April 25 Mon Saint Mark, Evangelist Feast 1 Pt 5:5b-14/Mk 16:15-20
26 Tue Easter Weekday Acts 4:32-37/Jn 3:7b-15
27 Wed Easter Weekday Acts 5:17-26/Jn 3:16-21
28 Thu Easter Weekday [St Peter Chanel; St Louis Grignion de Montfort ]
Acts 5:27-33/Jn 3:31-36
29 Fri Saint Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church Memorial
Acts 5:34-42/Jn 6:1-15
30 Sat Easter Weekday [St Pius V, Pope] Acts 6:1-7/Jn 6:16-21
MAY 1 SUN THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41/Rv 5:11-14/Jn 21:1-19 or 21:1-14
The church grows gradually after the resurrection. The followers of Jesus meet him, but they’re slow to believe. The ApostleThomas is an example of their skepticism. The week’s gospel readings from John introduce us to another group slow to believe– people like Nicodemus, who comes to Jesus by night. Nicodemus, a supposedly well-informed religious person, only understands Jesus Christ slowly.
Our readings from the Acts of the Apostles describes a later time when the apostles witness bravely in the temple after the Holy Spirit comes upon them at Pentecost. “Uneducated, ordinary men,” the temple leaders call them, but they continue to proclaim boldly God’s mighty works in Jesus Christ. Told to end their witness, they cannot. “It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” They’re persecuted, imprisoned, yet the number of believers grows.
The healing of the crippled man which we read about last Wednesday is only the beginning of the healing miracles that accompany the preaching of the resurrection of Jesus. Signs must accompany preaching, Mark’s gospel read on his feast tells us. Signs are not just proof of the credibility of the witnesses; they point out that God is creatively restoring humanity and the earth itself.
The Acts of the Apostles for Saturday points to a new development of the Christian community. ( Acts 6:1-7) Seven men are chosen to provide for the needs of Greek-speaking followers of Jesus, Stephen and Philip among them. This leads to Christians breaking away from Jerusalem, the temple and its laws, for a new center in Antioch in Syria.
On Friday we begin reading about the miracle of the loaves from the 6th chapter of John’s gospel, an important reading for the Easter season. Bread is a sign that the Risen Jesus remains with us. Bread, “which earth has given and human hands have made,” is also a sign that creation itself shares in the mystery of the Lord’s resurrection. We will continue to read from John’s gospel into next week: the mystery of the Eucharist has a major place in the Easter season.
We celebrate the Feast of St. Mark on Monday and the memorial of St. Catherine of Siena on Friday.