Sunday, April 18
Third Sunday of Easter
Roman Ordinary calendar
Acts of the Apostles 3,13-15.17-19.
Peter said to the people: “The God of Abraham, (the God) of Isaac, and (the God) of Jacob, the God of our ancestors, 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.
Now I know, brothers, 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 Messiah would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.”
When I call, answer me, O my just God,
you who relieve me when I am in distress;
have pity on me, and hear my prayer!
Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one;
the LORD will hear me when I call upon him.
O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us!
As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep,
for you alone, O LORD,
bring security to my dwelling.
First Letter of John 2,1-5a.
My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.
The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his command ments.
Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 24,35-48.
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and how Jesus was made known to them 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 Messiah 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.”
Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604)
Pope, Doctor of the Church
Homilies on the Gospels, no.26 ; PL 76,1197 (©Cistercian publications Inc., 1990)
“It is I myself. Touch me and see”
How was the Lord’s body, which could come in to the disciples through closed doors after the resurrection, a real one? We must be certain that if a divine work is understood by reason it is not wonderful, nor does our faith have any merit when human reason provides a proof. We have to consider these works of our Redeemer, which can in no way be understood of themselves, in the light of other works of his, so that his more miraculous deeds may provoke faith in the miraculous. For the Lord’s body, which made its entrance to the disciples through closed doors, was the same as that which issued before the eyes of men from the Virgin’s closed womb at his birth. Is it surprising if he who was now going to live for ever made his entrance through closed doors after his resurrection, who on his coming in order to die made his appearance from the unopened womb of the Virgin?
But because the faith of those who beheld it wavered concerning the body they could see, he showed them at once his hands and his side offering them the body which he brought in through the closed doors to touch. (…) Now, it cannot be otherwise then that what is touched is corruptible, and what is not corruptible cannot be touched. But in a wonderful and incomprehensible way our Redeemer, after his resurrection, manifested a body that was incorruptible and touchable. By showing us that it is incorruptible he would urge us on toward our reward, and by offering it as touchable he would dispose us towards faith, He manifested himself as both incorruptible and touchable to truly show us that his body after his resurrection was of the same nature as ours but of a different sort of glory.