The Acts Reading

Acts 2:14a, 36-41Today's reading is the first of the major summaries to link together the specific events and teachings of Luke's narrative. These verses give an overview of the Church's life and growth. Verse 42 mentions four aspects of that life. The "apostles' teaching" was carried on both in public and within the community. Likewise the community continued to offer "the prayers" both at the temple and in the community. The "fellowship" (Greek, koinonia) was apparent especially in the sharing of resources. This probably meant not an automatic divestiture of all possessions, but the placing of one's assets at the disposal of the community to be used as needed. The "breaking of the bread" probably indicates a common meal that included the Lord's Supper at which the table-fellowship of the apostles with the risen Lord was extended to the community..

The Psalm Reading

Psalm 116:1-3, 10-17 This psalm of thanksgiving recounts the vindication of a righteous sufferer. Such a psalm was recited as a testimony to other worshippers. The one who was delivered paid vows (vv. 14, 18) in the temple (v. 19). It is not clear whether this deliverance was from illness (v. 3) or false accusation (vv. 10-11)

The Gospel Reading

I Peter 1:17-23In today's reading, believers are exhorted to a standard of life that reflects what God has done for them. The appropriate response to God's greatness and goodness is behaviour pleasing to God.

A Prayerfull Thought

Return to Your Fortress, Prisoners of Hope "Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you" (Zechariah 9:12).

I truly feel the Lord's heart of compassion and encouragement toward those who are growing battle weary and on the verge of losing their hope. There are those who have been faithful, standing upon the promises of the Father. They have contended for and have walked in obedience toward the things that God has called them to, even though it seems as though war has broken out against them. But be encouraged, O people of God! Your Redeemer draws near.

"Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident" (Psalm 27:3).

I hear the Lord saying, "Help is on the way! I have released My angels to assist and strengthen you in this hour; even now you are being made stronger." Keep your eyes on the Lord. Feast on His goodness, and know that even now your Redeemer is preparing a table of feasting for you in the very presence of your enemies (Psalm 23:5).

The Gospel Reading

Luke 24:13-35 The two disciples on the way to Emmaus share the popular view of Jesus as a prophet and point to the hope that Jesus was in fact the expected prophet-like-Moses. Comprehension begins with the interpretation of the scriptures, which pointed toward the suffering and glory of the Messiah. The power of the word of God prepared them to receive the broken bread in full recognition of Jesus. The post-resurrection table fellowship with Jesus links the feeding during his early ministry and the pledge at the Last Supper with the Eucharistic experiences of the early Church. Although Jesus' physical presence is withdrawn, his self-revelation in scripture and his manifestation in the Eucharist remain. The pattern of word and sacrament in the story becomes that of the Christian liturgy and life.

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