Moved to Greater Love
Moved to Greater Love

Easter Friday, April 25

Today’s Grace

I ask for the grace to show in my words and actions the deep-down hope that comes from the Resurrection.

Scripture/Reading

Reading via the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website:

Acts 4:1-12
After the crippled man had been cured,
while Peter and John were still speaking to the people,
the priests, the captain of the temple guard,
and the Sadducees confronted them,
disturbed that they were teaching the people
and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.
They laid hands on Peter and John
and put them in custody until the next day,
since it was already evening.
But many of those who heard the word came to believe
and the number of men grew to about five thousand.
On the next day, their leaders, elders, and scribes
were assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest,
Caiaphas, John, Alexander,
and all who were of the high-priestly class.
They brought them into their presence and questioned them,
“By what power or by what name have you done this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them,
“Leaders of the people and elders:
If we are being examined today
about a good deed done to a cripple,
namely, by what means he was saved,
then all of you and all the people of Israel should know
that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean
whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead;
in his name this man stands before you healed.
He is the stone rejected by you, the builders,
which has become the cornerstone.
There is no salvation through anyone else,
nor is there any other name under heaven
given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”

 

Jesus makes Peter, a timid fisherman who betrayed Jesus, the cornerstone of his Church. With Easter joy, Peter writes, “Now who is going to harm you if you are enthusiastic for what is good? But even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are you. Do not be afraid or terrified with fear of them, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” (1 Peter 3:13-15)

 

In his apostolic letter, Pope Francis challenges us to consider what tempts us away from this Christian hope: “One of the more serious temptations which stifles boldness and zeal is a defeatism which turns us into querulous and disillusioned pessimists, ‘sourpusses.’ Nobody can go off to battle unless he is fully convinced of victory beforehand. If we start without confidence, we have already lost half the battle and we bury our talents. ... The evil spirit of defeatism is brother to the temptation to separate, before its time, the wheat from the weeds; it is the fruit of an anxious and self-centered lack of trust.” — Evangelii Gaudium §85

Reflection Questions

  1. I consider what my “default settings” are in handling bad news or unwelcome information: about politics, the Church, superiors, etc. How do I tend to respond to it: with cynicism and despair, or with confidence and trust in Christ’s promise? At home and work, do I relish the role of cynical gadfly, or do I offer Christ-like hope?
  2. Do my words and actions attract others to follow Christ? I ask for light to consider — and renew — the sources of my hope. Like St. Peter, I ask for God’s grace and perseverance to overcome any attitudes which do not bear good fruit.

Reflection

Music: Violin Concerto 2 in E, BWV 1042 – 1. Allegro

Other Resources

View the daily readings at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website.





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