3rd Sunday of Easter
Readings: Acts 5:27-32, 40-41; Ps 29:2, 4-6, 11-13; Rev 5:11-14; Jn 21:1-19
Focus: “Worthy is the Lamb…” (Rev 5:12)
The First Reading tells of the experiences of the first Christians. The kind of hostility Peter and his team faced from the Jewish religious leaders would frighten many of us into silence. For proclaiming Jesus, they were hounded, arrested, imprisoned and flogged. It is amazing that the Lord released them from prison without human intervention. But far more astonishing is that while bleeding from being whipped, ‘they rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonour for the sake of the name’ (Acts 5:41). In the daily throes of Good Friday, they lived the joy of the Resurrection. We sing in their name the psalm in which we celebrate the paschal mystery: ‘You have turned my mourning into dancing… Lord my God’ (Ps 29:11-12). As Jesus told Peter (Jn 21:18) martyrdom lay ahead. Each of the apostles, except John, gave glory to God in death too. They faced persecution and death with a sense of purpose, a profound identification with the slain Lamb of God.
The Second Reading places our earthly lives in their eternal context, that of heaven. Where will our power over others, and other people’s power over us, be then? Every human, every angel and all creatures will sing an immense chorus of praise to God the Almighty and to the Lamb of God (Focus).