Sunday, 12 April 2020 : Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this Sunday we finally enter into the glorious season of Easter after all the preparations we have gone through during the season of Lent, the forty days of penitential and sorrowful preparation of our minds, hearts and souls to welcome the Lord, to be with Him and to glorify Him this Easter. On this Sunday we celebrate the great moment of our Lord’s resurrection, when He rose gloriously from the tomb, showing us all that death and therefore sin has no more power and hold over us.

As we enter into this great season of Easter, we are all called to get rid of ourselves all sorts of earthly worries and concerns, and yearn for the things that are above and beyond, which God has promised to us. In our second reading today, this is exactly what St. Paul wrote to the Church and the faithful in Colossae, as he exhorted all of them to seek heavenly things through Christ and set their sights on these, as we have shared in His death and will also share in His glorious resurrection.

It is this very important core tenet of our faith that St. Peter spoke about in his words to the family of the Roman centurion Cornelius, who desired to know the truth of the Lord Jesus, the Risen Lord and Saviour. St. Peter spoke with the zeal of faith and with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit revealing before them all the Risen Lord, Who had suffered and died, and yet rose in glory and brought the same hope of salvation and liberation to all of us mankind who are still ensnared and enslaved by the power of sin.

That is why today we are all called to focus our attention on the Risen Lord, and to put our complete faith and trust in Him. We should no longer be fearful or be filled with despair, as it is exactly the devil’s plan that he made us to fear and to be filled with despair and uncertainty that we end up being unable to comprehend, realise and appreciate God’s wonderful mercy and love towards us. He wants us to be irrational and to fall deeper into our sinful ways, and therefore fail to achieve redemption from God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, at the Evening Mass of the Easter Sunday today we also heard the account of the Lord with the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, a village near Jerusalem. Those two disciples went to Emmaus debating and being unsure of what to make of the events they had just witnessed in Jerusalem, with their Lord and Master Jesus having been condemned to death by the chief priests and the elders, and was crucified to death. But they have also heard about the Resurrection and they were still not sure and could not believe of such a thing.

The Lord appeared before them but they did not recognise Him for they still did not have faith in the Resurrection and they still had their doubts, and the Lord walked with them, revealing and teaching to them His truth. He encouraged them and gave them strength by explaining to them the truth of the Scriptures, telling them all that everything has happened as how the prophets had revealed it in the years past, and that Jesus indeed was the Saviour that they all had waited for, and they must have faith in Him.

Subsequently, when those two disciples eventually recognised Jesus they became courageous witnesses of the Lord’s Resurrection, telling everyone passionately about how they had seen the Risen Lord, and how He had not died but risen from the dead, and they made everyone who heard them convinced that the Lord had indeed triumphed and conquered death. That was what St. Peter had also done in our first reading as we discussed it earlier on.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, more importantly for us all as we enter into this season of Easter, all of us must be ready to accept what the Lord had called us to do, and that is to follow Him and to trust in Him, and to carry out the mission which He has entrusted to us, to go forth into the world and to proclaim the salvation of God, by being witnesses of His Resurrection like what St. Peter the Apostle and what the two disciples whom the Lord met on the way to Emmaus had done.

It is also very important that all of us take this seriously and embark on what we have been called to do, especially because we know just how dark and dire the situation had been this year, and how many of us had had a particularly difficult year this time round. We have definitely been preoccupied much by the current pandemic and many other troubles all around us, all the economic instabilities, socio-economic problems and other challenges and difficulties we may be encountering.

However, we must not give in to fear, and we must still strive and do our best because we ought to have faith in God. As we celebrate His Resurrection and triumph over sin and death today, we have to bring forth this joy and optimism, faith and trust in the Lord’s providence with us in our own lives and within our own communities. That is why all of us have to be the bearers of God’s hope and light within our own communities, that we bring this Easter joy to all those who are despairing and in darkness.

Are we able to commit ourselves to this great work of evangelisation and also to witness to our faith through our actions towards our fellow brothers and sisters? Let us bring hope to this world when there is despair and hopelessness, and let us bring love and kindness when there is hatred and animosity among us. Let us show compassion towards those who are suffering, caring for those who are in need of love and attention. Let us brighten the days of those who have lost their way and hope amidst these dark and terrible times.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all truly be filled with Easter joy and commit ourselves to be better Christians in all things. Let us live through this season of Easter and do our very best to make it truly a most meaningful time, growing in faith and become ever deeper in our own devotion towards God. May the Risen Lord Jesus bless us with the strength and courage to live our faith as good and most faithful Christians. Amen.

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