Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day before the Solemnity of the Pentecost we come to the last weekday of the whole Easter season and therefore consequently the Scripture concludes the passages taken from the Acts of the Apostles, at the end of which was related to us the activities of St. Paul in the city of Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire. At that time, St. Paul was still relatively free to move about and perform his works in Rome.
According to the Apostolic traditions, St. Paul later on was martyred when Christians in Rome were persecuted and blamed for the great fire that caused most of the city of Rome to be burnt. St. Paul was beheaded as one of the leaders of the local Christian community while St. Peter, the leader of the Church and the first Bishop of Rome would also suffer martyrdom at about the same period of time through crucifixion.
All of these were the shares of the Apostles who have willingly embraced the way of the Lord and devoted themselves completely and wholeheartedly to His service. And despite knowing that they would suffer persecution, pains and sufferings, they gladly welcomed those nonetheless because they placed their complete trust in God, knowing that God would always be by their side no matter what.
And this is the same courage and commitment which the Lord also expects of us all, His disciples and followers. All of us are the successors of the works of the Apostles and many of these works are still ongoing even as we speak now. The Lord’s mission, entrusted to His Apostles, the evangelisation of the peoples and the propagation of the Good News are things that we still have to do, as there are still many out there who have not yet seen or received God’s salvation.
Tomorrow marks the Solemnity of the Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord, the day which marked the conversion and baptism of three thousand people into the faith and therefore marking the beginning point of the Church. And from that moment onwards, the Apostles went forth to work the good works of the Lord and went to many places preaching the Good News of God.
And as mentioned earlier, they did all these despite the many challenges and oppositions that they encountered, from all those who refused to believe in God and from those who were outright hostile against them and their teachings. But the Lord was with them all the way, guiding them and protecting them, giving them the necessary strength and power to carry out the missions entrusted to them.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us are called to reflect on our lives and actions, on how each and every one of us can be good and contributing members of God’s Church, as Christians who truly believe in the Lord and not just on the exterior faith only. Are we able to give our time, effort and dedication in the same way as our holy predecessors have done? Let us all think carefully about this and discern how we can be more committed each and every days of our lives.
May the Lord be with us always, and may He give us the strength and encouragement through His Holy Spirit, that we may grow ever more committed and may fearlessly proclaim His truth and love to all those who encounter us, see us in our actions and witness our deeds. May the Lord be with us always, and may He continue to watch over us, now and forevermore. Amen.