“The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number who believed turned to the Lord..” 

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, celebrating the mysteries of the Lord’s Resurrection,
we may merit to receive the joy of our redemption.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Today's Reading

 

Daily Meditation: 

The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. Acts 11

My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me. 
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. John 10

It is beautiful to hear about the growth of the community at Antioch,
where the followers of the way of Jesus were first called "Christians."

This Easter meditation can ask for the grace to hear his voice
and to follow his ways, so we might receive the gift of eternal life.
How does he do this? Because Jesus and the Father are one.

The Father and I are one. John 10

 

Intercessions: 

The spotless Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world. Let us give thanks to the Father, and say: 

Source of all life, raise us to life.

Source of all life, remember the death and resurrection of the Lamb slain on the cross. 
- listen to his voice as he lives for ever, making intercession for us.

Now that the old leaven of wickedness and evil is destroyed, 
- may we always feed on the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Grant that today we may put aside all friction and jealousy, 
- and show greater concern for the needs of others.

Send into our hearts the spirit of the Gospel, 
- that we may walk in the way of your commandments, today and forever. 
Source of all life, raise us to life. 
Grant that today we may put aside all friction and jealousy, 
- and show greater concern for the needs of others.
 

Closing Prayer: 

Source of all life,
I feel so secure, knowing that my shepherd knows me as an individual,
and that I rest safely in the father's hand.

Help me to remain faithful with your grace.
Give me a firmness of heart, so different from my hardness of heart.
Soften my judgementalism,
and help me to show greater care for all those in my life
especially those most in need of me today.
May the joy of my redemption spill over into my life
so I may be truly called "Christian" -- a follower of yours.

May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 
Amen.

 
 
Daily Reflection
Of Creighton University's Online Ministries

Our readings today focus our attention on being open to the word of God, being confident in our faith, and then rejoicing in the comfort of God’s message. In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Luke tells of the disbursement of the disciples following the death of Stephen through martyrdom. I cannot imagine the fear that the disciples felt as they scattered throughout the lands of Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch to proclaim Jesus as Lord. Would others listen?

Would they be ostracized? Possibly killed as well? Despite the fear of persecution and death, their belief in Jesus was so strong that they were compelled to spread the word to not only the Jews, but to the Greeks and Gentiles as well. God must have certainly been working through the disciples since the message was so positive and inspiring that a “great number” turned to God. In fact, Barnabas, who was sent from the church of Jerusalem, was so impressed and heartened by the disciples’ work that he rejoiced and encouraged their good words and acts. He then recruited Saul to come to Antioch where they both could preach the good news of the Lord. It is so exciting to see the impact of God’s message on those unfamiliar with it. I think it helps to be reminded of God’s message as we progress through our day and week, especially when things are tough and we begin to question our faith and what it’s all about. That is where our second reading provides the comfort and the guidance we may need.

In our second reading from John, it is doubt, not faith, in the minds of those around Jesus. Once again, Jesus is questioned about his identity. Essentially, “Just tell us who you are.” Jesus responds by saying that he has told them previously that he and his Father are one, and that this has been shown through his works. Jesus then talks about faith and the importance of not only hearing his voice, but following him. His message is simple - It is through him and his Father that we are cared for and gain eternal life. Have faith in God and allow Him to guide us and we will never perish. Yes, doubt is natural, but by listening to and truly hearing the word of God we gain comfort and inspiration to move beyond. Just as the disciples were able to persevere after persecution and even the death of Stephen, so too can we. Yes, we will continue to confront struggles in our daily lives, but take comfort that we are accompanied by our Father. The message is clear – listen to the word, be strong in faith, and we will be in our Father’s hand. Makes me smile just thinking about it!

by Michael Kavan
Creighton University's Medical School and Student Affairs
click here for photo and information about the writer

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

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