persecution and rejection that had caused so many of God’s people to be reconciled to Him and salvation to be brought to many.
How about us, brothers and sisters in Christ? As we have discussed just now, we have seen just how wonderful God’s love for each and every one of us is. Are we able to love God and commit ourselves to His ways in the same way as He has loved us so dearly and wonderfully? Let us all turn towards Him therefore with a renewed spirit and commitment to live our lives from now on with faith. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.