MARY, OUR MOTHER

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Homily for the second Sunday of Easter - 03-30-08

Praise the Lord! Alleluia!
Here is my homily for this coming Sunday, the second Sunday of Easter.
" And all who believed were together and had all things in common. "
May God bless you!

Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen

http://meynen.homily-service.net/

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Homily for the second Sunday of Easter - Year A
Acts 2:42-47 - 1 Pt 1:3-9 - Jn 20:19-31
by Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen

Living by faith

Acts 2:42-47

Acts 2:42, [The first Christians] devoted themselves to the apostles'
teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
43, And fear came upon every soul; and many wonders and signs were
done through the apostles. 44, And all who believed were together and
had all things in common; 45, and they sold their possessions and
goods and distributed them to all, as any had need. 46, And day by
day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes,
they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, 47, praising God
and having favor with all the people.

At the beginning of her history, the Church was composed of the
Apostles, a few disciples, and several thousand people baptized
shortly after Pentecost (cf. Acts 2:41). Among all these people, only
the Apostles, the disciples, and a few dozen others could have been
said to have known the Lord Jesus, having touched him or spoken to
him even a single time. All the others, that is to say the majority,
had only heard speak of him, whether he was spoken of by the Apostles
or by someone else. In short, most of them believed, in the strong
sense of the word (that is to say supernaturally, with the help of
the grace of God), that this man who had died and risen is the
Messiah, the Son of God, the Word of the Father made man!

"All who believed were together." (Acts 2:44) All those who believed
in Jesus the Son of God lived together in a single faith, a single
hope, a single love! Detached from everything, they held to but a
single being in Heaven or on earth: Jesus, the bearer of the Holy
Spirit, under the gaze of the Father. So they sold their belongings,
so that all men could, like them, benefit from that same unique love:
that of God!

As Saint Luke writes, the faithful went to the Temple each day to
pray. But for the first few weeks, for the first months, for quite
long no doubt, it was impossible for them, for the most part, to
gather together to celebrate the Eucharist. So in all eventualities
the faithful kept the Body of Christ, which a priest had entrusted to
them at a Eucharistic celebration, at home, and so they were
"breaking bread in their homes" (Acts 2:46) and received the Body of
Christ, in a single faith and a single love. Hidden, as it were,
under the ancient Jewish custom of the breaking of the bread, the
communion of all with the mystical Body of Christ - the Church - was
realized and reinforced, in union with Christ Jesus, in the place
where the Christian faith had just been born!

1 Pt 1:3-9

1 Pt 1:3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By
his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4, and to an inheritance
which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for
you, 5, who by God's power are guarded through faith for a salvation
ready to be revealed in the last time. 6, In this you rejoice, though
now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, 7, so
that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which
though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory
and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8, Without having seen
him you love him; though you do not now see him you believe in him
and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. 9, As the outcome of
your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls.

How strong is our faith! How great is our love! How immeasurable is
our hope! For there is nothing natural about it: everything is
supernatural in our lives as Christians and followers of Christ
Jesus! What Saint Peter says, in today's second reading, is so very
true: "Without having seen [Jesus] you love him; though you do not
now see him you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and
exalted joy. As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of
your souls." (1 Pt 1:8-9)

Is it not extraordinary? We have been baptized, and, thanks to the
Holy Spirit, we love Him in whom we believe! We love someone, Jesus,
whom we have never seen! We believe in God because others, like our
parents, our friends, our relatives, have spoken to us about him! Is
it not extraordinary, this omnipotence of the grace of God? Is this
not something that would set ablaze that heart of fire, that of the
Apostle Peter? And how do we react, today, in this year 2008? Are we
ready, like the Apostles, to bring God's love to the ends of the
earth?

Jn 20:19-31

Jn 20:19, On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the
doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with
you." 20, When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his
side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21, Jesus
said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me,
even so I send you." 22, And when he had said this, he breathed on
them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23, If you forgive
the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any,
they are retained." 24, Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the
Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25, So the other disciples
told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see
in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark
of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe." 26,
Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas
was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among
them, and said, "Peace be with you." 27, Then he said to Thomas, "Put
your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place
it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." 28, Thomas
answered him, "My Lord and my God!" 29, Jesus said to him, "Have you
believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not
seen and yet believe." 30, Now Jesus did many other signs in the
presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31,
but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ,
the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

Eight days after Easter, Jesus appeared to his disciples for a very
specific purpose: to make it possible for the Apostle Thomas to
witness to his faith in the death and resurrection of Christ, and
thus to be one of those who, after having seen Jesus, believed in him
until the end. For, on that evening, there were no more than ten
Apostles: Judas had hung himself, and Thomas doubted. But Jesus had
wanted to leave us evidence of his great mercy: he would rescue
Thomas from his doubt!

On his body, Jesus bears the signs of his Passion: the marks of the
nails on his hands and feet, and the wound in his side. These signs
are bearers of grace. To touch one of these signs becomes a grace, a
grace of the Passion of Jesus, a grace destined for the conversion of
all the men and women of the earth! As Saint John says at the end of
his gospel: "Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the
disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written
that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and
that believing you may have life in his name." (Jn 20:30-31)

To live by faith, to believe in Jesus the Son of God: this is all of
Christian life, this is all of our life with Mary, the Mother of
Jesus, the model of all faithful Christians! May the Holy Spirit help
us to believe ever more in Jesus, through Mary!

Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen