TAKING RESPONSIBILITY

Thursday of the Second Week of EasterLectionary: 270

Reading 1 ACTS 5:27-33
When the court officers had brought the Apostles in

and made them stand before the Sanhedrin,

the high priest questioned them,

“We gave you strict orders did we not,

to stop teaching in that name.

Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching

and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.”

But Peter and the Apostles said in reply,

“We must obey God rather than men. 

The God of our ancestors raised Jesus,

though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.

God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior

to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.

We are witnesses of these things,

as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”
When they heard this,

they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.

Responsorial Psalm PS 34:2 AND 9, 17-18, 19-20
R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

or:

R. Alleluia.

I will bless the LORD at all times;

his praise shall be ever in my mouth.

Taste and see how good the LORD is;

blessed the man who takes refuge in him.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

or:

R. Alleluia.

The LORD confronts the evildoers,

to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.

When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,

and from all their distress he rescues them.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

or:

R. Alleluia.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;

and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.

Many are the troubles of the just man,

but out of them all the LORD delivers him.

R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

or:

R. Alleluia.

Alleluia JN 20:29
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord;

blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe?

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 3:31-36
The one who comes from above is above all.

The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.

But the one who comes from heaven is above all.

He testifies to what he has seen and heard,

but no one accepts his testimony.

Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.

For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.

He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.

The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,

but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,

but the wrath of God remains upon him.
REFLECTION: TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
“Make us responsible for that Man’s blood.” –Acts 5:28
The high priest accused the apostles of being determined to make the religious leaders “responsible for that Man’s blood.” However, most of the religious leaders refused to take responsibility for Jesus’ execution. Otherwise, they would not have called Jesus “that Man” but “the Savior of the world.” The apostles were determined to make responsible for Jesus’ blood not only the religious leaders but everyone, including themselves and us. They said that God told them to do this, and they obeyed Him (Acts 5:29).
Will you admit that you are personally responsible for Jesus’ brutal death on the cross? You may say you are innocent because you were not living when Jesus was killed. However, Jesus’ death transcends time. Everyone who has ever sinned is responsible for the God-Man’s blood. In the Roman Catechism after the Council of Trent, the Church taught: “We must regard as guilty all those who continue to relapse into their sins. Since our sins made the Lord Christ suffer the torment of the cross, those who plunge themselves into disorders and crimes crucify the Son of God anew in their hearts (for He is in them) and hold Him up to contempt” (quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 598). St. Francis of Assisi taught: “Nor did demons crucify Him; it is you who have crucified Him and crucify Him still, when you delight in your vices and sins” (both quoted in the Catechism, 598; see also Heb 6:6).
Admit your responsibility for the death of Jesus. Repent and receive the love and mercy of the risen Christ.
PRAYER: Father, may Your Son’s blood on my hands cleanse my heart.

PROMISE: “He does not ration His gift of the Spirit.” –Jn 3:34

PRAISE: Frank continued to frequent the Sacrament of Confession even after Lent was over.

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