Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday in the Octave of Easter

265 Friday in the Octave of Easter

CCC Cross Reference:
Acts 4:10 597; Acts 4:11 756; Acts 4:12 432, 452, 1507
Ps 118:22 587, 756; Ps 118:26 559
Jn 21:4 645, 645, 659; Jn 21:7 448, 645; Jn 21:9 645; Jn 21:12 1166; Jn 21:13-15 645

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Back to SOW II '11
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Reading 1
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.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 118:1-2 and 4, 22-24, 25-27a

R. (22) The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the Lord has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the Lord has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R. Alleluia.
O Lord, grant salvation!
O Lord, grant prosperity!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord;
we bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God, and he has given us light.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the
cornerstone.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
Jn 21:1-14

Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
He revealed himself in this way.
Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus,
Nathanael from Cana in Galilee,
Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples.
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We also will come with you.”
So they went out and got into the boat,
but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore;
but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”
They answered him, “No.”
So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat
and you will find something.”
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in
because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat,
for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards,
dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore,
they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore
full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.
Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.”
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?”
because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples
after being raised from the dead.

Readings from the Jerusalem Bible

First reading Acts 4:1 – 12

While Peter and John were still talking to the people the priests came up to them, accompanied by the captain of the Temple and the Sadducees. They were extremely annoyed at their teaching the people the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead by proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus. They arrested them, but as it was already late, they held them till the next day. But many of those who had listened to their message became believers, the total number of whom had now risen to something like five thousand.

The next day the rulers, elders and scribes had a meeting in Jerusalem with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, Jonathan, Alexander and all the members of the high-priestly families. They made the prisoners stand in the middle and began to interrogate them, ‘By what power, and by whose name have you men done this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, addressed them, ‘Rulers of the people, and elders! If you are questioning us today about an act of kindness to a cripple, and asking us how he was healed, then I am glad to tell you all, and would indeed be glad to tell the whole people of Israel, that it was by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the one you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man is able to stand up perfectly healthy, here in your presence, today. This is the stone rejected by you the builders, but which has proved to be the keystone. For of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.’

Psalm: Psalm 117(118):1-2,4,22-27

The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone.
or
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
for his love has no end.
Let the sons of Israel say:
‘His love has no end.’
Let those who fear the Lord say:
‘His love has no end.’

The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone.
or
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord,
a marvel in our eyes.
This day was made by the Lord;
we rejoice and are glad.

The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone.
or
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

O Lord, grant us salvation;
O Lord, grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord
is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord;
the Lord God is our light.

The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone.
or
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Gospel John 21:1 – 14

Later on, Jesus showed himself again to the disciples. It was by the Sea of Tiberias, and it happened like this: Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two more of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said, ‘I’m going fishing’. They replied, ‘We’ll come with you’. They went out and got into the boat but caught nothing that night.

It was light by now and there stood Jesus on the shore, though the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus called out, ‘Have you caught anything, friends?’ And when they answered, ‘No’, he said, ‘Throw the net out to starboard and you’ll find something’. So they dropped the net, and there were so many fish that they could not haul it in. The disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord’. At these words ‘It is the Lord’, Simon Peter, who had practically nothing on, wrapped his cloak round him and jumped into the water. The other disciples came on in the boat, towing the net and the fish; they were only about a hundred yards from land.

As soon as they came ashore they saw that there was some bread there, and a charcoal fire with fish cooking on it. Jesus said, ‘Bring some of the fish you have just caught’. Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore, full of big fish, one hundred and fifty-three of them; and in spite of there being so many the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast’. None of the disciples was bold enough to ask, ‘Who are you?’; they knew quite well it was the Lord. Jesus then stepped forward, took the bread and gave it to them, and the same with the fish. This was the third time that Jesus showed himself to the disciples after rising from the dead.

Readings and Commentary from the Navarre Bible

Friday in the Octave of Easter

From: Acts 4:1-12

Peter and John Are Arrested
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[1] And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, [2] annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. [3] And they arrested them and put them in custody until the morrow, for it was already evening. [4] But as many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of men came to about five thousand.

Address to the Sanhedrin
-------------------------------------
[5] On the morrow their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem, [6] with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. [7] And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, "But what power or by what name did you do this?" [8] Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders, [9] if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a cripple, by what means this man has been healed, [10] be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man is standing before you well. [11] This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the head of the corner. [12] And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

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Commentary:

1-4. On the Sadducee sect see the note on Matthew 3:7.

In this chapter St. Luke reports on the first conflict between the Apostles and the Jerusalem authorities. Despite the incident at the end of Peter's address, his words are still an instrument of grace, stirring his listeners to believe and moving them to love.

A large crowd gathered round Peter after the curing of the cripple, which brings on the scene the "captain of the temple", a priest second in line to the high priest whose function it was to maintain order. The priests St. Luke refers to here would have been those who were on for this particular week and were responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the temple.

5-7. These three groups -- rulers, elders, scribes -- made up the Sanhedrin, the same tribunal as had recently judged and condemned our Lord (cf. note on Matthew 2:4). Jesus' words are already being fulfilled: "A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you" (John 15:20).

Annas was not in fact the high priest at this time, but the title was applied to him along with Caiaphas because of the authority he still wielded: he had been high priest and five of his sons succeeded him in the office, as well as Caiaphas, his son-in-law (cf. Josephus, "Jewish Antiquities", XX, 198f).

8-12. The Apostles' confidence and joy is quite remarkable, as is their outspokenness in asserting that "we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard" (verse 20). "This is the glorious freedom of the children of God. Christians who let themselves be browbeaten or become inhibited or envious in the face of the licentious behavior of those who do not accept the Word of God, show that they have a very poor idea of the faith. If we truly fulfill the law of Christ -- that is, if we make the effort to do so, for we will not always fully succeed--we will find ourselves endowed with a wonderful gallantry of spirit" (St. J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 38).

Christians have a duty to confess their faith where silence would mean its implicit denial, disrespect for religion, an offense against God or scandal to their neighbor. Thus Vatican II: "Christians should approach those who are outside wisely, 'in the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech' (2 Corinthians 6:6-7), and should strive, even to the shedding of their blood, to spread the light of life with all confidence (Acts 4:29) and apostolic courage. The disciple has a grave obligation to Christ, his Master, to grow daily in his knowledge of the truth he has received from Him, to be faithful in announcing it and vigorous in defending it" ("Dignitatis Humanae", 14).

Pope Paul VI asked Catholics to check on any weak points in their faith, including ignorance and human respect, "that is, shame or timidness in professing their faith. We are not speaking of that discretion or reserve which in a pluralist and profane society like ours avoids certain signs of religion when with others. We are referring to weakness, to failure to profess one's own religious ideas for fear of ridicule, criticism or others' reactions [...] and which is a cause – perhaps the main cause--of the abandonment of faith by people who simply conform to whatever new environment they find themselves in" (Paul VI, "General Audience", 19 June 1968).

8. Even in the very early days of Christianity Jesus' prediction is borne out: "Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils.... When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you" (Matthew 10:17-20).

10. "Whom God raised from the dead": St. Peter once again bears witness to the Resurrection of Jesus, the central truth of apostolic preaching; he uses here the same words as he did at Pentecost. These are compatible with our holding that Jesus "rose by His own power on the third day" ([Pope] Paul VI, "Creed of the People of God", 12). The power by which Christ rose was that of His divine person, to which both His soul and His body remained joined even after death separated them. "The divine power and operation of the Father and of the Son is one and the same; hence it follows that Christ rose by the power of the Father and by His own power" (St. Thomas Aquinas, "Summa Theologiae", III, q. 53, a. 4).

"By the word 'Resurrection'," the "St. Pius V Catechism" explains, "we are not merely to understand that Christ was raised from the dead, which happened to many others, but that He rose by His own power and virtue, a singular prerogative peculiar to Him alone. For it is incompatible with nature and was never given to man to raise himself by his own power, from death to life. This was reserved for the almighty power of God. [...] We sometimes, it is true, read in Scripture that He was raised by the Father; but this refers to Him as man, just as those passages on the other hand, which say that He rose by His own power, relate to Him as God" (I, 6, 8).

11. St. Peter applies the words of Psalm 118:22 to Jesus, conscious no doubt that our Lord had referred to Himself as the stone rejected by the builders which had become the cornerstone, the stone which keeps the whole structure together (cf. Matthew 21:42 and par.).

12. Invocation of the name of Jesus is all-powerful because this is our Savior's own name (cf. note on Matthew 1:21). Our Lord Himself told His Apostles this: "If you ask anything of the Father, He will give it to you in My name" (John 16: 23), and they, trusting in this promise, work miracles and obtain conversions "in the name of Jesus". Today -- as ever -- the power of His name will work wonder in the souls of those who call upon Him. St. Escriva gives this advice: "Don't be afraid to call our Lord by His name -- Jesus -- and to tell Him that you love Him" ("The Way", 303); and the Liturgy of the Hours invites us to pray: "God our Father, You are calling us to prayer, at the same hour as the Apostles went up to the temple. Grant that the prayer we offer with sincere hearts in the name of Jesus may bring salvation to all who call upon that holy name" (Week 1, Monday afternoon).

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From: John 21:1-14

The Miraculous Draught of Fish
----------------------------------------------
[1] After this Jesus revealed Himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and He revealed Himself in this way. [2] Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathaniel of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. [3] Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing.

[4] Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. [5] Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any fish?" They answered Him, "No." [6] He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. [7] That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea. [8] But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

[9] When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. [10] Jesus said to them, "Bring some fish that you have just caught." [11] So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. [12] Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. [13] Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. [14] This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.

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Commentary:

1-3. There are some very significant things in this account: we find the disciples "by the Sea of Tiberias", which means they have done what the risen Christ had told them to do (cf. Matthew 28:7); they are together, which shows that there is a close fraternity among them; Peter takes the initiative, which in a way shows his authority; and they have gone back to their old jobs as fishermen, probably waiting for our Lord to give them new instructions.

This episode is reminiscent of the first miraculous draught of fish (cf. Luke 5:1-11), where our Lord promised Peter He would make him a fisher of men; now He is going to confirm his mission as visible head of the Church.

4-8. The risen Jesus goes in search of His disciples, to encourage them and tell them more about the great mission He has entrusted to them. This account describes a very moving scene, our Lord together with His own: "He passes by, close to His Apostles, close to those souls who have given themselves to Him, and they do not realize He is there. How often Christ is not only near us, but in us; yet we still live in such a human way!... They, the disciples, recall what they have heard so often from their Master's lips: fisher of men, apostles. And they realize that all things are possible, because it is He who is directing their fishing.

"Whereupon 'the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, It is the Lord!' Love, love is farsighted. Love is the first to appreciate kindness. The adolescent Apostle, who felt a deep and firm affection for Jesus, because he loved Christ with all the purity and tenderness of a heart that had never been corrupted, exclaimed: 'It is the Lord!'"

"'When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes and sprang into the sea.' Peter personifies faith. Full of marvelous daring, he leaps into the sea. With a love like John's and a faith like Peter's, what is there that can stop us?" (St. J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 265-266).

9-14. We can sense here the deep impression this appearance of the risen Jesus must have made on the Apostles, and how sweet a memory St. John kept of it. After His resurrection Jesus showed the same tenderness as characterized His public ministry. He makes use of natural things -- the fire, the fish, etc. – to show that He really is there, and He maintains the familiar tone typical of when He lived with the disciples.

The Fathers and Doctors of the Church have often dwelt on the mystical meaning of this episode: the boat is the Church, whose unity is symbolized by the net which is not torn; the sea is the world, Peter in the boat stands for supreme authority of the Church, and the number of fish signifies the number of the elect (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, "Commentary on St. John, in loc.").

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Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.

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