Saturday, 17 April 2021 : 2nd 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 Lord speaking to us through the Sacred Scriptures, we are reminded to put our trust always in the Lord and not to be worried or easily swayed by the many trials and challenges that we may encounter along the journey of our faith. We must not be afraid to follow the Lord and to commit ourselves to Him, and we should look up to Him, entrusting ourselves to Him as we journey through the storms and the trials of life.

In our Gospel passage today, this is what we have heard as the disciples went to the sea of Galilee on a boat while the Lord was not with them, and then later on, as the sea was getting harsh and stormy, they saw the Lord coming up to them walking on the water. The Lord reassured the frightened disciples on the boat who thought that they had seen a ghost, that it was indeed Him Who was walking towards them, and then as the Lord came to them, the disciples and their boat immediately reached their destination.

In this miraculous and wonderful occasion mentioned by the Gospel today, we heard how the Lord came to His disciples and rescued them at their time of need, and at the same time, guided them to where they were to go, leading them to the shore. Through these things that we have heard, we are reminded that God is indeed our strength and guide, our source of encouragement and our compass, the Light that shows us where we are to go, just as He has led His disciples and others to Himself.

Unfortunately, it is very often that we ourselves do not recognise the Lord especially when we are in the midst of challenges, trials and difficulties in life. When we encounter problems and dilemma in life, very often we panicked and became worried, stressed and filled with fear, and not realising that the Lord is in fact by our side, journeying with us and guiding us throughout the journey. Just as the Lord revealed Himself in the storm to the frightened disciples, He wants us all to know that no matter what, He is always with us, even to the worst things we encounter in life.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in our first reading today from the Acts of the Apostles, we heard how the early Church faced difficulties when there was division and disagreement between the Jewish and the non-Jewish or Gentiles among the Lord’s followers, as the latter felt that they had not been equally treated in the distribution of goods, likely because of the prevailing bias against the Gentiles or the non-Jewish people by the Jews among the early Christians, even after they had adopted the Christian faith.

The Apostles, through the wisdom and guidance of the Lord in the Holy Spirit decided to choose seven exemplary men among the faithful, to be the first Seven Deacons of the Church, tasked with the works and distributions of the goods, as well as in assisting the Apostles and the elders in the Church and in managing the faithful people of God. Through the holy and inspired Deacons, the Lord had guided His people through a tumultuous times, and helped them to overcome their differences and be reconciled to each other.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in what we have heard, again we have been reassured of God’s guidance and providence among His people, in His guidance towards those whom He had called and chosen, in those whom He loves and considers as precious. That is why we should not be afraid to do whatever He has commanded us all to do, to be courageous and faithful as Christians, that in everything we say and do, we will always be exemplary in whatever we do, at all times, as great role models and inspiration for one another.

We are all called to be faithful and to be active in our Christian lives and in how we dedicate our daily efforts, for the greater glory of God. Let us all be inspired by the examples of the Apostles, the works of the Holy Deacons, the courage of St. Stephen, who died defending his faith, and the many other saints and martyrs who had gone before us, each of them truly exemplary in their lives. May God be with us all, and may He strengthen us all in our every endeavours and efforts. May the Lord be with us always, and may He give us the necessary capacity and energy to walk in the Lord’s presence, at all times. Amen.

Saturday, 17 April 2021 : 2nd Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 6 : 16-21

At that time, when evening came, the disciples went down to the shore. After a while they got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the sea, for it was now dark and Jesus had not yet come to them. But the sea was getting rough because a strong wind was blowing.

They had rowed about three or four miles, when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, and He was drawing near to the boat. They were frightened, but He said to them, “It is I! Do not be afraid!” They wanted to take Him into the boat, but immediately the boat was at the shore to which they were going.

Saturday, 17 April 2021 : 2nd Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 32 : 1-2, 4-5, 18-19

Rejoice in the Lord, you who are just, praise is fitting for the upright. Give thanks to Him on the harp and lyre, making melody and chanting praises.

For upright is the Lord’s word and worthy of trust is His work. The Lord loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of His kindness.

But the Lord’s eyes are upon those who fear Him, upon those who trust in His loving-kindness to deliver them from death and preserve them from famine.

Saturday, 17 April 2021 : 2nd Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 6 : 1-7

In those days, as the number of disciples grew, the so-called Hellenists complained against the so-called Hebrews, because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.

So the Twelve summoned the whole body of disciples together and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God to serve at tables. So, friends, choose from among yourselves seven respected men full of Spirit and wisdom, that we may appoint them to this task. As for us, we shall give ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.”

The whole community agreed and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and Holy Spirit : Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenus and Nicolaus of Antioch who was a proselyte. They presented these men to the Apostles who first prayed over them and then laid hands upon them.

The Word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly and even many priests accepted the faith.