Reading 1 (ACTS 28:16-20, 30-31)

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

When he entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself,
with the soldier who was guarding him.

Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews.
When they had gathered he said to them, “My brothers,
although I had done nothing against our people
or our ancestral customs,
I was handed over to the Romans as a prisoner from Jerusalem.
After trying my case the Romans wanted to release me,
because they found nothing against me deserving the death penalty.
But when the Jews objected, I was obliged to appeal to Caesar,
even though I had no accusation to make against my own nation.
This is the reason, then, I have requested to see you
and to speak with you, for it is on account of the hope of Israel
that I wear these chains.” 

He remained for two full years in his lodgings.
He received all who came to him, and with complete assurance
and without hindrance he proclaimed the Kingdom of God
and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 11:4, 5 AND 7)

R. (see 7b)  The just will gaze on your face, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.
The LORD is in his holy temple;
the LORD’s throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold,
his searching glance is on mankind.
R. The just will gaze on your face, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.
The LORD searches the just and the wicked;
the lover of violence he hates.
For the LORD is just, he loves just deeds;
the upright shall see his face.
R. The just will gaze on your face, O Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia (JOHN 16:7, 13)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord;
he will guide you to all truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (JOHN 21:20-25)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John

Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved,
the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper
and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?”
When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come?
What concern is it of yours?  
You follow me.”
So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die.
But Jesus had not told him that he would not die,
just “What if I want him to remain until I come?
What concern is it of yours?”

It is this disciple who testifies to these things
and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.
There are also many other things that Jesus did,
but if these were to be described individually,
I do not think the whole world would contain the books
that would be written.

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The Acts of the Apostles focuses on the life of the early Church during the time of the Apostles. The focal point of this book centers on the great Apostle Saint Paul. The book ends with Paul in Rome who after has been granted an appeal to Caesar continues to preach the Good News of our Lord to the Romans. There many people have converted and embraced the faith, while the Apostle continued his ministry there until his martyrdom in 64 A.D. The Gospel of Saint John the Beloved began with the Prologue (John 1:1-18), wherein we see a Christological statement of Christ as the Eternal Word of the Father, which became flesh, and lived among us. Unlike the three Synoptic Gospels, this Gospel is based on a high Theological standard. The Evangelist focuses on the divinity of God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus did not make any direct statement of his divine nature, but he himself declared: “The Father and I are one” (John 10:30). This means that his words and deeds are of God’s. All the miracles he has performed were also done by the Father because it was the will of God. Even Saint Thomas declared his profession of faith: “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28)! Christ came to our world to teach the love of God. And to fulfill it all, he offered his life on the Cross for our salvation, with the words: “It is finished” (John 10:30a). Three days after, he rose from the dead, and appeared to his Apostles. The Fourth Gospel ends with the Epilogue (John 21:20-25). After his profession of love, Saint Peter points out the disciple whom the Lord loved. Jesus said, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me” (John 21:22). The Beloved Apostle, Saint John the Evangelist, was the only Apostle to die of old age, while the rest were martyred for the faith. He was the disciple whom Christ loved. At the Last Supper, he leaned closed to our Lord, and asked him about his traitor. After the Resurrection, he was the first one to believe that Jesus is risen from the dead. Even though Saint John was loved, our Lord favored the Apostles because they serve as the foundation of the Church. Easter Time ends tomorrow with the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday. This is the day we commemorate the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the blessed Mother and the Apostles, and also the Birthday of our Holy Mother Church. As we journey down the end of this Easter road, let us become faithful witnesses of the Risen Lord, and continue celebrating the mysteries of his love by proclaiming the Good News.

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