Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in today’s readings taken from the Scriptures, we heard how the Church was flourishing and growing, among the Jews and the Gentiles alike, after St. Paul had evangelised to the people in many places, and after the grace of God allowing the faithful to multiply in number quickly despite the challenges and persecutions facing them.
It is a sign that God was with His people, as it was then at that time, and all the way to today, the same Church and the same people which God had chosen from the world, to be those to whom He had granted His grace and salvation. And those who place their trust in God will not be disappointed, for He is ever faithful and ever trustworthy. All those who place their trust in Him will find full satisfaction.
The hand of the Lord was with the Apostles as mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles today, and He guided them through their works and efforts, leading them through from place to place, even though they faced much troubles, persecutions, challenges and oppositions from the world, from the authorities and from all those who closed their hearts against God and rejected His words.
That is because the devil, Satan, our old enemy is always busy at work, trying to oppose the good works of God. He is always hard at work trying to undermine the Church and seek out the faithful, like that of wolves seeking for the sheep to be caught and eaten. The devil and his allies are busy at work trying to steal the souls of the faithful, but God will not allow them to have a free reign at hand in doing so.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, as long as the Lord is with us, we shall not falter. He has promised this Himself when He established His Church in this world, by saying unto St. Peter the Apostle that, the Church He has established will be able to stand up against even the gates of hell itself. Nothing shall avail itself against the Church and the faithful, providing that the faithful stand together and put themselves to trust in their Master and Shepherd.
This is the promise which the Lord gave to us, but all of us must also work and put our efforts together in order to keep one another away from the clutches of the evil one. As He is our Good Shepherd, therefore as Christians, truly we have two obligations, and the first one is obvious, that is to follow our Shepherd and Master wherever He leads us to, and whatever is His will for us. This is our obedience to His will, and if we obey Him in all the things we say and do, it will never go wrong for us.
Then, another responsibility that we must bear, and one that requires our effort is that, just as He had taught us and shown us the way through His own actions and words, therefore, all of us must also commit ourselves to Him in the same way, and this means that we all must be shepherds for one another, guiding each other and helping one another, fellow brethren in the Lord, in our way to Him.
Therefore, all of us are called to be role models in our faith and in our lives, so that all those who see us will come to believe in God, as they see the actions of our Lord, the Good Shepherd of all mankind, through our own works and actions. If we do not do as He had done, then we will in fact drive people away from the Lord, for they then find it hard to believe in the Lord whose love must be made evident through us.
May the Lord, our Good Shepherd be our Guide in life, and may He strengthen our faith, and give us the courage to live day after day, filled with faith and commitment to Him. May He empower us to become His disciples, and allow us to serve Him in whatever way we can, for the salvation of all mankind, our brethren. Amen.