Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today Christ revealed His identity to His disciples, after asking them whether they know who He truly was. And the prophet Haggai in the first reading, comforted the people of God who laid in ruins after they returned to the land the Lord had given them after a long exile in Babylon.
In Christ, the Son of God, the world has been given the salvation that God had promised for them. In Christ, who is not mere man but a divine made man, the world achieve a fullness of glory in the Lord, the perfection that has been taken from us when we became lost after our rebellion at the beginning of Creation.
Christ is the fulfillment of God’s promise to mankind over time which He renewed through the prophets, and finally perfected in Jesus. God resolved to rebuild the destroyed mankind that they once again become His beloved ones, freed from sins and slavery to the worldly pleasures and sins.
Yet, although He is a conquering King who comes to destroy death and sin, and be triumphant over all evils, but He came as a humble King, One who is destined to suffer and die. Yes, death for our sake, that through the death, we may not die but live eternal with Him. He is the Lamb of God, the One to be slaughtered and whose Blood is to be shed, for the sake of all of us, for our salvation.
Although He is great and mighty, He faced suffering, persecution, and death, that He took in into Himself all the sins and sufferings of mankind, that we do not have to suffer them for eternity, and instead enjoy life everlasting in happiness with God. This is the renewal the Lord promised to the returned exiles of Israel through the prophet Haggai and the other leaders of the people. The renewal God had sent through His own Son, Jesus Christ.
The Lord loves us so much, that He was not willing to see us to suffer with the devil in eternal fire, to suffer for the consequences of our sins and faults. That was why He sent us Jesus, to be our Help, our Hope, and our Way, to return to Him, to reclaim the true joy, happiness, and the inheritance that we had forsaken when we disobeyed Him in the garden of Eden.
All that, and He was ready to endure lashes, torture, nails, and the cross itself. The Lord Jesus walked that arduous path towards Calvary, enduring the weight of that cross, bleeding from His wounds, to die a criminal’s death on the cross, in Calvary, for our sake. Imagine the combined weight of the world’s sins, that is the sins of all mankind. That was the weight of the burden which caused Christ much pain and suffering, and He endured it.
At the same time, through that sacrifice of Himself, God had made His love for His people evident, by the giving of Himself for out sake. He gave us all new hope and light in life. Remember, before the glorious cross, the cross of Christ resurrected from the dead, there is always the cross of suffering, that is the cross taken up by the Christ suffering for our sins.
We cannot abandon the Christ, both in His glory and in His time of greatest humiliation on the cross, the humiliation that he turned into glory. That is why, brethren, we have a mission that has been given to all of us and that is to proclaim the crucified Christ to all people, to all the nations, especially to those who have yet to hear about the wondrous Christ and His works of salvation.
Today, we commemorate the feast of St. Vincent de Paul, one of the great saints in the Church, who was well known for his commitment to the Lord, especially to the weak, the poor, and the unloved. St. Vincent de Paul was born in France and was educated to be a faithful and good follower of Christ, when he was captured among many by the Algerian pirates running rampant in the region during his time, and was made into a slave.
St. Vincent de Paul was enslaved and sold to a renegade Catholic owner, until he managed to convince him to return to the faith, who then helped to get St. Vincent to be released from his slavery. He then committed the rest of his life as a worker of the Lord, caring for the last, the lost, and the least in the society, emphasizing on the need to give love to these people, and not abandon them to the darkness.
St. Vincent de Paul was particularly caring about those who were enslaved, being once a slave himself, and showed them the true nature of Christian love, that is dedication and the giving of oneself for the sake of others in need. He was truly the embodiment of who we all Christians ought to become, to be people for others, to be faithful disciples of the Lord who is Love.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us follow the examples of St. Vincent de Paul, making real our faith in this world, through our dedication and service to our brethren in need. We do not have to do big things, but what we can do is, to do even simple things to those around us, to those whom we meet along the way, giving them simple acts of love.
Even these small acts are significant, brethren, and we must not discount them for bigger and more ambitious acts of charity, as it is in these small acts that we can do daily that truly make the difference, and truly bring out the love that we have in us, and sharing it with one another. St. Vincent de Paul, pray for us always, that in all the things we do, we may be more inspired to be charitable and loving. God bless us all, always. Amen.