Salvo Of Praise

Daily Gospel
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April 2010
    
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April 1
Thursday

Holy Thursday


►1st Reading: Dn 3:14–20, 91–92, 95
    King Nebuchadnezzar questioned them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden statue I have set up? If you won’t you know the punishment: you will immediately be thrown into a burning furnace. And then what god can deliver you out of my hands?”
    Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego answered, “King Ne¬buchadnezzar, we need not defend ourselves before you on this matter. If you order us to be thrown into the furnace, the God we serve will rescue us. But even if he won’t, we would like you to know, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden statue you have set up.”
    Nebuchadnezzar’s face reddened with fury. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of his strongest soldiers to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the burning furnace.
    Then King Nebuchadnezzar suddenly rose up in great amazement and asked his counselors, “Did we not throw three men bound into the fire?” They answered, “Certainly.” The king said, “But I can see four men walking about freely through the fire without suffering any harm, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
    Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who sent his angel to free his servants.”

►Gospel: Jn 8:31–42
    Jesus went on to say to the Jews who believed in him: “You will be my true disciples if you keep my word. Then you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are the descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves of anyone. What do you mean by saying: You will be free?”
    Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave. But the slave doesn’t stay in the house forever; the son stays forever. So, if the Son makes you free, you will be really free.
    “I know that you are the descendants of Abraham; yet you want to kill me because my word finds no place in you. For my part I speak of what I have seen in the Father’s presence, but you do what you have learned from your father.”
    They answered him, “Our father is Abraham.” Then Jesus said, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do as Abraham did. But now you want to kill me. That is not what Abraham did; what you are doing are the works of your father.”
    The Jews said to him, “We are not illegitimate children; we have one Father, God.” Jesus replied, “If God were your Father you would love me, for I came forth from God, and I am here. And I didn’t come by my own decision, but it was he himself who sent me.”

April 2
Friday


Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

►1st Reading: Is 52:13–53:12

It is now when my servant will succeed;
 he will be exalted and highly praised.
Just as many have been horrified
at his disfigured appearance:
 “Is this a man? He does not look like one,”
so will nations be astounded,
kings will stand speechless,
for they will see something never told,
they will witness something never heard of.
 Who could believe what we have heard,
and to whom has Yahweh revealed his feat?
Like a root out of dry ground,
like a sapling he grew up before us,
with nothing attractive in his appearance,
no beauty, no majesty.
He was despised and rejected,
a man of sorrows familiar with grief,
a man from whom people hide their face,
spurned and considered of no account.
Yet ours were the sorrows he bore,
ours were the sufferings he endured,
although we considered him as one
punished by God, stricken and brought low.
Destroyed because of our sins,
he was crushed for our wickedness.
Through his punishment we are made whole;
by his wounds we are healed.
Like sheep we had all gone astray,
each following his own way;
but Yahweh laid upon him all our guilt.
He was harshly treated,
but unresisting and silent, he humbly submitted.
Like a lamb led to the slaughter
or a sheep before the shearer
he did not open his mouth.
He was taken away to detention and judgment –
what an unthinkable fate!
He was cut off from the land of the living,
stricken for his people’s sin.
They made his tomb with the wicked,
they put him in the graveyard of the oppressors,
though he had done no violence nor spoken in deceit.
Yet it was the will of Yahweh to crush him with grief.
When he makes himself an offering for sin,
he will have a long life and see his descendants.
Through him the will of Yahweh is done.
For the anguish he suffered,
he will see the light and obtain perfect knowledge.
My just servant will justify the multitude;
he will bear and take away their guilt.
Therefore I will give him his portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong.
For he surrendered himself to death
and was even counted among the wicked,
bearing the sins of the multitude
and interceding for sinners.

►2nd Reading: Heb 4:14–16; 5:7–9
    We have a great High Priest, Jesus, the Son of God, who has entered heaven. Let us, then, hold fast to the faith we profess. Our high priest is not indifferent to our weaknesses, for he was tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sinning. Let us, then, with confidence approach the throne of grace; we will obtain mercy and, through his favor, help in due time.
Christ, in the days of his mortal life, offered his sacrifice with tears and cries. He prayed to him who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his humble submission. Although he was Son, he learned through suffering what obedience was, and once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for those who obey him.

►Gospel: John 18:1–19:42*
    When Jesus had finished speaking, he went with his disciples to the other side of the Kidron Valley. There was a garden there where Jesus entered with his disciples.
    Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place since Jesus had often met there with his disciples. He led soldiers of the Roman battalion and guards from the chief priests and Pharisees, who went there with lanterns, torches and weapons.
Jesus knew all that was going to happen to him; he stepped forward and asked, “Who are you looking for?” They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus said, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, stood there with them.
    When Jesus said, “I am he,” they moved back and fell to the ground. He then asked a second time, “Who are you looking for?” and they answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus replied, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, let these others go.” So what Jesus had said came true: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”
    Simon Peter had a sword; he drew it and struck Malchus, the High Priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?”
    The guards and the soldiers, with their commander, seized Jesus and bound him; -and they took him first to Annas. Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was the High Priest that year; and it was Caiaphas who had told the Jews: “It is better that one man should die for the people.”
    Simon Peter with another disciple followed Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the High Priest, they let him enter the courtyard of the High Priest along with Jesus, but Peter had to stay outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the High Priest went out and spoke to the maidservant at the gate and brought Peter in. Then, this servant on duty at the door said to Peter, “So you also are one of his disciples?” But he answered, “I am not.”
    Now the servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire and were standing and warming themselves, because it was cold. Peter was also with them warming himself. 
    The High Priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in places where the Jews meet together, either at the assemblies in synagogues or in the Temple. I did not teach secretly. Why then do you ask me? Ask those who heard me, they know what I said.”
At this reply one of the guards standing by gave Jesus a blow on the face, saying, “Is that the way to answer the High Priest?” Jesus said to him, “If I have spoken wrongly, point it out; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”
Then Annas sent him, bound, to Caiaphas, the High Priest.
    Now Simon Peter stood there warming himself. They said to him, “Surely you also are one of his disciples.” He denied it and answered, “I am not.” One of the High Priest’s servants, a kinsman of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you with him in the garden?” Again Peter denied it, and at once the cock crowed. 
    Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the court of the Roman governor. It was now morning. The Jews didn’t enter lest they be made unclean (by coming into the house of a pagan) and be unable to eat the Passover meal. So Pilate went out and asked, “What charge do you bring against this man?”
    They answered, “If he were not a criminal, we would not be handing him over to you.” Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your-own law.” But they replied, “We ourselves are not allowed to put anyone to death.”
It was clear from this what kind of death Jesus was to die, according to what Jesus himself had foretold.
Pilate then entered the court again, called Jesus and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “Does this word come from you, or did you hear it from others?”
    Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingship does not come from this world. If I were king like those of this world, my guards would have fought to save me from being handed over to the Jews. But my kingship is not from here.”
    Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” And Jesus answered, “Just as you say, I am a king. For this I was born-and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth hears my voice.” Pilate said, “What is truth?” 
    Pilate then went out to the Jews again and said, “I find no crime in this man. Now, according to a custom, I must release a prisoner of yours at the Passover. With your agreement I will release for you the King of the Jews.” But they insisted and cried out, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber. 
    Then Pilate had Jesus taken away and scourged. The soldiers also twisted thorns into a crown and put it on his head. They threw a cloak of royal purple around his shoulders and began coming up to him and saluting him, “Hail, king of the Jews,” and they struck him on the face.
    Pilate went outside yet another time and said to the Jews, “Look, I am bringing him out and I want you to know that I find no crime in him.” Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak and Pilate pointed to him saying, “Here is the man!”
    On seeing him the chief priests and the guards cried out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate replied, “Take him yourselves and have him crucified, for I find no case against him.” The Jews then said, “We have a Law, and according to the Law this man must die because he made himself Son of God.”
    When Pilate heard this he was more afraid. And coming back into the court he asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you just as I have power to crucify you?” Jesus replied, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is more guilty.”
    From that moment Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who makes himself king is defying Caesar.”
    When Pilate heard this, he had Jesus brought outside to the place called the Stone Floor—in Hebrew Gabbatha—and there he had him seated in the tribune. It was the Preparation Day for the Passover, about noon. So Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your king.” But they cried out, “Away! Take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate replied, “Shall I crucify your king?” And the chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
    Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified. 
    They took charge of him. Bearing his own cross, Jesus went out of the city to what is called the Place of the Skull, in He-brew: Golgotha. There he was crucified and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus was in the middle.
Pilate had a notice written and fastened to the cross that read: Jesus the Nazorean, King of the Jews. Many Jewish people saw this title, because the place where Jesus was crucified was very close to the city. It was, moreover, written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. The chief priests said to Pi-late, “Do not write: ‘The king of the Jews’; but: “This man claimed to be king of the Jews.’-” Pilate answered them, “What I have written, I have written.”
    When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one part for each of them. But as the tunic was woven in one piece from top to bottom, -they said, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots to decide who will get it.” This fulfilled the words of Scripture: They divided my clothing among them; they cast lots for my garment. This was what the soldiers did.
    Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister Mary, who was the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw the Mother, and the disciple whom he loved, he said to the Mother, “Woman, this is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “There is your mother.” And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home.
With that Jesus knew all was now finished and he said, I am thirsty, to fulfill what was written in Scripture. A jar full of bitter wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a twig of hyssop, they raised it to his lips. Jesus took the wine and said, “It is accomplished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up the spirit. 
    As it was Preparation Day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross during the Sabbath, for this Sabbath was a very solemn day. They asked Pilate to have the legs of the condemned men bro-ken, so they might take away the bodies. 
    The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who had been crucified with Jesus. When they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead; so they did not break his legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a lance and immediately there came out blood and water.
    The one who has seen here gives his witness so that you may believe: his witness is true and He knows that he speaks the truth. All this happened to fulfill the words of Scripture, Not one of his bones shall be broken. Another text says: They shall look on him whom they have pierced. 
    After this, Joseph of Arimathea approached Pilate, for he was a disciple of Jesus, though secretly, for fear of the Jews. And he asked Pilate to let him re-move the body of Jesus. Pilate agreed, so he came and took away the body.
Nicodemus, the man who earlier had come to Jesus by night, also came and brought a jar of myrrh mixed with aloes, about a hundred pounds. They took the-body of Jesus and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices, following the burial custom of the Jews.
    There was a garden in the place where Jesus had been crucified, and, in the garden, a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. As the tomb was very near, they buried Jesus there because they had no time left before the Jewish Preparation Day.

April 3
Saturday


The Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter

1st Reading: Gen 1—2:2
2nd reading: Gen 22:1–18
3rd Reading: Ex 14:15—15:1
4th Reading: Is 54:5–14
5th Reading: Is 55:1–11
6th Reading: Bar 3:9–15, 32—4:4
7th Reading: Ezk 36:16–17a, 18–28

Ps 104:1–2, 5–6, 10, 12, 13–14, 24, 35
Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
Ps 16:5, 8, 9–10, 11
You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Ex 15:1–2, 3–4, 5–6, 17–18
Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
Ps 30:2, 4, 5–6, 11–12, 13
I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Is 12:2–3, 4, 5–6
You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Ps 19L8, 9, 10, 11
Lord, you have the works of everlasting life.
Is 12:2–3, 4bcd, 5–6
You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Ps 118:1–2, 16–17, 22–23
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

►1st Reading: Gen 1:1–2:2
    In the beginning, when God -began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth had no form and was void; darkness was over the deep and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters.
    God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘Day’ and the darkness ‘Night’. There was evening and there was mor-ning: the first day.
God said, “Let there be a firm ceiling between the waters and let it separate waters from waters.” So God made the ceiling and separated the waters below it from the waters above it. And so it was. God called the firm ceiling ‘Sky’. There was evening and there was morning: the second day.
    God said, “Let the waters below the sky be gathered together in one place and let dry land appear.” And so it was. God called the dry land ‘Earth’, and the waters gathered together he called ‘Seas’. God saw that it was good. 
God said, “Let the earth produce vegetation, seed-bearing plants, fruit-trees bearing fruit with seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth.” And so it was. The earth produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kind and trees producing fruit which has seed, according to their kind. God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning: the third day.
    God said, “Let there be lights in the ceiling of the sky to separate day from night and to serve as signs for the seasons, days and years; and let these lights in the sky shine above the earth.” And so it was. God therefore made two great lights, the greater light to govern the day and the smaller light to govern the night; and God made the stars as well. God placed them in the ceiling of the sky to give light on the earth and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning: the fourth day.
    God said, “Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth under the ceiling of the sky.” God created the great monsters of the sea and all living animals, those that teem in the waters, according to their kind, and every winged bird, according to its kind. God saw that it was good. God blessed them saying, “Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the waters of the sea, and let the birds increase on the earth.” There was evening and there was morning: the fifth day.
    God said, “Let the earth produce living animals according to their kind: cattle, creatures that move along the ground, wild animals according to their-kind.” So it was. God created the wild animals according to their kind, and everything that creeps along the ground according to its kind. God saw that it was good.
    God said, “Let us make man in our image, to our likeness. Let them rule over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle, over the wild animals, and over all creeping things that crawl along the ground.” So God created man in his image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and in-crease in number, fill the earth and subdue it, rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky, over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
    God said, “I have given you every seed-bearing plant which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree that bears fruit with seed. It will be for your food. To every wild animal, to every bird of the sky, to everything that creeps along the ground, to everything that has the breath of life, I give every green plant for food.” So it was.
    God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. There was evening and there was morning: the sixth day.
That was the way the sky and -earth were created and all their vast array.

►2nd Reading: Rom 6:3–11
    Don’t you know that in baptism which unites us to Christ we are all baptized and plunged into his death? By this baptism in his death, we were buried with Christ and, as Christ was raised from among the dead by the Glory of the Father, so we begin walking in a new life. If we have been joined to him by dying a death like his so we shall be by a resurrection like his.
We know that our old self was crucified with Christ, so as to destroy what of us was sin, so that we may no longer serve sin – if we are dead, we are no longer in debt to sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe we will also live with him. We know that Christ, once risen from the dead, will not die again and death has no more dominion over him. For by dying, he is dead to sin once and for all, and now the life that he lives is life with God.
    So you, too, must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

►Gospel: Lk 24:1–12
    On the sabbath the women rested according to the commandment, but the first day of the week, at dawn, they went to the tomb with the perfumes and ointments they had prepared. Seeing the stone rolled away from the opening of the tomb, they entered and were puzzled to find that the body of the Lord Jesus was not there.
    Two men in dazzling garments appeared beside them. In fright the women bowed to the ground. But the men said, “Why look for the living among the dead? (You won’t find him here. He is risen.) Remember what he told you in Galilee, that the Son of Man had to be given into the hands of sinners, be crucified, and rise on the third day.” And they recalled Jesus’ words.
Returning from the tomb, they informed the Eleven and their companions. Among the women who brought the news were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. But however much they insisted, those who heard did not believe the seemingly nonsensical story. Then Peter got up and ran to the tomb. All he saw there on bending down were the linen cloths. He went home wondering.

April 4
Sunday


Easter Sunday, Our Lord’s Resurrection
►1st Reading: Acts 10:34a, 37–43
    Peter spoke to the people, “Truly, I realize that God does not show partiality. No doubt you have heard of the event that occurred throughout the whole country of the Jews, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism John preached. You know how God anointed Jesus the Nazarean with Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all who were under the devil’s power, because God was with him; we are witnesses of all that he did throughout the country of the Jews and in            Jerusalem itself. Yet they put him to death by hanging him on a wooden cross.
    “But God raised him to life on the third day and let him manifest himself, not to all the people, but to the witnesses that were chosen beforehand by God—to us who ate and drank with him after his resurrection from death. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to bear witness that he is the one appointed by God to judge the living and the dead. All the prophets say of him, that everyone who believes in him has forgiveness of sins through his Name.”

►2nd Reading: Col 3:1–4 (or 1 Cor 5:6b–8)
    Sisters and brothers, if you are risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on earthly things. For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, reveals himself, you also will be revealed with him in Glory.

►Gospel: Jn 20:1–9 
    On the first day after the sabbath, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark and she saw that the stone blocking the tomb had been moved away. She ran to Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved. And she said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don’t know where they have laid him.”
Peter then set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down and saw the linen cloths lying flat, but he did not enter.
    Then Simon Peter came following him and entered the tomb; he, too, saw the linen cloths lying flat. The napkin, which had been around his head was not lying flat like the other linen cloths but lay rolled up in its place. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and believed. Scripture clearly said that he must rise from the dead, but they had not yet understood that.

April 5
Monday


Octave of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 2:14, 22–23
    Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and, with a loud voice, addressed them, “Fellow Jews and all foreigners now staying in Jerusalem, listen to what I have to say. 
    Fellow Israelites, listen to what I am going to tell you about Jesus of Nazareth. God accredited him and through him did powerful deeds and wonders and signs in your midst, as you well know. You delivered him to sinners to be crucified and killed, and in this way the purpose of God from all times was fulfilled. But God raised him to life and released him from the pain of death, because it was impossible for him to be held in the power of death. David spoke of him when he said: I saw the Lord before me at all times; he is by my side, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; my body too will live in hope. Because you will not forsake me in the abode of the dead, nor allow your Holy One to experience corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life, and your presence will fill me with joy.
Friends, I don’t need to prove that the patriarch David died and was buried; his tomb is with us to this day. But he knew that God had sworn to him that one of his descendants would sit upon his throne and, as he was a prophet, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah. So he said that he would not be left in the region of the dead, nor would his body experience corruption.
    This Messiah is Jesus and we are all witnesses that God raised him to life. He has been exalted at God’s right side and the Father has entrusted the Holy Spirit to him; this Spirit he has just poured upon us as you now see and hear.

►Gospel: Mt 28:8–15
    Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, left the tomb at once in holy fear, yet with great joy, and they ran to tell the news to the disciples. Suddenly, Jesus met them on the way and said, “Peace.” The women approached him, embraced his feet and worshiped him. But Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to set out for Galilee; there they will see me.” While the women were on their way, the guards returned to the city and some of them reported to the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests met with the Jewish authorities and decided to give the soldiers a good sum of money, with this instruction, “Say that his disciples came by night while you were asleep, and stole the body of Jesus. If Pilate comes to know of this, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” The soldiers accepted the money and did as they were told. This story has circulated among the Jews until this day.

April 6
Tuesday


Octave of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 2:36–41
    Peter said to the people, “Let Israel then know for sure that God has made Lord and Christ this Jesus whom you crucified.” When they heard this, they were deeply troubled. And they asked Peter and the other apostles, “What shall we do, brothers?”
Peter answered: “Each of you must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise of God was made to you and your children, and to all those from afar whom our God may call.” With many other words Peter gave the message and appealed to them saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who accepted his word were baptized; some three thousand persons were added to their number that day.

►Gospel: Jn 20:11–18
    Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she bent down to look inside; she saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I don’t know where they have put him.” As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognize him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and answered him, “Lord, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him.”
    Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him, “Rabboni”—which means, Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me; you see I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them: I am ascending to my Father, who is your Father, to my God, who is your God.”
    So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what he said to me.”

April 7
Wednesday


Octave of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 3:1–10*(completed)
    Once when Peter and John were going up to the Temple at three in the after-noon, the hour for prayer, a man crippled from birth was being carried in. Every day they would bring him and put him at the temple gate called “Beautiful”; there he begged from those who entered the Temple.
    When he saw Peter and John on their way into the Temple, he asked for alms. Then Peter with John at his side looked straight at him and said, “Look at us.” So he looked at them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I have I give you: In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, walk!”
Then he took the beggar by his right hand and helped him up. At once his feet and ankles became firm, and jumping up he stood on his feet and began to walk. And he went with them into the Temple walking and leaping and praising God.
All the people saw him walking and praising God; they recognized him as the one who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and they were all astonished and amazed at what had happened to him.

►Gospel: Lk 24:13–35*(completed)
    Two disciples of Jesus were going to Emmaus, a village seven miles from Jerusalem, and they talked about what had happened. While they were talking and wondering, Jesus came up and walked with them, but their eyes were held and they did not recognize him.
    He asked, “What is this you are talking about?” The two stood still, looking sad. Then one named Cleophas answered, “Why, it seems you are the only traveler in Jerusalem who doesn’t know what has happened there these past few days.” And he asked, “What is it?” 
    They replied, “It is about Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet, you know, mighty in word and deed before God and the people. But the chief priests and our rulers sentenced him to death. They handed him over to be crucified. We had hoped that he would redeem Israel. 
    It is now the third day since all this took place. It is true that some women of our group have disturbed us. When they went to the tomb at dawn, they did not find his body; they came to tell us that they had seen a vision of angels who told them that Jesus was alive. Some friends of our group went to the tomb and found everything just as the women had said, but they did not see him.”
    He said to them, “How dull you are, how slow of understanding! You fail to believe the message of the prophets. Is it not written that the Christ should suffer all this and then enter his glory?” Then starting with Moses and going through the prophets, he explained to them everything in the Scriptures concerning himself.
    As they drew near the village they were heading for, Jesus made as if to go farther. But they prevailed upon him, “Stay with us, for night comes quickly. The day is now almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When they were at table, he took the bread, said a blessing, broke it and gave each a piece. 
    Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; but he vanished out of their sight. And they said to each other, “Were not our hearts filled with ardent yearning when he was talking to us on the road and explaining the Scriptures?”
They immediately set out and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and their companions gathered together. They were greeted by these words: “Yes, it is true, the Lord is risen! He has appeared to Simon!” Then the two told what had happened on the road and how Jesus made himself known when he broke bread with them.

April 8
Thursday

Octave of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 3:11–26*(completed)
    While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, struck with astonishment, came running to them in Solomon’s Porch, as it was called. When Peter saw the people, he said to them,
    “Fellow Israelites, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us as if it was by some power or holiness of our own that we made this man walk? The God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus whom you handed over to death and denied before Pilate, when even Pilate had decided to release him. You rejected the Holy and Just One, and you insisted that a murderer be released to you. You killed the Master of life, but God raised him from the dead and we are witnesses to this. It is his Name, and faith in his Name, that has healed this man whom you see and recognize. The faith that comes through Jesus has given him wholeness in the presence of all of you.
Yet I know that you acted out of ignorance, as did your leaders. God has fulfilled in this way what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer.
    Repent, then, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out and the time of refreshment may come by the mercy of God, when he sends the Messiah appointed for you, Jesus. For he must remain in heaven until the time of the universal restoration which God spoke of long ago through his holy prophets.
    Moses foretold this when he said: The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall listen to him in all that he says to you. Whoever does not listen to that prophet is to be cut off from among his people.
In fact, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel onward, have announced the events of these days. You are the children of the prophets and heirs of the covenant that God gave to your ancestors when he said to Abraham: All the families of the earth will be blessed through your descendant. It is to you first that God sends his Servant; he raised him to life to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”

►Gospel: Lk 24:35–48*(completed)
    The two disciples told what had happened on the road and how Jesus made himself known when he broke bread with them.
    As they went on talking about this, Jesus himself stood in their midst. (And he said to them, “Peace to you.”) In their panic and fright they thought they were seeing a ghost, but he said to them, “Why are you upset and why do such ideas cross your mind? Look at my hands and feet and see that it is I myself. Touch me and see for yourselves that a ghost has no flesh and bones as I have.” (As he said this, he showed his hands and feet.)
    In their joy they didn’t dare believe and were still astonished. So he said to them, “Have you anything to eat?” and they gave him a piece of broiled fish. He took it and ate it before them.
    Then Jesus said to them, “Remember the words I spoke to you when I was still with you: Everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms had to be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 
And he went on, “You see what was written: the Messiah had to suffer and on the third day rise from the dead. Then repentance and forgiveness in his name would be proclaimed to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Now you shall be witnesses to this.


April 9
Friday

Octave of Easter

►1st Reading:  Acts 4:1–12*(completed)
    While Peter and John were still speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming that resurrection from the dead had been proved in the case of Jesus. Since it was already evening, they arrested them and put them in custody until the following day. But despite this, many of those who heard the Message believed and their number increased to about five thousand.
    The next day, the Jewish leaders, elders and teachers of the Law assembled in Jerusalem. Annas, the High Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all who were of the high priestly class were there. They brought Peter and John before them and began to question them, “How did you do this? Whose name did you use?”
    Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke up, “Leaders of the people! Elders! It is a fact that we are being examined today for a good deed done to a cripple. How was he healed? You and all the people of Israel must know that this man stands before you cured through the Name of Jesus Christ the Nazarean. You had him crucified, but God raised him from the dead. Jesus is the stone rejected by you the builders which has become the cornerstone. There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other Name given to humankind all over the world by which we may be saved.”

►Gospel: Jn 21:1–14*(completed)
    Jesus revealed  himself to the disciples by the Lake of Tiberias. He appeared to them in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas who was called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two other disciples were together; and Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” They replied, “We will come with you” and they went out and got into the boat. But they caught nothing that night.
    When day had already broken, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus called them, “Children, have you anything to eat?” They answered, “Nothing.” Then he said to them, “Throw the net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they had lowered the net, they were not able to pull it in because of the great number of fish.
    Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” At these words, “It’s the Lord,” Simon Peter put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and jumped into the water. The other disciples came in the boat dragging the net full of fish; they were not far from land, about a hundred meters. 
    When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the-fish you’ve just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed into the boat and pulled the net to shore. It was full of big fish – one hundred and fifty-three – but, in spite of this, the net was not torn.
    Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast,” and not one of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and he did the same with the fish.
This was the third time that Jesus revealed himself to his disciples after rising from the dead.

April 10
Saturday


Octave of Easter

►1st Reading:  Acts 4:13–21
    The leaders, elders, and scribes were astonished at the boldness of Peter and John, considering that they were uneducated and untrained men. They recognized, also, that they had been with Jesus, but, as the man who had been cured stood beside them, they could make no reply.
    So they ordered them to leave the council room while they consulted with one another. They asked, “What shall we do with these men? Everyone who lives in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign has been given through them, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this from spreading any further among the people, let us warn them never again to speak to anyone in the name of Jesus.” So they called them back and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s eyes for us to obey you rather than God. We cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Then the council threatened them once more and let them go. They could find no way of punishing them because of the people who glorified God for what had happened.

►Gospel: Mk 16:9–15
    After Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary of Magdala from whom he had driven out seven demons. She went and reported the news to his followers, who were now mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he lived and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. After this he showed himself in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. These men too went back and told the others, but they did not believe them.
Later Jesus showed himself to the Eleven while they were at table. He reproached them for their unbelief and stubbornness in refusing to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. Then he told them, “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation.”

April 11
Sunday


2nd Sunday of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 5:12–16
    Many miraculous signs and wonders were done among the people through the hands of the apostles. The believers, of one accord, used to meet in Solomon’s Porch. None of the others dared to join them, but the people held them in high esteem. So an ever increasing number of men and women, believed in the Lord. The people carried the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and on mats, so that when Peter passed by, at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those who were troubled by unclean spirits, and all of them were healed.

►2nd Reading: Rev 1:9–11a, 12–13, 17–19
    I, John, your brother, who share with you, in Jesus, the sufferings, the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island of Patmos, because of the Word of God and witnessing to Jesus. On the Lord’s day, the Spirit took possession of me and I heard a voice behind me which sounded like a trumpet, “Write down all that you see, in a book, and send it to the seven Churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”
    I turned to see who was speaking to me; behind me were seven golden lampstands and, in the middle of these, I saw someone like a son of man, dressed in a long robe tied with a golden girdle. 
    Seeing him, I fell at his feet like one dead but he touched me with his right hand and said, “Do not be afraid. It is I, the First and the Last. I am the living one; I was dead and now I am alive for ever and ever; and mine are the keys of death and the netherworld. Now write what you have seen, both what is and what is yet to come.”

►Gospel: Jn 20:19–31*(completed)
    On the evening of that day, the first day after the Sabbath, the doors were locked where the disciples were, because of their fear of the Jews, but Jesus came and stood in their midst. He said to them, “Peace be with you”; then he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples kept looking at the Lord and were full of joy.
    Again Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” After saying this he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit; for those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.”
    Thomas, the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he replied, “Until I have seen in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
    Eight days later, the disciples were inside again and Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands; stretch out your hand and put it into my side. Resist no longer and be a believer.”
    Thomas then said, “You are my Lord and my God.” Jesus replied, “You believe because you see me, don’t you? Happy are those who have not seen and believe.”
    There were many other signs that Jesus gave in the presence of his disciples, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; believe and you will have life through his Name.


April 12
Monday


2nd Week of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 4:23–31*(completed)
    As soon as Peter and John were set free, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and elders had said to them.
    When they heard it, they raised their voices as one and called upon God, “Sovereign Lord, maker of heaven and earth, of the sea and everything in them, you have put these words in the mouth of David, our father and your servant, through the Holy Spirit: Why did the pagan nations rage and the people conspire in folly? The kings of the earth were aligned and the princes gathered together against the Lord and against his Messiah. 
    For indeed in this very city Herod with Pontius Pilate, and the pagans together with the people of Israel conspired against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. Thus, indeed, they brought about whatever your powerful will had decided from all time would happen. But now, Lord, see their threats against us and enable your servants to speak your word with all boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and to work signs and wonders through the Name of Jesus your holy servant.”
When they had prayed, the place where they were gathered together shook, and they were all filled with Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God boldly.

►Gospel: Jn 3:1–8
    Among the Pharisees there was a ruler of the Jews named Nicodemus. He came to Jesus by night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you have come from God to teach us, for no one can perform miraculous signs like yours unless God is with him.”
Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again from above.”
Nicodemus said, “How can there be rebirth for a grown man? Who could go back to his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you: No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Because of this, don’t be surprised when I say: ‘You must be born again from above.’
    “The wind blows where it pleases and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It is like that with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

April 13
Tuesday


2nd Week of Easter
Martin I

►1st Reading: Acts 4:32–37
    The whole community of believers was one in heart and mind. No one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but rather they shared all things in common. With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, for all of them were living in an exceptional time of grace.
    There was no needy person among them, for those who owned land or houses, sold them and brought the proceeds of the sale. And they laid it at the feet of the apostles who distributed it according to each one’s need. This is what a certain Joseph did. He was a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas, meaning: “The encouraging one.” He sold a field which he owned and handed the money to the apostles.

►Gospel: Jn 3:7b–15
    Because of this, don’t be surprised when I say: ‘You must be born again from above.’
The wind blows where it pleases and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It is like that with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
    Nicodemus asked again, “How can this be?” And Jesus answered, “You are a teacher in Israel, and you don’t know these things!
    Truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we witness to the things we have seen, but you don’t accept our testimony. If you don’t believe when I speak of earthly things, what then, when I speak to you of heavenly things? No one has ever gone up to heaven except the one who came from heaven, the Son of Man. 
    As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

April 14
Wednesday

2nd Week of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 5:17–26
    The High Priest and all his supporters, that is the party of the Sadducees, became very jealous of the apostles; so they arrested them and had them thrown into the public jail. But an angel of the Lord opened the door of the prison during the night, brought them out, and said to them, “Go and stand in the Temple court and tell the people the whole of this living message.” Accordingly they entered the Temple at dawn and resumed their teaching. When the High Priest and his supporters arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin, that is the full Council of the elders of Israel. They sent word to the jail to have the prisoners brought in. But when the Temple guards arrived at the jail, they did not find them inside, so they returned with the news, “We found the prison securely locked and the prison guards at their post outside the gate, but when we opened the gate, we found no one inside.” Upon hearing these words, the captain of the Temple guard and the high priests were baffled, wondering where all of this would end. Just then someone arrived with the report, “Look, those men whom you put in prison are standing in the Temple, teaching the people.” Then the captain went off with the guards and brought them back, but without any show of force, for fear of being stoned by the people.

►Gospel: Jn 3:16–21
    Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Yes, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but may have eternal life. God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world; instead, through him the world is to be saved. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned. He who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God. “This is how the Judgment is made: Light has come into the world and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For whoever does wrong hates the light and doesn’t come to the light for fear that his deeds will be shown as evil. But whoever lives according to the truth comes into the light so that it can be clearly seen that his works have been done in God.”

April 15
Thursday


2nd Week of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 5:27–33
    So the temple guards brought them in and made them stand before the Council and the High Priest questioned them, “We gave you strict orders not to preach such a Savior; but you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend charging us with the killing of this man.” To this Peter and the apostles replied, “Better for us to obey God rather than any human authority!
    “The God of our ancestors raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a wooden post. God set him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to grant repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We are witnesses to all these things, as well as the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”
    When the Council heard this, they became very angry and wanted to kill them.

►Gospel: Jn 3:31–36
    Jesus said to Nicodemus, “He who comes from above is above all; he who comes from the earth belongs to the earth and his words, too, are earthly. The One who comes from heaven speaks of the things he has seen and heard; he bears witness to this but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does receive his testimony acknowledges the truthfulness of God.
“The one sent by God speaks God’s words and gives the Spirit without measure. For the Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything into his hands. Whoever believes in the Son lives with eternal life, but he who will not believe in the Son will never know life and always faces the justice of God.”


April 16Friday

2nd Week of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 5:34–42
    A Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law highly respected by the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin. He ordered the men to be taken outside for a few minutes and then he spoke to the assembly.
    “Fellow Israelites, consider well what you intend to do to these men. For some time ago Theudas came forward, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. But he was killed and all his followers were dispersed or disappeared. After him, Judas the Galilean appeared at the time of the census and persuaded many people to follow him. But he too perished and his whole following was scattered. So, in this present case, I advise you to have nothing to do with these men. Leave them alone. If their project or activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. If, on the other hand, it is from God, you will not be able to destroy it and you may in-deed find yourselves fighting against God.”
    The Council let themselves be persuaded. They called in the apostles and had them whipped, and ordered them not to speak again of Jesus Savior. Then they set them free.
    The apostles went out from the Council rejoicing that they were considered worthy to suffer disgrace for the sake of the Name. Day after day, both in the Temple and in people’s homes, they continued to teach and to proclaim that Jesus was the Messiah.

►Gospel: Jn 6:1–15*(completed)
    After this Jesus went to the  other side of the-Sea of Galilee, near Tiberias, and large crowds followed him because of the miraculous signs they saw when he healed the sick. So he went up into the hills and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.
    Then lifting up his eyes, Jesus saw the crowds that were coming to him and said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread so that these people may eat?” He said this to test Philip, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred silver coins would not buy enough bread for each of them to have a piece.”
Then one of Jesus’ disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”
    Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass there so the people, about five thousand men, sat down to rest. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks and distributed them to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish and gave them as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten enough, he told his disciples, “Gather up the pieces left over, that nothing may be lost.”
    So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with bread, that is with pieces of the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten.
    When the people saw this sign that Jesus had just given, they said, “This is really the Prophet, he who is to come into the world.” Jesus realized that they would come and take him by force to make him king; so he fled to the hills by himself.


April 17Saturday

2nd Week of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 6:1–7
    In those days, as the number  of disciples grew, the so-called Hellenists complained against the so-called Hebrews, because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve summoned the whole body of disciples together and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God to serve at tables. So, friends, choose from among yourselves seven respected men full of Spirit and wis-dom, that we may appoint them to this task. As for us, we shall give ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.”
    The whole community agreed and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and Holy Spirit; Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parme-nus and Nicolaus of Antioch who was a proselyte. They presented these men to the apostles who first prayed over them and then laid hands upon them.
    The Word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly and even many priests accepted the faith.

►Gospel: Jn 6:16–21
    When evening came, the disciples went down to the shore. After a while they got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the sea, for it was now dark and Jesus had not yet come to them. But the sea was getting rough because a strong wind was blowing.
    They had rowed about three or four miles, when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, and he was drawing near to the boat. They were frightened, but he said to them, “It is Me; don’t be afraid.” 
    They wanted to take him into the boat, but immediately the boat was at the shore to which they were going.

April 18
Sunday


3rd Sunday of Easter
    
►1st Reading: Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41
    The guards brought the disciples in the Temple and made them stand before the Council, and the High Priest questioned them, “We gave you strict orders not to preach such a Savior; but you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend charging us with the killing of this man.” To this Peter and the apostles replied, “Better for us to obey God rather than any human authority!
    “The God of our ancestors raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a wooden post. God set him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to grant repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We are witnesses to all these things, as well as the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”
    They called in the apostles and had them whipped, and ordered them not to speak again of Jesus Savior. Then they set them free.
    The apostles went out from the Council rejoicing that they were considered worthy to suffer disgrace for the sake of the Name.

►2nd Reading: Rev 5:11-14
    I, John, went on looking; I heard the noise of a multitude of angels gathered around the throne, the living creatures and the elders, numbering millions of millions, crying out with a loud voice:
    “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive
power and riches, wisdom and strength,
honor, glory and praise.”
    Then I heard the voice of the whole universe, heaven, earth, sea and the place of the dead; every creature cried out:
“To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb
be praise, honor, glory and power for ever and ever.”
    And the four living creatures said, “Amen,” while the elders bowed down and worshiped.

►Gospel: Jn 21:1–19 (or Jn 21:1–14)
    Jesus revealed himself to the disciples by the Lake of Tiberias. He appeared to them in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas who was called the Twin, Natha¬nael of Cana in Gal¬¬i¬lee, the sons of Zebedee and two other disciples were together; and Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” They replied, “We will come with you” and they went out and got into the boat. But they caught nothing that night. 
    When day had already broken, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus called them, “Children, have you anything to eat?” They answered, “Nothing.” Then he said to them, “Throw the net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they had lowered the net, they were not able to pull it in because of the great number of fish.
    Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” At these words, “It’s the Lord,” Simon Peter put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and jumped into the water. The other disciples came in the boat dragging the net full of fish; they were not far from land, about a hun¬dred meters. 
    When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught.” So Simon ¬Peter climbed into the boat and pulled the net to shore. It was full of big fish—one hundred and fifty-three—but, in spite of this, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast,” and not one of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?‘ for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and he did the same with the fish.
    This was the third time that Jesus revealed himself to his disciples after rising from the dead.
    After they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” And Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 
    A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” And Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Look after my sheep.” And a third time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was saddened because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
    Jesus then said, “Feed my sheep. Truly, I say to you, when you were young you put on your belt and walked where you liked. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and another will put a belt around you and lead you where you do not wish to go.”
    Jesus said this to make known the kind of death by which Peter was to glorify God. And he added, “Follow me.” 


April 19
Monday

3rd Week of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 6:8–15*(completed)
    Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. Some persons then came forward, who belonged to the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen from Cyrene, Alexandria, Cilicia and Asia. They argued with Stephen but they could not match the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke. As they were unable to face the truth, they bribed some men to say, “We heard him speak against Moses and against God.”
    So they stirred up the people, the elders and the teachers of the Law; they took him by surprise, seized him and brought him before the Council. Then they produced false witnesses who said, “This man never stops speaking against our Holy Place and the Law. We even heard him say that Jesus the Nazarean will destroy our Holy Place and change the customs which Moses handed down to us.” And all who sat in the Council fixed their eyes on him, and his face appeared to them like the face of an angel.

►Gospel: Jn 6:22–29
    After Jesus has fed the five thousand, his disciples saw him walking on the water. Next day the people who had stayed on the other side realized that only one boat had been there and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples; rather, the disciples had gone away alone. Bigger boats from Tiberias came near the place where all these people had eaten the bread. When they saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Master, when did you come here?”
Jesus answered, “Truly, I say to you, you look for me, not because you have seen through the signs, but because you ate bread and were satisfied. Work then, not for perishable food, but for the lasting food which gives eternal life. The Son of Man will give it to you, for he is the one the Father has marked.”
    Then the Jews asked him, “What shall we do? What are the works that God wants us to do?” And Jesus answered them, “The work God wants is this: that you believe in the One whom God has sent.”

April 20
Tuesday


3rd Week of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 7:51—8:1a
    Stephen said, “But you are a stubborn people, you hardened your hearts and closed your ears. You have always resisted the Holy Spirit just as your fathers did. Was there a prophet whom your ancestors did not persecute? They killed those who announced the coming of the Just One whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the Law through the angels but did not fulfill it.”
    When they heard this reproach, they were enraged and they gnashed their teeth against Stephen. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, fixed his eyes on heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus at God’s right hand, so he declared: “I see the heavens open and the Son of Man at the right hand of God.”
    But they shouted and covered their ears with their hands and rushed together upon him. They brought him out of the city and stoned him, and the witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen prayed saying: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and said in a loud voice: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he died. Saul was there, approving his murder. This was the beginning of a great persecution against the Church in Jerusalem.

►Gospel: Jn 6:30–35
    The people said to Jesus, “Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe you. What sign do you perform? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert; as Scripture says: They were given bread from heaven to eat.”
Jesus then said to them, “Truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. The bread God gives is the One who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.” And they said to him, “Give us this bread always.”
    Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty.”

April 21
Wednesday


3rd Week of Easter
Anselm

►1st Reading: Acts 8:1b–8
    Saul was there, approving his  murder. This was the beginning of a great persecution against the Church in Jerusalem. All, except the apostles, were scattered throughout the region of Judea and Samaria. Devout men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. Saul meanwhile was trying to destroy the Church; he entered house after house and dragged off men and women and had them put in jail.
    At the same time those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to a town of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. All the people paid close attention to what Philip said as they listened to him and saw the miraculous signs that he did. For in cases of possession, the unclean spirits came out shrieking loudly. Many people who were paralyzed or crippled were healed. So there was great joy in that town.

►Gospel: Jn 6:35–40
    Jesus said to the crowd, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty. Nevertheless, as I said, you refuse to believe, even when you have seen. Yet, all that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me, I shall not turn away. For I have come from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of the One who sent me.
    “And the will of him who sent me is that I lose nothing of what he has given me, but instead that I raise it up on the last day. This is the will of the Father, that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall live with eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day.”

April 22
Thursday


3rd Week of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 8:26–40*(completed)
    An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south towards the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert road.” So he set out and it happened that an Ethiopian was passing along that way. He was an official in charge of the treasury of the queen of the Ethiopians; he had come on pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was on his way home. He was sitting in his carriage and reading the prophet Isaiah.
    The Spirit said to Philip, “Go and catch up with that carriage.” So Philip ran up and heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah; and he asked, “Do you really understand what you are reading?” The Ethiopian replied, “How can I, unless someone explains it to me?” He then invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. This was the passage of Scripture he was reading:
He was led like a sheep to be slaughtered; like a lamb that is dumb before the shearer, he did not open his mouth. He was humbled and deprived of his rights. Who can speak of his descendants? For he was uprooted from the earth.
The official asked Philip, “Tell me, please, does the prophet speak of himself or of someone else?”
Then Philip began to tell him the Good News of Jesus, using this text of Scripture as his starting point. As they traveled down the road they came to a place where there was some water. Then the Ethiopian official said, “Look, here is water; what is to keep me from being baptized?” 
    Then he ordered the carriage to stop; both Philip and the Ethiopian went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away. The Ethiopian saw him no more, but he continued on his way full of joy. 
    Philip found himself at Azotus, and he went about announcing the Good News in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

►Gospel: Jn 6:44–51
    Jesus said to the crowds, “No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise him up on the last day. It has been written in the Prophets: They shall all be taught by God. So whoever listens and learns from the Father comes to me.
    “For no one has seen the Father except the One who comes from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
    “I am the bread of life. Though your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, they died. But here you have the bread which comes from heaven so that you may eat of it and not die.
    “I am the living bread which has come from heaven; whoever eats of this bread will live forever. The bread I shall give is my flesh and I will give it for the life of the world.”

April 23
Friday

3rd Week of Easter
George / Adalbert

►1st Reading: Acts 9:1–20
    Saul considered nothing but violence and death for the disciples of the Lord. He went to the High Priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues of Damascus that would authorize him to arrest and bring to Jerusalem anyone he might find, man or woman, belonging to the Way.
    As he traveled along and was approaching Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?” And he asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The voice replied, “I am Jesus whom you persecute. Now get up and go into the city; there you will be told what you are to do.”
The men who were traveling with him stood there speechless: they had heard the sound, but could see no one. Saul got up from the ground and, opening his eyes, he could not see. They took him by the hand and brought him to Damascus. He was blind and he did not eat or drink for three days.
    There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, to whom the Lord called in a vision, “Ananias!” He answered, “Here I am, Lord!” Then the Lord said to him, “Go at once to Straight Street and ask, at the house of Judas, for a man of Tarsus named Saul. You will find him praying, for he has just seen in a vision that a man named Ananias has come in and placed his hands upon him, to restore his sight.”
    Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem, and now he is here with authority from the High Priest to arrest all who call upon your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to bring my name to the pagan nations and their kings, and the people of Israel as well. I myself will show him how much he will have to suffer for my name.”
    So Ananias left and went to the house. He laid his hands upon Saul and said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me to you so that you may receive your sight and be filled with Holy Spirit.” Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he could see; he got up and was baptized. Then he took food and was strengthened.
    For several days Saul stayed with the disciples at Damascus, and he soon began to proclaim in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God.

►Gospel: Jn 6:52–59
    The Jews were arguing among themselves, “How can this man give us flesh to eat?” So Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives with eternal life and I will raise him up on the last day.
    “My flesh is really food and my blood is drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood, live in me and I in them. Just as the Father, who is life, sent me and I have life from the Father, so whoever eats me will have life from me. This is the bread which came from heaven; unlike that of your ancestors, who ate and later died. Those who eat this bread will live forever.”
Jesus spoke in this way in Capernaum when he taught them in the synagogue.

April 24
Saturday


3rd Week of Easter
Fidelis of Sigmaringen

►1st Reading: Acts 9:31–42
    Meanwhile, the Church had peace. It was building up throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria with eyes turned to the Lord and filled with comfort from the Holy Spirit.
    As Peter traveled around, he went to visit the saints who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas who was paralyzed, and had been bedridden for eight years. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And the man got up at once. All the people living in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
There was a disciple in Joppa named Tabitha, which means Dorcas or Gazelle. She was always doing good works and helping the poor. -At that time she fell sick and died. After having washed her body, they laid her in the upstairs room.
As Lydda is near Joppa, the disciples, on hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.”
    So Peter went with them. On his arrival they took him upstairs to the room. All the widows crowded around him in tears, showing him the clothes that Dorcas had made while she was with them. -Peter made them all leave the room and then he knelt down and prayed. Turning to the dead body he said, “Tabitha, stand up.” She opened her eyes, looked at Peter and sat up. Peter gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the saints and widows and presented her to them alive. This became known throughout all of Joppa and many people believed in the Lord because of it.

►Gospel: Jn 6:60–69
    Many of Jesus’ followers said, “This language is very hard! Who can accept it?” Jesus was aware that his disciples were murmuring about this and so he said to them, “Does this offend you? Then how will you react when you see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh cannot help. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. But among you there are some who do not believe.” From the beginning, Jesus knew who would betray him. So he added, “As I have told you, no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.” After this many disciples withdrew and no longer followed him. Jesus asked the Twelve, “Will you also go away?” Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We now believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

April 25
Sunday


4th Sunday of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 13:14, 43-52
    Paul and Barnabas went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. On the Sabbath day they entered the synagogue and sat down.
    After that, when the assembly broke up, many Jews and devout God-fearing people followed them and to these they spoke, urging them to hold fast to the grace of God.
    The following Sabbath almost the entire city gathered to listen to Paul, who spoke a fairly long time about the Lord. But the presence of such a crowd made the Jews jealous. So they began to oppose with insults whatever Paul said.
Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out firmly, saying, “It was necessary that God’s word be first proclaimed to you, but since you now reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we turn to non-Jewish people. For thus we were commanded by the Lord: I have set you as a light to the pagan nations, so that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Those who were not Jews rejoiced when they heard this and praised the message of the Lord, and all those destined for everlasting life believed in it. Thus the Word spread throughout the whole region.
    Some of the Jews, however, incited God-fearing women of the upper class and the leading men of the city, as well, and stirred up an intense persecution against Paul and Barnabas. Finally they had them expelled from their region. The apostles shook the dust from their feet in protest against this people and went to Iconium, leaving the disciples filled with joy and Holy Spirit.

►2nd Reading: Rev 7:9, 14b-17
    After this I saw a great crowd, impossible to count, from every nation, race, people and tongue, standing before the throne and the Lamb, clothed in white, with palm branches in their hands.
I answered, “Sir, it is you who know this.” 
The elder replied, “They are those who have come out of the great persecution; they have washed and made their clothes white in the blood of the Lamb.
This is why they stand before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his sanctuary.
He who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
Never again will they suffer hunger or thirst
or be burned by the sun or any scorching wind.
For the Lamb near the throne will be their Shepherd,
and he will bring them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away their tears.”

►Gospel: Jn 10:27-30
    “My sheep hear my voice and I know them; they follow me and I give them eternal life. They shall never perish and no one will ever steal them from me. What the Father has given me is above everything else and no one can snatch it from the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
April 26
Monday

4th Week of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 11:1–18*(completed)
    News came to the apostles  and the brothers and sisters in Judea that even foreigners had received the Word of God. So, when Peter went up to Jerusalem, these Jewish believers began to argue with him, “You went to the home of uncircumcised people and ate with them!”
    So Peter began to give them the facts as they had happened, “I was at prayer in the city of Joppa when, in a trance, I saw a vision. Something like a large sheet came down from the sky and drew near to me, landing on the ground by its four corners. As I stared at it, I saw four-legged creatures of the earth, wild beasts and reptiles, and birds of the sky. Then I heard a voice saying to me: ‘Get up, Peter, kill and eat!’ I replied, ‘Certainly not, Lord! No common or unclean creature has ever entered my mouth.’ A second time the voice from the heavens spoke, “What God has made clean, you must not call unclean.” This happened three times, and then it was all drawn up into the sky. At that moment three men, who had been sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were staying. The Spirit instructed me to go with them without hesitation; so these six brothers came along with me and we entered into the man’s house. He told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house and telling him: Send someone to Joppa and fetch Simon, also known as Peter. He will bring you a message by which you and all your household will be saved.”
    I had begun to address them when suddenly the Holy Spirit came upon them, just as it had come upon us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If, then, God had given them the same gift that he had given us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to resist God?”
    When they heard this they set their minds at rest and praised God saying, “Then God has granted life-giving repentance to the pagan nations as well.”

►Gospel: Jn 10:1–10
    Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Truly, I say to you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. But the shepherd of the sheep enters by the gate. The keeper opens the gate to him and the sheep hear his voice; he calls each of his sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them and the sheep follow him for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, rather they will run away from him because they don’t recognize a stranger’s voice.”
    Jesus used this comparison, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
    So Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, I am the gate of the sheep. All who came were thieves and robbers, and the sheep did not hear them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved; he will go in and out freely and find food.
“The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I have come that they may have life, life in all its fullness.”

April 27
Tuesday

4th Week of Easter

►1st Reading: Acts 11:19–26
    Those who had been scattered because of the persecution over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message, but only to the Jews. But there were some natives of Cyprus and Cyrene among them who, on coming into Antioch, spoke also to the Greeks, giving them the good news of the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them so that a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
    News of this reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem, so they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the manifest signs of God’s favor, he rejoiced and urged them all to remain firmly faithful to the Lord; for he himself was a good man filled with Holy Spirit and faith. Thus large crowds came to know the Lord.
    Then Barnabas went off to Tarsus to look for Saul and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they had meetings with the Church and instructed many people. It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.

►Gospel: Jn 10:22–30
    The time came for the feast of the Dedication. It was winter and Jesus walked back and forth in the portico of Solomon. The Jews then gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in doubt? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I have already told you but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name proclaim who I am, but you don’t believe because, as I said, you are not my sheep.
    “My sheep hear my voice and I know them; they follow me and I give them eternal life. They shall never perish and no one will ever steal them from me. What the Father has given me is stronger than everything and no one can snatch it from the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

April 28
Wednesday


4th Week of Easter
Peter Chanel / Louis Mary de Montfort

►1st Reading: Acts 12:24–13:5a
    Meanwhile the word of God was increasing and spreading. Barnabas and Saul carried out their mission and then came back from Jerusalem, taking with them John also called Mark.
    There were at Antioch—in the Church which was there—prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon known as Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod, and Saul. On one occasion while they were celebrating the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul to do the work for which I have called them.” So, after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
    These then, sent by the Holy Spirit, went down to the port of Seleucia and from there sailed to Cyprus. Upon their arrival in Salamis they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogue; John was with them as an assistant.

►Gospel: Jn 12:44–50
    Jesus had said, and even cried out, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me, sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
    “If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I am not the one to condemn him; for I have come, not to condemn the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects me, and does not receive my word, already has a judge: the very word I have spoken will condemn him on the last day.
    “For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has instructed me in what to say and how to speak. I know that his commandment is eternal life, and that is why the message I give, I give as the Father instructed me.”

April 29
Thursday


4th Week of Easter
Catherine of Siena

►1st Reading: Acts 13:13–25*(completed)
    From Paphos, Paul and his companions set sail and came to Perga in Pamphylia. There John left them and returned to Jerusalem while they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. On the Sabbath day they entered the synagogue and sat down. After the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent this message to them, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the assembly, please speak up.” 
    So Paul arose, motioned to them for silence and began, “Fellow Israelites and also all you who fear God, listen. The God of our people Israel chose our ancestors, and after he had made them increase during their stay in Egypt, he led them out by powerful deeds. For forty years he fed them in the desert, and after he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance. All this took four hundred and fifty years. After that, he gave them Judges until Samuel the prophet. Then they asked for a king and God gave them Saul, son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, and he was king for forty years. After that time, God removed him and raised up David as king, to whom he bore witness saying: I have found     David, the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all I want him to do.
    It is from the descendants of David that God has now raised up the promised savior of Israel, Jesus. Before he appeared, John proclaimed a baptism of repentance for all the people of Israel. As John was ending his life’s work, he said: ‘I am not what you think I am, for after me another one is coming whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.’”

►Gospel: Jn 13:16–20
    After Jesus had washed the feet of the disciples he said. “Truly, I say to you, the servant is not greater than his master, nor is the messenger greater than he who sent him. Understand this, and blessed are you if you put it into practice. I am not speaking of you all, because I know the ones I have chosen and the Scripture has to be fulfilled that says, The one who shared my table has risen against me. I tell you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen, you may know that I am He. Truly, I say to you, whoever welcomes the one I send, welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me, welcomes the One who sent me.”

April 30
Friday

4th Week of Easter
Pius V

►1st Reading: Acts 13:26–33
    Brothers, children and descendants of Abraham, and you also who fear God, it is to you that this message of salvation has been sent. It is a fact that the inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize Jesus. Yet in condemning him, they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath but not understood. Even though they found no charge against him that deserved death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. And after they had carried out all that had been written concerning him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb.
    But God raised him from the dead, and for many days thereafter he showed himself to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They have now become his witnesses before the people. We ourselves announce to you this Good News: All that God promised our ancestors, he has fulfilled for us, their descendants, by raising Jesus, according to what is written in the second psalm: You are my Son, today I have begotten you.

►Gospel: Jn 14:1–6
    Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not be troubled; trust in God and trust in me. In my Father’s house there are many rooms. Otherwise I would not have told you that I go to prepare a place for you. After I have gone and prepared a place for you, I shall come again and take you to me, so that where I am, you also may be. Yet you know the way where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.”

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