Reading 1 (ACTS 8:26-40)

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip,
“Get up and head south on the road
that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route.” 
So he got up and set out. 
Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch,
a court official of the Candace,
that is, the queen of the Ethiopians,
in charge of her entire treasury,
who had come to Jerusalem to worship, and was returning home.
Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
The Spirit said to Philip,
“Go and join up with that chariot.” 
Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said,
“Do you understand what you are reading?” 
He replied,
“How can I, unless someone instructs me?” 
So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him. 
This was the Scripture passage he was reading:

Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who will tell of his posterity?
For his life is taken from the earth.

Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply,
“I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this?
About himself, or about someone else?” 
Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this Scripture passage,
he proclaimed Jesus to him.
As they traveled along the road
they came to some water,
and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water. 
What is to prevent my being baptized?” 
Then he ordered the chariot to stop,
and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water,
and he baptized him. 
When they came out of the water,
the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away,
and the eunuch saw him no more,
but continued on his way rejoicing. 
Philip came to Azotus, and went about proclaiming the good news
to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 66:8-9, 16-17, 20)

R.(1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Bless our God, you peoples,
loudly sound his praise;
He has given life to our souls,
and has not let our feet slip.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
When I appealed to him in words,
praise was on the tip of my tongue.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia (JOHN 6:51)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (JOHN 6:44-51)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Jesus said to the crowds:
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:

They shall all be taught by God.

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father. 
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life. 
I am the bread of life. 
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die. 
I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my Flesh for the life of the world.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The Third Week of Easter is like a soap opera (teleserye). What started out for the crowds and the other followers of Jesus was that he multiplied the loaves and the fish to feed them. Since they wanted him to be their King, he withdrew to the mountains to pray, then he was seen by the Apostles walking on the water. The next day, the people got into boats and went to Capernaum to look for Jesus and the Apostles. When they saw him, Jesus instructed them to work for food that endures forever, and in which he declared himself to them as the Bread of Life. He also reminded them to believe in him whom God has sent, and they will be raised on the last day. In the Gospel (John 6:44-51), the Jews began murmuring among themselves about his origin from heaven. Jesus assured them again that in order to come to him unless they listen to and learn from the Father.. He is not saying that eating and drinking is bad, but only they satisfy our bodily needs. Yet we need that eternal food to satisfy our spiritual needs, and that is him he, the Bread of Life. This simply means that we must believe in him and do the will of the One who sent him. In the Eucharist, he gives himself as our spiritual food. But if we receive him in Holy Communion, then the spiritual nourishment should affect us by our good thoughts, words, and actions. We should have the heart of witnessing Christ to others, like Philip the deacon in the First Reading when he proclaimed Christ to the Ethiopian eunuch, and he has been moved with faith to become a believer and follower of Jesus. So as we journey down this Easter road, let us come to Jesus our daily bread by doing what the Father wills for us, especially by learning from the example of his Son.

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