Octave of Easter, Wednesday
1st Reading: Acts 3:1-10
Once when Peter and John were going up to the Temple at three in the after-noon, the hour for prayer, a man crippled from birth was being carried in. Every day they would bring him and put him at the temple gate called “Beautiful”; there he begged from those who entered the Temple.
When he saw Peter and John on their way into the Temple, he asked for alms. Then Peter with John at his side looked straight at him and said, “Look at us.” So he looked at them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I have I give you: In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, walk!”
Then he took the beggar by his right hand and helped him up. At once his feet and ankles became firm, and jumping up he stood on his feet and began to walk. And he went with them into the Temple walking and leaping and praising God.
All the people saw him walking and praising God; they recognized him as the one who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and they were all astonished and amazed at what had happened to him.
Gospel: Luke 24:13-35
Two disciples of Jesus were going to Emmaus, (…) While they were talking and wondering, Jesus came up and walked with them, but their eyes were held and they did not recognize him.
He asked, “What is this you are talking about?” The two stood still, looking sad. Then one named Cleophas answered, “Why, it seems you are the only traveler in Jerusalem who doesn’t know what has happened there these past few days.” And he asked, “What is it?”
They replied, “It is about Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet, you know, mighty in word and deed before God and the people. But the chief priests and our rulers sentenced him to death. They handed him over to be crucified. We had hoped that he would redeem Israel.
“It is now the third day since all this took place. It is true that some women of our group have disturbed us. When they went to the tomb at dawn, they did not find his body; they came to tell us that they had seen a vision of angels who told them that Jesus was alive. Some friends of our group went to the tomb and found everything just as the women had said, but they did not see him.”
He said to them, “How dull you are, how slow of understanding! You fail to believe the message of the prophets. Is it not written that the Christ should suffer all this and then enter his glory?” Then starting with Moses and going through the prophets, he explained to them everything in the Scripture concerning himself.
As they drew near the village they were heading for, Jesus made as if to go farther. But they prevailed upon him, “Stay with us, for night comes quickly. The day is now almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When they were at table, he took the bread, said a blessing, broke it and gave each a piece.
Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; but he vanished out of their sight. And they said to each other, “Were not our hearts filled with ardent yearning when he was talking to us on the road and explaining the Scriptures?”
They immediately set out and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and their companions gathered together. They were greeted by these words: “Yes, it is true, the Lord is risen! He has appeared to Simon!” Then the two told what had happened on the road and how Jesus made himself known when he broke bread with them.
We have all been children and terrified on waking up in a dark room; our mother’s or father’s voice called our name and we knew peace again. As adults we are painfully aware that we live “in darkness and in the shadow of death, unable to light our own path; but we know enough about the light to recognize it when we see it. The newly-lighted Paschal Candle, held aloft at the beginning of the Easter Vigil mass: that expresses everything we know about being Christian.
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