Friday, 5 May 2023 : 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, each one of us are reminded that all of us have a sure and firm foundation in Christ, and we have been reminded of this fact, as we listened again of everything that He had done for us which culminated in the perfect sacrifice and offering that His Son, Our Risen Lord Jesus Christ, has offered on our behalf, as the perfect and worthy sacrifice that is the only one worthy in redeeming all of us from the many and unimaginably great burdens and bondage of our sins. Our Paschal Lamb, the Lamb of God, has taken away our many and innumerable sins, upon Himself and became the worthy sacrifice that opened the path for all of us towards the salvation and eternal life in our loving God, Father and Creator.

In our first reading today, we heard of the Acts of the Apostles in which St. Paul continued to speak to the Jewish people in Antioch in Pisidia in their synagogue. St. Paul spoke about the Messiah or Saviour Who had come into their midst, Jesus Christ, the Son of God incarnate in the flesh, Who has ministered, laboured and preached the Good News of God, the salvation and redemption that have finally come from the Lord Himself. Yet, as St. Paul recounted it to the Jews, those Jewish leaders and people in Jerusalem were swayed by their stubbornness and jealousy to reject the Lord and His teachings, and condemned Him to death after arresting Him, and leading Him to be crucified by the Romans under Pontius Pilate’s leadership. But in doing so, in truth, everything had happened as the Lord Himself willed it.

In taking up His Cross, suffering and dying for us from His Cross, the Lord fulfilled everything that He has ever promised for us just as St. Paul explained it. We ourselves must understand this well, as Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross was the only path through which all of us mankind could be reconciled to God, our loving Father and Creator. Since at the very beginning of time and Creation, mankind chose to abandon the Lord for the sweet lies and falsehoods of Satan, and through their disobedience leading up to sin, they had been sundered from the fullness of God’s love and grace. That was why all of us had to experience suffering and death, because separated from God, there can be no life and true happiness for us. Yet, God did not despise us, but He has loved us all the same, and because of His ever enduring love, He reached out to us, helped and guided us, and ultimately He gave us all His beloved Son.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard then of the Lord Himself reassuring His disciples that He would always be with them regardless of anything, and He would always be by their side. The Lord has not abandoned us, and through His Son, He would prepare for us all a place with Him in Heaven. That was what the Lord Himself told His disciples just prior to His Passion, His suffering and death. That despite Him being persecuted and put to death, but not even death itself can separate us from God and His Love. And the resurrection of the Lord proved us all just exactly this case, that God Himself has conquered and destroyed death for us, and by offering Himself, He has built for us a new Bridge through His Cross and Resurrection, that became sure guarantee and firm passageway in the path that we have towards eternal life and salvation in God.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, as Christians, as all those who have believed in the Lord and His truth, His love for us and in His sacrifice, and His glorious Resurrection, each and every one of us have been entrusted with the same mission that God has entrusted to His Church and disciples, and that is to proclaim this Good News, this truth and love that He has for each and every one of us to the whole entire world. Yet, many of us are still unaware of this calling and mission we have, and worse still, many of us are lacking real and genuine faith in the Lord, with many of us are only outwardly expressing our faith, or worse still, having stopped showing our faith at all, with many people having stopped celebrating the Sacraments and taking part in the active life in the Church altogether. We can see with great sadness how many Catholics have not been attending the Mass or coming to the church on Sundays, less still doing other things that they should have done.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, many of us have become lukewarm in our faith, and many more still have forgotten the important tenets and teachings of the Lord in our Christian faith. That is why, today as we all are reminded of the Lord’s works and actions through the passages of the Sacred Scriptures, we are called to rejuvenate and restore our faith in the Lord, and practice our faith in our lives so that our every words, deeds, actions, our way of life and every interactions with one another be truly filled with the joy of the Lord’s Good News and Gospels, and be truly faithful in all things, not just merely paying lip service or be externally faithful and yet having no real love, devotion and commitment to the Lord within our hearts and minds. Each and every one of us are reminded and challenged to be genuine and missionary Christians, as evangelising disciples and followers of the Lord in our world today.

That is why, let us all continue to strive each day to be ever more faithful to God, deepening our relationship with Him and understanding our faith ever better, by spending the time and effort to come ever closer to the Lord. Each and every one of us should spend more quality time with the Lord, doing our very best to walk in His path ever more worthily and becoming true inspirations and good role models for each other. It is through our actions that we can help many more people to come to know the Lord, His truth and His love. If our actions in fact bring scandal to our faith and to the Lord’s Holy Name, how can we then convince others to come to believe in God as well? We will only end up turning people ever further away from the Lord and from His path, and the consequences of this action will be put against us on the Day of Judgement.

May the Risen Lord, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Our Saviour and King continue to guide and bless us in all things, and may He help each and every one of us to persevere through the challenges facing us in how we live our Christians lives with faith. May the Lord continue to help us to do our best so that we may become great inspiration and role models for others in how we live our lives with faith, now and always. Amen.

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