Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture, we are presented with the matter of the adherence of the Law of God through Moses, all that the Pharisees and teachers of the Law enforced among the people, and how this blind obedience followed by lack of genuine understanding of the faith often hurt the faithful and in fact prevent them from finding their path towards the Lord.
That is why we are all reminded to keep faithful to the teachings of the Lord, to break free from the trap of the adherence of the Law as the Pharisees, the teachers of the Law and all others had kept, which reduced the faith into a mere exercise of formality, regularity and piety, where people thought that their actions alone were sufficient to guarantee themselves salvation.
When St. Paul mentioned how those who were circumcised were enslaved and subjected to the Law, he was referring in fact contextually to those who forced and demanded that every members of the Christian faithful embraced all the tenets, rules and regulations of the Law of Moses.
And this is a reminder that our salvation is due to our faith in God and not due to the Law or the obedience to the Law. Obeying God’s will, following His laws and commandments are all part of our faith, and it is by our faith that we have been saved. We do not save ourselves through our actions, separated from our faith. For without faith, all of our good actions, obedience and all the observances of the Law are empty and meaningless, just as faith without actions and obedience is dead.
The Pharisees were were too preoccupied with the appearances and the ‘letters’ of the Law, that they had overlooked and ignored the ‘spirit’ of the Law. And this is what the Lord was displeased at the Pharisees for, as He pointed out in our Gospel passage today, saying how although outwardly they appeared to be good and pious, but in reality, in their hearts were wickedness and sin.
What the Lord wants to remind all of us is that faith needs to be genuine and living, and we need to devote our time and effort, to follow the Lord, dedicating our whole lives to be inspirations for each other, to be virtuous and to be truthful in our everyday actions and living. We must always be Christ-centric in everything we say and do, and we must always be the beacons of hope and light for the community, for each other.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, by our faith in Christ, by our dedication and love for God, we are saved. And it is through our obedience of the Law, made through genuine and sincere love for God that we are brought into God’s grace and salvation. And to be Christians, genuine and living, we need to be fully committed and be transformed in our lives and walk faithfully in the Lord’s grace. We need to be thoroughly faithful, inside and outside, our whole heart, mind, body and whole being attuned to God.
Are we able and are we willing to commit our lives to the Lord, spending time and effort to glorify God at all times? Are we willing to follow Him with all of our hearts? This is our calling as Christians, and being reminded today of our obligations, let us all embrace our faith and commit ourselves from now on. May the Lord be with us always, and may He strengthen us and empower us with the courage to carry on living our lives as good Christians from now on. May God bless us all, now and always, forevermore. Amen.