Liturgical Colour : Green
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s Scripture and Gospel readings highlighted to us the nature of God’s love for us, and how He will provide us with everything we need, and even when we encounter difficulties in this life, we shall not be disappointed by our loving and dedicated God, who takes care of us in everything we need. Yet, mankind are difficult to satisfy, and even despite the numerous goodness that we had received, we always like to demand for more and want for more.
That is in our nature, because men are greedy by nature, and we have been exposed to this ever since our first ancestors were tempted by Satan and failed, who offered them the ‘ultimate’ prize, supposedly beyond what goodness they had received up to that time. The first men, Adam and Eve, lived in perfect bliss, harmony and joy in the Garden of Eden, filled with all of God’s blessings, intended to live happily for eternity.
However, Satan in the form of the snake tempted them with the possibility for them to know the mind of the Lord, that is to gain knowledge of things good and evil, by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which was forbidden by the Lord. Indeed, they had their reservations, but their tempted hearts was too much for them and they eventually succumbed to their desire and greed, wishing to have more than what they need.
In the end, they gained what they wanted, but they lost essentially everything. They were cast out of Eden and have to endure the sufferings of the earth, and they have to toil and work to sustain themselves. They were subjected to suffering and death because of the sin of their disobedience. Yet, mankind were slow to learn from their mistakes, and for ages past, countless peoples were lost because of their uncontrolled desire and greed.
Even today, we are still gripped and enslaved by our desire, which often ends up as our undoing. Many wars and conflicts, violence and hatred, destruction and chaos came about in our world because of our inability to control our desire, and instead we become controlled and enslaved by those desires. Many tyrants and those who committed great evils in the world were due to their inability to limit their pride, their arrogance, vanity and greed. In the process, they caused great damage and sorrow for many people.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, the readings of today remind us that as the followers of Christ, we should throw far, far away all of these human desires and negative traits and emotions, so that we can truly walk in the way of the Lord and follow His will. That is because, as long as we are under the thrall of our desire and emotions, we tend to serve our own will and purposes rather than listening to God, or to follow His will.
Jesus had called many from among the people to be His disciples, and twelve of these were chosen to be the Apostles, the chiefs of His disciples. But, as the followers of Christ, they did not have an easy life. The world that is opposed to Christ would also oppose the works of His disciples, and it is into this hostile world that Jesus had sent His disciples, to spread the Good News of salvation to many who still have yet to see the light of God.
They were also told to bring just what is sufficient for themselves, and not to bring extra items for them. That is because, God will provide, and indeed, God would walk among them and assist them on their efforts to bring the people of God back into the light. As long as the disciples and the Apostles remained faithful to the Lord, they have nothing to fear from the world, for God would take care of them, and no matter what suffering the world could inflict on them, none of them could destroy or damage the soul, which is something that only God can do.
The same therefore also applies to all the servants of God today, our priests, bishops and all those who have been called and who responded by their dedication to the works which God had entrusted them with. But this does not mean that they should do all the work, and we can rest easy. In fact, we too should help and play our role in our own ability, to bring the Good News of the Lord to those who are around us.
Let us all thus strengthen our faith, through prayer, charity and good works, so that gradually we can liberate ourselves from the slavery to our desires, so that we can truly follow the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who said to the angel, that she is the handmaid of the Lord, and thus all of the will of God would happen to her, and our Lord Jesus Himself, who had said in His agony in the garden, that not His will be done but the will of His Father, and through whose obedience, our salvation was made possible, and we have hope of a new life in God.
May Almighty God sharpen the edge of our humility and obedience, as well as our faith, and dull the edges of our pride, desire, greed and selfishness, so that in our lives we may become more and more like Christ, following God in all of our ways, and proclaim Him through our words, deeds and actions. God bless us all. Amen.