Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture, we are all reminded to live worthily as Christians, as God’s beloved and chosen people, to be worthy of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. For Christ has come into our midst in order to redeem each and every one of us, and He has called and gathered us all, the lost sheep of the Lord, to His side, bringing us all from the many corners of this world to come to the presence of Our Lord, to enter into His love and compassionate mercy. We are all God’s people, His beloved children, whom He truly loved dearly from the very beginning.
In our first reading today, we heard the account from the Acts of the Apostles in which the lives of the early Christians were presented to us. We heard how the Apostles helped to establish the wonderful community of early Christian believers, proclaiming the truth of the Lord and His Resurrection, and revealing the love of Our Lord and Saviour by their own exemplary actions, filled with love and devotion to both the Lord and those whom they had been entrusted with as shepherds and guides. They proclaimed the Lord’s love and truth through their loving works among the people of God, their righteousness and love for one another.
They have lived a new life and existence, reborn in God and having received the Holy Spirit, strengthened and encouraged to live most worthily of God. Essentially, that was what we heard in our Gospel passage today as well. In that passage we heard the Lord Jesus speaking to Nicodemus, one of the members of the Pharisees and the Sanhedrin who was sympathetic to Him and His teachings. The Lord revealed to Nicodemus what He would do for the sake of His beloved people and told him what they all must do in order to follow Him and receive the fullness of His grace and blessings.
He mentioned how He would be raised into glory, raised between the heaven and the earth, an allusion and revelation of what He would soon suffer through the Passion on the Cross. He would be lifted up for all to see, so that all who see Him, witness Him and believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life, just as how the Israelites who were bitten by the fiery serpents at the time of their rebellion during the Exodus, were spared and saved from death by the bronze serpent that God had instructed Moses to make. The Lord would be raised on His Cross to be the hope and light for all of the nations, that through Him many people would be saved.
By His suffering and death, Our Lord has gathered us all and shared with us this death, the death to our past life filled with darkness and sin. We have been brought through the destruction of our wicked and unworthy previous way of life, our selfishness and lack of faith. And by His Resurrection, He shared with us and showed us that there is Light beyond darkness, Hope beyond despair, and salvation beyond death. He showed all of us that sin and death do not have the power or any say any more over us, and as long as we put our trust in Him, and follow Him wholeheartedly, we shall truly be free.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are all reminded to embrace fully this love that God had for us. God has loved us so much that He has given us His only beloved Son, to be with us and to bring us back to Him. He has gathered us all together, calling us tor return to Him and to be reunited and reconciled with Him. Even though we have disobeyed Him, ignored Him, rejected Him and did all sorts of things that truly must have hurt Him, yet, the Lord was still always full of patience and He reached out to us nonetheless.
Let us all be ashamed at our past sinfulness, all the rebellious attitudes we have displayed against the Lord’s persistent love and kindness. God has ever been so kind and patient towards us, and He has done everything in order to help us to return to Him, and to find our way back towards Him. He has shown us His most wonderful mercy, and we ought to be thankful and be very grateful at all these wonderful things we have received from His hands. This is why we are being reminded today to turn towards the Lord with renewed faith and contrite hearts, full of regrets at our sins and wickedness, and with the desire to love Him ever more from now on.
May all of us draw ever closer to God, and may each and every one of us walk ever more faithfully in His path, and may He empower and encourage each one of us that we may always persevere ever with greater commitment to be true to our faith in Him. May God bless each and every one of us and may He strengthen us all in our every day living, in living our lives with faith from now on, that we may inspire many others to follow the Lord and to be reconciled with God, like the way we do. Amen.