Daily Readings

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April 12, 2024: Friday of the Second Week of Easter

LECTIONARY : 271
FIRST READING: ACTS 5:34-42

A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time, and said to the Sanhedrin, “Fellow children of Israel, be careful what you are about to do to these men. Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important, and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed, and all those who were loyal to him were disbanded and came to nothing. After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census. He also drew people after him, but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered. So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” They were persuaded by him. After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them. So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.

PSALM: PS  27:1, 4, 13-14
Response (R): One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?    <R.>

One thing I ask of the LORD this I seek: To dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple.   <R.>

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.   <R.>

SECOND READING:
Hebrews 10: 4-10

Brethren: It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.” When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

GOSPEL: John 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

Daily Reflection – 12 April  2024

The Gospel portrays Jesus as testing Philip about buying food for the multitude. Philip, overwhelmed by the crowd of people is unable to perceive this. Andrew makes a half-hearted suggestion and Jesus works a miracle. The imagery in the story is reminiscent of Psalm 23 – the Shepherd Psalm. Jesus the Good Shepherd feeds his flock with super-abundance of food that “revives drooping spirits”. The “great amount of grass” reminds us of “green pastures” and the 12 baskets full of scraps of the 12 tribes of Israel.

The Messianic overtones aren’t missed by the people “who want to make Jesus king”.

In the first reading, Gamaliel, a great teacher of the Law is able to discern that the apostles’ mission may have a Divine origin. He invites the Sanhedrin to discern with him, warning them that in their zeal to defend their views they might actually end up working against God.

In the spiritual life, discernment is usually more important than zeal. Is your zeal for the Lord a product of discernment or devoid of it?

Source: Archdiocese of Mumbai official website (https://www.archdioceseofbombay.org/)