Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Brothers and sisters in Christ, from today’s Scripture readings we are told that we should not doubt the Lord our God who came in Jesus to be our Messiah and the source of our salvation. We should not follow the path of the Pharisees who were adamant and stubborn in their ways and pride. They refused to listen because they remained in their rebelliousness and fallen ways.
They plotted against God and His Saviour because they were set in their ways and their thoughts, and they would not want to give way to, nor recognise the mistakes they had committed and the jealousy they felt as they saw this contender to their power and glory, grew high and great before the Lord. They were not able to loosen their heart because they were deeply trapped within their own pridefulness and arrogance.
It is in our nature, brethren, that we think first about ourselves and care only about our own well-being, and for us to have a powerful ego and desire, is only natural for us all mankind. And in this holy season of Lent we are always reminded of the need for us to first die to our ego, pride and selfishness before we are able to fully appreciate the love of God.
That is why I keep on emphasizing, along the line of the Scripture readings, of the need to listen and to be humble. Yes, that is to be open for suggestion by others and to accept willingly any comments and suggestion by others. We are by our sinful nature, proud and unbending. And we are also prone of selfishness, of thinking for our own good and benefits before the good of others, and even it is often that we trample on others as we march on to secure our own benefits.
That is why, in this season of Lent, we are called to take a step back and reflect on our own lives, whether we have been humble and listening to God’s will or whether we have been indignant and hardened our hearts against the love of God, opposing the Lord at every turn just as the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law had done in their pride and jealousy against Jesus.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, this season of Lent is the perfect time, yes, the time indeed, for us to take charge of our lives and our salvation, that our lives may be changed and renewed, no longer one that is based on our own inner desires, our emotions and our wants. Instead let this be the opportunity for us to make our lives to conform and adhere to the will of God and to His principles, that we no longer follow our own will and desire, but instead the will of God.
Today we celebrate the feast of St. Vincent Ferrer, a saint of the early Renaissance era Spain. He was a Dominican priest and preacher, who were well known for his piety and powerful charisma and ability in preaching. St. Vincent Ferrer worked hard for the sake of the Lord and His people, converting thousands for God. He brought many people and lost sheep of the Lord back to their Master.
His works included many forays into the areas and the rural countryside, preaching about the Lord to them and opening their minds and hearts to God’s love and bringing them to the gates of salvation. It was in his great commitment and works for the least of God’s people that he was remembered for. Brothers and sisters in Christ, the life of St. Vincent Ferrer is the example for all of us to follow. He is the role model of our faith, the model for all Christians.
Yes, this Lenten season is the perfect opportunity for us to change our ways and turn towards God, and help others to do the same. And we should not be fearful nor be ashamed of our faults and our sinfulness, because it is in fact when we have fully acknowledged our own frailty and weaknesses that we may be able to turn for the better.
Let us therefore commit ourselves for the sake of God and His people, much as St. Vincent Ferrer had done. May we be better servants of our Lord in this holy and wondrous season of Lent, that we may all together be saved, helping one another as we approach and reach out to the Lord our God. May God bless us all and remain with us always. Amen.