Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all called to seek the Lord, in Whom alone lies our salvation and hope. Through the Lord alone we will gain an eternity of happiness and true joy, and the true satisfaction for our lives. The Lord has come into our midst to bring us His help and reassurance, delivering all of us from our troubles and trials. This is the message that the Scripture passages today has presented to us, reminding us to keep our faith in the Lord and to bear our crosses in life together with God, with faith and joy.
In our first reading today, we heard of the words from the prophet Zechariah, who began his ministry in the years following the return of the exiled Israelites from the lands of Babylon and other distant lands back to their lands, during the early years of the Persian Empire. The prophet Zechariah prophesied and spoke of the coming of the salvation of God, that will come through the One Whom He would send into this world, the Saviour and Deliverer Who would restore the people and reconcile them fully to God, after they had been separated from Him, punished and humiliated because of all their disobedience and sins.
The prophet Zechariah spoke prophetically about the One Whom the people would pierce, and how the sorrowful mourning for Him would truly be great, and how on that very day, the Lord would spring forth His salvation and grace to all of His people. And all of that were clear references and prophetic revelation about what the God Himself would do through His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Surely we are all familiar with how the Lord Jesus suffered, rejected by the people, betrayed and abandoned by His disciples, and then put to bear the burden of the Cross, which He then carried obediently to Calvary, where He died for each and every one of us, pierced in His hands, feet and side, by our sins and our transgressions.
The prophet Zechariah was obviously not speaking about the liberation that had by that time come upon the people of God, who had been rescued by the decree and action of the King of Persia, Cyrus the Great, years prior to Zechariah’s own ministry. Instead, Zechariah was speaking about the coming of the Lord, the Messiah or Saviour Whom God has promised to His people. It was by the actions carried out by the Lord Jesus that the salvation, light and hope from God has come into our midst, revealing to us that sin and death do not have the final say over us. Through Him, we have seen the path to our salvation and eternal life.
If only that more of us can believe in the Lord wholeheartedly and trust in His providence and love, then many more people would have come to believe in God and be well on their way to His salvation and grace. Unfortunately, many among us are still unable to entrust ourselves to Him, because of various reasons, but most commonly is because we do not yet know Him well enough. The Lord has revealed Himself to His disciples and in our Gospel today, He asked them who they thought He was. And the disciples frankly told Him that others said that He was one of the Prophets or Elijah himself returning from Heaven, but St. Peter told the Lord right away that he believed in Him as the Holy One of God, the Messiah.
It is that kind of faith that we ought to have, brothers and sisters in Christ, considering just how much God had gone through in His efforts to reach out to us and to love us, despite us all being sinners and having disobeyed Him time and time again. Despite our mistakes and transgressions, the Lord kept on patiently reaching out to us and loving us, because each and every one of us are truly precious to Him, and as St. Paul mentioned in our second reading today, in his Epistle to the Galatians, there are no distinctions between Jews or Greeks, or anyone based on their birth or by any other categories or divisions. Each and every children of God are equally beloved and cared for by Him.
And so great is that love, that as mentioned, He willingly took up His Cross and endured the whole burden of its weight, for our sake. The whole weight of the Cross is not just the physical weight of the wood of the Cross, but even heavier is the combined weight and burden of our innumerable sins, of all mankind past, present and future. Every single man that had existed, exists now which includes all of us, and will exist in the future, all of their sins and the consequences and punishments had been borne by Christ, Who offered Himself on the Cross for our sake, that all of us may be saved through Him, through our faith and trust in Him.
The Lord has generously reached out to us out of His enduring and everlasting love. But do we also reciprocate His love as well? Do we show Him the same love and devotion, the same commitment and love that we should have shown Him? We have been reminded of how great the love that God has shown us, and now, we are all challenged and called to love God and trust Him more, to be His faithful witnesses and courageous disciples, in proclaiming His truth and hope to all the whole world, to our respective communities today. That is our Christian calling and mission, and we must not forget about that, and we have to embrace that wholeheartedly as well.
May the Lord, our loving God, Father and Creator be with us always, and may He continue to strengthen us in our faith, so that in everything we say and do, in our every actions in life, we may always glorify the Lord and be exemplary in all things, inspiring many more people to come to believe in God as well. Let us all renew our faith and commitment to the Lord, and let us do our best to live our lives as missionary disciples of Christ, at every opportunities available to us. May God bless our every good efforts and endeavours, now and always. Amen.