Christ, having risen from the dead, dies now no more; death will no longer have dominion over him, alleluia
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we who have been renewed by paschal remedies, transcending the likeness of our earthly parentage, may be transformed in the image of our heavenly maker. Through our Lord…
“When they had prayed, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 4:23-31)
In those days: when Peter and John were released they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who by the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, ‘why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples imagine vain things? The kings of the earth set themselves in array, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’ –for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your Holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 2:1-3. 4-6.7-9 (R. see 12d)
R/. Blessed are all who trust in you, O Lord.
Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain?
They arise, the kings of the earth;
Princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed.
“Let us burst asunder their fetters.
Let us cast off from us their chains.” R/.
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
The Lord derides and mocks them.
Then he will speak in his anger,
His rage will strike them with terror.
“It is I who have appointed my king
On Sion, my holy mountain.” R/.
I will announce the decree of the Lord:
The Lord said to me, “you are my Son.
It is I who have begotten you this day.
Ask of me and I will give you
the nations as your inheritance,
and the ends of the earth as your possession.
With a rod of iron you will rule them;
like a potter’s jar you will shatter them.” R/.
ALLELUIA Colossians 3:1
Alleluia. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Alleluia.
“Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 3 :1-8)
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The sacraments of Christian initiation are Baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist. In the time past this was the order of receiving them. These sacraments are what make one fully incorporated into the mystical body of Christ. Jesus underscores the importance of the first two sacraments for eternal life. Baptism cleanses us of all sins, both Original sin and actual sin. Confirmation (the receiving of the Holy Spirit) empowers us to be bold in defending the faith even in the midst of difficulties. The apostles were not deterred by the warning from the chief priests; rather, the more they were threatened the greater their effort. The spirit given us is not the spirit of timidity but of courage, which leads us to bear genuine witness to the risen Lord.