Monday, 17 April 2017 : Monday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we enter the blessed and holy season of Easter, all of us are called to the joy and the bliss of living in the knowledge, knowing that Christ our Lord had died for us and then rose again in glory, for the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is central to our faith, and without the resurrection, then our faith would have been meaningless and empty, since we all then would have believed in a Man Who died and that was all.

But as we all know, we believe in the Son of God Who died for our sake, and Who was buried in the tomb, for in His humanity, He had laid down His divinity and allowed Himself to suffer and die for our sake, and therefore, we all have hope, and that hope came about because Christ rose from the dead, breaking forever the chains of death, showing all of us that death will not have the final say over us, just as it did not have the final say and authority over Jesus, our Risen Lord and Saviour.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore we all now have that hope, the hope that the Lord will bring us to His eternal glory and salvation, no longer bound by the chains of sin, because we have believed in Him, the Lord of life and death, and wholeheartedly placed our trust in Him. Yet, as we can see, in the Gospel passage today, that there were still those people who refused to believe in God and in His truth, as the Pharisees and the chief priests had done.

They had not believed in the Lord’s resurrection from the dead, just as they refused to believe in Him when He was still walking about them and teaching in their midst. They had hardened their hearts and no matter what happened, God’s truth had been sundered from their hearts and minds. That was why they persisted in opposing the Lord by spreading lies and misinformation that the disciples of Jesus had come and stolen the Body of Jesus while the guards were asleep, in order to discredit the resurrection of the Lord.

There were those who believed in the untruth, and there were those who were swayed to persecute all those who believed in the resurrection. And yet, the disciples of the Lord did not remain quiet for long. Initially, they were indeed afraid of the oppression of the Jewish leaders and elders, who had made it forbidden to teach and preach in the Name of Jesus the Lord and Messiah. However, the Holy Spirit that God granted to all of His faithful ones had given a new courage in their hearts, a new joy, the great and true joy of Easter, that no fear or evil could overcome.

That was why in the first reading, the Apostle St. Peter, in accordance to the Acts of the Apostles spoke to the multitudes of people gathered in Jerusalem, preaching witness and truth about the Lord Who came to redeem His people, Who had died because of their sins, and yet, rose again in glory in accordance with what had been foretold in the Scriptures by the prophets and the messengers of God.

He spoke courageously to the people, who heard from his witness of how the Lord Jesus had delivered them all by His death and His resurrection from the dead, as the perfect fulfilment of God’s promise and plans, the truth which the chief priests and the elders refused to believe in. They were warned not to teach in the Name of the Lord, and yet, braving through opposition and challenges, they preached about Him regardless, calling many people to repentance and to baptism in the Name of the Lord.

And thus was how the Church of God was established, by the witnesses of the Lord who bravely preached His truth to the people who had not yet known of God and His ways. Had the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord preferred to remain in safety and hid within the comfort of their homes and obeyed the commands of the chief priests and the elders, they would not have spoken out about the Lord Jesus as they had done, and consequently, countless souls would not have been saved. All would have perished, not having heard the word of God’s salvation.

This brings us all to the reality of our participation in the Church today, brothers and sisters in Christ. Each and every one of us as Christians are called to be light of the world just as our Lord Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. We reflect and shine together with the beauty and brightness of God’s light, through which many people will see the light of God through us. By our actions and deeds, by our courageous acts, all done in the Name of the Lord, we shall help many more on their way towards God and His salvation.

May the Lord bless us all, and may He strengthen each and every one of us in our faith, so that we may become ever more faithful and worthy disciples of His, enlightened with the Light of Christ and bearing upon ourselves the great and true joy of Easter. May the Lord be with us all. Amen.

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