Thursday, 21 April 2022 : Thursday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this day as we listened to the Scriptures we have been told to remember the salvation that has come down to us through Christ, Our Lord and Saviour. The Scriptures passage today have spoken to us regarding the things that God had done for our sake, in Him sending to us His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Son of Man and the Son of God, to be the source of our Hope and salvation. By His Passion, His suffering, death and resurrection, He has liberated us from the bondage to sin and death, and through Him, a new hope and light had been revealed to us.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Acts of the Apostles of the courageous and fiery speech from St. Peter the Apostle, who together with St. John had healed a paralysed beggar waiting by the Beautiful Gate of the Temple of Jerusalem. The people who witnessed the miraculous healing of the paralysed beggar were all astonished, surprised and filled with joy upon seeing the healed man. They could not believe what they had seen, and yet, were filled with joy because of what they had witnessed, seeing a hopeless man filled once again with strength and hope from God.

St. Peter reminded the assembled people of everything that had just recently happened, how the Lord Jesus had come into their midst and revealed the extent of God’s most generous love for them, caring for them and providing for their needs, reaching out to those who were in need of healing and help. He empowered the people and gave them hope once again, bringing the light of God and true Hope amongst them, strengthening their resolve, healing those who were sick and were troubled, casting out demons and restoring those who were diseased back to good health once again.

Yet, despite everything that He had done for their sake, many among the people still stubbornly refused to believe in God and still rejected Him, doubting Him and His works. That was also why the people chose to condemn the Lord to death, a most humiliating and painful death on the Cross, which the Apostles then were proclaiming, as St. Peter did. St. Peter told the people how even though they had condemned the Lord to death, but it was part of God’s overarching plan to save all of mankind. Through His suffering and death, God had purchased for all of us the gift of eternal life and salvation, and by His resurrection, He has united all of us in a new life with Him.

In our Gospel passage today, the Lord Jesus appeared to His disciples right after the resurrection for the first time. The disciples then were still shaken and unsure of what had happened on the day of the Resurrection. They had heard words from the holy women in Jesus’ company and from the two disciples who had returned from Emmaus, that they had seen the Risen Lord. Yet, they still had that fear and doubt in them, and they refused to accept the full truth that the Lord had indeed risen as He had revealed and promised earlier on. It took therefore the Risen Lord Himself appearing before them, to open their eyes and to stir them into the faith.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all heed the words of these Scripture passages today, the reminder from God of all that He had done for the sake of our salvation, our liberation from the darkness and despair of evil. All of us are called to put our trust and faith in the Risen Lord, the Light and Hope of all creation. Each and every one of us as Christians have put our faith and trust in the Lord, and believed that He is indeed the One from Whom our salvation has come. Yet, do we truly believe it with all of our hearts? Or are our hearts and minds still clouded with doubt as what had happened with the Lord’s own disciples?

Each one of us are entrusted with the same mission that the Lord had entrusted to His disciples. We are entrusted with the mission to evangelise, to speak the words of the Lord, His truth and the wonders of His love among all those whom we encounter in this world. The works of the Apostles, the saints and all the efforts of the Church had not yet been completed, brothers and sisters in Christ. There remains plenty of areas and many opportunities where there are still many who are ignorant of God’s truth and love, and many others who are still rejecting God and refusing to believe in Him. And it is up to us to be the bearer of God’s light and truth to them.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all renew our faith in God and let us commit ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord with new zeal and dedication. May the Lord continue to guide us and help to strengthen us in this journey of faith. May He empower us and strengthen us in our struggles and journey in this world, and give us the courage and power to walk ever more faithfully in God’s path, and to proclaim His truth and glory by our very own lives and actions. May God bless us in each and every one of our good deeds and works, now and always. Amen.

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