Dear Brother and Sister in Christ,

Welcome to USCCB Catholic Mass Readings in We are on the April 13, 2023 in the Octave of Easter. Today’s Mass readings and reflection on Acts 3:11-26; Luke 24:35-48. Main Theme is Peace that tranquilises!

Readings of the Day

Acts 3:11-26
As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John,
all the people hurried in amazement toward them
in the portico called “Solomon’s Portico.”
When Peter saw this, he addressed the people,
“You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this,
and why do you look so intently at us
as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence,
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
And by faith in his name,
this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong,
and the faith that comes through it
has given him this perfect health,
in the presence of all of you.
Now I know, brothers and sisters,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away,
and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment
and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus,
whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration
of which God spoke through the mouth
of his holy prophets from of old.
For Moses said:

A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you
from among your own kin;
to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you.
Everyone who does not listen to that prophet
will be cut off from the people.

“Moreover, all the prophets who spoke,
from Samuel and those afterwards, also announced these days.
You are the children of the prophets
and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors
when he said to Abraham,
In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you
by turning each of you from your evil ways.”

Psalm 8:2ab and 5, 6-7, 8-9

R.(2ab) O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
R. Alleluia.

Lk 24:35-48,
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”

Powerful Reflection for Today

Focus: As long as the Lord does not enter into our hearts and lives, there is fear and incredulity. But once the Lord enters, there is faith and peace

1.      The greatest gift of Easter is peace. It is not like the peace of the world which is often the evasion and absence of troubles. The peace of the Lord is one that dispels all fear, misapprehension, lack of recognition, trouble, doubt and incredulity. It is a peace that brings a personal encounter with the risen Lord.

2.      Some ingredients of this encounter are: the Lord once again reveals and confirms his identity. He tranquilises their troubled hearts. He gladdens them with joy. He shares a meal with them. He opens their minds to understand God’s ways. And he commissions them with the mission of bearing witness.

3.      The effects of this encounter and faith in the risen Lord are concretely seen in Peter. Peter becomes empowered and a powerful witness. Thereby, his whole focus was God’s glory and his mission. He was concerned only with bringing all to God and not to himself.

4.      Accordingly, after the healing of the crippled beggar, even though all glorify him and thus there was every possibility of shooting into fame, still he would humble himself. He would not seek cheap popularity. Rather he would attribute all credit to God alone

5.      Further, Peter would become forgiving and magnanimous like his master. He does not nurture any self-righteous attitude. He does not condemn the Jews for what they had done to Jesus. Rather, he would condone and absolve them of their iniquity. He says, “You acted out of ignorance”.

6.      He generates faith in the crippled man and leads him to the Lord. This is indicated by the fact that the healed crippled man began to “cling” to Peter and John. It was not clinging to two individuals. It was clinging to “faith” in the Lord.

7.      The effects of the risen Lord continue in and through Peter. He calls all for repentance and conversion. He motivates them with the strength of hope. He assures them that if they repent and are transformed, their sins will be wiped away and they will be granted times of refreshment.

Direction: The power of the risen Lord is testified in deep humility, committed mission and bearing witness