Third Sunday of Easter
+ In the name the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen
God of all the prophets, You fulfilled Your promise of old that Your Christ would suffer and so rise to glory. Open our minds to understand the Scriptures and fill us with joyful wonder in the presence of the risen Christ, that we may be His witnesses to the farthest reaches of the earth. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead, who lives and reigns with You now and always in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
A Reading from the Book of Acts: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19 (NLT)
For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — the God of all our ancestors — who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release him. You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!
“Friends, I realize that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance. But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah — that he must suffer these things. Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 4:2, 4, 7-9 (NLT)
How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies?
Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.
You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.
A Reading from the Letters: 1 John 2:1-5 (NLT)
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins — and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.
A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 24:35-48 (NLT)
Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread. And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!
“Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.
Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he ate it as they watched.
Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things.
The Lord grants favors to those whom he loves. Lord, hear our prayers:
+ For all who follow Christ – that our faith in the resurrection of Jesus may deepen…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who renewed their baptismal promises at Easter – that any lingering doubts may be dispersed…. Lord, hear us.
+ For missionaries and all who spread the Good News about Jesus – that the joy of Easter may give them fresh zeal…. Lord, hear us.
+ For Christians who suffer for their faith – that the Risen Lord may give them courage…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the Jewish people, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – that they may arrive at the fullness of redemption…. Lord, hear us.
+ For people who suffer, in mind, body or spirit – that they may experience divine healing and new strength…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who have recently died in Christ – that God’s light may shine on them perpetually…. Lord, hear us.
O God our salvation, Your glory shines throughout the world to bring joy to Your people: hear our prayers and grant us Your all-powerful grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen