Vol: 41, No.29 DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY ( A) April 27 2014  
 
LITURGY AND LIFE
Blessed Teresa of Kolkata was once visiting one of the aged homes run by the Missionaries of Charity. She expected that the inmates would be glad to see her. As she moved from one cot to the next she realized that the inmates did not smile at her. Instead of looking at Mother Teresa they kept looking at the door. She said to the accompanying sister, “I am used to see a smile on the face of these people. Why are they so sad and gloomy? Why are they looking at the door?” The sister at once said, “They are longing to see one of their dear and near ones. But no one comes here.” Mother Teresa was ready to give them all the love and joy they desired but they were longing to experience the joy of being part of their community.
Today’s Readings are inviting us to reflect on our community life. No man is an island. Each one of us belongs to a community. As human beings we belong to a global community of human race. As Indians we belong to the community of Indians. As Christians we belong to the Community we call ‘the Church’. The account of the life in the Early Christian Community provides us with five marks of the community of the Risen Lord:
a) A Joyful Community:When the Risen Lord appeared to the Apostles, they were overjoyed. This joy is an important sign of the community of the Risen Lord. The Risen Lord gives complete joy to his disciples. The community that experiences such joy is ready to do any sacrifice. We see this happening in the First Reading where sharing and sacrifice bring joy to the early Christian Community.
b) A Peace Loving Community: The first words from the mouth of the Risen Lord were, “Peace be with you.” This greeting can mean both well-being and a matter of well-wishing. It is also a moment of reconciliation between the Lord who had suffered alone and the disciples who had deserted their Lord. Christian community is known for its peace loving nature. The community of the Risen Lord experiences peace at personal, family, community and global
 
levels. It is not the peace that the world gives but the peace that the Lord gives. It is not earned by good works but received with open hearts.
c) A Spirit-filled Community: Jesus breathed over them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” In the creation story the Lord breathes his spirit into the nostrils of Adam and Adam becomes a living creature. Now the Lord breathes his Spirit into the lives of his disciples who had lost all hope and they are renewed in their enthusiasm. Pessimism, lethargy and laziness have no place in the community of the Risen Lord. The Spirit-filled community is always optimistic and positive about her future. The fullness of this descent of the Holy Spirit was experienced by the Apostles on the Pentecost day.
d) A Forgiving Community: Jesus said, “The sins that you forgive, are forgiven and the sins that you retain, are retained.” The disciples first experienced forgiveness from their Lord. Though they had left him alone in his suffering he had come to meet them after his resurrection. Now they are told to continue this work of forgiving those who falter against them. They are given authority to forgive and authority to retain the sins of the others. Human experience shows that if we retain the sins of someone they are retained. We are constantly reminded of these sins. The unforgiving person lives in the past. The forgiving community proceeds towards a bright future.
e) A Mission minded Community: Jesus told his disciples, “As the Father has sent me so I send you.” The Father had sent (Greek word ‘pempo’) Jesus with his authority. Jesus sends (Greek word ‘apostelo’) his disciples with his own authority. At any rate the experience of the Risen Lord moves the community to go on a mission. The community of the Risen Lord maintains the sense of mission.
Reflection: How does my life show that I am a part of the community of the Risen Lord?
– Fr (Dr) Robert B. D’Souza
April/May 2014 READINGS OF THE WEEK Psalter Week 2
28 Mon (W) Sts Louis Mary de Montfort and Peter Chanel
Acts 4:23-31/Ps 2:1-3.4-7a.7b-9/Jn 3:1-8
29 Tue (W) St Catherine of Siena, Acts 4:32-37/Ps 93:1ab.1cd-2.5/Jn 3:7b-15
30 Wed (W) St Pius V, Acts 5:17-26/Ps 34:2-3.4-5.6-7.8-9/Jn 3:16-21
01 Thu

(W)

St Joseph the Worker (Workers’ Day)
Acts 5:27-33/Ps 34:2 and 9.17-18.19-20/Jn 3:31-36
Mass Proper Readings: Gen 1:26–2:3 or Col 3:14-15,17,23-24/Mt 13:54-58
02 Fri (W) St Athanasius, Acts 5:34-42/Ps 27:1.4.13-14/Jn 6:1-15
03 Sat (W) StS Philip and James, Apostles – Feast, 1 Cor 15:1-8/Ps 19:2-3.4-5/Jn 14:6-14
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