April 3, 2016: Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
To speak from the heart means that our hearts must not just be on fire, but also enlightened by the fullness of revelation and by the path travelled by God’s word in the heart of the Church and our faithful people throughout history. This Christian identity, as the baptismal embrace which the Father gave us when we were little ones, makes us desire, as prodigal children – and favourite children in Mary – yet another embrace, that of the merciful Father who awaits us in glory… (144) Joy of the Gospel
First Reading: Acts 5:12-16
Psalm: 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
Second Reading: Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19
Gospel: John 20:19-31
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. By faith “man freely commits his entire self to God.” For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God’s will. “The righteous shall live by faith.” Living faith “work(s) through charity.” (1814)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
John 20: 19, 21, 26
The promise of peace that runs through the entire Old Testament finds its fulfilment in the very person of Jesus. Peace, in fact, is the messianic attribute par excellence, in which all other beneficial effects of salvation are included. The Hebrew word “shalom” expresses this fullness of meaning in its etymological sense of “completeness” (cf. Is 9:5ff; Mic 5:1-4). The kingdom of the Messiah is precisely the kingdom of peace (cf. Job 25:2; Ps 29:11; 37:11; 72:3,7; 85:9,11; 119:165; 125:5, 128:6; 147:14; Song 8:10; Is 26:3,12; 32:17f.; 52:7; 54:10; 57:19; 60:17; 66:12; Hag 2:9; Zech 9:10; et al.). Jesus “is our peace” (Eph 2:14). He has broken down the dividing wall of hostility among people, reconciling them with God (cf.Eph 2:14-16). This is the very effective simplicity with which Saint Paul indicates the radical motivation spurring Christians to undertake a life and a mission of peace.
On the eve of his death, Jesus speaks of his loving relation with the Father and the unifying power that this love bestows upon his disciples. It is a farewell discourse which reveals the profound meaning of his life and can be considered a summary of all his teaching. The gift of peace is the seal on his spiritual testament: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (Jn 14:27). The words of the Risen Lord will not be any different; every time that he meets his disciples they receive from him the greeting and gift of peace: “Peace be with you” (Lk 24:36; Jn 20:19,21,26). (491)
Peter and the apostles continued the work of signs and wonders among the people, leading to more believers in the Lord, healing the sick and those disturbed by unclean spirits. Mercy in the day and enduring across time to unfolding eternity. For Jesus stood in the midst of the disciples when fear seized their minds to say, “Peace be with you.” An affirmation of mercy, but also a commissioning to be sent forth in proclaiming the hope of the resurrection. As Thomas, we may all have doubts, wallow in our perceived inadequacies as to why Jesus invites us into belief and announce the Gospel with our lives. Only tethering ourselves to the gift of faith and letting the indwelling of the Holy Spirit guide our journey can we move beyond unbelief into the blessedness of belief. In knowing the depth of the Lord’s greeting, with passion and compassion we should acknowledge each day the Lord has made by living, helping and encouraging others to strive for peace in our world. A call to dismiss fearfulness in the face of a culture rooted in violence, lived with dominance and absorbed with materialism to articulate peace rooted in charity and justice. A defining moment wrought with reflection and reconciliation to stumbling blocks of peace in our lives and society. To retrench from pursuing peace means our lives are still rooted in fear, tangible moments of present struggles or the past buried with layers of insulation to shield us from acknowledging our lack of resolve to fully embrace Jesus’ invitation, Peace be with you” and live with faith.
Individual Reflection: Acts 5:12-16
Invite people that recently participated in RCIA and received the Sacraments this Easter season to a parish or diocesan social justice event.
Family Reflection: John 20:19-31
Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Before praying each decade, have each family share an example of how they experience the Lord’s mercy
Prayer: Collect from Second Sunday of Easter Divine Mercy Sunday
God of everlasting mercy, who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast, kindle in the faith of the people you have made your own, increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed, that all may grasp and rightly understand in what font they have been washed, by whose Spirit they have been reborn, by whose Blood they have been redeemed. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born March 28, 2016 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.