Mass Readings

April 20, 2018

Friday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 277

Reading 1 Acts 9:1-20

Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord,
went to the high priest and asked him
for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that,
if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way,
he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains.
On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus,
a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him,
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
He said, “Who are you, sir?”
The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.”
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless,
for they heard the voice but could see no one.
Saul got up from the ground,
but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing;
so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.
For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.

There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias,
and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.”
He answered, “Here I am, Lord.”
The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight
and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul.
He is there praying,
and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias
come in and lay his hands on him,
that he may regain his sight.”
But Ananias replied,
“Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man,
what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem.
And here he has authority from the chief priests
to imprison all who call upon your name.”
But the Lord said to him,
“Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine
to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel,
and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name.”
So Ananias went and entered the house;
laying his hands on him, he said,
“Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me,
Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came,
that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes
and he regained his sight.
He got up and was baptized,
and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength.

He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus,
and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues,
that he is the Son of God.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 117:1bc, 2

R. (Mark 16:15) Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
R. Alleluia.
For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 6:56

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood,
remains in me and I in him, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 6:52-59

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my Flesh is true food,
and my Blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
 Homily 4-20-2018
Rev. Fr. Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam 
Holy Angels Parish, St. Albans, Vermont 

Acts 9:1-20; Psalm 116:1-2; John 6:52-59
“This very Tender Consort, when about to quit this life and leave his spouse, the Church, that his absence might not lead to forgetfulness, left as a memorial this Most Holy Sacrament in which he himself resides, seeking no other thing than his own self with which to perpetuate this mutual remembrance…” St. Peter Alcántara
1~ The Lord continues His discourse about the Eucharist, to inform those who were around the scene that He is the bread of life. Thus the oneness we can establish with Him is to be in Him and He in us. “Every time you eat this bread and drink from this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” 1 Cor. 11:26
2~ To proclaim this death is an evidence that we believe in His humanity and waiting for His coming is sign of our belief in His Divinity. If Jesus reiterated the importance of His body and blood, we have to pay more attention to it. “Nothing can be compared to the joy of the Holy Eucharist, to the friendship and nearness of Jesus, present within us.” F. Fernandez
3~ This nearness can be felt in the answer the Lord gave to Saul who was out to destroy everything within his limits that had to do with Christianity; “I am Jesus, and you are persecuting me.” This must have had a great influence on Saul who later wrote in Colossians 1:8, that Christ is the head of the body, the Church.
4~ Saul set out to fulfil his own plan, which was to arrest all the Christians, but God had a different plan, which was to use him as an instrument that will take the same gospel to the ends of the world. In him God saw a vessel that could be used in making Him known to the world. His ways will always be different from our ways, (cf Isaiah 55:8).
5~ Dear friend, nobody is beyond being saved by God. If Saul can be turned into Paul, then a sinner can be turned into a saint. Jesus has given us the Holy Eucharist as the surest means of gaining our salvation. As we encounter  the Lord in the Eucharist, may the little we ask for, strengthen our faith. Amen
*We live in the hearts of those who love us and those we love; in the Eucharist Jesus dwells in us and we dwell in Him. Our actions are the only way we can show that He actually dwells in us.*
May you be filled with the Holy Spirit as you fulfil your duties today!
Fr. Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam 
Holy Angel’s Parish and St Mary’s Parish, St Albans, Vermont