Third Week of Easter: Apr. 10 - 16, 2005
Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Collaborative Ministry Office
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The Third Week of EasterThe Third Week of Easter begins with the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Then did not recognized him until the breaking of the bread. The gospels all week are about his being broken and given for us as Bread that Gives Life.The first reading all week continues the narrative of the Acts of the Apostles. We see how persecution of the early church began. Stephen is stoned to death as Paul stands by. Later in the week, we read about Paul's dramatic, blinding conversion. Finally, there are stories of Philip and Peter spreading the good news.The Gospels this week are from the sixth chapter of the fourth gospel. Jesus teaches us that he is giving himself - his very life - for us. As he continues he becomes more and more specific. Eventually, it is clear that the bread he gives us is his flesh for the life of the world which he calls us to make our nourishment and sustenance.He warns us not to "work for food that perishes" and he tells us that we can't come to him unless the father "draws us" to him.By the end of the week, his listeners can't swallow it. Jesus asks his apostles if they also wanted to leave. Peter replies, "Lord, to whom should we go? You have the words of eternal life." These very human followers are convinced, for now.The Psalms this week are very helpful:Ps. 31: Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.Ps. 66: Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.Ps 117: Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.Ps. 116: How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?All of this leads us to the 4th Sunday of Easter where in the gospel, Jesus tells us "I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved... I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."