Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard again about the giving of our Lord’s own Body and Blood, the Flesh and Blood of our Lord Himself as the spiritual nourishment and sustenance for us, as the Bread and Food that brings about life and renewal of the body and soul, as well as salvation for all of us. This is our faith and this is what we believe in, that we are all members of the one and same Body of Christ, by the sharing of this heavenly meal.
And that is the one desire of the Lord, that we repent from our sins and our waywardness, and walk from now on in the path which He had shown us all, the path to salvation and eternal life. And it is exactly what we heard in our first reading today from the Acts of the Apostles, which told us about the entire meaning of God’s love and care for us all.
The conversion of Saul, the great enemy and persecutor of the Church and all its faithful, to be later known as St. Paul the Apostle, the Apostle to the Gentiles and the brave Defender and Champion of the Faith is nothing less than extraordinary indeed. How God chose His greatest tool and champion from the worst and the most steadfast enemy of His Name, is a proof how God does things in ways often beyond our understanding, and yet, in the end, it brings about great good for us.
Saul was a young man with much zeal and energy, but unfortunately, he was grossly misled and too fanatical and unbending on his ways, to the point that he persecuted the faithful so harshly, rounding up and causing great sufferings for untold numbers of the people of God. But it is exactly the same qualities present in Saul, which God knew and which He recognised, as a great asset waiting to be used and to be awakened from the darkness, to be a servant of the Light.
In the same way therefore, God called us all out of the darkness, each of us in our own way, with our own personal background and history. He called us to be saved and to become one of His chosen, to abandon forever our sinfulness and our wickedness and instead forever to remain in God’s grace and love. This is what the Lord wants with us.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, a priest and martyr of the faith. He was a faithful servant of God, a priest and monk of the Capuchin religious order, who was one of the most important figures in the Counter Reformation efforts about five hundred years ago. During that time of great upheaval and confusion caused by Satan, many have turned away from the faith to seek the false teachings of the agents of Satan and those tricked by Satan’s influence, that they fell into heresy.
St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen went around many places to preach the true faith in God and revealed to many people the errors of their ways. Eventually many of them were converted back to the faith and thus returned to the holy Mother Church. But as more and more were touched by his works and were converted back into the faith, there were increasingly more people who were set in their heresy that threatened St. Fidelis and called for his death.
St. Fidelis knew about this and accepted his death willingly at the hands of his enemies, forgiving them for their deeds, and praying for their eventual repentance and return to the Church. Many converted after his death and the faith also eventually triumphed, with many thousands after thousands more returning to the truth that is in Christ and abandoning all the falsehoods and lies of Satan.
Brethren, let us also therefore renew our faith and commitment to the Lord in the same way. If we are already faithful, then we should become even more faithful, and if we have lapsed in our faith, then we should find our way back to the Lord and obey His ways again. We have to make the effort to do this, or else we are likely to be drawn back again into the sins which we had committed and thus drift away from the salvation in God.
To be united with God through the Most Holy Eucharist, by sharing His Body and Blood should be our ultimate goal in life, that we may have life in Him as Christ is in us and dwells within us, by the giving of Himself, His own Body and Blood for us as food to eat, food that does not just satisfy our needs but also transform us into the Temple of His Holy Presence and make us worthy of Him.
May Almighty God be with us all, and may He grant us strength and courage to carry out our faith in life with great devotion. May He lead us to life everlasting, a life filled with His grace and blessings. God bless us all. Amen.