Second Sunday of Easter - Scripture Soundings
First Reading: Acts 2:42-47
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
Second Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9
Gospel: John 20:19-31
After Easter, the apostles went out courageously and told the story of Jesus, his resurrection, and the Good News he brought. Many people believed the words, signs, and wonders of Jesus' followers. Together they broke bread, prayed, shared stories, and helped one another. Many sold their possessions and used the proceeds to help the less fortunate. The conversion described in Acts is joyful and dramatic.
As we look closely at Peter's letter and John's Gospel, we see less joy and drama. Peter warns new Christians that it is not always easy to be a follower, but the bottom line is that our souls will be saved. We haven't realized yet what that means exactly. Its full impact will not be realized until we join Christ in heaven.
John breaks into the story slowly. He begins by telling us that the apostles had gathered, frightened, in an upper room with locked doors. Jesus appears in the room and gently offers them peace. There's certainly excitement, relief, joy, tears of understanding as the miracle continues to unfold, but even this joy is quieted by Thomas' reluctance to believe what had transpired while he was gone. Still, the same conditions exist for the apostles and for us today as the early Christians found after Easter. We break bread, pray, share stories, and help one another.
All the characteristics of the new church still hold true for us today. In the spirit of the peace Jesus offered the disciples and continues to offer us, we share the victory of the Cross. In the breaking of the bread, prayer, sharing stories, and serving one another, Jesus sends us out, clothed with the Holy Spirit, to proclaim the Good News.
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Updated: May 11, 2008