Friday, 9 April 2021 : Friday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 21 : 1-14

At that time, after Jesus appeared to Thomas and His disciples, He revealed Himself to them by the lake of Tiberias. He appeared to them in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas who was called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two other disciples were together; and Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They replied, “We will come with you.” And they went out and got into the boat, but they caught nothing that night.

When day had already broken, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus called them, “Friends, have you anything to eat?” They answered, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “Throw the net on the right side of the boat and you will find something.” When they had lowered the net, they were not able to pull it in because of the great number of fish.”

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” At these words, “It is the Lord!” Simon Peter put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and jumped into the water. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish; they were not far from land, about a hundred metres.

When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed into the boat and pulled the net to shore. It was full of big fish – one hundred and fifty-three – but, in spite of this, the net was not torn.

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” And not one of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are You?” for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and He did the same with the fish. This was the third time that Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples after rising from the dead.

Friday, 9 April 2021 : Friday within Easter Octave (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 117 : 1-2 and 4, 22-24, 25-27a

Alleluia! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His loving kindness endures forever. Let Israel say, “His loving kindness endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say, “His loving kindness endures forever.”

The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing and we marvel at it. This is the day the Lord has made; so let us rejoice and be glad.

Save us, o Lord, deliver us, o Lord! Blessed is He Who comes in the Lord’s Name! We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God; may His light shine upon us.

Friday, 9 April 2021 : Friday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 4 : 1-12

While Peter and John were still speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the Temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them. They were greatly disturbed because the Apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming that resurrection from the dead had been proved in the case of Jesus.

Since it was already evening, they arrested them and put them in custody until the following day. But despite this, many of those who heard the Message believed and their number increased to about five thousand. The next day, the Jewish leaders, elders and teachers of the Law assembled in Jerusalem. Annas, the High Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all who were of the high priestly class were there.

They brought Peter and John before them and began to question them, “How did you do this? Whose Name did you use?” Then Peter filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke up, “Leaders of the people! Elders! It is a fact that we are being examined today for a good deed done to a cripple. How was he healed? You and all the people of Israel must know that this man stands before you cured through the Name of Jesus Christ the Nazarean.”

“You had Him crucified, but God raised Him from the dead. Jesus is the stone rejected by you the builders which has become the cornerstone. There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other Name given to humankind all over the world by which we may be saved.”

Friday, 26 April 2019 : Friday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the call of the Lord, reminding us of our calling as Christians, to bear witness to Christ’s glorious resurrection and His truth before all the people. The Lord had called all of us just in the same manner as He has called His Apostles and disciples, and we have been called to continue the mission which He has entrusted to them, namely the evangelisation of the whole world.

In the Gospel passage today, we heard of the moment when the Lord Jesus appeared to His disciples at the lake of Galilee, where He had told them to go before He was crucified and died. He appeared before them after they have spent a whole night out in the lake and did not manage to catch anything. Then He asked them to cast out their nets onto the right side of the boat, even though they have not caught anything all night long.

And when they followed the Lord’s commands, they caught so many fishes that the whole boat almost could not contain them all. And St. Peter immediately recognised the Lord for Who He was. And thus, the Lord was reunited with His disciples, and that occasion marked a very symbolic event for the Church, in reminding all of us of what we need to do as Christians who have been called to be witnesses to our faith.

The Apostles who were in the boat represented the Church of God, which also contained all of us, God’s faithful people. And the Church itself is often depicted as a boat, just as our church buildings are built with specification of a ship, with the centre part named as nave, which came from the word navy, that is used in association with ships. And this is also symbolically linked to another occasion in the Gospels, where the disciples in the boat were afraid when their boat was battered by strong winds and waves, and their boat was about to sink.

And the Lord calling on His Apostles to reach out and cast their nets to catch the fish represent His calling and the mission that He entrusted to the Apostles, for them to ‘catch’ the people for whom they have been called to serve as the ‘fishers of men’. And they led the Church in this effort, to bring the people, represented by the many fishes of various types and sizes, into the boat, that is into God’s salvation in His Church.

First of all, all these are reminders for us that, each and every one of us have been called to follow in the footsteps of the Apostles, to continue the good works that they had begun and which they had performed with faith, as well as the good works of their successors in calling many more and more souls to the salvation in God through the Church. It is through God alone that justification and salvation can be gained, and it is our responsibility as Christians, as those who have heard and accepted God’s offer of salvation, to bear witness to it and to bring it forth to our fellow brethren.

That was what St. Peter and St. John had to do in our first reading today, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, as they went up against the whole of the Sanhedrin, or the Jewish high council. St. Peter and St. John testified not only with words, as they preached the truth of Christ and stood up for their faith in God against those who refused to believe in them, but they also showed God’s might and power, as they healed a man born crippled, and showed before all, that they were truly sent by God.

But the Apostles as we can clearly see from what had happened to them, and if we read on through the rest of the Acts of the Apostles and the traditions of the Church, with the story of countless martyrs and all those who have suffered for the Lord’s sake showed us, each and every one of us as Christians must also be aware that for us to follow the Lord faithfully and devoutly may mean that we will end up in conflict against those who did not believe in Him.

Yet, this does not mean that we should give up our faith, or for us to be lukewarm and indifferent to our faith. For those who are indifferent and lukewarm in their faith will not receive justification in God, as they did not follow what the Apostles had done, in courageously living up to their faith in their daily living, and in bringing forth God’s truth by their own exemplary lives and examples. Rather, all of us are called to imitate their good examples, their faithful lives and commitment in our own respective lives.

May the Lord, our loving God, continue to guide us through our own lives’ journey, that each and every one of us will be more faithful and be more courageous like the Apostles, in their exemplary lives and in their commitment to serve the Lord and to be the bearers of His truth. Let us all be the source of light and salvation, by the works that God had done through us, to our fellow brethren, all those especially, who are still living in the darkness of sin. May God bless us all and our endeavours. Amen.

Friday, 26 April 2019 : Friday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 21 : 1-14

At that time, after Jesus appeared to Thomas and His disciples, He revealed Himself to them by the lake of Tiberias. He appeared to them in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas who was called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two other disciples were together; and Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They replied, “We will come with you.” And they went out and got into the boat, but they caught nothing that night.

When day had already broken, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus called them, “Friends, have you anything to eat?” They answered, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “Throw the net on the right side of the boat and you will find something.” When they had lowered the net, they were not able to pull it in because of the great number of fish.”

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” At these words, “It is the Lord!” Simon Peter put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and jumped into the water. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish; they were not far from land, about a hundred metres.

When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed into the boat and pulled the net to shore. It was full of big fish – one hundred and fifty-three – but, in spite of this, the net was not torn.

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” And not one of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are You?” for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and He did the same with the fish. This was the third time that Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples after rising from the dead.

Friday, 26 April 2019 : Friday within Easter Octave (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 117 : 1-2 and 4, 22-24, 25-27a

Alleluia! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His loving kindness endures forever. Let Israel say, “His loving kindness endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say, “His loving kindness endures forever.”

The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing and we marvel at it. This is the day the Lord has made; so let us rejoice and be glad.

Save us, o Lord, deliver us, o Lord! Blessed is He Who comes in the Lord’s Name! We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God; may His light shine upon us.

Friday, 26 April 2019 : Friday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 4 : 1-12

While Peter and John were still speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the Temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them. They were greatly disturbed because the Apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming that resurrection from the dead had been proved in the case of Jesus.

Since it was already evening, they arrested them and put them in custody until the following day. But despite this, many of those who heard the Message believed and their number increased to about five thousand. The next day, the Jewish leaders, elders and teachers of the Law assembled in Jerusalem. Annas, the High Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all who were of the high priestly class were there.

They brought Peter and John before them and began to question them, “How did you do this? Whose Name did you use?” Then Peter filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke up, “Leaders of the people! Elders! It is a fact that we are being examined today for a good deed done to a cripple. How was he healed? You and all the people of Israel must know that this man stands before you cured through the Name of Jesus Christ the Nazarean.”

“You had Him crucified, but God raised Him from the dead. Jesus is the stone rejected by you the builders which has become the cornerstone. There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other Name given to humankind all over the world by which we may be saved.”

Friday, 21 April 2017 : Friday within Easter Octave, Memorial of St. Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we heard how the Lord appeared to His disciples by the lake of Galilee, where the disciples had been fishing for day and night without any success. Then, He asked them to follow His instructions, and they obeyed Him, and immediately, they caught so many fishes, that the boat almost sank. And immediately, St. Peter and then the other Apostles recognised Jesus as He was.

In today’s Gospel passage, we saw the fulfilment of what the Lord Himself had spoken to the Apostles when He called them at the same spot, calling His first Apostles from among humble fishermen plying their trade on the lakeside. He called them to leave their nets and livelihood behind, that they would no longer be fishermen catching fishes at the lake, but would become fishers of men. That was the symbolism of the miracle which Jesus performed at that time.

The Church is often portrayed as a boat, helmed by the saints and the martyrs. The Apostles were the ones whom the Lord had entrusted with the foundation of His Church. And they were the workers who ensured that the boat was guided properly and thus was capable of gathering as many fishes as possible into the boat. The fishes represent the people of God, those to whom the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord had been sent to.

In the beginning, when the Lord called them, the disciples followed the Lord, Who asked them to put the net out into the deep waters, and as a result netted plenty of fishes, which was actually a symbolism of what they would be doing as God’s disciples and messengers of His will. God sent His Apostles and disciples to places they would not normally go, to the distant and foreign lands, so that they might be able to preach the Good News and the words of God in those places.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, had the Apostles not done what they had done in preaching the Good News amidst the difficulties and challenges that they faced, and despite all the opposition and lack of faith they encountered, even from the powerful such as the Sadducees and the Pharisees, then many people would not have come to believe in the Lord and His salvation.

There would have been many people who lingered on in the darkness, lacking hope for salvation, because no one had come to them bearing the truth which the Lord had brought with Him into this world. That is why, it is important for us to be courageous in living our faith, so that we may follow in the footsteps of the holy Apostles and martyrs, all those who have listened to the truth of God, and then passed them on to all those who have yet to hear of God’s Good News.

Let us all be inspired by the examples of St. Anselm, the holy bishop and renowned saint, a Doctor of the Church, who lived in the Medieval era Britain, known also as St. Anselm of Canterbury. He was a devout and holy servant of God, who dedicated much of his life in service to God. He strengthened the faith in many of the people entrusted to him as his flock. He stood up for the rights of the Church when it was under threat by the secular government trying to impinge upon the works of salvation and mercy that the Church took up.

St. Anselm was a holy and devout, and yet humble and dedicated man, who committed his life to bring the people of God closer to Him, by helping them to overcome the temptation and falsehoods of the devil as they lived their lives. He was not afraid even to oppose the kings and their followers, especially when they went wayward and abandoned the righteousness that they ought to have done.

He opposed the attempts by the kings and their noble supporters in trying to impose control over the Church and the spiritual matters of the faithful. He courageously stood up for his faith, even to the point of having endured exile and persecution, and yet he never gave up. This is the same kind of commitment and faith which all of us will need to have in our lives, the same devotion and passion to live out our faith as the saints and martyrs of the Lord had once done.

Let us all renew our commitment, and spend our time to help bring the truth of God, not just by words, but also through our actions and deeds. How do we do so? It is by embodying our faith through all and everything that we do, that we can convince others that the Lord’s truth is the one for them. How can we convince others if we ourselves do not practice what we believe in?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all commit ourselves to a life of honesty, of justice, of righteousness, and of goodness, so that we will truly become a people worthy of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us all be joyful this Easter season, by being filled with Easter joy and spirit, that we may always be willing and desiring to help our brethren, all those who are still living in ignorance of the Lord and in the darkness, so that everyone may be saved. Let us all follow in the footsteps of the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord, bringing God’s salvation to all as fishers of men. May God bless us all. Amen.

Friday, 21 April 2017 : Friday within Easter Octave, Memorial of St. Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
John 21 : 1-14

At that time, after Jesus appeared to Thomas and His disciples, He revealed Himself to them by the lake of Tiberias. He appeared to them in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas who was called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two other disciples were together; and Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They replied, “We will come with you.” And they went out and got into the boat, but they caught nothing that night.

When day had already broken, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus called them, “Friends, have you anything to eat?” They answered, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “Throw the net on the right side of the boat and you will find something.” When they had lowered the net, they were not able to pull it in because of the great number of fish.”

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” At these words, “It is the Lord!” Simon Peter put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and jumped into the water. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish; they were not far from land, about a hundred metres.

When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed into the boat and pulled the net to shore. It was full of big fish – one hundred and fifty-three – but, in spite of this, the net was not torn.

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” And not one of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are You?” for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and He did the same with the fish. This was the third time that Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples after rising from the dead.

Friday, 21 April 2017 : Friday within Easter Octave, Memorial of St. Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White
Psalm 117 : 1-2 and 4, 22-24, 25-27a

Alleluia! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His loving kindness endures forever. Let Israel say, “His loving kindness endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say, “His loving kindness endures forever.”

The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing and we marvel at it. This is the day the Lord has made; so let us rejoice and be glad.

Save us, o Lord, deliver us, o Lord! Blessed is He Who comes in the Lord’s Name! We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God; may His light shine upon us.