Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

(Acts 3:11-26; Luke 24:35-48)

During the Easter season the Church does not use the Old Testament in its liturgies other than the Psalms.  Evidently it wants to emphasize how Jesus’ resurrection makes everything new.  But this does not mean that the Old Testament is entirely silent.  So inextricable is it to the Christian message that the Old Testament is continually found in passages such as the first reading today.

In his sermon after healing the lame man at the Portico of Solomon St. Peter tells the people that Jesus was the prophet whom Moses anticipated in the Book of Deuteronomy.   This prophet would speak God’s definitive word such that all who do not heed him will be cut off from God’s people. 

The Jews to this day have never converted en masse to Christ.  Does that mean that they have forsaken their heritage as God’s chosen people?  At Vatican II the bishops taught that God, always faithful to his promise, will never withdraw his favor for Israel.  We pray that the Jews will be faithful to the Covenant made to Moses and so help us to understand Jesus better.  He came to redeem all humanity, even those who do not acknowledge him as their savior.