Thursday within the Octave of Easter

“Now I know, brothers, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did; but God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer.” (Acts 3:18.)

In commenting on these verses from today’s First Reading, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“As he had been hard on them and had shown that he whom they crucified had risen, he now relaxes, by giving them the power of repentance: “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.” This is one ground of excuse. The second is of a different kind. As Joseph says to his brothers, “God sent me before you.” In the earlier speech Peter had briefly said, “This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” He enlarges upon that here: “But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled.”

If indeed it was all the prophets and not only one of them who said this, it follows that, although the event took place through ignorance, it did not take place contrary to God’s ordinance. See how great is the wisdom of God, when it uses the wickedness of others to bring about what must be. (Homilies On the Acts of the Apostles, 9.)

O God, Who have united the many nations
in confessing Your name,
grant that those reborn in the font of Baptism
may be one in the faith of their hearts
and the homage of their deeds.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen