Thanks to Laura Sykes, sidebar
A wayside shrine in Lower Austria, painted by Albert Huspeka in 1996. CCL.
Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
¶ The Liturgy of the Word
First Reading: Acts 3.12-19
Peter addressed the people, ‘You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you. ‘And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.’
Refrain: In peace I will lie down and sleep.
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness; *you set me at liberty when I was in trouble; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
How long will you nobles dishonour my glory; * how long will you love vain things and seek after falsehood?
But know that the Lord has shown me his marvellous kindness; * when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me.
Stand in awe, and sin not; * commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. R
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness * and put your trust in the Lord.
There are many that say, ‘Who will show us any good?’ * Lord, lift up the light of your countenance upon us.
You have put gladness in my heart, * more than when their corn and wine and oil increase.
In peace I will lie down and sleep, * for it is you Lord, only, who make me dwell in safety.
Refrain: In peace I will lie down and sleep.
Second Reading: 1 John 3.1-7
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
While the eleven and their companions were talking about what they had heard, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you – that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.’
If you could be one of the disciples for a day, which day would you choose? I think for me it would be this moment, watching Christ eat a piece of grilled fish just like the old times, the very ordinariness of it. And then ‘he opens their minds to understand the scriptures’: the full understanding of the meaning of the resurrection is unlocked as they share their meal, knowing that they are somehow reunited, forever.
Prayers of Intercession
Give us today, O God,
a glad heart and a clear conscience,
that when we come to this day’s end
we may rest in peace with Christ our Lord.
¶The Church of Christ
Lord, open the minds and hearts of your people to the living reality of your presence amongst us, and help us to live our lives reflecting that reality in ourselves and to others. We thank you that in the Eucharist, the beating heart of Christian worship, we your people have taken, eaten, and remembered for nearly two thousand years, opening ourselves to transformation in mind, body and spirit.
Lord, may we see you more clearly day by day: in your mercy, hear our prayer