Gospel for April19, 2012, Thursday
2nd Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 5:27-33
So the temple guards brought them in and made them stand before the Council and the High Priest questioned them, “We gave you strict orders not to preach such a Savior; but you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend charging us with the killing of this man.” To this Peter and the apostles replied, “Better for us to obey God rather than any human authority!
“The God of our ancestors raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a wooden post. God set him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to grant repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We are witnesses to all these things, as well as the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”
When the Council heard this, they became very angry and wanted to kill them.
Gospel: John 3:31-36
He who comes from above is above all; he who comes from the earth belongs to the earth and his words, too, are earthly. The One who comes from heaven speaks of the things he has seen and heard; he bears witness to this but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does receive his testimony acknowledges the truthfulness of God.
The one sent by God speaks God’s words and gives the Spirit without measure. For the Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything into his hands. Whoever believes in the Son lives with eternal life, but he who will not believe in the Son will never know life and always faces the justice of God.
Nicodemus appears three times in John’s Gospel (chapters 3, 7, and 19). In all three scenes he is hesitating and hanging back, or he is arriving too late. Compare him with Thomas. Thomas was a man who wanted to be able to understand: we don’t know where you are going, how can we know the way!” (Jn 14:5): still he was ready to take a risk; “Let us go and die with him (Jn 11:16). But Nicodemus was more like a man looking for reasons not to act. This is why Thomas is an apostle, preaching the Resurrection, while Nicodemus’ career ended with his bringing spices to anoint the dead body of Jesus.
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