Monday in the Octave of Easter

Reading Acts 2:14,22-33
Gospel Matthew 28:8-15

“Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed….”

During most of the liturgical year, our First Reading at Mass comes from the Old Testament. But Easter is different. During Easter, we hear first from Acts of the Apostles. Why is this? There are plenty of apostolic letters that could be proclaimed: Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, 1 John, Jude, and so on. These New Testament epistles preach about the Resurrection. So why do we hear, each and every day of the Easter Season, from Acts of the Apostles?

The answer is, that what the apostles were about, throughout the course of Acts, is what God is calling us to, throughout the course of this Season of Easter. In a phrase, this answer is: forming the Church. The Church was conceived, so to speak, from the water and blood that poured forth from the side of Jesus crucified. But the Church was born some fifty days later, on the feast of Pentecost. The story of Acts is the first story of the Church, going forth, out into the world, to proclaim in word and action the saving mystery of Jesus, crucified and Risen.