Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday

Faith, life and Church

Now a week later… Jesus came, although the doors were locked, 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.”… Jn 20,26-31

They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people … Acts 2,42-47

Today, the Acts of the Apostles tell us about the first church, that was formed in Jerusalem soon after Pentecost. It was a reality made up of a few faithful, that did not last because the persecution and diaspora started very soon, after which the early Christians were dispersed. But, though small and of short duration, it stands as the perfect church, and it is the early Christian community that the church of all times and places should continue to mirror for not losing its original values. That little church reality has it all: listening to the teachings of the apostles, the brotherly union, prayer together with the Eucharist, goods sharing, meals joyfully taken with simplicity of the heart, praise, joy and the appreciation from all the people. It is perfect. In time, the church has grown; it has grown in number, it has become a large river that flows between the slow and stately events of history, but it has also lost some of the purity it had at its spring, when the sun shone and played with the stones of the mountain. However, those original values, which have globally been somewhat lost, can be found in local communities and the family, which is the domestic church. On Sundays, when the families of our married children meet at our home after the celebration of the Holy Mass, we have lunch together after blessing the table and, while our grandchildren happily run around, we tell each other the events of the week, giving each other help and advice, we relive the spirit of the early church as described in Acts of the Apostles. It is nice to discover just how valuable these habits are and we can rejoice to see how considerably our wasted weekends have decreased. Today, there are more and more families who choose to spend the day dedicated to the Lord this way.

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