Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
April 23, A.D. 2006
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
Now that we’re on the “other” side of Easter, there is a danger that our spiritual life may go into a slump, now that the intensity of our Lenten discipline is past. We mustn’t let it happen!
The readings for the Second Sunday of Easter paint a vivid picture of life in the early Christian community. The Gospel for all three of the liturgical cycles is the same — the story of doubting Thomas. Just as Peter’s first reaction to evidence that Christ was not dead but alive was to doubt, so, too, Thomas doubts what he hears from the other apostles. How embarrassed Thomas must have been when the risen Jesus tells him to put his hand in the wounds of the crucifixion. But then, Thomas fell to his knees in relief and joy to exclaim, “My Lord and my God!” Thomas’ hesitation, doubt, and subsequent joyful faith, must have been the common experience of many other followers of Jesus in those days before Pentecost, and even later.
We get a wonderful picture of the first Christian community in our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles. They shared all that they possessed! How were they ever convinced in their minds and hearts to do this? It was through the gift of the Spirit! The Spirit came upon them and changed their hearts. Remember, whenever Jesus appeared after His resurrection, he gave them the gift of His Peace. A peaceful heart leads to a spirit of unity, overcoming differences, quieting arguments, and silencing doubts. That’s exactly what happened! We know that the early community had lots of differences and many divisions. Why didn’t all this destroy the early Church? Because of that powerful gift of Peace given by Jesus and strengthened through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We’re much like the Christians of the early Church. Just as their faith grew gradually, so will we come to the perfection of our spiritual life with Jesus through reflecting carefully on these post-Easter readings. They will overcome the negative messages from the media and the secular society surrounding us. As we pray and work during these after-days of Easter, we must call on the gift of the Spirit given to us through our Baptism and Confirmation to stir us to apply to ourselves the words and witness of Jesus. They have the power to heal our divisions and quiet our doubts. Easter isn’t over — it’s just begun!
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(smartins at frontiernet dot net)
Second Sunday of Easter
(Divine Mercy Sunday)
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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