Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we heard the reminder of how much God has loved us and how much He had done for all of us, throughout all the time. God has always shown us His patient care and love, and He was always ever patient although we have often disregarded His love, disobeyed Him and being wayward and wicked in our way of life. The Lord wants us to listen to Him, hearken to His words and to follow His path that we may not end up falling into the wrong paths, and be trapped by the whims of our desires and sin.
In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Jeremiah in which the Lord spoke of the great and wonderful things which He had done for them, and all the love He had shown them throughout the ages, and yet at the same time, of how those same people had rejected Him and refused His love, in worshipping pagan idols and gods, offering sacrifices to them and by doing what were wicked in the eyes of the Lord. They had not been faithful to God and disregarded His reminders and calls, persecuting the prophets who had been sent to them in order to remind them to be faithful to God and to be reconciled with Him.
Today we are then presented with the words of the Lord speaking to the disciples regarding the matter why He always preferred to speak in parables, as the disciples were wondering why He did so. The Lord told all of them that He revealed the secrets and truths of the kingdom of Heaven to them, while those who have not committed themselves to Him and refused to believe in Him would not understand or appreciate those words of truth that He has spoken to them. The ones who were willing to listen to the Lord would receive the revelation and the truth, by their faith and the guidance, the wisdom and the Holy Spirit that the Lord would grant them.
All these are therefore reminders for us, that we should not harden our hearts and minds against the Lord, especially viewing how in the past, many of our predecessors had faltered and fallen off unto the path of sin precisely because they shut themselves off from the Lord, were proud and haughty, and unwilling to listen to the Lord calling in their hearts and minds, for them to seek His truth and to repent from their wayward paths. They often trusted in their own abilities, intellects and strengths rather than to trust in God and in His providence, all of which had been given freely by God to guide all people to Himself.
As such, that is why many had fallen in the past in the path towards redemption in God. That is why we are reminded that we ourselves should not fall into that same path and traps, of temptations and worldly attachments that can easily lead us astray in our journey towards the Lord. That is why we are called to live our lives from now on with greater and more genuine faith, dedicating ourselves to the service of God and glorifying Him by our lives and actions. And today, we should reflect upon the great examples and inspiration that had been shown by one of our predecessors, namely that of St. Lawrence of Brindisi.
St. Lawrence of Brindisi was a renowned priest and member of the Capuchin Franciscans, who throughout his life had dedicated himself to God and to the people he was ministering to, actively establishing monasteries and communities of the faithful, working hard to reach out to the people of God, and through his many works, helping to restore the lack of spiritual life and connection with God that many people back then often experienced. Through his many works and writings, he exposed the errors of the heretical and wayward teachings of many preachers who fell out of the Church and led to the splintering of the many factions during the ‘reformation’ period.
The commitment and hard work of St. Lawrence of Brindisi reminds us of the kind of faith and love that each and every one of us as Christians should have for the Lord. He has given his time, life and efforts to serve and glorify the Lord, regardless of the challenges and hardships that he had to encounter. Are we also capable of this kind of faith and dedication, brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we able to entrust ourselves wholly in the Lord and be truly faithful and committed to Him? And are we willing to listen to Him and to welcome Him and His truth and love into our hearts? These are important questions that we should be reflecting on this day.
May the Lord continue to guide us in our journey, and may He continue to strengthen each one of us so that we may always walk faithfully in His presence, inspired by the examples of His saints, of St. Lawrence of Brindisi and that of innumerable other holy men and women, saints of God. Amen.