Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture speaking to us about the importance of being true in our faith and dedication to the Lord, in all of us our words, deeds and actions so that we truly are worthy to be called the disciples and followers of Christ, our Lord and Saviour. For the Lord has given us everything and done everything for our sake, and therefore the least we can do is to give our whole beings to Him in sincere and genuine faith and love.
In our Gospel passage we heard the Lord speaking to His disciples on the matter of making oaths and swearing those oaths before the Lord and the people. And He said how they should not be making oaths and swearing them on anything or on anybody, or even on themselves. In order to understand what the Lord truly meant by His words, we must then understand in the first place how people then (and even in our world today) make oaths and promises.
People made oaths more because of their fear that the other party who witnessed the oaths would not believe or trust in the sincerity and commitment of the person making the oath in maintaining or fulfilling his or her part of the agreement or bargain. That is why people made oaths and swore them upon things or even persons and beings that the people considered to be worthy to them, so that the other party would come to believe in their sincerity and commitment.
That was why people loved to take oaths on things like their own wealth, their own precious things, jewelries and possessions, or on their own selves and bodies, or even on their states and nations, and last of all, on God and Heaven itself. They wanted the other parties and people for whom they made oaths for to believe that they would fulfil their end of the bargain and be true to the promises that they have made.
But in the end, as we can obviously see by now, is that oath-making was discouraged by the Lord because of the lack of trust and faith between the people with regards to the agreement, promises, and whatever it is that the oaths were taken over. Instead, the Lord said plainly, that someone must be sincere and true, and not making empty promises and oaths, saying yes when they mean it and no when they also mean no.
Many people had made oaths and swore those oaths, and yet even they broke those oaths, and when those oaths were broken, what does it mean then to those things, persons or beings that they have taken the oaths over? Is it not in truth an insult and mockery of what those people have taken the oaths over, if oaths can just be so easily broken and disregarded? And if the people then made oaths before the Lord or used His Holy Name, is it not then a mockery of God when those oaths were broken or disregarded?
Throughout history, we mankind have had long history of disobedience and disregarding our promises to one another. And that is exactly why there are often so little trust among us mankind, where we end up disregarding each other, backstabbing each other and distrusting each other. There is essentially very little trust among us all. How can we then progress from this, and what is it that we need to do in order to be true Christians and followers of Christ as mentioned earlier?
It is by following none other than the good examples set by the Lord Himself, as St. Paul stated in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth, how the Lord Jesus came into this world to save each and every one of us, by what He has done for us, He took the ultimate action and chose to do so willingly to prove that, far better from any of us, He is trustworthy and faithful beyond all doubt.
God fulfilled His promises to us not by mere words, by through real and concrete action, and this action is nothing less than what He had undergone through His Passion, taking up His Cross and bearing it up to the hill of Calvary, enduring the most bitter sufferings and the most painful torture and the most humiliating ridicule and rejection, so that He may save us all from our fated destruction, that is caused by our own sins.
On this day all of us are reminded therefore of the love and commitment, the faithfulness and trustworthiness that Our Lord, the Son of God and Son of Man, had shown us on the Cross, as He gazed down upon all of us, His beloved people with so much love, mercy and compassion. He was so genuine in His love and so completely trustworthy, that each and every one of us indeed should follow in His examples.
May the Lord help each and every one of us to be true to our own faith, to be more committed in all the things we do. May He bless us all with the courage and the strength to be ever more committed and true as Christians, as those who believe in God and in His saving help. Amen.