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Thursday within the Octave of Easter
They praised in unison your conquering hand, O Lord,
for wisdom opened mouths that were mute
and gave eloquence to the tongues of infants, alleluia. Wis 10:20-21
(When it is prescribed, this hymn is either said or sung:)
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.
We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory,
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world,
receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father,
have mercy on us.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
O God, who have united the many nations
in confessing your name,
grant that those reborn in the font of Baptism
may be one in the faith of their hearts
and the homage of their deeds.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John, all the people hurried in amazement toward them in the portico called “Solomon’s Portico.” When Peter saw this, he addressed the people, “You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this, and why do you look so intently at us as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence, when he had decided to release him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong, and the faith that comes through it has given him this perfect health, in the presence of all of you. Now I know, brothers and sisters, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did; but God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old. For Moses said:
A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you
from among your own kin;
to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you.
Everyone who does not listen to that prophet
will be cut off from the people.
“Moreover, all the prophets who spoke, from Samuel and those afterwards, also announced these days. You are the children of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors when he said to Abraham, In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed. For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.”
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
or R. Alleluia.
O Lord, our Lord,
how glorious is your name over all the earth!
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him? R.
You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet. R.
All sheep and oxen,
yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas. R.
This is the day the Lord has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it. Ps 118:24
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.
While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them.
He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Graciously be pleased, O Lord,
to accept the sacrificial gifts we offer joyfully
both for those who have been reborn
and in hope of your increased help from heaven.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
O chosen people, proclaim the mighty works of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light, alleluia. Cf. 1 Pt 2:9
Prayer after Communion
Hear, O Lord, our prayers,
that this most holy exchange,
by which you have redeemed us,
may bring your help in this present life
and ensure for us eternal gladness.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Daily Meditation: Luke 24:35-48
Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? (Luke 24:38)
Despite Jesus’ seeming surprise, we can easily understand the disciples’ reaction. Jesus, their beloved friend and Messiah, had been nailed to the cross and laid in a tomb—but now he was standing right in front of them! Who wouldn’t be terrified? Who wouldn’t doubt?
Doubt is a human reaction. Even the saints had doubts. The great Doctor of the Church St. Thomas Aquinas once sighed to God, “I do not know if you love me, or if I love you. . . . I do not even know if I live by faith!” Or recall the other “doubting Thomas” who wouldn’t believe unless he could put his finger into the wounds of the risen Christ (John 20:25).
Jesus sometimes questioned his disciples’ lack of faith. But he never rejected them because of it. Instead, he always made sure to give them the help they needed. Consider his response to his disciples in today’s passage: “Touch me and see” (Luke 24:39). He even ate in front of them to dispel their suspicion that he might be a ghost! Jesus was more than willing to help his friends put their fears to rest and trust in him more deeply.
Like the disciples, we don’t have to be ashamed of our doubts and hesitation to believe. Jesus will never condemn us for questioning. He understands how conflicted our hearts can be, and he wants to help us resolve every question or conflict that arises. He invites us to bring our questions to him so that he can show us the answers and give us his peace.
So be encouraged! Jesus doesn’t want you to keep your “silly questions” to yourself as you try to go it alone. Why not bring some area of unbelief in your heart to Jesus today? Trust that he already knows your heart and your needs. Believe that he always welcomes those who come to him in honesty and humility. Remember, he is gentle, merciful, and patient beyond measure.
“Thank you, Lord, for not condemning me for my doubts. Send your Spirit of peace where there is confusion. May your perfect love for me cast out every fear in my heart.”
Psalm 8:2, 5-9
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