Readings and Reflection for April 26 Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter


FIRST READING                
“Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance unto life.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 11: 1-18)

In those days: The apostles and the brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” But Peter began and explained to them in order: “I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, something descending, like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came down to me. Looking at it closely I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ “But I said, ‘No, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth. ’ “But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’ “This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven. At that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea. And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brethren also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. And he told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon called Peter; he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household. ’ As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptised with water, but you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit. ’ If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” When they heard this they were silenced. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance unto life.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Psalm 42:2-3; 43 :3.4 (R. see 42:3ab)
R/. My soul is thirsting for you, the living God.
or:  Alleluia.

Like the deer that yearns for running streams,
so my soul is yearning for you, my God.
My soul is thirsting for God, the living God;
when can I enter and appear before the face of God? R.

O send forth your light and your truth;
they will guide me on.
They will bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell. R.

And I will come to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and gladness.
To you will I give thanks on the harp,
O God, my God. R.

ALLELUIA John 10: 14
Alleluia. I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my own, and my own know me. Alleluia.

“I am the door of the sheep.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 10:1-10)

At that time: Jesus said, “Truly, Truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber; but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figures Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, Truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them. I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

The Spirit continues to move Jesus’ Jewish disciples to open up and without discrimination embrace Gentiles as substantial members of God’s family.  In the house of Cornelius, a Gentile, God officially uses Peter, leader of the Church, to accomplish this.  The Jerusalem brethren are annoyed not because Peter baptized the Gentiles, but because He ate with them. Eating with anybody indicated oneness and intimate relationship.  While we all claim one Father and partake of the one body and blood of Christ, we need to watch out and not discriminate against people for diverse reasons.  Such contradictory actions prevent us from entering by the door, which is Christ.


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