Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all reminded on the calling that each one of us as Christians have received as God’s beloved people and followers to be exemplary in our lives and actions, that our every words, deeds and actions may be life-giving, virtuous and worthy of God, and that those may serve as good sources of inspiration for many others that they may also believe in the Lord and that they may also be called and strengthened to walk faithfully in the path that God has set before each one of us. That is our calling as Christians, brothers and sisters in Christ.
In our first reading today from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in Corinth, the Apostle lamented the state of what happened to the Church and the faithful community there. At that time there were serious divisions and conflicts among the members of the Christian community there at Corinth as well as in other places. They were divided on who they wanted to follow, whether St. Paul or another famous preacher named Apollos, or any other leaders of the faithful, and presumably those divisions were quite terrible that they ended up dividing the community and made them to be bitterly against each other.
This was highlighted by St. Paul himself in our first reading passage today, as we heard him mentioning about the lawsuits and litigations which the members of the faithful were bringing against each other, and not only that, but they made even such accusations and lawsuits before the pagan judges, which were truly unbecoming of their identity as Christians. First of all, as Christians, all of them should be charitable and welcoming, filled with love both for God and for one another, and to be loving and forgiving just as God Himself has been loving and forgiving towards us all. We should not live our lives otherwise, or else, as what the faithful in Corinth had done, it would scandalise both the Lord and His Church.
The people of God in Corinth were not acting the way that they should and have been expected of as Christians. They were living in the ways of the world, succumbing to their pride and ego, and refusing to follow the path that the Lord had set before them. Instead, they gave in to their desires and their ambitions, as they sued and went against each other out of their personal disagreements. They wanted themselves to gain recognition and achievements for their way of life and beliefs, and saw their fellow Christians as rivals rather than fellow brothers and sisters in the same Lord. St. Paul reminded them all that being Christians, they and all of us cannot behave in this manner.
Then, in our Gospel passage today, we heard of the story of the moment when the Lord began His ministry after calling His disciples and after He had chosen the Twelve to be His closest confidants and assistants. The Lord ministered to the people, showing them His love, care and compassion, reaching out to them, healing their sick ones and casting out evil spirits and demons from those who were possessed among them. He taught them and revealed to them the wisdom and truth of God. The Lord devoted His time and effort to care for those who have come to seek Him, and He reached out to those who are desperate for the love and mercy of God.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, the Lord Himself showed by His examples and dedication, the hard work and efforts He put into His mission, the example of true Christian discipleship, love and way of life. He has shown us how each one of us can be good and faithful witnesses of God’s love and truth, in the midst of our community and among others in the world. Just as He has lived His life in obedience to His Father’s will and just as He has devoted Himself to the betterment of those entrusted to Him, all of us should also show our faith through our concrete actions of love, charity and care for those who are around us, caring for the need of those who are less privileged than us.
And that, brothers and sisters in Christ, is exactly how we live our Christian lives, inspired by our Lord and His saints, all those who have lived their lives in accordance to Christian charity and ways. Each and every one of us have been called to live our lives in a most Christian manner, resisting the temptations of worldly glory and pleasures and instead embracing the path of God’s righteousness and humbly seeking to serve the Lord faithfully and worthily through our lives. All of us should rid ourselves from the temptations of our pride and ego, our greed and all those things which often keep us away from being able to follow the Lord wholeheartedly and worthily.
Let us all also not be divided against each other but always keep in mind that we are all called to be united as one Church, one Body of Christ, sharing together the same faith in God, and treating one another as loving brothers and sisters at all times. May our lives and actions be exemplary, and serve as inspiration to one another that we may proclaim the truth and love of God by our lives as we should, and not to scandalise Him and our faith by our disagreements, conflicts and divisions instead. May God be with us always and may He strengthen each one of us, and help us to persevere through the many challenges and hardships of life. Amen.