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6th Week of Easter
Let us rejoice and be glad and give glory to God,
for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns, alleluia. Rev 19:7, 6
Grant, almighty and merciful God,
that we may in truth receive a share
in the Resurrection of Christ your Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The crowd in Philippi joined in the attack on Paul and Silas, and the magistrates had them stripped and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After inflicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison and instructed the jailer to guard them securely. When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and secured their feet to a stake.
About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened, there was suddenly such a severe earthquake that the foundations of the jail shook; all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted out in a loud voice, “Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.” He asked for a light and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.” So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house. He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized at once. He brought them up into his house and provided a meal and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.
R. Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple,
and give thanks to your name. R.
Because of your kindness and your truth,
you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me. R.
Your right hand saves me.
The Lord will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O Lord, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands. R.
I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord;
he will guide you to all truth. Cf. Jn 16:7, 13
Jesus said to his disciples: “Now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”
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.
The Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory, alleluia. Cf. Lk 24:46, 26
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: Acts 16:22-34
There was suddenly . . . a severe earthquake. (Acts 16:26)
What do you think Paul and Silas were doing when that earthquake came and their shackles fell away? They were singing and praising God! Why, after having just been stripped and beaten, would they even think of this? Because they knew that God deserves to be praised in every situation.
You might say the earthquake was the effect of Paul and Silas praising God—and maybe it was. But their prayers and hymns of praise had deeper and more far-reaching effects. Praising God helped them keep their focus on the Lord and his goodness. It reminded them of all the blessings they had received from his hand. And the gratitude that it likely cultivated in their hearts helped them see their predicament through the eyes of faith and trust. But the effects reached even further.
Hearing these words of praise and thanksgiving coming from two battered and bruised men, the jailer and the other prisoners were able to see God’s goodness at work. It softened their hearts and moved them to seek God for themselves. They were amazed at how Paul and Silas’ faith had sustained them through a terrifying earthquake and how it kept them from immediately running away once their chains had broken and the prison doors were flung open. It affected their jailer so deeply that he not only asked to be baptized, but he also provided for his prisoners’ needs by tending their wounds and offering them a midnight meal.
It’s always the right time to praise God. Sometimes, like Paul and Silas, we will see the practical effects of our prayer. As we develop a habit of praising God no matter our circumstances, our thoughts will line up with his thoughts. We will learn to keep our focus on what is true about God, not just about what’s going on at each moment. It can also touch the people around us and open their eyes to the reality of God’s love and provision.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to praise God in all circumstances.
“Lord, you are worthy of all praise. Help me practice praising you at every moment and in every situation.”
Psalm 138:1-3, 7-8
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