Octave of Easter, Thursday
1st Reading: Acts 3:11-26
While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, struck with astonishment, came running to them in Solomon’s Porch, as it was called. When Peter saw the people, he said to them,
“Fellow Israelites, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us as if it was by some power or holiness of our own that we made this man walk? The God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus whom you handed over to death and denied before Pilate, when even Pilate had decided to release him. You rejected the Holy and Just One, and you insisted that a murderer be released to you. You killed the Master of life, but God raised him from the dead and we are witnesses to this. It is his Name, and faith in his Name, that has healed this man whom you see and recognize. The faith that comes through Jesus has given him wholeness in the presence of all of you.
Yet I know that you acted out of ignorance, as did your leaders. God has fulfilled in this way what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer.
Repent, then, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out and the time of refreshment may come by the mercy of God, when he sends the Messiah appointed for you, Jesus. For he must remain in heaven until the time of the universal restoration which God spoke of long ago through his holy prophets.
Moses foretold this when he said: The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall listen to him in all that he says to you. Whoever does not listen to that prophet is to be cut off from among his people.
In fact, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel onward, have announced the events of these days. You are the children of the prophets and heirs of the covenant that God gave to your ancestors when he said to Abraham: All the families of the earth will be blessed through your descendant. It is to you first that God sends his Servant; he raised him to life to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”
Gospel: Luke 24:35-48
The two disciples told what had happened on the road and how Jesus made himself known when he broke bread with them.
As they went on talking about this, Jesus himself stood in their midst. (And he said to them, “Peace to you.”) In their panic and fright they thought they were seeing a ghost, but he said to them, “Why are you upset and why do such ideas cross your mind? Look at my hands and feet and see that it is I myself. Touch me and see for yourselves that a ghost has no flesh and bones as I have.” (As he said this, he showed his hands and feet.)
In their joy they didn’t dare believe and were still astonished. So he said to them, “Have you anything to eat?” and they gave him a piece of broiled fish. He took it and ate it before them.
Then Jesus said to them, “Remember the words I spoke to you when I was still with you: Everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms had to be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he went on, “You see what was written: the Messiah had to suffer and on the third day rise from the dead. Then repentance and forgiveness in his name would be proclaimed to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Now you shall be witnesses to this.”
What we have in today’s reading is an example of how Christians should read the Scriptures. The Lord is with them unawares. He teases out their fears and doubts and disillusionment… He calls their attention to what they had overlooked or misunderstood. Finally they “recognize him in the breaking of bread.” This is a phrase that Luke repeats as if to make sure we notice it. Disciples in every century have continued to recognize him in “the breaking of bread.”
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