Sunday, 21 May 2023 : Seventh Sunday of Easter, World Social Communications Sunday (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday all of us are reminded first and foremost of the need for all of us as Christians to be in communication with the Lord our most loving God and Father. And it is not a coincidence that this Sunday, the seventh one in the season of Easter, we also mark the occasion of the World Communications Sunday or the World Social Communications Sunday. On this Sunday, we keep in mind the importance of communication, especially with regards to the communication that we should have with the Lord, our most loving God. The Lord has always loved us and each one of us have always been so fortunate to be beloved in such a manner by God. Yet, many of us have not spent the time to reach out to the Lord and we have often forgotten about Him, ignored His love and attention towards us.

We often refused to embrace His love, hardened our hearts and minds against Him, turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to His constant efforts in reaching out to us, in all the love that He has continuously shown us, all these while. The Lord has sent us His own beloved Son, incarnate in the flesh, the Son and Divine Word of God, Who came into our midst so that we may behold the fullness of God’s love manifested in the flesh. Through Him, all of us have experienced the presence of God so close to us, and it is part of His ever enduring desire to reach out to us, to communicate with us and to be with us all. He went through all these because He truly cares for each one of us, and wants us to be freed from the bondage due to our many sins and wickedness. He does not want us to fall into eternal damnation.

Hence, that is why He taught us all how to pray, like what we heard in our Gospel passage today. We heard the Lord Jesus speaking in prayer to His heavenly Father, glorifying and thanking Him in all that He had done, and in all of His wonders and glory. He also commended and entrusted His disciples and followers to His care and providence, asking Him to protect and guide them, to bless them and to be with them just as He has been with them. The Lord has always thought about us and He therefore asked His heavenly Father to bless us and to give us the strength and the courage, and through Him, the Father has sent unto us the Holy Spirit to be our guide and strength, leading us all to Himself. The Lord Jesus Himself has often communicated with His Father, spending time in prayer and in quiet solace, showing us what it truly means to communicate with our loving God and Father.

We may wonder why is it that Jesus Christ, our Lord, the Son of God Himself, had the need to communicate or pray to His heavenly Father. First of all, that is because it shows us how the Son and the Father are always in harmony, together with the Holy Spirit, in a perfect unity of the Three Divine Persons in one Godhead, the Most Holy Trinity. Not only that, but as the Son of God, He is also at the same time, the Son of Man, born to be one like us, sharing in our human likeness and nature, so that by being the Son of the Father, He may share with us all the same identity as sons and daughters, for each one of us so that we truly can call God as our Father as well. That is why, all of us call ourselves as brothers and sisters in Christ, the same children of our most loving God and Father.

Now, as we heard in our first reading today from the Acts of the Apostles, we heard how the Apostles themselves spent time in prayer as they came back from witnessing the Lord’s glorious Ascension into Heaven, and while waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit. They all prayed seeking guidance from God and remaining in communication with Him, listening to Him speaking in their hearts and minds, and once the Holy Spirit came down upon them at Pentecost, they kept on praying and spending time to attune themselves with God, a connection ever strengthened by the Holy Spirit guiding them, as well as through their constant prayerful life and actions. The examples of these early Christians, our holy predecessors ought to become inspiration and good examples for each one of us to follow just as we ourselves seek to live our lives worthily of the Lord.

How about us then, brothers and sisters in Christ? As we commemorate this World Communications Sunday today, let us ask ourselves and remind ourselves whether we have already done what we should as Christians, first and foremost in communicating with God our Father? Many of us are often so busy and preoccupied with so many things in life that we may have forgotten about God, sidelining Him from our lives and ignoring Him. To not few among us, prayer is something done just as a last resort when all hope is lost, or that we desire that God must do something on our behalf, or for our own benefits. While it is indeed right for us to trust the Lord and ask Him for assistance and help, however, demanding for Him to do something for us and to help us is not alright at all. Unfortunately, that is often how many of us prayed, and instead of genuine communication which is what a prayer truly is, our prayers become litanies of supplications and demands.

We become angry when our prayers are not answered or when it seemed that God did not listen to our prayers, requests or desires. But we forget one important and most fundamental fact that the Lord was in no way answerable to us or obliged to answer us or give us what we demanded of Him. This is what happened when we do not have a strong and genuine faith in Him, and when our faith and commitment to Him is truly fleeting and temporary in nature, that prevented us from truly being able to grow into a truly wonderful, strong and enduring relationship with our most loving God and Father. When we pray and seek the Lord only when we have need for Him, then it is not truly building relationship with God, brothers and sisters in Christ. All of us have to strive to build a strong and lasting relationship with God, one that endures through even the most difficult moments and challenges.

And as Christians, all of us are also encouraged to build up strong and genuine relationships with our fellow Christians, our brothers and sisters in the same Lord, our God and Father. Our Christian faith is not something that thrives in isolation, as we need to be part of a vibrant and living Christian community, all in good communication and contact with each other, so that we may indeed become closer to each other and grow to love and care for our fellow brethren, just as the Lord has commanded all of us to do. Our Christian faith and obligation requires us to spend time not just with God but also with our fellow brethren, to communicate with them meaningfully and to develop strong, living and enduring relationships, through which we will become ever more enriched and stronger in faith and dedication to the Lord.

Let us all therefore do our best so that we may grow ever better in how we communicate with God through prayers and other means, and also how we communicate with each other, by spending quality time with those who are important and dear to us, and also spending time and effort to interact meaningfully and lovingly with one another, to our beloved ones, in our families and among our friends, and also with the strangers and acquaintances whom we encounter each day. Let us all do this, and commit ourselves to be effective communicators, knowing that by our exemplary lives and good communication skills, we may truly proclaim the Lord and His truth to more and more people from all the nations. May the Lord continue to guide and bless each one of us in our efforts to glorify Him, in each and every moments. Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.