April 19, 2020
Revised Common Lectionary
Acts 2:14a, 22-32
1 Peter 1:3-9
Lectionary for Mass (RC)
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
1 Peter 1:3-9
As the risen One appears in the midst of fearful disciples gathered behind locked doors, he speaks these simple words: “Peace be with you.” Not once, but twice: “Peace be with you.” He shows them his hands and his side, revealing the wounds that demonstrate that it is indeed Jesus himself who is with them. The risen One meets the disciples’ fear with reassurance.
When Jesus returns the following Sunday to the same group of disciples, including now the previously absent Thomas, he offers that same greeting: “Peace be with you.” He shows Thomas his hands and side, the same evidence provided one week earlier to the other disciples. The risen One responds to a disciple’s doubt by extending compassionate reassurance.
The author of First Peter is addressing a group of marginalized believers who were all too familiar with rejection by family and friends and of persecution within society. Even though they had experienced suffering, they could rejoice because in baptism they had received “a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” More words of reassurance.
Fear, doubt, and suffering continue to challenge disciples of Jesus today.
To those who fear infection or financial insecurity, the risen One speaks today with words of reassurance.
To those who question their reason to have faith or to hope in God, the body of Christ is present this day in the community of believers, inviting them to experience his presence right here in our midst.
To those who suffer because of illness or the judgments of others, God promises an “inheritance that is imperishable” and a joy that flows from baptismal immersion into Christ’s resurrection.
To all of us Jesus speaks those same reassuring words: “Peace be with you.”
A Hymn for Today: “Aleluya, el Señor resucitó / Alleluia! Christ Is Risen from the Dead”
This anonymous Spanish hymn text, translated into English by Mary Louise Bringle and sung to the Honduras Alleluia, joyfully expresses the reassurance proclaimed in today’s readings from First Peter and the Gospel of John. Because Christ is risen, we can be confident in God’s steadfast love even in the face of fear, doubt, sin, and suffering.
Aleluya, aleluya, aleluya, aleluya,
Aleluya, aleluya, ¡el Señor resucitó!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia,
Alleluia, alleluia, Christ is risen from the dead!
El Señor resucitó,
cantemos con alegría.
Demos gracias al Señor, aleluya.
Jesus Christ is truly risen,
and he walks among the living.
To God, our glad thanksgiving, alleluia.
Mi pecado redimió
Cristo Dios, subiendo al cielo,
y por fin ahora no temo, aleluya.
Nevermore will we be fearful.
All our sins have been forgiven
by Christ, who reigns in heaven, alleluia.
Ahora tengo la esperanza
de que Dios siempre perdona,
que Cristo nunca abandona, aleluya.
We are hopeful and live trusting
that God’s children are not abandoned,
for in Christ all sins are pardoned, alleluia.
Text: Anonymous; tr. by Mary Louise Bringle. © 2012, GIA Publications, Inc. Used by permission.
ONE LICENSE is offering gratis license options through April 15, 2020, for permission to reproduce this text and other materials in their church’s virtual worship aids: https://news.onelicense.net/2020/03/13/one-license-offers-gratis-licenses-to-help-cope-with-covid-19-challenges-valid-through-april-15/.
“Word and Song: A Lectionary Reflection” is written by the Executive Director of The Hymn Society, Rev. Dr. Mike McMahon. For his full bio, click here and scroll down to the “staff” section.