Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the Lord speaking to us through the Sacred Scriptures, all of us are called and reminded to follow the Lord wholeheartedly and dedicate ourselves to His works and ministry, and all that He has entrusted to all of us to do in our lives. Each and every one of us have been called to be good and faithful Christians in all things, to be role models and exemplary in our lives and actions so that we may be beacons of God’s light, truth and love in our various communities, proclaiming His Good News and truth to all the people all around us. That is what we have been called to do as Christians, and we will do well to heed this calling and to do what the Lord has commanded us to do, and to live our lives to the best of our abilities, in walking down the path that God has shown us.
In our first reading today, all of us heard from the Acts of the Apostles regarding the continuing works of the Apostles, as St. Paul continued on with his mission, travelling from place to place, proclaiming the Good News of God and ministering to the faithful in all those places. Many were turned towards the Christian faith and truth, and not few like what we heard today, in the example of the God-fearing lady named Lydia from Thyatira, who became a believer, and as we heard, her whole entire household were baptised in the Lord. More and more believers came to follow the path of the Lord, and more gave themselves to be baptised, growing the early Church from a very small community in the very beginning into a rapidly burgeoning assembly of the faithful, spreading from cities and towns, from place to place.
Despite the hardships, challenges and the many trials that the Apostles like St. Paul and the many other missionaries had to face throughout their mission, this certainly did not dampen their passion and efforts to proclaim the Good News of the Lord, as they continued to labour hard amidst the people of God, doing what they could to spread the truth of Christ, our Lord and Saviour, to more and more people. They patiently reached out to people of various origins and thoughts, convincing even some among those who were reluctant and even hostile at first, to become believers in the Lord and in His salvation. Thanks to the hard work of the Apostles and the saints, they have gained for the Lord innumerable new converts and more and more people who become parts of His Church, coming down the path towards salvation and eternal life.
They were all empowered and strengthened by the Holy Spirit just as the Lord Himself has promised and reassured them all in our Gospel passage today. The Lord has promised His disciples that He would send them all His Helper, or the Advocate, that is the Holy Spirit of God, Who would strengthen and invigorate them, give them the wisdom and the courage to carry out their missions and works, so that they might persevere and endure well despite the many challenges facing them, and the many obstacles and hardships that they had to go through amidst the duration of their ministry and hard work. The Holy Spirit guided the Apostles and the other missionaries and all the people of God ever since the Holy Spirit descended upon them at the time of the Pentecost. And from them, eventually the Holy Spirit has also passed down to us as well.
Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us have received the Holy Spirit as well and we have also been entrusted with the same gifts, talents and blessings, and given the same missions that the Lord has given to His disciples and servants then. What the Lord had asked His followers to do then, are still relevant to what we are supposed to do in our world today, as all of us are also called and reminded to proclaim the Good News of God, His truth and love in our own communities, as we embark upon our own missions and works as part of the Universal Church of God. There are also still a lot of people out there who have not yet known the Lord, and have not realised all the good things that He has done for us. The Lord has taught us all everything so that hopefully we can be the bearers of His truth and teachings, His ways and all to the others.
Not only that, but in fact, all of us are also called to rejuvenate and strengthen the faith of all those who are around us, those within the Church and our fellow Christian brothers and sisters, who have lapsed from their faith, who have forgotten their important obligations, duties and responsibilities in living up to their Christian calling and life, just as the Lord had told us all to do. There are many among us Christians who have not even gone to church or participate in the celebrations of the Eucharist and the other Sacraments for quite some time. And there are also many among us who have only gone through the motions in the way how we carry out our Christian living, in our actions and works. Many among us have become lukewarm in our faith, lacking true and genuine commitment to the Lord in our every deeds and works in life.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all therefore today discern carefully our path in life, so that we may truly discern a path forward that leads us down the right path towards God and His salvation. If we have often been distracted by the many temptations and other matters in life, in all the worldly things and attachments we have, then we should take this opportunity to reevaluate our lives and how we have lived them so that we may truly be ever more faithful to the Lord, and have the right focus in life. All of us should reorientate our lives and our way of living them so that the Lord our God will always be at the very centre and as the very focus of our whole lives and existences. Let us all discern this carefully so that we may help to lead and inspire many others around us to live their own lives worthily in the path that God has shown us.
May the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ, our Saviour, King and Good Shepherd be with us always and be with His Church, that each and every one of us may ever be empowered, encouraged and strengthened to live our lives worthily as Christians, to be worthy beacons of God’s light, truth and love at all times. May God bless us all, in all of our works and efforts, for the greater glory of His Name. Amen.