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.

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