May 22 Mon Easter Weekday [St Rita of Cascia,] Acts 19:1-8/Jn 16:29-33
23 Tue Easter Weekday Acts 20:17-27/Jn 17:1-11a
24 Wed Easter Weekday Acts 20:28-38/Jn 17:11b-19
25 Thu Easter Weekday [St Bede Venerable, St Gregory VII; St.t Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, Virgin] Acts 22:30; 23:6-11/Jn 17:20-26
26 Fri St Philip Neri, Acts 25:13b-21/Jn 21:15-19
27 Sat Easter Weekday [St Augustine of Canterbury,]
28 SUN PENTECOST SUNDAY Acts 2:1-11/1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13/Jn 20:19-23
The readings and feasts of this week are a wonderful preparation for the Feast of Pentecost on Sunday.
Luke in the Acts of the Apostles describes Paul hurrying through the Roman world in answer to the command of Jesus: “Go out into the whole world and preach the gospel. ” He’s inspired by the Spirit, like Jesus.
Like Jesus, Paul bids farewell to his followers, the elders from Ephesus, and urges them to continue the ministry given to them by the Spirit. ( Tuesday and Wednesday) “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them. So be vigilant.”
Like Jesus, Paul must go up to Jerusalem (then to Rome). “ Compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the Holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me. Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course.
Paul experiences the passion of Jesus as he clashes with the Jewish leadership and appears before the Roman tribunal where Festus, judging him innocent yet in a quandary over the religious issues that are raised, sends Paul, at his own request, to be judged by the Emperor in Rome. (Thursday and Friday)
In the gospel readings through the week from John, Jesus bids farewell to his disciples and promises to be with them, no matter what. “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have overcome the world.” (Monday) He will send them his Spirit.
“I pray for them,” Jesus says. “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you preserve them from the Evil One.” (Wednesday) “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” (Thursday)
Friday and Saturday’s gospel readings from John takes us to the Lake of Galilee where Jesus commissions his apostle Peter to feed his sheep. Peter will stretch out his hands and be led where he did not want to go–“signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.” Paul too will be led to death like Peter. He will follow Jesus.