SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER – 2018
« The readings offer to us different moments in the life of the community of Jesus followers
o In the first reading Luke describes the life of the small, poor and simple community of the disciples, a community that shares everything.
o In the second reading John speaks of one of his communities.
o And the Gospel presents the apostolic community after the resurrection of the Lord.
FIRST READING – Acts 10: 4,32-35
« Luke in this section of the Acts gives a second description of the first community, the church which is still very small and poor.
« Luke speaks here of the sharing of goods in that community. The community experiences a problem of poverty in some of its members, and as a community of the followers of Jesus it looks for solutions. The members respond with courage, enthusiasm and fidelity to the words of Jesus “love one another as I have loved you.”
« What Luke says of this community, invites us to think:
o They had one heart and one soul.
o Nobody considered that what they had was theirs, since they gave their possessions for the good of all.
o There were no needy among them.
o The Apostles witness to the resurrection with great power.
« This word which we will listen to during next Sunday’s liturgy questions us.
o The first followers of Jesus took very seriously the words of Jesus “love one another…”
o This love moved them to look for solutions to the sufferings of others.
o I ask myself if we feel that the distribution of the goods of creation, so unfair as ours, is something we can tolerate with peace, each one of us taking care of his/her our own business.
o Or on the contrary the strength of the resurrection which removed the stone of the tomb, stirs our heart in front of so much injustice, destruction of creation and above all destruction of the human being.
« One conclusion that can be drawn from these readings is that, as we have said above, the first community had taken very seriously the words of Jesus “Love one another as I have loved you.”
« Certainly, and we cannot deny it, and we have to give thanks to the risen Lord, in the Church many sisters and brothers through the centuries and also today have taken very seriously these words of Jesus, and in spite of their limitations and poverty, they have striven and continue striving to make these words true, sometimes to the price of their life.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 118:2-4,13-15,22-24
The response repeats like a background music “
Let the house of Israel say,
"His mercy endures forever."
Let the house of Aaron say,
"His mercy endures forever."
Let those who fear the LORD say,
"His mercy endures forever."
I was hard pressed and was falling,
but the LORD helped me.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
The joyful shout of victory
in the tents of the just:
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
SECOND READING 1 Jn 5:1-6
« Let us see some aspects of the letter:
o The community is from Asia Minor, disciple of John. Its members are Christians who belong to the second or third generation.
o They are new Christians, far from those first witnesses, and even from the members of the first generation.
o Their behavior is based on the witnesses who saw and heard and touched the Word of Life.
o They are faced with a heresy about Jesus: devaluation of the historical Jesus and denial of the redemption by blood
o The author helps his sisters and brothers in the following way:
§ Makes the community aware of the demands of the Christian life
§ He offers some criteria to discern about what is a Christian behavior and what is not.
« Let us meditate on the message for next Sunday:
o The Reading is taken from the conclusion of the First Letter of John
o He who believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God is a son of God.
o He who loves the Father loves also the Son
o He goes further and says: if we love God and fulfill his commandments, we know that we love the children of God also.
o John says:
§ The commandments are not a burden
§ Faith overcomes the world (world considered here as the realm of sin)
§ Faith in Jesus the Son of God who came through water and blood.
§ Water , baptism? Blood, Eucharist? Or they mean the water and blood that flowed from the side of the crucified Lord? Or does he want us to think about the reality of the incarnation of the Word?GOSPEL OF JOHN 20:19-31
The liturgy of this second Sunday of Eastern narrates the manifestation of Jesus to the eleven on the evening of the Resurrection day
Jesus comes in the midst of them, so that all can see Him
o His greeting as always is “Shalom=Peace. ” The Risen Christ is our peace, his presence fills us with an overwhelming joy and we experience his profound peace which nobody can take from us.
o He makes them understand that they are his visibility, that the work he has begun when he was sent by the Father, has to be continued by them
§ What work, what mission? With the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus, they receive the power and the mission to forgive, to tie and untie, with the same authority of Jesus, who accepts their decision
o One of them Thomas is not there with the community, why? we do not know, maybe he was discouraged, sad, disappointed? He moves away from the community when he needs it the most. When he needs to share with his companions and friends his sadness, his fears, his disappointment.
Jesus comes back the following week, he does not leave one of his close friends without his manifestation.
o Jesus, who continues to love without measure and without conditions, is going to offer to Thomas a great gift, and with Thomas to us all too.
o Thomas, look at me, I am Jesus, whom you love, once you wanted to go to Jerusalem to die with me.
o Do not allow temptation and sadness overcome you, do not leave your community of friends, who suffer like you.
o Touch my hands, and introduce your hand into my side, which will be always open for you.
o You know that now, by the power of the resurrection we are not only friends, but brothers.
o “My Lord and my God.” I love you my Lord, forgive my mistrust.
§ BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN AND HAVE BELIEVED.” Thank you Lord for these words, because we belong to the group of those who struggle every day
· To believe without seeing
· To seek you in the midst of our darkness
· To allow ourselves to be encountered by your love that forgets and forgives our doubts.
· WE BELIEVE LOR, BUT HELP OUR UNBELIEF, INCREASE OUR FAITH.
“The Principal aim of the religious of this order is to work with all diligence in the Lord, in keeping God’s law and the utmost fulfilment of the evangelical counsels, and, in imitation of the Holy Apostles, to work until death in teaching every creature the holy Law of the Lord.
Our form and manner of life:
- requires that all those persons who wish to be enrolled be crucified to all the things of the world.
- our Institute also requires daughters stripped of all their disordered affections and passions, so that they can follow the footsteps of Christ our highest good..(Venerable Maria Antonia Paris - Foundress, Aim and Goal – first part. (Constitutions)
Ever since I lost the desire to become a Carthusian--which God had used to uproot me from worldliness--I not only thought about becoming holy myself, but I was continuously trying to imagine what I could do to save the souls of my neighbors. Hence I prayed continuously to Jesus and Mary, offering myself to them for this purpose. The lives of the saints, which we read daily at table, and my own spiritual reading all contributed to this. But what moved and stimulated me most was reading the Holy Bible, to which I have always been very strongly attracted. (Saint Anthony Mary Claret – Founder, Autobiography 113.)