Saturday, 23 May 2020 : 6th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day through the readings of the Scriptures we heard of the works of the Apostles particularly that of St. Paul and also the renowned Apollos, mentioned in some parts of the Acts of the Apostles as a charismatic convert to the faith, who preached about the faith to many people and gained quite a few following, although as mentioned he did not have full instruction in the Christian faith and therefore did not teach the most accurate revelations of truth to the people.

Some of the faithful assisted Apollos with his works, explained to him about the faith. And after Apollos had understood better about the faith, he became even better in his works among the people, as he also helped the Apostles in travelling from places to places and building the framework for the Church and establishing the communities of Christian believers in those places. Apollos was very successful because of his eloquence and charism, and even more importantly, his open-mindedness and willingness to listen to advice and inputs from others.

All of these are very important things that need to take note of as we live our own lives as Christians. In our Gospel passage today the Lord Jesus Himself mentioned how He has spoken to them in veiled language and using parables and metaphors to reveal to them part of the truth. He promised them all that the time would come when they would understand the truth much better, as He would send them the Holy Spirit to guide them, reveal them the truth and give them the Wisdom of God.

Just like Apollos who at first did not have the full knowledge of the faith and initially preached using what he knew from the limited truth of his Jewish tradition and upbringing, Apollos initially was unable to deliver the true Christian faith to his listeners, but thanks to his willingness to learn from others and to cooperate with the fellow faithful, a sign of great humility, which all of us Christians must also have with us. The examples set by Apollos as well as the other Apostles are reminders for us that we need to be humble and accept the fact that we are limited and weak without God.

In our Gospel passage today, the Lord Jesus said to His disciples, “Whatever you ask My Father in My Name, you shall receive” and also, “Ask, and receive, so that your joy may be full.” All of these again remind us of our vulnerable and frail state, as mortals who need God for sustenance and strength, for guidance and wisdom. Too often we are too proud and arrogant, thinking highly of ourselves and refusing to admit that we need help or assistance, guidance or direction.

Very often our works in evangelisation and in being witnesses for our faith failed because we think that we have everything we need with us, our own intellect, our own strength and abilities, our own knowledge and talents, in order to carry out our works and efforts. But we forget that we need to put our trust in God and need to base our efforts on Him, and keep Him as the heart and the focus of our Christian actions and outreach. If we detach ourselves from Him and trust only in our own capabilities, sooner or later we will falter and fail.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in these days, these times and age, when we are faced with ever increasing encroachment from secularism and the lack of faith and respect for God, let us all remember again and again what our faith is all about, and how fortunate we are to have such a loving and wonderful God to be by our side, caring for us, loving us and holding us as precious and important to Him, that He is willing to give us everything and promising us eternal life and glory.

Are we able and willing to trust more in God, to draw ever closer to Him, and to commit ourselves to Him, deepening our relationship with Him? Let us all do our very best to walk with God, to do our works and efforts with Him and through Him from now on, that we may indeed be able to do our best in whatever we do, and in whatever we do, let us all do it all for the greater glory of God rather than for our own selfish desires and wants. May God bless us all and guide us always, in our journey. Amen.

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