01May 01 May, 2019. Wednesday, 2nd Week of Easter

Wednesday of Week 2 of Easter

1st Reading: Acts 5:17-26

The Temple police re-arrest the apostles, quietly

Then the high priest took action; he and all who were with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), being filled with jealousy, arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought them out, and said, “Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life.” When they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching.

When the high priest and those with him arrived, they called together the council and the whole body of the elders of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the temple police went there, they did not find them in the prison; so they returned and reported, “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, we found nobody inside.” Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were perplexed about them, wondering what might be going on. Then someone arrived and announced, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” Then the captain went with the temple police and brought them, but without violence, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

Responsorial: Psalm 33: 2-9

Response: The Lord hears the cry of the poor

I will bless the Lord at all times,
his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast;
the humble shall hear and be glad. (R./)

Glorify the Lord with me.
Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me;
from all my terrors he set me free. (R./)

Look towards him and be radiant;
let your faces not be abashed.
This poor soul called; the Lord heard me
and rescued me from all my distress. (R./)

The angel of the Lord is encamped
around those who revere him, to rescue them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
happy are they who seek refuge in him. (R./)

Gospel: John 3:16-21

“God so loved the world” is the basic axiom of our faith

Jesus said [to Nicodemus]…

“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”

BIBLE


A way of sincerity and truth

Peter and John are arrested the temple guards and brought before the high priest and the entire Sanhedrin. When they are imprisoned, God intervenes to release them. This narrative is echoes the Gospel message about Jesus, to be the light of this world, meeting with opposition and apparent failure, before being restored to new life. In him, light and darkness clash, leading to a judgment on the world, depending on how people respond to him. After being discharged from gaol, Peter and John dare to again enter the temple area, to share their message with an enthusiastic audience. They ignore their recent narrow escape, because sharing the Gospel was more important than their own safety or even survival. And when the police come to re-arrest them, it is done quietly, for fear of being stoned by the crowd. Somehow, the force of public opinion made them act as guardians of the peace.

Jesus asks from us a life of integrity, to live in the truth, as in our spirit we perceive it. The deep, intuitive faith of sincere, truth-seeking people is the bedrock of our church. Their sense of fairness, their spontaneous defence of innocent people like Peter and John, their ability to call things by their proper name, are an example to us.

Jesus not only teaches us to live by the standard of love, but nourishes that love by his daily, invisible presence and by our share in the Eucharist. His presence surrounds us on every side. Gradually, his Spirit coaxes us to grow in love and trust, promoting in us whatever is good, noble and worthy of praise.


Loving the light

The days are longer now, at least in the northern hemisphere. Most people are glad of the extra daylight. In Autumn, our heart sinks a bit when the days grow shorter. While we love the light, the gospel warns about people who prefer darkness to light, morally. Their preference is for a selfish way of life, far from the needy and indifferent to their plight; or even prepared to use violence to preserve a vastly unequal status quo.

Our Lord wants all people to come out into the light that he sheds. People who live by the truth should come out into the light, and live the values he taught us. People who seek truth and compassion are already on the side of Christ, though they may not know it. People of sincere faith and love, guided by the light of Christ, have something worthwhile to share with the whole of humanity.


 

CANDLE

Saint Joseph the Worker

The feast of Saint Joseph the Worker was established by Pope Pius XII in 1955 in order to emphasise the dignity of labour and to propose a model and protector to all working people.



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