Saturday, 16 May 2020 : 5th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard the message of the Sacred Scriptures speaking to us about the reality of our faith, that while we may encounter many good things and good opportunities in our faith journey, but there will also be challenges, trials and difficulties that we will have to endure throughout our journey of life, because of the opposition and incompatibility with the ways of the world.

In this matter, what the Lord meant was not that we purposely should seek trouble with the world and be confrontational. Rather, it is a reminder for us all not to be swayed by the comforts and pleasures of the world, that the world and its ways are not fully compatible with the ways of the Lord, and if we decide to follow the Lord and respond to His call, we may encounter persecution, oppression, or at least obstacles and challenges in our way.

And the Lord said that this is to happen because the world itself has rejected Him, and refused to listen to Him and His truth. The world here refers to the world of sin, the world under the dominion and control of the evil one, Satan and all of his allies and forces, the demons and all those seeking our destruction. That is why, ‘the world’ will probably try to persuade us and even coerce us to turn away from God’s path and embrace the path of sin and darkness.

This is because the devil and his allies know that the moment we slip away from their hold, they will lose us forever, and they do not want that to happen. Their fates had already been sealed, defeated by God and condemned to suffer forever for their rebellion, but they want to drag us all down together with them into hellfire. They will also try whatever means available to them to pressure us into conforming, to turn away from God and to fall into sin.

But we must not fear them, brothers and sisters in Christ, for the Lord is always by our side, guiding our path and providing us with whatever we needed, and He is always ever faithful to the Covenant that He has established with each and every one of us. We have heard of the works of the Apostles, particularly that of St. Paul and his companions throughout this season of Easter from the Acts of the Apostles, and we heard how the Apostles and all the servants of God encountered plenty of difficulties during their journeys and missions.

Yet God was always with them and guiding them through the missions which He has called them to. He walked with them and gave them wisdom and guidance through the Holy Spirit, encouraging and strengthening them along the way. We heard how the Apostles and followers of the Lord, the early Christian communities encouraged each other and prayed for one another. The Spirit of God guided them and showed them all what to do and where to go.

Therefore, today all of us are reminded of the faith that we must have in God even in our most difficult and darkest moments. There will be plenty of challenges we have to face as we carry on living our lives and especially so as Christians. But we must not lose hope or despair because we must remember that the Lord is truly with us, providing for us and protecting us, guiding us to walk faithfully in His path. We have to keep our faith in Him strong, and share this faith and hope with our fellow brothers and sisters.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in these past days, weeks and even months, our societies and communities have been heavily battered and affected by the terrible effects of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as its various complications and impacts on the global, national and regional economies, on our various livelihoods and aspects of life. I am sure we are aware how many people are losing their hope and even sanity in the midst of these difficult troubles and times, but this is exactly where we can be those beacons of hope for everyone.

Let us all remind one another of the hope that we have to have in God, by showing our genuine faith to God, in our every words, actions and deeds, in our every interactions with each other. Let us all commit ourselves more and more to the Lord, so that everyone who witness us, hear us and interact with us may come to know of God’s providence and love by our every deeds, by our every efforts to bring hope and encourage our fellow brethren in need. May God bless us all and may He strengthen us in our faith, and help us to commit ourselves to His cause and do His will at all times.

May the Lord be with us always, and may He strengthen each and every one of us in our resolve to follow Him and to dedicate ourselves to Him. May the Lord give us the strength and the courage to remain faithful despite the difficulties and challenges we have to face in each and every moments of our lives. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

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