Wednesday, 19 April 2023 : 2nd 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, all of us are reminded to be courageous in living our lives as Christians, to proclaim the Risen Lord as the Hope, Light and Salvation of the whole entire world. Without Christ, all of us would have perished and we would have to suffer the consequences and the punishments for our many sins. But thanks to His kindness, generosity and compassion, and through the ever-enduring Mercy that He has shown us, the Risen Lord has shown us His great love manifested in the Person of His Son, through Whom we have received the fullness of God’s Love, as He reached out to us, desiring to be fully and completely reconciled with us. Although we have indeed sinned against the Lord and disobeyed Him, but God’s love for us surpasses even the disgust He had against our sins and wickedness.

That is why through our Scripture passages today, all of us are reminded of how God’s love that transcends all things allowed us to come close once again to His embrace and loving Presence. Once we have been cast out of the Light as we have chosen darkness and sin but God has shown us His mercy and love through His Son, as He opened the gates of Heaven by His death and Resurrection, reconnecting and reconciling us by the breaking of His own Most Precious Body and by the outpouring of His own Most Precious Blood. That is what the Lord Himself has foretold to His disciples as well as to Nicodemus, the Pharisee who sympathised with the Lord and would eventually become one of His disciples. As we heard in our Gospel passage today, the Lord told Nicodemus that God so loved the world that He sent us all His own beloved Son, so that all who believe in Him will not perish, and have eternal life.

In another part of this conversation of the Lord Jesus with Nicodemus, He also mentioned how He would be raised up high just like that of the bronze serpent made by Moses, when great plague of fiery serpents struck the Israelites for their sins and disobedience against God. And the Lord Jesus willingly embraced His Cross, punished for our many transgressions and sins against God and our fellow brothers and sisters, to be nailed on that Cross and raised as a Sign for everyone, to all the faithful people of God, that the Salvation of God has indeed come through His Son, the Suffering and Crucified Messiah, Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord has not hold all these back from us, and He did all that He could in order to gather us all and save us. He has endured the greatest trials and hardships, persecutions and oppressions, humiliations and troubles all so that He might redeem and liberate us all from our fated destruction because of our sins.

That is what each and every one of us have been reminded of, as we heard of the Lord’s words to Nicodemus today. He proclaimed the salvation of God that has finally appeared and come into our midst, through the Passion, death and Resurrection of God’s own beloved Son, sacrificed and offered for our own benefit, as the perfect and worthy sacrifice, the Paschal Lamb slain on our behalf, and by Whose Precious Blood all of us have been washed clean, through our baptism. However, this does not mean that we can do whatever we want, as sin and the temptations to sin are still common all around us, and if we are not careful, we may end up falling deeper and deeper into the trap of sin, into which many of our predecessors had often fallen into, as they lapsed again and again into sin. We can even look on our own actions in life, and see just how frequent we have been disobeying God all these while.

That is why we should make use of the opportunities provided to us so that we may not lose sight and focus on our true emphasis and attention on the Lord, our Saviour and God. We should always do what we can to realign our focus and attention on the Lord and do not let ourselves be distracted by the many worldly temptations and pressures present all around us, all of which may lead us astray in our journey towards the Lord, our loving God and Father. Unless we make the effort to resist those temptations and pressures, we may easily be swayed to follow the whims of worldly desires and attachments that we have, and end up walking down the wrong path in life. We have to realise that without God and His guidance, we will easily lose sight on what is truly important in our lives, and it is easy for us to do things that are contrary to God’s will.

That was exactly the things that the members of the Sanhedrin, or the Jewish High Council were doing against God’s works and the works of His disciples. Many of them often resisted the Lord and criticised Him for many of His miracles and works, persecuting Him and His disciples. They were also the same ones who have arrested the Lord and condemned Him to death, handing Him to the Romans to be crucified. They refused to believe in the truth and all the words of Wisdom that the Lord Himself has shown them, patiently and consistently, as the Lord had always done, in reaching out even to those who have resisted and rejected Him. From His Cross, the Lord prayed for the sake of those who persecuted and condemned Him to death, and He did die for all of them as well. No one is truly beyond God’s forgiveness and mercy, and He has always been generous in giving us His love and mercy.

However, it requires us all to embrace God’s mercy and love for us to gain the full benefit of His kindness and mercy. God gave us His compassion and forgiveness freely, but unless we accept His mercy and love, we will not be reconciled with Him. Without God’s forgiveness and grace, none of us can attain salvation and eternal life on our own, for it is by God’s grace and guidance alone that we can live our lives truly worthily of Him, and become closer to Him. Unless we open our hearts and minds to the Lord and allow Him to guide us in our path forward, the likelihood of us coming close to the Lord becomes truly minuscule, as our stubbornness and arrogance often got in our way of walking towards God’s love and grace, as what had happened to the Pharisees and the other members of the Sanhedrin.

That is why, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all hence renew our faith in God, and let us all be the committed and loving disciples of the Lord once again. Let us all turn towards Him and focus our attention on Him, our Risen Lord and Saviour. May the Risen Lord continue to bless and guide us in our journey of faith, and may He continue to be generous in His mercy and love, and help us to humble ourselves and to put our trust in Him so that all of us may truly follow Him wholeheartedly, and allow Him to lead our path in life. May He bless our Easter observances and joyful actions, and guide us always. Amen.

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