Readings and Reflection for May 17, Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter


FIRST READING               
“They gathered the Church together and declared all that God had done with them.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 14: 19-28)

In those days: Jews came [to Lystra] from Antioch and Iconium; and having persuaded the people, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city; and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every Church, with prayer and fasting, they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed.  Then they passed through Pisidia, and came to Pamphylia. And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia; and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had fulfilled. And when they arrived, they gathered the Church together and declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. And they remained no little time with the disciples.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM    Psalm 145:10-11. 12-13ab.21 (R. 12a)
R/. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glory of your reign.
Or: Alleluia.

All your works shall thank you, O Lord,
and all your faithful ones bless you.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign,
and declare your mighty deeds. R/.

They shall make known your might to
the children of men,
and the glorious splendour of your reign.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom;
your rule endures for all generations. R/.

R/. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glory of your reign.
Or: Alleluia.

Let my mouth speak the praise of the Lord;
let all flesh bless his holy name
forever, for ages unending. R/.

ALLELUIA Luke 24:46, 26
Alleluia. Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead, and so enter into his glory. Alleluia.

“My peace I give to you.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 14:27-31a)

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

In today’s first reading Paul reminds the faithful to continue in faith despite persecutions because it is through many tribulations that we can enter the kingdom of God. Paul, Barnabas and the Christian community keep their faith strong by prayer and fasting. Jesus speaks of the ruler of this world who is opposed to the kingdom of the father. He may torture and persecute and even kill him. But Jesus asserts that he has no power over him. Jesus willingly submits himself to the authority out of obedience to his father. Persecutions, kidnapping, torture and even killing cannot destroy our true faith because it is a gift from God. We are strengthened in our faith when we carry out the father’s will. Lord, make us strong in the face of difficulties and persecutions.


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