First Reading: Acts 16: 22-34/
Psalm: Ps 138: 1-2ab. 2cde-3. 7c-8/
Your right hand saves me, O Lord..
Gospel: Jn 16: 5-11
Tue: Easter Weekday
Acts 16: 11-15/ Ps 149: 1b-2. 3-4. 5-6a and 9b/ Jn 15: 26 -- 16: 4a
1st. Reading: Acts 16: 22-34/
22 So they set the crowd against them; and the ofﬁcials tore the clothes off Paul and Silas and ordered them to be ﬂogged. 23 And after inﬂicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to guard them safely. 24 Upon receiving these instructions, he threw them into the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, a severe earthquake shook the place, rocking the prison to its foundations. Immediately, all the doors ﬂew open and the chains of all the prisoners fell off. 27 The jailer woke up to see the prison gates wide open. Thinking that the prisoners had escaped, he drew his sword to kill himself, 28 but Paul shouted to him, “Do not harm yourself! We are all still here.” 29 The jailer asked for a light, then rushed in, and fell at the feet of Paul and Silas. 30 After he had secured the other prisoners, he led them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you, and your household, will be saved.” 32 Then they spoke the word of God to him and to all his household. 33 Even at that hour of the night, the jailer took care of them and washed their wounds; and he, and his whole household, were baptized at once. 34 He led them to his house, spread a meal before them and joyfully celebrated with his whole household his newfound faith in God.
Responsorial Psalm; Ps 138: 1-2ab. 2cde-3. 7c-8/
Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
1 I thank you, O Yahweh, with all my heart, for you have heard the word of my lips. I sing your praise in the presence of the gods. 2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name, for your love and faithfulness,
for your word, which exceeds everything. 3 You answered me when I called; you restored my soul and made me strong.
With outstretched arm, you save me from the wrath of my foes, with your right hand, you deliver me. 8 How Yahweh cares for me! Your kindness, O Yahweh, endures forever. Forsake not the work of your hands.
Gospel: Jn 16: 5-11
5 But now I am going to the One who sent me, and none of you asks me where I am going; 6 instead you are overcome with grief, because of what I have said. 7 Believe me, it is better for you that I go away, because as long as I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go away, I will send him to you, 8 and when he comes, he will vindicate the truth before a sinful world; and he will vindicate the paths of righteousness and justice. 9 What is the world’s sin, in regard to me? Disbelief. 10 What is the path of righteousness? It is the path I walk, by which I go to the Father; and you shall see me no more. 11 What is the path of justice? It is the path on which the prince of this world will always stand condemned.
The Presence that Hinders
We continue with the theme of letting God go, which we reflected on before (cf. May 17th). Today Jesus says that it is better that he goes away so that the Helper can come. Does it mean that his continual presence would hinder their spiritual growth? It sounds like blasphemy, but it also points to a deeper truth. John of the Cross speaks of the various phases of our spiritual growth, with one such phase being the dark night. In the dark night, God disappears from our sensual and spiritual realms. Oh, don’t we suffer then! But it is a necessary passage that we “lose” God in order to “find” Him at a greater depth and intimacy. It is better for us that God withdraws from us so that we will be forced to get rid of the various images and idols we have made of Him, and be led to a deeper union with Him.