wednesday 22 April 2020
He was a deacon in the Christian community of Persia who was caught up in the persecutions conducted by King Shapur II.
Entrance Antiphon Cf. Ps 17: 50; 21: 23
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will tell of your name to my kin, alleluia.
As we recall year by year the mysteries by which, through the restoration of its original dignity, human nature has received the hope of rising again, we earnestly beseech your mercy, Lord, that what we celebrate in faith we may possess in unending love. 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.
First reading: Acts 5:17-26
The high priest intervened with all his supporters from the party of the Sadducees. Prompted by jealousy, they arrested the apostles and had them put in the common gaol. But at night the angel of the Lord opened the prison gates and said as he led them out, ‘Go and stand in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new Life.’ They did as they were told; they went into the Temple at dawn and began to preach. When the high priest arrived, he and his supporters convened the Sanhedrin – this was the full Senate of Israel – and sent to the gaol for them to be brought. But when the officials arrived at the prison they found they were not inside, so they went back and reported, ‘We found the gaol securely locked and the warders on duty at the gates, but when we unlocked the door we found no one inside.’ When the captain of the Temple and the chief priests heard this news they wondered what this could mean. Then a man arrived with fresh news. ‘At this very moment’ he said, ‘the men you imprisoned are in the Temple. They are standing there preaching to the people.’ The captain went with his men and fetched them. They were afraid to use force in case the people stoned them.
R/ This poor man called and the Lord heard him.
1) I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise always on my lips; in the Lord my soul shall make its boast. The humble shall hear and be glad.
2) Glorify the Lord with me. Together let us praise his name. I sought the Lord and he answered me; from all my terrors he set me free.
3) Look towards him and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed. This poor man called, the Lord heard him and rescued him from all his distress.
4) The angel of the Lord is encamped around those who revere him, to rescue them. Taste and see that the Lord is good. He is happy who seeks refuge in him.
Alleluia, alleluia! Christ has risen and shone upon us whom he redeemed with his blood. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 3:16-21
Jesus said to Nicodemus: ‘God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life. For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved. No one who believes in him will be condemned; but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already, because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son. On these grounds is sentence pronounced: that though the light has come into the world men have shown they prefer darkness to the light because their deeds were evil. And indeed, everybody who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, for fear his actions should be exposed; but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.’
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who by the wonderful exchange effected in this sacrifice have made us partakers of the one supreme Godhead, grant, we pray, that, as we have come to know your truth, we may make it ours by a worthy way of life. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Jn 15: 16, 19
I have chosen you from the world, says the Lord, and have appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
Graciously be present to your people, we pray, O Lord, and lead those you have imbued with heavenly mysteries to pass from former ways to newness of life. Through Christ our Lord.
Dear brothers and sisters prompted by jealousy, some members of the Jewish Sanhedrin decided that the apostles be arrested and imprisoned. And they did, but when they put them in prison, they were miraculously released at night. No one can fight God because in the end, the will of God will always triumph. For those who trust in God, everything always works out for the good. That is why in the Gospel, we are told that God so loved us that he sent His only Son to die for us. We can never measure this love; but we can be sure that as long as we put our trust in God, there is nothing that we need to fear. Unfortunately, many Christians are still found wanting in this respect. Somehow, we seem to fret just when we should put our hope and trust in God. We get intimidated by human forces and we shy out of various challenges to witness to Christ. May the readings of today put new spirit and courage in each one of us.