Verse of the Day
BVMC is a loving Catholic Christian Community
that seeks to worship God reverently,
serve His creation faithfully
and bring the good news of the Gospel
to the community outside its doors.
Wednesday, Bitter Lamentations - 6:30 PM
Friday, Stations of the Cross - 7:00 PM
Saturday, Vigil Mass of Sunday - 5:00 PM
Sunday, Holy Mass - 9:00 AM
Listening to the Word
Third Sunday of Easter 'B'
April 18, 2021
Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19
Ps 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9
1 Jn 2:1-5
Lk 24: 35-48
The common theme of today’s readings is the challenge to adjust our lives to the living presence of the risen Lord as we grow daily more aware of God’s presence within us and all around us as the Holy Spirit. This awareness should strengthen our hope in His promises, bring us to true repentance for our sins and the renewal of our lives, and lead us to bear witness to Christ by our works of charity. The readings also remind us that the purpose of the suffering, death and Resurrection of Jesus was to save us from our sins.
The First Reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, gives us Peter’s second sermon addressing the Jewish assembly at the Portico of Solomon in Jerusalem. Peter forcefully declares how the messianic prophecies have been fulfilled in the crucified and risen Jesus and challenges the Jews to turn toward God so that their sins may be wiped away.
In the Second Reading, John answers doubts raised by the heretics of his time, asserting the fundamental Christian doctrine that Jesus’ death was a sacrifice offered as expiation for our sins.
Today's Gospel describes Jesus’ appearance on the evening of His Resurrection to his apostles who were in the locked Upper Room. We see Jesus remove the doubts of His apostles about his Resurrection by inviting them to touch him and by eating a piece of cooked fish. Jesus explains to them how the prophecies had been fulfilled in Him. Then He commissions them to bear witness to him and preach "repentance and forgiveness of sins in His name” after receiving the Holy Spirit.
We need to share the apostles’ "Upper Room Experience" in the Holy Mass: The same Jesus Who, in the Upper Room, prepared the disciples for their preaching and witnessing mission, is present with us in the Eucharistic celebration. In the "Liturgy of the Word of God," Jesus speaks to us. In the "Liturgy of Bread and Wine," Jesus becomes our spiritual food and drink. Today's Gospel scene is repeated every Sunday on our parish altars. Like the early disciples, we come together to repent of our sins, express our gratitude for blessings received, listen to God’s word and offer our lives to God along with our petitions and His gifts of consecrated Bread and Wine. We also share in the spiritual food Jesus supplies, gaining the strength necessary for sharing Christ’s message with the entire world, mainly by living transparent Christian lives.
Jesus needs us as witnesses to continue His mission. Jesus needs Spirit-filled followers to be His eyes, ears and hands and to bear witness to his love, mercy and forgiveness by our interactions with our brother and sisters.
Our daily lives are meant to serve as a means of experiencing and sharing the risen Lord with others. Just as the disciples experienced their risen Lord in their community, let us learn to recognize the presence of Jesus in our own homes, social service centers, nursing facilities, hospitals and schools. Jesus wants us to be a community which shares and cares, a community which knows how to recognize Jesus in the poor, the marginalized, the sick – that is, in everyone.