Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the words of the Lord speaking to us through the Scripture, we are all called to remember that even though our journey as Christians may be tough and challenging, we must not give up our faith and hope in the Lord, as the Lord is truly our hope and strength, and through Him alone we can gain the full assurance of eternal life and true joy, in the end, when our faith in Him will bear fruits, a most joyful fruit for each one of us.
In our first reading today, we heard from the description by the Apostle St. Paul to the faithful in Thessalonica how all the faithful shall rise on the last day, at the time of the final judgment of the world, echoing what we may have also read from the Book of Revelations of St. John, how God would take all those who are faithful to Him, and rescue them. We heard from that account by St. Paul, how all, past and present and future, all will rise in body and spirit, and fully reunited with God, to share with Him the eternal glory and joy that He has promised to us.
In our Gospel passage today, we then heard about the moment when the Lord went to His hometown in Nazareth and then read the scroll of the prophet Isaiah in the town’s synagogue. That very passage proclaimed the Lord’s coming into the world as its Saviour, and as He Himself proclaimed those words, He announced to all gathered that the Lord is truly faithful to His people, loving all those precious to Him and has always fulfilled His words, and the coming of Jesus as the Messiah of the world is the perfect example of that.
The Lord reassured all of us that what He has promised us will come true, just as the Lord has shown His works, all the miracles and healing that He has performed among the people, all throughout Galilee and Judea. The Lord healed many of the sick, cast out many demons, opened the eyes of the blind, and the ears of the blind and the loosened the tongues of the deaf, and taught among the people, revealing God’s truth to them, fulfilling the words of the prophecy of Isaiah as mentioned in the scroll.
Yet, He was ridiculed and rejected, as the people of His own hometown of Nazareth refused to listen to His truth, and in fact were angered by His revelation that He was the One referred to in the prophecy of Isaiah. Those people must have heard about and perhaps might have even seen the miracles performed by the Lord. Then, why did they refuse to believe in Him? That is because they would have seen the Lord when He was still young, as He spent His growing years there.
Therefore, they likely could not believe and accept the fact that a mere local village boy, the mere Son of the village carpenter, could have been the promised Saviour of the people of God, less still the Saviour of the whole world. But it is in this presumption and thoughts which hindered their ability and willingness to listen and to be open to the Lord’s truth, hardening their hearts and minds against Him, and preventing the Lord from doing His works among them.
What is the significance of all of these passages that we have just read then, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is that each and every one of us should trust in the Lord, and listen to Him, and not be swayed easily by the temptations of pride, ego, our human desires and other distractions that may prevent us from finding our way to the Lord. This is why we should spend the time to reflect carefully on the path that we are going to take in life. And we should remind ourselves of God’s love for us, and His faithfulness to the Covenant that He has made and sealed with us.
Let us all grow more in our faith and trust in Him, opening our hearts and minds to welcome Him into them, so that by the Lord’s guidance and strength, we may be inspired to live our lives in ever greater commitment and devotion to Him, and in greater desire to love and show care and compassion for one another, just as we should do as Christians, as God’s beloved people, doing what He has shown and taught us to do, in each and every moments of our lives. May God bless us all, now and always, forevermore. Amen.