18 SUN THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER Acts 3:13-15, 17-19/1 Jn 2:1-5a/Lk 24:35-48
19 Mon Easter Weekday Acts 6:8-15/Jn 6:22-29
20 Tue Easter Weekday Acts 7:51—8:1a/Jn 6:30-35
21 Wed Easter Weekday [Saint Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church]
Acts 8:1b-8/Jn 6:35-40
22 Thu Easter Weekday Acts 8:26-40/Jn 6:44-51
23 Fri Easter Weekday [Saint George, Martyr; Saint Adalbert, Bishop and Martyr]
Acts 9:1-20/Jn 6:52-59
24 Sat Easter Weekday [Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Priest and Martyr]
Acts 9:31-42/Jn 6:60-69
The Mass readings this week continue from the Acts of the Apostles with the story of the Greek-speaking deacon Stephen. His fiery preaching against temple worship and “stiff-necked” Jewish opposition to Jesus results in his death and a persecution that drives Hellenist Christians out of Jerusalem. (Monday and Tuesday) But Stephen’s death, like the death of Jesus, brings new life. The church grows. “The death of Christians is the seed of Christianity.” (Tertullian )
Philip the Deacon, one of those displaced, preaches to the Samaritans north of Jerusalem. Then, led by the Spirit, he converts the Ethiopian eunuch returning home after his pilgrimage to Jerusalem. (Wednesday and Thursday} Following Philip’s activity, Paul, the persecutor, is converted by Jesus himself. (Friday)
Before Paul’s ministry begins, Peter leaves Jerusalem to bless the new Christian communities near the coast; at Joppa he’s told by God to meet the Roman centurion in Caesarea Maritima. The mission to the gentile world begins with that meeting. (Saturday)
Stephen, Philip, Peter and Paul serve God’s mysterious plan. It’s not human planning. The Holy Spirit is at work.
The gospel readings this week are from St.John’s gospel– segments of Jesus’ long discourse on the Bread of Life to the crowd at Capernaum after the miracle of the loaves. (John 6) In the Eucharist we meet the Risen Christ. He not only feeds us personally, but a growing church is fed.
Morning and Evening Prayer, 3rd week, here.