Bible Diary for April 16th – 22ndBible Diary
The Resurrection of the Lord
1st Reading: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Peter then spoke to them, “Truly, I realize that God does not show partiality,
No doubt you have heard of the event that occurred throughout the whole country of the Jews, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism John preached. You know how God anointed Jesus, the Nazorean with the Holy Spirit, and power. He went about doing good, and healing all who were under the devil’s power, because God was with him; we are witnesses of all that he did throughout the country of the Jews, and in Jerusalem itself. Yet, they put him to death, by hanging him on a wooden cross.
But God raised him to life on the third day, and let him manifest himself, not to all the people, but to the witnesses that were chosen beforehand by God—to us, who ate and drank with him after his resurrection from death. And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to bear witness, that he is the one appointed by God, to judge the living and the dead. All the prophets say of him, that everyone who believes in him has forgiveness of sins, through his name.”
2nd Reading: Col 3:1-4 (or 1 Cor 5:6b-8)
So then, if you are risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on earthly things. For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, reveals himself, you also will be revealed with him in glory.
Gospel: Jn 20:1-9
Now, on the first day after the Sabbath, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning while it was still dark, and she saw that the stone blocking the tomb had been moved away. She ran to Peter, and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and she said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don’t know where they have laid him.”
Peter then set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down and saw the linen cloths lying flat, but he did not enter.
Then Simon Peter came, following him, and entered the tomb; he, too, saw the linen cloths lying flat. The napkin, which had been around his head, was not lying flat like the other linen cloths, but lay rolled up in its place. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed. Scripture clearly said that Jesus must rise from the dead, but they had not yet understood that.
Emboldened Peter testifies to the truth of the Resurrection. We now share in the life of Christ–in his death and resurrection. John narrates the story of the Empty Cave–the evidence to the Resurrection of Christ. Can emptiness reveal fullness? The event of the Empty Cave seems to point to such a possibility. The emptiness of the cave points to the fullness of life eternal for us. Perhaps we need to create emptiness in certain areas of our lives so that fullness can result. What prevents us from doing so?
Ask God for the fruits of the Resurrection in abundance.
Reach out to someone in tomblike existence and help him/her experience resurrectional energies.
1st Reading: Acts 2:14, 22-33
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and, with a loud voice, addressed them, “Fellow Jews and all foreigners now staying in Jerusalem, listen to what I have to say.
Fellow Israelites, listen to what I am going to tell you about Jesus of Nazareth. God accredited him and through him did powerful deeds and wonders and signs in your midst, as you well know. You delivered him to sinners to be cruciﬁed and killed, and, in this way, the purpose of God, from all times, was fulﬁlled. But God raised him to life and released him from the pain of death; because it was impossible for him to be held in the power of death. David spoke of him when he said: I saw the Lord before me at all times; he is by my side, that I may not be shaken. Therefore, my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; my body, too, will live in hope. Because you will not forsake me in the abode of the dead, nor allow your Holy One to experience corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life, and your presence will fill me with joy.
Friends, I don’t need to prove that the patriarch David died and was buried; his tomb is with us to this day. But he knew, that God had sworn to him, that one of his descendants would sit upon his throne and, as he was a prophet, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah. So he said, that he would not be left in the region of the dead, nor would his body experience corruption.
This Messiah is Jesus; and we are all witnesses that God raised him to life. He has been exalted at God’s right side; and the Father has entrusted the Holy Spirit to him; this Spirit, he has just poured upon us, as you now see and hear.
Gospel: Mt 28:8-15
In fear, yet with great joy, the women left the tomb and ran to tell the news to his disciples.
Suddenly, Jesus met them on the way and said, “Rejoice!” The women approached him, embraced his feet and worshiped him. But Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid! Go and tell my brothers to set out for Galilee; there, they will see me.”
As the women proceeded on their way, some of the guards went into the city, and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests met with the elders, and decided to give the soldiers a large sum of money, with this order, “Say that his disciples came by night while you were asleep, and stole the body of Jesus. If Pilate comes to know of this, we will explain the situation and keep you out of trouble.” The soldiers accepted the money and did as they were told. This story has circulated among the Jews until this day.
The resurrection of the Lord provoked a lot of emotions. For His followers who first knew of it (the women who went to His tomb) it was fear and joy. It is a combination of the different range of feelings because not one feeling can encapsulate it. There is a renewed spring in their steps. The dark harrowing nights of the passion and death of the Lord is now a thing of the past. Life triumphed from the death-dealing blow of sin and is now standing in front of them. They can share this good news to their brethren so that they too may experience the joy that is theirs that blessed dawn of the first day of the week.
Not so for the soldiers who were caught flat footed at the tremendous energy that burst inside the tomb because of the life that came charging forth from it. They cannot contain that life. They left scampering not knowing what to do and reported the incident to the chief priests. This is a crisis situation. They must use their effective tool again. So the life they took for thirty pieces of silver is once again denied as coming back by some pieces of silver that changed hands.
1st Reading: Acts 2:36-41
Let Israel, then, know for sure, that God has made Lord and Christ this Jesus, whom you crucified.”
When they heard this, they were deeply troubled. And they asked Peter and the other apostles, “What shall we do, brothers?”
Peter answered: “Each of you must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven. Then, you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise of God was made to you and your children, and to all those from afar, whom our God may call.”
With many other words Peter gave the message; and appealed to them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So, those who accepted his word were baptized; some three thousand persons were added to their number that day.
Gospel: Jn 20:11-18
Mary stood weeping outside the tomb; and as she wept, she bent down to look inside. She saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, and the other at the feet. They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She answered, “Because they have taken my Lord and I don’t know where they have put him.”
As she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognize him. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and answered him, “Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and take him away.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned, and said to him, “Rabboni!”which means Master. Jesus said to her, “Do not touch me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them: I am ascending to my Father, who is your Father, to my God, who is your God.”
So Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what he said to me.”
The resurrection accounts in all the four gospels have similarities and elements that are unique. Perhaps the mystery was too great for early followers to comprehend that different facets of the account are needed to form a picture of what really happened. But one thing for sure, the role of Mary Magdalene cannot be discounted. This woman who exhibited quiet strength and patient endurance in the face of her Master’s demise has been rewarded with the honor of encountering the Risen Lord first. She in turn will bring this good news to the apostles of the Lord.
And this is love’s reward, to see and experience magical moments with the beloved that will never be repeated again. Mary Magdalene could not control herself from grasping that moment in her hand. She wants to preserve that moment and own it forever. But Jesus Christ told her to share it with His brothers who are still in the dark of His resurrection. That moment with the Risen Lord may be hers, but it is not for her to keep.
1st Reading: Acts 3:1-10
Once when Peter and John were going up to the temple, at three in the afternoon, 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: Lk 24:13-35
That same day, two followers of Jesus were going to Emmaus, a village seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking to each other about all the things that had happened. While they were talking and debating these things, Jesus himself approached and began to accompany them, but their eyes were not able to recognize him.
He asked, “What is it you are talking about?” The two stood still, looking sad. Then the one named Cleophas answered, “Why, it seems you are the only traveler to 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. 20 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 also true that some women of our group have disturbed us. When they went to the tomb at dawn, they did not find his body; and they came and told us that they had had a vision of angels, who said that Jesus was alive. Some of our people went to the tomb and found everything just as the women had said, but they did not find a body in the tomb.”
He said to them, “How dull you are, how slow of understanding! Is the message of the prophets too difficult for you to understand? 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 Scriptures 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 one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us when he was talking to us on the road and explaining the Scriptures?”
They immediately set out and re turned 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 to Emmaus, and how Jesus had made himself known, when he broke bread with them.
The road to Emmaus is a picture of our own road in this life. We too like the two disciples move away from Life as represented by Jerusalem, for going towards Emmaus is moving away from Jerusalem. Yet the source of life does not allow us easy escape. He finds us and walks with us in our foolishness. Jesus as a mysterious stranger walked with the two and slowly eased their doubts and confusion with regards to Jesus of Nazareth. He cited from their Scriptures, He explained to them its meaning, and then their hearts burned, their minds became illumined. And all that they felt inside were tied up together in the Eucharistic meal where their eyes were opened and they finally recognized the Lord. So in this journey that we call life, we are never alone. The source of life does not abandon us easily. He will walk with us if He has too.
“If today you hear His words, harden not your heart.”
1st Reading: Acts 3:11-26
While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, struck with astonishment, came running to them in Solomon’s Porch, as it was called. When Peter saw the people, he said to them, “Fellow Israelites, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us, as if it was by some power or holiness of our own, that we made this man walk? The God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over to death and denied before Pilate; when even Pilate had decided to release him. You rejected the Holy and Just One; and you insisted that a murderer be released to you. You killed the Master of life, but God raised him from the dead; and we are witnesses to this. It is his Name, and faith in his Name, that has healed this man, whom you see and recognize. The faith that comes through Jesus has given him wholeness in the presence of all of you.
Yet, I know that you acted out of ignorance, as did your leaders. God has fulfilled, in this way, what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer.
Repent, then, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out; and the time of refreshment may come by the mercy of God, when he sends the Messiah appointed for you, Jesus. For he must remain in heaven, until the time of the universal restoration, which God spoke of long ago, through his holy prophets.
Moses foretold this, when he said: The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet, like me, from among your own people; you shall listen to him in all that he says to you. Whoever does not listen to that prophet is to be cut off from among his people.
In fact, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel onward, have announced the events of these days. You are the children of the prophets, and heirs of the Covenant that God gave to your ancestors, when he said to Abraham: All the families of the earth will be blessed through your descendant. It is to you, first, that God sends his Servant; he raised him to life, to bless you, by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”
Gospel: Lk 24:35-48
Then the two told what had happened on the road to Emmaus, and how Jesus had made himself known, when he broke bread with them.
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood in their midst. (He said to them, “Peace to you.”) In their panic and fright they thought they were seeing a ghost, but he said to them, “Why are you upset, and how does such an idea cross your minds? Look at my hands and feet, and see that it is I myself! Touch me, and see for yourselves, for a ghost has no flesh and bones as I have!” (As he said this, he showed his hands and feet.)
Their joy was so great that they still could not believe it, as they were astonished; so he said to them, “Have you anything to eat?” And they gave him a piece of broiled fish. He took it, and ate it before them.
Then Jesus said to them, “Remember the words I spoke to you when I was still with you: Everything written about me in the law of Moses, in the prophets and in the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said, “So it was written: the Messiah had to suffer, and on the third day rise from the dead. Then repentance and forgiveness in his name would be proclaimed to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.
The journey that made the two disciples flee far from Jerusalem brought them back to the place once again. They recounted to the gathered Apostles what they experienced on the road to Emmaus. They were running away from the center of the chaos of the Holy Week, but found themselves again where they first started. And it is with our life sometimes. We flee from the place only to return there. But in returning, we are not the same as before. Our journey gave us the proper depth and perspectives that helps us realize that what we are looking for are actually nearby. Perhaps it is time for us to take stock of what is there around us. Maybe, we will be able to find that which we have been looking for nearby.
1st Reading: Acts 4:1-12
While Peter and John were still speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them. They were greatly disturbed, be cause the apostles were teaching the people, and proclaiming that resurrection from the dead had been proved, in the case of Jesus. Since it was already evening, they arrested them and put them in custody until the following day. But despite this, many of those who heard the Message, believed; and their number increased to about five thousand.
The next day, the Jewish leaders, elders and teachers of the law assembled in Jerusalem. Annas, the High Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all who were of the high priestly class were there. They brought Peter and John before them; and began to question them, “How did you do this? Whose name did you use?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke up, “Leaders of the people! Elders! It is a fact, that we are being examined today for a good deed done to a cripple. How was he healed? You, and all the people of Israel, must know, that this man stands before you cured, through the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazorean. You had him crucified. But God raised him from the dead. Jesus is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. There is no salvation in anyone else; for there is no other Name given to humankind, all over the world, by which we may be saved.”
Gospel: Jn 21:1-14
After this, Jesus revealed himself to the disciples by the Lake of Tiberias. He appeared to them in this way: Simon Peter, Thomas who was called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two other disciples were together; and Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” They replied, “We will come with you.” And they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
When the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus called out, “Friends, have you anything to eat?” They answered, “Nothing.” Then he said to them, “Throw the net on the right side of the boat and you will find something.” When they had lowered the net, they were not able to pull it in because of the great number of fish.
Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” At these words, “It’s the Lord!” Simon Peter put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and jumped into the water. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish; they were not far from land, about a hundred meters.
When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed into the boat and pulled the net to shore. It was full of big fish—one hundred and fifty-three but, in spite of this, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” And not one of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and he did the same with the fish.
This was the third time that Jesus revealed himself to his disciples after rising from the dead.
This is a poignant scene. An encounter between Master and disciples. The latter were trying to preserve their unity. Peter who stands as their leader tries to explore another possibility for their group. He wants to go back to their old trade as fishermen. Perhaps there is something for their group there. And the others with him decided to go along. But even that does not give them a positive hope. They have no fish caught no matter how much they tried. Even the art of fishing abandoned them. As seeming hopelessness slowly settles in, and then the stranger came.
The Lord still unrecognized went to them in their moment of need when all seem bleak. Their very skills abandoned them but the Lord did not. When everything else fail us, the Lord will not. That is why the apostles afterward to the last man remained steadfast and true to Jesus until death. He their Lord proved to them many times over, despite their unfaithfulness that He can always be relied on, no matter what.
1st Reading: Acts 4:13-21
They were astonished at the boldness of Peter and John, considering that they were uneducated and untrained men. They recognized, also, that they had been with Jesus, but, as the man who had been cured stood beside them, they could make no reply.
So they ordered them to leave the council room while they consulted with one another. They asked, “What shall we do with these men? Everyone who lives in Jerusalem knows, that a remarkable sign has been given through them, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this from spreading any further among the people, let us warn them never again to speak to anyone in the name of Jesus.” So they called them back and charged them not to speak, or teach at all, in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John answered them, “Judge for yourselves, whether it is right in God’s eyes, for us to obey you, rather than God. We cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Then the council threatened them once more and let them go. They could find no way of punishing them because of the people, who glorified God for what had happened.
Gospel: Mk 16:9-15
After Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary of Magdala, from whom he had driven out seven demons. She went and reported the news to his followers, who were now mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he lived, and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.
After this he showed himself in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. These men also went back and told the others, but they did not believe them.
Later Jesus showed himself to the Eleven while they were at table. He reproached them for their unbelief, and hardness of heart, in refusing to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
Then he told them, “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation.”
The resurrection appearances were many and varied. A mystery such as these need multiple languages to convey a part of its truth. And the Lord understands the limitation of the human mind. It can only take so much. And so, ever respectful of human conditions, the Lord made multiple appearances to His disciples to assure them of the fact of His resurrection. This therefore brought us to question our respect for human nature. Some have such negative evaluation of it to the point that they espouse extreme forms of belief that harshly judge the human in a negative way. And if they seek religious legitimacy of their distorted view the stance becomes hardened.
The Lord in His resurrection reminds us the wonderful and amazing reality and possibilities of being human. This is what He assumed and transformed in His incarnation and resurrection. If we can see the fact that even God deign it worthy to become human Himself, then perhaps we could show more respect and love to our fellow human being here on earth.