Thursday, 12 May 2022 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Nereus and St. Achilleus, Martyrs, and St. Pancras, Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)

John 13 : 16-20

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly, I say to you, the servant is not greater than his master, nor is the messenger greater than he who sent him. Understand this, and blessed are you, if you put it into practice.”

“I am not speaking of you all, because I know the ones I have chosen, and the Scripture has to be fulfilled that says : The one who shared My table has risen against Me. I tell you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen, you may know that I am He.”

“Truly, I say to you, whoever welcomes the one I send, welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me, welcomes the One Who sent Me.”

Thursday, 12 May 2022 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Nereus and St. Achilleus, Martyrs, and St. Pancras, Martyr (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)

Psalm 88 : 2-3, 21-22, 25 and 27

I will sing forever, o Lord, of Your love and proclaim Your faithfulness from age to age. I will declare how steadfast is Your love, how firm Your faithfulness.

I have found David My servant, and with My holy oil I have anointed him. My hand will be ever with him and My arm will sustain.

My faithfulness and love will be with him, and by My help he will be strong. He will call on Me, ‘You are my Father, my God, my Rock, my Saviour.’

Thursday, 12 May 2022 : 4th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Nereus and St. Achilleus, Martyrs, and St. Pancras, Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)

Acts 13 : 13-25

From Paphos, Paul and his companions set sail and came to Perga in Pamphylia. There John left them and returned to Jerusalem, while they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. On the Sabbath day they entered the synagogue and sat down. After the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent this message to them, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the assembly, please speak up.”

So Paul arose, motioned to them for silence and began, “Fellow Israelites and also all you who fear God, listen. The God of our people Israel chose our ancestors, and after He had made them increase during their stay in Egypt, He led them out by powerful deeds.”

“For forty years He fed them in the desert, and after He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He gave them their land as an inheritance. All this took four hundred and fifty years. After that, he gave them Judges until Samuel the prophet. Then they asked for a king and God gave them Saul, son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, and he was king for forty years.”

“After that time, God removed him and raised up David as king, to whom He bore witness saying : ‘I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all I want him to do.’ It is from the descendants of David that God has now raised up the promised Saviour of Israel, Jesus.”

“Before He appeared, John proclaimed a baptism of repentance for all the people of Israel. As John was ending his life’s work, he said : ‘I am not what you think I am, for after me another One is coming Whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.'”

Wednesday, 11 May 2022 : 4th Week of Easter (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 reminded of the mission entrusted to us by God, the mission to evangelise and proclaim the word of God in our respective communities, in our lives and to all those whom we encounter in life, that we may faithfully proclaim our Lord, His truth and love in our best ability, dedicating our time and effort to reach out to those who have not yet known or understood the salvation that God has presented before us. Each and every one of us share the same mission that God has entrusted to His Church, and as the members of the Church, we are charged with the works that God had made us sharers in.

In our first reading today, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, we are all presented with the works that St. Paul and St. Barnabas did among the people of God, and their missionary efforts and works, as they were entrusted by the Twelve Apostles and leaders of the Church with the mission of evangelisation, building up the Church communities all across the Mediterranean. The Twelve Apostles laid their hands on both St. Paul and St. Barnabas, praying over them and granting them the guidance of the Holy Spirit, entrusting to them the ministry of preaching and spreading the Good News to the people who have not yet heard of the Lord.

They were sent to continue the good works of the Lord, much as how the Lord Himself had been sent into this world and entrusted with the mission to reconcile the whole world and all mankind to their loving Father. In our Gospel passage today, we heard the Lord Himself speaking of this mission which He has embarked on, as He was sent by His Father to reveal the truth and love of God to everyone. God has given us His Son, that He will become our Saviour and lead us to the eternal life and true happiness that He has promised all those who believed in Him and placed their trust in Him.

The Lord Jesus reiterated again that He was sent into this world to call all the lost sheep of the Lord, all those who have sinned, which is all of us mankind, and have been separated from God, to bring us back to His loving embrace and to reunite us with Him by His infinite and enduring love. He has willingly embraced us all sinners, that by His compassion, mercy and love, all of us may find our way back to Him, and be saved from our fated destruction. For God’s love for each one of us surpasses even the anger He has for our sins and wickedness. But we cannot remain in that sin as if we remain in the state of sin, we will eventually be judged for those sins and be found wanting and unworthy.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as Christians all of us are called to follow in the footsteps of the Apostles and the other disciples of the Lord, like what St. Paul and St. Barnabas had done in the past, in doing their best and committing their whole lives glorifying the Lord and proclaiming His truth among the people of God. They showed many people the truth of the Lord and called on many to follow the Lord, and many became believers because of what they had done, the love and concern that they had shown to the people longing for the truth, the patience that they showed and the kindness they exhibited even against those who have rejected their message and persecuted them for their faith.

It is these faithful Apostles and disciples whom we ought to emulate in our own lives and actions. All of us are called to be God’s missionaries in every possible opportunity, to be the bearers and beacons of His light to the people of all the nations. And we should not think that missionaries are only limited to those who dedicated themselves as missionaries, in serving the people and in proclaiming the faith in far-off and distant lands. While there are indeed those who have been called and responded with the willingness to do such a vocation in life, but each and every Christians also share the same mission through the Church which I had mentioned earlier.

Each one of us as Christians share this same responsibility to be good role models for each other, so that we may inspire others around us, our own fellow brothers and sisters, to walk in the same path that we have walked and therefore become God’s followers as well. The Apostles, saints and martyrs had done that, and we therefore should commit ourselves to this same mission that God had given us. We ought to do our best, even in the smallest and simplest matters, to be exemplary in our words, actions and deeds so that others who see us and witness our works and actions may be touched by God through us, and may become believers as well.

May the Lord continue to guide us in our journey of faith, and may He empower each one of us to be committed disciples and followers, to be good Christians by our good and faithful lives. May more and more people and souls be called ever closer to God from now on, always and evermore, following in the leadership and guidance from our Good Shepherd. Amen.