Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all called to show kindness and compassion in our lives, in each and every moments of our daily living, in all of our actions, words and deeds, so that through us Christians, God’s love and mercy may be shown to the whole world, and more people may come to believe in Him and know Him. That is because we model ourselves based on the love and compassion which He Himself has shown us from the beginning.
In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Daniel the words of that prophet on behalf of the people, as he declared their love for the Lord, their dedication, faith and commitment. Daniel spoke abashedly and humbly regarding the sins that the people had committed before the Lord and all that they had done for all those years they spent in disobedience and rebellion against God, and the people regretted for their failures and shame, seeing all that they had endured because of the sins they committed and that of their ancestors’.
The people of God had sinned against God greatly, betraying and abandoning Him for the pagan idols and gods, disobeying His Law and commandments, persecuting and even killing His prophets all because they refused to believe in Him and all the things which He had revealed to them. The people preferred to trust in worldly matters and concerns, and as such they began to veer away, further and further away from the path of the Lord and into the path of sin. That was how they were overcome, conquered, and evicted from their lands into bitter exile.
Daniel represented these exiles who had spent quite a long time in exile, chastised and humbled, reminded of the folly of the actions of their ancestors and how they had wasted the great love and the patience that God has shown His people. The Lord had patiently loved the people despite all they had done to Him, sending them messengers, prophets and leaders to help them to return to the right path, and Daniel himself was one of those leaders whom God had appointed to lead the people whom He had chosen and loved from the nations.
And Daniel was instrumental as one of the leaders of the Israelites and their descendants who encouraged and called on them all to return to the Lord, seeking God’s ever generous mercy and forgiveness. For it is God alone Who could forgive their sins, and as such, the people were all called to repentance, to reject the evils of their past ways and the sins of their ancestors, and once again to remember the deeds that the Lord had done for their sake, that they might once again place their full trust in God, and no longer following the paths of the world and sin.
In our Gospel passage today, we then heard the Lord’s words speaking to His disciples and therefore to all of us as well, that we all have to be merciful, to show mercy to one another, being filled with love and compassion on others just in the same way that God has shown the same compassion and mercy, even though our sins and faults against Him were much greater and far more numerous than any one of our sins and faults against each other. As Christians, all of us are challenged to be merciful and loving just as our Lord, our God and Father is ever so merciful and loving towards us as well.
In this season of Lent, brothers and sisters in Christ, have we lived our lives in the manner as Christian-like as possible? Have we grown closer to God through our Lenten observances, by our fasting and abstinence to restrain our human desires, ego and greed, and by being more loving and generous in giving, imitating the same love that God Himself has shown us? Have we all drawn closer to God in this manner, or have we instead continued to live in the state of sin, ignoring the constant calls that the Lord had made to us, calling on us to return to Him?
Brothers and sisters in Christ, in this blessed season of Lent, let us make good use of this time and opportunity which we have been given so that we may come to realise just how weak and fragile we are, and how easy we are in falling deep into the trap of sin. Unless we put ourselves strongly and anchoring deeply in the Lord, we will easily be swept away by the great waves of worldly temptations and sin, and we will end up getting further and further away from our destination in Christ. Is this what we want? Certainly not.
That is why, let us all make great use of this opportunity given to us that we may be ever more truly faithful in life, and no longer just remaining idle as Christians. Let us spend more time with the Lord and do what we can as Christians to reach out to others with love, care, affection and mercy. Let us also be ever more forgiving and let go of the anger and fears in our hearts. May God be with us all, and may He guide us in this journey, that we may find our way to Him, and receive the glorious inheritance He has shown us. Amen.