18th April 2021
CHRIST ILLUMINATES AND STRENGTHENS THE TROUBLED HEARTS
Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
Psalms 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9
1 John 2:1-5a
Today we are called to be genuine and true disciples of our Lord at all times. Fear, doubts, frustrations, pride, ignorance etc. should not distract or prevent us from seeking God and doing his will. Hence, the church invites us to celebrate the living Christ, who is our advocate and helper. Through his death and resurrection, he advocates for us. Christ illumines and strengthens our faith everyday.
Today's readings have something in common, they talk about the relationship between ignorance and faith. And how Jesus illumines our minds and hearts through his word. The Jewish leaders who crucified Christ thought they knew God and were advancing his course. On the contrary, they were actually working against it. Hence, they remained stubborn and ignorant about God's promises.
Peter observed the Ignorance of the Jewish leaders. Hence, he addressed them: “It was you who accused the Holy One, the Just...Now brothers, I know that neither you nor your leaders had an idea of what you were doing.” They were waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises. However, when He came, they ignorantly rejected him. Hence, John writes: “Anyone who says I know him and does not keep his commandments is a liar refusing to admit the truth.” Ignorance of God’s command and will, leaves one with a false impression that he knows the truth. It makes one think that he is fighting for God, when actually the contrary is the case.
In the gospel of today, Christ continues to strengthen the faith of his disciples by illuminating their minds with the scriptures. Even though they heard him preach, and saw him performing many miracles, they were ignorant of what the scriptures said about Him. Jesus knowing how much they were troubled and were questioning the rising of him from the dead, he taught them, gave them hope and encouragement.
St. Jerome reminds us that: “Ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” Ignorance of God’s word and commandments is a major stumbling block to faith. Hence, Paul constantly prayed: “May the Lord open the eyes of your minds” (Eph 1:18). Indeed, our minds need the illumination from the light and glory of the risen Christ. Through faith in the Lord, we should make the effort to live our lives according to the way Christ has shown us and dedicate ourselves each day, to be true to our calling. St John in the second reading tells us to be true and genuine to him whom we believe and be ready to walk in his path. Our lives through Christ should become good inspiration to the people whom we live and interact with.
We need Jesus Christ to illumine our lives, especially during the dark and difficult times that the world and many of our communities are enduring these past few months and throughout the past one year, due to the terrible impact of the global pandemic and other associated troubles, we are called to be the beacons of light and hope in our communities, among our families, our relatives and friends, our co-workers and all those whom we encounter in life, even acquaintances and strangers.
That means, when and where there is despair and darkness in the midst of our communities and families, we should bring hope and encouragement. We should show care, concern and love for those who are needy, suffering and are struggling to make ends meet. Christ through his resurrection and appearances, became the source of hope and encouragement to the troubled disciples. After all, the Lord’s most important commandments are to love the Lord our God, with all of our hearts and strength, and then also to love our fellow brothers and sisters in the same way that we love God and ourselves.
I wish you all a blessed and fruitful Sunday.