Friday, 20 April 2018 : 3rd Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the story of the conversion of St. Paul the Apostle, the one who was once Saul, a great enemy of the Church and the bane of many of the faithful in the earliest days of the Church, and yet, later on would become the greatest champion and defender of the faith. St. Paul’s story of conversion to the faith is truly an inspiration to all of us.

Why is that so? That is because we are all sinners like St. Paul, and we have once been without hope and wicked, just as Saul had been. We may think that we are unworthy of God, and that we are far away from God and His salvation. But we should not forget the fact that God wants each and every one of us to be saved, by accepting the forgiveness and mercy He has given us freely and generously.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is what God has wanted to do with us, to love us and to reconcile us to Himself. And He has done it through the ultimate giving of Himself, that He gave us everything, even His very own life. From the cross came outpoured the gift of ultimate love and grace, by the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb of God, the giving of His own Flesh and Blood, the Living Bread that came down from heaven.

That is what the Lord meant when He said in our Gospel passage today, that He is the Living Bread, by Whom all of us mankind, God’s own beloved people, would be saved and receive eternal life. He gave us through the Apostles and their successors, His Real Presence in the Eucharist, that in the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, the bread and the wine we offer, become truly the Body and Blood of Our Lord, which we then partake as one family of the Church.

The Lord Himself has chosen to dwell among us, as one of us, sharing our humanity, and now, He has chosen to commit Himself even deeper, by choosing to dwell within us, as we partake His Real Presence, His Body and Blood, and thus, the Lord Himself is in us, in our bodies, our minds, our hearts, in our whole being. We are therefore, God’s Holy Temple, as St. Paul himself had written in one of his Epistles.

And because of that, we need to be aware that we have to do our best to make ourselves worthy to be God’s own dwelling house. The Temple of God in Jerusalem at the time of Solomon was decorated with the most precious metals and riches of the world, just as it was at the time of Jesus, to show just how glorious God was, and how mighty He was, and that we mankind were trying our best to glorify Him in whatever way we could do.

Then, should it not be the same with each one of us? As Christians who have received baptism, and shared in the same Body and Blood given to us by Our Lord Jesus, all of us are God’s Holy Temple, in the entirety of our being, our bodies, our minds, hearts and souls. Yet, many of us treat our body and our being with such contempt and lack of respect for its status as God’s Temple and dwelling amongst us.

Therefore, we are all called, that from now on, we may do our best in order to treat ourselves and our whole being as God’s worthy House, dwelling in us by the Real Presence in the Eucharist which we partake together at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Let us all follow in the footsteps of St. Paul the Apostle, who devoted all of his time to serve the Lord, turning away from all of his sinful ways and past history of persecuting the people of God.

Let us all remember that there is always hope for all of us sinners, as long as we are willing to accept the Lord’s forgiveness and mercy in our lives. Let us all commit ourselves to good and honest Christian lives from now on, turning our attention fully to the Lord. May He be with us always, and may He continue to guide our actions and bless us all the days of our lives. Amen.

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