Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs) or White (Saturday Mass of our Lady)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the feast of two saints who were renowned servants of God and martyrs of the faith. They are St. Cosmas and St. Damian, both of whom lived during the time of great persecution of the Church under the Roman Emperors, where the faithful had to hide and they could not openly declare and practice their faith, or else they would face almost certain suffering and death at the hands of the authorities.
St. Cosmas and St. Damian themselves were told to be twin brothers who worked as physicians and doctors in the Asian region of the Roman Empire, in what is today Syria. They travelled around healing the sick and the wounded, those who were down with illness and troubles, and they did these free of charge, especially helping the poor and the downtrodden who had none to help them.
Eventually however, during the climate of persecution of Christians at the time, they went about their work under constant threat of danger. And they were arrested by the authorities after they were found out to be Christians. Under the pain of suffering, torture and death, they were forced to abandon their faith in the Lord, but they refused to do so, and therefore they were martyred in the defence of their faith.
This is related again to how Jesus spoke of the betrayal that men would hand Him, the betrayal that was very despicable and evil, because they have betrayed the very One who had given His all in order to help them to get out of the pit and trouble that they were in. The actions and life of St. Cosmas and St. Damian truly reflected what Christ Himself had encountered in His life, and the same too could be expected from us.
Just like St. Cosmas and St. Damian who went about the many cities, towns and villages as physicians and doctors, healing countless people who suffered from various diseases and illnesses free of charge, then our Lord Jesus also went about healing and curing people from their sickness, and more importantly, lifting up people who have fallen into the darkness, that is into the sickness of sin, into the new light He brought them.
Yes, Jesus Himself told the people, and all those who criticised Him such as the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, that He came not to seek the righteous and the just, who have already been saved, but those who have fallen along the way and need help. These were the ones who truly needed the help of our Lord, and it was to them that He came. Of course He still at the same time, loves all those who have been saved as well.
And He also suffered rejection, ridicule, curses, and even the lashes and the wounds inflicted upon His flesh, before He was dragged to carry the burden of the cross and be crucified on the hill of Calvary. He suffered on that day and died, so that all of us who shared in His death by our baptism, may also share in His glorious resurrection through the same baptism in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, it is a reminder for us that all of us also need to carry our own crosses if we are faithful to the Lord. Difficult times will be upon us and there will be rejection and temptations to leave behind this difficult path, for a shortcut of pleasure and enjoyment of worldly goods and accepting the wicked ways of this world. But then, we truly should ask ourselves, whether we want to have our souls to fall deep into the sickness of sin.
Let us all reflect on all these, and inspire ourselves to walk in the path of St. Cosmas and St. Damian. Let us all not be afraid to help each other and to love one another with the same love that the two saints and our Lord Himself had shown, the true and genuine love that brings about a new hope and life in all those who had been afflicted by the sickness, and particularly the sickness of sin, the disease of our soul.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has laboured out of love for us, so that we may be healed and be restored to full grace and be forgiven from all of our sins. Now, shall we also do the same and help those whom we know as still living in darkness and are still lost and do not know the way to go for them to seek the Lord their God. Let us all help each other, and extend a helping hand, modelling after the examples of St. Cosmas and St. Damian.
May Almighty God be with us all always, and may He plant in us a heart filled with love and grace, that we may be found worthy of the life and the glory He had prepared for us all. God bless us all. Amen.