READINGS for 2006-04-26
?The High Priest and all his supporters ? became very jealous of the apostles.? ? Acts 5:17
In the early 90?s, we heard that the born-again Christians were gaining in number.
Lord, teach me to know you from my heart.
God will not countenance opposition to the proclamation of the Gospel. He works all sorts of incredible miracles in the first few years of the Church to ensure its establishment and to help it spread. It is important for us to believe that God is still just as interested in the mission of Church today. I am sure that if we are responding to a call to take the Gospel to the people, He will be working just as many and as powerful miracles to make it possible for this to happen. Do you believe that God is with you in this way?
17 Then the high priest rose up and all his companions, that is, the party of the Sadducees, and, filled with jealousy, 18 laid hands upon the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led them out, and said, 20 ?Go and take your place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life.? 21 When they heard this, they went to the temple early in the morning and taught. When the high priest and his companions arrived, they convened the Sanhedrin, the full senate of the Israelites, and sent to the jail to have them brought in. 22 But the court officers who went did not find them in the prison, so they came back and reported, 23 ?We found the jail securely locked and the guards stationed outside the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside.? 24 When they heard this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were at a loss about them, as to what this would come to. 25 Then someone came in and reported to them, ?The men whom you put in prison are in the temple area and are teaching the people.? 26 Then the captain and the court officers went and brought them in, but without force, because they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
P S A L M
Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R: The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
1  I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. 2  Let my soul glory in the LORD; the lowly will hear me and be glad. (R) 3  Glorify the LORD with me, let us together extol his name. 4  I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. (R) 5  Look to him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame. 6  When the poor one called out, the LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him. (R) 7  The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8  Taste and see how good the LORD is; blessed the man who takes refuge in him. (R)
G O S P E L
The nature of our lives will demonstrate the level to which we have allowed the Gospel to transform our lives. It is the fruit of our lives that is our testimony to the power of the Gospel and we should always and everywhere be seeking to increase this fruit. It is the least we can do when we consider all that God has done on our behalf. Let us pray that we will allow the transforming power of the love of God to change us and refashion us in His image and according to His likeness and will.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. 21 But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
thank You Lord for: ________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Ezra 6-10
FREED BY LOVE, FREED TO LOVE
I am not in the position to contest the historicity of the First Reading today. Were the apostles actually freed by an angel of the Lord after the chief priest and his supporters threw them into prison? Did the angel of the Lord really come in the night, open the prison gates, lead the apostles out, and give them the instruction to stand in the Temple and preach their new life? Of course, it was very much probably and possibly historically accurate. But let us try to reflect on the said account from a deeper perspective.
Spirit of Jesus, Spirit of God, Love between the Father and the Son, come into my heart and set me truly free. Give me the courage to proclaim Jesus by my words and deeds. Make me Your agent of freedom by loving like Him. Amen.
St. Anacletus, pope martyr, pray for us.
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