Wednesday, 16 May 2018 : 7th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 17 : 11b-19

At that time, Jesus prayed to God His Father, “Holy Father, keep those You have given Me in Your Name, so that they may be one, as we also are. When I was with them, I kept them safe in Your Name; and not one was lost, except the one who was already lost, and in this, the Scripture was fulfilled. And now I come to You; in the world I speak these things, so that those whom You gave Me, might have joy – all My joy within themselves.”

“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world, I do not ask You to remove them from the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.”

“I have sent them into the world as You sent Me into the world; and for their sake, I go to the sacrifice by which I am consecrated, so that they too may be consecrated in truth.”

Wednesday, 16 May 2018 : 7th Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 67 : 29-30, 33-35a, 35bc and 36c

Summon Your power, o God, with the strength You have wielded for us. To Your Temple in Jerusalem, kings will come with gifts.

Sing to God, o kingdoms of the world; sing praises to the Lord, to Him Who rides the ancient heavens, and speaks in the voice of thunder. Proclaim the might of God.

He is great in Israel, powerful in heavens. Blessed be God!

Wednesday, 16 May 2018 : 7th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 20 : 28-38

Keep watch over yourselves, and over the whole flock the Holy Spirit has placed into your care. Shepherd the Church of the Lord that He has won, at the price of His own Blood. I know that, after I leave, ruthless wolves will come among you and not spare the flock. And, from among you, some will arise, corrupting the truth, and inducing the disciples to follow them.

Be on the watch, therefore, remembering that, for three years, night and day, I did not cease to warn everyone, even with tears. Now, I commend you to God, and to His grace-filled word, which is able to make you grow and gain the inheritance that you shall share with all the saints.

I have not looked for anyone’s silver, gold or clothing. You, yourselves, know, that these hands of mine have provided for both my needs and the needs of those who were with me. In every way, I have shown you that by working hard one must help the weak, remembering the words that the Lord Jesus Himself said, “Happiness lies more in giving than in receiving.”

After this discourse, Paul knelt down with them and prayed. Then, they all began to weep and threw their arms around him and kissed him. They were deeply distressed because he had said that they would never see him again. And they went with him even to the ship.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018 : 7th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we heard about the story of two people who were saying their farewells to those who were with them, at the end of their respective ministries. The first one, from the Acts of the Apostles, related to us about the moment when St. Peter said his farewell to the elders and the faithful in the city of Ephesus in present day Turkey.

In that occasion, St. Paul through the wisdom and foresight given to him by the Holy Spirit, had known that the time was coming for him to meet his end, as he was about to face persecution from the Jewish authorities, and would have his last Apostolic journey, to the centre of the Empire, the city of Rome, where he would perform his last mission and would encounter martyrdom there.

However, despite knowing what would happen to him, and how he would suffer and be persecuted, St. Paul did not fear or become worrisome. Instead, he entrusted himself in the Lord, and spoke encouragingly to the elders of the faithful in Ephesus, by which he reminded them of the need to be faithful to the Lord, and to put their hope and trust in God Who will not abandon His faithful ones in their time of need.

St. Paul imitated the example of the Lord Jesus Himself, Who in the Gospel passage we heard today, prayed to God His Father, asking Him to be with His disciples, that is with all those whom He had called and gathered from the world. He prayed over them, that they would receive the fullness of truth which would bring them to eternal life. He entrusted all of them to God, and therefore, they belong to God, through Jesus.

Jesus showed all of His disciples, that the Lord will always be with them, and He will never abandon them, no matter how challenging the troubles and opposition that would be facing them. And the ultimate proof of that assurance, is Christ Himself, Whom the Father sent into this world, because of His love for each and every one of us. He is always ever faithful, and His words reliable.

Why is that so? Let us remember that in order to save us, God did not spare anything less than giving His own self, His own Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Saviour. And He loved us so much, and is so faithful to the Covenant that He had established with us, that He was obedient unto death, the most painful and sorrowful death on the cross. That is just how much God loved each and every one of us.

How can we, as Christians, then not be in love with God? How can we not trust in Him? But the reality says otherwise, brothers and sisters in Christ. Many of us are so worried about this life and all the things we covet and desire, for wealth, for prestige, for honour, for worldly glory and human praise, for pleasures of the flesh and body, and for many other things of worldly nature, that we do not trust in God, Who truly knows what we really need.

Instead, we ended up putting our trust in many things that distract us from our true focus, that is God. We idolise many things that become distraction for us, as some of us idolise money, and put it as more important than everything else in our life, including even God. Some of us will do everything in order to gain fame and prestige, regardless of the futility of such pursuits.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us as Christians are called to remember the memory of St. Paul, his faith and dedication to the good works which he performed for the Lord and for His Church. And we recall the great trust and faith which he had in the Lord, without which he could not have done all the things he had done, all the missionary works he had undertaken and more.

And we remember the great trust and love which Our Lord Jesus Himself had shown us, in His close relationship with His Father. All of us are called to imitate these good examples, and indeed, we should begin from ourselves, at this very moment, if we have not done so. Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all devote ourselves anew to the Lord, and let us all seek to be ever more committed and faithful to God, each and every days of our life. May God be with us all, now and always. Amen.