Prayer of Easter

Deel Op


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 4,1-12

While they were still talking to the people the priests came up to them, accompanied by the captain of the Temple and the Sadducees. They were extremely annoyed at their teaching the people the resurrection from the dead by proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus. They arrested them, and, as it was already late, they kept them in prison till the next day. But many of those who had listened to their message became believers; the total number of men had now risen to something like five thousand. It happened that the next day the rulers, elders and scribes held a meeting in Jerusalem with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, Jonathan, Alexander and all the members of the high-priestly families. They made the prisoners stand in the middle and began to interrogate them, 'By what power, and by whose name have you men done this?' Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, addressed them, 'Rulers of the people, and elders! If you are questioning us today about an act of kindness to a cripple and asking us how he was healed, you must know, all of you, and the whole people of Israel, that it is by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, and God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man stands before you cured. This is the stone which you, the builders, rejected but which has become the cornerstone. Only in him is there salvation; for of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The passage of Acts that we heard brings us back to when Peter and John were arrested by guards of the Temple: "So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening." What had happened to Jesus not long before was repeated. What was the reason? Because they had healed a crippled man and the people ran to listen to them with interest. There is a more or less latent but continuous contrast between the selfish and dominant mentality of the world and the Gospel. The Word of God is always not only foreign to the world but also critical: it bothers every violence, upsets every self-righteousness and questions all resignation, always pushing to overcome love for oneself. It is the Gospel that moved Peter and John. When the Sanhedrin interrogated the two apostles, without any fear and rather with all frankness they answered that they had done this with the power of Jesus, whom they had crucified. The one that they thought was dead and defeated forever had been raised by God and was now working in the world through that small group of men and women who called themselves frankly his disciples. Using the image Jesus had used, Peter answered, "This Jesus is 'the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.' There is salvation in no one else." With these words and with this testimony started the preaching and action of the first Church in history. Peter and John had left behind fear and worry: now, with frankness, they proclaim that the Lord Jesus is the only saviour with words and works of healing, "There is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved."