Wednesday, 20 April 2022 : Wednesday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 24 : 13-35

At that time, on the same day Jesus rose from the dead, two followers of Jesus were going to Emmaus, a village seven miles from Jerusalem, and they talked about what had happened. While they were talking and arguing about what had happened, Jesus came up and walked with them. But their eyes were not able to recognise Him.

He asked, “What is it you are talking about?” The two stood still, looking sad. Then the one named Cleophas answered, “Why, it seems You are the only traveller to Jerusalem who does not know what haw happened there these past few days.” And He asked, “What is it?”

They replied, “It is about Jesus of Nazareth. He was a Prophet, You know, mighty in word and deed before God and the people. But the chief priests and our rulers sentenced Him to death. They handed Him over to be crucified. We had hoped that He would redeem Israel. It is now the third day since all this took place.”

“It is also true that some women of our group have disturbed us. When they went to the tomb at dawn, they did not find His Body; and they came and told us that they had had a vision of Angels, who said that Jesus was alive. Some of our people went to the tomb and found everything just as the women had said, but they did not find a Body in the tomb.”

He said to them, “How dull you are, how slow of understanding! Is the message of the prophets too difficult for you to understand? Is it not written that the Christ should suffer all this, and then enter His glory?” Then starting with Moses, and going through the prophets, He explained to them everything in the Scriptures concerning Himself.

As they drew near the village they were heading for, Jesus made as if to go farther. But they prevailed upon Him, “Stay with us, for night comes quickly. The day is now almost over.” So He went in to stay with them. When they were at table, He took the bread, said a blessing, broke it, and gave each a piece.

Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised Him; but He vanished out of their sight. And they said to one another, “Were not our hearts filled with ardent yearning when He was talking to us on the road and explaining the Scriptures?” They immediately set out and returned to Jerusalem.

There they found the Eleven and their companions gathered together. They were greeted by these words : “Yes, it is true, the Lord is risen! He has appeared to Simon!” Then the two told what had happened on the road to Emmaus, and how Jesus had made Himself known, when He broke bread with them.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022 : Wednesday within Easter Octave (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 104 : 1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9

Give thanks to YHVH, call on His Name; make known His works among the nations. Sing to Him, sing His praise, proclaim all His wondrous deeds.

Glory in His holy Name; let those who seek YHVH rejoice. Look to YHVH and be strong; seek His face always.

You descendants of His servant Abraham, you sons of Jacob, His chosen ones! He is YHVH our God; His judgments reach the whole world.

He remembers His Covenant forever, His promise to a thousand generations, the Covenant He made with Abraham, the promise He swore to Isaac.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022 : Wednesday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 3 : 1-10

Once when Peter and John were going up to the Temple at three in the afternoon, the hour for prayer, a man crippled from birth was being carried in. Every day they would bring him and put him at the Temple gate called “Beautiful”; there he begged from those who entered the Temple.

When he saw Peter and John on their way into the Temple, he asked for alms. Then Peter with John at his side looked straight at him and said, “Look at us.” So he looked at them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I have I give you : In the Name of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, walk!”

Then he took the beggar by his right hand and helped him up. At once his feet and ankles became firm, and jumping up he stood on his feet and began to walk. And he went with them into the Temple walking and leaping and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God; they recognised him as the one who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and they were all astonished and amazed at what had happened to him.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all called to reflect again on this Easter Octave, the true meaning of what it means to be Christians. As Christians, each and every one of us are called to serve the Lord with faith and commitment. All of us are called to be missionaries of our Christian faith in our world today, to proclaim the Risen Lord in our respective communities and among all those whom we encounter each day and at each moments of our lives.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Acts of the Apostles of the testimony of faith which was delivered by St. Peter the Apostle to the people assembled in Jerusalem for the festival of the Pentecost. St. Peter told the people to be faithful in the Lord and to believe in Him, for everything that He had done for the sake of His beloved people. God has given us such a great and unsurpassed gift in His Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour, that He has done everything, even to the point of enduring the worst of sufferings, punishments, humiliation and pain for our sake. He did not hold Himself back from doing all these because He truly loved us.

And through His death and resurrection, Christ has broken the doors of death, and the chains of sin that had long kept the people of God enslaved and suffering under their dominion and power. St. Peter called all those people to turn towards the Lord and to discover the love by which God has rescued them from the darkness of sin and evil in this world. He courageously proclaimed the truth despite having no proper education, and despite having hidden himself with the other disciples earlier on due to the opposition and oppression by the Jewish authorities.

That is because as the power of the Holy Spirit was working through him, St. Peter allowed himself to be the witness of the Lord’s Resurrection, and to be filled with the courage and strength from the Spirit of God, in bringing the Good News and the truth to the people despite the risks that he had to face in doing so. He spoke with the wisdom and the eloquence that God granted him through the Holy Spirit. And in doing so, he turned the hearts of many towards God, and revealed the great love that God had for all of them, such as shown by Christ’s death on the Cross.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard again the account of the Lord’s resurrection and His appearance to Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene witnessed the Lord’s suffering and death on the cross, and she was distraught when she found out that the Lord’s Body had disappeared from His tomb due to His Resurrection. That was when the Lord showed Himself to her in all of His risen glory, although she did not initially recognise Him likely because she was still distraught, until the Lord called her and revealed Himself to her.

Mary believed in the Lord and she proclaimed the news of the Lord’s resurrection to the other disciples, the Apostles. In this way is why she is also known as the Apostle to the Apostles. She told them all of what she had seen and experienced, revealing the Risen Lord to the disciples, with great joy and courage. Mary Magdalene did exactly the same as what Peter had done, in proclaiming the truth of the Lord and turning people on the their ways towards the Lord and His salvation. This is exactly what each one of us are called to do as well.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us have been called to follow the Lord faithfully and to embrace His path with sincerity and love, genuine love for Him as well as for His people, our fellow brothers and sisters. Are we willing and able to follow the Lord in this manner, brethren? In the way that St. Peter and St. Mary Magdalene had done, and in the way that many other saints and martyrs had done in the past, in proclaiming the Risen Lord courageously and truthfully among the many people and in the various communities that they encountered and lived in? We too should do the same in our own communities and be the living witnesses of the Lord in every moments we have.

May God, our Risen Lord and Saviour, bless us all and be with us always, and may He strengthen each and every one of us that we may always be strong and be able to persevere despite the trials, challenges and difficulties that we may encounter in our path towards Him. May God bless all of our actions and works, that in all things we will always glorify Him and bring His truth to ever more and more people, throughout the world, and bring the salvation He has promised us to those who have not yet known Him. Amen.