Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)
Brothers and sisters in Christ, the reading today, particularly that of our first reading today, can be no further from the truth. This is the reality facing mankind today. Our world has grown to be a world where people turned skeptical, especially against anything that they cannot truly prove by their common sense. Men believe the things that they can see and are awed by the achievements that they had made.
Mankind become ensnared in their own selves, and praise their own greatness, through the achievements they had accomplished. Mankind were not satisfied with just believing in God and all of His goodness, because the devil had sown in each one of us, distrust and lack of faith, the seeds of rebellion against God and His will.
They grow merry and indulge themselves in the pleasures of the world. They give no regards to the Lord or to His laws and precepts. They grow only to care for themselves and turned themselves against one another. They grow engrossed in the pleasures that they see and observe in this world, thinking at the same time that they are smarter and wiser than their Creator. Their attachment to the world, became their greatest undoing.
The Lord will punish these people who grew proud and become disrespectful of their Lord and God. This is sadly the things that is happening now in our world. Mankind grew more and more disrespectful of the Lord their Creator, being distracted by the pleasures of this world, and by the beauty of God’s creations themselves. They worshipped these, regarded these as thing of marvel and worthy of praise, and yet do not praise the very One who created them all, in their ignorance.
Take for example, the growing apathy for the faith and for God, which many people attributed to their attachment to ‘science’ and ‘reason’. They argued that they discarded their faith because of the advancement of science, which opened their eyes to reason and therefore, they argued again, opened their eyes and minds to rational thinking. Thus, they grew hostile to any ‘superstitions’ which to them is exemplified by none better than our faith itself.
These people allow their ego and their senses to delude them, into thinking that what is actually real is unreal. God is real, and He is truly present for us, with us, and even within us. Remember that it was Him who gave us life! And yet, because we cannot truly feel Him with our feeble and limited senses, we think of. Him as non-existent, and instead chose the things of creations that He made, as new object of marvel, and even to the point of worship.
Brethren, this was no different from how people in the past, in many different civilisations, and some even until today, worship the natural elements and other things of great wonders to us. They worship the sun, the stars, the moon, the trees, animals, and other natural objects, even this world itself. This is no different from what is happening today.
We may not worship these inanimate objects, the creations of God anymore, but we have done essentially the same in a different way. First, we worship money and all things of material, giving it great honour and place it foremost before all other things. Then, we also marvel a lot at our universe and its splendour, seeking to see more, understand more, and find out more about the mysteries of our universe, but doing these, without giving due honour to the One who created them all, that is God.
We tend to forget that these wondrous things are merely things created, and they are just like us. It is perfectly alright for us to go and observe them, observe and note the phenomena that happen around us, and learn from them, as it is in our nature to be curious and want to seek more. But what is not right is if we do not pay attention or honour the One who created them all, who is God. These things may indeed be distractions in our attempt to seek God if we are not careful.
Use science, learning, and wisdom of the world for good, that is to utilise them for good purposes, and for tools to help us on our way to reach God our Lord and Creator. Do not let them instead control us or corrupt us in any way. That is what St. Albert the Great, the saint whose feast we are celebrating today has exemplified through his own life. A pious saint, and yet a wise and well endowed saint, with the knowledge of the world and with great faith to the One who created all things.
St. Albert the Great was a religious who was made a bishop in the medieval era Europe, where he spent much of his time in intellectual pursuit, studying the ancient philosophers and various other knowledge. St. Albert the Great learnt a lot of knowledge and worldly wisdom, and it was reflected in his numerous writings and works. And yet, at the same time, his piety and zeal for the Lord burned brightly, and his faith is undimmed.
St. Albert the Great went around Europe at the time, preaching the Good News, and was particularly caring about the people who are without wisdom and knowledge. He established many institutions of learning and schools, aimed at bringing more people to be aware of their surroundings, understanding their existence, and the beauty of God’s creations, while at the same time rooting out any misunderstandings about the faith in the people.
Through St. Albert the Great, many souls were saved and taken away from damnation, by enlightening them with the knowledge of the world, and even more importantly by endowing them with greater understanding of the Lord their God and Creator. It is through him that many has been made aware of the love of God, and the care that He has for all of them.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, inspired by the example of St. Albert the Great and other saints, let us adore the Lord our God, and praise Him for His wonderful works, just as we adore and be captivated by the good things we observe around us. Let us not be distracted and be misled by the evil one, and let us make the effort, to strengthen our faith, that in all things we do, we will always proclaim the Lord, profess the Lord, and be with the Lord at all times. God bless us all. Amen.