Season of Easter (b)
Paschal Tide. (B)
Sunday 20th May: 7th Sunday of Easter. (B)
The first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles. It tells how Matthias was chosen as the successor to Judas and so the group of twelve is completed again.
The second reading is from the first letter ofSt. John. We are reminded that God loves us first and foremost. Our response to that love should be grow in faith and love, gifts of the Holy Spirit whose coming we celebrate next Sunday.
The Gospel passage comes fromSt. John’sGospel. Jesus begs the father to keep the disciples in his care. They are the ones who are to carry on his work in the world.
Monday 21st May: Monday in the 7th week of Easter.
Paul arrives inEphesus. 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 atEphesuswell 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 22nd May: Tuesday in the 7th week of Easter.
After many joys and difficulties inEphesus, Paul now has to leave. He sums up all his work. He talks of his feeling of foreboding that he will become a prisoner for the Lord. Even then, he must still witness to the Good News.
Jesus prays to his Father. The hour has come to glorify his son. He then prays for his disciples and entrusts them to the care of the Father.
Wednesday 23rd May: Wednesday in the 7th 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 24th May: Thursday in the 7th week of Easter.
Paul returns toJerusalem and causes a riot in theTemple from which he has to be rescued by the Roman guards. . Many tried to kill him but he is given the opportunity, by the authorities, of explaining what he was doing. He tells the story of his own conversion and as a result causes division between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He has to be rescued.
We hear another part of Jesus’ prayer for the disciples. He prays for unity amongst them, a unity that mirrors the unity between the Father and Jesus. His prayer goes beyond his immediate disciples but looks forward to include all Christians of all time.
Friday 25th May: Friday in the 7th week of Easter.
The Jews continue to conspire against Paul. He is moved toCaesarea and there appeals his case toRome. 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 inRome 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 26th May: Memorial of St. Philip Neri.
St. Philip was born inFlorence in 1515 and became a priest in Rome. Through his ministry in the confessional and his preaching he attracted a group of followers who were to become the Oratorians. He became known as the Apostle of Rome, providing spiritual and practical help for pilgrims coming toRome. He did much to rekindle devotion to the Eucharist. He died in 1595.