Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard about the works of St. Paul as he travelled further on through the cities of the Eastern Mediterranean region, gaining more and more followers and believers for the Lord as he did so. In today’s passage from the Acts of the Apostles, we heard how St. Paul converted a God-fearing and faithful woman in Thyatira city, who converted along with her entire family after having heard of the teachings of St. Paul.
In the Gospel passage, we heard the continuation of the Lord Jesus’ teaching to His disciples, reminding them of what was to come for Him and for them, at the moment just prior to His Passion, that is His suffering, death and resurrection. He mentioned how everything must proceed just as how it has been foretold in the Scriptures, how He had to suffer and die, and eventually go away from them, but the truth is that, He would never leave them behind.
That was because the Lord promised them the Holy Spirit would be with them, and He would be their Guide and Helper. This happened on the occasion of the Pentecost, ten days after the Lord has ascended into heaven. The Holy Spirit came and descended upon all the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord, as tongues of flame rested on their heads, inflaming their hearts with courage and zeal.
The same Holy Spirit was also imparted to all the other faithful through the laying of the hands on their heads, including to that of St. Paul, who received baptism and the Holy Spirit from Ananias in Damascus after he encountered the Lord and repented from his previous sins. That was the motivation behind St. Paul’s great zeal and commitment to the Lord, in preaching His Good News to more and more people.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, all of us are called to reflect on the readings from the Scripture, that we may realise just how the same Holy Spirit has been given to us by God, at the moment when we were baptised, sealed no less than in the Name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. And those who have received the Sacrament of Confirmation among us have been affirmed and strengthened by the same Holy Spirit, fully ready to take up the mantle of the Apostles.
Therefore, all of us ought to follow in the footsteps of the Apostles and the saints, and be inspired by their examples, seek to preach the Good News of God to more and more people. But more importantly, we have to realise that if we truly are Christians, then in all that we say, in all that we do, in our actions and how we interact with one another, and even with strangers, we have to embody our Christian faith, in which we have believed.
That was how St. Paul managed to convince so many people to come to the faith, and be converted and repent from their previous sins and way of life. He embodied the faith which he preached, by showing love, care and concern for the needy, the weak, the poor, and all those who have been oppressed and downtrodden. He gave them hope and a new light to those who were despairing and in darkness.
How about us, brothers and sisters in Christ? Unfortunately, the reality is such that, many of us have not acted in ways that are not Christian-like and indeed, end up scandalising our faith and God at the same time. That is why we have not been truly faithful to the Lord, because our hearts are divided, and we do not put Him at the centre of our lives. We have not given our all to the Lord when He Himself had given His all for us.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore seek to be more devoted and committed to God with each and every passing day. Let us all be ever more faithful and seek to do God’s will through our actions. May the Lord be with us always, and may He guide us all in our every actions and bless all of our good works and endeavours. God bless us all. Amen.