Tuesday, 14 April 2020 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the words of the Lord speaking to us about the courage that St. Peter had in speaking up on the truth about the Lord’s resurrection before the multitudes of people gathered then in Jerusalem for the festival of the Pentecost. St. Peter called on all the people gathered to believe in the Lord and in His truth, the resurrection that He has gone through and the glory with which He had appeared in His triumph over sin and death.

Many people became believers on that day, and they all believed in the Lord and asked to be baptised in the Lord. Over three thousand people responded to God’s call and became the first of the Christian communities, which from then on began to spread beyond Jerusalem and Judea, as the Apostles and many other disciples of the Lord went to various places proclaiming the Good News of salvation and the Risen Lord to the people in those far-off places.

They all proclaimed what they had themselves witnessed, heard and believed, from what Mary Magdalene had seen at the tomb of the Lord when on Easter Sunday, the Lord appeared before her near His empty tomb, showing first to her before to the other disciples how He has risen from the dead as He Himself had said and predicted. It was this faith in the Risen Lord that allowed the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord, together with the strength and the courage of the Holy Spirit that enabled them to persevere in faith and in accomplishing their mission.

There would have otherwise been no reason at all to believe why these group of people would be so willing to suffer and even die in defending what they believed in, and had they believed in something that is a mere lie or untrue, then everything would have quickly fizzled out and the disciples would have been scattered and the movement died out within just short few years. On the contrary, since they believed in the truth, and truth of God no less, they persevered and passed on their faith all the way down to us today.

On this day we are reminded yet again what this joyful and glorious Easter season is all about. It is more than just celebrations and merrymaking just after we have done all of our Lenten observations and all the penances we have done during that period. Rather, just as we recall on Easter day, that we renew our Baptismal promises there and then, and for all those who have just been baptised all the same, each and every one of us as Christians are charged with this responsibility and calling to be God’s true and faithful disciples.

God has called on us all to be His witnesses and to be His bearers of the Good News just as the Apostles had done with their own lives. He has called on us all to bear His Good News and His light and hope to this world darkened with fear and evil that we may truly brighten the lives of many of our fellow brethren and help make their lives to be better. And we now live through these particularly difficult and challenging moments which have caused many to lose their faith and to be filled with despair and fear.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, are we willing and able to dedicate ourselves to this calling, our Christian calling for us all to live as the disciples of the Lord with all sincerity and devotion? Are we willing and able to dedicate our time, effort and attention to bring God’s light into our respective communities, both in our outreach to our fellow Christian brothers and sisters, as well as to all those who have yet to know God? Are we able to spend the time and effort to reach out to our fellow brethren who are suffering now?

Let us all be the light and hope of the world, reflecting upon ourselves the true light and hope of the Lord, which can dispel much of the darkness that are currently surrounding many of us in this world, from all the troubles, uncertainties and problems we are encountering in the first few months of this year alone. Let us all be good examples of virtue and faith that all who see us and witness our works may truly come to believe in God through us and come to be saved as well together with us.

May God, our Risen Lord and Saviour be with us always, and may He strengthen us in our resolve and give us the courage and strength to live ever more courageously and carry out our missions in life with greater zeal and devotion from now on. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 11-18

At that time, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb; and as she wept, she bent down to look inside. She saw two Angels in white, sitting where the Body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I do not know where they have put Him.” As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognise Him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and answered Him, “Lord, if You have taken Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will go and remove Him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned, and said to Him, “Rabboni!” – which means Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and say to them : I am ascending to My Father, Who is your Father, to My God, Who is your God.”

So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what He said to me.”

Tuesday, 14 April 2020 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 32 : 4-5, 18-19, 20 and 22

For upright is the Lord’s word and worthy of trust is His work. The Lord loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of His kindness.

But the Lord’s eyes are upon those who fear Him, upon those who trust in His loving-kindness to deliver them from death and preserve them from famine.

In hope we wait for the Lord for He is our help and our shield. O Lord, let Your love rest upon us, even as our hope rests in You.