Tuesday, 29 March 2016 : First Week of Easter, Tuesday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 11-18

At that time, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb; and as she wept, she bent down to look inside. She saw two Angels in white, sitting where the Body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I do not know where they have put Him.” As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognise Him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and answered Him, “Lord, if You have taken Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will go and remove Him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned, and said to Him, “Rabboni!” – which means Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and say to them : I am ascending to My Father, Who is your Father, to My God, Who is your God.”

So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what He said to me.”

Tuesday, 29 March 2016 : First Week of Easter, Tuesday within Easter Octave (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 32 : 4-5, 18-19, 20 and 22

For upright is the Lord’s word and worthy of trust is His work. The Lord loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of His kindness.

But the Lord’s eyes are upon those who fear Him, upon those who trust in His loving kindness to deliver them from death and preserve them from famine.

In hope we wait for the Lord, for He is our help and our shield. O Lord, let Your love rest upon us, even as our hope rests in You.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016 : First Week of Easter, Tuesday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 2 : 36-41

Peter said to the Jews, “Let Israel then know for sure that God has made Lord and Christ this Jesus Whom you crucified.” When they heard this, they were deeply troubled. And they asked Peter and the other Apostles, “What shall we do, brothers?”

Peter answered : “Each of you must repent and be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise of God was made to you and your children, and to all those from afar whom our God may call.”

With many other words Peter gave the message and appealed to them saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who accepted his word were baptised; some three thousand persons were added to their number that day.

Monday, 28 March 2016 : First Week of Easter, Monday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we continue to rejoice in the Easter celebrations, let us all heed the words of the Scripture, reminding us that God’s love for all those who are faithful to Him will keep all of us safe from all harm and troubles, and no enemy is going to be able to threaten us or harm us if we put our full trust in the Lord our God.

In this Easter season we all rejoice together celebrating the triumph that our Lord had shown us against the forces of evil and darkness, the triumph and victory He had shown us all against sin and against death, as He proved that mankind has a way out of their enslavement to sin, and they do not need to fear sin and death, for the Lord Himself had shown them His care and love, and through Him, they have hope for a new life renewed in grace.

But alas, it is mankind themselves who refused to listen to reason and refused to accept God’s offer of grace and forgiveness. They refused to open themselves and allow God to come in and transform them for the better. They shut themselves out of God’s love and tender mercy, and instead in their pride and arrogance, they thought that only their ways were correct.

That was why the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law refused to listen to the Lord and His truth, and even after He had suffered, died and risen to glory, they refused to accept the truth that He is the Lord, the Messiah, the Saviour of all, even the Saviour of all of them, all who have rejected Him. Remember, that on the cross, Jesus prayed for those who have condemned them to death? He has forgiven them from their sins, and even to those sinful people, He has offered His salvation and redemption.

And yet, they were adamant in their refusal. Why was it so, brothers and sisters in Christ? Why did the Pharisees, the elders and the chief priests persisted in their futile and wicked attempts to oppose Jesus, so far as to tell lies and falsehoods to the people, telling them that the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ was false? Should they not instead then believe in Him Who had shown everything just as they had been foretold by the prophets?

No, that was not the case because of their attachment to worldliness and human greed, the temptations of power, glory, fame and majesty, the allures of human praises and the temptations of things that please the flesh. They were highly respected in the society, and they held important positions of power and honour. To give all these up by abandoning all of their old, worldly ways to follow Jesus the Lord in all things were simply too much for most of them.

They were jealous of the Lord and His teaching authority, and of the truth which He was preaching to the people of God. They saw Him as a great and dangerous rival to their own influences, to their own fame and positions, and as they were so attached to all those, they were unwilling to let them go, and thus they persisted in resisting the Lord’s good works and set obstacles in His paths.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we hear all these things today, let us then ask ourselves. Are we like the Pharisees, the elders and the chief priests? Did we allow our worldly attachments to dull our love and commitment to God and His ways? Did we allow ourselves to be taken over by our greed, our pride, arrogance, haughtiness, and all the vices and wickedness in our hearts, by jealousy and hatred?

Let us all dedicate the time and opportunities given to us this Easter in order to push ourselves ever further on the path towards eternal salvation, and let us all seek to resist the temptations of our flesh, telling no to Satan and reject all of his evil and wicked advances. Let us all pray, that God will strengthen our faith and our resolve, to become ever more faithful and devoted in His presence. God bless us all. Amen.