Monday, 5 April 2021 : Monday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 28 : 8-15

At that time, the woman left the tomb at once in fear, yet with great joy, and they ran to tell the news to Jesus’ disciples. Suddenly, He met them on the way and said, “Rejoice!” The women approached Him, embraced His feet and worshipped Him. But Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid! Go and tell My brothers to set out for Galilee; there they will see Me.”

While the women were on their way, the guards returned to the city, and some of them reported to the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests met with the elders, and decided to give the soldiers a large sum of money, with this instruction, “Say that His disciples came by night while you were asleep, and stole the Body of Jesus. If Pilate comes to know of this, we will explain the situation and keep you out of trouble.”

The soldiers accepted the money and did as they were told. This story has circulated among the Jews until this day.

Monday, 5 April 2021 : Monday within Easter Octave (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 15 : 1-2a and 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11

Keep me safe, o God, for in You I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “O Lord, my inheritance and my cup, my chosen portion – hold secure my lot.”

I bless the Lord Who counsels me; even at night my inmost self instructs me. I keep the Lord always before me; for with Him at my right hand, I will never be shaken.

My heart, therefore, exults, my soul rejoices; my body too will rest assured. For You will not abandon my soul to the grave, nor will You suffer Your Holy One to see decay in the land of the dead.

You will show me the path of life, in Your presence the fullness of joy, at Your right hand happiness forever.

Monday, 5 April 2021 : Monday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 2 : 14, 22-33

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and, with a loud voice, addressed them, “Fellow Jews and all foreigners now staying in Jerusalem, listen to what I have to say. Fellow Israelites, listen to what I am going to tell you about Jesus of Nazareth. God accredited Him and through Him did powerful deeds and wonders and signs in your midst, as you well know.”

“You delivered Him to sinners to be crucified and killed, and in this way the purpose of God from all times was fulfilled. But God raised Him to life and released Him from the pain of death, because it was impossible for Him to be held in the power of death. David spoke of Him when He said : I saw the Lord before me at all times; He is by my side, that I may not be shaken.”

“Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; my body too will live in hope. Because You will not forsake me in the abode of the dead, nor allow Your Holy One to experience corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life, and Your presence will fill me with joy.”

“Friends, I do not need to prove that the patriarch David died and was buried; his tomb is with us to this day. But he knew that God had sworn to him that One of his descendants would sit upon his throne and, as he was a prophet, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah. So he said that He would not be left in the region of the dead, nor would His Body experience corruption.

This Messiah is Jesus and we are all witnesses that God raised Him to life. He has been exalted at God’s right side and the Father has entrusted the Holy Spirit to Him; this Spirit He has just poured upon us as you now see and hear.

Sunday, 4 April 2021 : Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia! The Lord is Risen! This Sunday we have finally come to the culmination of the Holy Week and the conclusion of the season of Lent, entering into the Blessed time of Easter, as we commemorate the glorious Resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on the third day after He suffered and died, descending into hell. Through His glorious Resurrection that we celebrate, all mankind and all creation receive a new hope and light, the light of Our Lord’s saving grace.

Today, we mark the time when the light of Christ our Saviour triumphed over the darkness of sin and death. He has broken definitively the chains of sin and the bondage of evil, the power of death and the dominion of Satan and his fallen angels over us. By His Resurrection, He showed us that sin and death no longer hold any dominion over us. As He offered Himself on the Cross and died for us, the Lord truly suffered and died, not just being a superficial or for appearance. Hence, by His humanity truly united to His divinity, though distinct, God Himself had died for us.

And because we share in His humanity, we have therefore shared in His death, and through His Resurrection, we are sharing in the new life that He is bringing upon us, the promise of eternal life after, in the world to come, when we shall rise again with the Lord, and in body and soul, in our complete existence, glorify the Lord in perfect bliss and true joy for eternity. Through the Resurrection, God has broken the chains of sin and death that had held us down, and He has unbarred and opened the doors of Heaven to us.

Without the Crucifixion, there can be no Resurrection, and this is what we all need to remember as we come to celebrate this great Solemnity of Easter. The Lord truly suffered for us, and endured all the sufferings that were supposed to be for us. Thus, as we rejoice in the Lord’s Resurrection, we are all called to appreciate everything that He had done for us, all that He has endured for us, all that He had borne for us, the things that He did for us out of love.

This is the day of joy and happiness because after the long period of penitence and observance of fasting, abstinence and other practices throughout Lent, we finally enter into the time of Easter, just as how the Israelites must have been so joyful to enter into the Promised Land after having journeyed for so long in the desert, for forty years. After mankind had suffered for so long under the tyranny of sin and bondage of death and evil, we have finally seen the light of God’s salvation in the Resurrection.

We renew our baptismal promises today, and as we do so, we should remind ourselves well that those promises are not just mere formality or process to go through. Instead, when we make our solemn promises, and renew them, we should be as resolute as we are as on the day of our baptism. We must not make empty promises or only pay lip service to the Lord. On the contrary, as we begin this blessed time and season of Easter, we are constantly being reminded again and again what being a Christian is truly all about.

As those whom God had called and chosen to be His own people, and as we have willingly accepted Him as our Lord and Saviour, we are all called to be truly faithful in all things, and dedicate ourselves wholeheartedly to His cause. We should not be complacent or lax in how we live our lives, but instead strive to do our best to be good examples to our fellow brothers and sisters, that we may truly be good Christian role models and inspire others to live their lives in the same way that we do, in obeying God and His will.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we all gather together to celebrate this most amazing moment, when Our Lord, Risen from the dead, have led us to freedom and new graceful existence in Him, let us all discern well what we are to do in the coming days, weeks, months and even years, to be more faithful and dedicated to God. As those who have received the faith, and called to be the Lord’s disciples, we have been entrusted with the same truth that the Apostles had received, to be witnesses of the Lord’s truth and Resurrection to the world.

And we do not have to do magnificent and great things. We can begin all these from ourselves, from whatever little things that we can do in our respective lives, in our interactions with one another, in our commitment to walk the path of faith together. And we should also be filled with the same strength, courage and enthusiasm as those disciples of the Lord had, in proclaiming the Lord’s truth, like the two disciples who met the Risen Lord on their way to Emmaus, who went back all the way to Jerusalem after a long journey that they might proclaim the Risen Lord to the other disciples.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, just as the Lord has brought His light into this world, overcoming the darkness of sin and death, let us all be wonderful reflections of His light, and bear that same light into this darkened world, that we may be the beacons of hope and light through which many others who have been despairing, downtrodden and lost hope, suffering and in sorrow, may see the same light of hope in Christ through us. Are we willing and able to commit ourselves to be these beacons of God’s hope and light especially in this past year when there had been so much suffering and trials for so many people?

In our every words, actions and deeds, let us be an Easter people, a people of hope, faith and enthusiasm, of the hope we have in the Lord and the belief and trust in our Lord’s providence and in His salvation, which He has brought upon us through Jesus Christ, His Son. Let us all reach out to our fellow brothers and sisters, and be exemplary in everything, even in our little actions in life, to be guide and helper to those who are in need of the Lord’s light and strength in their lives.

May God, our Risen Lord and Saviour be with us all, as we continue to walk down this path of faith, and may He bless our Easter journey and celebration, that each and every one of us may be ever more faithful, and be ever firmer in our conviction to love and serve Him in our daily lives. May God bless us all, and may He strengthen us all, to be faithful as Christians, an Easter people, at all times. Amen.