THURSDAY DAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF EASTER GOSPEL & SERMON
THURSDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF EASTER
REGINA CAELI CATHOLIC CHURCH, KAREN PARISH APRIL 23, 2020
FIRST READING: Acts 5:27-33
PSALM: Psalms 34:2 and 9, 17-18, 19-20
GOSPEL READING: John 3:31-36
SERMON BY: Fr. Raphael Mbendera
THEME: Witnessing the Risen Lord Christ is Risen Alleluia! This is the message and song of Easter! Last week we were celebrating what is known as Ester Octave and the readings were focusing on the appearances of Jesus and His interaction with His disciples. The appearances of Jesus to His disciples are a proof that He really resurrected from death. He is really alive. He is the Lord of life. The question to us Christians now is: Now that Christ is risen, what next? The Readings which we have today invite us to witness to the Risen Lord. This is the obligation we have now as Christians. We need to witness to the Risen Lord.
How do we witness to Risen Lord? In the first reading of today from Acts 5:34-42, we have the apostles living out their mission in spite of danger to themselves. The members of the Sanhedrin are angry at the apostles because they have disobeyed their orders to stop teaching about Jesus. The most powerful men in the Temple end up frustrated that they cannot control a few simple fishermen. The apostles, on their part, courageously speak the truth about Jesus, even at risk to their own lives. In the face of the murderous fury of the Sanhedrin, they proclaim that their first obedience must be to God rather than men.
They have no earthly power at all, but they have a power that comes from above – the power of the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those that obey Him. In the gospel, we are challenged to accept the Good News and thereby live forever. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.” John 3:36. Why are the disciples of Jesus able to witness to the Risen Lord courageously? They are able to do this because they have been transformed by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ does the life, death and resurrection of Jesus mean anything to us? As Christians, are we transformed by the life of Jesus?
A transformed life will drive us towards witnessing to the Risen Lord. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ transformed by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we are invited to extend our faith to others by word and deed. – Witnessing to the Risen Lord means for us to live the Good News of Christ. – It means to spend more time with God in our homes. – It means to live peacefully with others in our homes. This is very important especially this time when we are quarantined in our homes because of the present challenges of corona virus pandemic. We are invited to present the risen Lord to the people we are staying with.
Our behavior and tongue should manifest Jesus to the others. – It means to choose to obey God rather than men and women especially in times when we are challenged to choose between true teachings and false teachings about God; between Christian behavior and non-Christian behavior, between good and evil. In summary, witnessing to the Risen Lord means to share Easter joy with others. Easter joy is a gift of God. Let it be our prayer that we can receive the Easter joy that God delights in showering on us. May we, like Jesus’ disciples, allow it to transform our lives. Lord, our God, we ask today for the Easter joy that impelled your friends as they boldly proclaimed your message of peace and love in their time by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration.
Help us to witness to you with zeal and courage. Amen.