Friday, 6 May 2022 : 3rd Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 6 : 52-59

At that time, the Jews were arguing among themselves, “How can this Man give us flesh to eat?” So Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you, if you do not eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you. The one who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood lives eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

“My Flesh is really food, and My Blood is truly drink. Those who eat My Flesh and drink My Blood, lives in Me, and I in them. Just as the Father, Who is life, sent Me, and I have life from the Father, so whoever eats Me will have life from Me. This is the Bread which came from heaven; not like that of your ancestors, who ate and later died. Those who eat this Bread will live forever.”

Jesus spoke in this way in Capernaum when He taught them in the synagogue.

Friday, 6 May 2022 : 3rd Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 116 : 1, 2

Alleluia! Praise the Lord, all you nations; all you peoples, praise Him.

How great is His love for us! His faithfulness lasts forever.

Friday, 6 May 2022 : 3rd Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 9 : 1-20

Meanwhile Saul considered nothing but violence and death for the disciples of the Lord. He went to the High Priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues of Damascus that would authorise him to arrest and bring to Jerusalem anyone he might find, man or woman, belonging to the Way.

As he travelled along and was approaching Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?” And he asked, “Who are You, Lord?” The voice replied, “I am Jesus Whom you persecute. Now get up and go into the city; there you will be told what you are to do.”

The men who were travelling with him stood there speechless : they had heard the sound, but could see no one. Saul got up from the ground and, opening his eyes, he could not see. They took him by the hand and brought him to Damascus. He was blind and he did not eat or drink for three days.

There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, to whom the Lord called in a vision, “Ananias!” He answered, “Here I am, Lord!” Then the Lord said to him, “Go at once to Straight Street and ask, at the house of Judas, for a man of Tarsus named Saul. You will find him praying, for he has just seen in a vision that a man named Ananias has come in and placed his hands upon him, to restore his sight.”

Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man and all the harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem, and now he is here with authority from the High Priest to arrest all who call upon Your Name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go! This man is My chosen instrument to bring My Name to the pagan nations and their kings, and the people of Israel as well. I Myself will show him how much he will have to suffer for My Name.”

So Ananias left and went to the house. He laid his hands upon Saul and said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord Jesus, Who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me to you so that you may receive your sight and be filled with Holy Spirit.” Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he could see; he got up and was baptised. Then he took food and was strengthened.

For several days Saul stayed with the disciples at Damascus, and he soon began to proclaim in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God.

Thursday, 5 May 2022 : 3rd Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, what we heard in our Scripture passages today are again reminders for us as Christians to be the active partakers of the mission of the Church in the mission to evangelise and reveal the truth of God to more people of all the nations. We are all members of God’s Church and we are all expected to bear His truth and light to more people throughout the world, following in the examples of the Apostles and the other holy saints, holy men and women of God. We have to proclaim the Lord in all of our words, actions and deeds throughout life.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Acts of the Apostles the moment when St. Philip the Apostle encountered an Ethiopian official who was on his way home from Jerusalem. The official was reading the passage of the Scripture from the prophet Isaiah speaking about the Messiah, when St. Philip accompanied the official and explained the meaning of the Scriptures to him, and revealing that everything that he read in the Scriptures had been fulfilled in Christ, the One Whom God had sent into the world to save all mankind.

The Apostles had witnessed the Lord and His works, His many miracles and wonders, listened to His words and teachings, and they had also witnessed His suffering, death and resurrection from the dead. They had also received the gift of the Holy Spirit which strengthened them and gave them the courage to proclaim their faith in the Lord to all the people that they went to, and in the case of St. Philip, he proclaimed the Lord and all of His truth and works truthfully before the Ethiopian official, who therefore became convinced of everything he had heard, and that led him to desire to be baptised.

That was how the Apostles continued to reach out and touched the lives and hearts of those who came even from the distant, foreign lands, and from there, brought forth the truth of the Lord to more and more people. They revealed the truth about Christ, the Bread of Life, Who has delivered His truth into the world, just as we heard it and are reminded of by our Gospel passage today. Christ is the Bread of Life, the Son of God Who has laid down His life for us, obeying the will of His heavenly Father for our sake, so that by His suffering, death and resurrection, we may have new life and be reconciled with God.

In that Gospel passage, we heard the continuation of the account of the Lord speaking to the disciples and the other people on Him being the Bread of Life. The Lord Jesus referred to Himself as the Bread of Life to the consternation of the people listening to Him, as they must have been astounded hearing that He would give them all His own Body and Blood to eat and drink, and comparing what they would have against the bread of heaven that their ancestors once had, the manna, during the time of their Exodus out of Egypt and journey in the desert towards the Promised Land. He said clearly that those who partake of His Body and Blood will have eternal life.

And that was exactly what He would do later on, although the people who were listening to Him could not have realised or understood what He was going to do. The Lord gave to us all His Precious Body and Blood through the Eucharist, which He gave to us all through His Church and His Apostles. He completed His offering and sacrifice through His Passion, suffering and death on the Cross, and by His wounds and by His Body and Blood shared with us, we have been made partakers of His New and Eternal Covenant, sealed by His own Blood, and which He Himself offered as our Eternal High Priest.

Having seen and witnessed all these themselves, and having been empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Lord’s disciples hence gave their all to proclaim the salvation of God and His truth to more and more people they encountered, much as how St. Philip spoke the truth to the Ethiopian official, gaining yet another person to the Lord’s cause. It is then also our own duty and mission as Christians to be the propagator and missionaries of Christ’s truth and the love of God, all that He had done for our salvation in each and every opportunities that we have been given. Each and every one of us have this important mission to be disciples of Our Lord and His witnesses in our respective communities today.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all follow the examples of the Apostles and the many other disciples of the Lord, the many holy men and women, the various saints and martyrs who had gone before us, and whose lives are truly inspiration for us to follow in how we ought to live our lives with faith and dedication to God. We are all called to serve the Lord and do our best to bring His truth upon this world today. We do not have to do great and amazing things, as even the smallest and simplest things we do will matter a lot in leading more and more souls towards the salvation in God. May God be with us and may He continue to help us living our lives with faith and as Christ-like as possible. Amen.