Thursday, 5 May 2022 : 3rd Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 6 : 44-51

At that time, Jesus said to the Jews, “No one can come to Me unless he is drawn by the Father Who sent Me; and I will raise Him up on the last day. It has been written in the Prophets : They shall all be taught by God. So whoever listens and learns from the Father comes to Me.”

“For no one has seen the Father except the One Who comes from God; He has seen the Father. Truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the Bread of Life. Though your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, they died. But here you have the Bread which comes from heaven, so that you may eat of it, and not die.”

“I am the Living Bread which as come from heaven; whoever eats of this Bread will live forever. The Bread I shall give is My flesh, and I will give it for the life of the world.”

Thursday, 5 May 2022 : 3rd Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 65 : 8-9, 16-17, 20

Praise our God, o nations, let the sound of His praise be heard, for He has preserved us among the living and kept our feet from stumbling.

All you who fear God, come and listen; let me tell you what He has done. I cried aloud to Him, extolling Him with my tongue.

May God be blessed! He has not rejected my prayer; nor withheld His love from me.

Thursday, 5 May 2022 : 3rd Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 8 : 26-40

An Angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south towards the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert road.” So he set out and it happened that an Ethiopian was passing along that way. He was an official in charge of the treasury of the queen of the Ethiopians; he had come on pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was on his way home. He was sitting in his carriage and reading the prophet Isaiah.

The Spirit said to Philip, “Go and catch up with that carriage.” So Philip ran up and heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah; and he asked, “Do you really understand what you are reading?” The Ethiopian replied, “How can I, unless someone explains it to me?” He then invited Philip to get in and sit beside him.

This was the passage of Scripture he was reading : He was led like a sheep to be slaughtered; like a lamb that is dumb before the shearer, He did not open His mouth. He was humbled and deprived of His rights. Who can speak of His descendants? For He was uprooted from the earth.

The official asked Philip, “Tell me, please, does the prophet speak of himself or of Someone else?” Then Philip began to tell him the Good News of Jesus, using this text of Scripture as his starting point. As they travelled down the road they came to a place where there was some water. Then the Ethiopian official said, “Look, here is water; what is to keep me from being baptised?”

And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Then he ordered the carriage to stop; both Philip and the Ethiopian went down into the water and Philip baptised him. When they came out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away. The Ethiopian saw him no more, but he continued on his way full of joy.

Philip found himself at Azotus, and he went about announcing the Good News in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

Wednesday, 4 May 2022 : 3rd Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we continue to progress through the Easter season and listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are reminded of the works of the Apostles who ministered to the people of God, proclaiming the Gospels and the word of God’s truth and salvation to them, caring for their sick and many more, building up the Church community and sharing in the Eucharist, the same Bread of Life that is Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour, Who had commissioned the Apostles and His Church to go forth to the nations and proclaim His Good News and truth to them.

In our first reading, as mentioned, from the Acts of the Apostles we heard how the despite the persecution that the Church began to face from the Jewish authorities and its other opponents, especially after the martyrdom of St. Stephen, the first martyr of the Church, the Apostles despite being scattered all over Judea and in other places, tried their best to continue the works of God, ministering to the people of God, proclaiming the truth and salvation in Jesus Christ, and despite the hardships and trials they had to endure, the early Christian communities continued to grow and flourish, spreading even beyond the lands of Judea, Samaria and Galilee.

This had to be credited to the hard work and labour of the Apostles, who went through the land, with the other disciples of the Lord, evangelising to those who have not yet heard about the Lord and His actions, His teachings and truths. Often times they had to do things in secret, hiding from the persecution of the authorities, which chronologically at that time was intensifying and led by Saul, one of the young Pharisees who zealously persecuted the faithful people of God, before later on he himself would be converted to be the Lord’s disciples as St. Paul the Apostle. Regardless of the hardships, the Church continued to grow and flourish.

The Apostles and disciples of the Lord continued to work for the greater glory of God, to speak about Him, the One Whom in our Gospel passage today referred to Himself as the Bread of Life. They had seen the Lord Himself, Who at that time referred to Himself as the Bread of Life and said that He would give them His own flesh to eat and His own Blood for them to drink. They would not have understood it yet at that time, but later on, they would witness the Passion, the suffering and death of the same Lord, Who offered Himself on the Cross as the perfect and worthy offering and sacrifice for the atonement of our sins.

The Apostles witnessed the Lord’s sacrifice and death, and how at the Last Supper He gave Himself to His disciples, which meaning again eluded them until they saw His suffering and death, and eventually after the Holy Spirit came to them, giving them the wisdom and strength, the understanding and knowledge to know what the Lord had done for His people, in offering Himself and sharing in His Body and Blood with us all that we may share in the eternal life He has promised us, that in His own words He Himself had said that those who eat of His flesh and drink His Blood will not perish, but have eternal life.

Through Him, and the gift of the Eucharist to the Apostles, the Lord had made all of us partakers of His Covenant and the members of His Church. The Apostles proclaimed the Lord to the people who have not yet seen or heard of Him so that they too may become part of the ever growing Church of God and find their way to His salvation and eternal life, by their faith and trust in the same Lord Jesus, the Bread of Life and Lamb of God, Who had given Himself for the life of all mankind, for the salvation and liberation of all the beloved children of God from the tyranny of sin and death.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, we ourselves are part of this Church of God, and we share in the same mission that the Lord had entrusted to His Apostles and disciples. The Lord has called us all to be His missionaries, to be His witnesses and be the ones to proclaim His truth to all the nations. If we are all wanting to be better disciples of the Lord, then we should also proclaim the Lord, the Bread of Life and the Saviour of all to whoever it is that we encounter in life. And lest we think that we are incapable of doing so, the Lord calls us to do whatever we can, in our own capacity and within the opportunities that He had presented to us.

Are we willing then to commit our time and effort to walk in the path trodden by the Apostles? Are we willing and able to dedicate ourselves to the service of God and do our best to glorify the Lord by our very own lives and actions? Let us all be sources of inspiration for one another so that by our lives we may inspire more and more people to come to believe in God because they can see the love and truth of God through us and our exemplary way of life. May God bless us all and our efforts and actions, now and always. Amen.