17 Mon Easter Weekday Acts 4:23-31/Jn 3:1-8
18 Tue Easter Weekday Acts 4:32-37/Jn 3:7b-15
19 Wed Easter Weekday Acts 5:17-26/Jn 3:16-21)
20 Thu Easter Weekday Acts 5:27-33/Jn 3:31-36
21 Fri Glorious Wounds of Christ Zec 12;10-17/Jn 20:24-29
Easter Weekday [Saint Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church]
Acts 5:34-42/Jn 6:1-15
22 Sat Easter Weekday Acts 6:1-7/Jn 6:16-21
23 SUN THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER Acts 2:14, 22-33/1 Pt 1:17-21/Lk 24:13-35
The church grows gradually after the resurrection. The followers of Jesus meet him, but they’re slow to believe. The ApostleThomas exemplifies 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, supposedly a 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 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. Signs not only prove 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, its temple and its laws, for a new center in Antioch in Syria.
On Friday the Passionists celebrate the “Glorious Wounds of Christ.” We also 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.