They picked out seven men full of the Holy Spirit.
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 6: 1-7)
In these days when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. And the Twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 33:1-2.4-5. 18-19 (R. 22)
R/. May your merciful love be upon us, as we hope in you, O Lord.
Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just;
for praise is fitting for the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord upon the harp;
with a ten-stringed lute sing him songs. R.
For the word of the Lord is faithful,
and all his works to be trusted.
The Lord loves justice and right,
and his merciful love fills the earth. R
Yes, the Lord’s eyes are on those who fear him,
who hope in his merciful love,
to rescue their souls from death,
to keep them alive in famine. R.
Alleluia. Christ is risen, who created all things and has had mercy on the human race. Alleluia.
“They saw Jesus walking on the sea.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 6: 16-21
When evening came, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capemaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea rose because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat. They were frightened, but he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
The Gospel of the Lord.
The first reading shows us how the apostles handled the problem of ethnicity within their ideal community of believers. The tendency to cater to “people from my place” to the detriment of others’ welfare is still very strong among us. It exists in all walks of life, even in pious church communities. The problem always arises with sharing of material goods. The inclusion of Spirit-filled people from different ethnic groups ensures equitable sharing of material resources and guards against partiality and injustice.