Saturday, 3 June 2017 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today is the penultimate day of the Easter season, as tomorrow we will together as the whole Church celebrate the great Solemnity of the Pentecost, the birth time of the Church at the time when the Lord sent His Holy Spirit to all of His Apostles and disciples, sending them forth to all the nations and to all the peoples to preach His Good News and truth.

Yet, at the same time, we must also keep in mind, that to become a disciple of the Lord is not something that is very simple or safe. As the reality is that, as disciples of the Lord, there will always be challenges, difficulties, and times when we may feel to be alone amidst all those who are up against us, as what the Apostles and the disciples themselves had experienced.

As we heard in the readings today, the first reading taken from the Acts of the Apostles spoke of the life which St. Paul had in Rome during the last years of his life and ministry, a relatively peaceful time before what was told to be the first major official persecution of the Christian faith by the Roman Empire, when the city of Rome was engulfed in a massive firestorm, and blame quickly were laid on the Christian communities. It was told that St. Paul met his martyrdom by beheading at that time, the year of our Lord sixty-four.

Many Christians became victims of the persecutions, be it by the Jewish authorities, the chief priests and the Pharisees in the earliest days of the Church, or by the opposition and persecutions by the Roman authorities, including the one which I had just mentioned. And there were also resistance by those pagan priests and philosophers, who refused to see their old and traditional pagan worship to be replaced by the Christian faith.

But, at the same time, there were also many people, Jews and Gentiles alike, who were willing to receive the words of truth, and to accept the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. These people were willing to turn away from their past sinful ways, and become Christians, and thus strengthening the foundations of the early Church. Many of them eventually also met persecution, suffering and even martyrdom because of their faith, and also refusal to apostasise from their faith.

If not for their courage, the bravery and devotion of the Apostles, disciples, saints and martyrs who have laboured hard for the sake of the Lord and His Church, many souls would not have been saved, and many would have been lost to damnation in hell. We too, would not have received the faith we now have, if not for the hard work of all those who have passed down the faith to us, just as the Apostles passed down the teachings of the Lord to their successors.

Today, we remember the memory of St. Charles Lwanga and his companions, who were Christian converts in the country now known as Uganda. They became Christians after missionaries came to their area, bearing the word of God’s truth, and they converted to the faith, leaving their pagan and sinful ways behind them. However, this met with a great resistance by the king, who wanted to eradicate all traces of Christianity in his domain.

Therefore, the king ordered the arrest, persecution and also killing of many of the. Christian converts and missionaries, who suffered terribly under the great persecution. Yet, St. Charles Lwanga and many others who had been sentenced to death because of their faith refused to renounce the Lord and their newfound faith. They remained true to their devotion and as a result were executed. St. Charles Lwanga himself met his martyrdom by being burnt alive on a stake.

But their martyrdom inspired many more Christians to persist in their faith, and it was told that many of their persecutors eventually became Christians themselves, and including even the king. Through all these examples, all of us as Christians living in our world today must realise that, first of all, there are a lot of things that we still need to do, in order to bring the testimony of our faith to all those who have not yet known or even have rejected the Lord.

And then, we must remember that when we face difficulties and persecutions from the world, we have to stay firm and resolute amidst those challenges. If we give up or allow ourselves to be distracted by temptations of the world, then our failure to act will cause not just ourselves but also potentially many others to fall as well, and their damnation will be on our own, and we are the ones to be blamed for that.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all continue to strive to lead a holy and righteous life, by doing what the Lord had taught us to do, and by devoting ourselves completely, heart, body, mind and soul to Him, keeping in mind the zeal and the courage which the Holy Apostles, saints, and martyrs, including St. Charles Lwanga and his companions had shown in their respective lives. May the Lord be with us all, and may He bless all of our works and endeavours, now and always. Amen.

Friday, 2 June 2017 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Marcellinus and St. Peter, Martyrs (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White or Red (Martyrs)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we heard about how Jesus forgave St. Peter three times in the Gospel, after He was risen from the dead, and St. Peter professed his love and devotion to Him anew, also three times, and Jesus commanded Him to go forth and do His will, following Him and feeding His sheep throughout the world.

In the first reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, we heard how St. Paul stood before king Agrippa and queen Berenice, as he was about to embark on the journey to Rome, the final leg of his journey and ministry, for he already knew through the Holy Spirit, that he would glorify the Lord through martyrdom at the capital of the Roman Empire.

Both St. Peter and St. Paul were unlikely people to be called by God, according to human and worldly standards. Why is that so? That is because, St. Peter was an illiterate and uneducated fisherman of the lake of Galilee, hardly someone a person of this world would employ in the very important mission to preach the Gospel and the Good News to many people.

And how about St. Paul? As we all should know, St. Paul was once known as Saul, a great enemy of the Church and the faithful, a terror and nightmare of all those who follow the Lord’s way in Jerusalem, Judea and throughout the country of the Jews at that time. Saul was very zealous and dedicated, to the point of frenzy in his hunting of Christians and all those who follow the Lord’s way, arresting them and even torturing them.

Yet, the Lord called both of them, and transformed them into His great servants, those to whom He had entrusted with the very important mission, that is the conversion of souls and salvation of all mankind. St. Peter was entrusted with the leadership of the entire Universal Church, which God had established in this world, with St. Peter as its base and support. And also St. Paul, who was the important Apostle through his missions and journeys, evangelising to the pagans and Gentiles, the Apostle to the Gentiles.

Both of them were the main pillars of the Church, supported and joined by all the other Apostles and disciples of the Lord, by all the holy men and women, all those who have left everything behind in order to follow and to serve the Lord. There were many of those who had given all of their lives in order to advance the cause of the Lord, calling more and more souls to know the Lord and to repent from their sins.

And these include St. Marcellinus and St. Peter, the two renowned saints who were told to have perished in the most severe persecution to ever face the Church in its early days, under the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ordered the persecution of all Christians, the burning of all Christian texts and bibles, and the destruction of churches and Christian properties. Many martyrs were born of that persecution, and yet there were many tales of those who persisted in their faith, laying down their lives for the Lord rather than choosing apostasy.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, many of them, especially St. Peter and St. Paul knew what would be their fate if they continued faithfully to preach the Good News of the Lord and convert more and more souls to the true faith. In the Gospel today, the Lord Himself had mentioned it to St. Peter, how he would also be bound and brought to where he would not want to go, similar to St. Paul, and both ended up in Rome and met their end in martyrdom there.

But through their faith and devotion to the Lord, they glorified the Lord by their lives and by their heroic martyrdom, becoming great inspirations in faith for the many generations of Christians until this very day. Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, in our world today, there are still many things that we can do as Christians in order to follow in the footsteps of the Apostles and saints.

I do not mean that we should intentionally seek martyrdom or persecution, but rather, as Christians, we can no longer be content with just sitting still and doing nothing for the sake of our faith. As the members of God’s Church, all of us have been called by God from our diverse backgrounds and origins much as St. Peter and St. Paul had been called, all sinners who were called to redemption and holiness.

God has given us the gifts, through His Holy Spirit, in order to guide us through this mission He had entrusted to us. Now, it is entirely up to us to choose whether we want to proceed with it or not. Thus, now, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all renew our commitment to God, to serve Him with ever greater zeal and devotion, and also to carry on living a good and devout Christian life, through our actions in life, by loving our fellow men, showing mercy to sinners and to our enemies, and to preach the Word of God and His truth through our upright life.

May the Lord bless all of our works and endeavours, and may He empower each and every one of us to be worthy sons and daughters of His, filled with the Holy Spirit, rich in love, mercy, compassion, hope and faith. Amen.

Thursday, 1 June 2017 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Justin, Martyr (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard first of all the tale of St. Paul the Apostle, who was arrested by the Jewish authorities, and was therefore put to face the court as a suspect against the allegations and false witnesses placed against him by the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the two leading power holders in the Jewish community at that time.

The Pharisees were those Jews who adhered very closely to the Jewish laws and customs as passed down through many generations from the time of Moses. They were the ones who were always trying to make the works of Jesus and His Apostles difficult by challenging them and harassing them at every available opportunity, as they saw Jesus as a threat to their power and influence in the community through His revelations and truths that undermined their own authority.

Meanwhile, the Sadducees were those who were commonly the nobles and the powerful lords in the society, who enjoyed the trust and prestige of the king Herod and his courtiers. They were the ones who enjoyed worldly power and influence, and refused to believe in anything that were supernatural or angelic in nature. That was why they were also stubbornly against Jesus and His teachings, because He taught them about the resurrection and life after death.

The Pharisees and the Sadducees were usually rivals for influence and they detested each other because of their stark differences in ideologies and beliefs. Yet, they came together because of their common hatred and opposition against the Lord’s teachings and truths, which St. Paul was preaching to the people of God. And thus, the enemies of the Lord put aside their differences and worked to destroy St. Paul.

Yet, they were not truly united in their purpose, and intense differences and conflicts still raged between them. That was why, the moment St. Paul noticed this weakness and used it to his advantage, as his time had not yet come, as he announced himself as belonging to the faction of the Pharisees, the entire audience exploded in fury, with the Pharisees and the Sadducees violently going at each other.

Why did I bring this up, and why did I go in depth into this fact? That is because in our Gospel today, our Lord Jesus was praying to His Father in heaven, at the time when He was about to go into His Passion and death. In this supposedly last prayer, He prayed for the sake of all of His disciples and all those who believe in Him, that they all may be brought into perfect unity through the Holy Spirit, so that they may be one just as the Lord Himself is one, perfectly united in the Holy Trinity, inseparable and indivisible.

That means, all of us as Christians must not be like the Pharisees and the Sadducees, who first of all, rejected the Lord and His teachings because they trusted in their own human power, intellect, influence and all the things that they thought made them great. Those in fact had become the source of their downfall, as they became proud and divided among themselves, each with their own ego and pride.

But that is not what we as Christians should do. For our ways is not the ways of this world, and we should follow what the Lord had commanded all of us to do. And what is it that He has commanded us to do, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is for us to remain united to one another, by our connection through the Church, as all of us are members of His Church, and all of us are believing in the same God and Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, as Christians, all of us ought to put our complete trust in the Lord, and keep up the faith which we have in God. There had been many people who had suffered because they kept their faith, including that of St. Paul the Apostle. Many other holy saints had suffered martyrdom because they refused to let go of their faith, or to deny their Lord and Saviour before others.

St. Justin the Martyr was one of such holy saint, whose feast we commemorate today in his honour. He was a renowned philosopher and teacher of the faith, who converted from the Roman paganism to the Christian faith because the traditional beliefs of paganism and polytheism, as well as all the philosophical thoughts at that time failed to truly satisfy his desire to seek for that emptiness inside his heart to be filled, which he eventually found in the Lord, Who filled it with His love and truth.

It was told that he contributed a lot to the establishment of the early Church, as he travelled around the Empire preaching about the Lord Jesus and His salvation to many people. Eventually he was arrested by the Roman authorities upon the report from a philosopher he debated against, who was a particularly hostile opponent of Christianity.

And despite being threatened to give sacrificial offerings to the Emperor and to the Roman pagan gods, under the threat of pain, suffering and death, St. Justin stood by his faith, and declared before all that he remained true to his faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord and Saviour of all, and if he had to die, he then died in the Name of the Lord, glorifying Him by remaining faithful to Him to the very end.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, St. Justin the Martyr has shown us all that as long as we remain united to the Lord through His Church and by the faith which we have in Him, we shall not be shaken, for the Lord Himself will safeguard us, and He will guide us along the path of justice and righteousness. And we will remain united and one, amidst all the challenges and the temptations the devil is throwing at us.

Let us all not be divided among ourselves, as what the Pharisees and the Sadducees had experienced, but instead, let us all strive to remain united to the Lord through His Church, and pray for the eventual unity and conversion of all Christians to the truth, that the bitter truth of the divisions in our Church may be healed, and all of our separated and misled brethren may seek reconciliation, and return to the Holy Mother Church. May the Lord bless us all. Amen.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 : Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate together the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which essentially commemorates the moment when Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus visited her cousin Elizabeth in the mountainous regions of Judea, travelling there to see how her cousin Elizabeth was doing, after hearing the miraculous news of her pregnancy at a very old age.

Elizabeth was then pregnant with St. John the Baptist, the herald of the Messiah, who was miraculously conceived after many years of unsuccessful marriage without any children between Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah. At the same time, Mary was bearing within her, the Lord and Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ, Who was conceived in her by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Divine Word and Son of God Who took up the flesh of man to be born of the Virgin, Mary.

That was why the feast of the Visitation happens after the feast of the Annunciation, when the Archangel Gabriel came to Mary to proclaim her the Good News of God, that she would become the mother of God. Upon the acceptance of Mary, as she said to the Archangel Gabriel, ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me as He willed it.’, the Lord was conceived in her womb.

Through these two simple, humble and yet pious women, the Lord had made the salvation which He had promised to His people for a long time into a reality. He had promised them from the beginning of time, from the time when mankind first fell into sin, by telling them that salvation will come to them through their descendant, through a Woman whom God will bless as the bearer of the Saviour.

Therefore, as we today celebrate this feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, all of us have to keep in mind, first of all, how the Lord has loved us so much and blessed us so much, that He has given us the best of all gifts possible, by the giving of His own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to be our Saviour and Liberator, that all of us may be freed from our sins.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in what we heard in the Gospel today, when Mary came to the house of Elizabeth, St. John the Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth was so joyful that he reacted with jubilation and his mother could feel his joy, knowing that the Lord and Saviour has come. In that manner, St. John the Baptist had done the first of his duties as the herald of the Messiah, announcing to all the coming of the Lord.

And Mary, filled with the Holy Spirit, sang the song of jubilation and praise, which we also know as the Magnificat. Such was her joy of having received the fullness of God’s grace by entrusting the salvation of the world through her, by the Child in her womb. This is the same joy we all should have, having received such great love and grace from God.

Secondly then, all of us should take note the way of life these two holy women had done, righteous and just throughout their lives, especially that of Mary, the mother of our Lord. She has faithfully committed herself completely to her Son, and to the mission which has been entrusted to her as the mother of God and Saviour.

She has faithfully walked the path, beginning from her acceptance at the time of the Annunciation, and then to the Nativity, when she had to give birth to her firstborn Son in a stable, and had to escape the persecution of king Herod. She has had the joy of following her Son as He grew from a Child to become the One through Whom the world was to be saved.

And she has to endure the greatest pain a mother can have, that is to see her own Son arrested, tortured, ridiculed, rejected by those to whom He had given Himself to in service and love, and ultimately dying on the cross. Yet, Mary remained faithful all the way, even to the foot of the cross and to the tomb. This is why she is our role model in faith, and all of us Christians should follow her examples in our life.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us from now on reaffirm our faith in God, and reaffirm our commitment to live a faithful life devoted to Him. Let us all draw closer to the Lord and always strive to do as what He had told us to do, as Mary and Elizabeth had done. And let us all always be filled with joy, knowing that through God, our salvation has come, and indeed, all of us should share that joy and truth with the whole world.

May the Lord bless us all and remain with us always, especially through times of challenges and difficulties, that we will not falter and fall into sin. May He continue to bless our works and guide us at all times, that we will always walk in His path. Amen.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017 : 7th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard from the Sacred Scriptures about St. Paul and about our Lord Jesus Christ, both of whom in the respective Scripture passages, were going to the end of their ministry. At that time, St. Paul had been informed by the Holy Spirit, that he was about to reach the end of his ministry. He was about to be arrested in Jerusalem by the authorities and from then on, proceeded to Rome for the final leg of his journey. All of this had been known to St. Paul, and he was saying his farewells to the elders in Ephesus.

And in the Gospel, Jesus our Lord was thanking His Father through prayer, at the time when He was about to enter into His Passion, the end and last stage of His earthly ministry. He mentioned how He has fulfilled perfectly what He was prophesied to have come for, and had gathered the people whom God had called upon to be His own. Thereafter, He would go on to His Passion, to accomplish perfectly through obedience and suffering, God’s promise of salvation for all mankind.

St. Paul and our Lord Jesus Himself had done a lot for the sake of the people of God, and they had contributed and done such great feats that many souls were saved by their works. They were at the end of their respective missions, and surely they were looking back at what they had done, and indeed, they could be very confident indeed, that whatever they had done, they had done well and they had given all that they could for the sake of the Lord.

They had not done all those things for their own sake though, and they did not do all their works to glorify themselves, unlike what other people would have done. They obeyed the Lord and followed Him, as St. Paul followed the path shown to him by the Lord through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and as Jesus our Lord, the Son of God obeying the will of His heavenly Father, God the Father in heaven.

Through all of these, the examples of these two which the Scriptures today had mentioned, all of us are called to reflect on our own actions in our own respective lives as Christians. Have we, as Christians, been as faithful and devoted as St. Paul had been in his faith? Perhaps we have not done as mighty a deed as what he had done, in numerous situations, where he had to endure persecution, rejection and torture, imprisonment and even death threats. However, are we confident that we are living a true Christian life?

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in order for us to be true Christians in life, we all have to devote ourselves to do what the Lord had commanded us all to do, and not just to be lukewarm or inactive Christians. That means, we have to listen to the Lord, Who had taught us that we have to love Him with all of our heart, with all of our mind and with our entire being, devoting ourselves completely to Him, and then, showing the same kind of love to our fellow men and women, loving them at least in the same way as how we loved ourselves.

This is what all of us as Christians have to do in our respective lives, and one in which I am afraid to say but, in reality, many of us as Christians have not lived up to. We have not been truly faithful in actions and deeds, for in many cases, while we believe in God, many of our actions had not shown such a reality. And in the end, because others see that we do not act in the manner as how we should have acted according to our faith, we caused scandal to the Lord and to our faith in Him.

Let us ask ourselves, how many of us slandered others, bringing hurt and pain through our words, by our lack of empathy and consideration for the feelings of others around us? How many of us have caused others, our neighbours to suffer simply because of our own selfishness in life? How many of us have brought sorrows and sadness upon others because we only think about ourselves? It is all of these things which have prevented us from truly living a good, Christian life.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, listening to the Lord and taking note of the examples He Himself had shown, and which His Apostle, St. Paul had done before us, let us all reflect on all these, and let us have a new resolve in our hearts, that is the new resolve to live our lives faithfully and filled with sincere devotion and commitment, to serve the Lord with all of our hearts, with all of our bodies, minds, and with all of our strength, and do the same to our fellow men and women, showing love, care and concern wherever it is possible.

May the Lord bless us all, all of our works and endeavours, and may He strengthen us in our faith, so that we may draw ever closer to Him and find salvation and true joy in Him, together as one people, blessed by the Lord and His love. Let us do our best so that when the time comes for us to give an account before the Lord, we can confidently show Him what we have done out of faith in Him. Amen.

Monday, 29 May 2017 : 7th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day through the readings of the Sacred Scriptures we have been reaffirmed in our faith, as we receive the story of how the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ propagated the faith and the truth which they had received, and by their works, as shown through the works of St. Paul the Apostle and his contemporaries, that they had devoted their time to reveal the truth of God to His people.

In the Gospel today, we heard how Jesus revealed the truth which He had told His disciples with clarity. He has always taught the people using parables, that is using stories such as the story of farmers sowing seeds, or the story of the prodigal son, or the story of the mustard seed, the story of good versus bad shepherds, and many other stories, all of which are means by which Jesus delivered His teachings, which contained many truths hidden behind the story.

Why did Jesus use parables in order to deliver His message to the people? That was because the truth that Jesus brought may be too difficult to be understood, and that is why Jesus used those stories, which could be easily related to by the people, who were mostly uneducated, illiterate farmers, fishermen or shepherds. And that was why Jesus used many terms related to farming, fishing and husbandry in order to deliver His messages.

But more importantly, it was then through the Apostles that Jesus revealed the fullness of His truth, as He explained the full truth of His messages, explaining the meaning behind His parables and teachings. And to them, He had given the gifts of the Holy Spirit, descending upon them, granting them the full knowledge of the faith. The Lord Himself said that they would not need to worry what to say or preach, for the Holy Spirit Himself would guide them in all of that.

The Lord had granted the Holy Spirit to guide us in our way, by putting in us the seeds of faith, hope and love, and by revealing to us the fullness of the truth which the Lord Himself had brought into the world. And that was how the Church grew and spread, from what was just a small group of the Apostles and disciples of the Lord, eventually making up thousands, and then millions and billions upon billions of souls which have been saved in God.

All of these would not have been possible, had the Apostles and the other disciples of the Lord had not laboured hard in the way that they had, sacrificing their time and effort, suffering and being persecuted for doing what they had done, and many of them had to endure prison, torture and difficulties in doing so. And yet, as the saying goes, the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians. Without their sacrifice, many people would not have had the chance to attain salvation.

It is therefore now up to us mankind, in our world today, to continue the good works of the Apostles, to continue the mission which God had entrusted to them. Their mission has not yet ended, brothers and sisters in Christ, for in our world today, still filled with wickedness and evil, with all sorts of selfishness and human greed, we still need to be witnesses to God’s truth and revelations to the people who have not yet believed in God.

All of us need to do our part in order to evangelise and preach the Good News, not only by words and proclamations, but more importantly also through our actions. In all the things we say and do, we must show that we are truly and genuinely a people who belong to God, who obey His will and who walk in His path. And if we are to persuade others to believe in Him as we have done, we have to be genuine in our faith, and devoted wholeheartedly to Him.

Let us all pray, brothers and sisters in Christ, that all of us will be able to devote ourselves ever more faithfully to God, committing ourselves, our time and our efforts to serve Him and our fellow brethren, children of the same God. May the Lord bless us all and strengthen us in our faith always. Amen.

Saturday, 27 May 2017 : 6th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, as we approach the seventh Sunday of the season of Easter, which is also the World Communication Sunday, we speak about the preaching of the Apostles to the people across the Mediterranean, throughout the many cities and towns, spreading the faith in Jesus to all the peoples, by the means of preaching and teaching.

It was by communicating that the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord had become witnesses to His truth and resurrection, to all that He had revealed to them, and to all that He had done for the sake of the whole race of mankind. These faithful servants went forth and told the people who have not yet heard of God’s salvation, and therefore allowing more and more people to come to believe in the Lord and His truth.

They courageously went forth to distant lands, to the places where no one had yet known the Lord and His love, those who were still living in darkness and ignorance, all those who were still living in a state of sin. Without the courage of these Apostles, who taught and preached with zeal, many more souls would have been lost to the Lord, into the damnation in hell.

And that was what the saint whose feast day we celebrate today, had done by devoting his entire life, in order to avoid such a fate for those who have remained in ignorance of the Lord. St. Augustine of Canterbury, the founder of the Church and its architect in the lands of the Anglo-Saxons, now known as England, set forth from Rome, under the orders of the Pope at that time, Pope St. Gregory the Great, going away from his homeland, in order to be a missionary to the people who have not yet received proper guidance in the faith.

At the time, the collapse of the Roman Empire authority in Britain has left the Christian faith over there to fall into decline, as the pagan barbarians invaded, and disestablished much of the foundations of the Church in that area, which had not been strong and extensive to begin with. As a result, St. Augustine of Canterbury went to a region mostly filled with ignorance and lacking in faith in the Lord.

Nonetheless, St. Augustine of Canterbury persevered through the difficult times, and despite the challenges he faced, including opposition from the pagans and the enemies of the Church. St. Augustine of Canterbury patiently preached to the people, calling them to accept the truths as the Lord had revealed to His Church, and therefore for them to accept Him as their Lord and Saviour.

Gradually, St. Augustine of Canterbury managed to reestablish the Church in England, establishing his diocese in Canterbury, and at the same time building crucial infrastructure and foundation for the Church in that region, which eventually flourished and many people came to end up converting to the Christian faith. This is what he had done, for the sake of the Lord and for His people, all of the hard work he had done.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, all of us are called to reflect on the actions of St. Augustine of Canterbury, as well as the works of the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord, all of whom had devoted much of their life’s work and energy in order to advance the cause of the Lord, and bring more and more souls back to the Lord’s loving embrace.

All of us should follow their examples, and learn to do the same with our lives. All of us should devote our time and effort to accomplish what the Lord had commanded His Apostles and disciples to do, and which therefore had become the same command that all of us need to obey as well. This is what we need to do, in order to fulfil what the Lord had wanted us to do.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all come ever closer to the Lord, and be ever more committed to Him. May He bless us all and give us the strength to persevere in this life, filled with ever more zeal and love for Him. May God be with us always, now and forevermore. Amen.