Monday, 13 April 2020 : Monday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard of the great courage of the Apostle St. Peter as he addressed the whole community of the Israelites gathered in Jerusalem filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom of God. He testified before all of them gathered on the truth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, Who then was just crucified not long before and then according to the testimony of the disciples, had risen from the dead and ascended into Heaven.

According to the accounts and stories spread by the elders and the chief priests, the disciples had gone to steal the Body of the Lord from the tomb and hid Him, and claimed that He had risen from the dead. This was their attempt in trying to prevent the teachings of the Lord and His works from being spread much further. Yet, because the Lord was with His faithful ones and because He had sent to them His Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they were all filled with the joy and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, praising God and spoke openly about the truth.

Led by St. Peter, who courageously and openly proclaimed the truth of God’s salvation, the Apostles and the other disciples of the Lord spoke of God’s love and wonders, and called them all to accept the salvation which the Lord had brought into this world through His Son, Jesus Christ. That was truly a difficult undertaking, and also a risky one, considering that before the Holy Spirit descended unto them, the disciples hid in fear being afraid of the tough reprisal from the Jewish High Council.

But they all received courage and strength from God, and faithfully they carried out the will of God, as they ventured forth, beginning from Jerusalem and going beyond to many places proclaiming the Good News and the Gospel to various people and communities who wanted to listen to the revelation of the salvation in God, His love and His compassionate mercy. God has given them this strength, and He has then given us all the same strength as well through His Holy Spirit.

This is where we need to realise that all of us as Christians have been entrusted by God with the mission and the responsibility to propagate the truth and the message of salvation to all. We have been called to be the bearers of Easter joy and hope to our fellow men, in our respective communities and places, to bring hope and strength to all those who are downtrodden and living in fear and darkness, that they too may come to see the light of God.

In our world today, we have many people who are now suffering and in trouble because of the various troubles we are now facing. Besides the terrible pandemic that are still claiming many people’s lives each day and making many more dying at the same time, there had also been many other societal problems and issues, unemployment and socio-economic, racial tensions within various countries and communities around the whole world. That is why it is important that as Christians we become the beacons of God’s hope and light in these difficult times.

This means that we should bring hope to the hearts of others through our words and actions. We should also encourage others who are down, journey with those who are lonely and in despair, and show them that in God, there is still hope and light going forward, no matter how difficult and dark the times and situations may seem to be. Let us all bring strength and courage to our fellow brethren, like what St. Peter and the other Apostles had done, in delivering God’s truth to the people.

May the Risen Lord be with us always, and may He guide us all that we may truly become genuine Christians, all the followers of Christ, our faith and trust in God shown as good examples for all others. May all of us be fruitful in our daily actions and lives that we may bring more and more souls of God’s people, our fellow brothers and sisters to salvation and to rejuvenate hope and light in the hearts of many people now currently suffering and in despair. May God bless us all in our many good endeavours, now and always. Amen.

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