Monday Acts 11,1-18 John 10,1-10
Tuesday Acts 11, 19-26 John 10,22-30
Wednesday Acts 12,24-13,5 John 12,44-50
Thursday Acts 13, 13-25 John 13,16-20
Friday Acts 13, 26-33 John 14, 1-6
Saturday Acts 13, 44-52 John 14, 7-14
The readings from Acts this week at Mass describe the growth of the church in the gentile world. Peter journeys to Joppa, the seaport Jonah embarked from on his mission to Nineveh. On his way he performs two miracles similar to the wonders and signs Jesus performed before his resurrection, raising up a paralyzed man at Lydda , and in Joppa raising a young girl Tabbitha from the dead. The Risen Jesus will raise up the gentiles to become God’s people sharing new life.
There are doubters who question Peter for baptizing the Roman soldier Cornelius and eating at table with him. (Monday) “God has given life-giving repentance to the gentiles too,” Peter responds. Before we condemn those doubters, we need to ask if we see God giving “life-giving repentance” to our world today, or do we doubt the power of the Risen Jesus to raise it up?
The readings from Acts from Wednesday to Saturday describe Barnabas and Saul’s opening campaign into the gentile world. Let’s not ignore, though, the reading from Tuesday which recalls the unknown survivors of the persecution of Stephen who, driven into the gentile world, “speak to the Greeks, proclaiming the Lord Jesus to them. The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number turned to the Lord.” Clearly, there were others, besides those we know, who brought the gospel to the gentiles.
The gospel readings from John (Monday-Wednesday) continue Jesus’ proclamation on Sunday that he is the Good Shepherd. As the Risen Lord, he goes before us, guiding his flock to the final pasture. We hear his voice, not the voice of a stranger. His voice is the same as the Father’s voice.
On Thursday, the readings from John return to the supper room. For the remaining days of the Easter season, we will listen to Jesus words of encouragement and love for his own who are in this world.