Friday, 12 May 2017 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Nereus and St. Achilleus, Martyrs and St. Pancras, Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)
John 14 : 1-6

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Do not be troubled! Trust in God and trust in Me! In My Father’s house there are many rooms; otherwise, I would not have told you that I go to prepare a place for you. After I have gone and prepared a place for you, I shall come again and take you to Me, so that where I am, you also may be. Yet you know the way where I am going.”

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Friday, 12 May 2017 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Nereus and St. Achilleus, Martyrs and St. Pancras, Martyr (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)
Psalm 2 : 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

“Behold the King I have installed, in Zion, upon My holy hill!” I will proclaim the decree of the Lord. He said to Me : “You are My Son. This day I have begotten You.”

“Ask of Me and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall rule them with iron sceptre and shatter them as a potter’s vase.”

Now therefore, learn wisdom, o kings; be warned, o rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and fall at His feet; lest He be angry and you perish when His anger suddenly flares. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

Friday, 12 May 2017 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Nereus and St. Achilleus, Martyrs and St. Pancras, Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)
Acts 13 : 26-33

Paul said to the Jews in the synagogue of Antioch in Pisidia, “Brothers, children and descendants of Abraham, and you also who fear God, it is to you that this message of salvation has been sent. It is a fact that the inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognise Jesus.”

“Yet in condemning Him, they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath but not understood. Even though they found no charge against Him that deserved death, they asked Pilate to have Him executed. And after they have carried out all that had been written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb.”

But God raised Him from the dead, and for many days thereafter He showed Himself to those who had come up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They have now become His witnesses before the people. We ourselves announce to you this Good News : All that God promised our ancestors, He has fulfilled for us, their descendants, by raising Jesus, according to what is written in the second psalm : You are My Son, this day I have begotten You.”

Thursday, 11 May 2017 : 4th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, through the Scripture passages which had been chosen for us today, we are reminded by what St. Paul told the Jews at the synagogue in Antioch in Pisidia, on the history of the salvation of all mankind by God. The people of God whom He had chosen, He had led and guided through the many tribulations and difficulties, and He had given them the way to follow through by the means of His servants and messengers.

They all had spoken about Him, about the love He had for them, and which He Himself had proven time and time again, by liberating His people from their oppressors, bringing them to the land He had promised them. And when they erred, He sent messengers and prophets to them in order to guide them, through advice and through hard work, to wake the people up from their sinfulness and to stir them from their darkness, that they might turn back on the darkness and return to the light.

And we ourselves, have received the same revelation of truth through the Church, by the hands and the works of the people who have laboured tirelessly for the sake of God’s people, especially our bishops and priests, and also many other countless people involved in the good works of Christ’s Church on earth, all the volunteers and laymen who volunteered and made use of their time and efforts, talents and abilities to advance the good cause of the Lord.

We have heard about the faith from them, from our priests, from our catechists and teachers in the faith, and also from our relatives and friends, those who have kept the faith, and themselves received the faith from their predecessors. This is how they came to believe in God, and how we ourselves, in turn, come to believe in God, in His teachings and in His ways.

Yet, we also have to realise that there are still many people out there who have not yet known God’s light, or that the Lord’s light had come to them, and yet they rejected it out of various reasons, be it ignorance, or be it the lack of faith, or be it because the temptations and falsehoods that were spread by the devil that prevented the faith from taking up roots in them.

It is therefore now up to us all, to continue the good works that the Lord and His faithful servants had begun in this world, beginning from the messengers and the prophets, from Moses to king David, and to all the other prophets sent to lead the people of God to Him. They have done much work, and the same responsibilities now pass down to us, to share the Good News we have received, and the joy we have had in the Lord, with all those who have not yet witnessed it.

And how do we do this, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is not by great deeds or miraculous works that we perform all of these, but rather through simple and yet regular and necessary deeds in our lives, by our interactions with those whom we meet and interact with in our regular lives. This is where it is important that all of us Christians must act in accordance with what we believed in, and in what we have been taught through faith.

Otherwise, how would others then come to believe in us? And instead of bringing the people closer to God, we will keep them away instead, as our actions that are not in accordance with the ways of the Lord bring about scandal to Him and to our faith. If we do this, we would have sinned against God, and against our fellow brethren, and that is clearly what we should not have done.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore commit ourselves to serve the Lord with a renewed zeal, so that through us the will of God and the good works of God may be made a reality among us all, and more and more people will come to know of the Lord’s truth and salvation, and therefore, seek to find the Lord and repent from their sins, so that their souls will no longer be lost in the darkness, but instead come to the light of Christ.

May the Lord empower us all to live with faith in His presence, so that we shall no longer commit deeds that are sinful and disobedient against Him, but instead seek to be ever more committed and faithful to Him, and thus, leading others with our good examples, that all of us may be saved together through Jesus Christ, our Lord. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

Thursday, 11 May 2017 : 4th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
John 13 : 16-20

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly, I say to you, the servant is not greater than his master, nor is the messenger greater than he who sent him. Understand this, and blessed are you, if you put it into practice.”

“I am not speaking of you all, because I know the ones I have chosen, and the Scripture has to be fulfilled that says : The one who shared My table has risen against Me. I tell you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen, you may know that I am He.”

“Truly, I say to you, whoever welcomes the one I send, welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me, welcomes the One Who sent Me.”

Thursday, 11 May 2017 : 4th Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White
Psalm 88 : 2-3, 21-22, 25 and 27

I will sing forever, o Lord, of Your love and proclaim Your faithfulness from age to age. I will declare how steadfast is Your love, how firm Your faithfulness.

I have found David My servant, and with My holy oil I have anointed him. My hand will be ever with him and My arm will sustain.

My faithfulness and love will be with him, and by My help he will be strong. He will call on Me, ‘You are my Father, my God, my Rock, my Saviour.’

Thursday, 11 May 2017 : 4th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Acts 13 : 13-25

From Paphos, Paul and his companions set sail and came to Perga in Pamphylia. There John left them and returned to Jerusalem, while they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. On the Sabbath day they entered the synagogue and sat down. After the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent this message to them, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the assembly, please speak up.”

So Paul arose, motioned to them for silence and began, “Fellow Israelites and also all you who fear God, listen. The God of our people Israel chose our ancestors, and after He had made them increase during their stay in Egypt, He led them out by powerful deeds.”

“For forty years He fed them in the desert, and after He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He gave them their land as an inheritance. All this took four hundred and fifty years. After that, he gave them Judges until Samuel the prophet. Then they asked for a king and God gave them Saul, son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, and he was king for forty years.”

“After that time, God removed him and raised up David as king, to whom He bore witness saying : ‘I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all I want him to do.’ It is from the descendants of David that God has now raised up the promised Saviour of Israel, Jesus.”

“Before He appeared, John proclaimed a baptism of repentance for all the people of Israel. As John was ending his life’s work, he said : ‘I am not what you think I am, for after me another One is coming Whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.'”