Wednesday, 28 May 2014 : 6th Week of Easter (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we hear how privileged we are to have known the Lord, who had been revealed to us through the Apostles and the disciples of Christ, and through their successors, who continuously preach the Good News and make it known to us. The Greeks in today’s first reading and their predecessor did not have such a privilege, and for many generations, they had lived in darkness and in ignorance, not knowing the truth and the intention which God has for them.

I have once mentioned about the faith of the Greeks in the Hellenic era and earlier, and those of us who know the Greco-Roman mythology and the ubiquitous reference to their gods even to the modern era will know it quite well. There were many gods and goddesses in the Greco-Roman pantheon, each of whom represented an aspect of nature and the world, which they considered to be living and sentient as divines.

This was why the Hellenic people at the time worshipped those gods and built magnificent statues and temples for them, and also offered sacrifices in various kinds to these gods, and yet they did not truly know them. The same happened essentially everywhere else in the world, with the people worshipping aspects and events of nature as divine, and treated them as gods and goddesses.

But if you ask me, these obeisances and devotions are nothing more than mankind’s insecurities, fears, and desires that came forward and end up manifesting as these observations, these worships, and these gods with their stories and mythologies. The mythology and the story behind the gods are often mankind’s attempts to explain the natural phenomena around them and linking them to divine presence.

But these were crafted out of human understanding, and not because of any divine truth and revelations. And they were false, and they misled mankind to believe in the falsehoods, and who fed all these? The devil did. He is most pleased when mankind was misled by lies and misunderstandings, or the twisting of wisdom.

Mankind desires for the love from a superior being, someone whom they know to be the One, the Lord and God who created them, who cared for them, and who provided for them daily and filled them with His Spirit. But not everyone has an idea, of how to approach the Lord, or know how He is like, and that is why, so many people went wayward and away from the Lord, led by the lies of the devil.

God made Himself manifest first to the people of Israel, to Abraham and his descendants, to whom He revealed some of His truth and love, and which He continued to reveal over time through the prophets and the judges. Through them the people of God received more and more knowledge about God and His infinite love for us. But sadly, the people often did not remain faithful and they disobeyed Him despite knowing the truth.

That was why Jesus came into this world, to be the One, who not only revealed the fullness and perfection of God’s love and truth to mankind, but also to be the One through whose truth, made mankind worthy again of Himself, and by dying and by His resurrection, made the plain truth about Himself visible to all, and rose up from among mankind, His witnesses to proclaim that truth to all peoples, of all nations.

Today we are also urged, to cast away the lies, the veil of lies and darkness that still remain, if any, un our hearts and minds. If the people at the time of St. Paul failed to see God in His truth because their hearts were closed within a veil of darkness crafted by men, within layers of superstitions and false faith in tales and mythologies, then we in this world today suffer from the same thing, that is the darkening of our hearts and minds by the concerns of this world, that is by material possessions, and other forms of the pleasures of the flesh.

Let us all today be courageous and be firm in saying no to Satan, and rejecting all of his lies, so that we may finally pierce through the veil of darkness he has cast around us. May we be truly faithful and be good servants and children of God, and be worthy through our words, actions and deeds, which are always in the mold and following the example of Jesus our Lord and Saviour. God bless us all. Amen.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 : 6th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 16 : 12-15

I still have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. When He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into the whole truth. He has nothing to say of Himself, but He will speak of what He hears, and He will tell you of the things to come.

He will take what is Mine and make it known to you; in doing this, He will glorify Me. All that the Father has is Mine; because of this, I have just told you that the Spirit will take what is Mine, and make it known to you.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 : 6th Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 148 : 1-2, 11-12ab, 12c-14a, 14bcd

Alleluia! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the heavenly heights. Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him, all His heavenly hosts.

Kings of the earth and nations, princes and all rulers of the world, young men and maidens, old and young.

Together let them praise the Name of the Lord. For His Name alone is exalted; His majesty is above earth and heaven. He has given His people glory.

He has given a praise to His faithful, to Israel, the people close to Him. Alleluia.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 : 6th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 17 : 15, 22 – Acts 18 : 1

Paul was taken as far as Athens by his escort, who then returned to Beroea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible.

Then Paul stood up in the Areopagus hall and said, “Athenian citizens, I note that in every way you are very religious. As I walked around looking at your shrines, I even discovered an altar with this inscription : ‘To an unknown God.’ Now, what you worship as unknown, I intend to make known to you.”

“God, who made the world and all that is in it, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, being as He is Lord of heaven and earth. Nor does His worship depend on anything made by human hands, as if He were in need. Rather it is He who gives life and breath and everything else to everyone.”

“From one stock He created the whole human race to live throughout all the earth, and He fixed the time and the boundaries of each nation. He wanted them to seek Him by themselves, even if it were only by groping for Him, succeed in finding Him. Yet He is not far from any one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being, as some of your poets have said : ‘for we too are His offspring.'”

“If we are indeed God’s offspring, we ought not to think of divinity as something like a statue of gold or silver or stone, a product of human art and imagination. But now God prefers to overlook this time of ignorance and He calls on all people to change their ways. He has already set a day on which He will judge the world with justice through a Man He has appointed. And, so that all may believe it, He has just given a sign by raising this Man from the dead.”

When they heard Paul speak of a resurrection from death, some made fun of him, while others said, “We must hear you on this topic some other time.” At that point Paul left. But a few did join him, and believed. Among them went Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus court, a woman named Damaris, and some others.

After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.