Page 18 - Easter2012v3

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Acts of the Apostles 4: 32-35
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
1 John 5:1-6
Throughout the Easter season, the first reading is always taken from the Acts of
the Apostles to illustrate the development and struggles of the early church in the
period following Pentecost. Both the passage from Acts and the second reading
from the first letter of John describe issues of faith, love and the power of the
Spirit in the early Christian communities. The very powerful words from John˅s
gospel present a story of mission (Jesus commissions his disciples to go forth
and continue his work), forgiveness (Jesus institutes the sacrament of reconcilia-
tion), and faith (the absent apostle Thomas doubts the appearance of Jesus until
he can see and touch the wounds of crucifixion).
Imagine the strong emotions that gripped the disciples on the evening of the day
of resurrection! Jesus had clearly disappeared from the tomb following his cruci-
fixion and burial, and his disciples were feeling the loss and confusion of not
having him among them and not understanding what had happened to him. They
were locked in the upper room where they had shared the Last Supper with him
just a few days before, hiding in fear that the Jews would hunt them down and
they would meet the same fate that had befallen their beloved Master.
Imagine how overwhelming and amazing it was to these
fearful and cowering disciples when their Lord appeared
among them with a greeting of ˈPeaceˉ! As they gath-
ered around him in relief, he directed them to continue
his saving work on earth, sending them forth into the
world as the Father had sent him. He breathed the Holy
Spirit into them, giving them new life and the strength to
persevere, and passing on to them a special power to
forgive sins and bring about reconciliation which remains
with our priests to this day in the Sacrament of Recon-