Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we continue to progress through this week in the Easter Octave, we continue to hear the works of the Apostles and the events that happened surrounding those earliest moments in the history of the Church as first we heard about St. Peter the Apostle preaching to the people about the Risen Lord and the truth that He had brought into this world. And then, we heard of the encounter between Mary Magdalene and the Risen Lord, as He appeared before her right after His Resurrection.
In that first reading today, we heard how the Holy Spirit inspired testimony of faith by St. Peter stirred and touched so many among the people who listened to him and the other Apostles that at least three thousands among them chose to give themselves to be baptised, the event that marked the birth of the Church, the advent of the new Christian community blessed and guided by the Lord, as more and more people from then on would come to believe in the Lord and turn towards Him.
All these happened despite the challenges and trials that they had to face, the opposition they encountered from the Pharisees, the chief priests and many of the members of the Sanhedrin, who were opposed to the Lord Jesus and His teachings. They remained firm in their dedication and faith in the Lord, with the desire to serve Him faithfully and courageously even when faced with many problems, and as St. Stephen showed us all, even martyrdom and death for standing up for the Lord and His truth.
They proclaimed the same truth that Mary Magdalene had seen in the place where the Lord was buried, as detailed in our Gospel passage today. The Risen Lord made an appearance to Mary Magdalene who was sorrowful that the Body of the Lord could not be found. Initially she could not recognise Him, but then the Lord opened her eyes and she found out the truth of the Lord’s Resurrection.
Imagine Mary’s joy when she saw the Lord again and knew that He is alive. She went to the other disciples and told them about the Resurrection with great joy, which in a short moment was proven as the Lord Himself appeared to the disciples in several occasions. And that these faithful disciples of the Lord had seen Him risen in the flesh, they joyfully proclaimed His resurrection, His truth and teachings, despite the persecution they faced in so many occasions.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us may not have seen the Risen Lord Himself in the flesh, but as what many of those early disciples had done, in suffering and enduring many persecutions for the truth, we know that whatever we have received in faith through the Church is indeed true, and those faithful disciples and martyrs endured so many things because they truly have witnessed the truth and suffered because of the truth, and they were glad to be able to suffer for the Lord.
And now, as we journey together through this season and time of Easter, we really should consider how we should live up to our Christian calling and life, in the footsteps of the disciples and followers of the Lord. As Christians, it is our calling and vocation to reach out to our fellow brothers and sisters, and we are called to be the living testimony of faith and of our Lord’s Resurrection just as St. Peter had done. There are still yet so many people out there who had not yet known the Lord, and it is up to us to bring the light of God’s truth to them.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all spend our time and effort from now on to follow the Lord and to be His faithful witnesses through our every actions, through our dedication to His truth that in our every interactions with each other, we will always glorify His Name, and reveal Him to all those whom we encounter and interact with in life. May the Lord be with us all, and may He, Our Risen Lord be our source of strength and may He give us the courage to remain faithful to Him. Amen.