Church of Santo Spirito in SassiaSecond Sunday of Easter, 11 April 2021
The risen Jesus appeared to the devotees on several occasions. He patiently soothed their agitated stomaches. Risen himself, he now brings about “the resurrection of the disciples”. He causes their characters and their lives are changed. Earlier, the Lord’s words and his precedent had failed to change them. Now, at Easter, something new happens, and it happens in the light of mercy. Jesus elevates them up with blessing. Having received that forbearance, they become merciful in turn. It is hard to be merciful without the accomplishments of having first received mercy.
First, they receive benevolence through three endows. First, Jesus offers them agreement, then the Spirit and finally his wraps. The disciples were upset. They were locked away for horror, nervousnes of being arrested and objective up like the Master. But they were not only huddled together in a office; they were also caught in their own remorse. They had abandoned and disavowed Jesus. They felt helpless, discredited, good for nothing. Jesus arrives and says to them twice, “Peace be with you! ” He does not produce a agreement that removes the problems without, but one that imbues trust within. It is no outward peacefulnes, but peacefulnes of soul. He tells them “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, even so I send you”( Jn 20:21 ). It is as if to say, “I am sending you because I believe in you”. Those discouraged adherents were put at peace with themselves. The quietnes of Jesus determined them pass from shame to operation. The quietnes of Jesus awakens goal. It entails not easy and comfort, but the challenge to break out of ourselves. The quietnes of Jesus frees from the self-absorption that paralyzes; it shatters the bonds that keep the heart jailed. The devotees realized that they had been shown mercy: they realized that God did not condemn or demean them, but instead believed in them. God, in fact, believed in us even more than we believe in ourselves. “He affection us better than we enjoy ourselves( cf. SAINT JOHN HENRY NEWMAN, Meditations and Fervours, III, 12, 2 ). As far as God is concerned , no one is useless, discredited or a castaway. Today Jesus likewise tells us, “Peace be with you! You are precious in my looks. Peace be with you! You are important for me. Peace be with you! You have a mission. No one can take your sit. You are irreplaceable. And I believes in you”.
Second, Jesus showed mercy to his followers by conceding them the Holy spirit. He lavished the Spirit for the forgiveness of guilts( cf. vv. 22 -2 3 ). The disciples were guilty; they had run away, they had abandoned the Master. Sin brings torment; evil has its price. Our sin, as the Psalmist says( cf. 51:5 ), is always before us. Of ourselves, we cannot remove it. Simply God takes it away, exclusively he by his blessing can meet us originating from the magnitudes of our hardship. Like those adherents, we need to let ourselves be forgiven, to ask heartfelt forgivenes of the Lord. We need to open our hearts to being forgiven. Forgiveness in the Holy Spirit is the Easter gift that enables our interior resurrection. Let us ask for the blessing to accept that gift, to embrace the Sacrament of forgiveness. And to understand that Confession is not about ourselves and our blasphemies, but about God and his pity. Let us not confess to abase ourselves, but to be raised up. We, all of us, need this badly. Like little children who, whenever they fall, need to be picked up by their father-gods, we need this. We very descend regularly. And the mitt of our Father is ready to set us on our paw again and to compile us walked away. That sure and trustworthy hand is Confession. Confession is the sacrament that elevations us up; it does not leave us on the ground, weeping on the hard stones where we have descended. Confession is the Sacrament of resurgence, pure compassion. All those who hear acknowledgments ought to convey the sweetness of blessing. This is something that confessors are meant to do : to convey the sweetness of the kindnes of Jesus who forgives everything. God forgives everything.
Together with the agreement that refurbishes the americans and the forgiveness that raises us up, Jesus devoted his followers a third gift of mercy: he showed them his weaves. By those winds we were regenerated( cf. 1 Pet 2:24; Is 53:5 ). But how can curves salve us? By benevolence. In those meanders, like Thomas, we can literally touch the fact that God has desired us to the end. He has represented our curves his own and digest our fragilities in his own figure. His meanders are open paths between him and us, shedding pity upon our discomfort. His wounds are the pathways that God has opened up for us to enter into his tender love and actually “touch” who he is. Let us never again doubt his boon. In adoring and caressing his weaves, we come to realize that in his tender love all our helplessness are accepted. This is the case in every Mass, where Jesus offers us his wounded and risen Body. We touch him and he touches our lives. He moves heaven come down to us. His radiant curves dispel the darkness we carry within. Like Thomas, we discover God; we realize how close he is to us and we are moved to exclaim, “My Lord and my God! ”( Jn 20:28 ). Everything comes from this, from the forgivenes of receiving relief. This is the starting-point of our Christian pilgrimage. But if we trust in our own abilities, in the efficiency of our formations and assignments, we will not go far. Merely if we accept the cherish of God, will we be able to offer something new to the world.
And that is what the devotees did: receiving mercy, they in turn became blessed. We see this in the first reading. The Ordinance of the Apostles relate that “no one claimed private ownership of any controls, but everything they owned was held in common”( 4:32 ). This is not communism, but pure Christianity. It are even more surprising when we think that those were the same followers who had earlier insisted about prizes and wages, and about who was the greatest among other issues( cf. Mt 10:37; Lk 22:24 ). Now they share everything; they are “of one heart and soul””( Acts 4:32 ). How did they modify like that? They now understood in others the same mercy that had changed their own lives. They discovered that they shared the mission, the forgiveness and the Body of Jesus, and so it seemed natural to share their earthly possessions. The text continues: “There was not a needy being among them”( v. 34 ). Their nervousness had been dispelled by touching the Lord’s wounds, and now they are unafraid to heal the winds of those in need. Because there they encounter Jesus. Because Jesus is there, in the curves of those in need.
Dear sister, dear friend, do you want proof that God has touched your life? See if you can stoop to bind the meanders of others. Today is the day to ask, “Am I, who so often have received God’s peace, his kindnes, gracious to others? Do I, who have so often been fed by the Body of Jesus, make any effort to relieve the emptines of the poor? ” Let us not remain indifferent. Let us not live a one-way faith, a faith that receives but does not sacrifice, a religion that accepts the gift but does not commit it in return. Having received boon, make us now become blessed. For if love is only about us, faith becomes arid, barren and mawkish. Without others, faith becomes disembodied. Without wields of forbearance, it dies( cf. Jas 2:17 ). Dear brothers and sisters, give us be restored by the peace, forgiveness and meanders of the blessed Jesus. Let us ask for the kindnes to become witness of forgivenes. Merely in this way will our faith be alive and our lives merged. Exclusively in this way will we proclaim the Gospel of God, which is the Gospel of mercy.
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