THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER ‑ CYCLE A
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.
“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.” (JOHN 14:26)
FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.
- What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?
- From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?
SECOND DAY READ ACTS 2:14, 22‑28 FIRST READING
(“It was impossible for him to be held by the power of Hades.”)
- What did Peter do with the Eleven? Acts 2:14
- Whom did he address, and what did he tell them to do? Acts 2:11, 14
- What did Jesus tell the disciples to do if the people would
not listen to them? Matthew 10:14
- Who sent Jesus, what were Jesus’ credentials, and what did God do with these credentials? Acts 2:22
- Why was he delivered up, and whom did they make use of to crucify and kill Jesus? Acts 2:23
- Of what did God free him, what did he do with him, and what was impossible? Acts 2:24
- What did Jesus say of God about all things that are impossible? Matthew 19:26
- What did David say? Acts 2:25
- What will his heart be, and what will his tongue and body do? Acts 2:26
- In verse 27 of Acts 2, of what is David assured?
- What has the Lord shown us, and with what will he fill us in his presence? Acts 2:28
Personal ‑ God’s set purpose was for Jesus to die so you could have life. Do you know what God’s plan is for your life? In John 10:10, it says God’s plan for you is that you may have life and have it to its fullness. In what way are you living the full life?
THIRD DAY READ 1 PETER 1:17‑21 SECOND READING
(“The ransom that was paid to free you was the blood of the lamb Jesus Christ.”)
- In what way do you call upon the Father, and how does he judge each one? 1 Peter 1:17
- If this is so, how should we conduct ourselves? 1 Peter 1:17
- How must we worship God? Hebrews 12:28
- In what way must we obey our human masters? Ephesians 6:5
- What are we to realize concerning from what we were delivered? Who ransomed this futile way of life for us and our fathers? How is it not handed on to us? 1 Peter 1:18
- What is Christ’s blood beyond? 1 Peter 1:19
- By what have we been delivered and purified? 1 Peter 1:18‑19
- When was the blood of the spotless lamb chosen, and when is it revealed? 1 Peter 1:20
- It is through whom that we are believers in God? 1 Peter 1:19, 21
- What did God do for Jesus? In what is our faith and hope centered? 1 Peter 1:21
Personal ‑ In what way have you allowed what your parents may have said or done, to control your life? Are you carrying around any old garbage? Through the blood of Jesus we have been delivered from the power of sin. We recognize him in the breaking of the bread, him whom God raised from the dead and who now sits at the right hand of God forever.
Think about this and confess any unforgiveness toward anyone in your past, and let the blood of Jesus wash you clean and deliver you from any futile way of thinking. Be washed by the blood of the lamb. You have been delivered.
FOURTH DAY READ LUKE 24:13‑35 GOSPEL
(“They had recognized him in the breaking of the bread.”)
- What day were two of them making their way to a village named Emmaus, and how far was this village from Jerusalem? Luke 24:1, 13
- What were they doing? Who approached them and started to walk with them? Did they recognize him? Luke 24:14‑16
- What did Jesus say to them? How did they react to this question? What did Cleopas ask Jesus? Luke 24:17‑18
- Jesus asked them, “What things?” and they proceeded to explain to him the events of the past few days. They called Jesus a prophet who was powerful in what two things and in whose eyes? Luke 24:19
- Who delivered him up to be condemned to death and crucified? Luke 24:20
- For what were they hoping? Luke 24:21
Personal ‑ In what way have you been personally set free by the coming of the Messiah? How do others see you? Do they look at you as a slave to bad habits or someone set free by the death and resurrection of Jesus?
- What was the astonishing news brought to them by some women? Luke 24:22‑24
- What did Jesus say to them? And beginning with whom, what did Jesus interpret in regard to himself Luke 24:25-27
- By now, where were they located, and how did Jesus act? Luke 24:28
- What did they say to him, and what did Jesus do? Luke 24:29
- When Jesus sat with them to eat, what four things did he do with the bread? With that, what was their reaction, and what happened to Jesus? Luke 24:30-31
- What did they say happened to them as Jesus talked to them n the road and explained the Scriptures? Luke 24:32
- Who does it say explains scripture to us? Luke 24:27, 32
- Where did they go immediately, and whom did they find there? With what were they greeted, and what did they recount? Luke 24:33‑35
Personal ‑ How do you feel when you read scripture? Who explains it to you, and what is your reaction? Read Luke 2:26 and Luke 12:12.
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 16:1‑2, 5, 7‑11
(“You will show me the path of life.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 16:1‑2, 5, 7‑11.
What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?
How can you apply this to your life?
SIXTH DAY READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY
ACTS 2:14, 22‑28
This passage tells us that God has called each one of us by name. God has a plan for each one of us, and we are called to respond to his plan to save his people which was fulfilled in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God has called you and told you that if you believe in his Son, Jesus Christ, you will have eternal life (John 3:16). God’s plan is that not only do we have life, but that we have life to its fullest. God’s plan is not to make us rich, but to make us whole. He wants us to be healthy, physically, emotionally, and spiritually (John 10:10). The one provision that brings people out of the darkness of bondage and back into the light of freedom is Jesus Christ.
Peter was telling the crowd that the death of Jesus was part of God’s plan. He tells them that even David knew that the Lord would deliver him up to the Heavenly Kingdom of God. You need to know God’s plan for your life, and you need to respond to his call. God has disclosed that he loved you so much that he sent his only Begotten Son Jesus to die for you. If you believe that Jesus paid the ransom in blood, then you will live forever with God. Today you must decide whether God is telling the truth or whether this is just some story to make you feel good.
Your response to his call will dramatically change your life. You will begin to follow his plan for you, and forever your life will continue on in glory within his presence. Your response to his call will be how you live and how much you love yourself and others. God loves you to the extent that he died for you, so that you could forever live with him.
1 PETER 1:17‑21
In this passage the people were called to revere a loving God and were reminded that they were not to be treated like slaves of a ruthless master. They are, in fact, the adopted children of the most High God. We do not need to assume that being special, such as being the children of God, takes away the freedom to do whatever we desire. We really need to become, not spoiled children, but grateful children of a heavenly Father who loves and forgives us. A terrible crime was committed against God, and only God’s Son could free us from the heavy bondage that was left upon us. God paid a heavy ransom for our sins and it was paid with the precious blood of his Son Jesus, so that we could become his adopted children.
This passage reveals that both the law and the coming of Christ were part of God’s eternal ongoing plan (Rom. 8:29). We see in God’s action a love that is real. A real love is sacrifice, forgiveness, patience, and kindness. Giving up of one’s own self means to put the needs of another first. Jesus manifested what is real in life, and because of this, he showed us how to love, so we can love others as he has loved us (John 15:12). You need to remember that everything in this life, possessions, accomplishments, and people, will some day be all gone. The only thing in life that is permanent is God’s will, his word, and his works. We can only put our faith and hope in God because it is he who has raised Christ from the dead. In Christ’s name everything we do, everything we say, and everything we hope to become really is what we could call a life of freedom.
The two disciples in today’s story missed the significance of what happened at the empty tomb, because they were too wrapped up in their own hurt and disappointment. They didn’t even recognize Jesus when he walked beside them and joined them in their conversation. To make matters worse, they actually walked the wrong way, away from the fellowship of their fellow believers in Jerusalem.
Many times people in their hurt or grief turn away from the support of loved ones and withdraw into a corner of silence by themselves. We need to realize that it is only when we are looking for Jesus in our midst that we will experience the power and help he can bring us.
The disciples could not understand how Jesus could be so uninformed about what had happened. They saw that Jesus was very much aware of what was going on as he explained the role of God among his people. The disciples were looking for a triumphant Messiah who would break the rule of Rome. Jesus tells them about a Savior who changes the hearts of people, not their hold on power. The disciples began to see that this was no ordinary man who they met “by accident.” Their hearts began to burn like fire, and they could not get enough of his teaching.
Do our hearts burn like fire over him? Do we hunger and thirst to know him more intimately than we do? Do we really understand that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is our only hope of Salvation? These disciples did not understand this at first despite the witness of the women and the biblical prophecies of that incredible event.
Today, after 2000 years, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is still a surprise to many people. Today, many people still refuse to believe that it took the living, breathing Jesus to come in to their midst and to break bread with them before they believed. Today for many people, it takes the fellowship and presence of living, breathing Christians to show these same people that Jesus is alive and in our midst.
The first reading tells us that God knows each one of us by name. In the second reading, we are being called to show reverence to our God. The Gospel tells us not to get wrapped up in our own problems, but to be open and seek others and their problems so that they, too, can see and hear God all around them.
This week, let us reach out to someone who is hurting in our family, school, work or community. Let us call on that person and show our concern by our presence. It may be nothing more than a telephone call or a short visit to just say “Hello.” Remember, the greatest gift we give to others is our presence. It is in our presence that they will see God in their midst.