Reflections on Daily Readings 2022
March 27th - April 23rd, 2022
March 27 – April 2, 2022
The Fourth Week of Lent | Readings: Sunday Cycle C; Weekday Cycle 2.
The Fourth Sunday of Lent – Laetare Sunday
Joshua 5:9-12; Psalm 33; 2Corinthians 5:17-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
In our first reading we see that the Israelites have arrived in the Promised Land and so cease to feed on manna. The Lord has fulfilled his promise to his Chosen People and removed the shame of slavery from them. In our gospel for today we have the story of the Prodigal Son, a story which reminds us of the great love of the Father for his people even when they stray from his love. He is always ready to accept back into his family those who repent of their wrong-doing and acknowledge his love and their dependence on that love. This is re-enforced in the second reading in which St Paul tells us that it was through Christ that God’s forgiveness and reconciliation were given to us. Not alone have we been reconciled with God through Christ but we are now ambassadors of that reconciliation – we have a duty and responsibility as baptised Christians to bring that reconciliation to those whom we meet, beginning at home and then going out into the workplace. This season of Lent is about reminding ourselves of how much God loves us and wants to keep us part of his family but also a reminder that it is for us to make the choice – God will not force his love on any of us.
Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Isaiah 65:17-21; Psalm 29; John 4:43-54
God tells us through the Prophet Isaiah that he will establish his kingdom on earth and it will be one of happiness because he will be with us. In the text we have God tells us that those blessings will mean that the sound of weeping will no longer be heard and that infants would no longer die after a few days. In the text from St John’s gospel we see Jesus fulfilling the text from Isaiah as he cures the son of a court official which also removes the mourning veil from over the official’s house. The official had wanted Jesus to come to the house and cure the boy but Jesus would not go, preferring instead to tell the man his son was saved. The man believed and went on his way. We are asked to have faith in Christ as this official did and to live according to his ways. If we do so, then we will inherit the kingdom God spoke of in the first reading. Christ’s message is not just for the Jews or the poor, but for all people be they rich or poor, powerful or powerless.
Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12; Psalm 45; John 5:1-3, 5-16
In the first reading from the Prophet Ezekiel we read of a stream of water coming from the Temple which gives life to everything it comes into contact with. This reading reminds us of the new life that the waters of baptism bring to our souls. In the gospel, Jesus is at the Sheep Pool in Jerusalem which was believed to have curative powers. Jesus cures a man by simply telling him to get up and walk. The authorities are annoyed because he did this on a Sabbath. They failed to see that what was at work was the power of God, something which does not rest even on a Sabbath. Jesus is the Temple of the first reading, and the stream of water is the water of baptism. We are represented by the trees and fish and other things that are nourished by the water.
Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Isaiah 49:8-15; Psalm 144; John 5:17-30
The text from the Prophet Isaiah for today comes from the second Song of the Servant of God and in it the servant is told that he is the covenant of the people who has been appointed to bring the people back to God and to rescue them from wherever they have been scattered. We are reminded that the love of God is far more tender than a mother’s love for her child. In the gospel passage, we see that Jesus is the covenant of the people – the one who was sent to redeem the people. He also makes it quite clear that he and the Father are one and they both act in the same way: as Jesus is merciful to those who come to him, so too is the Father. As Jesus was tender and compassionate, so too is our Father.
Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Exodus 32:7-14; Psalm 105; John 5:31-47
The people, in the reading from the book of Exodus, have turned against God and God is about to punish them. Moses, however, pleads on their behalf and reminds God of the covenant he made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Psalm tells of the sins of the people and for which God was about to deal harshly with them. Jesus is speaking to the Jews in the gospel text and telling them that if they truly believed in Moses then they would believe in him too. The authorities had become too set in their ways to realise in whose presence they stood. They had shut their eyes and ears to the truth. We are challenged today to really look at our own lives and ask ourselves if we have shut ourselves off to the real Jesus. If we have shut ourselves off from him then we need to resolve to do something about it today, rather than waiting until tomorrow.
Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Wisdom 2:1, 12-22; Psalm 33; John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
The reading from the Book of Wisdom is prophetic in that it speaks of the death of the virtuous man – which we can understand as being the death of Jesus. Everything that is said in it speaks of Jesus and how the people did not wish to follow him because his way was different and challenging and he pointed out their sins and transgressions. The gospel continues this story and we see that some of the people have decided to be rid of Jesus. Jesus tells us that he came not for himself but for God and for his people. He came not just to tell us about God but to show us God. We too should make every effort to get to know God personally and not just talk about him.
Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Jeremiah 11:18-20; Psalm 7; John 7:40-53
The Prophet Jeremiah in our first reading speaks of the innocent man being led to the slaughter house like a lamb. Yet the just man continues to trust in God and in his help just as Jesus did as he faced his own death. In the gospel, we are coming nearer to the arrest and Passion of Christ. The authorities have now decided to be rid of Jesus and are seeking the moment to seize him. One of the Pharisees – Nicodemus – speaks up and says that Christ deserves a trial under the Law. The Pharisees regard themselves as the only ones who know the Law and want to act as they see fit and tell the people what to do and believe. The question before us today is whether we are open to the message of Christ, which should change our lives every day, or will we be like the authorities who wanted to protect their comfortable existence and so continue in our imperfect ways.
April 3 – April 9, 2022
The Fifth Week of Lent | Readings: Sunday Cycle C; Weekday Cycle 2.
The Fifth Sunday of Lent
Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 125; Philippians 3:8-14; John 8:1-11
Our first reading today from the prophet Isaiah tells us that our past deeds are not called to mind by God or held against us. He has redeemed us and now all we have to do is to accept that redemption. The Psalm reminds us that the Lord has delivered his people from their bondage and redeemed them. In our gospel we see Jesus confronted with the woman who has been caught in adultery and who the elders were about to stone in accordance with the Law. But Christ turns the situation around and confronts the elders making them face their own sinfulness. The woman is sorry for what she did and so Christ forgives her and wipes out her guilt – it will never again be called to mind. The Lord does not condemn and is simply waiting for us to turn to him for forgiveness. St Paul tells us that adherence to the Law is not enough for us to achieve perfection, which is what the elders were doing in the gospel. Fulfilling the Law is important because it helps us along the path to freedom but it is useless if it is not backed up and grounded in a deep rooted faith in God. Without faith adherence to the Law is nothing but a hollow gesture and will not bring us freedom.
Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62; Psalm 22; John 8:1-11
Our readings today remind us that God himself defends those who are innocent, particularly when they cannot defend themselves. In the reading from Daniel we see that two judges have become infatuated with Susanna and have lied to save themselves, condemning her to death for something she did not do. She is only saved by asking God for help. He heard her cry and sent the boy Daniel to save her. In the gospel we see another woman about to be stoned for committing adultery. She is saved by Jesus who forgives her her sins and tells her to sin no more. In both cases, those who had themselves sinned were quick to condemn others while covering up their own wrong doings. We often find ourselves in the situation of the women in today’s texts – we find ourselves in need of Jesus’ healing and compassion. During this time of preparation we are called on to acknowledge our own sins and to ask forgiveness for them while resolving to do better in the future.
Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Numbers 21:4-9; Psalm 101; John 8:21-30
Today’s reading from the Book of Numbers shows the Israelites turning against God even though he had just won their release from slavery in Egypt. In this episode the Jews turned against God in the wilderness and began worshipping false gods. Moses fashions a bronze serpent which saves those who look at it. In the gospel, Jesus is speaking about himself and telling the people that only when they have killed him will they realise that he is the Son of God because only then will they see his glory. Like the bronze serpent on the pole, Christ on the cross will bring us new life. We are called to believe in Jesus though we have not seen him with our own eyes. The Jews in Egypt saw God’s power when he led them to freedom, yet they turned against him. We must not turn against him, but must put our total trust in him, serving his Gospel throughout our lives.
Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Daniel 3:14-20, 24-25, 28; Psalm – Daniel 3:52-56; John 8:31-42
In the Book of the Prophet Daniel there is recounted the story of three young men – Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah – who refused to abandon their religion for King Nebuchadnezzar, part of which we read two weeks ago. The king had them bound and thrown into a fiery furnace but the angel of God joined them there and they walked through the furnace unharmed. At the end of the reading, the king too praises the true God. The reading reminds us that when we are truly free in heart, nothing can trouble us or separate us from the love of God. The Psalm continues this theme. In the gospel, Jesus tells his listeners that they will only be free if they listen to his word and live by it, because only then will they be free from the slavery to sin and so be his true disciples. God’s word is available to us but it is up to us to accept it and to let it take root in our lives.
Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Genesis 17:3-9; Psalm 104; John 8:51-59
In the reading from Genesis we see God making his covenant with Abraham and his descendants. This covenant was fulfilled in the person and life of Jesus. In the gospel, Jesus is speaking of Abraham and telling his listeners that Abraham longed to see Christ’s day. He reveals himself to his listeners with the words “I Am,” which is the name God used for himself when he spoke with Moses. Jesus is telling them that the God of Moses, Abraham, and Isaac is the same person who is now speaking to them. He goes on to tell us that even though we may suffer and die in this world, that suffering and death has no power over us if we believe in him alone. That which was promised to Abraham has come to pass in the person of Jesus and it is a saving covenant for us who believe it.
Memorial of St John Baptist de la Salle, Priest
John was born in Rheims in 1651 and was ordained priest in 1678. His life was devoted to education, especially education of the poor. He favoured group teaching rather than the teaching of individuals and founded the Brothers of the Christian Schools. However, his ideas met with opposition throughout his life. He died in 1719 and is the patron saint of school teachers.
Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Jeremiah 20:10-13; Psalm 17; John 10:31-42
The Prophet Jeremiah is being persecuted by the people but he still places his trust in God and still praises him. It is a reminder of Jesus who is soon to be arrested and who will also pray to the Father for guidance and strength while never abandoning faith in the Father. The Psalm is a prayer of confidence in God by one who is being persecuted. Our gospel reading shows Jesus being persecuted by some of the Jews. He, like Jeremiah, is under God’s protection and so is saved from them until the hour of his glory. We too will be saved and supported if we praise God all our days and turn to him in confidence. But we must not forget him when things are going well for us.
Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Ezekiel 37:21-28; Psalm – Jeremiah 31:10-13; John 11:45-56
In our first reading we see the prophet Ezekiel looking forward to a day when the Lord will unite the people under a new leader as a redeemed nation. In the gospel, we see the Pharisees taking the decision to kill Jesus. They did so in order to save their people because they feared that Jesus’ talk of a supreme power and authority would cause a revolt which the Romans would crush as ruthlessly as the previous ones. While their motives may have been honourable it was they who were misguided because they had closed their minds to the word of God and believed the Messiah to be a political and military leader. The words of Caiaphas also suggest that the death of Jesus might unite the people – an echo of the first reading. They never thought that the Messiah would free them in spirit which is a far greater thing. If we truly open our hearts to God then the unity which the gospel speaks of will take place as the kingdom takes shape in our world.
April 10 – April 16, 2022
Holy Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle C; Weekday Cycle 2.
Palm (Passion) Sunday
Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 21; Philippians 2:6-11; Luke 22:14-23:56
The readings today all point to the person of Christ. Isaiah speaks of Christ as one who came to preach but who was beaten and insulted. St Paul speaks of the divinity of Christ and what he gave up in order to become one of us. The gospel from St Luke recounts the Passion and Death of Christ for each one of us. While Palm Sunday recalls the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem it is also the beginning of the end of his earthly life and gives us a contrast which helps us to focus on what is to happen later this week. It begins the week on a sad note and sets a very sombre tone for the days to come. However, there is also a note of victory because we have the benefit of knowing the full story – that story being that Christ triumphed over death and won us our salvation.
Monday in Holy Week
Isaiah 42:1-7; Psalm 26; John 12:1-11
Our first reading from Isaiah points to the person of Christ who is the fulfilment of the covenants made so long ago. We could in a way see the reading as God dedicating his Son for the work he is about to accomplish. The Psalm speaks of the Lord as our light and our help. The gospel passage is leading up to the Passion at the end of this week. Today we see a woman named Mary anointing the feet of Jesus and he tells those with him that she will need this ointment again for his burial. While Judas was indignant at the ointment being used in this way Jesus sided with Mary because the intention in her heart was pure and well placed. The reading also prepares us for the betrayal by Judas later this week. Meanwhile, the chief priests continue to plot his death.
Tuesday in Holy Week
Isaiah 49:1-6; Psalm 70; John 13:21-33, 36-38
The Prophet Isaiah today speaks beautifully of the servant of God, one who will be the light of the nations. Each of us is called to witness for God before men and women so that this passage may be said of each of us. We could in a way see the reading as Jesus speaking about his destiny as redeemer of the world. The Psalm is the prayer of a man persecuted by his enemies and who seeks the help of God. In the gospel we have the scene at the Last Supper. We are confronted with the fact that Judas is about to hand Jesus over to his accusers while St Peter will fail to stand up for Christ despite his vow. We too can fail God when the crunch comes but if we believe in his power and pray to him as the psalmist does in today’s Psalm, then he will stand by us and we will be the light of the nations.
Wednesday in Holy Week – Spy Wednesday
Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalm 68; Matthew 26:14-25
The reading from Isaiah takes up the theme found in yesterday’s first reading – that of answering God’s call and witnessing for him before our fellow men and women, which may at times bring suffering and persecution. The Psalm is of a man in great distress who calls on God for help against his enemies. The gospel reading sees Judas accepting thirty silver pieces for handing Jesus over to the Jewish authorities – hence the name “Spy Wednesday.” We all have the ability to be like Judas at times and to deny Christ for the sake of our other gods. Judas realised too late that what he was doing would not work and in his sorrow he repented in the only way he knew how. How often do we truly feel sorry for having betrayed the Lord for the ways of this world and if we did feel sorry, when did we last truly do penance for it? We are called to rely on God’s help and believe in the reprieve Christ gained for us so that we will become the witnesses Isaiah speaks of.
Isaiah 61:1-3, 6a, 8b-9; Psalm 88; Apocalypse 1:5-8; Luke 4:16-21
This celebration takes place in the Cathedral in every diocese on the morning of Holy Thursday and is presided over by the bishop as head of the diocese. During this Mass the sacred oils (the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens) are blessed and the Oil of Chrism consecrated. They are then distributed to the churches throughout the diocese for use in the coming year. Also at this Mass, the bishop is joined by clergy from throughout the diocese which represents the unity of the diocese and of the universal Church. The clergy renew their commitment to priestly service before the bishop and the people.
The first reading for this celebration from the Prophet Isaiah speaks very much of the presbyteral order – of those ordained to sacred ministry and who will carry on the work of God following the example of Christ. The second reading from St John’s vision in the Apocalypse speaks of what Christ has done for us by washing away our sins with his blood. It also says that those who pierced him will now see his glory. The gospel text from St Luke echoes the first reading and in it we see Jesus preaching in the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth. Through baptism we all have a common priesthood – that of spreading the gospel of Christ across the world beginning in our own small corner of that world. While this morning is a celebration of the ordained ministers gathered with their bishop it is also a celebration of the commitment we each have to work for the building of the kingdom of God.
Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14; Psalm 115; 1Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-15
The Lord’s Supper is celebrated in the evening time – just as the Passover Meal was celebrated in the evening to recall the first Passover in which the Jews left Egypt. As the blood of the lamb saved the Jews, so the blood of Christ brings salvation to the whole world. The first reading from the Book of Exodus recounts the instructions given to the people regarding the Passover meal. The letter of St Paul tells of the institution of the Eucharist when Christ gave his disciples bread and wine as his very own body and blood. The gospel shows us the scene in the upper room and in it we see Jesus washing the feet of those who were with him. In this way he showed that they were to be servants of all. After the gospel is read, the washing of feet takes place as a reminder to us today of the instruction Christ gave us. At the end of the Eucharistic celebration the Blessed Sacrament is removed from the tabernacle to the Altar of Repose and the altars stripped and crucifixes covered. This gives us a stark reminder that the Lord has been taken from us.
Celebration of the Lord’s Passion
Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 30; Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42
This celebration should take place in the mid-afternoon as this corresponds to the time when Jesus went to Calvary to be crucified. The Prophet Isaiah speaks of the suffering servant, of the one who died for our sake. It gives an account of the terrible suffering he underwent and the fact that it was our sins which caused that suffering. The passage from the letter to the Hebrews speaks of Christ as the one who lived a human life like us and, because he trusted in God and interceded for us, brought about our salvation. The gospel of St John recalls the Passion and death of Christ. The celebration begins with a silent procession to the sanctuary – the silence reminding us of the importance of what is happening. The Liturgy of the Word is followed by the Intercessions and then the Veneration of the Cross. The Veneration begins with the presentation of the Cross to the people before each person present goes forward and kisses the Cross – the sign of their salvation. The cross is then placed in a prominent position before the people as a reminder to them of what their sins have bought. The Celebration concludes with the Holy Communion.
The Easter Vigil
The Triduum reaches its climax on this night with the celebration of the Easter Vigil. The vigil begins outside in darkness with the Service of Light in which the Easter Fire is lit and the new Paschal Candle blessed. From this each of the faithful lights a candle and carries it in procession into the church. When the procession reaches the sanctuary the great Easter Proclamation (Exsultet) is sung. This great hymn reminds us of what Christ and God have done for us.
The Liturgy of the Word follows and the readings trace the history of salvation from the story of Creation to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on this night. For this there are seven Old Testament readings and two New Testament readings given but, for pastoral reasons, the Old Testament readings may be reduced in number.
- Genesis 1:1-2:2: The first passage taken from the book of Genesis recalls the story of Creation, of how God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. A key aspect to this text is that God looked on everything he had created and saw that it was all very good – there was nothing that displeased God or which he regretted or tried to re-mould.
- Genesis 22:1-18: The second passage from Genesis recalls the sacrifice by Abraham of his son, Isaac, at the Lord’s command. It is a powerful story of one man’s faith in God because sacrificing his son would have negated the other promises God had made with him, and yet Abraham believed in God so much that even this was not too much for his faith.
- Exodus 14:15-15:1: The reading from Exodus is obligatory and tells of the final escape of the Israelites from Egypt. After the Passover, in which the first born of man and beast died, the pharaoh sent the Israelites out of Egypt to be rid of them and their curse. However, the pharaoh immediately regrets this and pursues the Israelites and so the Lord brings an end to pharaoh and his soldiers, and the Israelites are finally free to return in peace to their own land.
- Isaiah 54:5-14: In the passage from Deutero-Isaiah, we see that the Lord has abandoned his people for a time because of their sinfulness but he has now taken them back and promises to never leave them again even though they are still sinners. He uses the image of a bride and says that if the people are faithful to him then they will bear offspring, people of faith like them who will pass on the faith to others.
- Isaiah 55:1-11: This passage from Deutero-Isaiah exhorts the people to seek out the Lord but suggests that he is not simply found in the sanctuaries but is to be found everywhere, throughout all of his Creation. It is also a call to fidelity and purity of heart before the Lord with the promise of a great reward.
- Baruch 3:9-15, 32-4:4: The text from Baruch was written at a time when the Israelites were again in exile – this time the Babylonian captivity – and they are told by the prophet that this is because they had been unfaithful to God. They are reminded that if they return to the Lord then once again they will live and prosper.
- Ezekiel 36:16-28: In the reading from Ezekiel, the Lord says that the people have profaned his name and done that which is wrong and so have been exiled. They have also suggested that the Lord is not the true God because he couldn’t protect his people and prevent their exile. So now the Lord is going to act and will bring the people home to their own land where they will live forever and where the Lord will give them a new heart to worship him both as individuals and as a nation.
The Epistle – Romans 6:3-11: St Paul tells us in the New Testament epistle that, through baptism, we are bound in a very special way to Jesus Christ who died that we might have life. Because of that baptism, death has no power over us just as it has no power over Jesus Christ any longer and, if we keep his commandments and live up to our baptismal commitments, then we too shall live for ever.
The Gospel – Luke 24:1-12: In St Luke’s account, we see the women arriving at the tomb in the early morning and being greeted by two men who tell them not to seek Jesus among the dead because he has risen. They remind the women of what Jesus had said about rising on the third day, and the women go home and relate the story to the disciples who don’t believe them. Peter goes to the tomb to verify it for himself before returning to them in amazement.
Where possible, the Sacrament of Baptism now takes place. If there is no one to be baptised then Easter Water is blessed and the faithful renew their baptismal promises before being sprinkled with the Easter Water. The Liturgy of the Eucharist is now celebrated for the first time since Holy Thursday and for this the altar is again covered with a cloth and burning candles are placed on or near it. The whole feeling of the Vigil is one of great joy and celebration for our salvation has been won for us and Christ has been glorified by his Father. The liturgy begun on Holy Thursday evening now concludes.
April 17 – April 23, 2022
Easter Season – Easter Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle C; Weekday Cycle 2.
Acts 10:34, 37-43; Psalm 117; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-9
In the reading from the Acts of the Apostles, St Peter is proclaiming the Risen Lord and saying that not only has Christ risen but he has also appeared to his followers, and that he himself has witnessed this. The Psalm is a hymn of praise for this great day – the day of the Resurrection of the Lord. St Paul in his letter to the Colossians speaks of us becoming new people, living as Christ commanded, and looking to heaven and to God for that is where our future lies. The gospel tells of the finding of the empty tomb and the realisation that scripture had pointed to this moment – the Resurrection of Christ. If we too follow the path Christ has marked out for us then we too will inherit eternal life.
Monday of Easter Week
Acts 2:14, 22-33; Psalm 15; Matthew 28:8-15
Today’s readings testify to the Resurrection of Christ. St Peter, along with his fellow disciples, is speaking to a crowd and speaking to them of Christ and is part of the first ever Christian sermon. The basis for his preaching and that of the apostles is clearly their own personal encounter with the Risen Lord. Like the sermons recorded in the Acts of the Apostles they are personal testaments to the death and resurrection of Christ. In the gospel, Jesus appears to the women and tells them to go and get the disciples and to tell them to go to Galilee where he will meet them. Galilee represented normality and everyday life for the disciples and it reminds us that we too will find Christ in the normality of our lives.
Tuesday of Easter Week
Acts 2:36-41; Psalm 32; John 20:11-18
Today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles is a continuation of yesterday’s reading and in it we see St Peter still teaching the people. So moved are the people by his personal testimony that they believe in his message and in Christ as their Risen Lord and Saviour. Peter begins by telling the people how they had put to death the promised Messiah. That day, we are told, about 3,000 people converted to Christianity. Today’s gospel text is a further telling of the Resurrection, this time from St John. Here we see Christ talking to Mary Magdalene and telling her to tell the disciples that he has risen and is preparing to ascend to the Father, who is also our Father.
Wednesday of Easter Week
Acts 3:1-10; Psalm 104; Luke 24:13-35
St Peter and his fellow disciples have been strengthened by the Resurrection of Christ and are now going about preaching his message and curing the people in his name. Today we see them run into conflict with the Jewish authorities for doing the very things that the authorities had crucified Jesus for. The disciples are aware of this and yet they continue unafraid. The gospel text is the familiar story of Christ’s appearance to two of his followers on the road to Emmaus. They only recognise him at the breaking of bread because they had not believed all that he had told them while he was still alive. The breaking of the bread is also a reminder to them of the importance Christ placed on his institution of the Eucharist and of the necessity of doing this in his memory. When they did realise that it was the Lord, their hearts burned with joy. When did our hearts last burn with joy in the presence of Christ in the Blessed Eucharist? We are called on to have faith like Peter and the disciples and to openly proclaim our faith in Christ.
Thursday of Easter Week
Acts 3:11-26; Psalm 8; Luke 24:35-48
In the Acts of the Apostles we again see St Peter and the disciples proclaiming the message of Christ and his Resurrection. Peter also insists that it was trust in the name of Jesus that cured the lame man in our text. The “you” of the last paragraph is addressed very strongly to today’s listeners. Today’s gospel passage tells of the first encounter the disciples as a group have with the Risen Jesus. He comes to visit them and they are afraid but, having touched him, they believe. He opens their minds so that they understand clearly that his life is a fulfilment of all that sacred scripture had said about the Messiah.
Friday of Easter Week
Acts 4:1-12; Psalm 117; John 21:1-14
In our reading from the Acts of the Apostles for today, St Peter addresses the elders who have arrested himself and St John. He tells them that there is only one name in all the world that can save us and that is the name of Christ. It is strengthening to see Peter – a former fisherman from Galilee – taking on the most powerful of the Jewish authorities and boldly proclaiming the very things that they forbid Jesus from proclaiming and ultimately put him to death for. Today’s gospel text from John tells of another meeting with Jesus and the disciples after the Resurrection. The meeting we read of today took place by the Sea of Tiberias. When the disciples come ashore they find that Jesus has prepared breakfast for them and as they gather he gives bread to them – reminding them of what he did in the upper room on Holy Thursday night and of his instruction to repeat that sacred action.
Saturday of Easter Week
Acts 4:13-21; Psalm 117; Mark 16:9-15
Today’s first reading continues with the trial of St Peter and St John before the elders of the people. They are warned not to preach about Christ again but they reply by saying that they cannot promise this – so strong is their belief in Christ now. We also see that the authorities are once again afraid of public opinion which is in favour of the apostles and their message. The text from St Mark’s gospel tells us of the meeting of Christ with his disciples. They have not accepted the word of those who said they had seen the risen Lord and he rebukes them for their lack of faith. The gospel ends with the great mandate to “Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News.” The commitment of Peter and John in the first reading shows that they have taken this mandate to heart and are actively carrying it out. This mandate is also given to each of us to carry on no matter where we find ourselves in life.