Thursday, 12 April 2018 : 2nd Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we continue the discourse from the Scriptures about the testimony of the faith and the courage of the Apostles and disciples of the Lord, who despite the constant warning, threat and harm promised by the Sanhedrin or the Jewish High Council, and all those who were opposed to Christ and His teachings, they continued to speak up in the Name of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and would not stay silent.

They said courageously that the Lord is risen from the dead, and despite the chief priests and the elders having seemingly been successful in silencing Him by putting Him to death on the cross at the hands of the Romans, at that time many witnesses arose, saying that they saw the resurrected Christ, Who walked in their midst, ate with them and spoke to them, touching them and being with them, as signs that He was not a mere spirit or ghost, but truly Risen in Body and in the flesh.

And in St. John’s Gospel today we heard the words of St. John the Baptist, who proclaimed that all that comes from God, bring forth the truth that is in them. Those who came from the Lord ultimately tells the people what they have received from God, in all the things revealed to them, the truth which they have been told by God, and which God wanted to reveal to all the people.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, that was what St. John the Baptist and the disciples of the Lord had been saying in their testimonies of faith, before the Pharisees and all those to whom they were sent to, to the people of Israel at first, and later on, to the Gentiles and all the non-Jewish people. They spoke of the truth as revealed by God, and which sinful and proud men have refused to acknowledge or receive.

That is why they hardened their hearts and closed their ears against the Lord’s words and refused to obey their will. As a result, they sink deeper into the quagmire of their sins, and they even resorted to lies and untruths in order to prevent others from coming to believe in the truth that God brought to them. That was why the chief priests, the Pharisees, and all those who were opposed to Jesus, was also opposed to the truth about His resurrection, and tried to silence those who proclaimed it to the people.

But the disciples of the Lord were not deterred by all the threats and challenges, and they continued to speak up, because they knew that they were speaking the truth. They would not allow falsehoods and temptations to speak other than the truth to dissuade them from their mission. God was with them and guided them in their works, and the Church grew, slowly but surely, as more and more people were attracted to the truth and came to believe in God and in His teachings.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, the works of the Apostles were not yet completed. As there were still many people who have not yet heard of the Lord’s truth, or in fact have abandoned that truth, all of us, who call ourselves and consider ourselves as Christians, have to follow in the footsteps of the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord. We are called to be witnesses of the Lord and His truth, His resurrection and His Good News just as the disciples had done before.

All of us are called to live a genuine Christian life, devoting ourselves and our entire lives to the service of God, loving the Lord with all of our hearts and with all of our strengths. We are called to carry out our words and actions with God as the primary focus in mind, and we are encouraged to do whatever we can in order to inspire faith to grow among us fellow Christians, and calling many others to accept the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

Let us all therefore, do our very best to show true discipleship in everything we do, so that by our words, actions and deeds, we inspire one another and help each other that we may grow ever stronger in faith. Let us all seek to be more committed in our faith, and let us all seek to fulfil what we have been commanded to do, as the followers of the Lord. May the Lord be with us all, and may He continue to bless us and our endeavours. Amen.

Thursday, 12 April 2018 : 2nd Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 3 : 31-36

At that time, John the Baptist said, “He Who comes from above is above all; he who comes from the earth belongs to the earth, and his words belong to the earth. He Who comes from heaven speaks of the things He has seen and heard; He bears witness to these things, but no one accepts His testimony. Whoever does receive His testimony acknowledges the truthfulness of God.”

“The One sent by God speaks God’s words, and gives the Spirit unstintingly. The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything into His hands. Whoever believes in the Son lives with eternal life; but he who will not believe in the Son will never know life, and always faces the justice of God.”

Thursday, 12 April 2018 : 2nd Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 33 : 2 and 9, 17-18, 19-20

I will bless the Lord all my days; His praise will be ever on my lips. Oh, see and taste the goodness of the Lord! Blessed is the one who finds shelter in Him!

But His face is set against the wicked to destroy their memory from the earth. The Lord hears the cry of the righteous and rescues them from all their troubles.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves the distraught. Many are the troubles of the just, but the Lord delivers them from all.