Reading for May 18, 2023: Acts 1:1-11
In this issue:
Children’s story: The apostles watch Jesus ascend into heaven
Bible Accent: Judas’ replacement is chosen
Saint for Today: St. Joan of Arc
Puzzle: True or false
In the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke wrote to someone he called Theophilus, explaining that the resurrected Jesus appeared to the apostles and some of his other followers.
The first person to whom Jesus appeared after his resurrection was Mary of Magdala as she was visiting his empty tomb. When Jesus first spoke to Mary, she mistook him for a gardener. But when she finally recognized him, Jesus asked her to tell the apostles that he was about to return to his Father in heaven.
After appearing to Mary of Magdala, Jesus twice appeared to his friends who were staying in a locked room in Jerusalem.
And he walked with two of his followers along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus as they talked about the events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection.
“While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for ‘the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit,’” Luke told Theophilus.
Jesus’ last meeting with the apostles took place on Mount Olivet, Luke continued.
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” the apostles asked him.
“It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority,” Jesus replied. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
When Jesus finished speaking, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
The apostles looked intently at the sky as Jesus was ascending. At first, they didn’t notice that two men dressed in white garments were suddenly standing beside them.
“Men of Galilee,” the men asked, “why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”
Afterward, the apostles descended Mount Olivet and returned to Jerusalem.
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1. Where did Jesus gather with the apostles?
2. Who suddenly appeared with the apostles?
Describe a time when you had to wait patiently for a promise to be fulfilled.
After the apostles returned to Jerusalem, Peter stood up and spoke to 120 of Jesus’ followers.
“My brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand through the mouth of David, concerning Judas, who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus. He was numbered among us and was allotted a share in this ministry,” Peter began.
He pointed out a verse from the Book of Psalms: “May another take his office.”
“Therefore,” Peter said, “it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
Matthias and Joseph, who was called Barsabbas but also was known as Justus, were suggested to replace Judas.
“You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place,” those gathered prayed.
Then the two candidates were given lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, who then joined the other 11 apostles.
Saint for Today: St. Joan of Arc
St. Joan of Arc was born into a peasant family in France in 1412. Although she couldn’t read, she was very intelligent.
As a teenager, she heard “voices,” or inner promptings, that urged her to save her homeland from England and Burgundy during the Hundred Years’ War. After she was examined by theologians and met with the dauphin — the king’s eldest son — she led the French army to several victories.
She was later captured by the Burgundians and sold to the English, who burned her at the stake for witchcraft and heresy in 1431. Her reputation was restored by a papal commission in 1456, and we remember her on May 30.
Using the hints provided, put a T next to the sentences about the first Christian community that are true and an F next to the ones that are false.
1. ___ Many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. (Acts 2:43)
2. ___ Community members shared the money they made from selling their property and possessions. (Acts 2:45)
3. ___ Ananias and his wife, Mary, sold some property and gave all the money to the community. (Acts 5:1-2)
4. ___ Four men from the community were appointed to help some widows. (Acts 6:1-4)
1. T; 2. T; 3. F; 4. F