Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in our Scripture passages today we heard of the sufferings that the Lord would receive at the hands of His oppressors, as well as everything that would happen to Him in the moment of His Passion, His suffering and death. He would be abandoned by His disciples, betrayed by one of His closest collaborators, and He would have to endure the punishments and sufferings for mistakes, crimes and sins that He Himself did not commit.
Through Christ, our Lord and Saviour, God has willed to redeem us all from our sins, and through Him, He has called us out of the darkness, bringing His light of hope and truth into our midst, as He revealed His perfect and ever-enduring love and kindness, His compassion and mercy through Christ, the manifestation of His love in the flesh. God has become Man so that through this act of supreme love, He can be reconciled with us, and that we may find our way back to Him, and will not perish but have eternal life, as He has always intended for us.
Yet, in order to do that, He had to suffer, and suffer most grievously because the consequence and punishment for sin is rightly death. We have disobeyed and abandoned the Lord and Master of all life, the Source of our life and the One from Whom we gained our existence, and therefore, we deserve death and destruction. We should all have been condemned to hell and the eternity of sufferings, as what the devil and his fellow fallen angels had been sentenced to.
But God loved us all above everything else. For He created us out of love, making us all in His own image, as the most perfect and beloved of all of His creations. He gave us life because He loved us all and wanted us all to enjoy forever with Him the goodness and the bounty of His wonderful works, with the Gardens of Eden, the paradise that existed at the beginning of time supposedly where we should have been, if not for our downfall into sin.
Through sin we have been defiled and therefore separated from God, and yet, God did not condemn us, destroy us or annihilate us when He could perfectly and easily have done so. Instead, He still loved us all very much, and His love for us all surpassed the disgust and the anger He has against our sinfulness. He despised not us, the sinners, but our sins and wickedness. His love for us endures and even grows stronger, as He continued to watch over us and wanted to be reconciled with us.
God has loved us so much that He gave us all His one and only begotten Son, that through Him we may not perish, but have eternal life. He has reached out to us through His Son, Who willingly endured that betrayal and rejection, all the insults and humiliations, the worst of all pains and sufferings imaginable, as He shouldered His Cross and endured countless blows and wounds to His Body. That is why today we heard all of these from the Scriptures as a reminder for us of how much beloved we are by God that He has willingly done all these for our sake, to go through all the worst sufferings for us.
Today we also heard how Judas Iscariot betrayed the Lord for the mere price of thirty silver coins, which contextually was the price of a slave. Therefore, God allowed Himself to be treated like a slave, to be punished for us, so that like what He had once done to the Israelites in leading them out of their slavery in Egypt, He may also lead all of us out of our slavery to sin. Judas Iscariot showed us how our greed and desire can be our great undoing and lead us down the path towards ruin. We can end up doing things that we regret, just as Judas was swayed by Satan and overwhelmed by his desire for money and lack of faith to betray his own Lord and Master.
Then, this Holy Week as we draw closer to the beginning of Easter Triduum tomorrow, have we prepared ourselves worthily in our hearts, minds and indeed in our whole entire beings? Have we prepared ourselves so that we may physically, spiritually and mentally celebrate the upcoming greatest events and mysteries surrounding our Lord’s Passion, His suffering and death, His Resurrection by which all of us have received the guarantee of eternal life and true happiness? We are all called to put our faith in Him and spend this time to reflect on our own lives. Have we lived our lives in accordance with God’s ways or not?
May the Lord continue to guide us and help us, so that in everything we do, we will always be exemplary in all things, and be good role models and examples for our fellow men and women. Let us all make good use of our time and the opportunities given to us so that we may be ever better disciples and followers of Our Lord. Let us all not be like Judas Iscariot who easily gave in to temptations and betrayed the Lord for money. May all of us be ever closer to God and be ever more reflective of His love and truth in our lives and actions, now and always. Amen.