Reading 1 (ACTS 14:19-28)

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

In those days, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium
arrived and won over the crowds. 
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city,
supposing that he was dead.
But when the disciples gathered around him,
he got up and entered the city. 
On the following day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

After they had proclaimed the good news to that city
and made a considerable number of disciples,
they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the Kingdom of God.”
They appointed presbyters for them in each Church and,
with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord
in whom they had put their faith.
Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.
After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia.
From there they sailed to Antioch,
where they had been commended to the grace of God
for the work they had now accomplished. 
And when they arrived, they called the Church together
and reported what God had done with them
and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
Then they spent no little time with the disciples.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 145:10-11, 12-13AB, 21)

R.(see 12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
R. Alleluia.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
R. Alleluia.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
R. Alleluia.
May my mouth speak the praise of the LORD,
and may all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia (SEE LUKE 24:46, 26)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (JOHN 14:27-31A)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.
I will no longer speak much with you,
for the ruler of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father
and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: In the Gospel (John 14:27-31a), Jesus knows that his Apostles are saddened because he will soon depart from them and return to God the Father. So he gives them the gift of peace, not as the world gives, but as he gives us. He invites them to rejoice at his departure because they have with them his words and deeds, to which they will testify to the Jews and Gentiles. After his Resurrection, he appeared to them and wished them peace, then enabled them to receive the Holy Spirit, which will empower them to preach the Good News. This will lead to the growth of the Church, the People of God. That is why in the First Reading (Acts 14;19-28), Sts. Paul and Barnabas, though they are not originally part of the Twelve, have proclaimed the Gospel to the Gentile nations of Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, Antioch, Phrygia, and Pamphylia. And during their course of preaching, they experience suffering that enabled them to keep in mind how such occurence makes their faith and mission in Christ stronger.
In the Eucharist, after the Lord’s Prayer and Libera (Deliver us, Lord, we pray), the Priest who represents Jesus Christ invites us to share with one another that same peace the Lord gave. Then while he breaks the Bread, we recite the Agnus Dei even until the last line: “Grant us peace.” In the midst of division, conflict, war, hatred, injury, and persecution, we are called like the disciples to be witnesses of the Gospel of peace and joy because what is found this peace is the presence of God. So as we journey down this Easter road, may we bring the peace of the Risen Christ to others, especially to those living in perilous and hopeless situations. May the Prayer of our Seraphic Father Saint Francis of Assisi be ours as well: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”

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