Saturday, 7 April 2018 : Saturday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded yet again of ourselves as Christians, and our obligations to be witnesses of our faith before God and before His people. In the first reading, we heard how the testimony of faith of the Apostles had created a great furore amongst the Sanhedrin or the Jewish high council. They were divided on the matter of the truth in the teachings of the Apostles.

There were those who saw the truth in what the Apostles had said and testified before the people, while there were even many more amongst these elders and the leaders of the people who hardened their hearts, closed off their minds and their ears from hearing the words of the truth. Yet, nonetheless, the Apostles courageously stood by their faith and defended themselves with zeal and wisdom that day.

The Apostles were ridiculed, persecuted, and those who did not want the truth and the teachings of Jesus to be propagated tried to threaten them not to teach in the Name of the Lord. However, the Apostles and the disciples stood firm by their faith, as God was with them. They were once afraid and unsure of their faith, but the Holy Spirit has given them the strength and the courage to carry on with their mission.

They spoke of the Lord, God Incarnate in the flesh of Man, Jesus Christ, Who has suffered and died on the cross, but He did not remain in the state of death or stayed in a tomb. They saw Him risen from the dead, and there were many witnesses among them who saw Jesus, in the flesh, appearing before them, walking among them, and even ate with them, to show that He has truly indeed risen.

This is the testimony of faith that the disciples of the Lord shared with many others, beginning with the time of the Pentecost and thus, the Church was born. More and more people gave themselves to be baptised in the Name of the Lord, and more and more people devoted themselves to God, and turning away from their sinful past, they allowed themselves to be worthy of the salvation that God has freely offered us.

Unfortunately, brothers and sisters in Christ, in our world today, more and more among us Christians are drifting away from the faith, and we no longer have the same zeal, devotion and commitment as that of the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord. We have lost our compass of faith, and we have wandered off away from God’s path, by our falling into temptation and the persuasions of the world.

There are many lies and the falsehoods which the devil is using to spawn confusion and challenges amongst us, and unless we devote ourselves to the Lord with all of our hearts and with zeal and conviction, as the disciples of the Lord had, we are likely to fall to Satan’s trap, and therefore fall away from God’s mercy and forgiveness. Is that what we want, brothers and sisters in Christ?

What do we need to do then? It is not enough for us to come for the Sunday Mass and say to ourselves that we have fulfilled the obligation which the Church has given us. No, that is not nearly enough. Indeed, to be present in the Mass is the greatest and most important part of our faith, but at the same time, in order to be truly faithful to God, we must have an active faith life, through constant and fervent prayer, by which we communicate with God and know what it is that He wants from us, and of course by actually committing ourselves to do what the Lord has asked us to do, to love one another.

May the Lord be with us, guiding us and providing us with the way forward, that we may find our way to serve Him with all of our hearts, with all of our strengths, and with all of our efforts. May we all be true Christians, in our words, in our actions and in everything we do in our lives, beginning this Easter, and continuing forevermore. Amen.

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