Monday in the Octave of Easter
Acts 2:14,22-33 + Matthew 28:8-15
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed ….
During most of the liturgical year, the First Reading at Holy 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?
The answer is that what the apostles were about throughout Acts is what God is calling us to throughout Easter. In a phrase, this answer is: forming the Church and living out her mission.
The Church was conceived, so to speak, from the water and blood that poured forth from the side of Jesus crucified. But the Church was born some fifty days later, on the feast of Pentecost. The story of Acts is the first history of the Church: going forth, out into the world, to proclaim in word and action the saving mystery of Jesus, crucified and Risen. This Church has lived on earth for some 2000 years, and each of us is called to share in her life and saving mission.