Divine Mercy Sunday [A]

Divine Mercy Sunday [A]
Acts 2:42-47  +  1 Peter 1:3-9  +  John 20:19-31
April 23, 2017

“Blessed be [He] who in His great mercy gave us a new birth….”

On this Sunday’s solemnity of Divine Mercy, the Church calls us to rejoice that the Sacrament of Confession, and the peace that flows from it, are the “first fruits” of Jesus’ Resurrection.  In the Old Testament, the People of God—Israel—gave to Him the first fruits of their harvests, although they were so precious and needed for life.  In the New Testament, on the other hand, it’s God who gives to His People—the Church—the first fruits of the Resurrection of His most precious Son. Continue reading

Saturday in the Octave of Easter

Saturday in the Octave of Easter
Acts 4:13-21  +  Mark 16:9-15
April 22, 2017

“I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.”

Throughout Mary’s life, humility marked her approach to her Lord.  Humility is not a virtue that one can ever spiritually outgrow.  Whatever graces God gives us, they are given for the unfolding of His plan, which often remains to us a mystery.  Even as we apply these graces in our lives, we must do so with humility, as day by day, another aspect of the mystery of our vocation is shown to us… Continue reading

Friday in the Octave of Easter

Friday in the Octave of Easter
Acts 4:1-12  +  John 21:1-14
April 21, 2017

“He revealed Himself in this way.”

Why would the disciples “dare” to ask Jesus “Who are you?” if they realized who He was?  The wording of this verse suggests some unresolved ambiguity.  While the miracle of catching 153 fish convinced them who He was, there was still some reason for them to ask His identity.  His miracle convinced them, but His appearance did not. Continue reading

Thursday in the Octave of Easter

Thursday in the Octave of Easter
Acts 3:11-26  +  Luke 24:35-48
April 20, 2017

“Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.”

It is only in the breaking of the bread that the disciples come to know Jesus, and it is only in the breaking of the bread that they become more than disciples.  Only in the Eucharist do we share in the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, and become members of Christ’s Body.  This is the goal of our lives as Christians:  not merely to learn about Jesus, but to become one with Him. Continue reading

Wednesday in the Octave of Easter

Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
Acts 3:1-10  +  Luke 24:13-35
April 19, 2017

“But they urged him, ‘Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.’”

Easter Monday we heard the chief priests and the elders respond to the news of the Resurrection by covering their tracks with lies.  Yesterday, we heard Mary Magdalen respond to Our Risen Lord when He called her by her name.  She cried out, “Teacher!”  And yet we are called to recognize in Christ much more than simply a teacher. Continue reading

Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

Tuesday in the Octave of Easter
Acts 2:36-41  +  John 20:11-18
April 18, 2017

“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day.”

On the day of Pentecost, Peter boldly proclaims to the Jewish people:  “Let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”  The response of these Jews is pretty easy to guess.  Acts tells us that “when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other Apostles, ‘What are we to do…?’”  You can almost imagine what they, in their fear, expect Peter to reply. Continue reading

Monday in the Octave of Easter

Monday in the Octave of Easter
Acts 2:14,22-33  +  Matthew 28:8-15
April 17, 2017

“Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed….”

During most of the liturgical year, our First Reading at Mass comes from the Old Testament.  But Easter is different.  During Easter, we hear first from Acts of the Apostles.  Why is this?  There are plenty of apostolic letters that could be proclaimed:  Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, 1 John, Jude, and so on.  These New Testament epistles preach about the Resurrection.  So why do we hear, each and every day of the Easter Season, from Acts of the Apostles? Continue reading