April 11, 2021
Second Sunday of Easter
Divine Mercy Sunday
Acts of the Apostles 4:32-35
Psalm 118
1John 5:1-6
John 20: 19-31

How Willing Are You to Breathe
the Justice of God into the World?

The opening of the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy states, "O blood and water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust You!" Jesus gushed out his life, giving life for the justice of all. He opens the way, tears the veil in the sanctuary, that all of the Father's creation may gain access to the sublime love. As we say, Jesus died once for all. Now he is risen!

In the earliest time, the beginning days of the Church, the people were filled with an enthusiasm of Joy. Joy is the recognition of "someone being with me". That joy was manifested in service to each other. They were with each other. In the Acts of the Apostles 4:32-35, the boldness of the Church screams out. It was Liturgical. That is, they gathered for communal prayer and the Breaking of the Bread. However, this Liturgy (the work of the people) goes well beyond the gathering on the Lord's Day. It burst forth; it inspired the sharing of the "bread", that is, all that was needed.

The Spirit filled life of the early Church and being of "one heart and mind" compelled the people to care for others. "There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need." The community was living Divine Mercy. One feels the energy in the telling of the story. Led by the fresh example they just witnessed in the whole "Jesus event" they gushed forth works that were mercy, to all people.

The members of the early Church were so aware of their connectedness to Jesus they knew intuitively what the right thing was to do. First John 5 says, "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God, and everyone who loves the Father loves also the one begotten by him. In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments." In faith they were able to act boldly. Believing they just saw the promise of God unfold before their eyes they knew they may be fearless acting in the justice of God because indeed they now knew Jesus is the Son of God. He is the victor over the world. Care of all and speaking out in the name of God was possible.

The Gospel passage, John 20, places emphasis on Peace. "Peace be with you" Jesus says. Further, the peace is attached to forgiveness and the capacity of the Church, through its ministers, to forgive sins. Jesus breathed on them the Holy Spirit, "Receive the Holy Spirit". The events in this passage highlight the coming of understanding who Jesus is.

John's Gospel is written more than a generation after Jesus walked the earth. John's community has now developed a deeper understanding of Jesus' total teaching. The community would be familiar with all the miracles Jesus did. These miracles aimed at making people, indeed all of creation, whole. The true Christian comes to understand their responsibility to the whole community. In Justice all must be able to thrive.

Once again, we return to what is emphasized in the Acts of the Apostles. Sharing what they had among themselves becomes the expression of what it is to be a believing member of the faith community. It is justice that all may live with dignity. If Justice was not the gift of God embodied in Christ, then what was the purpose of His coming? Was it just to worship another deity? It is to worship and celebrate one God who calls all people to unity, to be one body. And now the presence of Jesus must be continued through the Works of the Spirit.

With the Holy Spirit comes works of mercy. The corporal works are: feeding the hungry; giving drink to the thirsty; sheltering the homeless; clothing the naked; visiting the sick; visiting the imprisoned; and burying the dead. The spiritual works of mercy are: admonishing the sinner; instructing the ignorant; counseling the doubtful; comforting the sorrowful; bearing wrongs patiently; forgiving all injuries; and praying for the living and the dead.

With these works of mercy we breathe out the life of Christ on all through the Holy Spirit. As one whole community of faith we may do great things boldly! If we wish to revitalize the Church of today, we might return to the view of our early brothers and sisters. Jesus's continuing presence must be maintained in Justice done through works of mercy, divine mercy. That will take all people to be willing to share what they have.

How willing are you to breathe the Justice of God into the world?

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Pray the
Divine Mercy

“For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
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Reading the Bible in order to deepen our relationship with Jesus.

Scripture
Readings

It is important to read the Bible in order to understand our Catholic faith better and be able to pass it on to others. It is important to read the Bible in order to live holy Christian lives.

Spending time reading the upcoming weeks scripture will enhance you experience at Mass.

This Weeks Readings



Reading 1 Acts 3:13-15, 17-19

Peter said to the people:
“The God of Abraham,
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus,
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
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 Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.”

Responsorial Psalm
4:2, 4, 7-8, 9

Reading 2 1 Jn 2:1-5a

My children, I am writing this to you
so that you may not commit sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins,
and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.
The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep
his commandments.
Those who say, “I know him,” but do not keep his commandments
are liars, and the truth is not in them.
But whoever keeps his word,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.


Alleluia
Cf. Lk 24:32

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Lord Jesus, open the Scriptures to us;
make our hearts burn while you speak to us.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 24:35-48

The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way,
and how Jesus was made known to them
in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”


Next Weeks Readings

April 25, 2021
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Acts 4:8-12;1 Jn 3:1-2;Jn 10:11-18