5th Sunday of Easter (c)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Sunday 24th April: 5th Sunday of Easter (c).
The first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles. Paul and Barnabas retrace their steps, encouraging the little communities of Christians they had founded, by reminding them of all that God has done for them.
The second reading is from the Book of the Apocalypse. It is taken from the final part and opens with the vision of a new world and a new order of things inaugurated by Jesus Christ. There will be no more sorrow. God will wipe away the tears from every eye.
The Gospel passage is from St. John. During the Last Supper, Jesus gives his disciples a new commandment – to love one another as he has loved them.
Monday 25th April: Feast of St. Mark.
A disciple of Peter, Mark writes in simple words how, with Jesus, came the time of salvation and repentance. He shows Jesus both as the Son of God and the Son of Man, whose life led to his death. However, he revealed himself fully in the Resurrection. The disciple must follow his master. He is the patron saint of Venice.
Tuesday 26th April: 5th Tuesday of Easter
Paul and Barnabas are persecuted, stoned and driven from one place to another as they carry on preaching the Gospel. They don’t give up. Paul encourages the disciples and puts fresh heart into them. He acknowledges that God has done great things in them.
In the Gospel Jesus’ message is the same. Just before his passion and death, he speaks of peace and encourages the apostles not to be troubled or afraid. If we are united with God, nobody can rob us of that inner peace of which he speaks.
Wednesday 27th April: 5th Wednesday of Easter.
Some Jews tried to cause trouble by suggesting that, in order to become a Christian, a convert from paganism had to be come a Jew first. The apostles convene the first Council of the Church in Jerusalem to resolve the question.
Jesus uses the analogy of the vine. We are all branches of that vine with him. The Father prunes the vine and expects it to produce fruit; we can only do that if we linked to Jesus.
Thursday 28th April: 5th Thursday of Easter.
At the Council of Jerusalem, Paul reminds the disciples that God gave the Holy Spirit to many of the pagans as well as the Jews. Therefore, they do not have to become Jews.
Jesus gives his great commandment to his disciples – love one another as I have loved you.
Friday 29th April: Feast of St. Catherine of Sienna.
St. Catherine was born in Siena about 1347, the youngest of 25 children ! She died in Rome in 1380. She was so committed to the love of God, his Church and all people that she worked to restore peace among the rival factions in Italy, persuaded Pope Gregory XI to return from Avignon to Rome where the Popes had lived for 74 years and tried to heal the great schism which had arisen. We are told she scolded the Pope for ‘his short sightedness.’ She was canonised in 1461.
Saturday 30th April: 5th Saturday of Easter.
Paul sets out on his second missionary journey, this time with Timothy. They head for Macedonia.
Jesus tells the disciples that they too will suffer because they are his friends and they are to carry on his work. ‘Because you are not of this world, the world will persecute you.’
He is risen as he said