2014/04/27 - Homily - 2nd Sunday of Easter

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Today, all the readings are about the specificity of the Christian -and more over- Catholic inheritance, word used by St Paul in the second reading when he talks about the great things God has prepared for us. Such inheritance is waiting for us in Heaven, inheritance of the life with God. A life more intense than the one we could have during our earthly life. In Heaven we will only have God’s life in us whereas in our life on earth we are only filled by God’s life occasionally, let’s hope often, but certainly not all the time.

So the question arousing from today’s reading is: how can we live our life to be as most as we can in tune with God’s life? In other words how can we be in the constant presence of God’s? Just by being filled by the presence of Christ .It is important for the Catholics we are to try to stay in presence of Christ who is our guide, our brother, our savior, and even our confident.

The answer is clearly given in the first reading. Christ’s disciples were very upset by the events of the passion and resurrection of their master. So they tried to live according to what their ancient faith still kept alive in them. But they were muffled by such astonishment that only the Pentecost’s events gave them enough strength to go out and bear witness to it. And so they tried to live up to their fresh, new, genuine, important inheritance. They had to perform four things to live according to this heritage and transmit it to other generations up to ours.

They used to go to the Temple for prayers every day. That was the most important thing to do for them and it is exactly the same for us. I remembered my last trip in Vietnam where I visited Catholic communities. The peasants living in the same village gathered every day in their church for morning and evening prayers. They felt how gathering was important for them, how having frequent meeting was important too and above all they felt the need to pray together.

The first disciples had two different ways of praying: partaking at the table the bread and wine which would become the body and blood of Christ, and singing praises to say thank you for the miracle of faith and to testify their life with God.

The  way to receive such inheritance was to go and tell the good news to others .It is what is meant in the first reading by the warm welcoming received by the disciples from the people. We know that being missionaries is not really like this. Very often there is no welcoming at all. But the reading is trying to make us aware that the gospel is good news for everyone

What did they have to tell people? Surely the happy life awaiting us after death: the life of God and in God. But the most important gift of this heritage is inside Jesus’ greeting, the peace be with you .Of course it is the peace of God. The focus of today’s gospel is in Jesus giving such peace and in the way we can receive it. Thomas, one of the Twelfth, couldn’t understand it as long as he hadn’t recognized Jesus as being the same as he was before his death Thomas represents for us the disciple who needs understanding before going on with his belief

It is just the same for us, we cannot really believe if what we believe in has not been really accepted beforehand. What Thomas needed to accept the good news of the gospel was that the Jesus he could see alive, was not still alive, but alive for ever.

“Because you see you believe but happy are those who don’t see and believe” Only one generation had seen Jesus risen again, for the others, up to us, it was a matter of faith. The blessing of Jesus ‘happy those who believe without seeing’ is given to all generations except the first one.

We can’t see Jesus rising again as Thomas finally did. But we are receiving the inheritance of the faith coming through the past generations .and at any time we accept it, it is under the power of the Holy Spirit who enables us to do so Our inheritance is coming from God And with the witnesses of the past we are happy to believe in such a good news.