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Mass Reading & Meditation for April 18, 2020 View another date

Meditation: Acts 4:13-21

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Saturday within the Octave of Easter

Entrance Antiphon

The Lord brought out his people with joy,
his chosen ones with shouts of rejoicing, alleluia. Ps 105 (104):43

Gloria

(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,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

Collect

O God, who by the abundance of your grace
give increase to the peoples who believe in you,
look with favor on those you have chosen
and clothe with blessed immortality
those reborn through the Sacrament of Baptism.
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.

Acts 4:13-21

Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, the leaders, elders, and scribes were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus. Then when they saw the man who had been cured standing there with them, they could say nothing in reply. So they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin, and conferred with one another, saying, “What are we to do with these men? Everyone living in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign was done through them, and we cannot deny it. But so that it may not be spread any further among the people, let us give them a stern warning never again to speak to anyone in this name.”

So they called them back and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. Peter and John, however, said to them in reply, “Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” After threatening them further, they released them, finding no way to punish them, on account of the people who were all praising God for what had happened.

Psalm 118

R. I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.
or R. Alleluia.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
My strength and my courage is the Lord,
and he has been my savior.
The joyful shout of victory
in the tents of the just. R.
“The right hand of the Lord is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord has struck with power.”
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the Lord.
Though the Lord has indeed chastised me,
yet he has not delivered me to death. R.
Open to me the gates of justice;
I will enter them and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
the just shall enter it.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and have been my savior. R.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the Lord has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it. Ps 118:24
Alleluia, alleluia.

Mark 16:9-15

When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country. They returned and told the others; but they did not believe them either.

But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”

Prayer over the Offerings

Grant, we pray, O Lord,
that we may always find delight in these paschal mysteries,
so that the renewal constantly at work within us
may be the cause of our unending joy.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Communion Antiphon

All of you who have been baptized in Christ
have put on Christ, alleluia. Gal 3:27

Prayer after Communion

Look with kindness upon your people, O Lord,
and grant, we pray,
that those you were pleased to renew by eternal mysteries
may attain in their flesh
the incorruptible glory of the resurrection.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Daily Meditation: Acts 4:13-21

Observing the boldness of Peter and John . . . , the leaders, elders, and scribes were amazed. (Acts 4:13)

What a difference fifty days makes! On Easter Sunday, Jesus’ disciples are mourning and refuse to believe eyewitness testimony from Mary Magdalene and the disciples from the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:10-13). When Jesus appears, he rebukes them for their unbelief and hardness of heart (16:14). They’re happy to see him, but they still have doubts and suspicions. But just seven weeks later, on the Jewish feast of Pentecost, Peter preaches boldly. From that point on, he and all the disciples amaze the Jewish leaders because of their courage and clear preaching (Acts 4:13). So what happened?

Grace happened. During those fifty days, God’s grace changed these ordinary men and prepared them for the day when the Holy Spirit would come upon them. Then when the Spirit was poured out, they were filled with courage and felt empowered to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection boldly. Of course, Peter and John and the others were not passive bystanders; they had to cooperate with the Spirit by stepping out and opening their mouths. But it was the Spirit who moved them even to do that.

Peter and John’s transformation can seem so dramatic that we might think it’s beyond us. We might think, “I could never talk about God like that. I don’t even know what to say to my son who has stopped going to Mass.” Or “If only I were a little smarter, I could speak up during my Bible study.” But the first Christians were ordinary men and women just like us. They had families and jobs, doubts and fears, sins and failures. And God used them—he gave them his Spirit and changed their lives.

The same Holy Spirit that brought the apostles’ faith to life lives in you. That Spirit can persuade you that the risen Christ has the power to change your life. The Spirit can give you the boldness to pray with a friend who is sick or encouraging words to share with someone struggling with doubt. God delights in using ordinary people—like you.

“Holy Spirit, give me the courage to share all you have done for me.”

Psalm 118:1, 14-21
Mark 16:9-15

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