Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture which reminded us yet again of the mission which He has granted to us all, as Christians, as all those who believe in Him as Our Lord and Saviour, in how we believe in Him Who died for us all and Who has then risen from the dead, and therefore granting us the path to eternal life and salvation through Him.
And we stood by this faith which we have received from our predecessors, all those who have faithfully held this faith alive in them, all the way from the time of the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord. It was the same mission which He has entrusted to those whom He has sent and commissioned to be His holy workers among the world, to bear witness to His Passion and His resurrection, the truth which He has brought into this world into our midst.
For all of these, the Apostles had to suffer rejection, ridicule, oppression and many obstacles as we have heard in our first reading passage today, as they stood by their faith in the Lord, in His truth and in His salvation, before the whole Sanhedrin, or the Jewish High Council, many of whose members had opposed the Lord and His works, and who had also condemned Him to death. They stood against the enemies of the Lord with courage and great faith.
It was such that even though the Sanhedrin sternly warned them never again to teach in the Name of the Lord Jesus, under the pain of imprisonment, torture and suffering, the Apostles and the many other disciples of the Lord never gave up and continued to preach the truth, in defiance of the opposition and from all the pressures of the world, the Apostles steadfastly proclaimed their faith amidst all opposition.
And all these are caused by their own witnessing of the events that they have seen with their own eyes, how the Lord Jesus, the Saviour of the whole world and God Himself incarnate in the flesh, was crucified for our sake and died in agony on the Cross, all because of His boundless and infinite love for each and every one of us. The Lord has also then risen in glory from the dead, and showed Himself to His disciples, who then became witnesses of the Risen Lord.
If the Lord had indeed not risen from the dead, or merely an impostor or false Messiah as the Jewish authorities, the Sanhedrin had charged the Lord Jesus falsely of, then the disciples would have testified and stood up for their faith for nothing. They would have suffered persecution, pain, agony and torture for nothing, as they would have suffered for something that was false and untrue.
Yet, in what must have seemed to be unreasonable and puzzling for the Sanhedrin, not only that the Apostles and the many other witnesses of the Lord stood for and defended their faith with such great passion, courage and wisdom, but they refused to back down and abandon the mission which God had entrusted to them, even at the pain of suffering, imprisonment or death. They continued to preach and to testify in the Name of the Lord Jesus, their Lord and our Saviour.
This would not have made sense if what they have preached and stood up for was not true. On the other hand, if the resurrection of the Lord Jesus was a reality and is indeed truth, then everything that the Apostles and the martyrs of the Church had done throughout many years of persecutions and troubles would have made perfect sense to us. And therefore, all of us as Christians are also called to be the same witnesses of Our Lord’s truth and resurrection, in our own lives.
Let us all live our lives from now on with faith and devotion to God alone, and let us all renew the commitment to serve God and to be true disciples of the Lord, to be God’s ever faithful and committed people, in continuing the mission that God has entrusted to His servants and followers in the Church. May God be with us always, and may He grant us the strength and the courage to live ever more faithfully in Him and to bear witness to Him in our every words and actions. Amen.