Weekday Readings: Second Week of Easter

Monday Acts 4,23-31; John 3,1-8
Tuesday Acts 4,32-37; John 3, 7-15
Wednesday Acts 5,17-26; John 3, 16-21
Thursday Acts 5, 27-33; John 3,31-36
Friday Acts 5,34-42; John 6,1-15
Saturday Acts 6,1-7; John 6, 16-21

The church grows gradually after the resurrection, according to the Acts of the Apostles. Its first leaders, the apostles Peter and John, still  go up regularly to the temple in Jerusalem to pray and give witness to Jesus by words and healing signs. This second week of Easter our readings from Acts are about their conflict with the temple leaders and the gathering of believers around them.

The temple leadership sees them as “uneducated, ordinary men,” but they boldly continue to proclaim God’s mighty works in Jesus Christ. Told to end their witness, they cannot. “It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.”

Monday’s reading from Acts, describes the apostles’ return “to their own people” who recognize that the temple authorities are acting toward them as they, along with Pilate and Herod, had acted toward Jesus. As they pray, the Holy Spirit tells them to continue “to speak the word of God.”

In the gospel readings from Monday to Thursday, Jesus engages Nicodemus, the Jewish leader who comes to him by night. A well-informed religious man, Nicodemus hardly understands  Jesus Christ.

On Friday we read of the miracle of the loaves from John’s gospel,  chapter 6, an important reading for the Easter season. The reading, which  continues into the following week, sees mystery of the Eucharist playing a major role in the Easter season. It is one of the great signs that Jesus remains with us.

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