Wednesday, 29 May 2019 : 6th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 16 : 12-15

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “I still have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. When He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into the whole truth. He has nothing to say of Himself, but He will speak of what He hears, and He will tell you of the things to come.”

“He will take what is Mine and make it known to you; in doing this, He will glorify Me. All that the Father has is Mine; because of this, I have just told you that the Spirit will take what is Mine, and make it known to you.”

Wednesday, 29 May 2019 : 6th Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 148 : 1-2, 11-12, 13, 14

Alleluia! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the heavenly heights. Praise Him, all His Angels; praise Him, all His heavenly hosts.

Kings of the earth and nations, princes and all rulers of the world, young men and maidens, old and young together.

Let them praise the Name of the Lord. For His Name alone is exalted; His majesty is above earth and heaven.

He has given His people glory; He has a praise to His faithful, to Israel, the people close to Him. Alleluia.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019 : 6th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 17 : 15, 22 – Acts 18 : 1

Paul was taken as far as Athens by his escort, who then returned to Beroea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible. Then Paul stood up in the Areopagus hall and said, “Athenian citizens, I note that in every way you are very religious. As I walked around looking at your shrines, I even discovered an altar with this inscription : To an unknown God. Now, what you worship as unknown, I intend to make known to you.”

“God, Who made the world and all that is in it, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, being as He is Lord of heaven and earth. Nor does His worship depend on anything made by human hands, as if He were in need. Rather it is He Who gives life and breath and everything else to everyone.”

“From one stock He created the whole human race to live throughout all the earth, and He fixed the time and the boundaries of each nation. He wanted them to seek Him by themselves, even if it were only by groping for Him, succeed in finding Him. Yet He is not far from any one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being, as some of your poets have said : for we too are His offspring.”

“If we are indeed God’s offspring, we ought not to think of divinity as something like a statue of gold or silver or stone, a product of human art and imagination. But now God prefers to overlook this time of ignorance and He calls on all people to change their ways. He has already set a day on which He will judge the world with justice through a Man He has appointed. And, so that all may believe it, He has just given a sign by raising this Man from the dead.”

When they heard Paul speak of a resurrection from death, some made fun of him, while others said, “We must hear you on this topic some other time.” At that point Paul left. But a few did join him, and believed. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus court, a woman named Damaris, and some others. After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019 : 6th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the Scriptures speaking to us about the power of God that is always with His faithful ones, how He will not abandon them to the darkness and to all those who seek their destruction. The Lord will provide for them and bless them, as shown in what we heard from our first reading today in the Acts of the Apostles.

In that occasion, the Apostles were arrested by the slave owners of the city of Philippi who likely feared their influence, wisdom and eloquence that they were afraid that their slaves would rise up against them. And when they have been tortured and put into prison, God did not leave them behind, but was with them as He miraculously freed them from prison through an earthquake that broke their chains and the imprisonment of their prison cells.

And not only that, but God even performed an even more wonderful work that night, by breaking yet another bond that has chained another person, not physically but spiritually. The jailer who that night watched the miracle that happened, heard the preaching of the Apostles and witnessed their faith, became a believer himself, and followed by his entire family who gave themselves to be baptised as Christians.

Through that act of faith, the jailer and his family were freed from the bondage and slavery to sin, and God brought them into a new life and existence, no longer following the path of the world but that of the path of Christ and His truth. In today’s Gospel, Christ clearly explained this to His disciples, that He was going away to His Father, so that He can bring about vindication and salvation to all the faithful.

He was in fact referring to the then imminent moment of His own suffering, crucifixion and death on the Cross, by which He would save all those who believe in Him, and free them all from the enslavement to sin and to their darkened past. And He has shown all of them the path of righteousness and truth, as opposed to the path of injustice, of wickedness and of sin, and all those who followed Him will not be disappointed, for they will all be triumphant with Him.

Yet, brothers and sisters in Christ, we must also be aware and be prepared that to be followers of Christ, often we may have to be exposed and be brought to suffering and persecution, just as what the Apostles experienced because of the opposition of the world and all those who refused to believe in the Lord and in the message of truth that He has sent to them via those Apostles and servants He sent into their midst.

In suffering we may often be tempted to give up on our faith, to accept what is convenient for us and to abandon the righteousness of God, and instead seeking what is good for ourselves. This is how sin continues to reign and rule over us for so many years, as the allures of sin and the temptation to remain in the darkness is truly strong, while the commitment and resolve we have in being faithful to God often falters in the face of temptations and the pressures of life.

That is why all of us as Christians must truly live our lives from now on with faith, committing ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord, resisting the temptations to sin and seek to be righteous and be obedient in all things, following the commandments and laws of God at all times. Let us ask the Lord to give us the strength and the willpower to commit ourselves and to do what He has commanded us to do, each and every days of our lives.

May the example and the courage of the Apostles be our inspiration and source of strength, to be ever more devoted and to be ever more like Christ in our own lives and in our actions. Amen.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019 : 6th Week of Easter (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 16 : 5-11

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “But now I am going to the One Who sent Me, and none of you asks Me where I am going; instead you are overcome with grief, because of what I have said.”

“Believe Me, it is better for you that I go away, because as long as I do not leave, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go away, it is to send Him to you, and when He comes, He will vindicate the truth before a sinful world; and He will vindicate the paths of righteousness and justice.”

“What is the world’s sin, in regard to Me? Disbelief. What is the path of righteousness? It is the path I walk, by which I go to the Father; and you shall see Me no more. What is the path of justice? It is the path on which the prince of this world will always stand condemned.”

Tuesday, 28 May 2019 : 6th Week of Easter (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 137 : 1-2a, 2bc-3, 7c-8

I thank You, o Lord with all my heart, for You have heard the word of my lips. I sing Your praise in the presence of the gods. I bow down towards Your holy Temple and give thanks to Your Name.

For Your love and faithfulness, for Your word which exceeds everything. You answered me when I called; You restored my soul and made me strong.

You save me from the wrath of my foes, with Your right hand You deliver me. How the Lord cares for me! Your kindness, o Lord, endures forever. Forsake not the work of Your hands.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019 : 6th Week of Easter (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 16 : 22-34

So the slave owners of Philippi set the crowd against Paul and Silas and the officials tore the clothes of them and ordered them to be flogged. And after inflicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to guard them safely. Upon receiving these instructions, he threw them into the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly a severe earthquake shook the place, rocking the prison to its foundations. Immediately all the doors flew open and the chains of all the prisoners fell off.

The jailer woke up to see the prison gates wide open. Thinking that the prisoners had escaped, he drew his sword to kill himself, but Paul shouted to him, “Do not harm yourself! We are all still here.” The jailer asked for a light, then rushed in, and fell at the feet of Paul and Silas. After he had secured the other prisoners, he led them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

They answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you and your household will be saved.” Then they spoke the word of God to him and to all his household. Even at that hour of the night, the jailer took care of them and washed their wounds; and he and his whole household were baptised at once. He led them to his house, spread a meal before them and joyfully celebrated with his whole household his newfound faith in God.