SUNDAY OF LENT
sends the prophet Samuel on an important mission.
Samuel is to find and anoint the future king of Israel
. But when Samuel finds the man he thinks is just
right for the job, God tells him that he has made
a mistake. God's advice is: Don't judge by how important
a person might seem, for I look into the heart. The
prophet listens to God's advice. He chooses the youngest
son of Jesse of Bethlehem. This shepherd boy is athletic
and handsome. Yet only God sees in David the potential
to be Israel 's greatest king and the ancestor of
Lord said to Samuel, Fill your horn with oil and go.
I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have
chosen myself a king among his sons. When Samuel arrived,
he caught sight of Eliab and thought, Surely the Lords
anointed one stands there before him, but the Lord
said to Samuel, Take no notice of his appearance or
his height for I have rejected him; God does not see
as man sees; man looks at appearances but the Lord
looks at the heart. Jesse presented his seven sons
to Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, The Lord has
not chosen these. He then asked Jesse, Are these all
the sons you have? He answered, There is still one
left, the youngest; he is out looking after the sheep.
Then Samuel said to Jesse, Send for him; we will not
sit down to eat until he comes. Jesse had him sent
for, a boy of fresh complexion, with fine eyes and
pleasant bearing. The Lord said Come, anoint him,
for this is the one. At this, Samuel took the horn
of oil and anointed him where he stood with his brothers;
and the spirit of the Lord seized on David and stayed
with him from that day on.
we move forward to Easter during this Lenten season,
we have thought about the meaning of Baptism. This
reading reminds us of the courage we need to have
as followers of Christ. The world is not an easy place
to share the good news, but it needs to see the light
of Christ's truth in us.
were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord;
be like children of light, for the effects of the
light are seen in complete goodness and right living
and truth. Try to discover what the Lord wants of
you, having nothing to do with the futile works of
darkness but exposing them by contrast. The things
which are done in secret are things that people are
ashamed even to speak of; but anything exposed by
the light will be illuminated and anything illuminated
turns into light. That is why it is said:
up from your sleep,
from the dead,
Christ will shine on you.
9:1-41 (or >< 9:1.6-9.13-17.34-38)
story of the man born blind weaves together the themes
of light, sight, and insight. Jesus heals the man
so that he can see. However, the Pharisees remain
blind because they refuse to see who Jesus really
is. They are more concerned about the Sabbath laws
than they are about a fellow human being in need.
The blind man gains not only his sight but also insight.
When Jesus identifies himself as the Son of Man, a
title for the Messiah, the man says, "I do believe,
Lord." And he worships Jesus. As we worship Jesus
in the Eucharist, our eyes are opened to see Christ
Jesus went along, he saw a man who had been blind
from birth.< His disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who
sinned, this man or his parents, for him to have been
born blind?' 'Neither he nor his parents sinned,'
Jesus answered, 'he was born blind so that the works
of God might be displayed in him.
long as the day lasts
must carry out the work of the one who sent me;
night will soon be here when no one can work.
long as I am in the world
am the light of the world.'
said this, > he spat on the ground, made a paste
with the spittle, put this over the eyes of the blind
man and said to him, 'Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam'
(a name that means 'sent'). So the blind man went
off and washed himself, and came away with his sight
neighbours and people who earlier had seen him begging
said, 'Isn't this the man who used to sit and beg?'
Some said, 'Yes, it is the same one.' Others said,
'No, he only looks like him.' The man himself said,
'I am the man.'< So they said to him, 'Then how
do your eyes come to be open?' 'The man called Jesus'
he answered 'made a paste, daubed my eyes with it
and said to me, "Go and wash at Siloam";
so I went, and when I washed I could see.' They asked,
'Where is he?' 'I don't know' he answered.
brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees.
It had been a Sabbath day when Jesus made the paste
and opened the man's eyes, so when the Pharisees asked
him how he had come to see, he said, 'He put a paste
on my eyes, and I washed, and I can see.' Then some
of the Pharisees said, 'This man cannot be from God:
he does not keep the Sabbath.' Others said, 'How could
a sinner produce signs like this?' And there was disagreement
among them. So they spoke to the blind man again,
'What have you to say about him yourself, now that
he has opened your eyes?' 'He is a prophet' replied
the Jews would not believe that the man had been blind
and had gained his sight, without first sending for
his parents and asking them, 'Is this man really your
son who you say was born blind? If so, how is it that
he is now able to see?' His parents answered, 'We
know he is our son and we know he was born blind,
but we don't know how it is that he can see now, or
who opened his eyes. He is old enough: let him speak
for himself.' His parents spoke like this out of fear
of the Jews, who had already agreed to expel from
the synagogue anyone who should acknowledge Jesus
as the Christ. This was why his parents said, 'He
is old enough; ask him.'
the Jews again sent for the man and said to him, 'Give
glory to God! For our part, we know that this man
is a sinner.' The man answered, 'I don't know if he
is a sinner; I only know that I was blind and now
I can see.' They said to him, 'What did he do to you?
How did he open your eyes?' He replied, 'I have told
you once and you wouldn't listen. Why do you want
to hear it all again? Do you want to become his disciples
too?' At this they hurled abuse at him: 'You can be
his disciple,' they said 'we are disciples of Moses:
we know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this man,
we don't know where he comes from.' The man replied,
'Now here is an astonishing thing! He has opened my
eyes, and you don't know where he comes from! We know
that God doesn't listen to sinners, but God does listen
to men who are devout and do his will. Ever since
the world began it is unheard of for anyone to open
the eyes of a man who was born blind; if this man
were not from God, he couldn't do a thing.' > 'Are
you trying to teach us,' they replied 'and you a sinner
through and through, since you were born!' And they
drove him away.
heard they had driven him away, and when he found
him he said to him, 'Do you believe in the Son of
Man?' 'Sir,' the man replied 'tell me who he is so
that I may believe in him.' Jesus said, 'You are looking
at him; he is speaking to you.' The man said, 'Lord,
I believe', and worshipped him.<
is for judgement
I have come into this world,
that those without sight may see
those with sight turn blind.'
this, some Pharisees who were present said to him,
'We are not blind, surely?' Jesus replied:
If you were,
would not be guilty,
since you say, "We see",
SUNDAY OF LENT
was called by God to be a prophet during the exile
of the Israelites in Babylon . They took comfort in
his vision of resurrection, a prediction of the restoration
of their homeland. God would raise them from their
graves of despair to new life.
The graves of the dead that we hear about in Ezekiel
are not Israelites only; they are all of us who are
in some way dead, not living fully enough the life
of Christ, and in need of redemption.
Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves;
I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and
lead you back to the soil of Israel . And you will
know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and
raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall
put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall
resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that
I, the Lord, have said and done this - it is the Lord
have the promise of eternal life from God. Even if
our bodies die, we will not become a lifeless pile
of dry bones. God who raised Jesus from the dead will
also raise us. The Spirit remains alive in us forever
because we belong to Christ.
who are interested only in unspiritual things can
never be pleasing to God. Your interests, however,
are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual,
since the Spirit of God has made his home in you.
In fact, unless you possessed the Spirit of Christ
you would not belong to him. Though your body may
be dead it is because of sin, but if Christ is in
you then your spirit is life itself because you have
been justified; and if the Spirit of him who raised
Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who
raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your
own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.
11:1-45 (or >< 11:3-7.17.20-27.33-45)
of us who have lost a beloved family member or friend
know how Martha and Mary must have felt. Their brother
Lazarus died. And Jesus did not protect them from
the pain of mourning. In fact, Jesus wept, too, and
was deeply troubled. But death is never the end of
the story for Jesus or those who believe in him.
"I am the resurrection and the life," Jesus
tells Martha. At Jesus' command, Lazarus, all bound
up in burial wrappings, slowly emerges from the tomb.
What a scene that must have been! And what a promise
was a man named Lazarus who lived in the village of
Bethany with the two sisters, Mary and Martha, and
he was ill. It was the same Mary, the sister of the
sick man Lazarus, who anointed the Lord with ointment
and wiped his feet with her hair. > The sisters
sent this message to Jesus, 'Lord, the man you love
is ill.' On receiving the message Jesus said, 'This
sickness will end not in death but in God's glory,
and through it the Son of God will be glorified.'
loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, yet when
he heard that Lazarus was ill he stayed where he was
for two more days before saying to the disciples,
'Let us go to Judaea .'< The disciples said, 'Rabbi,
it is not long since the Jews wanted to stone you;
are you going back again?' Jesus replied:
there not twelve hours in the day?
man can walk in the daytime without stumbling
he has the light of this world to see by;
if he walks at night he stumbles,
there is no light to guide him.'
said that and then added, 'Our friend Lazarus is resting,
I am going to wake him.' The disciples said to him,
'Lord, if he is able to rest he is sure to get better.'
The phrase Jesus used referred to the death of Lazarus,
but they thought that by 'rest' he meant 'sleep',
so Jesus put it plainly, 'Lazarus is dead; and for
your sake I am glad I was not there because now you
will believe. But let us go to him.' Then Thomas -
known as the Twin - said to the other disciples, 'Let
us go too, and die with him.'
arriving, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the
tomb for four days already.< Bethany is only about
two miles from Jerusalem , and many Jews had come
to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their
brother. > When Martha heard that Jesus had come
she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the
house. Martha said to Jesus, 'If you had been here,
my brother would not have died, but I know that, even
now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.'
'Your brother' said Jesus to her 'will rise again.'
Martha said, 'I know he will rise again at the resurrection
on the last day.' Jesus said:
am the resurrection and the life.
anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will
whoever lives and believes in me
you believe this?'
Lord,' she said 'I believe that you are the Christ,
the Son of God, the one who was to come into this
she had said this, she went and called her sister
Mary, saying in a low voice, 'The Master is here and
wants to see you.' Hearing this, Mary got up quickly
and went to him. Jesus had not yet come into the village;
he was still at the place where Martha had met him.
When the Jews who were in the house sympathising with
Mary saw her get up so quickly and go out, they followed
her, thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep
went to Jesus, and as soon as she saw him she threw
herself at his feet, saying, 'Lord, if you had been
here, my brother would not have died.' At the sight
of her tears, and those of the Jews who followed her,
> Jesus said in great distress, with a sigh that
came straight from the heart, 'Where have you put
him?' They said, 'Lord, come and see.' Jesus wept;
and the Jews said, 'See how much he loved him!' But
there were some who remarked, 'He opened the eyes
of the blind man, could he not have prevented this
man's death?' Still sighing, Jesus reached the tomb:
it was a cave with a stone to close the opening. Jesus
said, 'Take the stone away.' Martha said to him, 'Lord,
by now he will smell; this is the fourth day.' Jesus
replied, 'Have I not told you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?' So they took away
the stone. Then Jesus lifted up his eyes and said:
I thank you for hearing my prayer.
knew indeed that you always hear me,
the sake of all these who stand round me,
that they may believe it was you who sent me.'
he had said this, he cried in a loud voice, 'Lazarus,
here! Come out!' The dead man came out, his feet and
hands bound with bands of stuff and a cloth round
his face. Jesus said to them, 'Unbind him, let him
of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen
what he did believed in him.<
Christians, all of today's readings give us ways of
looking at Jesus Christ as the Suffering Servant.
The Suffering Servant in Isaiah has qualities that
later generations would see in Jesus. He is the one
whose ear is always open to receive God's word. He
is the one who does not rebel or turn back when his
enemies persecute him. Jesus is the one who says,
"The Lord God is my help. . . I
not be put to shame."
Lord Yahweh has given me
that I may know how to reply to the wearied
provides me with speech.
morning he wakes me to hear,
listen like a disciple.
Lord Yahweh has opened my ear.
my part, I made no resistance,
did I turn away.
offered my back to those who struck me,
cheeks to those who tore at my beard;
did not cover my face
insult and spittle.
Lord Yahweh comes to my help,
that I am untouched by the insults.
too, I set my face like flint;
know I shall not be shamed.
noble description of Jesus Christ is really a
hymn. It describes Jesus as the one who willingly
gave up everything to fulfill God's plan for our
salvation. Jesus did not come among us expecting
to live grandly, as a king or "Numero Uno,"
although that is exactly what he was. Even though
he was God, he came among us as the lowest of
all, to show us that God's love does not depend
on riches or honor. Paul tells us that this must
be our attitude, too. Our love must be like God's
state was divine,
he did not cling
his equality with God
assume the condition of a slave,
became as men are;
being as all men are,
was humbler yet,
to accepting death,
on a cross.
God raised him high
gave him the name
is above all other names
that all beings
the heavens, on the earth and in the underworld,
bend the knee at the name of Jesus
that every tongue should acclaim
Christ as Lord,
the glory of the Father.
speaks with the wonderful freedom of an Easter
Christian! He knows now that God's message of
salvation is for all people. It is not limited
to any one nation. Filled with enthusiasm, Peter
gives his own witness to the life, death, and
resurrection of Jesus. He rejoices in his own
call to preach the good news of Jesus Christ risen
from the dead.
addressed Cornelius and his household: 'You must have
heard about the recent happenings in Judaea ; about
Jesus of Nazareth and how he began in Galilee , after
John had been preaching baptism. God had anointed
him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because
God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and
curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil.
Now I, and those with me, can witness to everything
he did throughout the countryside of Judaea and in
Jerusalem itself: and also to the fact that they killed
him by hanging him on a tree, yet three days afterwards
God raised him to life and allowed him to be seen,
not by the whole people but only by certain witnesses
God had chosen beforehand. Now we are those witnesses
- we have eaten and drunk with him after his resurrection
from the dead - and he has ordered us to proclaim
this to his people and to tell them that God has appointed
him to judge everyone, alive or dead. It is to him
that all the prophets bear this witness: that all
who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven
through his name.'
second reading gives us good advice: Look up to
the risen Christ. Seek the values of his kingdom.
Don't get trapped in false values. Be faithful
until the day when we all will appear with Christ
in his glory. Name one value of Jesus and tell
how you will be especially faithful to it during
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. Let your thoughts
be on heavenly things, not on the things that are
on the earth, because you have died, and now the life
you have is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ
is revealed - and he is your life - you too will be
revealed in all your glory with him.
gospel story of the empty tomb proclaims a joyful
freedom theme. Jesus is free from the bonds of
death! Mary Magdalene is freed from fear and becomes
a witness to his resurrection. Peter and John
are free to believe that their Lord is risen from
the dead. The dawn of Easter frees us from fear
and the darkness of sin. Alleluia!
was very early on the first day of the week and still
dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw
that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and
came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple,
the one Jesus loved. 'They have taken the Lord out
of the tomb' she said 'and we don't know where they
have put him.'
Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the
tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running
faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent
down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground,
but did not go in. Simon Peter who was following now
came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths
on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over
his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled
up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who
had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and
he believed. Till this moment they had failed to understand
the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from
SUNDAY OF EASTER
an example of community life our reading from Acts
describes! We see how the early Christians shared
four basic activities that drew them together. They
lived by the teachings of the Twelve, who had been
taught by Jesus himself. They shared their possessions
with one another. They prayed together daily in the
Temple . Lastly, they gathered to celebrate the Eucharist
in their homes.
whole community remained faithful to the teaching
of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking
of bread and to the prayers.
many miracles and signs worked through the apostles
made a deep impression on everyone.
faithful all lived together and owned everything in
common; they sold their goods and possessions and
shared out the proceeds among themselves according
to what each one needed.
went as a body to the Temple every day but met in
their houses for the breaking of bread; they shared
their food gladly and generously; they praised God
and were looked up to by everyone. Day by day the
Lord added to their community those destined to be
second reading, written to those who had recently
become baptized Christians, helps them to appreciate
who they now are. Their Baptism gives them the
courage to be different from those who do not
have the gift of faith. These Christian converts
love Jesus and believe in him, even though they
have never seen him. They rejoice greatly as they
grow in resurrection faith.
be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in
his great mercy has given us a new birth as his sons,
by raising Jesus Christ from the dead, so that we
have a sure hope and the promise of an inheritance
that can never be spoilt or soiled and never fade
away, because it is being kept for you in the heavens.
Through your faith, God's power will guard you until
the salvation which has been prepared is revealed
at the end of time. This is a cause of great joy for
you, even though you may for a short time have to
bear being plagued by all sorts of trials; so that,
when Jesus Christ is revealed, your faith will have
been tested and proved like gold - only it is more
precious than gold, which is corruptible even though
it bears testing by fire - and then you will have
praise and glory and honour. You did not see him,
yet you love him; and still without seeing him, you
are already filled with a joy so glorious that it
cannot be described, because you believe; and you
are sure of the end to which your faith looks forward,
that is, the salvation of your souls.
a surprise for the disciples! The risen Christ
comes to them through locked doors, breathes on
them, and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit."
By the power of the Spirit, the disciples will
forgive sins and communicate the peace of Jesus
himself. However, there is another part to this
gospel story. The story revolves around Thomas
but it is also about us. Sometimes we are like
Thomas and miss the most important part of our
faith, belief in Jesus! But "blest"
are we who are guided in faith by the Holy Spirit.
the evening of that same day, the first day of the
week, the doors were closed in the room where the
disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and
stood among them. He said to them, 'Peace be with
you,' and showed them his hands and his side. The
disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord,
and he said to them again, 'Peace be with you.
the Father sent me,
am I sending you.'
saying this he breathed on them and said:
the Holy Spirit.
those whose sins you forgive,
those whose sins you retain,
called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not
with them when Jesus came. When the disciples said,
'We have seen the Lord', he answered, 'Unless I see
the holes that the nails made in his hands and can
put my finger into the holes they made, and unless
I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.'
Eight days later the disciples were in the house again
and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but
Jesus came in and stood among them. 'Peace be with
you' he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, 'Put your finger
here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand;
put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.'
Thomas replied, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to
believe because you can see me.
are those who have not seen and yet believe.'
were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples
saw, but they are not recorded in this book. These
are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is
the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this
you may have life through his name.
SUNDAY OF EASTER
a powerful feeling it is to stand up before a
vast crowd of people and tell them exactly what
you believe! That's what we hear Peter doing as
he speaks. His voice rings out fearlessly as he
insists that the crucified Jesus is the Messiah
sent by God. Jesus is the holy one foretold by
David. He is the conqueror of death itself. Filled
with the Holy Spirit, Peter stirred up the people
with the wonder of God's word.
the day of Pentecost Peter stood up with the Eleven
and addressed the crowd in a loud voice: Men of Israel,
listen to what I am going to say: Jesus the Nazarene
was a man commended to you by God by the miracles
and portents and signs that God worked through him
when he was among you, as you all know. This man,
who was put into your power by the deliberate intention
and foreknowledge of God, you took and had crucified
by men outside the Law. You killed him, but God raised
him to life, freeing him from the pangs of Hades;
for it was impossible for him to be held in its power
since, as David says of him:
saw the Lord before me always,
with him at my right hand nothing can shake me.
my heart was glad
my tongue cried out with joy;
body, too, will rest in the hope
you will not abandon my soul to Hades
allow your holy one to experience corruption.
have made known the way of life to me,
will fill me with gladness through your presence.
no one can deny that the patriarch David himself is
dead and buried: his tomb is still with us. But since
he was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn him
an oath to make one of his descendants succeed him
on the throne, what he foresaw and spoke about was
the resurrection of the Christ: he is the one who
was not abandoned to Hades, and whose body did not
experience corruption. God raised this man Jesus to
life, and all of us are witnesses to that. Now raised
to the heights by Gods right hand, he has received
from the Father the Holy Spirit, who was promised,
and what you see and hear is the outpouring of that
second reading reminds us that we have been redeemed
through the blood of Christ. In return, we are
to conduct ourselves with reverence on our faith
journey. If we have an attitude of reverence,
we will not take our faith lightly. We will be
sincere in our study of our faith. We will be
open to God and his will for us. We will seek
to understand and participate in the Mass and
the sacraments because there we meet the One who
suffered, died, and rose for us.
you are acknowledging as your Father one who has no
favourites and judges everyone according to what he
has done, you must be scrupulously careful as long
as you are living away from your home. Remember, the
ransom that was paid to free you from the useless
way of life your ancestors handed down was not paid
in anything corruptible, neither in silver nor gold,
but in the precious blood of a lamb without spot or
stain, namely Christ; who, though known since before
the world was made, has been revealed only in our
time, the end of the ages, for your sake. Through
him you now have faith in God, who raised him from
the dead and gave him glory for that very reason -
so that you would have faith and hope in God.
two downhearted disciples journey to Emmaus, a
stranger joins them. To him they pour out all
their crushed hopes about Jesus who has been crucified
and whom they miss so much. After listening carefully
to their story, the stranger tells them that they
are slow to "believe all that the prophets
have announced." He then explains the Scripture
of the disciples of Jesus were on their way to a village
called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem , and they
were talking together about all that had happened.
Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up
and walked by their side; but something prevented
them from recognising him. He said to them, 'What
matters are you discussing as you walk along?' They
stopped short, their faces downcast.
one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, 'You must
be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not
know the things that have been happening there these
last few days.' 'What things?' he asked. 'All about
Jesus of Nazareth' they answered 'who proved he was
a great prophet by the things he said and did in the
sight of God and of the whole people; and how our
chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be
sentenced to death, and had him crucified. Our own
hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel
free. And this is not all: two whole days have gone
by since it all happened; and some women from our
group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in
the early morning, and when they did not find the
body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision
of angels who declared he was alive. Some of our friends
went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the
women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.'
he said to them, 'You foolish men! So slow to believe
the full message of the prophets! Was it not ordained
that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his
glory?' Then, starting with Moses and going through
all the prophets, he explained to them the passages
throughout the scriptures that were about himself.
they drew near to the village to which they were going,
he made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay
with them. 'It is nearly evening' they said 'and the
day is almost over.' So he went in to stay with them.
Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread
and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed
it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised
him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they
said to each other, 'Did not our hearts burn within
us as he talked to us on the road and explained the
scriptures to us?'
set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem . There
they found the Eleven assembled together with their
companions, who said to them, 'Yes, it is true. The
Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.' Then they
told their story of what had happened on the road
and how they had recognised him at the breaking of
SUNDAY OF EASTER
we hear about the consequences of Peter's fiery
proclamation of the Good News. His listeners face
the truth: their sins have crucified the Messiah.
Deeply shaken, they respond to Peter's message
by repenting of their sins A large number seek
to be baptized! They open their hearts to God's
word and allow themselves to be changed by it.
To repent is to
turn away from a wrong direction or an evil way.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can turn
away from sin. Remember to pray for the help of
the Holy Spirit.
the day of Pentecost Peter stood up with the Eleven
and addressed the crowd with a loud voice: The
whole House of Israel can be certain that God
has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord
they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and
the apostles, What must we do, brothers? You must
repent, Peter answered and every one of you must
be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the
forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the
gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise that was made
is for you and your children, and for all those
who are far away, for all those whom the Lord our
God will call to himself. He spoke to them for a
long time using many arguments, and he urged them,
Save yourselves from this perverse generation. They
were convinced by his arguments, and they accepted
what he said and were baptised. That very day about
three thousand were added to their number.
reading issues a challenge to Christian slaves
of the first century and to all of us, who should
be slaves, or servants, of God. We are called
to follow Jesus' way of life. This means that
we must suffer patiently for doing good, just
as Jesus suffered for us. His wounds healed us.
Now our wounds?from insults, threats, rejection?can
help to heal others, as we follow in the footsteps
of Jesus .
merit, in the sight of God, is in bearing punishment
patiently when you are punished after doing your duty.This,
in fact, is what you were called to do, because Christ
suffered for you and left an example for you to follow
the way he took. He had not done anything wrong, and
there had been no perjury in his mouth. He was insulted
and did not retaliate with insults; when he was tortured
he made no threats but he put his trust in the righteous
judge. He was bearing our faults in his own body on
the cross, so that we might die to our faults and
live for holiness; through his wounds you have been
healed. You had gone astray like sheep but now you
have come back to the shepherd and guardian of your
are all familiar with the image of Jesus as the
Good Shepherd. But in this reading from John's Gospel,
Jesus first refers to himself as "the gate"
through which the sheep come to safety. The thieves
are those people who try to enter God's kingdom
by some other gate. The sheep are those who recognize
Jesus as the only door to the green pasture of eternal
and abundant life.
said: 'I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not
enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in
some other way is a thief and a brigand. The one who
enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock;
the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice,
one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out.
When he has brought out his flock, he goes ahead of
them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice.
They never follow a stranger but run away from him:
they do not recognise the voice of strangers.'
told them this parable but they failed to understand
what he meant by telling it to them.
Jesus spoke to them again:
tell you most solemnly,
am the gate of the sheepfold.
others who have come
thieves and brigands;
the sheep took no notice of them.
am the gate.
who enters through me will be safe:
will go freely in and out
be sure of finding pasture.
to steal and kill and destroy.
that they may have life
have it to the full.'
1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman and Todd,
Doubleday and Co Inc., and used by permission.