Reading 1 (ACTS 16:11-15)

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

We set sail from Troas, making a straight run for Samothrace,
and on the next day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi,
a leading city in that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony.
We spent some time in that city.
On the sabbath we went outside the city gate along the river
where we thought there would be a place of prayer.
We sat and spoke with the women who had gathered there.
One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth,
from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened,
and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention
to what Paul was saying.
After she and her household had been baptized,
she offered us an invitation,
“If you consider me a believer in the Lord,
come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A AND 9B)

R. (see 4a) The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia (JOHN 15:26B, 27A)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord,
and you also will testify.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (JOHN 15:26—16:4A)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Jesus said to his disciples: 
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.

“I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.
I have told you this so that when their hour comes
you may remember that I told you.”

– The word of the Lord.

Reflection: In the First Reading (Acts 16:11-15), Saint Luke accompanies Saint Paul on the apostolic missionary journey and narrates the journeys of his companions, and how the Gentiles accepted God’s message of salvation. Even this woman from Thyatira in Macedonia named Lydia has harkened to Paul’s testimony about God’s salvation fulfilled in Jesus Christ. In the Gospel (John 15:26—16:4a), Jesus speaks of the mission his Apostles will proclaim. But he assures that they will be persecuted. They will be expelled in the synagogues and brought before the courts. And their lives are be at risk when some will attempt to kill them. But Jesus knows that they are worthy to suffer in his name. That is why he promises them the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, who will serve them as their guide in teaching all that he has taught, commanded, and done. The Apostles preached the Good News and performed many wonderful signs. However, they experienced persecutions from the Jews, but they were filled with joy because they were found worthy to suffer in honor of the faith of their Master. My dear brothers and sisters, the persecutions the Apostles, and many other Saints experienced are the same persecutions we are experiencing now. Sometimes, when are teaching others the right things and doing good deeds, we are being bashed and attacked. We question why such things happen to us, but our faith in the Lord is stronger than any persecution. And whatever happens, we are worthy to suffer in his name. So as we journey down this Easter road, let us be strong in our Christian faith and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in teaching and manifesting the Lord’s words even in times of trials and persecutions.

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