By Fr. Rocco Marra, IMC
We are celebrating the Second Sunday of Easter, the eighth day of the Octave of Easter. This particular day was called with different names during the History of the Church: 1- It is called “White Sunday” because on this day the new members of the church use to lay aside the white dress which they received on Easter Vigil, during the celebration of their baptism. 2- It is called “Low Sunday” because it closes the celebration of the eight days, the Octave of Easter; considering the High Sunday, the Easter Sunday itself, the first day of the Octave. 3- Recently we call it “Divine Mercy Sunday” so that forgiveness and tenderness are proclaimed and the world hears a different message than one of emptiness or hate and is shown a path to reconciliation and peace. We are redeemed trough the Mercy of God.
Readings: Acts 4:32-35 1John 5:1-6 Jn20:19-31
In the new-born Church of Jerusalem, the Apostles were witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus. The community was one in Jesus; they witnessed Him by acts of charity, sharing with the disadvantaged people. May the community of the first church be model of all the parishes and dioceses of today world as well.
Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we become members of God family’s and we are loved by him. The Apostle John is the one loved by Jesus; in his writing, we can test the beauty of that love. The second reading this Sunday encourages the Christians to be coherent in living the commandments, in order to love him. Jesus’ life is the highest example of the commandments lived in full freedom. The love of God is the source of new relations. Our faith is relation of love with God through his Son Jesus. All the Christians, individuals, families and communities are encouraged, by the action of the Spirit of Jesus, to surrender in the merciful heart of the Father. Day by day, we learn this love through Jesus, the Son and Witness of the Father, our friend and Lord.
The Christians are the Sundays’ worshippers, on that day they celebrate the Easter’s mystery. That day Jesus was present in the assembly of the Apostles and disciples, after his resurrection.
The Holy Spirit, Forgiveness, Peace and Mission are enlightened by this Gospel as gifts of the resurrected Jesus Christ; actually these gifts are integrated in one supreme gift that is Jesus Christ himself. Then the first fruit of his presence is joy. The beauty of evangelization is represented by a joyful parish community.
Jesus through the mystery of his passion, death and resurrection started a new creation, filled with his love. Jesus completed the plan of the Father, obeying him until he died on the Cross, so he accomplished on earth his mission as the Son of God. His Spirit dwells in the Church. Jesus in today Gospel reminded Tomas the importance to believe through his disciples, the witnesses of his new life. The Church is the presence of Jesus after his resurrection.
Let us be open to the Spirit of Christ to become one, let Jesus touch each one, our families and communities by the teaching of the Church and by the Sacraments. Let us announce Jesus: praying as he prays, reading the Scriptures (Bible), participating in the Eucharist (Holy Masses), visiting the sick and lonely, sharing with the poor (…)
May more people, experiencing his loving touch, profess with Tomas: “My Lord and my God!”
“Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” (Blessed Paul VI, pope)