Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
April 15, A.D. 2007
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
Today's readings tell us in exciting detail what really happened in the weeks and months following the Resurrection of Jesus. Our first reading tells us about the miracles that the apostles performed. People pushed close to Peter as he preached, hoping they would be healed of their ailments if only his shadow touched them!
The excitement caused by many cures reached fever pitch, and great numbers of men and women were converted. The Responsorial Psalm is so appropriate for us modern readers: "Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; His love is everlasting!"
The Second Reading from Revelation is much more somber, for it narrates the great suffering of St. John and many other Christians who were forced into exile on the island of Patmos by the Romans. What was their crime? Proclaiming God's Word and giving testimony!
Yet, John has a vision of the risen Christ, present among them, sharing "the distress, the kingdom, and the endurance." Today, we cannot but commiserate with those thousands and thousands of Christians forced to flee from Iraq and other Muslim countries, deprived of property, freedom of worship and a means of livelihood.
Yet, the message from Jesus then and now, in both the Second Reading and in today's Gospel, is the same: "Do not be afraid." Huddled in fear in the upper room, the disciples suddenly see Jesus before them. In His glorified body, He has come easily through the locked doors.
Just as easily He has penetrated their paralyzing doubts. May He melt our doubts as effectively as He did theirs! Eventually, He even broke down the skepticism of Thomas.
How many modern-day Christians can identify with Thomas! They isolate themselves, just as he did, not wanting to look their companions in the eye, not sharing in their joy and enthusiasm that Jesus has indeed risen from the dead. It can't be true!
Maybe it was Mary who noticed Thomas' absence. Maybe it was Mary's prayers that brought him from his isolation back to the community. If we can only pray for those alienated today from the sacraments, perhaps they too will open themselves to the healing grace that restores faith.
Easter isn't over. We ourselves can be the channels of God's healing mercy to others this week, so that they too can live in hope.
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(pwhitmore29 at yahoo dot com)
Second Sunday of Easter
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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