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Sunday, April 19, 2009

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Second Sunday of Easter
Mercy Sunday

Acts 4:32-35
1 John 5:1-6
Psalm 118
John 20:19-31

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the resurrection community

"The community of believers were of one heart and one mind. None of them ever claimed anything as his own; rather, everything was held in common." —Acts 4:32

If we have everything in common with others, except our faith in the risen Christ, we are alien to each other. If we live in almost totally different worlds but have one thing in common, our faith in the risen Christ, then we are brothers and sisters, members of Christ's body.

Believing in and living for the risen Christ means more than everything else put together. For example, an elderly, affluent Christian business person will have a deeper sense of community with a young, impoverished, Tanzanian, Christian farmer than with non-Christian business partners.

Our faith in the risen Christ should motivate us to want to share daily community life with others who have also been transformed by the risen Jesus. We want to share the Bible, the Eucharist, time, prayer, material possessions, and meals (see Acts 2:42-46). Because we share a faith in the risen Christ, we want to share even "our very lives" (1 Thes 2:8).

The normal desire for community life with those who also believe in the risen Christ is stifled by sin, unforgiveness, fear, and doubt. In this state, we have more in common with the secular world than with believers in the risen Christ. We must believe, repent, and then live the normal, radical, risen community life called for by faith in the risen Christ.

Prayer:  "Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, He Who in His great mercy gave us new birth; a birth unto hope which draws its life from the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Pt 1:3).

Promise:  "Receive the Holy Spirit." —Jn 20:22

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Whose love and mercy has conquered both sin and sinner!

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 3, 2008

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