Tuesday, 19 April 2022 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all called to reflect again on this Easter Octave, the true meaning of what it means to be Christians. As Christians, each and every one of us are called to serve the Lord with faith and commitment. All of us are called to be missionaries of our Christian faith in our world today, to proclaim the Risen Lord in our respective communities and among all those whom we encounter each day and at each moments of our lives.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Acts of the Apostles of the testimony of faith which was delivered by St. Peter the Apostle to the people assembled in Jerusalem for the festival of the Pentecost. St. Peter told the people to be faithful in the Lord and to believe in Him, for everything that He had done for the sake of His beloved people. God has given us such a great and unsurpassed gift in His Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour, that He has done everything, even to the point of enduring the worst of sufferings, punishments, humiliation and pain for our sake. He did not hold Himself back from doing all these because He truly loved us.

And through His death and resurrection, Christ has broken the doors of death, and the chains of sin that had long kept the people of God enslaved and suffering under their dominion and power. St. Peter called all those people to turn towards the Lord and to discover the love by which God has rescued them from the darkness of sin and evil in this world. He courageously proclaimed the truth despite having no proper education, and despite having hidden himself with the other disciples earlier on due to the opposition and oppression by the Jewish authorities.

That is because as the power of the Holy Spirit was working through him, St. Peter allowed himself to be the witness of the Lord’s Resurrection, and to be filled with the courage and strength from the Spirit of God, in bringing the Good News and the truth to the people despite the risks that he had to face in doing so. He spoke with the wisdom and the eloquence that God granted him through the Holy Spirit. And in doing so, he turned the hearts of many towards God, and revealed the great love that God had for all of them, such as shown by Christ’s death on the Cross.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard again the account of the Lord’s resurrection and His appearance to Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene witnessed the Lord’s suffering and death on the cross, and she was distraught when she found out that the Lord’s Body had disappeared from His tomb due to His Resurrection. That was when the Lord showed Himself to her in all of His risen glory, although she did not initially recognise Him likely because she was still distraught, until the Lord called her and revealed Himself to her.

Mary believed in the Lord and she proclaimed the news of the Lord’s resurrection to the other disciples, the Apostles. In this way is why she is also known as the Apostle to the Apostles. She told them all of what she had seen and experienced, revealing the Risen Lord to the disciples, with great joy and courage. Mary Magdalene did exactly the same as what Peter had done, in proclaiming the truth of the Lord and turning people on the their ways towards the Lord and His salvation. This is exactly what each one of us are called to do as well.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us have been called to follow the Lord faithfully and to embrace His path with sincerity and love, genuine love for Him as well as for His people, our fellow brothers and sisters. Are we willing and able to follow the Lord in this manner, brethren? In the way that St. Peter and St. Mary Magdalene had done, and in the way that many other saints and martyrs had done in the past, in proclaiming the Risen Lord courageously and truthfully among the many people and in the various communities that they encountered and lived in? We too should do the same in our own communities and be the living witnesses of the Lord in every moments we have.

May God, our Risen Lord and Saviour, bless us all and be with us always, and may He strengthen each and every one of us that we may always be strong and be able to persevere despite the trials, challenges and difficulties that we may encounter in our path towards Him. May God bless all of our actions and works, that in all things we will always glorify Him and bring His truth to ever more and more people, throughout the world, and bring the salvation He has promised us to those who have not yet known Him. Amen.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 11-18

At that time, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb; and as she wept, she bent down to look inside. She saw two Angels in white, sitting where the Body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I do not know where they have put Him.” As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognise Him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and answered Him, “Lord, if You have taken Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will go and remove Him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned, and said to Him, “Rabboni!” – which means Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and say to them : I am ascending to My Father, Who is your Father, to My God, Who is your God.”

So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what He said to me.”

Tuesday, 19 April 2022 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 32 : 4-5, 18-19, 20 and 22

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.

In hope we wait for the Lord for He is our help and our shield. O Lord, let Your love rest upon us, even as our hope rests in You.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 2 : 36-41

Peter said, “Let Israel then know for sure that God has made Lord and Christ this Jesus Whom you crucified.” When they heard this, they were deeply troubled. And they asked Peter and the other Apostles, “What shall we do, brothers?”

Peter answered : “Each of you must repent and be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise of God was made to you and your children, and to all those from afar whom our God may call.”

With many other words Peter gave the message and appealed to them saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who accepted his word were baptised; some three thousand persons were added to their numbers that day.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

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.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 11-18

At that time, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb; and as she wept, she bent down to look inside. She saw two Angels in white, sitting where the Body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I do not know where they have put Him.” As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognise Him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and answered Him, “Lord, if You have taken Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will go and remove Him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned, and said to Him, “Rabboni!” – which means Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and say to them : I am ascending to My Father, Who is your Father, to My God, Who is your God.”

So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what He said to me.”

Tuesday, 6 April 2021 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 32 : 4-5, 18-19, 20 and 22

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.

In hope we wait for the Lord for He is our help and our shield. O Lord, let Your love rest upon us, even as our hope rests in You.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 2 : 36-41

Peter said, “Let Israel then know for sure that God has made Lord and Christ this Jesus Whom you crucified.” When they heard this, they were deeply troubled. And they asked Peter and the other Apostles, “What shall we do, brothers?”

Peter answered : “Each of you must repent and be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise of God was made to you and your children, and to all those from afar whom our God may call.”

With many other words Peter gave the message and appealed to them saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who accepted his word were baptised; some three thousand persons were added to their numbers that day.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture reminding each and every one of us to believe in the Lord and to put our trust in Him, Our Risen Lord, Who has triumphed against sin and death, and Who has offered us all a new life blessed by Him, if only we would embrace Him and accept Him as Our Lord and Saviour. It is by putting our faith in Him that we will be able to go down the path towards the salvation in Him and eternal life.

As we heard in our Scripture passages today, we often despair and lose hope just because we think that God is not there for us, as shown how St. Mary Magdalene despaired and was filled with sorrow, not only because she has herself witnessed the death of the Lord on the cross, but even His Body buried in the tomb had apparently been stolen away. It is at this moment of despair and hopelessness that we are at our weakest.

The people at the time of the Apostles as shown in our first reading today also felt very despicable, remorseful and sad because of the sinful things that they have committed. This was especially because many of them were among those who have also had a part in the condemnation of the Lord Jesus, of Whom those Apostles then spoke of with courage and faith, filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

St. Peter spoke to them and reassured them, that all was not lost for them. Just because they have sinned does not mean that they had lost forever the chance to be forgiven and to be redeemed from their sins. In fact, if we remember well, the Lord Himself had forgiven His enemies, persecutors and condemners from the Cross, asking His heavenly Father not to account their sins against them all.

Therefore, in the same way, God will also extend the same mercy, compassion and love that He has willingly given us, to all of us regardless of whether we have committed small or great sin. God will not abandon us all despite of our sinfulness, as long as we still have that desire within us to embrace God’s offer of mercy and compassion. God is ever patient and ever loving, and He will not reject us when we desire to seek Him.

In fact, many among us have been condemned not because God did so, but rather, our own sins and our own stubbornness, our refusal and prideful rejection of God’s mercy, forgiveness and compassionate love has led us to be condemned by the very sins we have committed in our lives. And as long as the taint of those sins remain in us, we can have no part in God at all. If we choose this path for ourselves, then we need to remember that it is by our own choice that we shut ourselves out of God’s mercy and love.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us are called to reflect on this as we continue to progress through the season of Easter, and especially as this coming Sunday we will celebrate the Divine Mercy Sunday, that we will focus our gaze and attention to the Lord, seeking Him and sincerely asking for His forgiveness and love, His mercy and redemption. And we recall the great compassion He has for every single one of us, even the most wicked and unworthy one among us.

On this day, let us all renew our commitment to live our Christian faith with devotion and with true and genuine love for God. Let us all be the bearers of the Lord’s mercy to others as well, through our own actions, which should be filled with love and with compassion. Let us all turn towards the Lord together, and bring His mercy and love to all those who need them. May the Lord, the Risen Christ, continue to be with us and to guide us through all the journey of our life. Amen.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 : Tuesday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 20 : 11-18

At that time, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb; and as she wept, she bent down to look inside. She saw two Angels in white, sitting where the Body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I do not know where they have put Him.” As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognise Him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

She thought it was the gardener and answered Him, “Lord, if You have taken Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will go and remove Him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned, and said to Him, “Rabboni!” – which means Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and say to them : I am ascending to My Father, Who is your Father, to My God, Who is your God.”

So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what He said to me.”