A community of believers

April 12, 2015 – Second Sunday of Easter

Acts 4:32-35
1 John 5:1-6
John 20:19-31
Fr Fernando Torres, CMF
Claretian Publications

Faith always happens in the midst of a community. Jesus is not recognized in solitude but in the relationship with the brothers and sisters who constitute the community. It is the believing community that advances along the way of faith, supporting one another, sharing doubts and difficulties, findings and certainties.

The Acts of the Apostles stresses the aspect of the sharing of goods by the community of believers. Those who were part of the church at those first moments had everything in common. In the midst of the community, the apostles gave testimony of the Resurrection of the Lord. The testimony was welcomed and shared. Faith was shared and celebrated. Life was also shared in all its dimensions. No one experienced need. All comforted each other in the faith and in everything necessary for life.

But this does not mean that the first community was exempted from problems, or that it was easy for them to believe; it wasn’t easy even for the apostles. Faith in the Resurrection of Jesus was not something achieved in the blinking of an eye. It was a process in which the apostles and the other disciples had to grow together.

The Gospel proclaimed today is the direct witness of this reality. Jesus becomes present in the midst of his disciples, and speaks to their heart, confirms them in the faith. All feel more secure—all minus one, who was not present when Jesus appeared. That is Thomas. The point is not that he doubted. He simply wanted to be sure that it was really Jesus who appeared, and not a ghost or an illusion. He is not ready to give his life for nothing. That is why he wants to see the signs of the nails and to put his finger in the wound. He wants to be sure that he follows Jesus and not a figment of the imagination. And he saw and believed.

We are invited today, as a Christian community, to meet Jesus—not an imaginary Jesus, but the real Jesus of the Gospels. We need to read them carefully and make a commitment to follow him because he is alive, he has risen. To believe in his Resurrection commits our lives in such a way that nothing can remain the same. Before our brothers and sisters we make a commitment to live as Christians, as disciples, 24 hours of each day.

For reflection
-To say that Jesus has risen means to believe in eternal life; what is the consequence for this life?

-How can you be a sign of resurrection for those who live with you, for your family you’re your community?

-What commitment dare you make to be a Christian before your community?

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