Weekday of Easter (3)
Today’s Rosary: Joyful Mystery
“They could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 6:8-15)
In those days: Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, arose and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they secretly instigated men, who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, and set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place, and will change the customs which Moses delivered to us.” And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 119:23-24.26-27.29-30 (R. 1b)
R/. Blessed are those who walk in the law of the Lord.
Though princes sit plotting against me,
your servant ponders your statutes.
See, your decrees are my delight;
your statutes are my counselors. R/.
I declared my ways and you answered me;
teach me your statutes.
Make me grasp the way of your precepts,
and I will ponder your wonders. R/.
Keep me from the way of falsehood;
grant me mercy by your law.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
your decrees I have upheld. R/.
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
“Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 6:22-29)
[After five thousand men had eaten their fill, the disciples of Jesus saw him walking on the sea.] On the next day the people who remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. However, boats from Tiberias came near the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do, be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
We must aim at the imperishable nourishment Jesus speaks of and believe in the one whom God has sent. The people had gone in search of Jesus not because of faith but because of utilitarian and materials motives. St Augustine of Hippo says, “How many are those who search for Jesus only to have from him temporal favors…! Rarely do we meet someone who looks for Jesus for Jesus.” Jesus is not demanding from us a series of activities but only faith in him. Faith is not a single action; it is a life to be lived in the varying experiences of daily life. In the measure we abandon our temporal and selfish motives in our search for Jesus, we fulfill the work of God, not our own.