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, on this last day of our current liturgical year, we are all again reminded as we have constantly been for the rest of this week of the coming of the Lord and His salvation at the very end of time. We are reminded not to be complacent and idle in how we live our lives in this world so that we do not end up being caught unprepared and unaware at the coming of the Lord’s judgment and time of reckoning.
As we listened from our first reading today taken from the Book of the prophet Daniel, we heard of the conclusion of this week’s apocalyptic readings from the Book of Daniel, detailing the heavenly vision of Daniel regarding the end of times and the coming of God’s salvation. Daniel had seen how the faithful people of God will face sufferings, trials and challenges just as he himself and his other compatriots in faith had also suffered for their continued faith in God during their exile in Babylon.
The Lord showed Daniel the vision of the ones who will persecute the faithful, the great beasts in his vision that brought suffering and will cause great harm to the people of God. As I mentioned in the earlier days this week, the same kind of vision was also given in even greater detail to St. John the Apostle which he recorded in his Revelations. Through what we have heard from both sources, those great beasts of the end times actually are references to the forces of Satan, the great enemy of all the faithful, that are trying to bring about our destruction by various means.
Those beasts are also metaphorical representations of the great kingdoms and states that were the ones and are going to be the ones in our own future that brought about and will bring about great persecution of the faithful. We certainly knew of how the Jewish authorities and later on the Romans persecuted the Christians, their leaders and the faithful in so many occasions, and then followed by so many other occasions throughout history, the countless martyrs that were created from many episodes of continued persecutions of the faithful and the Church.
Even to our very own present day, many of our fellow Christian brothers and sisters are still being persecuted daily and are denied the opportunity to practice their faith freely and openly. Many had to go into hiding and keep their faith secretly much in the same way as how the early Christians had to hide from the authorities amidst many brutal persecutions against them. And even in other places, even perhaps in our own communities, where Christians are not persecuted per se, we can see growing break with the fundamental Christian truths and how more and more people who are holding on to the truth of God are being ridiculed, ostracised and sidelined.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, just as we heard from our Gospel passage today in which the Lord reminded all of His disciples to guard themselves from drunkenness and also complacency and always to be ready for anything that comes our way, then we are all reminded to be active in living our lives as Christians and to be courageous in keeping our faith alive and present in our daily lives. The Lord has provided and blessed us with many things, with His truth, wisdom and guidance, and so we should make good use of the many opportunities that He has given to us.
As we come to the end of this current liturgical year and begin the new one with the season of Advent, let us all ask ourselves brothers and sisters in Christ, are we ready to live our lives in a new way, according to the path that the Lord has shown us? And are we ready to change ourselves for the better and no longer subject ourselves to the temptations of worldliness and our wicked desires? Let us ponder these carefully in our hearts and discern how we are to live our lives as good and dedicated Christians from now on.
As we enter into this new season of Advent beginning tomorrow, let us all prepare our hearts and minds, our whole being to welcome the Lord and to be ready to celebrate Christmas worthily. Let us no longer be idle and complacent, but be ever ready to welcome the Lord wholeheartedly into our houses, into our hearts and into ourselves. May God be with us all and may He bless all of us in our every endeavours, now and always. Amen.