Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all reminded to have faith in the Lord and to trust in Him and His love, His providence and ever wonderful kindness to us. We are all precious in the eyes of God and all of us will enjoy the fullness of His love and favour once again, if only we turn to Him and entrust ourselves to His loving heart. Our Lord has always loved us since the very beginning, and He wants us all to rediscover our love in Him and to put our trust in Him once again.
In our first reading today from the Book of the prophet Isaiah, we heard the reassurance from the Lord for His people as He called on them all to return to Him with faith, to be converted from their sinfulness and evil ways. He called on all of them to follow Him once again as He told them how they would enjoy the glorious wonders that await them, the vision of the new and heavenly Jerusalem, the great kingdom of God that awaits all those who are faithful to God. God would gather them all and make them His people once again.
This was important in the context that many of the people of God had been scattered by the time of the prophet Isaiah, with the downfall of the northern kingdom of Israel, in which many of the descendants of the Israelites having lived in that kingdom and after it had been destroyed by the Assyrians just shortly before the time of Isaiah, they had been scattered among the nations. Their cities and lands had been ravaged and destroyed, and they and their descendants had been uprooted from their ancestral lands and forced into bitter exile.
Thus, Isaiah’s words are reminders for all the people of God’s ever wonderful love and compassion which He extends to His beloved ones. He wants them all to return to Him. However, it was often the people themselves who stubbornly refused to follow the Lord and did not do as they had been taught and shown to do. Instead, they preferred to depend on their own strength and on worldly means, all of which led them further astray and away from God and His saving grace. Nonetheless, God was ever patient and has always called on His beloved people to turn back towards Him with repentance and love.
In our Gospel passage today, we then heard of the miracle that happened in Capernaum in Galilee, as He healed the child of an official there. The official believed in the Lord and asked Him to make his son whole again. He had faith in the Lord Jesus, even just by hearing His words and commands, saying that his son would be well. He did not need to have the Lord coming physically to his place and make his son well again, or to see the miracle happening before his own eyes. Contextually, again this must be understood in the light of what likely had happened before, as many among the people still did not believe in the Lord after all the wonders He had shown them, particularly the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who often criticised and opposed Him.
That was why, the official’s faith in the Lord was indeed significant, as compared to the lack of faith in many others, and should serve as a reminder for all of us what it means for us to be faithful to the Lord. We must not take our faith for granted and we have to be inspired by that great faith possessed by the official who believed wholeheartedly in the Lord and in the end, truly having his son healed and made well again, even only by the mere words and proclamation of the Lord. Can we have the same faith in the Lord too, brothers and sisters in Christ?
Today as we listened to these words, we are all reminded of how we need to deepen our faith in the Lord and grow further in our relationship with Him. We are all called to return to the Lord and to follow Him wholeheartedly. God has always been generous with His love and mercy, and we should respond to His call with faith. Let us all make good use of the opportunities that He has given us especially during this season of Lent to turn back to Him and return to His loving embrace. Let us inspire one another to draw ever closer to God and commit ourselves to Him anew with love.
May the Lord help us that we may always be strong and can endure the many trials and challenges that may come our way amidst the journey of faith in our life in this world. May He empower and strengthen each one of us so that we may be ever more faithful to Him and trust in Him more, allowing Him to lead us forward through life, and be ever courageous in standing up for our faith in Him, now and always. Amen.