Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are all reminded through the passages of the Scriptures we have heard of the loving care, mercy and compassion which Our Lord and Master has shown us all these while even though we have not returned His love in kind, and in fact after all that we have done to Him, in betraying and abandoning Him for false and pagan gods and idols, the idols of worldly attachments, money, power, fame and many more.
In the Gospel passage today, we heard of the Lord Jesus healing ten lepers who came to Him seeking to be healed from their unfortunate condition, as leprosy then was greatly feared and all those who suffered from the disease were rejected from the community and forced to remain outside civilisation until they were able to prove that they had been completely cured and free from the leprosy that affected them.
But while the society rejected them, the Lord received them into His embrace, welcoming them and healing them from their predicament because of their faith, making them healthy again without they even realising it. Eventually only one of them, a Samaritan realised that it was the Lord Jesus Who had healed him and thus hurried back to the Lord to thank Him while the other nine lepers continued with their joyful rush to return to the community.
We can see how God loves us, His people so much. Even though He was no appreciated or thanked by the people whom He had loved. We must not forget either how the Lord Jesus Himself loved and still forgave all those who have persecuted and condemned Him to die a most painful death right from the very Cross of His suffering. He prayed and forgave them their sins even at the moment of His greatest anguish and sorrow.
But this is something that we should not take for granted. The love of God has always been available for us and is generously given all the time. And yet, as I mentioned earlier at the beginning of today’s discourse, we mankind often overlooked, ignored and forgot about God’s wonderful love, as we ended up being distracted by the many concerns and temptations of this world, and being dragged deeper and deeper into sinful ways.
And as the first reading today mentioned, as taken from the Book of Wisdom passage, we are reminded that the lot of the wicked and all those who spurned and rejected God’s love and mercy is one of suffering, pain and annihilation. In that passage we heard of those who are mighty and proud, wicked and sinful in their ways being punished by God, and this punishment came about because of the conscious rejection they took as they refused God’s generosity and love.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, now therefore we are called to reflect on our own lives and actions thus far. How have we reacted to God’s generous love, compassion and mercy? Have we opened ourselves and allowed God to enter into our hearts to fill us up with His love? Or have we instead allowed the pride and hubris, the greed and desires in our hearts to make us harden our hearts and to close ourselves away from God?
We must not forget all that God had done for us. We must appreciate His love and compassion, all the opportunities He has given us all again and again, His patience towards us and His endless desire to be reconciled with us despite our sins and wickedness. Let us therefore be like the Samaritan leper, humbling himself not just to seek the Lord for healing, the healing from our sins, but also to be thankful and to humbly recognise how God has made us well again, not by our own power, but through His infinite love and mercy. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.