SATURday 22 APRIL
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. 1 Pt 2: 9
O chosen people, proclaim the mighty works of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light, alleluia.
Set aside, O Lord, the bond of sentence written for us by the law of sin, which in the Paschal Mystery you cancelled through 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.
First reading: Acts 6:1-7
About this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenists made a complaint against the Hebrews: in the daily distribution their own widows were being overlooked. So the Twelve called a full meeting of the disciples and addressed them, “It would not be right for us to neglect the word of God so as to give out food; you, brothers, must select from among yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom; we will hand over this duty to them, and continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the word.” The whole assembly approved of this proposal and elected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. The word of the Lord continued to spread: the number of disciples in Jerusalem was greatly increased, and a large group of priests made their submission to the faith.
R/ May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.
Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just; for praise is fitting for loyal hearts. Give thanks to the Lord upon the harp, with a ten-stringed lute sing him songs.
For the word of the Lord is faithful and all his works to be trusted. The Lord loves justice and right and fills the earth with his love.
The Lord looks on those who revere him, on those who hope in his love, to rescue their souls from death, to keep them alive in famine.
Gospel Acclamation: Rm6:9
Alleluia, alleluia! Christ, having been raised from the dead, will never die again. Death has no power over him anymore. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 6:16-21
In the evening the disciples went down to the shore of the lake and got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the lake. It was getting dark by now and Jesus had still not re-joined them. The wind was strong, and the sea was getting rough. They had rowed three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming towards the boat. This frightened them, but he said, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” They were for taking him into the boat, but in no time it reached the shore at the place they were making for.
Prayer over the Offerings
Sanctify graciously these gifts, O Lord, we pray, and, accepting the oblation of this spiritual sacrifice, make of us an eternal offering to you. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Jn 17: 24
Father, I wish that, where I am, those you gave me may also be with me, that they may see the glory that you gave me, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
We have partaken of the gifts of this sacred mystery, humbly imploring, O Lord, that what your Son commanded us to do in memory of him may bring us growth in charity. Through Christ our Lord.
In the Scriptures, the sea is often the bosom of dark forces. After the multiplication of loaves, Jesus goes alone to the mountain to pray (Jn 6:15). The disciples go out to sea alone. They were used to it. This time, however, all the external elements suddenly seemed hostile to them: the wild winds, the violence of the waves… Let us recognize in these disciples, our humanity that must face violence, evil, illness and death. A humanity that takes the risk of walking without God is vulnerable to these perils. The disciples are afraid. Fortunately for them, Jesus comes by, and he does so walking on the water. This is a sign that he is Lord. He tramples the forces of evil underfoot and dominates the kingdom of death. He tramples upon them, outruns them and reassures the disciples, “It is I. Fear anymore.” Our lives are often tossed about by trials. Let us allow ourselves to be helped by the Risen One. Our journey will become Easter if we put all our trust in Him. He says to us too: “It’s me! Do not be afraid!” (v.20)