MONDAY, SECOND WEEK OF EASTER
Acts 4: 23-31; Ps 2: 1-9; Jn 3: 1-8
Over the last week (Acts 4:1-22) we witnessed the arrest of Peter and John. They speak boldly to the Sanhedrin, defending their healing of the lame man in Jesus’ name and that salvation is through Christ alone. Further, they blamed the religious leaders for crucifying Jesus, who was the Messiah, sent by the Heavenly Father. The elders and rulers met privately (4:13-22) but didn’t know what to do. They finally decided to warn Peter and John to speak no more in the name of Jesus and threatened them additionally but let them go.
Today’s passage begins with their release and return to their own people to report what the chief priest and elders had said. When Peter and John returned to the company of believers, probably in the same upper room where the apostles had met before (1:13), they reported how the rulers treated them. The assembled brethren then prayed. Observe how they prayed:
i) By addressing the Lord as Creator of all;
ii) By acknowledging that their persecutors were only fulfilling God’s plan from long ago;
iii) By encouraging themselves with the reminder that a loving God was in control, and that no enemy of Christ could abuse or persecute his followers more than God allowed.
In the face of persecution, all the disciples who gathered together prayed boldly with one heart and one mind. What do we do when faced with difficulties on account of our faith in Jesus Christ? How vibrant is our prayer life?
In the Gospel, we find Nicodemus who is seeking Jesus. He goes to meet him by night probably because he was a Pharisee and was afraid to meet Jesus openly. He is not as bold as the disciples after they had received the Holy Spirit. Yet Jesus welcomes him and patiently answers all his queries about being born again in the Spirit. Are we eager to learn and delve deeper into the mysteries of our faith? Do we approach Jesus when assailed by doubts?
Response: Blessed are all who trust in you, O Lord
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