Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we continue to progress through the season of Easter, we are constantly reminded again of the Risen Lord, Whose coming into this world has revealed God’s most amazing love for us, and Whose death and resurrection had broken the chains of sin and death that had once enslaved and held us. And in being the followers of the Lord, as Christians, we are likely going to face challenges, trials and oppressions for our faith in Him. As Christians we may have to endure the same sufferings that the disciples and Apostles had suffered for their faith in God.
In our first reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, we heard of how the Sanhedrin or the Jewish High Council were angered by the actions of the Apostles, and the many other disciples of the Lord who had continued to carry on His works, proclaimed His truth and love among the people, many of whom were convinced and witnessed the miracles they had performed. The Sanhedrin were fearful of the Apostles and the Lord’s continuing influence, that despite their successful efforts in condemning the Lord Jesus to death by the Romans on the Cross, instead that had invigorated the Lord’s followers all the more.
Hence, we heard how the Sanhedrin attempted to crush the early Church as much as possible by arresting the Apostles and the other disciples. However, the Lord was with His servants and His beloved ones, and He protected them, sending them His Angels to rescue them from their prison, breaking free their chains. And the Lord told His disciples to continue their work, to proclaim His truth and love among the people of God, and not fearing the attempts of those who tried to dissuade or force them to abandon their missions and works. Hence, those same disciples of the Lord continued to preach the Good News of God’s salvation fearlessly, and saved numerous more people.
In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the words of the Lord Jesus that He spoke to Nicodemus, a Pharisee who was quite sympathetic to Him and His teachings. Nicodemus had come at night to ask the Lord and to discuss matters with Him, and the Lord revealed to him many things about Himself, and most importantly, the truth that He is indeed the Son of God, and this same, only begotten Son of God has been sent to us, to be with us and to show us the amazing love of God. The Lord loved His people so much that He would be willing to endure the toughest challenges and trials for our sake, in order to call us back into the Light.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, Our Lord and Saviour had done all these because He does not want us to fall into eternal damnation and be lost from Him forever. And hence, He has given us the means to leave behind our past, sinful existence and enter into the new existence in His light and truth. Through Him and His teachings, He has called on all of us to return to the path of justice and righteousness, abandoning our rebellious and wicked attitudes, obeying once again the Law and the Commandments of God wholeheartedly as we should have done.
And He also pointed out that those who believe in Him shall walk in the path of the Light, doing what is right and just before God. He has presented to us the path of righteousness, the path of light that all of us the children of God should follow faithfully. If we call ourselves as Christians and consider ourselves as the followers of Christ, then naturally we should have followed Him and His path instead of following our own flawed path and ways. Unfortunately, more often than not, in reality, many of us Christians had not walked in the right path, and many of us do not act and do things according to what our faith dictates.
That is why many of us are still like hypocrites in our way of living our faith. Many of us are lukewarm and not serious at all in living our lives in accordance with God’s will. Too often we are more concerned with our own worldly pursuits and desires than listening to God and His words of truth. In the way we live our lives, many of us even bring scandal to our faith, making people to find it difficult to believe in God because it is we Christians who in fact live our lives in ways worse than what other, non-Christians are doing. Then, how can we be inspiration for them to follow? How can we evangelise to them if we ourselves have not sorted out our own actions and way of life?
Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us are being reminded again today to put our faith in the Risen Lord and to follow Him wholeheartedly. We should no longer allow worldly desires, temptations, or any fears and doubts to prevent us from doing what has been expected of us as Christians. Let us all henceforth commit ourselves anew to the Lord, and strive to do our best in our respective way of life so that we may be good examples and inspiration for many others that they too may come to believe in God through us, just as how the Apostles and the countless saints and martyrs had inspired us.
May God be with us always and may He continue to guide us through life, bless our actions and our dealings, all of our good efforts and works. May He empower and strengthen us to do His will faithfully, at all times and in every place we are at. May our Risen Lord be ever glorified through us. Amen.