Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are presented with the truth proclaimed in the Scriptures and the Gospel, that our Lord is with us and He dwells among us, even now, as He had been, and will ever be. He will always be with us, as long as we remain faithful to our love for Him. He is ever faithful, ever graceful and ever providing for us, a loving and gentle Lord who cares for every single one of His people.
In the Gospel, we heard about Jesus walking through the storm on the water while the boat that the disciples boarded was battered with the winds and the waves, threatening to sink them. They were frightened and were filled with fear, and the sight of Jesus walking on the water towards them frightened them even more, and this was because they lacked the faith, which they should have in Jesus.
The disciples of Christ were always with Him, helping Him in His works and ministry, following Him wherever He went to, and became His faithful servants and helpers in proclaiming the Good News of God. What is this Good News? It is exactly what the First Reading today from the Letter of St. John had revealed to us, that the Lord had sent His Son into the world, and by the dwelling of the Son in the form of the flesh of Man, He is with us.
For Christ is the purest and most concrete manifestation of God’s love for us, the love that has become real and tangible, which we can see and feel with our senses. He came so that He may dwell within us, and thus the love of God may also dwell in us and we would know what love truly is. True love is just as what God had shown us through Jesus, the loving sacrifice He had committed, giving up His own life in exchange for ours, and through that act, gained new life for us all.
True love does not demand returns, and it is unconditional by nature just like what Jesus had done for us. We are sinners and tainted, wicked and undeserving of life and salvation, and yet, Jesus died for us while we were still sinners, as we are still today. He did not hesitate to do so, even though He must have fully known the kind of suffering and pain He would have to go through in order to achieve our salvation and liberation from sin.
The readings of this day teach us that we have God on our backs, and He will support us and provide for us, as long as we are faithful to Him, and as long as we are faithful, we do not have to worry about anything. We worry because we start to lose our faith in God and our firm faith in Him is being undermined. By what? By our own sense of insecurities, by our insatiable desires, and by many other things that distract us from our attention and focus towards the Lord.
Today we celebrate the feast of St. Raymond of Penyafort, the Master of the Dominican Order or also known as the Order of Preachers. St. Raymond of Penyafort had been very faithful and devoted to the Lord from the beginning, from his youth, and he dedicated much of his life in the service of God, to the conversion of sinners and the salvation of the lost sheep of the Lord.
St. Raymond of Penyafort led a simple but dedicated life, one that was filled with the love and concern for the people of God who were still lost to the darkness. Thus, in accordance of the part he played in the Dominican order, or the Order of Preachers, St. Raymond preached about the Faith to many people, especially those who have yet to accept Christ, Jesus our Lord, as their Lord and Saviour. Through his words, he changed their hearts and helped them to allow themselves to open their hearts to God.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, in our world today there are many people who remain blinded against the love of God, for their heart’s desires, their pride, their greed, their vanity and others often come in between them and their ability to recognise the love of God. Thus, by understanding what we had heard today in the Gospel and the Scriptures, and by witnessing the examples of St. Raymond of Penyafort and his dedications, let us all also do the same, helping one another especially those who are still lost in the world.
Therefore, let us from now on redirect our energies and efforts, that we may lead others from a life of vice and sin, not knowing the Lord and His love, into one that is firmly founded on the foundation of God’s eternal love. Let us all help each other to reach out to the Lord, and may our loving God, the Almighty Father, also guide us, help us and remain with us always. Amen.
First Reading :
Gospel Reading :