MONday 17 APRIL
Anicetus was a Syrian from Emesa. He became pope about 155. He actively opposed Marcionism and Gnosticism.
Entrance Antiphon: Rm 6: 9
Christ, having risen from the dead, dies now no more; death will no longer have dominion over him, alleluia.
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we, who have been renewed by paschal remedies, transcending the likeness of our earthly parentage, may be transformed in the image of our heavenly maker. 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 4:23-31
As soon as Peter and John were released they went to the community and told them everything the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard it they lifted up their voice to God all together. “Master,” they prayed, “it is you who made heaven and earth and sea, and everything in them; you it is who said through the Holy Spirit and speaking through our ancestor David, your servant: Why this arrogance among the nations, these futile plots among the peoples? Kings on earth setting out to war, princes making an alliance, against the Lord and against his Anointed. This is what has come true: in this very city Herod and Pontius Pilate made an alliance with the pagan nations and the peoples of Israel, against your holy servant Jesus whom you anointed, but only to bring about the very thing that you in your strength and your wisdom had predetermined should happen. And now, Lord, take note of their threats and help your servants to proclaim your message with all boldness, by stretching out your hand to heal and to work miracles and marvels through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” As they prayed, the house where they were assembled rocked; they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim the word of God boldly.
R/ Blessed are they who put their trust in God.
Why this tumult among nations, among peoples this useless murmuring? They arise, the kings of the earth, princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed. ‘Come, let us break their fetters, come, let us cast off their yoke.’
He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord is laughing them to scorn. Then he will speak in his anger, his rage will strike them with terror. ‘It is I who have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain.’
I will announce the decree of the Lord: The Lord said to me: ‘You are my Son. It is I who have begotten you this day. Ask and I shall bequeath you the nations, put the ends of the earth in your possession. With a rod of iron, you will break them, shatter them like a potter’s jar.’
Gospel Acclamation: Col3:1
Alleluia, alleluia! Since you have been brought back to true life with Christ, you must look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 3:1-8
There was one of the Pharisees called Nicodemus, a leading Jew, who came to Jesus by night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who comes from God; for no one could perform the signs that you do unless God were with him.” Jesus answered: “I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said, “How can a grown man be born? Can he go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied: “I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God: what is born of the flesh is flesh; what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be surprised when I say: You must be born from above. The wind blows wherever it pleases; you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. That is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive, O Lord, we pray, these offerings of your exultant Church, and, as you have given her cause for such great gladness, grant also that the gifts we bring may bear fruit in perpetual happiness. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Jn 20: 19
Jesus stood in the midst of his disciples and said to them: Peace be with you, alleluia.
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.
Today we read the episode of Jesus’ meeting with Nicodemus. It is interesting to note that a Jewish nobleman, a Pharisee, goes in search of Jesus. He goes at night. No doubt, out of fear of the gaze of his fellow Pharisees. We can also think that the evangelist is alluding to the night of faith. Nicodemus is in doubt. He wants to know who Jesus is. Is he really the promised Messiah? He goes to seek light from the young Rabbi. It is also understandable that when he sees the signs of Jesus, Nicodemus, as a good Pharisee, begins to adhere. He wants to know how the young master will establish his kingdom. For they all expect the establishment of an external kingdom. Jesus immediately proposes to him to be born again of water and the Spirit. It is a matter of opening oneself to the Spirit for an inner renewal. When one is baptized, one commits oneself before God to an upright conscience (cf 1P3, 21).