5th Week of Easter

Monday, 25 April    ST MARK, Evangelist

1 Peter 5:5-14 My son, Mark sends you his greetings

Peter presents our God as a personal God, deeply concerned for us, acting on our behalf. His is a God to whom we can entrust all our worries. Should we have to experience trials, we know that in his own time God will nevertheless exalt us. He is the God of all grace who never ceases to take care of us.

Mk 16:15-20 Proclaim the good news to all creation

Jesus commissions the  remaining disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all creatures. This is still the mission of the Church. Pope Francis has called on us to embark upon a new chapter of evangelisation. Our proclamation of Jesus risen from the dead might well be accompanied by signs and wonders to confirm the truth of our message. Although ascended into Heaven, and fully revealed as Lord in all his divine sovereignty, Jesus is present amongst in a new way, always by our side amidst our human struggle. We rely on his power to make us effective missionary disciples.

Tuesday, 26 April  

Acts 14:19-28 They gave an account to the church of all that God had done with them

Those who come to believe in the Lord need 'follow up', further instruction and encouragement if they are not to fall away - particularly when they experience difficulties.

John 10:22-30 My own peace I give you

Jesus grant us his peace. This peace is our complete well-being. It flows from Jesus' relationship to the Father, a relationship into which Jesus draws us. The world cannot give this peace. We experience it when we place our complete trust in Jesus, and so from him learn perfect, liberating obedience to our Father

Wednesday, 27 April

Acts 12:24 to 13:5 It was arranged that they should go up to Jerusalem and discuss the problem with the apostles and elders.

Some of the first Christians held that converts had to be circumcised and observe the Law of Moses in order to be saved. Acts makes clear that such a view is opposed to the essential truth that we are saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. He has fulfilled the Law by his death and resurrection. Salvation comes through faith in him and by baptism.

John 15:1-6 Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty.

The language of the vine and the branches conveys the Father's desire that we are fruitful through remaining in communion with his Son, Jesus. Jesus is the constant source of our love. Indeed, by staying close to him, one with him, we are empowered to love with his love - become channels of divine love!

Thursday, 28 April   

Acts 15:7-21   I rule that we do not make things difficult for pagans who turn to God.

The speech of St James uses the same biblical language that describes God's formation of his chosen people, the Israelites. In this way St James shows that God now grants all of humanity that same privileged relationship. God had always intended this to be, as the Prophets indicated. It is a relationship open to everyone that comes about in virtue of Jesus' resurrection from the dead.

John 15:9-11  Remain in my love , and let your joy be complete

The Father loves the Son from all eternity. With the same infinite , self-giving love, Jesus pours himself into the life of his disciples, gathering them into his intimacy with the Father. This is the fullness of joy.

Friday, 29 April    ST CATHERINE OF SIENNA, Virgin and Doctor, Patron of Europe.

1 Jn 5-2:2   The blood of Christ purifies us from all sin 

If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves. But we need not be afraid to admit our sin. For our God is a God who forgives. He is light, and in his is light, his love ,we see our need of his mercy. With confidence we permit God to lead us from darkness into light, from death to life in Jesus -the sacrifice who takes aways the sins of the world.

Mt 11:25-30  You have hidden these things from the learned and have revealed them to mere children

Although in this Matthews gospel, this passage could have come straight from John. If our disposition is on of humility, we come to share in the Son's, in Jesus', knowledge of the Father. It is a knowledge that proves the words of Jesus to be trustworthy: "my yoke is easy and my burden light."

Saturday 30 April   

Acts 16:1-10    Come across to Macedonia and help us

Paul recruits Timothy of the mission. Church leadership still requires such generous co-workers. Each one of us should consider ourselves recruits for the mission. The Holy Spirit works through us to fulfil the Father's merciful plan

John 15:18-21    You do not belong to the world because my choice withdrew you from the world.

The love with which we are loved by the Father sustains, not least when we encounter hate. When we are hated because of our faith, we are very close to Jesus. We share in his victory by loving even those who hate us just as Jesus loved those who persecuted him.