Scripture: lectionary 283. May 4. Acts 13:26-33. Psalm 2:6-7.8-9.10-11. John 14:1-6

Thursday's Readings 

Luke has recreated the speeches of the apostles in Acts. Today we have a reading about Paul’s method and content of preaching. This is characteristic in the other speeches in Acts as we have seen in Peter’s and Stephen’s speeches.  I wish to emphasize the reference made to the prophets and the psalms in some of these speeches.  Paul is clearly referring to Psalm 2, a Messianic Psalm for the newly instructed Christian believers.  Luke already referred to Jesus explaining the prophets, the psalms, and the Torah to those on the Emmaus journey. We are rewarded today with a follow-up of the Psalm 2 after we listen to Paul in the Acts of the Apostles. Then Jesus will reveal much about himself in the concentrated and coherent and unified chapter fourteen of his Gospel.

We Christians are led to reread and reread again and again these references in the New Testament that refer to the Hebrew Scriptures which were the Scriptures of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The latter two taught him how to read the Hebrew of the prophets and the Torah and the psalms which were his daily prayers. Luke actually starts Jesus’ active ministry with his reading of the Prophet Isaiah in the synagogue near where he lived.

We join with Paul in seeing the promises of God fulfilled in Jesus especially in Psalm 2 and 110 (royal messianic psalms).  God says, “You are my son; this day I have begotten you.” This is our response for the day and it should be part of our remembering throughout the hours ahead of us. We are thus in tune and harmony with what Paul is preaching. We see all of these speeches framed by the Paschal story and mystery of Jesus—his life, sufferings, death, and resurrection.

Through our Baptism and the Eucharist we are one with the followers of Jesus in his time and our time. Our passage from the Fourth Gospel (John) is very consoling for us. It is often used at the Mass of Christian Burial celebrated when we lose some of our friends or family members. Jesus will not leave us orphans and he has prepared the way for us to his realm where there are many dwellings for us. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).  All of chapter fourteen is a unified and coherent discourse of Jesus at the Last Supper.  Jesus addresses the apostles and us with these very comforting words.  They also help us to interpret the Paschal Mysteries of Jesus. Jesus is the revelation of God himself.  We are blessed to listen to his living voice in the Gospel that is proclaimed in the Eucharistic liturgy each day.  During this season we keep hearing him say to us, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” Amen. Alleluia. Alleluia.