Thursday, 16 April 2015 : 2nd Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about how the Apostles resisted the High Priests and the elders, who commanded that they stopped teaching about Christ and stopped testifying about His resurrection, by the simple words that they would rather obey God and His will rather than to obey any human or worldly authorities. These are brave and courageous words that came from the heart of those whom God had chosen and whom He had empowered with His Holy Spirit.

In today’s Gospel we also heard how St. John the Baptist spoke out his testimony about Christ the Messiah and Lord of all, just before he was arrested, put in prison by Herod and martyred for his faith and righteousness. St. John the Baptist spoke clearly and with passion, the truth about Christ, that whoever believes in Him shall be saved and shall receive their just rewards, and that those who believe in Him shall truly be able to speak up their testimony of the truth.

This means that, all of us who are faithful to God, His people and His disciples, should have that same courage in us, the courage to speak up and to stand up for our faith. This is important if we want to be true disciples of our Lord and not just merely paying lip service or having our faith, just for show. Remember, as I have often mentioned, that our faith is not a passive one, but should be an active and living faith.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is indeed easy to think that we can do this, but we should also know that temptation is plenty and challenges are abound, and if we are not careful, we are likely to be drawn in by those temptations and challenges. We have to remember that this world does not look kindly upon us, as we belong to the Lord and to His truth. This world and all of its forces belong to the darkness, which depended on the lies and the falsehoods of the evil one and his allies.

Satan certainly will not let us go easily, and he will not stay without action seeing us being rescued and saved from harm’s way by our Lord. He will certainly use all that is within his power and dominion in order to sway us back into his influence. This is his temptations, with which he tempts us daily. For example, the temptation of worldly power, of earthly pleasures and the temptation of fame and hubris, the temptation of desire and human greed and many others.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we celebrate in this holy Easter season, all of us have to realise and be awakened to this fact, that every day, a battle is raging for the salvation of our souls. And we must have the courage to overcome our fear and our desires, so that, not only that we can be like the Holy Apostles, St. John the Baptist and all the disciples of Christ in how they lived their faith, but we will also prevent ourselves from falling back into our old way of sin.

It is imperative that we use this opportunity of Easter to reform and change ourselves thoroughly. We rejoice this Easter because of the love and mercy which God had shown us mankind through Jesus Christ His Son, whom He had sent into the world in order to save it. Can we put the effort to make ourselves to be worthy of that mercy which God had shown all of us?

We must break free from our fear, our doubts, uncertainties and all the things which prevent us from revealing our potential as the children of God. We all have been given the rich gifts of the Holy Spirit, in order to testify to the world, and show the world the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We should follow the example of the Holy Apostles, and find courage in ourselves to stand up for our faith. For if we do not stand up for it, then who will?

Let us all commit ourselves to a renewed faith in God, one that is not just mere passivity and silence, but one that is filled with vigour, strength and courage, to carry out the word of God through our concrete and real actions, by the love which we show to our fellow men. God be with us all, and may He bless all of our endeavours. Amen.