Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the story of Noah and how he and his family escaped the destruction of all the living together with the animals and creatures chosen to go with them on the ark they had created with the instruction from God. And in the Gospel today we heard about how Jesus chastised and rebuked His disciples for failing to see what He had done, which was essentially the manifestation of God’s love for mankind, by feeding those who were hungry with food and leaving them with satisfied stomachs.
Today’s readings talked about the mercy and love which God shows to all those who are faithful to Him and walk righteously along His path without diversion and corruption, those like Noah and his family, who feared God and loved Him, following His ways even though the rest of the world were following their own wicked and corrupted human ways and desires.
God regretted having created mankind, who was to be the greatest and most loved out of all His creations and yet, they failed when Satan tempted them and brought them to disobey the will of God. And as mankind carried on, tainted by sin, they continued to commit all sorts of wickedness that were born out of another sin which men had committed, that is the murder of Abel by his brother, Cain.
All the sins of mankind added up and indeed God’s patience has its limits. It is also a reminder for us all that God does not wait forever for us to continue to live in sin and ignore His love. Eventually all of us will die, brothers and sisters in Christ, at a time unknown to us. God alone knows the time and place where we are to die, and if we continue to sin before the Lord and refuse to change our ways until it is too late, then when the time comes, the share of the people who were destroyed by the Great Flood will be ours as well.
But God will show His mercy and love on those who listened to Him and who are righteous in their way of life, just as Noah and his family were. This is what God can promise us, and indeed if we are faithful, God will not disappoint us. His love will forever be with us and our descendants. He reminded us of these in the Gospel today as He spoke of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod, that is the corruption in these people which led mankind astray, the sins of pride and jealousy, of hatred and lust, and many others.
God will provide for all those who have put their trust in Him, and He will give them what they need, just as He gave the five thousand men and even more women and children, the food of bread until they are completely satisfied and even with spare to be collected. But more often that not, mankind trusts in their own devices and abilities, refusing to obey the Lord and walking down their own paths towards disobedience, rebellion and eventually destruction.
It is a lesson and reminder for us today, that we have to conform to the way of the Lord and discard all forms of our pride and haughtiness. There is still time for us, and while there is still time, it is crucial for us to find our way to the Lord as soon as possible before it is too late. And today we also celebrate the feast of the seven holy founders of the Servites, a religious order founded by the seven men who were once noblemen and merchants of the city of Florence.
The seven men left their family, wealth and possessions to retire in a religious and dedicated life to God in a mountainside. They left behind everything to give themselves in total commitment to the Lord, abandoning all forms of greed and human desire, and to bury all their pride and hubris, their prejudice and wickedness. And their example had become an example and inspiration for many others who followed in their footsteps.
It does not mean that we have to replicate what they had done and abandon everything we have in this life in order to dedicate ourselves completely to the Lord. Indeed, what they have done can be an option for us to follow on and what they have done set the example for many others to also lead a holy and devoted life free from sin. But what we all should do is truly to be true disciples of our Lord, and not believing just for the sake of believing or only pay lip service to Him, but with all of our heart and being let us love Him and follow His ways with all of our hearts.
May Almighty God be with us all and may He guide us in this life, so that we may free ourselves from the wickedness and sinfulness of this world, heeding His call and offer for mercy, that we may no longer be stubborn and hardened in heart, but become instead loving and caring towards one another. God bless us all. Amen.