Prayer of Easter

Berbagi Di

Memorial of Saint Adalbert, bishop of Prague. He suffered martyrdom in eastern Prussia where he had gone to preach the Gospel (†997). He spent time in Rome, where his memory is venerated in the basilica of Saint Bartholomew on the Tiberine Island.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Christ is risen from the dead
and will die no more.
He awaits us in Galilee!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 2,36-41

'For this reason the whole House of Israel can be certain that the Lord and Christ whom God has made is this Jesus whom you crucified.' Hearing this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, 'What are we to do, brothers?' 'You must repent,' Peter answered, 'and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise that was made is for you and your children, and for all those who are far away, for all those whom the Lord our God is calling to himself.' He spoke to them for a long time using many other arguments, and he urged them, 'Save yourselves from this perverse generation.' They accepted what he said and were baptised. That very day about three thousand were added to their number.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Christ is risen from the dead
and will die no more.
He awaits us in Galilee!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The words of this first preaching of the apostle Peter struck the hearts of those who heard him. The Book of Acts reports that: "They were cut to the heart." This should be the goal of all those who preach. They need to reach their listeners' hearts and cut them, that is, question them. The Later to the Hebrews will say that the Word of God is like a double-edged sword that cuts to the depths of the heart. Those who listened to Peter and were cut to the heart immediately asked him a simple but fundamental question: "What should we do?" It is the question every sermon should rise. Peter proposes the Gospel as the leaven of a new society, is the energy that leads to a new way of thinking about and of living out human relationships. In fact, the Gospel does not claim to be a program for constructing a socially perfect program. The Gospel asks for a conversion of one's heart. It is from changing the heart that the world can start changing. They are men and women with a heart that is not of stone anymore, but full of the love that urges them to give their lives for others. Those who welcome the Gospel are not slaves anymore of loneliness and selfishness, but they participate in the victory of love over hatred, of life over death. Luke notes that: "Those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added" (v. 41). The Gospel generated the Community and the characteristics of this new community are clearly stated: listening to the teaching of the apostle, fraternal unity, breaking of the bread and prayer, communion of goods. It is the description of every Christian community of yesterday and today. Each Christian generation, even ours, is called to question itself on this page of the Acts. And when people speak of reform of the Church what is intended is to take back that "form" of the first Church. It is the prophecy that Acts continue to tell us so that we may put it into practice.