Saturday, 7 April 2018 : Saturday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Mark 16 : 9-15

At that time, after Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary of Magdala, from whom He had driven out seven demons. She went and reported the news to His followers, who were now mourning and weeping. But when they heard that He lived, and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.

After this He showed Himself in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. These men also went back and told the others, but they did not believe them. Later Jesus showed Himself to the Eleven while they were at table. He reproached them for their unbelief, and stubbornness, in refusing to believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.

Then He told them, “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation.”

Saturday, 7 April 2018 : Saturday within Easter Octave (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 117 : 1 and 14-15, 16ab and 17-18, 19-21

Alleluia! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His loving kindness endures forever. The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. Joyful shouts of victory are heard in the tents of the just : The right hand of the Lord strikes mightily.

The right hand of the Lord is lifted high, the right hand of the Lord strikes mightily! I shall not die, but live to proclaim what the Lord has done. The Lord has stricken me severely, but He has saved me from death.

Open to me the gates of the Just, and let me enter to give thanks. “This is the Lord’s gate, through which the upright enter.” I thank You for having answered me, for having rescued me.

Saturday, 7 April 2018 : Saturday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 4 : 13-21

The Jewish leaders, elders and teachers of the Law were astonished at the boldness of Peter and John, considering that they were uneducated and untrained men. They recognised also, that they had been with Jesus, but, as the man who had been cured stood beside them, they could make no reply.

So they ordered them to leave the council room while they consulted with one another. They asked, “What shall we do with these men? Everyone who lives in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign has been given through them, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this from spreading any further among the people, let us warn them never again to speak to anyone in the Name of Jesus.”

So they called them back and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the Name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s eyes for us to obey you rather than God. We cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

Then the council threatened them once more and let them go. They could find no way of punishing them because of the people who glorified God for what happened.

Friday, 6 April 2018 : Friday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day all of us are called to reflect on the readings from the Scriptures that we heard, that we may know what it is that all of us as Christians ought to be doing in order to dedicate ourselves to God’s cause ever more wholeheartedly in this Easter season and beyond. That is why we should reflect on the words we have just heard and put them in our hearts and minds.

In the first reading today, as it had been for the past few days throughout this Easter Octave, we continue to hear the proclamations and the works of the Apostles, who testified about the Lord Jesus, His resurrection from the dead and His triumph over sin. They professed their faith in Him and how others who heard them should also follow in their footsteps and give themselves to be baptised in the Name of the Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, they spoke of a God, Who has willingly given Himself to us and Who has suffered and died for our sake, that all of us may be saved from our fated destruction and damnation. That is what Christ had done for each and every one of us. He died so that we may live, and He rose from the dead so that by His resurrection, we may share in His glory together.

And in the Gospel that we have heard today, He made it clear to us His intentions and desires for the Church. The Gospel passage today is full of rich symbolisms, which if we do not scrutinise more closely, we would have easily missed their meanings. First of all, the disciples were fishing in the lake of Galilee in a boat, and throughout the night, they did not manage to catch any fish at all. But, when the Lord came upon them and told them what to do, suddenly plenty of large fishes and small fishes were caught.

The boat in which the disciples were in, represents the Church, steered by the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord. However, as we just heard, for an entire night, they fished and searched for catch without success, and only when the Lord instructed them on what to do, they managed to get so many fishes such that the boat almost sank. In this, we see how the Church ultimately draws its inspiration and authority from the Lord, Who delegated the authority to His Apostles and disciples, as well as their successors.

The fishes caught by the Apostles in the morning time represent all of us as Christians, whom God had brought to be His disciples and as members of His Church. This is the main purpose and mission which the Lord had commanded His disciples to do, calling all the people of God to be united as one people, God’s Holy Church. And the disciples of the Lord went forth to many places, calling on the people to repent from their sins and turn wholeheartedly towards God.

Thus, all of us, Christians living in this time and age are called to be true servants of God, to continue the good works which the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord have started. We need to listen to the call which the Lord had given to us, just as He called the Apostles to be the instruments of His will among His people. Are we able to follow the Lord as we are supposed to do?

Let us all be part of the great efforts of the Church, calling all of us faithful Christians to devote ourselves to the Lord’s way and give our best to serve Him, every day of our lives. May we draw ever closer to God’s grace, and may all of us work together with faith and zeal, in all the things we do, so that through all of our actions and dedications of faith, we may bring ever more souls to God’s salvation. May God bless us all, now and always. Amen.