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.”

Saturday, 7 April 2018 : Saturday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded yet again of ourselves as Christians, and our obligations to be witnesses of our faith before God and before His people. In the first reading, we heard how the testimony of faith of the Apostles had created a great furore amongst the Sanhedrin or the Jewish high council. They were divided on the matter of the truth in the teachings of the Apostles.

There were those who saw the truth in what the Apostles had said and testified before the people, while there were even many more amongst these elders and the leaders of the people who hardened their hearts, closed off their minds and their ears from hearing the words of the truth. Yet, nonetheless, the Apostles courageously stood by their faith and defended themselves with zeal and wisdom that day.

The Apostles were ridiculed, persecuted, and those who did not want the truth and the teachings of Jesus to be propagated tried to threaten them not to teach in the Name of the Lord. However, the Apostles and the disciples stood firm by their faith, as God was with them. They were once afraid and unsure of their faith, but the Holy Spirit has given them the strength and the courage to carry on with their mission.

They spoke of the Lord, God Incarnate in the flesh of Man, Jesus Christ, Who has suffered and died on the cross, but He did not remain in the state of death or stayed in a tomb. They saw Him risen from the dead, and there were many witnesses among them who saw Jesus, in the flesh, appearing before them, walking among them, and even ate with them, to show that He has truly indeed risen.

This is the testimony of faith that the disciples of the Lord shared with many others, beginning with the time of the Pentecost and thus, the Church was born. More and more people gave themselves to be baptised in the Name of the Lord, and more and more people devoted themselves to God, and turning away from their sinful past, they allowed themselves to be worthy of the salvation that God has freely offered us.

Unfortunately, brothers and sisters in Christ, in our world today, more and more among us Christians are drifting away from the faith, and we no longer have the same zeal, devotion and commitment as that of the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord. We have lost our compass of faith, and we have wandered off away from God’s path, by our falling into temptation and the persuasions of the world.

There are many lies and the falsehoods which the devil is using to spawn confusion and challenges amongst us, and unless we devote ourselves to the Lord with all of our hearts and with zeal and conviction, as the disciples of the Lord had, we are likely to fall to Satan’s trap, and therefore fall away from God’s mercy and forgiveness. Is that what we want, brothers and sisters in Christ?

What do we need to do then? It is not enough for us to come for the Sunday Mass and say to ourselves that we have fulfilled the obligation which the Church has given us. No, that is not nearly enough. Indeed, to be present in the Mass is the greatest and most important part of our faith, but at the same time, in order to be truly faithful to God, we must have an active faith life, through constant and fervent prayer, by which we communicate with God and know what it is that He wants from us, and of course by actually committing ourselves to do what the Lord has asked us to do, to love one another.

May the Lord be with us, guiding us and providing us with the way forward, that we may find our way to serve Him with all of our hearts, with all of our strengths, and with all of our efforts. May we all be true Christians, in our words, in our actions and in everything we do in our lives, beginning this Easter, and continuing forevermore. Amen.

Saturday, 7 April 2018 : Saturday within Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Mark 16 : 9-15

At that time, after Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary of Magdala, from whom He had driven out seven demons. She went and reported the news to His followers, who were now mourning and weeping. But when they heard that He lived, and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.

After this He showed Himself in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. These men also went back and told the others, but they did not believe them. Later Jesus showed Himself to the Eleven while they were at table. He reproached them for their unbelief, and stubbornness, in refusing to believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.

Then He told them, “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation.”

Saturday, 7 April 2018 : Saturday within Easter Octave (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 117 : 1 and 14-15, 16ab and 17-18, 19-21

Alleluia! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His loving kindness endures forever. The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. Joyful shouts of victory are heard in the tents of the just : The right hand of the Lord strikes mightily.

The right hand of the Lord is lifted high, the right hand of the Lord strikes mightily! I shall not die, but live to proclaim what the Lord has done. The Lord has stricken me severely, but He has saved me from death.

Open to me the gates of the Just, and let me enter to give thanks. “This is the Lord’s gate, through which the upright enter.” I thank You for having answered me, for having rescued me.

Saturday, 7 April 2018 : Saturday within Easter Octave (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 4 : 13-21

The Jewish leaders, elders and teachers of the Law were astonished at the boldness of Peter and John, considering that they were uneducated and untrained men. They recognised also, that they had been with Jesus, but, as the man who had been cured stood beside them, they could make no reply.

So they ordered them to leave the council room while they consulted with one another. They asked, “What shall we do with these men? Everyone who lives in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign has been given through them, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this from spreading any further among the people, let us warn them never again to speak to anyone in the Name of Jesus.”

So they called them back and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the Name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s eyes for us to obey you rather than God. We cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

Then the council threatened them once more and let them go. They could find no way of punishing them because of the people who glorified God for what happened.

Friday, 6 April 2018 : Friday within Easter Octave (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day all of us are called to reflect on the readings from the Scriptures that we heard, that we may know what it is that all of us as Christians ought to be doing in order to dedicate ourselves to God’s cause ever more wholeheartedly in this Easter season and beyond. That is why we should reflect on the words we have just heard and put them in our hearts and minds.

In the first reading today, as it had been for the past few days throughout this Easter Octave, we continue to hear the proclamations and the works of the Apostles, who testified about the Lord Jesus, His resurrection from the dead and His triumph over sin. They professed their faith in Him and how others who heard them should also follow in their footsteps and give themselves to be baptised in the Name of the Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, they spoke of a God, Who has willingly given Himself to us and Who has suffered and died for our sake, that all of us may be saved from our fated destruction and damnation. That is what Christ had done for each and every one of us. He died so that we may live, and He rose from the dead so that by His resurrection, we may share in His glory together.

And in the Gospel that we have heard today, He made it clear to us His intentions and desires for the Church. The Gospel passage today is full of rich symbolisms, which if we do not scrutinise more closely, we would have easily missed their meanings. First of all, the disciples were fishing in the lake of Galilee in a boat, and throughout the night, they did not manage to catch any fish at all. But, when the Lord came upon them and told them what to do, suddenly plenty of large fishes and small fishes were caught.

The boat in which the disciples were in, represents the Church, steered by the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord. However, as we just heard, for an entire night, they fished and searched for catch without success, and only when the Lord instructed them on what to do, they managed to get so many fishes such that the boat almost sank. In this, we see how the Church ultimately draws its inspiration and authority from the Lord, Who delegated the authority to His Apostles and disciples, as well as their successors.

The fishes caught by the Apostles in the morning time represent all of us as Christians, whom God had brought to be His disciples and as members of His Church. This is the main purpose and mission which the Lord had commanded His disciples to do, calling all the people of God to be united as one people, God’s Holy Church. And the disciples of the Lord went forth to many places, calling on the people to repent from their sins and turn wholeheartedly towards God.

Thus, all of us, Christians living in this time and age are called to be true servants of God, to continue the good works which the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord have started. We need to listen to the call which the Lord had given to us, just as He called the Apostles to be the instruments of His will among His people. Are we able to follow the Lord as we are supposed to do?

Let us all be part of the great efforts of the Church, calling all of us faithful Christians to devote ourselves to the Lord’s way and give our best to serve Him, every day of our lives. May we draw ever closer to God’s grace, and may all of us work together with faith and zeal, in all the things we do, so that through all of our actions and dedications of faith, we may bring ever more souls to God’s salvation. May God bless us all, now and always. Amen.

Friday, 6 April 2018 : 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, 6 April 2018 : 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.