2nd Easter A
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2nd Easter A

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Dear sisters and brothers,

Dear sisters and brothers,

The faith in the Risen Lord must bring us together as a community.

Fr. Cielo

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2nd Easter A 2nd Easter A Presentation Transcript

  • Welcome to our Bible Study 2nd Sunday of Easter A 27 April 2014 Divine Mercy Sunday In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy In aid of focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  • 1st reading: Acts 2:42-47  42 They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. 43 Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need. 46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. The focus is on the first Christian community.
  • 1st reading: Acts 2:42-47 The Prayer Life of the Early Community  42 They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. The awesome effect  43 Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. The Common Life  44 All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need. The Prayer Life Again  46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. Multiplication of Members  And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. A simple outline!
  • 1st reading: Acts 2:42-47 The Prayer Life of the Early Community  42 They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. The awesome effect  43 Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. The Common Life  44 All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need. The Prayer Life Again  46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. Multiplication of Members  And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. Commentary V.42 describes the characteristics of the early Church, to whom the apostles preached.  They become devoted to:  The teaching of the apostles  The communal life  The breaking of the bread (eucharist)  The prayers (supposedly psalms) V.43 describes the effect of the early Christian community.  Having a sense of awe is a religious experience. It is a sign of holiness, God is taking hold of you.  The apostles are still instruments of God’s wonders and signs.
  • 1st reading: Acts 2:42-47 The Prayer Life of the Early Community  42 They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. The awesome effect  43 Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. The Common Life  44 All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need. The Prayer Life Again  46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. Multiplication of Members  And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.  In v.44, the early Christians live a community life and have their things in common, without being told by the apostles.  Their belief in the risen Christ (thru the preaching of the apostles) drives them to be more fraternal to each other.  In v.45, they do more by selling their property and possessions (poverty, detachment) and divide according to each one’s need (justice).  V.46 picks up again v.42. The apostles go to the temple (to pray) and to their homes (for the eucharist).  They eat with joy and sincere hearts.  V.47 describes further the prayer life of the community.  V.47 speaks of the giftedness of the community:  more new members.
  • Reflections on the 1st reading  The reading teaches how to live in a community centered in Christ.  The basic characteristics of the Christian community are:  Fraternal, dependent on one another (synergy)  Docile to the teachings of the apostles  Detached from personal possessions and properties  Prayerful  Celebrative, loves the eucharist  Joyful  These characteristics should be found also in our homes.  These are concrete responses to the kerygma (preaching of the apostles).
  • 2nd reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9 New birth  3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you 5 who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time. Rejoice  6 In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, 7 so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 as you attain the goal of (your) faith, the salvation of your souls. The focus is on the new birth of Christians.
  • 2nd reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9 New birth  3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you 5 who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time. Commentary  Vv.3-5. The focus is actually on God and Father of Jesus.  Jesus is God’s instrument to save us.  The resurrection of Christ brings about our new birth.  We are born again  to a living hope  to a lasting inheritance.  The resurrection of Jesus has brought about many gifts (inheritance, protection, salv ation)
  • 2nd reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9 Rejoice  6 In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, 7 so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 as you attain the goal of (your) faith, the salvation of your souls.  Vv.6-7 indicate that the Christians are suffering from persecution.  The author interprets their sufferings as tests to make their faith stronger.  The Christians are more praiseworthy, when they pass the test.  Joy must be the constant disposition of Christians in the midst of trials because God has promised them a great reward. Vv.8-9
  • Reflections on the 2nd reading  Faith in the Risen Lord does not free us from trials and sufferings.  Sufferings are meant to purify our faith.  We should not take offense at our undeserved pains.  We should see them as only transitory and purificatory.  Our new birth, through the resurrection of Christ, gives us great promises to hope for.
  • Gospel reading: John 20:19-31  19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 (Jesus) said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit. 23 Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." Commentary  V.19 indicates that the apostles are together in one place.  They fear for their lives.  The Jews are trying to get them too.  In the midst of their fears, Jesus appears to them, defying locked doors, greeting them with “Peace be with you.”  Then Jesus shows them his hands and side (not feet).  The disciples rejoice at his appearance.  The sight of the resurrected Jesus takes away their fear.  In v.21, Jesus repeats his greetings of peace, but this time a responsibility is attached.  They will be sent (move away from hiding) and will come out into the open.  They will forgive sins. Will they not die? Are their enemies gone?  The risen Christ is in-charge of the situation.
  •  24 Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."  Thomas was absent when Jesus appeared. So they report to him the appearance of Jesus.  He has missed the opportunity.  But before believing, he wants to see Jesus physically and touch his hands / fingers onto his wounds.  Thomas wants to see and touch, in order to believe.  It takes a toll on Jesus and the apostles, when one is absent in an important event.
  •  26 Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." 27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe." 28 Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"  In v.26, the disciples are, again, are found in one place.  Thomas is with them this time.  Jesus comes again, defying barriers, and greets them.  “Peace” for the third time.  In v.27, Jesus immediately addresses himself to Thomas.  Jesus knows his needs. He helps him to believe.  In v.28, Thomas articulates his faith, “My Lord and my God.”
  •  29 Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." 30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of (his) disciples that are not written in this book. 31 But these are written that you may (come to) believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.  In v.29, Jesus rebukes Thomas for believing only with the aid of his physical eyes.  Jesus commends people who will believe even if they have not seen (or touched) him.  Belief (faith) allows us to see the mystery of the Risen Christ.  Vv.30-31 contain notes of the author regarding signs (miracles), which Jesus had done after his resurrection.  Those that are written are intended to induce us to believe, in order to have life eternal.
  • Reflections on the gospel reading  In order to believe, we must not be too hard on those who proclaim the faith.  Jesus considers blessed those who believe even if they have not seen (or touched) him.  For us who have been taught, who have frequently listened to his words and received him in the sacrament, should not find it hard to believe.  We manifest our belief by our courage to give witness to our faith.
  • Tying the 3 readings  The first reading describes how the early believers live their faith in the risen Lord. They form a community, exercising fraternal concern for one another, sharing their resources.  The second reading encourages Christians to rejoice in the midst of trials because they have been born anew through the resurrection of Christ, who promises them eternal life.  The gospel reading demands that we stop being skeptical, but to live our faith in the risen Lord.
  • How to develop your homily / sharing  What is the meaning of the resurrection of Jesus according to the readings? From the 1st reading:  It is an invitation to be fraternal, to treat fellow believers as brothers and sisters, to practice chastity.  It is an invitation to share one’s belongings and assets, to practice poverty.  It is an invitation to a life of prayer and docility, to practice obedience.  It is an abandonment of the life of seclusion, isolation and selfishness.
  • From the second reading:  The resurrection of Christ is an invitation for us to face trials, to willingly undergo sufferings and persecutions, to purify our faith.  Christ’s resurrection does not free us from the burden of suffering.  Instead, it should serve as our hope. It contains something to look forward to. The reward is great and will be long lasting.  Therefore, a Christian should rejoice always.
  • From the gospel reading:  It is an invitation to believe, even if there are no supporting papers, facts and figures or videos.  The fear removed and the joy that the witnesses feel should be enough evidence that Jesus is alive.  There should be only one doubtingThomas. One is enough.  Jesus commends people, who believe readily.  Faith is a gift. We must recognize that gift.
  •  What is the meaning of the resurrection of Christ for us today?  It is a force that should drive us  To form ecclesial communities (BECs)  To promote social justice  To work for integral evangelization  To rise above our fears and sins  To keep our lights burning  To keep our hopes  in the midst of discontent, fragmentation, chaos and confusion.
  •  Our parishioners, especially the leaders, must be formed according to the BEC spirit.  No one should be allowed to chair a ministry or committee if he/she is not generous.  Leaders, servant-leaders should not act like indigents. (They cannot move or act if the parish does not give them money to xerox some papers, etc.; can’t come for meetings if the parish can’t refund their transportation fares; can’t communicate with their members if the parish does not give them load for their cellphone, etc.; during agapes, they bring empty containers to take home food.)
  •  The eucharist is the sacrament through which we encounter the risen Christ.  In the eucharist, the risen Christ is manifested to us to dispel our fears and to give us joy.  The eucharist strengthens us in our trials and sufferings and helps us to bear the pain because of Jesus’ promises for a better future. He teaches us to be generous.
  • Our Context of Sin and Grace  Scepticism  Fear  No drive to give witness  Can’t see the meaning of the resurrection of Jesus in their lives  Terrorism  Cowardice  Egoistic  Individualistic  BECs, Ugnayan  Spirituality of Stewardship  Service oriented  Heroism  Martyrdom  Communitarian  Other-centered  PCP II
  • Suggested Songs  Maghandog ng Alay  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRWqJuXVAP0  Buhay Maging Maligaya  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh0VyqcYK3I  Sharing  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1ij6D6EyeI