Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture, we are reminded of our actions as Christians in responding to God’s call for us to follow Him and dedicating ourselves to Him. Each and every one of us as Christians must be truly faithful and genuine in our way of life so that we are truly deserving of being called as God’s followers and His people. God has always been kind in reaching out to us, and He has shown us the path forward in life. It is then up to us whether we want to follow Him or instead following our own path in life.
In our first reading today, we heard of the transition between the prophets Elijah and Elisha, as Elisha had been appointed to be the successor of the prophet Elisha in the ministry to the people of the northern kingdom of Israel. Elijah had come to the end of his ministry while the Lord had called and appointed Elisha to be the successor to Elijah. Hence, today as we heard in our first reading, Elisha followed Elijah to the place where Elijah was suddenly taken up to Heaven in a flaming chariot, and Elisha was left to continue the good works that Elijah had begun.
Elisha was called by God and he responded to this calling with faith. Elisha dedicated himself henceforth to the works that he had been entrusted with, in labouring among the people of Israel. He continued to work for the greater glory of God, despite the stubbornness of the people and their kings all of whom refused to listen to the Lord and continued to rebel against Him, in their worship of pagan idols and gods, and in their continued disobedience and in all the wicked deeds that they had committed. Elisha had to work hard and labour against the challenges he had to face, but he followed the Lord faithfully and gave his all to his ministry.
In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the Lord telling His disciples on how each of them ought to behave and act as His followers. The Lord Jesus called on them to be generous in giving and charity, and to do so not because they want to be lauded by others. The Lord told them that as Christians, they ought to do so because they genuinely want to give, and have care and concern to the other person they are giving to. They also ought to do other things and practices like their fasting and observance of other rules, with the right reasons and intentions. Otherwise if they did things with the wrong intentions, then they are no better than hypocrites.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are all called through the words of the Scriptures to embrace the call which the Lord had made to us, in calling us to be genuine in our Christian living. We should not be like hypocrites who profess to believe in the Lord and yet did not do things or act in the manner of how they believed in. We have to spend the time and effort to follow the Lord and to commit ourselves to His cause, and we must not allow ourselves to be distracted and swayed by the lies and the falsehoods of the devil, or any other worldly temptations to make us fall deeper and deeper into the wrong path in life.
We are all sharers in the works and efforts of the Church, called to minister to our fellow men and women, to those around us who are perhaps not yet attuned and still ignorant of the way and the truth of Christ. It is through us and our actions that we can bring forth the Lord’s truth and His love to our brethren. Otherwise, if we ourselves did not act and do things in the manner that we have believed, who will then believe in the Lord? In fact, if our actions are contrary to what we believe in, then that will push other people further and further away from the Lord, and we will be fully responsible for having led and pushed them away from the path to salvation.
That is why, we are all reminded of this obligation that we have, that as Christians we cannot be idle anymore in living our faith. We have to be active in living our lives and practicing all that God had revealed and told us to do through His Church. And we should not wait for others to begin doing so, as that may end up causing none of us doing anything in the end. Instead, we have to initiate it from ourselves and from every little things that we do in life. That is how we live our lives as faithful Christians and how we can be good inspiration for each other and help one another in our path and journey towards the Lord and His salvation.
May the Lord continue to guide us and strengthen us in our respective journeys, that we may faithfully commit ourselves to glorify the Lord by every actions, words and deeds we make. May He empower us and give us the courage to stand up for our faith, and to be His exemplary disciples and followers at all times. May God bless us and all of our good efforts and endeavours, now and always. Amen.