Homily Second Sunday of Easter Year B Mystery of the Resurrection

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Homily for Second Sunday of Easter Year B

First Reading: Initial conversion is a beautiful time in one’s life. Initial conversion manifests a special fervor in one’s relationship with God. Here we have a glimpse into the life of the first Christians following Pentecost, when some 3000 were baptized.
We are told they came together for further apostolic instruction, for community life and sharing, for prayer, personal and communal and at the heart of their life was the Eucharist, the breaking of the bread. We have the first five chapters of the Acts of the Apostles conveying the idyllic scene for us.

They were of one heart and one mind. This is the ideal which we are called to live and it is lived in the initial stage. It is like the honeymoon time for young married couples. They were sustained by a deep love for one another, enjoying being together. 

The early Christians saw that what they possessed was not theirs to use in a selfish way but to be shared with those more in need. Up to this time, there was no negative reaction to them from the outside. Then comes the first sign of persecution. They turned to the Lord for his protection. They were committed to proclaiming the message of salvation centered on the death and resurrection of Jesus.

What disrupted their bliss was not external but internal pressure. They began to see certain faults in others in the community. Similar to what ends the honeymoon stage of a marriage. The couple become more aware of each other’s faults, which become a bone of contention. They lost the idealism of one mind and one heart. This is what must be sought after again. We are not meant to live in the ideal but to seek it.

Second Reading: What enables us to regain the ideal of one mind and one heart? John says it is the centrality of Jesus in our lives and loving the way he has loved us. Centering our lives on Jesus and truly loving God and others will give us the power to overcome the external and internal pressure of community, whether that is Church or family.

Is Jesus in fact the Lord of our life? Do our lives revolve around him in every aspect? Are we motivated by love in all we do? Do we see ourselves as victims or victors? Do we conquer our passions are do they control us?

We have been begotten by Christ in the waters of baptism. We have received the renewal of the outpouring of the Spirit in baptism and confirmation. What does the Spirit testifies about us? How committed am I to walking with Jesus on this journey? How committed am I to living and acting in love in my family? Even though the reality of one mind and one heart seems distant, am I committed to follow Jesus’ plan so that it may become the norm in my relationship?

Gospel: The Resurrection of Jesus is a mystery of faith. No one witnessed the actual event itself. But many were witnesses of the Risen Christ himself. Here we have disciples who witnessed and later affirmed their experience.

The Resurrection is a mystery because it is beyond our natural comprehension. The characteristics of a glorified, risen body includes not to be limited by space and time, to be different in external appearance but the same person. Jesus was initially not recognized in his appearances but in his words and actions.

But there are other aspects of this mystery. Why would Jesus appear to those who did not at first fully believe, those who betrayed him and abandoned him? Why did he not chastised them rather than greet them with peace? Mystery.

The commission he gives them seems impossible. As he was sent by the Father as Savior of the world, so they will be sent to bring this message to the world in the power of the Holy Spirit. Mystery. Whose sins you forgive in my name will be forgiven; whose sins you retain in my name will be retained. Mystery.

How was it that Thomas, who was angry and hardened in heart, who sought a personal encounter and the ability to put this experience to a test, becomes the first person to proclaim in faith: “My Lord and my God”? Mystery

Jesus extends the mystery when he says: “Blessed are those who believe in me without seeing me. It is the mystery of faith. Through belief in Jesus we have divine life in the name of Jesus. In him alone can we be of one mind and one heart. In him can our life make a difference in another person!  The gift we have received in mystery we are to give as a gift in the Holy Spirit.

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