Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Brothers and sisters in Christ, carrying one’s cross is the thing which most of us did not want to do, and we refused to do so even after the Lord made it clear what He wanted from us. We prefer to enjoy the pleasures of this world rather than following the Lord, and we prefer the ways of Satan to the way of Christ.
The path of the Lord is not an easy one, and there will be lots of suffering and challenges, as Satan owns this world, and he works his plots and attacks against God and His people through that same world, the one where we are living at the moment. But even though the path of the Lord is not an easy one, at the end of the way is happiness and blessing, such as what God had promised His people in the first reading today, if they kept His commandments and walked in His ways.
On the other hand, the path of Satan appears to be an easier and a much better one, because it seems that this path has much fewer obstacles and challenges facing us, as compared to that of the path of the Lord. But the pleasures and happiness with which the devil had spiced up his path are not true happiness and joy. These are illusions and attempts to replicate true happiness that exists only in God.
And brethren, you all know what awaits at the end of the path of Satan, that is death, and not just the kind of death that we know of, but eternal death. That is because the Lord, as He also said to the people in the first reading, will withdraw His blessing and instead His curse will hang over the people should they fail to follow His commandments and disobeyed His will.
If we choose to follow the path of evil, and choose the apparently easier path, then we are dooming ourselves. That is because in doing so, we reject the Lord and His love, rejecting the blessing of eternal life which He had promised for all those who remain faithful to Him and those who dedicate themselves to Him. We certainly do not want ourselves to end up this way, do we not?
Perseverance is the key, brothers and sisters in Christ. If we are to receive the blessings of Almighty God, then we ought to persevere in our faith. We cannot take our faith for granted, and neither should we take for granted the salvation which God had promised us all who believe in Him. Our faith must be living and genuine, and we must keep in mind always, that our faith must indeed be like carrying the cross, our own crosses, imitating what Jesus had done as He went on His Passion to save us.
Yes, brethren, if we want to follow the Lord and walk in His ways, then we should be ready to bear the burden of being His faithful ones. There will be opposition and even mockery, and there will be those who will look down on us because of our choice. But if we are to persevere and keep strong our faith, then we will persevere. Shall we choose the easy way out, a good life in this world, and yet in the end, be thrown into eternal suffering?
It is not wrong, brothers and sisters, to enjoy our life in this world, but it also means that we cannot just enjoy and do nothing else. We cannot just enjoy the pleasures and happiness of this world, without doing anything in accordance to the will of God. In fact, the more we immerse ourselves in the joy of this world, the less likely we are to act in the way that is pleasing to God. We have to be always mindful of this and keep a steady balance in our life.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, it is imperative for us to carry our cross, not literally or figuratively, but to do what is right and what is according to the will of God, that we may endure together as one, the suffering of Christ, and therefore understand the love that God had for us all, so much that He gave us Himself and His own life, that we all may live.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, in this Lenten season, let us maximise the time and opportunity that we have, so that we may seek to devote ourselves more and more to the Lord, and if necessary, changing our ways that we may once again walk in the way of the Lord, and no longer following the devil into his rebellion. May God our Lord and our loving Father continue to bless us, watch over us, and protect us as we walk with Jesus His Son, towards our salvation and eternal glory. Amen.