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  Word To Life


Sunday Scripture Readings, April 7, 2013

By Jean Denton
Catholic News Service


April 7, Second Sunday of Easter (Sunday of Divine Mercy)

Cycle C. Readings:

1) Acts 5:12-16

Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24

2) Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19

Gospel: John 20:19-31

Belief can be contagious. But if you'd told me so six months ago, I'm not sure I would've agreed. I'm sorry to say my faith is often weak: I want, as the doubting apostle Thomas did, tangible evidence of Jesus' saving power.

I've been blessed to know his presence through my experiences of pain and through witnessing Christ's healing in the suffering of others. So, I believe -- because I've seen. But I still sometimes doubt.

When I doubt, I wish I could be one of those Jesus talks about in this weekend's Gospel when he says, "Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." Until last January, I didn't understand how that could be.

I was with a group visiting a parish in Haiti I'd been to many times before. When we arrived in the church courtyard on a Saturday morning, a longtime friend ran out to greet us. But as we started to chat, she seemed distracted by what was going on in the church and led us into the sanctuary.

It was filled with people waving their uplifted hands and singing mightily. Our friend squeezed into a pew and joined in. We followed. A priest walked up and down the aisles, holding high a monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament. The procession and the singing continued unabated for more than 40 minutes. Occasionally, people would kneel and close their eyes. The choral leader fervently exhorted them in prayer.

It was the third anniversary of the earthquake that had devastated their country. Photos of victims of the tragedy -- loved ones of many gathered in the church -- were carried by individuals in the procession. The people sang to the resurrected Christ in full belief that he was present with his promise of salvation.

In John's Gospel story, the resurrected Lord came and stood in the midst of his disciples. I imagine that gathering was much like this. Here, the people rejoiced and their song said, "We have seen the Lord."

Standing with them, I was swept into their belief. So we are called always to bring Christ to others.

QUESTIONS:

When has your belief in Jesus' resurrection been strongest? What ways have been most effective in passing your faith on to others?

SCRIPTURE TO BE ILLUSTRATED:

"The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.'" -- John 20:20-21

END



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