Father Valan Arockiaswamy

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Close Dear Audience,
For better understanding of the spiritual message behind this homily I kindly remind you to first read and contemplate the biblical texts before reading or listening to my preaching - a human reflection on the Word of God!

Third Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Apr 26, 2020 Views 138 Listen 1 Downloads 0
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First Reading

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (2:14, 22-33)

Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed: "You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words. You who are Israelites, hear these words. Jesus of Nazareth was a man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know. This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed using lawless men to crucify him. But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it. For David says of him: "I saw the Lord ever before me, with Him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted; my flesh, too, will dwell in hope, because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld, nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence."

"My brothers, one can confidently say to you about the patriarch David that he died and was buried, and his tomb is in our midst to this day. But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld nor did his flesh see corruption. God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses. Exalted at the right hand of God, he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father and poured him forth, as you see and hear."

(P) The word of the Lord.
(R) Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalms of David (16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11)

(R) Lord, you will show us the path of life.

Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge; I say to the Lord, "My Lord are you." O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot. (R)

I bless the Lord who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhort me. I set the Lord ever before me; with Him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. (R)

Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices; my body, too, abides in confidence; because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld, nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption. (R)

You will show me the path to life, abounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever. (R)

Second Reading

A reading from the First Letter of Saint Peter (1:17-21)

Beloved: If you invoke as Father Him who judges impartially according to each one's works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb.

He was known before the foundation of the world but revealed in the final time for you, who through him believe in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

(P) The word of the Lord.
(R) Thanks be to God.


A reading from the Gospel according to Luke (24:13-35)

That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus' disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, "What are you discussing as you walk along?" They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?" And he replied to them, "What sort of things?" They said to him, "The things that had happened to Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see."

And he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures. As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them.

And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?"

So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the Eleven and those with them, who were saying, "The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!" Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.

(P) The Gospel of the Lord.
(R) Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


One day a company manager who felt that he wasn't getting any respect from his staff put a sign outside his office door that read, "I'm the Boss". Later that day when he returned from lunch, he found a note beside the sign that said, "Sir, your wife called, she wants her sign-board back by this evening!"

Friends, respect is something everyone deserves or everyone has equal claim to. If one is not given respect he or she expects it. What is respect? Respect is an outward sign expressed verbally or non-verbally or both to acknowledge someone for his/her worth, achievements, good behaviour, personality, abilities and qualities. But God is greater than anyone on Earth. Therefore the Bible tells us that God deserves not just respect but much more. He deserves our utmost respect and reverence. What is reverence? Reverence is a form of respect shown to God or someone whom we think highly of and admire. It involves a feeling of awe and wonder, deep veneration, and in the case of God to acknowledge His presence. In today's second reading Peter calls on all Christians to live a life of reverence. That is to say, Christians should conduct their life in a holy manner, following the holy character of the God who has called them. And he also gives three reasons for this Christian reverence.

  • Christians must live a life of reverence because they are just "sojourners" on the Earth. Life on Earth is short and impermanent. There is a time limit for everyone. No one lives forever. Some people live thirty or forty and fifty years. If we are strong and healthy, we may live to be eighty or even ninety. Some even live to be a hundred. But it doesn't matter how long we live because eventually everyone dies. Therefore it is important that we not only become aware of where we are but also of where we are going. We are going back to the heavenly home. We are going back to God. To God we belong and to Him we return. Meantime, Peter calls on the Christians to make every aspect of their human life as an occasion to show their reverence to God.
  • Christians must live a life of reverence because God is a righteous judge who judges everyone impartially according to their works. One might ask, "Are we not saved by faith?" Yes, we are. We are saved by faith, but judged by our works. James (2:26) reminds us that faith without works is dead. Our works will be judged, not to determine our eternal destiny but to determine our rewards in heaven. Hence, Peter encourages all Christians not to fall into the trap of thinking that since they are saved by faith, they could lead a reckless and wild life. Instead, all Christians must treat other people with respect, by controlling their tongue, showing patience and love to those around them. They must take the time each and every day to acknowledge the presence of the Lord in their life, and make every effort to live out a true and holy life.
  • Christians must live a life of reverence because their redemption from sin has cost the life and death of Jesus Christ. The human kind has been redeemed not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ.

Friends, how reverent are you? Do you show reverence to God, respect His name and honor everything connected with Him: persons, places and objects? We cannot call ourselves Christians and not have reverence for God. If we say we do then this would be shown in our praise and worship of Him. Reverence should be the basis of how we relate with or to God, both alone and when we are with others, to learn the scriptures, to pray and worship Him. But I am afraid to say that in these days of casual informality we seem to have lost our spirituality to such an extent that we have lost all sense of reverence for God our Father. We often fail to revere him, to adore Him and worship Him with deep respect, admiration, high-esteem and sincere humility and obedience. We often love to glorify ourselves rather than glorify God. We get so obsessed with ourselves, our desires and achievements, and become so bogged down with life's cares that we forget that we exist to glorify God. We forget that God is in control of the moment, of our conversation or of our work.

Reverence brings rewards. The Lord honors those who honor Him. God honors those who do as they are told, who believe and live a Christ-like life. Part of this life is respecting others and having a reverential fear of God. John (12:26) says, "If anyone serves me let him follow me and where I am there my servant will be also. If anyone serves me, him my Father will honor". Friends, from the time of Abraham, the father of faith, there are several examples in the Bible in which the Lord has proved his word. Today our Lord wants us to choose to honor Him so that He can bless us abundantly and honor us among so many blessed Christian friends.

(P) Amen.

God Bless You!

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