Tuesday, 15 May 2018 : 7th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we heard about the story of two people who were saying their farewells to those who were with them, at the end of their respective ministries. The first one, from the Acts of the Apostles, related to us about the moment when St. Peter said his farewell to the elders and the faithful in the city of Ephesus in present day Turkey.

In that occasion, St. Paul through the wisdom and foresight given to him by the Holy Spirit, had known that the time was coming for him to meet his end, as he was about to face persecution from the Jewish authorities, and would have his last Apostolic journey, to the centre of the Empire, the city of Rome, where he would perform his last mission and would encounter martyrdom there.

However, despite knowing what would happen to him, and how he would suffer and be persecuted, St. Paul did not fear or become worrisome. Instead, he entrusted himself in the Lord, and spoke encouragingly to the elders of the faithful in Ephesus, by which he reminded them of the need to be faithful to the Lord, and to put their hope and trust in God Who will not abandon His faithful ones in their time of need.

St. Paul imitated the example of the Lord Jesus Himself, Who in the Gospel passage we heard today, prayed to God His Father, asking Him to be with His disciples, that is with all those whom He had called and gathered from the world. He prayed over them, that they would receive the fullness of truth which would bring them to eternal life. He entrusted all of them to God, and therefore, they belong to God, through Jesus.

Jesus showed all of His disciples, that the Lord will always be with them, and He will never abandon them, no matter how challenging the troubles and opposition that would be facing them. And the ultimate proof of that assurance, is Christ Himself, Whom the Father sent into this world, because of His love for each and every one of us. He is always ever faithful, and His words reliable.

Why is that so? Let us remember that in order to save us, God did not spare anything less than giving His own self, His own Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Saviour. And He loved us so much, and is so faithful to the Covenant that He had established with us, that He was obedient unto death, the most painful and sorrowful death on the cross. That is just how much God loved each and every one of us.

How can we, as Christians, then not be in love with God? How can we not trust in Him? But the reality says otherwise, brothers and sisters in Christ. Many of us are so worried about this life and all the things we covet and desire, for wealth, for prestige, for honour, for worldly glory and human praise, for pleasures of the flesh and body, and for many other things of worldly nature, that we do not trust in God, Who truly knows what we really need.

Instead, we ended up putting our trust in many things that distract us from our true focus, that is God. We idolise many things that become distraction for us, as some of us idolise money, and put it as more important than everything else in our life, including even God. Some of us will do everything in order to gain fame and prestige, regardless of the futility of such pursuits.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us as Christians are called to remember the memory of St. Paul, his faith and dedication to the good works which he performed for the Lord and for His Church. And we recall the great trust and faith which he had in the Lord, without which he could not have done all the things he had done, all the missionary works he had undertaken and more.

And we remember the great trust and love which Our Lord Jesus Himself had shown us, in His close relationship with His Father. All of us are called to imitate these good examples, and indeed, we should begin from ourselves, at this very moment, if we have not done so. Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all devote ourselves anew to the Lord, and let us all seek to be ever more committed and faithful to God, each and every days of our life. May God be with us all, now and always. Amen.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018 : 7th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 17 : 1-11a

At that time, after Jesus said all that He had said to His disciples, He lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come! Give glory to Your Son, that the Son may give glory to You. You have given Him power over all humanity, so that He may give eternal life to all those You entrusted to Him. For this is eternal life : to know You, the only true God, and the One You sent, Jesus Christ.”

“I have glorified You on earth and finished the work that You gave Me to do. Now, Father, give Me, in Your presence, the same glory I had with You before the world began. I have made Your Name known to those You gave Me from the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me, and they kept Your word. And now they know that whatever You entrusted to Me, is indeed from You.”

“I have given them the teaching I received from You, and they received it, and know in truth that I came from You; and they believe that You sent Me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world, but for those who belong to You, and whom You have given to Me. Indeed all I have is Yours and all You have is Mine; and now they are My glory.”

“I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I come to You.”

Tuesday, 15 May 2018 : 7th Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 67 : 10-11, 20-21

Then You gave a rain of blessings to comfort Your weary children. Your people found a dwelling and in Your mercy, o God, You provided for the needy.

Blessed be the Lord, God our Saviour, Who daily bears our burdens! Ours is a God Who saves; our Lord lets us escape from death.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018 : 7th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 20 : 17-27

From Miletus Paul sent word to Ephesus, summoning the elders of the Church. When they came to him, he addressed them, “You know how I lived among you from the first day I set foot in the province of Asia, how I served the Lord in humility through the sorrows and trials that the Jews caused me.”

“You know that I never held back from doing anything that could be useful for you; I spoke publicly and in your homes, and I urged Jews and non-Jews alike to turn to God and believe in our Lord Jesus.”

“But now I am going to Jerusalem, chained by the Spirit, without knowing what will happen to me there. Yet in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that imprisonment and troubles await me. Indeed I put no value on my life, if only I can finish my race and complete the service to which I have been assigned by the Lord Jesus, to announce the Good News of God’s grace.”

“I now feel sure that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom of God will ever see me again. Therefore I declare to you this day that my conscience is clear with regard to all of you. For I have spared no effort in fully declaring to you God’s will.”