Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the Scriptures speaking to us about the promises God had made to His people at the time of the prophet Ezekiel, a prophet who spoke about God’s words during the time when Israel had fallen into a state of humiliation and great misery. God promised His people that He would no longer turn His gaze away from them, but He would take care of them again as He had before.
This happened in the context of the people of Israel at that time having been exiled from their homeland, and having their cities destroyed and conquered. And at that time, the kingdom of Judah was also destroyed, with all of the people carried off to Babylon far away from their homeland. It was a time of great humiliation and misery for the people, who had to endure exile and persecution as their ancestors had experienced before in Egypt.
But God would not forget His people, and instead, He gave them help and liberation through His servants, and called upon the king of Persia, Cyrus, to emancipate the Israelites and send them back to their homeland. The people of Israel would return to their homeland and reestablish their livelihood there. However, eventually they would once again fall into sin and disobedience against God.
And God once again sent His deliverance to His people, by sending unto them Jesus, His own beloved Son, to be their Saviour. Unfortunately, they did not appreciate what God had done for them, and in fact, they persecuted the Lord Jesus and His disciples just as their ancestors had refused to listen to the prophets and messengers that God had sent among His people in the days past.
They were even plotting against Him, the chief priests, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, all those who had frequently been on the collision course against the Lord and His teachings. They made life very difficult to the Lord Jesus and His disciples to the point that, according to the Gospel passage today, He had to hide from all those who were after Him and wanted His death.
Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, the reality is that, we also often act in the same manner, without regard for God and for His laws and commandments. We refused to listen to Him and we would rather follow the whim of our desires and our worldly concerns. As a result, we have fallen deeper and deeper into sin. But yet, the Lord has always given us opportunities, one after another, giving us help wherever and whenever we need them.
Are we grateful for all that we have been given and what we have been blessed with, by God Himself? And above all else, are we grateful for the ultimate gift which God has given us, that is eternal life, which is given to us by the loving sacrifice He performed on the cross? Whenever we look at the Christ crucified on the crucifix, do we realise just how much it is that God loves each and every one of us?
As we enter into the celebration of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the beginning of the Holy Week tomorrow, during the Palm Sunday, let us all deepen our understanding of God’s marvellous work among us, and how He has given us all His everything and every effort, that as we are going to hear the Passion Reading tomorrow, relating to us the moment when He laid down His life for us, that we may live, we may grow deeper in our relationship with Him and in our faith.
May the Lord be with us all, brothers and sisters in Christ, and may He continue to bless us with a good and living faith. May He empower us all to live faithfully, ever in His loving presence. May God bless us all. Amen.