Thursday, 16 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture reminding all of us to be bearers of God’s truth, which He has revealed to all of us through His Church and teachings. All of us are God’s people, to whom He has revealed all these good things for our own benefit. And He has taught us all, so that we ourselves too may become teachers to our fellow brothers and sisters, that everyone may know of God’s ways.

He has revealed to us His truth and the salvation that He has brought into this world, which has been passed on and conveyed to us through the Church, by the continuous labour and plenty of effort from the faithful throughout the ages. From generations to generations the word of God and the truth He brought has been handed on by the courageous and tireless efforts of those who have gone before us.

Had they not laboured hard and persevered, often through moments of great difficulties and persecutions, exile, torture and the constant threat of arrest and even death, we would not have heard and received this truth that we all now have. We have them to thank for their commitment and courage in living their faith so wholeheartedly, in imitating the examples and the dedication of the Apostles.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, it was the same challenge which St. Paul the Apostle encountered in the first reading we heard today from the Acts of the Apostles. The Apostle has to go against the hostility of those who refused in the truth which he has brought upon them. And yet he persevered still and tried his best to reach out to them, even though they were not receptive, as he recounted God’s blessings and guidance for His people throughout history.

That was the power and the courage which the Holy Spirit has given him, as he went about doing his work and ministry. The Holy Spirit gave that courage and fire in St. Paul which allowed him to strive and persevere on despite the challenges he had to face, of being ridiculed and rejected, torture and imprisonment, and even almost stoned to death. Through his effort, although many among the people refused to believe, there were some who were converted because of what they heard.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, each and every one of us are supposed to continue the work of the Apostles, as there are still many more out there who have not yet received the truth of God, and because we ourselves have benefitted from someone else who devoted themselves to deliver the truth of God, and so it is only right that we give back by devoting ourselves to the same calling that our committed and holy predecessors have received.

How do we do that, brothers and sisters in Christ? We do it through committing ourselves to a life filled with faith and devotion to God, that everyone who see us in our actions, in our words and in our deeds will see in us the truth of God being reflected through our lives. If we otherwise live in ways that do not reflect on our faith, then how do we convince others to believe in us?

Let us all be exemplary in our lives and be committed to be good role models and teachers of the faith for one another. May the Lord be with us and may He empower us to live our lives with faith, now and always. Amen.

Thursday, 16 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 13 : 16-20

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly, I say to you, the servant is not greater than his master, nor is the messenger greater than he who sent him. Understand this, and blessed are you, if you put it into practice.”

“I am not speaking of you all, because I know the ones I have chosen, and the Scripture has to be fulfilled that says : The one who shared My table has risen against Me. I tell you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen, you may know that I am He.”

“Truly, I say to you, whoever welcomes the one I send, welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me, welcomes the One Who sent Me.”

Thursday, 16 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 88 : 2-3, 21-22, 25 and 27

I will sing forever, o Lord, of Your love and proclaim Your faithfulness from age to age. I will declare how steadfast is Your love, how firm Your faithfulness.

I have found David My servant, and with My holy oil I have anointed him. My hand will be ever with him and My arm will sustain.

My faithfulness and love will be with him, and by My help he will be strong. He will call on Me, ‘You are my Father, my God, my Rock, my Saviour.’

Thursday, 16 May 2019 : 4th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 13 : 13-25

From Paphos, Paul and his companions set sail and came to Perga in Pamphylia. There John left them and returned to Jerusalem, while they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. On the Sabbath day they entered the synagogue and sat down. After the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent this message to them, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the assembly, please speak up.”

So Paul arose, motioned to them for silence and began, “Fellow Israelites and also all you who fear God, listen. The God of our people Israel chose our ancestors, and after He had made them increase during their stay in Egypt, He led them out by powerful deeds.”

“For forty years He fed them in the desert, and after He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He gave them their land as an inheritance. All this took four hundred and fifty years. After that, he gave them Judges until Samuel the prophet. Then they asked for a king and God gave them Saul, son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, and he was king for forty years.”

“After that time, God removed him and raised up David as king, to whom He bore witness saying : ‘I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all I want him to do.’ It is from the descendants of David that God has now raised up the promised Saviour of Israel, Jesus.”

“Before He appeared, John proclaimed a baptism of repentance for all the people of Israel. As John was ending his life’s work, he said : ‘I am not what you think I am, for after me another One is coming Whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.'”