Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listen to the Lord our God, who is our Strength, our Provider in everything we need, and as a Father who loves us all as His beloved children. He will not abandon us without help or ignore us when we have need in us. That is how much God had loved us, and indeed He continues to love us from day to day.
Indeed, to follow God does not mean that it will be easy and like a simple walk along the pond. To follow the Lord means to face the challenges and the suffering which will inevitably come upon our way if we choose to side with the Lord and become His disciples. We know that the ways of the Lord are opposite from the ways of this world, as the world itself is the dominion of Satan, the evil one, filled with sin and darkness since the beginning of the world and the fall of mankind.
Just as Satan had done all he could to subvert mankind to his cause, and laid many obstacles in the path of God’s plan of salvation for mankind, by plotting against the servants and messengers of God with the people themselves, whom he set against the prophets and the disciples of the Lord. Thus the lamentation of Jesus against Jerusalem, which represented His people, how they had slaughtered the prophets and messengers sent to them to remind them to change their ways of sin.
Satan himself tried to tempt Jesus and tried to stop His works to fulfill God’s plan to save mankind, that is to liberate us all from his yoke, the yoke that Satan had placed on us, that is sin. Yes, in the Gospel today, God spoke about His yoke, which He encouraged us all to take up, in place of the yoke which we currently have. Yes, the yoke of sin which burdened us up to now, and still burdens us even today and will be for tomorrow and beyond if we do nothing about it.
Why did Jesus mention that His yoke is light and that we will find rest in Him? That is because sin is a yoke that is truly sinister. This yoke which had enslaved us from the day when Satan tempted our ancestors, Adam and Eve, the first of men, to sin against God, was truly a yoke and a chain which tied us to Satan, our tyrannical oppressor, and yet, sin at the same time is also in a way, enjoyable and preferable for many of us, and many of us, liked this yoke.
Why is this so? That is because the yoke of sin strikes directly at our human desires and wishes. Just as Satan played into our ancestors’ desire and curiosity, the curiosity for knowledge that made them to sin, and indeed, to grow even stronger in desire. For mankind by nature, our nature, is hard to be satisfied, and Satan knows this very well. That is why, he continues to feed our desire, giving us temptations after temptations to keep us enslaved to him.
But our Lord Jesus Christ had come into this world as the culmination of God’s plan to liberate us from this sinister burden and yoke. He had delivered us from the yoke of Satan into a new life filled with goodness, through His loving sacrifice and death on the cross, and by His rising from the dead into glory. He offered us all a new life, a life of salvation in God, one free from the yoke of sin. For the yoke of sin leads to nothing else other than eternal death. Hell is our destination if we remain chained to sin.
However, to many of us, the life in Christ seems to be difficult, for the Lord indeed does not hide from us the truth about what will happen to us if we are to follow Him and become His disciples. Certainly, Satan will not be pleased with us being released from his slavery and bondage, and he will do all that he can, just like the Pharaoh of Egypt of old trying to regain his former slaves, the Israelites.
And just as the Pharaoh had his chariots and armies to chase after the Israelites during the Exodus, thus Satan also had his means and powers of this world in order to harass us with, and he will indeed not rest before he catches all of us. But he has no power over us, brethren, for if we remember the Israelites and Moses, we know that God delivered them from the hands of the Pharaoh, with His own mighty power and deeds.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, in this season of Advent, let us all be awakened from our deep slumber in the darkness of this world, and be awakened to the light of Christ, which dispels all lies and temptations, and reveal to us the true ugly nature of sin. This Advent therefore is a perfect opportunity for all of us to start over anew and prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord.
Let us all sin no more and reject the yoke of Satan, and in exchange of that, we should take up the yoke of Christ, who will give us eternal life and joy at the end of our journey. Indeed, the journey and path will be difficult, but nothing is impossible if we keep strong our faith in the Lord and adhere ourselves closely to Him. May this Advent therefore be a good time for us to reevaluate our lives and find our way to the Lord, our loving God and Father. Amen.
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