Updated: Apr 13, 2021
Monday 12th APRIL 2021
Acts 4: 23-31
Ps 2: 1-3. 4-6. 7-9. (R. 12d)
Jn 3: 1-8
Right from the onset of the mission of Christ, the Apostles faced rebellion and were charged not to profess and proclaim the Risen Lord. Their resolve landed them in prison. In the first reading, we hear about John and Peter’s encounter and jubilation with the community of believers, after their release.
They then had to pray about the challenges the authorities placed over them and asked for the grace and strength to stand firm in the faith, “IN ONE ACCORD.” Here Luke emphasizes the unity of purpose in prayer. This unity of purpose is also needed in all our life situations. Many times we fail to join hands even in hardships because of different motives or views. We see others as competitors or even as opportunities, hence for one reason or another cannot come together, even within our families.
Before Jesus handed himself for our salvation he prayed that we “be one” (Jn 17v21) and after the resurrection, the first gift he gave was that of “peace” (Jn 20v19). Unity within our families has become something hard to find hence we cannot pray together, let alone praying in one accord. Even in these challenging lockdown times, we still find it difficult to pray as families but can find time for parties and celebrations, with friends and relatives. Why?
The Sacraments of Christian initiation are Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. In the times past this was the order of receiving them. These sacraments are what make one fully incorporated into the mystical body of Christ. In the Gospel, Jesus underscores the importance of the first two sacraments for eternal life. Baptism cleanses us of all sins, both Original sin, and actual sin. It is also in Baptism that we become one family of the children of God. Confirmation (the receiving of the Holy Spirit, as in the first reading) empowers us to be bold in defending the faith even in the midst of difficulties.
The Apostles were not deterred by the warning from the chief priests; rather, the more they were threatened the greater their effort. According to the Lateran Council: “The Holy Spirit is given for strength in order that a Christian may courageously confess the name of Christ”. The Spirit given us is not the spirit of timidity but of courage, which leads us to bears genuine witness to the risen Lord.
We Pray: We come to you that we may be born again. And may your grace, O Lord, enable us to receive your sacraments with utmost reverence and devotion, so that we may bear witness to the risen Lord. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.