MAY 1 Mon Easter Weekday [St Joseph the Worker] Acts 11:1-18/Jn 10:11-18
2 Tue St Athanasius, Acts 11:19-26/Jn 10:22-30 (280)
3 Wed Sts Philip and James, Apostles 1 Cor 15:1-8/Jn 14:6-14
4 Thu Easter Weekday Acts 13:13-25/Jn 13:16-20
5 Fri Easter Weekday Acts 13:26-33/Jn 14:1-6
6 Sat Easter Weekday Acts 13:44-52/Jn 14:7-14
7 SUN 5th SUNDAY OF EASTER Acts 6:1-7/1 Pt 2:4-9/Jn 14:1-12
This week’s readings from the Acts of the Apostles describe the growth of the church in the Gentile world. Peter journeys to Joppa, the seaport Jonah embarked from on his mission to Nineveh. On his way he raises up a paralyzed man at Lydda and in Joppa he raise a young girl, Tabitha, from the dead–signs similar to those Jesus worked.(Saturday, 3rd Week of Easter)
Doubters, however, question Peter for baptizing the Roman soldier Cornelius and eating at table with him. (Monday) “God has given life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too,” Peter responds, initiating a new phase in the church’s growth. His response is based, not on human judgment, but because he has seen signs from the Spirit.
The readings from Acts from Wednesday to Saturday describe Barnabas and Saul’s opening campaign into the Gentile world. Let’s not ignore, though, the reading from Tuesday which recalls the unknown survivors of the persecution of Stephen who, driven into the Gentile world, “speak to the Greeks, proclaiming the Lord Jesus to them. The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number turned to the Lord.” Clearly, others besides those we know brought the gospel to the Gentiles.
We are all involved, not just a chosen few, in bringing the gospel to the world.
In the Gospel readings from John (Monday-Wednesday) Jesus continues to speak of himself as the Good Shepherd. As Risen Lord, he goes before us, guiding his flock to final pasture. We hear his voice, not the voice of a stranger. His voice is the same as the Father’s voice.
On Thursday, the readings from John bring us back to the supper room. For the remaining days of the Easter season, we will listen to Jesus’ words of encouragement and love for his own who are in this world.
The apostles Philip and James are recalled his week, and also St. Athanasius of Egypt.
Morning and Evening Prayer for the 4th week here.
Peter’s doubters question him.
Why spend time with Gentiles?
Is not salvation for the Jews?
Peter acts with Holy Spirit guide.
Is God’s love given on a whim?
Do we see a new phase
of Holy Spirit growth today?
What signs to look for?
Which fields to shepherd?
Where do flocks graze?
Do empty pews speak loudly?
After Peter spoke, fired with the Spirit,
Three thousand followed the Way.
Do we announce Christ proudly?
Peter acted, not on human judgment.
Church borders were stretched wide,
Despite doubters’ harsh resentment.