Homily Second Sunday of Easter Year A New life

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Homily Second Sunday of Easter Year A

Reading 1: It is not enough to say I believe or even to believe. Our new relationship with God through baptism must impact and transform our lives. We see what happened to the initial believers in Christ as Lord and Savior. They devoted themselves to a new way of life. They wanted to know more about Jesus and his teachings. “They devoted themselves to the teachings of the apostles.” They entered into a relationship with God and with one another through prayer, both private and communal. This was essential in deepening their relationship with God.

They devoted themselves to the breaking of the bread. The Eucharist was essential to their new way of life, both as a sign of their gratitude to God for their new life and as a sign of their union with God through sharing in the Lord’s Body and Blood. They shared life in common, supporting and encouraging one another in their new community as brothers and sisters of the Lord.

Their personal and communal lives were not only internally directed but externally as well. They shared with others what God had done in their lives and signs and wonders confirmed their testimony. Their faith was evident and effective. They were a people of great joy and love which others witnessed and sought. Is the same true about us?

Gospel: Jesus’ first appearance to the Apostles on Easter was a transforming moment of grace. He could have reprimanded them for abandoning him in the time of his greatest need. Instead, Jesus shows them his love and mercy by extending them peace.

Then he commissioned them. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” He empowered, as he was anointed, by imparting to them the gift of the Holy Spirit. He extended to them the power to forgive sins in his name. The focus was not to relish in his resurrected presence but to be apostles, sent to bring the gift of new life to others, beginning with the forgiveness of sins.
The second part of today’s reading was the importance of believing without seeing, believing in the power of Jesus without always seeing the results. Thomas was not present when Jesus appeared to the others on the day of his resurrection. When told what Jesus said and did, Thomas would not believe, because he needed personal evidence.

When Jesus appears to Thomas and challenges his unbelief, Thomas is the first to publicly profess that Jesus is Lord and God. 

Sometimes, we have a hard time accepting the plan of God. Like Thomas, we have our own conditions before we have that conversion experience of total submission to God’s plan. We still are living out of our human framework, rather than yielding to the plan of God. Jesus could have easily dismissed Thomas for his unbelief. But he doesn’t. Jesus reminds Thomas and us of the greater faith than seeing him with human eyes. “Blessed are they who have not seen and still believe.” We have not seen the risen Lord with our human eyes but have seen him with the eyes of faith. As Paul says: “We walk by faith and not by sight.”

Reading 2: Peter is writing to Christians years after the event of Easter and Pentecost. Even though they had never seen Jesus, they believed in him and were baptized in his name. Their new life in Christ was real. In the midst of their trials and sufferings, their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior sustained and strengthened them.

Peter said in his great mercy God gave us a new birth to a new life because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. In that gift we were given the promise of sharing with God forever in glory, if we remain faithful to God.

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