Weekday Readings: Third Week of Easter
Monday Acts 6,8-15; John 6,22-29
Tuesday Acts 7,58-8,1; John 6,30=35
Wednesday Acts 8,1-8; John 6,35-40
Thursday Acts 8,26-40; John 6,44-51
Friday Acts 9,1-20; John 6,52-59
Saturday Acts 9,31-42; John 6,60-69
The Acts of the Apostles reports on dramatic changes in the church. One of its new deacons, Stephen, causes a crisis. He dies a martyr’s death for speaking out forcefully and the church itself is scattered by persecution, forcing its members to flee to Samaria and other parts of Palestine. As the church faces the mystery of the cross, the Spirit is also at work.
God sows seeds in times of setbacks and suffering. Paul, who persecuted the church, is converted by the Risen Christ and will become the Apostle to the Gentiles. (Friday) The mystery of the cross leads to new growth. Will that happen in our church of the western world?
In the weekday gospels from John, Jesus continues to dialogue with the crowds in Galilee whom he has fed miraculously with five barley loaves and a few fish. “I myself am the bread of life,” Jesus says, “No one who comes to me shall ever be hungry, no one who believes in me shall thirst again.” The crowds seem to see no farther that the food they eat and cannot see the One who is true bread. Is this our experience too?
Jesus speaks in these readings, not only to the Jews who came to Capernaum seeking “food that perishes,” he also speaks with his followers today “in the breaking of the bread.” Some commentators say John’s gospel here is directed to Christians in his church who have embraced Gnosticism and deny the mystery of the Incarnation and the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. They’re looking for another savior.
During the weeks of Easter, we continue to pray that God renew our faith in Christ, our Savior.