Tuesday, 19 April 2022 : 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, 19 April 2022 : 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.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 2 : 36-41

Peter said, “Let Israel then know for sure that God has made Lord and Christ this Jesus Whom you crucified.” When they heard this, they were deeply troubled. And they asked Peter and the other Apostles, “What shall we do, brothers?”

Peter answered : “Each of you must repent and be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise of God was made to you and your children, and to all those from afar whom our God may call.”

With many other words Peter gave the message and appealed to them saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who accepted his word were baptised; some three thousand persons were added to their numbers that day.

Monday, 18 April 2022 : Monday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we begin to embark through this journey of the Easter season in this Easter Octave, we are constantly being reminded of what we have to do as Christians in living our daily lives especially as we progress through this Easter season and beyond. In our Scripture passages we are reminded that our Christian faith is about proclaiming our Risen Lord and Saviour to the best of our ability, and to proclaim Him with joy and pride in our community and in whichever places we go to, following in the footsteps of the Apostles and saints.

In our first reading today, we heard of the testimony of faith that St. Peter courageously proclaimed before all e assembled people in Jerusalem at the moment right after the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The Apostles had been hiding in fear of the Jewish authorities and all who had threatened action against the Lord’s disciples and everyone who were found to be the followers of Christ, and thus they used to hide and avoid attention for those several weeks after the Lord’s Resurrection and later Ascension into Heaven.

But through His Holy Spirit, the Lord inflamed in the hearts of the Apostles a great courage and desire to serve and love the Lord, the energy and power to proclaim the Good News and truth of God and His salvation among His people. Thus, we heard St. Peter speaking up with great courage and eloquence, with wisdom and zeal, in proclaiming the Lord’s glorious Resurrection and all that He had done in the midst of His people, reminding the people of the most loving sacrifice that He had made on the Cross. He proclaimed before all the people the Christ Crucified, Who had risen from the dead in glory.

Then, in our Gospel passage today, we heard of how the Risen Lord appeared to some of the women, likely Mary Magdalene and the other women who used to follow the Lord Jesus. The Lord showed Himself in all of His Risen glory before all of them, and this was just one of the occasions in which the Risen Lord appeared before His disciples. The Lord showed that it was truly Him in the flesh, and not some spirit or mere illusion. He has truly risen from the dead, and seeing that the Lord is alive and has risen, that was what encouraged the woman, and they must have been so jubilant in telling the other disciples of what they had seen.

But on the other hand, the chief priests and all those who had condemned the Lord to death were all perplexed and confused at what they heard on how the Lord’s Body had disappeared from His tomb, as told to them by the guards who guarded His tomb. And instead of trying to find out more about the Lord and the truth about His Resurrection, they doubled down on their stubbornness and intense refusal to believe in the truth that the Lord Himself has presented to them. That was why they persecuted the disciples and tried to forbid them from preaching the Lord’s truth and Good News, and even spread false rumours and informations to try to hide the truth.

Yet, the Apostles were never deterred or scared to speak the truth, all because they had faith in the Lord and trusted in Him. They believed in Him wholeheartedly, and through the Spirit that God had sent to them, they helped each other to remain strong in faith, and as St. Peter has shown us in our first reading today, he, who was once an illiterate fisherman from Galilee, had performed such great wonders, miracles and spoke so eloquently by the power and wisdom of God, turning the hearts of thousands and more towards the Lord and convincing them to follow Him as well.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us are called to serve the Lord and to walk in His path and presence in the same way as the Apostles had lived their lives wholly in the path that the Lord had led and guide them. We are all called to be witnesses of Our Lord’s truth and to proclaim His Good News in our communities, in our families and wherever it is that we are working, residing and living in. Through us, many people may come to believe in the Lord as well. We must never think that we could not contribute a lot to the works of the Church. Even in the smallest things we do, we may still do things that will have immense impacts on others whose lives we have touched.

Let us all therefore be filled with the Spirit of God this Easter season, and strive to do our best in proclaiming God’s truth, love, His Good News and salvation among those who have not yet known Him. We do not have to worry what we have to do or say, or even feeling inferior or reluctant to do more just because we think that we are not good enough. Ultimately, as mentioned earlier, God chose even among illiterate fishermen, among zealots and thieves, tax collectors and many more to be His disciples. If He had chosen even among the worst to be His chief disciples, then why can’t He choose us then? It is actually whether we are willing to follow Him should He call us.

May all of us be ever more committed and courageous in living our lives actively as Christians, so that in everything we do and say, in all of our interactions and dealings with one another, we will always be exemplary and be good sources of inspiration for our fellow Christians, and for many others out there who have not yet known the Lord and His truth yet. May the joy, love, courage, strength and the guidance of Our Risen Lord be with us all, and may He bless us in our every actions and deeds, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Monday, 18 April 2022 : 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.