Wednesday, 15 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us are reminded on this day through what we have received and read from the Scriptures that God has given us all His commandments and His will, and all of us as His people, His disciples and His servants, all of us ought to do our very best to obey Him and to do whatever we can in our own lives to be as best as disciples and followers as we can in our own respective lives.

In the first reading today, we heard of the sending off of the two Apostles, St. Paul and St. Barnabas, whom God had chosen and let known to the other disciples through the Holy Spirit, that God has called them and has willed them to go forth to the peoples of the Gentiles, meaning those who belong to the non-Jewish communities, the Greeks, Romans and many others, as the two Apostles embarked on an extensive and long missionary journey to the many cities and places throughout the Eastern Mediterranean region.

The two Apostles were empowered to do what the Lord has called them to do, to be the bearers of His truth among those people to whom God had sent them to. They went forth with the guidance, strength and power of the Holy Spirit, to perform all the wondrous miracles and to be able to speak so courageously and fearlessly even amidst persecutions, ridicule and rejection from their enemies and from all those who refused to believe.

They showed all of us the examples of what it truly means for us to be a true disciple and follower of the Lord, who does not just believe in God with words or proclamations only, but even through real action and through the sacrifice of time and generous giving of oneself and effort, ready to lay down everything to God, even their own lives, suffering persecution after persecution, one after another.

Although many of the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord suffered terribly and endured much pain for the sake of their faith, but they persevered on nonetheless because of the strong and living faith which they have in the Lord, their God. They did not let those sufferings to hinder and prevent them from being able to dedicate themselves. In fact those persecutions only served to strengthen their resolve and commitment to do what they have been called to do.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, are we able to emulate our holy predecessors in their numerous good examples? Are we able to do what they have begun, and which all of us now inherit? Yes, we are all the successors of the Apostles, those whom the Lord had called to continue the many works they have sowed with their blood and tears. There are still many works waiting to be done, and each and every one of us have to do our best and give our very best effort.

Let us spend this day thinking of how each and every one of us can contribute in our own way, dedicating ourselves in whatever way we can to follow God’s will and work for His greater glory. We do not have to suffer and die like the Apostles and the disciples of the early Church endured, but rather, we give our very best from our heart, dedicating ourselves thoroughly to serve God at all times.

May the Lord guide us and bless us, and may He strengthen each and every one of us in our journey. May all of us draw strength from God, that we will be ever more faithful and be ever more committed to our faith in all the things we do. Amen.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 12 : 44-50

At that time, yet Jesus had said, and even cried out, “Whoever believes in Me, believes not in Me, but in Him Who sent Me. And whoever sees Me, sees Him Who sent Me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness.”

“If anyone hears My words and does not keep them, I am not the One to condemn him; for I have come, not to condemn the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects Me, and does not receive My word, already has a judge : the very word I have spoken will condemn him on the last day.”

“For I have not spoken on My own authority; the Father, Who sent Me, has instructed Me in what to say and how to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life, and that is why the message I give, I give as the Father instructed Me.”

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 66 : 2-3, 5, 6 and 8

May God be gracious and bless us, may He let His face shine upon us, that Your way be known on earth and Your salvation among the nations.

May the countries be glad and sing for joy, for You rule the peoples with justice and guide the nations of the world.

May the people praise You, o God, may all the peoples praise You! May God bless us and be revered, to the very ends of the earth.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 12 : 24 – Acts 13 : 5a

Meanwhile the word of God was increasing and spreading. Barnabas and Saul carried out their mission and then came back to Jerusalem, taking with them John also called Mark.

There were at Antioch – in the Church which was there – prophets and teachers : Barnabas, Symeon known as Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod, and Saul.

On one occasion while they were celebrating the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul to do the work for which I have called them.” So, after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

These then, sent by the Holy Spirit, went down the port of Seleucia and from there sailed to Cyprus. Upon their arrival in Salamis they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogue.