Friday, 6 April 2018 : Friday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 21 : 1-14

At that time, after Jesus appeared to Thomas and His disciples, He revealed Himself to them by the lake of Tiberias. He appeared to them in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas who was called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two other disciples were together; and Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They replied, “We will come with you.” And they went out and got into the boat, but they caught nothing that night.

When day had already broken, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus called them, “Friends, have you anything to eat?” They answered, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “Throw the net on the right side of the boat and you will find something.” When they had lowered the net, they were not able to pull it in because of the great number of fish.”

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” At these words, “It is the Lord!” Simon Peter put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and jumped into the water. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish; they were not far from land, about a hundred metres.

When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed into the boat and pulled the net to shore. It was full of big fish – one hundred and fifty-three – but, in spite of this, the net was not torn.

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” And not one of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are You?” for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and He did the same with the fish. This was the third time that Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples after rising from the dead.

Friday, 6 April 2018 : Friday within Easter Octave (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 117 : 1-2 and 4, 22-24, 25-27a

Alleluia! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His loving kindness endures forever. Let Israel say, “His loving kindness endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say, “His loving kindness endures forever.”

The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing and we marvel at it. This is the day the Lord has made; so let us rejoice and be glad.

Save us, o Lord, deliver us, o Lord! Blessed is He Who comes in the Lord’s Name! We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God; may His light shine upon us.

Friday, 6 April 2018 : Friday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 4 : 1-12

While Peter and John were still speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the Temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them. They were greatly disturbed because the Apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming that resurrection from the dead had been proved in the case of Jesus.

Since it was already evening, they arrested them and put them in custody until the following day. But despite this, many of those who heard the Message believed and their number increased to about five thousand. The next day, the Jewish leaders, elders and teachers of the Law assembled in Jerusalem. Annas, the High Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all who were of the high priestly class were there.

They brought Peter and John before them and began to question them, “How did you do this? Whose Name did you use?” Then Peter filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke up, “Leaders of the people! Elders! It is a fact that we are being examined today for a good deed done to a cripple. How was he healed? You and all the people of Israel must know that this man stands before you cured through the Name of Jesus Christ the Nazarean.”

“You had Him crucified, but God raised Him from the dead. Jesus is the stone rejected by you the builders which has become the cornerstone. There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other Name given to humankind all over the world by which we may be saved.”

Thursday, 5 April 2018 : Thursday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened more to the story of the Apostles and disciples of the Lord as they carried on their lives after the Lord’s death and resurrection. In the first reading, continuing with the story of the healing of the paralysed man at the Temple, in which the Apostles St. Peter and St. John healed the man by the authority and power of the Lord Jesus, the Risen Christ and Saviour, we heard how they testified before the assembly of people of their faith in the Risen Lord.

The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, the chief priests and the elders were angry because the Apostles were preaching about Jesus, Whom they thought that they had crucified and won against, but then they heard how He had actually risen from the dead just as He had said earlier to the people. To them, Jesus is a rival and a dangerous person to contend with, and that was why they tried to silence the Apostles and the other disciples, without avail.

For God was with His Apostles and disciples, and the wisdom and the courage of the Holy Spirit was with them. They were not afraid of the threats that the Sanhedrin or the Jewish ruling council had placed against them, but instead, it had encouraged them even more to speak out in the Name of Christ, the Risen Lord. They themselves have seen the Lord in person, Risen in glory and overcame death itself, as we heard in our Gospel passage today.

It was this experience and their witnessing to the wonderful works of the Lord, risen from the dead, that they testified before many others, with zeal and conviction. They refused to be silent and to fear the threats of worldly rulers who were only concerned about their own selfish thoughts and desires to maintain their position and influence in the society. Those people wanted to preserve the status quo and not what is good for the people.

But the Lord guided His disciples to be courageous preachers and witnesses to His resurrection and His truth. He wanted the whole world to know about His truth and the message of the Good News that He has brought into the world. In Him alone lies the sole hope for the salvation of all mankind, and not through any other ways. Ultimately, for someone to be saved, they must walk in God’s ways, believe in Him and entrust themselves to His love.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, what all of us as Christians need to know today, is the fact that the works of the Apostles, their ministry and courageous engagements amongst the people of God were not yet complete. There are still many areas in which more can be done, by the Church and by all of us Christians, to make this world a better place, and to fulfil what the Lord has commanded us to do, to bring His light and truth to all the nations.

Therefore, all of us are called to be the people of Easter, a renewed and more courageous people, who are willing to devote our effort, our time and our every actions for the glorification of God, and for the salvation of our fellow brothers and sisters, especially those who have fallen astray in their journey of life, and also all those who have not yet heard of God’s truth and have not yet known His saving grace.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all devote ourselves more wholeheartedly to God, and let us all spend more time with Him, and let us draw our strength from Him, so that day after day, we may always walk in His ways, undeterred by the challenges facing us, just as the Apostles had walked fearlessly amidst the opposition from the Jewish authorities at that time. May we always be worthy of God, and by our actions, may we be justified in our faith, that we may receive from God, an eternity of glory with Him. Amen.