Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture speaking to us about the need for us to make the effort to be righteous and worthy of God as even though we seek His salvation and the eternal life He has promised us, but the path that we have to follow is littered with much suffering and challenges.
There are plenty of temptations and pressures that are pushing us away from the path of the Lord, and we are often easily swayed and tempted by these things. The Lord Himself plainly said how the path to the kingdom of God is through a narrow door, and while many may claim that they know God or profess faith in Him, but they cannot attain the salvation in God because they did not have genuine faith in Him.
What does this mean, brothers and sisters in Christ? It means that we can call ourselves as Christians and claim that we have been saved by God but unless our hearts and minds are truly attuned to Him, centred on Him and all of our attention and focus are on Him, then we may still be far away from being saved, as our faith is not genuine or only nominal on paper alone.
There are many of us who call ourselves as Christians, and yet in the way we interact with one another, in the words we say and use, in the actions we took and in the way we live our lives, the presence of God can neither be felt or seen. People who saw us, heard us and witnessed our actions and deeds saw in us not God’s presence and love, but worldliness, selfishness, pride, greed and many others.
And why is that so? That is because we are often too proud and take things into our own hands, thinking that we are able to brave through all the challenges and obstacles alone on our own. But we are by nature weak and easily tempted, and unless we have a firm foundation of faith, we are likely to fall deeper and deeper into sin and darkness, and from there, eventually to damnation.
In our first reading today, St. Paul in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in Rome reminded them of the need for the faithful people of God to put their trust in the Lord through the works of the Holy Spirit, for it is through the Holy Spirit that God guides His people into the right path, strengthening them and encouraging them to live and persevere through the difficulties with faith.
But we often do not allow the Spirit of God to do its work in us and through us. As mentioned, our pride and our attachments to worldliness prevented us from allowing God and His Holy Spirit from transforming us, our beings and our actions from one of sin and darkness into one of faith and light. Unless we allow God and His Holy Spirit to be an integral part of our daily living, in our every words and actions, there can be little progress for us in the way of faith.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all from now on learn to put our trust in God and open our hearts and minds to allow Him and His Spirit to penetrate through the deepest part of our inner beings and no longer being lukewarm in how we live our faith from now on. Instead of living our lives the way we see fit or how the world wants it to be, let us from now on truly live up to our faith, in our every words, actions and deeds.
May the Lord our God continue to bless us and guide us, so that throughout our lives’ journeys we may persevere through the many challenges and temptations, and grow ever deeper in our faith and devotion to the Lord. May God be with us always, now and forevermore. Amen.