Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture we are all reminded yet again to remain faithful to the Lord and to be obedient to God in all of our actions in life. Through what we have heard we are reminded to listen and to obey the words, the Law and the commandments of Our Father in heaven, just as the Lord Jesus Himself obeyed His heavenly Father and how He also obeyed Mary and St. Joseph.
In our first reading today, St. John exhorted all the faithful through his Epistle, calling on all especially on the younger generation to seek the Lord wholeheartedly and reject the way of sin and evil. He exhorted them to resist and reject the temptations of the world, as well as resisting and persevering against all the pressure of the desires of their flesh, of their greed and ego.
St. John reminded them just as he is reminding us now that if we truly love God and are willing to follow Him, then we must be sincere in our devotion to Him, and we have to dedicate ourselves to His path at all times. There will surely be plenty of difficult choices, powerful temptations and allures trying to lead us astray, but if we remain faithful to God, there is nothing that is impossible for us, including surviving through those difficult challenges and reaching the Lord.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we are progressing through this season of Christmas and as we are still yet within the Christmas Octave, we are all invited to take a step back and reflect on our celebrations and on how we have lived our lives thus far. Have we focused our joy on Christ and celebrate all that He had done for us, which is the essence and true meaning of Christmas?
Have our celebrations and joy been shared with others, and with all those who are lacking with joy? If we have dwelled in our own self-satisfaction and in seeking our own personal happiness and fulfilling our own self-interest, then this is exactly what I meant by succumbing to the temptations of the world. Particularly these days as we are often surrounded by so many worldly temptations, indeed, it may be hard for us to overcome those temptations.
We must constantly remind ourselves that Christmas is ultimately not just about ourselves but more importantly, is about the love that God has shown us by sending us His Son, to be our Saviour and free us from the clutches of the evil one and from the chains and bondage to sin and death. Christmas is about the giving of love, from the Lord to us and then, from us to one another, especially to those who are in need of love.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all remind ourselves therefore to be truly committed and faithful at all times, and grow deeper and further in faith, hope and love. Let us all bear the love of God through our actions and share whatever joy and hope we have in us, especially as we are still enduring the terrible effects of the current troubles our world are facing. Let us face these together as a community, as a community of God’s faithful people.
May our joy be the inspiration and bring joy and hope to others, and may our love for God be inspiration and examples to each other, that we may grow to love God, our Lord and Saviour ever more, and that we may be ever closer to Him and be worthy of the eternal glory and new life that He has prepared for us, to enjoy forever the many bountiful wonders of His glory, forevermore. Amen.