Thursday, 16 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 13 : 16-20

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly, I say to you, the servant is not greater than his master, nor is the messenger greater than he who sent him. Understand this, and blessed are you, if you put it into practice.”

“I am not speaking of you all, because I know the ones I have chosen, and the Scripture has to be fulfilled that says : The one who shared My table has risen against Me. I tell you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen, you may know that I am He.”

“Truly, I say to you, whoever welcomes the one I send, welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me, welcomes the One Who sent Me.”

Thursday, 16 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 88 : 2-3, 21-22, 25 and 27

I will sing forever, o Lord, of Your love and proclaim Your faithfulness from age to age. I will declare how steadfast is Your love, how firm Your faithfulness.

I have found David My servant, and with My holy oil I have anointed him. My hand will be ever with him and My arm will sustain.

My faithfulness and love will be with him, and by My help he will be strong. He will call on Me, ‘You are my Father, my God, my Rock, my Saviour.’

Thursday, 16 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 13 : 13-25

From Paphos, Paul and his companions set sail and came to Perga in Pamphylia. There John left them and returned to Jerusalem, while they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. On the Sabbath day they entered the synagogue and sat down. After the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent this message to them, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the assembly, please speak up.”

So Paul arose, motioned to them for silence and began, “Fellow Israelites and also all you who fear God, listen. The God of our people Israel chose our ancestors, and after He had made them increase during their stay in Egypt, He led them out by powerful deeds.”

“For forty years He fed them in the desert, and after He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He gave them their land as an inheritance. All this took four hundred and fifty years. After that, he gave them Judges until Samuel the prophet. Then they asked for a king and God gave them Saul, son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, and he was king for forty years.”

“After that time, God removed him and raised up David as king, to whom He bore witness saying : ‘I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all I want him to do.’ It is from the descendants of David that God has now raised up the promised Saviour of Israel, Jesus.”

“Before He appeared, John proclaimed a baptism of repentance for all the people of Israel. As John was ending his life’s work, he said : ‘I am not what you think I am, for after me another One is coming Whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.'”

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us are reminded on this day through what we have received and read from the Scriptures that God has given us all His commandments and His will, and all of us as His people, His disciples and His servants, all of us ought to do our very best to obey Him and to do whatever we can in our own lives to be as best as disciples and followers as we can in our own respective lives.

In the first reading today, we heard of the sending off of the two Apostles, St. Paul and St. Barnabas, whom God had chosen and let known to the other disciples through the Holy Spirit, that God has called them and has willed them to go forth to the peoples of the Gentiles, meaning those who belong to the non-Jewish communities, the Greeks, Romans and many others, as the two Apostles embarked on an extensive and long missionary journey to the many cities and places throughout the Eastern Mediterranean region.

The two Apostles were empowered to do what the Lord has called them to do, to be the bearers of His truth among those people to whom God had sent them to. They went forth with the guidance, strength and power of the Holy Spirit, to perform all the wondrous miracles and to be able to speak so courageously and fearlessly even amidst persecutions, ridicule and rejection from their enemies and from all those who refused to believe.

They showed all of us the examples of what it truly means for us to be a true disciple and follower of the Lord, who does not just believe in God with words or proclamations only, but even through real action and through the sacrifice of time and generous giving of oneself and effort, ready to lay down everything to God, even their own lives, suffering persecution after persecution, one after another.

Although many of the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord suffered terribly and endured much pain for the sake of their faith, but they persevered on nonetheless because of the strong and living faith which they have in the Lord, their God. They did not let those sufferings to hinder and prevent them from being able to dedicate themselves. In fact those persecutions only served to strengthen their resolve and commitment to do what they have been called to do.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, are we able to emulate our holy predecessors in their numerous good examples? Are we able to do what they have begun, and which all of us now inherit? Yes, we are all the successors of the Apostles, those whom the Lord had called to continue the many works they have sowed with their blood and tears. There are still many works waiting to be done, and each and every one of us have to do our best and give our very best effort.

Let us spend this day thinking of how each and every one of us can contribute in our own way, dedicating ourselves in whatever way we can to follow God’s will and work for His greater glory. We do not have to suffer and die like the Apostles and the disciples of the early Church endured, but rather, we give our very best from our heart, dedicating ourselves thoroughly to serve God at all times.

May the Lord guide us and bless us, and may He strengthen each and every one of us in our journey. May all of us draw strength from God, that we will be ever more faithful and be ever more committed to our faith in all the things we do. Amen.