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26/6/2016 23/04/2017 – 2nd Sunday of Easter- A
23/04/2017 – 2nd Sunday of Easter- A
Or Sunday of Divine Mercy
1st reading Acts 2,42-47 * from Psalm 117 * 2nd reading 1Pt 1,3-9 * Gospel John 20,19-31
Saint Peter begins his letter to the Christians highlighting how the new life originating from our faith comes from the “great mercy” of God the Father. As a matter of fact, every time God steps in it is only out of mercy. He keeps in mind every man suffering because of sin, of that same sin that has poisoned the environment in which men live. Sin is not only about my untamed behaviour to God the Father, not even that specific action you or I feel guilty about, but it is above all that background or attitude of pride, haughtiness, impurity, vanity and independence that we can feel everywhere: it is like a blanket of pollution that takes our breath away and clouds our sight. Our Father’s Mercy reaches us in the middle of this situation in order to help us “resurrect”, to help us live a liveable life. This sin is the reason He has sent Jesus to suffer death, in order to free us from its influence and from its enormous power. As a matter of fact, anyone who is falling in love with Jesus begins to leave behind those behaviours, to feel free from the bondage of the way of thinking that surrounds us, they start living and breathing! Anyone who loves Jesus can experience His “resurrection”, that is to say this new life that is not dominated by death and by fear of death any more. This is why Peter can say that “this is a great joy to you, even though for a short time yet you must bear all sorts of trials”: joy, “so glorious that it cannot be described”, comes from faith and it is a sign that our faith in Jesus is genuine.
The Apostles, Thomas included, have lived through this experience. All of them, sooner or later, believed that Jesus is Lord and Son of God, that he is alive and present among us, and they committed themselves to Him. From that moment on they felt like they were living in a new world, filled with new life, free from that hostile environment in which they were living before. Their Lord has risen again, and they as well, like limbs of His body, have experienced that. The world, that was still the same in which they used to live and move around, in which they learned to think and reason, in which they felt either fulfilled or worried, that old world was not enough to support their lives any more. Living with the risen Jesus seemed to them like living in another world. I am saying this about the Apostles because this is now the experience of those who begins to belong to Jesus. This is your experience also, your joy and your effort. The Disciples, filled with joy and telling Thomas: “We have seen the Lord”, are different from before, even if they still live in a world that rejects and hates them. By seeing and listening to Jesus, they freed themselves from it, ready to face the enmity and the lies coming from an environment that rejects them. From the moment in which they received the Holy Spirit from the risen Jesus’ breath, and since they received His salutation: “Peace be with you”, they are not dominated any more by neither the influence of their sins, nor by that of the entire world: they are finally free, and they are getting ready to enjoy this freedom.
God’s mercy is truly a “great mercy”. The disciples that are touched by it begins to experience what Jesus Himself called “Kingdom of Heavens”, not a kingdom of wolves any more, in which selfishness reigns, but a kingdom of lambs, because the King is the Sacrificial Lamb. Therefore, we can see them all together “faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers”. Their interest have changed, that are not those dictated by the world any more: greed, pride and ambition. They now have the humility to keep learning, and they let the Apostles teach them, they gather all together like true brothers and sisters that love each other, sharing the worldly goods and sharing their faith, praying together. The Eucharist is not a fictitious moment, but it expresses what fills their hearts and supports them, in order for them to carry on and persevere. Their number would increase, because a lot of people were attracted by the true life that they could see they were living: “day by day the Lord added to their community those destined to be saved.”
We are reading these pages with a holy envy. Unlikely, we are now witnessing the break-up of Christian Communities and this is upsetting for us. Why is this happening? Are we lacking perseverance in listening to the Apostles’ teachings? Are our gatherings superficial, so much that they are not influencing our daily life? Or are they occasional and dull as if we needed to put ourselves out for something not very important? Are our prayers empty and without enthusiasm, like we knew we are praying a deaf or mute God or a God that does not love us? Are we living the Eucharist more like a dreaded duty than like something we were waiting for? Let’s start appreciating the new life, that is sharing the risen Jesus’ life! And the Church will find new strength and will become attractive again, in order to draw to Jesus everybody “destined to be saved”.
In primo piano
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