Free Access: During these challenging times, The Word Among Us is honored to continue providing full, complimentary access to the daily Mass readings and our daily meditation. We'd like to thank our Print and Digital subscribers. Without your support, none of this would be possible.
7th Week of Easter
Christ loved us and washed us clean of our sins by his Blood,
and made us into a kingdom,
priests for his God and Father, alleluia. Rev 1:5-6
O God, who by the glorification of your Christ
and the light of the Holy Spirit
have unlocked for us the gates of eternity,
grant, we pray,
that, partaking of so great a gift,
our devotion may grow deeper
and our faith be strengthened.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea on a visit to Festus. Since they spent several days there, Festus referred Paul’s case to the king, saying, “There is a man here left in custody by Felix. When I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him and demanded his condemnation. I answered them that it was not Roman practice to hand over an accused person before he has faced his accusers and had the opportunity to defend himself against their charge. So when they came together here, I made no delay; the next day I took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought in. His accusers stood around him, but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected. Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus who had died but who Paul claimed was alive. Since I was at a loss how to investigate this controversy, I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these charges. And when Paul appealed that he be held in custody for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”
R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
or R. Alleluia.
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits. R.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us. R.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, all you his angels,
you mighty in strength, who do his bidding. R.
The Holy Spirit will teach you everything
and remind you of all I told you. Jn 14:26
After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Look mercifully, O Lord, we pray,
upon the sacrificial gifts of your people,
and, that they may become acceptable to you,
let the coming of the Holy Spirit
cleanse our consciences.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
When the Spirit of truth comes,
he will teach you all truth, says the Lord, alleluia. Jn 16:13
Prayer after Communion
O God, by whose mysteries
we are cleansed and nourished,
grant, we pray,
that this banquet which you give us
may bring everlasting life.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today's Meditation: Acts 25:13-21
They had some issues with . . . a certain Jesus who had died but who Paul claimed was alive. (Acts 25:19)
If someone “can’t see the forest for the trees,” it means they are so involved in the details of a problem that they have lost sight of the situation as a whole. Well, if anyone had reason to get caught up in the “trees” of a situation, it was Paul. He had been accused by some of the Jewish leaders of stirring up riots and desecrating the Temple. Arrested and put in jail, he spent two years in custody under the procurator Felix and was now standing before his successor, Festus, facing the same charges. You can imagine all the details of his situation swirling in his mind day after day while he sat in prison.
But Paul had built his life on Jesus, so the “trees” didn’t block his vision. As he strove to stay close to the Lord, he was able to see beyond the details of his trials. He saw God’s faithfulness and protection. He experienced Jesus’ love and mercy. He saw his captors as being in the dark about Jesus, just as he had been, so he avoided hating them. He saw all the people who had never heard the gospel and longed to share it with them.
Our lives may be filled with the “trees” of trials—or maybe just the trees of a busy schedule and concerns about our loved ones. But like Paul, we can learn how to see the whole forest.
Just what is this forest? It’s the expansive heavenly vision that the Holy Spirit wants to give us. It’s remembering that our world is filled with God’s wonders and marvels. It’s remembering that every act of love reveals another facet of our gracious, creative God. It’s the ability to enjoy the blessings of family and home that we do have rather than focusing on the things we may be lacking. It’s the decision to love our holy, beautiful Church even as we acknowledge the need for reform and renewal.
Don’t get caught up in the details! Don’t let the trees wear you down! Let God fill you with his panoramic vision. Make it a point every day to stand back and rejoice in all the blessings that Jesus has given you.
“Jesus, open my eyes to see the work you have already done in my life.”
Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
Our Response to COVID-19
Free Access: The Word Among Us, is honored to continue providing full, complimentary access to our website (Read more). We'd like to thank our Print and Digital subscribers. Without your support, none of this would be possible. If you are not a subscriber and would like to support us in this effort, please consider purchasing a digital subscription.
Daily Mass readings: We would like to thank the USCCB for their generous offer to allow us to post the daily Mass readings on our website.
Prayer Center: From the very beginning, The Word Among Us staff has gathered three times each week to pray for all our readers and for anyone who submits prayer requests. Now, more than ever, we want to intensify our efforts to lift up you and your loved ones in prayer. While our staff cannot meet together in person for the time being, we are continuing to intercede remotely. So please, send us your prayer requests. We believe in the power of prayer!