Inspiration Daily

Wednesday in the Octave of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 3:1-10

Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o’clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day
to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, “Look at us.”
He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you:
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”
Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.
He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.
When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the one
who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
at what had happened to him.

Responsorial Psalm pS 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9

R.(3b) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generationsB
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia Ps 118:24

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him,
“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his Body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the Eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

– – –
Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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Finding Jesus in our Neighbor

In today’s Scripture readings, we are reminded of the fact that Jesus Christ is alive and working. Our First Reading in the Acts of the Apostles speaks of the Spirit of Christ working through His disciples. Peter and John did not heal the man who was crippled and begging at the temple, but it was through Jesus that this man experienced healing. It was an opportunity of prayer and calling upon God’s name to take care of him.

The Gospel story is the beautiful story of the Road to Emmaus. Two disciples of Jesus were traveling to Emmaus conversing about all that had happened in the past few days. Jesus, unrecognized, joined their conversation and walked with them. They invited him to stay the night with them, instead of continuing His journey through the night. They offered their hospitality through their presence and sharing a meal. It wasn’t until Jesus prayed the blessing and broke bread that they were awakened to the realization that he was no stranger. Their eyes now recognized that here before them was their Lord and God, Jesus Christ, risen from the dead.

These two Scripture readings are tied together by the Responsorial Psalm, “Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord”.

Peter and John were seeking the Lord in their encounter with the crippled man. They were not seeking their own glory, but in a moment of need, they called upon the Lord’s power. The miracle of healing was a miracle of seeking the Lord and they could not help but rejoice in amazement and praise. The two disciples on the journey to Emmaus were seeking the Lord. Whether this was intentional or not, they loved their neighbor as themselves. This is what it means to be a disciple. It calls us to love the stranger next to us and to journey with them. Through their openness to conversation and hospitality, we can see them seeking Christ in each person.

Both of these stories call me out in God’s call to us this Easter season. In the First Reading, I have to pause and ask myself how many homeless people have I not prayed with? Instead of thinking I don’t have anything to offer, I have everything to offer- the Spirit of God. Do you stop to speak to the people of God who are begging at the doors of the temple? Maybe they’re not at the doors of a temple in our everyday lives. Maybe they’re at the corner of the street, when you’re driving off an exit of a highway or at the entrance of the subway. Do we stop like St. John and St. Peter to pray with them or ask them their intentions? In the Gospel Reading, I’m called out in the bad habit of not wanting to get to know the stranger next to me. I can easily keep to myself and not want to put the energy into talking to the stranger next to me. For those who ride public transportation, you know what I mean. Everyone keeps to themselves with their headphones in. This Scripture is calling me on to being more hospitable. Whether it’s actually conversing in a genuine conversation with your uber driver, coworker, or check out lady at the grocery store… these are the opportunities to seek the Lord in the human beings all around us.

Let us rejoice in these moments, even if they may be uncomfortable or push us to get out of ourselves. Let us rejoice because when we are present to the encounter of the stranger next to us, we are intentionally seeking Him, our Lord who is living among us.

Contact the Author

Briana is a Catholic youth minister at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish in Cleveland, OH. She is also a nanny and district manager at Arbonne. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Catechetics from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH and is excited to use these skills to bring her students closer to Christ and His Church. “My soul has been refined and I can raise my head like a flower after a storm.” -St. Therese