6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Cor 15:12,16-20
“Your faith is in vain”
In the context of our Christian faith, truth prevails regardless of the choices we make, what we choose to believe in or otherwise, and what this world chooses to value versus what God reveals to us of the values that prevail in His kingdom. For example, if Satan himself was to appear in front of you one day and declare, at the top of his voice, that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living and Almighty God, what would your reaction be like (shock and eye-popping aside)? Would you focus on the fact that this was a sentence uttered by Satan and hence become questionable or false? Or to recognize that regardless who states it, truth prevails. That our Lord is the son of the living Almighty God regardless who proclaims it, remains truth. Nothing changes that because God’s truth will always prevail. It is a light that the darkest darkness cannot overcome. And what is this truth? The readings today hold extremely important revelations to us about the truths of the resurrection, the fidelity of God and of His Kingdom values which are the very foundations of our Catholic faith.
God’s truths are absolute — not relative nor subject to the interpretations of man. There is no wishy washiness, no ambiguity, no ifs and buts, no double-entendre, nothing equivocal about what is being revealed today. The resurrection is not a “maybe it did happen, maybe it didn’t?”. The fidelity of God is not a “perhaps if I counted on Him, things might turn out okay”. And the kingdom values of the Beatitudes point to what God holds cherished, despite how our world says, “… you gotta be kidding me …how can persecution, sorrow, hunger for justice, denunciation, being hated, poverty and humility possibly be good and be part of the Gospel values?
Yet, they are. God is infinitely bigger than our faith. God does not increase nor diminish on the basis of the relative strength or weakness of our human faith. When the evil one uses the circumstances of our lives, our emotions and our thoughts to create falsehood, distraction and deception, God’s truth remains eternal, unchanged and unchanging – the truth of His love for His children, His power over all of creation, His unfailing fidelity to His own, His mercy, His grace. For God speaks in words that are absolute:
“Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD.”
“Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does, prospers”
“Blessed are you … Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven …”
You can take these promises of God to the ‘bank’ and cash those in when you meet face-to-face with Him one day.
The truths are often antithetical to what can be understood, seen or felt. They transcend our thoughts and emotions, which the devil often uses to dumbfound us and deceive us away from the truth. They transcend all human science, understanding, senses, pride and convenience. God’s truth does not rely on what is known, what is seen and what is felt by man. Rather only on what is BELIEVED by him. It dwells and bears fruit only when we choose, through the Holy Spirit, to believe. To believe in His Word, His Character, His Wisdom, His Grace, His Love.
“If the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is in vain; If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable creatures of all”.
If you stop believing right here, right now, this very instance, in the resurrection of Christ, the fidelity of Christ, the Kingdom of Christ… indeed, your faith is in vain, and indeed, you are most pitiable. For then, there is only, falsehood and nothingness.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Justus Teo)
Prayer: Father, help us. Help us as we do battle each day in a world that more often than not, chooses not to believe that you are our living God, but a dead thing hung on a piece of wood, to not rely on you to be our ever-faithful God, and that chooses not to live in your kingdom of deferred eternal salvation, but rather on instant gratification.
Thanksgiving: Father, thank you for the gift of your Spirit which brings all falsehood to eternal truth, all darkness to eternal light and all living death on earth to eternal life in your heavenly Kingdom.