Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day all of us are reminded to be faithful to God and to put all of our hope in Him, trusting in Him completely as the one and only source of our salvation, the very reason for our existence and the true Light through Whom we shall be freed from the darkness of our lives and by Whom we shall enter into the glorious kingdom of His heavenly glory.
In our first reading today, St. Paul in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in the city of Thessalonica reassured them all that God would always be with them, and trusting in God would bring them eventual happiness and glory, as the Lord will reward all those who remain true and faithful to Him, and even in suffering and death, God will always be with His beloved ones. The promise of resurrection and eternal life in God is mentioned in the same passage to reassure all the people of God.
And that is important because at that time, in the earliest days of the Church, even as more and more people came to believe in God, there were increasingly more and more tensions within the community as those who refused to believe in God persecuted and rejected those who have accepted the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. As a result, some among the faithful were wavering in their faith in the face of opposition and persecution.
Then, as we also heard in the Gospel passage today, all of us are reminded that just as Christians have been persecuted for their faith all throughout time and ages, we must not forget that first and foremost, the Lord Himself, Our Lord and Master have been rejected first, persecuted first and made to suffer, ultimately leading to His sacrifice and most painful death on the Cross, by which He saved us all and brought the fulfilment of all of God’s promises.
In that occasion, as the Lord Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth in Galilee, He preached the word of God, as prophesied through His prophet Isaiah about the coming of God’s salvation through His Messiah, and how, at that very moment, the salvation of God was revealed for Jesus Himself was finally already in our midst. He is the fulfilment of God’s many promises to us, and which He had shown and proven to us through what He has performed while He walked on this earth.
However, as the passage continued on, many among His own townspeople rejected Him and refused to believe in Him. They must have thought that just because they knew Him and His family, the family of a humble and likely poor carpenter, then the Lord Jesus could not have been the One for Whom they have been waiting for. They judged Him and became prejudiced against Him, preferring to believe in themselves rather than God.
And the Lord showed them all how they were doing exactly what their own ancestors had done when those people struck at the prophets of God, rejecting them and refusing to believe in them, even though they brought with them the truth and wisdom of God. And the Lord Himself received the greatest rejection of all, in the end, when on the moment of His Passion, they condemned Him to die, death on the Cross.
Yet, the Lord continues to love us all regardless, despite all of our sins, our stubbornness and persistent refusal to believe in Him. He is ever faithful to the Covenant which He had made with us and sealed by His own Most Precious Blood on the Cross at Calvary. The Lord wants us all to be saved, and He wants us all to put our trust in Him, because after all, He has loved us so much that He willingly endured all the sufferings for our sake, for our salvation.
Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, are we able to dedicate ourselves and commit ourselves to God fully from now on? Are we willing and wanting to love Him all the more for the way He has loved us and cared for us all these while and for securing for us the path to eternal life and glory with Him? Let us all discern this carefully in our hearts and let us all truly turn to Him wholeheartedly from now onwards. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.