Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us are reminded of the Lord’s providence and guidance towards us. He has given to us His protection and set His Angels before us, defending us in the constant struggle against those who oppose us and persecute us. He will never abandon us or let us all go unaided and unguided, and He has always extended freely His love and care, His concern and compassion towards us.
In our first reading today, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, we heard how the Apostles again got into trouble with the Jewish authorities, the members of the Sanhedrin and the chief priests who sent the guards to arrest them as they continued to preach in the Name of the Lord and worked miracles among the people even after having been told not to continue such works and actions anymore. The Apostles and the other disciples of the Lord deemed it right for them to obey the Lord’s commands rather than man’s commands.
Thus they persevered through those oppositions and the efforts to stop them and their works. They did not allow the threats and even arrest and imprisonment to hinder them or to make them afraid to do what the Lord had commanded them to do. Instead, they shouldered on and pushed on, and prayed frequently together, asking for the Lord’s guidance and strength. And the Lord sent His Angel to free the Apostles, leading them out of the prison unharmed as we heard in our first reading passage today.
The chief priests were all astonished and amazed at what happened and wondered how the disciples could have escaped from their imprisonment, because they still refused to believe that the Lord Jesus was indeed truly the Messiah and that the Apostles and the disciples were guided by God and strengthened by His Holy Spirit throughout their ministry and service, their efforts in reaching out and evangelisation to the people of God.
In the Gospel passage today, the Lord Himself had made the same assurance to Nicodemus, one of the few supporters of the Lord among the members of the Sanhedrin. The Lord uttered the famous phrase in the third chapter of the Gospel of St. John, that ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that all those who believe in Him shall not perish and die, but shall receive eternal life’, as a proof that God truly loved His people and cared for them.
And that was why He sent us Jesus, His only begotten Son, to be our Lord and Saviour, as He revealed to Nicodemus, and the truth which the Apostles and the disciples had been working on so hard to deliver to the people. And more and more people came to believe in God because of the works and the efforts of these faithful servants of the Lord, and the Church grew rapidly even amidst challenges and often intense persecution and opposition.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, how about us then? As the disciples of the Lord in this present day world, we still have the same duty and obligation, the calling and the mission to reach out to our fellow men and women, to more and more people, as though many had been saved, but there are many more out there who have not yet believed in God, and there are many more people still who have not yet known Him and heard about Him.
This is where we, all of us as Christians, should commit ourselves, our efforts, time and attention to continue the good works that were started by the Apostles and the disciples, in being role models and good examples of our Christian faith and living, so that all those who see us, hear us and witness our works and ways of life, will come to believe in us, and be touched by the Lord and be willing to follow Him in faith, that more may come to embrace the Lord and His salvation through us.
May God be with us always, and may He strengthen us all just as He has strengthened and protected the disciples and the Apostles. May the Holy Spirit give us the courage and wisdom to be good and exemplary role models of the Christian faith in our communities, and may God bless us all in our every good works, efforts and endeavours, always. Amen.