19 Feb, 2019

April 8, 2018 

Second Sunday of Easter
(Or Sunday of Divine Mercy)


Reading 1 ACTS 4:32-35

The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.

Responsorial Psalm PS 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
R. (1) Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD say,
“His mercy endures forever.”

R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.

I was hard pressed and was falling,
but the LORD helped me.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
The joyful shout of victory
in the tents of the just:

R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.

R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 1 JN 5:1-6
Beloved:
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
and everyone who loves the Father
loves also the one begotten by him.
In this way we know that we love the children of God
when we love God and obey his commandments.
For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ,
not by water alone, but by water and blood.
The Spirit is the one that testifies,
and the Spirit is truth.

Alleluia JN 20:29
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord;
Blessed are those who have not seen me, but still believe!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 20:19-31
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

Reflections Today

Jesus’ Shalom

Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday)

April 8, 2018

John 20:19-31

“Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” (Jn. 20:19)

Fear is a natural and basic human emotion. Fear plays an important role in human survival because it alerts us of impending dangers or evil, and moves us to avoidance. The science of anatomy would locate the source of this emotion inside our amygdala, a primitive part of our brain that we share with other animals. Yet, unlike animals that simply flee in the presence of a predator, with our complex brain, we also face a complex kind of fear as we perceive a complex meaning of danger. We do not only fear predators, but we fear also losing our jobs, sickness, and our terror teachers or bosses. We are afraid of height (acrophobia), of small spaces (claustrophobia), and even of banana (Bananaphobia)! Because of our superior mind, our fear is even enlarged as we can anticipate far away dangers or even that does not exist yet. This creates anxiety and worriedness.

In the Gospel, we discover that Jesus’ disciples are afraid. They fear the “Jews.” They may be accused of stealing the body of Jesus by the Roman soldiers and Jewish authorities who discover the empty tomb. Or, simply the disciples are anxious about their future, of what will be of them after the death and the news of Jesus’ resurrection. Shall they disband themselves, go back to their former way lives, or shall they remain together? Will Jesus come and get even with them? Overcome by fear and uncertainty, they lock themselves. They are paralyzed, their hearts shrink, and they glue themselves to safe yet fragile things. Like the disciples, fear freezes us and lock us in our comfort zone. Fear of getting hurt, we stop loving. Fear of failures, we no longer pursue our dreams. Fear of being manipulated, we refuse to help others. Fear of betrayal, we shun commitments.

However, fear does not have the last say. Despite the locked room, the Lord enters in their midst. The first word He says is Peace, in Hebrew, “Shalom.” Then, Jesus shows his wounds to them, a proof that He is truly Jesus, their teacher, who was crucified and risen. Seeing the Lord, joy explodes in their hearts, and they fear no more. Jesus’ Shalom is powerful and empowering. Jesus’ Shalom gives inner strength in the face of uncertain future. Jesus’ Shalom gives the courage to embrace sufferings and trials. Jesus is truly risen and appears to the disciples, but this does not change the disciples’ situations. Their future remains uncertain. The hostile Jewish authorities still attempt to shut them down. The Roman soldiers may arrest them. They do not know yet how to sustain their small community. Their situations remain bleak, but one thing has changed. They are no longer afraid. With His Shalom in their hearts, Jesus breathes His Holy Spirit on them and sends them on a mission to forgive. As they have been forgiven and received mercy, they become the missionaries of peace, as they bring forgiveness to others. As the stone door of the tomb cannot stop the risen Lord, now the locked doors cannot hinder the empowered disciples.

Jesus’ Shalom is the grace of resurrection for all of us. True that our situations and problems do not change much, but fear can no longer freeze us. We are called to go out from our locked rooms and become the missionaries of peace and mercy. Despite the pain, failure, and frustration, we continue to love, serve and commit because this is who we are, the people who have received Jesus’ Shalom, God’s mercy and the Holy Spirit. We are not afraid because we are Easter People!

Br. Valentinus Bayuhadi Ruseno, OP
Photo by Harry Setianto, SJ

Apr. 7: "..BUT THEY DID NOT BELIEVE THEM EITHER" (Mk. 16:9-15).

At dis point in d life of d disciples, they wer unbelieving & wer not trusting each other. But after Jesus appeared 2 all of them & commissioned them 2 preach d gospel, they became fearless & bold. Be transformed by d resurrection of d Lord.

Apr. 5: "THEY WERE STARTLED & WERE TERRIFIED & THOUGHT THAT THEY WERE SEEING A GHOST" (Lk. 24:35-48).

Are ghosts real? For d disciples, what’s real is d ghost of their past mistake: they abandoned Jesus. But Jesus exorcised their “ghost” by greeting them “Peace be with you” Risiv d peace of 4giveness

Apr. 3: "JESUS SAID TO HER, 'MARY!' SHE TURNED & SAID TO HIM IN HEBREW, 'RABBOUNI'.." (Jn. 20:11-18)

Mary recognized d Lord only wen he called her by her name maybe bcoz his voice & his way of saying it ar familiar 2 her. Listen 2 d familiar voice of God reminding u: he is alive. He is w/ u. Cry no more.

Apr. 1: "'..THEY HAVE TAKEN THE LORD FROM THE TOMB, AND WE DON'T KNOW WHERE THEY HAVE PUT HIM'" (Jn. 20:1-9).

Mary Magdala assumed tht Jesus’ dead body was stolen. Later she wud know, by Jesus’ revelation himslf, tht he resurrected. Jesus continues 2 correct our thots. Biliv him. He rose again. Alleluia! Christ is risen! Happy Easter!:)

Reflections by:

Fr. Ramon T. Salibay, O.P.