Liturgical Colour : Red (Martyrs)
God has given glory to His Son, Jesus Christ, and He has shown it through Him, as He Himself revealed to the disciples as in the Gospel today, and also based on what He has done in this world. To the rebellious and wretched nation and people who constantly disobeyed His will and commandments, He once again showed His truth and glory through Christ, who performed such wonderful miracles on the kind and scale which have not been seen before in this world.
And through those too, God wanted to remind the people of the love which He has for them and the concern which He always has for them, through all ages. Through Jesus, mankind watched firsthand the undeniable evidence for the love of God, and He proved it through His willingness to bear the suffering and punishments for our sins on the cross and to die to save us from death.
He rose up from the realm of the dead and entered into His glory to bring us from the darkness and hopelessness of this world into the new hope and light of the world that is to come. He wants us to be saved, and to do so, He did not hesitate to give His all, even His life for our own good and safety. All these so that we may have hope in Him, and through Him, enter into the eternal life He has prepared for us.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we must always keep the tenets and the basics of our faith strong, trusting in God in the matter of all that He had revealed to us. What are in this faith? We must always believe that the Lord is God, One and only Almighty and omnipotent God, Lord above all lords and Sovereign of all sovereigns and powers on earth and in heaven.
And then not just that, but that He is One, but has three separate and yet equal Divine Persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all three of whom are different and separate from each other, and yet at the same time also are completely united to each other in perfect love and harmony, forming the Most Holy Trinity that is the basic of our faith.
And that the Son, who is the Word of God, was made flesh and descended into the world as one of us, and we know Him as Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, who revealed to His disciples the glory that He had in Him, just before He was to be betrayed to the chief priests and the elders to be crucified. The Son is worthy, and He offered Himself to the Father to be the One to make clean the people of God, as the only sacrificial victim worthy to absolve the sins of all mankind, something, that the blood of animals cannot do.
And that through His suffering and death, He endured for us the punishments and sufferings which should have been our due for our sins and unworthiness, and instead He bore them upon Himself, and liberated us from death by His rising from the dead on Easter day. The Risen Christ is the proof that God gave as a final reminder of His love to all of us, which St. Paul bravely stood by in the first reading today.
We also have to keep all of these basic tenets of our faith, and we have to keep in mind always the love that God has for all of us. God is Love, and He will always love us, and He will never want us to be separated from Him, unless it is we ourselves who want to be separated from Him. Hence, brethren, loosen our hearts and open them for the Lord, and allow His love to touch us tenderly and transform us into creatures worthy of Him.
Today we celebrate the feast of St. Boniface, a bishop and a martyr of the faith. He was a bishop in the region of what is now today’s western areas of Germany, and he did many evangelising and preaching works throughout the still pagan areas of Germany, then still occupied in its eastern portion by many separate pagan tribes worshipping the pagan gods such as Odin, Thor, and other related Scandinavian pantheons.
St. Boniface worked hard for the faith, and managed to convert many people and helped them to accept the faith in God, abandoning their sinful old ways and cast down their pagan idols to accept the Lord Jesus as their Saviour and God. He preached in many places and villages, explaining about the faith to the people who then went on to accept the faith.
A particularly famous and renowned happening about St. Boniface and his evangelisation is that he felled a sacred oak in Germany, where the populace had once worshipped the pagan gods there, especially the god of thunder, Odin. When St. Boniface spoke up against the pagan worship and courageously hacked the oak tree down, the people waited for the gods to punish St. Boniface. However, seeing that no harm came upon St. Boniface, they laid down their pagan worship and eagerly took up the faith in God.
St. Boniface was martyred when he met a rogue group of pagan bandits on his way to preach to villages, and he was slain by them, while trying to defend himself with the Gospel book. He welcomed death readily, even at that moment when he was already very old. He did not fear to die, as long as He had brought the light of Christ to so many people and saved so many souls from destruction and damnation.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, inspired by the examples shown by St. Boniface, let us all be courageous in defending our faith, and let us all have a living and strong faith, one that is anchored firmly on the basic tenets of our faith and put all our trust completely in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. May He guide us always and remain with us always, all the time. Amen.