Wednesday, 17 May 2023 : 6th 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 all reminded to remain true to our faith in the Lord, the One and only true God, Who reigns over all things and is the Source of all things, and hence, He alone is worthy of worship and adoration. As Christians, each one of us are called to be the faithful disciples of the Lord, in doing everything we can to glorify the Lord by our lives, and to proclaim His truth and Good News to more and more people among the nations. All of us are called to entrust ourselves to the Lord more, that is to allow Him to lead us and guide us in our path, helping us all to remain firmly faithful in all of our works and deeds, in our every day living and in our every interactions with each other so that we may be good and dedicated beacons of His light and truth.

In our first reading today, as we heard from the passage of the Acts of the Apostles, we are reminded by what St. Paul told to the people of Athens, to those who were assembled in the Areopagus, the area of public discourse and discussion, regarding the nature of the pagan worship then carried out by the Greeks in general and the people of Athens in particular. St. Paul came to Athens bringing the Good News of Christ, our Lord and Saviour, as he revealed unto those people Who the Lord really truly is. He compared how the people were irrational and folly in their belief in the pagan gods and idols, in their trust and worship of beings that came out from our awe of the nature’s wonders, which were merely reflections of the glory of the true Creator and Master of all things.

Back then, the Greeks including the Athenians, and much of the Greco-Roman world believed in a myriad of gods and idols, with deities linked to the natural phenomenon like the sky, lightning, earth itself, fire and storm, the sea, the weather and many other things. Like what St. Paul himself had experienced earlier, with St. Barnabas, he was mistaken by some people during his missionary journey as the manifestations of the Greek pagan pantheon, Zeus and Hermes, the chief of the Greek gods and the messenger of the gods respectively. Those gods acted and behaved just like how humans behaved, as those of us who are familiar with the Greek and Greco-Roman mythology and pantheon would have known how those gods had competitions and rivalry with each other, carried out adulterous and immoral acts, becoming angry over trivial matters among other examples.

Why was that so, brothers and sisters in Christ? That was because those gods came forth from the imagination and the collective knowledge of the people who worshipped them, and they behaved therefore in the manner of those who have worshipped and followed them as well. Essentially, they were not true gods and true beings, but rather, manifestations of the people’s own desires and sometimes twisted beliefs and lack of knowledge of the truth. Hence, St. Paul spoke to the Athenians regarding their folly of following all those artificial and unreal gods and idols, and told them that the One Whom they all ought to be worshipping, is none other than the One and only True God, the same One Who has manifested Himself in this world in the Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of all mankind.

Now, how does this then relate to us? All of us have been called to the same Christian faith that those faithful and dedicated Apostles and servants of God have faithfully upheld. They have all committed themselves to a new life in accordance with God and following the one true God that St. Paul had preached about and proclaimed to the people of Athens. All of us are called and expected to live our lives in the same way, to uphold the Christian truths and the teachings of the Lord at all times, so that our every words, actions and deeds may truly be reflective of our belief and faith in the Lord. As Christians, each and every one of us have the solemn obligation and need to proclaim the truth of God through our lives and works, in everything that we say and do, so that in all of those, we may truly glorify God and made Him known to more and more people.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard yet again of the Lord’s reassurance to all of His disciples that He would send unto them the Holy Spirit to guide and help them down their path, to lead them to the right path and to help them to find their way and journey back towards the Lord. Each one of us are reminded that the Lord has always been with us, providing us throughout our journey and helping us whenever we needed help, in various ways. We have to therefore entrust ourselves in the Lord and to follow the path that He has shown us, so that we may truly be workers of the truth, to proclaim the Good News of God and to live our lives ever more worthily of the Lord Who has revealed Himself and His love to us, blessing us all with His wisdom and truth, with all the success and the growing spread of the Church and its evangelising mission to the world.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we now get closer to the time of the Pentecost and hence the end of this joyful and glorious Easter season, let us all therefore do our part in being good and exemplary, faithful and committed servants of the Lord, such that in everything that we have done and are going to in our lives, we will be able to inspire many others by our faithful examples and by our dedication. Let us all be truly faithful to God, and turn away from the many distractions and temptations present all around us, some of which we have turned into the new idols of our lives, the idol of worldly greed and desires, the idol of power and influence, which made us to be distracted and separated ever further from the love of God. Let us all remember to put our faith and trust in the Lord, our most loving God and Saviour.

May the Risen Lord, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, our most loving God and Good Shepherd, be with us always, be with His Church, and may the Holy Spirit be our inspiration, strength and guide. May the Lord bless our every works and good efforts for His greater glory, and may He help us all to persevere through all the hardships and challenges that we may have to face in this world. May He, the One and only True God, shine the light of His truth and love to the whole of this darkened world. Amen.

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