Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saturday Mass of Our Lady)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scripture we are reminded yet again by the continuation of St. Paul’s exhortations to the Church in Galatia, of the universal nature of God’s love, and how all of us, every single one of us are beloved by God, and we are precious to God, without any prejudices or biases. And this is why, all of us are called to listen to Him, follow His way, and believe in Him wholeheartedly.
In our first reading, we heard the conclusion of this week’s series of exhortations of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in Galatia, which had been wrecked with divisions and confusion because of the differing teachings and disagreements among the members of the Church and the faithful community. St. Paul reminded all of them that their faith in God has surpassed the adherence and especially the blind obedience to the old laws of God, the laws of Moses, particularly in how it was upheld and enforced by the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law.
St. Paul revealed that the Law of God as it was revealed through Moses had been useful and had it means in maintaining the people’s faith, especially at the time when they were influenced by so many other corrupting influences of the world. If we read the accounts of the Exodus and journey of the Israelites from the land of Egypt to the Promised Land of Israel, we will know just how stubborn the Israelites were, and how often they had disobeyed the Lord and even broke His commandments and Covenant.
That is why, amidst that as a backdrop and context, the Lord issued a very harsh and restrictive Law to keep the people in check at the time, to keep them disciplined and in line during those crucial early years. We see their lack of faith that is so great, that despite having witnessed God’s miracles and powers, they still disobeyed and lost their faith nonetheless. That is why, to prevent them from committing even more sins and perish because of those sins, God imposed those rules to help and guide them to Himself.
However, as time passed on, this original intent had been forgotten and overlooked, and the people grew to observe the Law and its commandments and rules just because they found it as a formality and something to be fulfilled, or that they were afraid of God’s anger and wrath, as they heard how their ancestors had been punished severely for their sins, without realising that it was because of their own sins that they had suffered, and not because God was angry at them or sought for their destruction.
The truth is that God truly loves each and every one of us, His beloved people. He created us mankind as the crowning jewel of His creation, and God will do everything in order to bring us back and to be reconciled with us. It is we who are often negligent, rebellious and ignorant, and refuse to accept God’s generous love and His compassionate mercy. And this is why we have often erred and wandered off away from the path of God’s grace and salvation.
As the people of God forgot the love with which God has cared for them, and the Law by which He intended to teach them to love Him and to reorganise and redirect their lives to be more loving and faithful to Him, they ended up focusing on all the wrong things, on the unnecessary details on how the rules and regulations of the Law were to be enforced and followed, more than realising how the Law is just a means by which we mankind can better help and discipline ourselves to find the way to the Lord.
That is why today, as we listen to these readings from the Scriptures, we are constantly reminded that we need to appreciate just how much we are beloved, and how God loves everyone equally, without any more label like Jews or Gentiles, but all as God’s people all the same. As Christians, we need to live and bear witness to this love, loving one another equally and generously as much as we can, welcoming others as fellow brothers and sisters.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, are we willing to listen to God and obey His will from now on? God has called us all to be faithful to Him and to follow Him with all of our hearts, with all of our might. Let us all heed His call, and do our very best, in every opportunities, to walk faithfully in the presence of God, and be ever more faithful to Him, with each and every passing moments. Let us all be the genuine examples and bearers of God’s love in our communities today, be the light of God’s truth in this darkened world.
May God be with us always, and may He bless us all in our every good endeavours, guide us in our journey and lead us to Himself, that we may glorify Him at all times by our lives, our faithful dedication and exemplary lives. Amen.