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Bulletin, April 8th, 2018

Updated: Apr 12, 2018

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Second Sunday of Easter

Our readings this week give us a glimpse of how the first communities of Christians began to understand their purpose and identity. When Jesus appeared to his disciples, he said, “Peace be with you,” calling his followers to bring his peace and forgiveness to God’s

beloved world. The early Church realized it was not a group of individuals each seeking to live virtuously and then go to heaven. Instead, Christians formed communities, empowered by the Spirit, attempting to live in profound trust in God and in each other. Remembering how Jesus displayed his wounds to his disciples, the church came to realize that it is called to share in the life of a wounded world. When we, the Church today, demonstrate our faith and love in action, we also show everyone who the crucified Jesus really is—the One who knows and accompanies us in our human suffering.

THE WOUNDS OF JESUS

In the Gospel passage from John, Jesus appears twice to his disciples, and both times Jesus shows them his wounds from his crucifixion. Thomas actually touches the wounds. Jesus’ wounds did not disappear after the Resurrection. Jesus meant for his followers to know that his sufferings, and ours, are part of our encounter with him. Jesus revealed how God is present in our human suffering, joining us in our most painful moments with consolation and with mercy.

Suffering is a great mystery, and we cannot adequately explain or justify the many wounds we experience in life. However, in prayer God can open a way forward. The Holy Spirit might offer wisdom to perceive when or how our sufferings make healing or hope possible for others or for ourselves. When we enter into this mystery we follow Jesus, who radically trusted God to transform his sufferings into new life.