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Second Sunday,Easter,2000,Jn.20:19-31.C

Second Sunday of Easter

All the readings in today’s Scriptures speak to us about the impact of the Resurrection on the lives of the disciples and how the different appearances of Jesus have strengthened their faith and transformed them into very powerful witnesses to His life and message.

In the first reading from the acts of the apostles , we hear about the beginning of the early Christian community –how they have passed through those great moments of unparalleled significance .We cannot imagine the heights of euphoria, the depths of despair and the intensity of hope they have passed through as they led their life’s journey through the life, death, and the resurrection of Our Lord.One thing that remained with them was their intense attachment, their loyalty , their faith.Everything else , they seemed to have forgotten. They lived as a community , sharing everything, praying together,and treating each other as the members of the same family.There was no distinction on any basis between them.

The earliest Christian community poses a powerful challenge before the present day Christian community who have more divisions and antagonistic attitudes before them. Even in the heart of modern Christian families, we find often rivalries and feelings of division to such an extent that the members find it easy to drift away than to come together to share the burdens, reach out to one another and to extend forgiveness.

Today’s Gospel places before us again another instance of the transformation effected by the appearance of Jesus Christ. After having become dispirited and hopeless after the death of Our Lord, the disciples gathered in a room , hidden from the eyes of all, and afraid of the authorities. All that pluck and courage they showed before hand were gone.It was to this gathering of his frightened disciples, that Jesus appeared to offer peace and hope.

Strengthening them in their faith , Jesus offers them the presence of the Holy spirit and makes them strong defenders and carriers of His message. Jesus gives them the power to forgive sins, giving them thus the authority to instill hope and confidence in the hearts of people.

Very often in our practice of faith , we forget the essential message of Jesus, and look upon our faith as something very restrictive and burdensome. Our young people shy away from the practice of faith, thinking that the practice of religion would entail loss of freedom and that it is a restriction on the spontaneity of their lives.

But , look at what Jesus said to his disciples---go , forgive sins… let the people feel that I am their Lord…I have the power to take away the burdens from their hearts…Let them feel the peace and happiness in their hearts resulting from the forgiveness of their sins.

Walker Percy has remarked that in spite of the claims that Christians have that they have the Good News , they go about as if they have the bad news. There is no joy on their faces.

Lok at our lives… There is very little forgiveness in our lives..We are very selfish and arrogant and show no concern or respect for the feelings for others. There is no feeling of friendship or love among us. We walk out of this Church without even speaking to one another, although we have shared the same body and blood of Jesus. This is the moment for us to make changes in our lives, to become a little more compassionate and forgiving. We shall ask the Risen Lord for this gift of transformation.

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