Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, God is merciful just as He is loving. He is Love Himself, the embodiment of perfect love and mercy. Why so? That is because He showed His ultimate love for all of us, by dying on the cross, so that through His death, He might open a new path for us, a path filled with hope and love, which leads directly to the Lord our God.
He gave us all who believe in Him, His own Body and Blood, the flesh and the matter of which became for us life-giving food and drink. This is because Jesus Himself is the Lord of all life, and the Lord over life and death. Hence, this is why we heard about the son of the widow of Naim, who died and was resurrected by Jesus, as a sign for all to see. This is to put yet another emphasis that in God there is life and hope of eternal life, and if we put our trust rather in ourselves or in the world, then there is little hope for us.
We have to get rid of the numerous obstacles that lie on the path between us and the Lord, namely our pride, our arrogance, our greed and our desires, as these will eventually lead us into committing evil against others around us, through jealousy, selfishness and other forms of actions not befitting our status as the children of God. However, in order to remove these obstacles, great effort is needed.
Mankind had been tainted by sin ever since our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, the first man and the first woman, first sinned against God by listening to Satan the deceiver and the traitor, instead of listening to the loving and life-giving word of our God. Hence, they were cast out of Eden, and the promise of life eternal and joy was lost from them. They had to endure sufferings of the world as a punishment for their disobedience, just as their descendants would suffer as well.
But this is not what God intended from us, as He never intended suffering and death for us. He Himself wants us to be living and living in glory and love with Him, for eternity in the glory of heaven, which He had intended and prepared for us. He is forever faithful, even to the ones like us and our ancestors, who had blatantly left and abandoned Him behind for the company of Satan and the darkness of the world.
The faithful Lord and God cannot avoid but to act, so that His most beloved creations, whom He had created at the last day, from His own image and with His own breath that gave them life may not be lost to eternal death, but be brought back into life. That is why, He gave us Himself through Jesus, His Son, who came into the world, not to condemn it or to judge it, but to bring it into life and salvation.
And He particularly looks for sinners, that means those who are still lost in the darkness, and this is why He rebuked the Pharisees by saying that He was sent not to the healthy ones but to those who are sick, that they may be healed. This refers to the sickness of the spiritual body, that is of our soul. And if we are sick spiritually, namely that if sin taints our body and soul, we will not be worthy of salvation and also the inheritance God has promised us.
Jesus our Lord therefore came to heal us from our afflictions, both body and soul, to make us anew and renew our lives, so that we may be found worthy of entry into the kingdom of God. We ought to be grateful for this love and dedication which our Lord had shown us, even unto death, and death on the cross, bearing our burdens, that is the great burdens of sins which we have committed.
He is the Lamb of God, who willingly gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice, so that as He carried that burden up the hill to His crucifixion, and through His death, we may be liberated from those burdens and thus gain justification through Him. We too will have our own burdens in life, if we choose to follow Christ. Remember that Jesus said to His disciples? That if anyone want to follow Him then they must carry their cross and follow Him?
But we cannot carry our burden alone, brothers and sisters in Christ, as alone we are unable to survive the great burden that awaits us. Instead, we ought to share the burden we have with one another, so that as St. Paul instructed the faithful in the Epistle reading we heard today, we may be justified together and receive salvation together as one united people, and together as one Church we are blessed by God.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all embrace each other in faith, in hope and in love, that all of us may together shore up each other’s burden in life, going through suffering and persecution together, resisting the temptations of the flesh and of the world, and rebuking Satan who tries day after day to tempt us into sin. Let us realise the great love which our Lord has for us, and His eternal desire to free us from our afflictions and our burdens that is sin and death.
May Almighty God be with us always, and may He guide us so that we together as the Church of God may find our way towards the salvation He had promised us and made concrete through Jesus and His loving sacrifice on the cross. May He strengthen our resolve to love Him, regardless of the opposition and difficulties we may encounter if we choose to walk in His path, and also that may our solidarity and companionship be ever stronger, that we may find in each other, a strong support in our crusade against evil.
God bless us all, and may He bless all of our endeavours, that we may also bear witness to His Holy Gospels and the Good News He had proclaimed, so that more souls may be saved, through our works and dedications. God be with us all, till the end of time. Amen.