Eight of the Middle Sundays of Easter
1st. Reading: Acts 28:11-22
11 After three months we sailed in an Alexandrian ship whose figurehead was the Twin Brothers, which had wintered at the island.
12 And landing at Syracuse, we stayed three days.
13From there we circled round and reached Rhegium. And after one day the south wind blew; and the next day we came to Puteoli,
14 where we found brethren, and were invited to stay with them seven days. And so we went toward Rome.
15 And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.
16 Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him.
17 And it came to pass after three days that Paul called the leaders of the Jews together. So when they had come together, he said to them: “Men and brethren, though I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans,
18 who, when they had examined me, wanted to let me go, because there was no cause for putting me to death.
19 But when the Jews spoke against it, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything of which to accuse my nation.
20 For this reason therefore I have called for you, to see you and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.”
21 Then they said to him, “We neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren who came reported or spoken any evil of you.
22But we desire to hear from you what you think; for concerning this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere.”
2nd. Reading: 2 Corinthians 7:4-12
4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.
5 For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.
6Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,
7 and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.
8 For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while.
9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
12Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.
Gospel: Luke 14:7-15
7 So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them:
8 “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him;
9 and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.
10 But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you.
11 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
12 Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.
13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.
14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
15 Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!”