7th Sunday of Easter
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Sunday 1st June: 7th Sunday of Easter (a)
The first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, recounts how the disciples and Our Lady gathered in the upper room, waiting in prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
The second reading, from the First letter of St. Peter, tells how Peter encourages those who suffer because of their faith in Christ.
Today’s passage from St. John’s Gospel is from one of Jesus’ final discourses to his disciples. He prays for himself and for his disciples. His prayer for them is also his prayer for us in our time and place. May his words penetrate our minds and hearts and lead us closer to the living God.
Monday 2nd June: Monday in the seventh week of Easter.
Paul arrives in Ephesus. There had been many converts who had responded to the teaching of Apollos but they did not know about the Holy Spirit. Paul lays hands on them and they are filled with the Spirit. Paul stays at Ephesus well over a year, the longest stay in one place of which we are told.
Jesus reminds the disciples again that they will be scattered on his behalf. He also encourages them not to be afraid for he has conquered the world.
Tuesday 3rd June: Memorial of St. Charles Lwanga and his companions.
St. Charles and his twenty-one companions are venerated as the first martyrs equatorial Africa. They were natives of Uganda, a country first evangelised about 1880 by the White Father. Only five years later, a savage persecution of the Christians broke out under King Mwanga. Charles and his companions who were officials of the king’s court were arrested. The group were martyred in 1886 and were canonised by Paul VI in 1964
Wednesday 4th June: Wednesday in the seventh week of Easter.
Paul continues his farewell speech to the Ephesians. He asks the leaders to be on their guard against false teachers, even from within their own ranks. He reminds them to be generous in the care and support of each other.
Jesus continues his prayer to the Father for the disciples. ‘Keep them true to your name…protect them from the evil one.’
Thursday 5th June: Memorial of St. Boniface.
Boniface was born in England and became a teacher and later a priest. He wanted to be a missionary and was eventually sent by the Pope to what is now southern Germany. He became Archbishop of Mainz in 747 and was eventually martyred in 754.
Friday 6th June: Friday in the seventh week of Easter.
The Jews continue to conspire against Paul. He is moved to Caesarea and there appeals his case to Rome. The Roman Governor is determined to agree to Paul’s request to be treated as a Roman citizen. It is agreed that he should go there for trial. In this way Paul fulfils the prophecy that he must bear witness to Jesus in Rome itself.
We move towards the end of John’s Gospel. Peter assures Jesus three times of his love. This mirrors the three fold denials from earlier. He repents and is forgiven and made shepherd of the flock.
Saturday 7th June: Feast of St. Matthias.
After Our Lord’s Ascension, Matthias was chosen by lot to fill the place of Judas among the Apostles. His election is narrated in the Acts of the Apostles and, outside this, we hear no more about him in the New Testament. Nothing is known of his martyrdom. Legend says that he was either crucified or beheaded.