Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the Scriptures speaking to us about the power of God that is always with His faithful ones, how He will not abandon them to the darkness and to all those who seek their destruction. The Lord will provide for them and bless them, as shown in what we heard from our first reading today in the Acts of the Apostles.
In that occasion, the Apostles were arrested by the slave owners of the city of Philippi who likely feared their influence, wisdom and eloquence that they were afraid that their slaves would rise up against them. And when they have been tortured and put into prison, God did not leave them behind, but was with them as He miraculously freed them from prison through an earthquake that broke their chains and the imprisonment of their prison cells.
And not only that, but God even performed an even more wonderful work that night, by breaking yet another bond that has chained another person, not physically but spiritually. The jailer who that night watched the miracle that happened, heard the preaching of the Apostles and witnessed their faith, became a believer himself, and followed by his entire family who gave themselves to be baptised as Christians.
Through that act of faith, the jailer and his family were freed from the bondage and slavery to sin, and God brought them into a new life and existence, no longer following the path of the world but that of the path of Christ and His truth. In today’s Gospel, Christ clearly explained this to His disciples, that He was going away to His Father, so that He can bring about vindication and salvation to all the faithful.
He was in fact referring to the then imminent moment of His own suffering, crucifixion and death on the Cross, by which He would save all those who believe in Him, and free them all from the enslavement to sin and to their darkened past. And He has shown all of them the path of righteousness and truth, as opposed to the path of injustice, of wickedness and of sin, and all those who followed Him will not be disappointed, for they will all be triumphant with Him.
Yet, brothers and sisters in Christ, we must also be aware and be prepared that to be followers of Christ, often we may have to be exposed and be brought to suffering and persecution, just as what the Apostles experienced because of the opposition of the world and all those who refused to believe in the Lord and in the message of truth that He has sent to them via those Apostles and servants He sent into their midst.
In suffering we may often be tempted to give up on our faith, to accept what is convenient for us and to abandon the righteousness of God, and instead seeking what is good for ourselves. This is how sin continues to reign and rule over us for so many years, as the allures of sin and the temptation to remain in the darkness is truly strong, while the commitment and resolve we have in being faithful to God often falters in the face of temptations and the pressures of life.
That is why all of us as Christians must truly live our lives from now on with faith, committing ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord, resisting the temptations to sin and seek to be righteous and be obedient in all things, following the commandments and laws of God at all times. Let us ask the Lord to give us the strength and the willpower to commit ourselves and to do what He has commanded us to do, each and every days of our lives.
May the example and the courage of the Apostles be our inspiration and source of strength, to be ever more devoted and to be ever more like Christ in our own lives and in our actions. Amen.