Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Brothers and sisters in Christ, the people of God did not accept the Lord Himself who came down from on high to be with us. They thought of themselves as being better and greater than God, doubting Him and did not believe in Him when He came and rejecting His teachings, preferring to trust in their own beliefs.
They closed their hearts and themselves from the Lord because they allowed their fear and human emotions and desires to manipulate them, change them, and sequester them from the love of God. As a result, they see the coming of the Christ, that is Jesus, as a rival, challenge, and danger that must be removed at any cost, rather than as an opportunity to herald the coming of God’s kingdom into the world.
And this concerns in fact not just the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Jesus’s time, but also all of us, brothers and sisters in Christ. We ourselves have often placed ourselves as obstacles in the way of the Lord and His salvation, not just for ourselves but also for those around us. We have often followed our own desires, our own ego and will rather than listening to God and obeying His will.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us use this opportunity to reflect on our own life and on our own course of action. Have we been like those who plotted against the Lord just because He came to them and spoke the truth? Or have we accepted Him and listened to Him because of that truth? The truth is often not beautiful or appealing to us, simply because and plainly because we are sinners, and we have committed things that are wicked in the eyes of God and men.
We usually do not like it when things do not go our way or follow what we desired. We complain, we grumble, and we throw tantrum when this happens because we think only about ourselves, and we are only concerned about ourselves. That is why, we in our pride and our arrogance think that we are the masters of the things that we do, and we will never give in, to achieve what we want.
Today we commemorate the feast of St. Isidore, a bishop of late Roman era Hispania, modern day Spain, in Seville. As the bishop and influential leader of the people, both secular and religious, he emphasized on the spiritual renewal of the people and the casting away of the ways of the old, that is the way of wickedness. He worked hard to preach the Gospel and the Good News of the Lord with truth.
St. Isidore helped to convert the people and the kings of his land, the Visigothic kings of Spain, to the true way of the Lord, leaving their heathen and mistaken path of the Arians, who rejected the Lord and His fullness for human ideas and human glories. St. Isidore guided them towards the way of the Lord and guided them to be true followers of God’s will.
The example of St. Isidore showed us how mankind are still often trapped in their own sense of self-righteousness and glory, that they refuse to listen to and look up towards the truth, especially the truth that is in the Lord. Mankind prefer to stay on their pride and refuse to budge even against the Lord and His urging. He sent us Jesus to remind us of the truth, and to take off the veil of pride that covers our eyes.
We have to learn to listen and trust in the Lord, for He knows better than us, and He knows the way to salvation, which we cannot reach on our own, less still by our own power alone. That is why we really should cast away our pride and sharpen the edge of our humility, that we may truly become loving children and followers of the Lord in our actions and our deeds.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we all have a choice to make. We can choose to follow the path of pride, that is to give in to our emotions and fears, to be like the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, or to cast away that pride and arrogance, and follow the Lord with all of our hearts, just as St. Isidore and many other great saints had done in the past.
The choice is ours, brethren, and let us therefore today pray, that the Lord may guide us all, and help us to walk together in His light, that we may dwell no longer in the darkness of our pride and stubbornness, but in the light of God’s presence. God be with us all. Amen.