Sunday 1st April: Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord (b).
In the first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, Peter proclaims the message that all who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven. We have an account of the first baptism of a gentile convert, the Roman centurion Cornelius.
St. Paul, writing to the Colossians, teaches that when Christ is revealed, his followers too will be revealed in all their glory with him. We should think and act differently because of our faith in the Resurrection.
The Gospel passage, from St. John, tells how Mary Magdalene arrives at the tomb. What she finds or rather what she doesn’t find sends her running to fetch Peter and his beloved disciples. It shows the realisation of those first disciples that Jesus was truly risen from the dead.
Monday 2nd April: Monday within the Octave of Easter.
For the Easter season, the first readings are taken from the Acts of the Apostles. It is here we learn about the early days of the Church and the key characters, especially St. Peter. Today he gives a very powerful sermon stressing that Jesus is no longer dead but is alive. He has risen.
In the Gospel passages this week, we hear of various appearances of the risen Christ. The women meet Jesus and they, in turn, tell the rest of the disciples.
Tuesday 3rd April: Tuesday within the Octave of Easter.
The people are moved by Peter’s sermon about the risen Christ and many repent of their sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus meets Mary who is so full of sadness that she does not recognise him at first. She too then spreads the word of his resurrection.
Wednesday 4th April: Wednesday within the Octave of Easter.
The miracle of Peter and John at the Beautiful gate of the Temple is carried out in the name of Jesus of Nazareth – the one who has risen from the dead.
The Gospel gives us the account of the meeting of the disciples with Jesus on the way to Emmaus. They do not recognise him but he reveals himself to them through the breaking of bread and through the Scriptures.
Thursday 5th April: Thursday within the Octave of Easter.
Peter uses the miracle as an opportunity to preach about the crucified Christ who fulfilled the prophecies of the scriptures. The listeners must repent and then God will bless them.
After the Emmaus meeting, Jesus at last, appears to all the disciples. He eats with them. He explains the scriptures to them and commissions them as witnesses to his resurrection. He promises to send the Holy Spirit.
Friday 6th April: Friday within the Octave of Easter.
The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead and so Peter’s preaching about Jesus being risen angers them. Peter is arrested, along with John, but they use the opportunity to preach their message to the High Priests.
Jesus visits Peter and some of the other disciples and helps them catch many fish. They are still struggling to come to terms with all that has happened and so ask again ‘Who are you?’
Saturday 7th April: Saturday within the Octave of Easter.
The High Priests are both impressed by Peter preaching and worried by it. All they can do is ask them to stop preaching.
St. Mark summarises all the appearance stories of the first visits of Jesus to his friends and his disciples after the Resurrection.
He is risen as he said