This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Paschal Tide. (B)
Sunday 29th April: 5th Sunday of Easter. (B)
Much more than a set of truths in which to believe, our faith is a union with a living person, Jesus Christ. His words and actions should be our guide to life. We cannot think of him and pray to him all the time but we can, with his help, try to live his life.
The first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, shows how Paul, from being a fanatic persecutor of the early church, becomes one of its greatest champions.
The second reading, from St. John’s first letter reminds us that, if we believe in Jesus Christ and love one another with a real active love, we can be certain that God is present in us and that we are untied to him.
The Gospel reading from St John reminds us that only when we are united with Jesus in faith and love, like branches on a vine, can our lives be fruitful. God will give us everything that is good.
Monday 30th April: Monday in the 5th week of Easter.
In the first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke shows Paul working the same signs among pagans as Peter had among the Jews and preaching the same message.
In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of God’s living presence in his people. He lives by love in the hearts of those who love him and keep his word.
Tuesday 1st May: Tuesday in the 5th week of Easter.
Paul and Barnabas are persecuted, stoned and driven from one place to another as they carry on preaching the Gospel. They don’t give up. Paul encourages the disciples and puts fresh heart into them. He acknowledges that God has done great things in them.
In the Gospel Jesus’ message is the same. Just before his passion and death, he speaks of peace and encourages the apostles not to be troubled or afraid. If we are united with God, nobody can rob us of that inner peace of which he speaks.
Wednesday 2nd May: Memorial of St. Athanasius
Athanasius was born in 297 at Alexandria. He lived during very troubled times, both politically and within the Church. He was secretary to the local Bishop when he attended the Council of Nicaea, from which we get the Nicene Creed. This Council condemned the priest Arius who was teaching that Jesus was not divine. After he became Bishop, many of Arius’ followers caused a great deal of trouble. The political leaders were inconsistent in whom they supported –sometimes Athanasius, at other times his opponents. He was banished five times from the city and lived for seventeen years in exile. He died in 373.
Thursday 3rd May: Feast of St. Philip & St. James
Philip was a follower of John the Baptist but accepted Christ’s call immediately. He persuaded his friend, Nathaniel, to come and see Jesus for himself. He is named among those present at the coming of the Holy Spirit.
James, the Less or Younger, was present at the Council of Jerusalem where it was decided that Gentile converts need not become Jewish as well. A Letter in the New Testament is attributed to him.
Both were martyred as a result of their preaching the Gospel.
Friday 4th May: Friday in the 5th week of Easter.
God’s love turns to God and to others, overcomes selfishness, forgives and shares. It respects the backgrounds and traditions of others which is what we hear of in the first reading today.
We are also reminded that the Lord chose us , accepted us as we are and called us his friends.
Saturday 5th May: Saturday in the 5th week of Easter.
Paul sets out on his second missionary journey, this time with Timothy. They head for Macedonia.
Jesus tells the disciples that they too will suffer because they are his friends and they are to carry on his work. ‘Because you are not of this world, the world will persecute you.’