By Fr. Rocco Marra, IMC
During this Easter Season: from Easter day up to Pentecost, we are reading from the book of the Acts of the Apostles. The first reading, relates the story of Peter and John’s meeting with a man crippled from birth who asked them for alms. Peter said he had neither gold nor silver, but he would give him something better and proceeded to heal him. The Apostles preached, first of all, about the event of our salvation: that is the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Church, continuing the mission of Jesus, encourages humanity to conversion: that is to open their hearts to the merciful God and to believe in the Good News.1 Jn. 2:1-5
Jesus is the redeemer of each one and the whole humanity. Sometimes, especially the youth, in their retreats and special celebrations, like to have a Cross where they write on injustices and sinful situations of our life and of the world. They want to say that only Jesus heals the wounds and the sins of the world. Also they believe that is wonderful to collaborate with Jesus to build a new humanity as God wants. The Apostle, in the reading, says that the Christian if they should sin, they are to admit their fault and seek pardon, which will be given in abundance. May the Good news of Jesus be in our hearts, minds, hearts, feelings and strength in order to become his witnesses by words and actions, in today’s world.
The disciples were with Jesus for sometimes, the Apostles spent with him two or three years; but they could not understand completely the mystery of the unconditional love of God without the paschal experience. They needed to be more evangelized by Jesus, before to preach the Gospel to others.
In the passage of the Gospel The Risen Jesus explained the Scriptures to the disciples, because one of the greatest difficulties of the first Christians was that of accepting the crucified as the promised Messiah; because the Law taught that a crucified person was a “person cursed by God” (Dt. 21, 22-23). For this reason, it was important to know that Scripture had already announced that “Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that in his name, conversion and forgiveness of sins would be preached to all peoples”.
As communities, we gather to listen the Word of God, to break the Bread of Life and to serve Jesus in those who suffered physically, emotionally, economically and in many other ways, either personal or collective levels.
“We need a Church unafraid of going forth into their night. We need a Church capable of meeting them on their way. We need a Church capable of entering into their conversation. We need a Church able to dialogue with those disciples who, having left Jerusalem behind, are wandering aimlessly, alone, with their own disappointment, disillusioned by a Christianity now considered barren, fruitless soil, incapable of generating meaning”. (Pope Francis, Brazil 2013)