3rd Sunday of Easter (a)
Sunday 30th April: 3rd Sunday of Easter (a)
In this Easter season, we continue to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. The readings today provide further proof that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead. They remind us how his first followers were strengthened in their faith, becoming enthusiastic witnesses to the risen Lord.
Peter, speaking in the first reading, affirms the divinity of Jesus and tells the other apostles that what they have seen and heard is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
In the second reading, he teaches that humanity is redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus. He urges the newly formed Christian communities to place its faith and hope in God.
A stranger joins the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They only recognise Jesus when he breaks bread with them.
Monday 1st May: Monday in third week of Easter.
Today, two unrelated scripture texts run parallel- the martyrdom of St. Stephen, presented as an imitation of the martyrdom of Jesus and the great Eucharistic dialogue from St. John’s Gospel following on the multiplication of the loaves.
Jesus challenges us with the most basic of all questions, “Why are you looking for me?” Is it merely for what we can get or are we looking for Jesus himself, for what he means in our lives?
Tuesday 2nd May: Memorial of St. Athanasius.
Athanasius was born in 297 at Alexandria. He lived during very troubled times, both politically and within the Church. He was secretary to the local Bishop when he attended the Council of Nicaea, from which we get the Nicene Creed. This Council condemned the priest Arius who was teaching that Jesus was not divine. After he became Bishop, many of Arius’ followers caused a great deal of trouble. The political leaders were inconsistent in whom they supported –sometimes Athanasius, at other times his opponents. He was banished five times from the city and lived for seventeen years in exile. He died in 373.
Wednesday 3rd May: Feast of St. Philip & St. James.
Philip was a follower of John the Baptist but accepted Christ’s call immediately. He persuaded his friend, Nathaniel, to come and see Jesus for himself. He is named among those present at the coming of the Holy Spirit.
James, the Less or Younger, was present at the Council of Jerusalem where it was decided that Gentile converts need not become Jewish as well. A Letter in the New Testament is attributed to him.
Both were martyred as a result of their preaching the Gospel.
Thursday 4th May: Thursday in third week of Easter.
St. Luke, in the Acts reading, presents the conversion of the treasurer of the Queen of Ethiopia very much in parallel to the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. He had the scriptures explained to him and as a result asks to be baptised.
In the Gospel, Christ speaks again of himself as the bread of life to be accepted in faith and promises to give himself in the Eucharist as for the life of the world and for eternal life.
Friday 5th May: Friday in third week of Easter.
We hear of the conversion of Paul. Jesus identifies himself with his persecuted disciples and from this meeting Paul will serve the Lord totally.
Each time we come forward to receive Holy Communion, we encounter Christ. May it deepen our faith and enrich our commitment to following him in our daily lives.
Saturday 6th May: Saturday in third week of Easter.
Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Peter continues the mission of Jesus. He speaks, he heals, he raises people to life.
By now, some are turning away from Jesus because they had expected a different kind of Messiah. Some who remain are still not fully convinced so Jesus confronts them. Peter makes the great act of faith. ‘To whom shall we go? You have message of eternal life.’
He is risen as he said