Wednesday, 4 April 2018 : Wednesday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture speaking to us firstly about the works of the Apostles St. Peter and St. John, performing their first miracles on their own, after the Lord has ascended to heaven and gave them the Holy Spirit on the occasion of the Pentecost. The two Apostles healed a paralysed beggar who was always begging at the entrance to the Temple of God.

The Apostles healed him in the Name of the Lord Jesus, showing that although the Lord was no longer physically in their midst, but He was still always with His followers and disciples, and He worked His wonders and miracles through them. The Risen Lord showed the proof of His resurrection from the dead not only through His appearances to His disciples and Apostles, but also through His works still present in our midst even unto this very day.

That was what the two disciples who were walking towards the town of Emmaus also experienced, as we heard in our Gospel passage today. The two disciples had felt a great anguish and loss of hope, having followed the Lord and hoped that He would be the One, the King Who would restore the earthly glory of the kingdom of Israel, only to be rejected and condemned to death, a death on the cross in the hands of the Romans.

They were debating about the happenings and events surrounding the Passion, the crucifixion and death of the Lord Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, and then the latest news and rumour of how the Lord had actually risen from the dead, and seen by quite a few of His disciples. Here, we can see how the Lord was reaching out to those two disciples, appearing in their midst and walked among them.

By His words and by His teachings, He opened the senses of the two disciples which had been dulled and closed off by the worries and the temptations of the world. He showed them the truth about Himself, and the reason why He had to suffer and die for the sake of His people, fulfilling the promises and the prophecies He had given to them through His prophets.

By explaining to them the truth and the meaning behind the Scripture passages, He opened their minds and hearts to be able to realise the presence of God in their midst. Their hearts were inflamed by God’s words and the Holy Spirit stirring them. And they eventually realised that it was Jesus Who was journeying with them and speaking to them along the way to Emmaus.

Why have the two disciples failed to realise that the Lord had been with them all along? That is because they have their minds clouded and their senses dulled and blinded by the despair and the sense of hopelessness, after their Lord and Master had been crucified. It is likely that they thought in worldly terms, thinking that the Messiah would lead the nation of Israel to liberate them from their Roman conquerors and rulers.

How about us, brothers and sisters in Christ? All of us are often also unaware of the presence of God in our midst. We are often too preoccupied in our own worldly pursuits and business, that we end up getting more and more distant from God, and we end up falling away from God’s grace as a result. That is why we falter in our faith and why our lives become empty of purpose and meaning.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, all of us are called to reflect on our lives and our actions thus far. Have we lived our lives realising that God, Our Lord and Master is always present in our midst? Or have we walked our lives in the darkness, without proper destination in mind and without guidance? God is in our midst, as we who are Christians believe that the Lord Jesus has died for us, and most importantly, He has risen from the dead.

Thus we believe in Him Who has risen from the dead, that all of us who believe in Him will also overcome death, for we have also overcome sin, as sin causes death. Now, do we truly believe in God and in all that He has done for us? If we believe in Him wholeheartedly, then truly, like the paralysed beggar, who was healed from his troubles, we can, according to St. Paul, do all things in He Who strengthens us.

May the Lord be with us all, and may He empower each and every one of us to live faithfully and dedicate ourselves to Him, in all the things that we do in our respective lives. May He bless us all and all of our works and endeavours, now and always. Amen.

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