Posted on 1 Comment

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles

The book of Acts was written by St. Luke the Evangelist as a sequel to the Gospels, and it gives an historical account of the missions of the first Apostles, primarily Peter and Paul. It tells the story of the early church and the spread of the Good News throughout the Roman Empire.

“A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.” With those words, lectors around the world introduced the Liturgy of the Word on Easter Sunday. This marked the beginning of our journey, yours, mine and the whole church’s, through the book of Acts, which would be read in every parish, every morning, between Easter and Pentecost (with only a few exceptions for the feast days that occur in April and May). The Easter Sunday reading describes Peter’s address to a group of gentiles in Caesarea, in which he declared both his message and his mission. Peter told them, “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him… They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear… to us who were chosen by God as witnesses to preach to the people and to testify that he [Jesus] is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:38-42).

The book of Acts is both a history lesson and an inspiration. In chapter One, we see the disciples appearing to be stunned by Christ’s Ascension. They just stood there and “were gazing up toward heaven” (Acts 1:10). But by chapter Two, Peter has emerged as the leader, and he gives a beautiful and eloquent speech on Pentecost which wins 3000 converts in one day! “Those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:41-42). And so, it begins!

All the way from Easter to Pentecost, the readings from the Acts of the Apostles, teach us a lot about the history of the early church. They tell us of a great adventure, full of miracles and conversions, conflicts and persecution, mission journeys and even a shipwreck. We hear about the amazing power of prayer in any situation, even in jail. And through it all, the Apostles never backed down. They preached the Good News of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the coming of the Kingdom of God on street corners, in synagogues and marketplaces, and even in prison cells.

In the last verses of the last chapter, Paul is under house arrest in Rome waiting to present his case before Caesar: “He lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance” (Acts 28:30-31).

But the book of Acts is so much more than history. The stories of the first apostles are inspiring and motivating. There is a lot we can learn from Peter and Paul about stepping outside our comfort zones, about trusting God and persevering in prayer, no matter how bleak things may seem. The first Apostles did it. And so can we! To God be the Glory!


  • The Ascension of Jesus. Acts 1:6-11
  • The First Converts. Act 2: 37-42
  • Gentiles Hear the Good News. Acts 10:34-43
  • “I Bless Your Name” by Selah. A song based on the story of Paul and Silas found in Acts 16:22-34.

1 thought on “A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles

  1. Well done as usual !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *