Reflection for the Second Sunday of Easter

My Dear Friends:

Well, I hope you all had a truly Blessed Easter. It is certainly an Easter which will be seared into our memories and hearts like no other! Just like today’s gospel, in which some of the apostles are in ‘isolation’, Jesus makes His appearance! Thomas is absent and insists he will not believe until he sees ‘the mark of the nails in His hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into His side’…he will not believe.

Within the readings and gospel, we witness the unfolding of the early Church, and its response in its proclamation of the Risen Lord to the world. The images presented in the second reading, are very much those of joy, love, peace, harmony and a collective vision which seems more precious than life itself. However, human nature, being what it is, no doubt personal difference, personality clashes and cultural tensions added a certain spice to the mix – a bit like any Faith Family today!

Some years ago, I wrote a number of papers about ministries within a Faith Community. They drew upon the wisdom and insights of former professors and Religious Educators, Harris, Moran, and the writings of Groome and Cox. We are called to be Easter People, who have entered the tomb with Christ, and, within the Sacrament of baptism, we have Risen with Him to new life! Even in the woundedness and brokenness of our human weaknesses and frailties (which are wounds through which His Light can enter us!) we are called to minister to our community and world, as:

Koinonia (a welcoming community): to be an inclusive community of faith, hope, and love; a truly “catholic” community that welcomes all with a fundamental equality and maturity, and invites each one’s gifts in shared mission as members of the Body of Christ.

Kerygma (a word-of-God community): to preach and evangelise, and to teach (Didache) God’s word in Jesus and about Jesus recounted in the New Testament; the word of God encountered through the Hebrew Scriptures; and the word of God mediated through Christian tradition.

Leitourgia (a worshipping community): to publicly worship God as an assembly of Christian faith, celebrating God’s covenant with humanity through Jesus Christ and the universal hope of salvation for all humankind.

Diakonia (a community of welfare): to care for human need – spiritual, psychological, and physical – helping to build God’s reign of peace and justice at every level of human existence, personal and social, with special favor for “the poor” and disadvantaged.

Marturia (a witnessing community): to bear credible public witness to Christian faith through lifestyle and example, living as sacrament – as an effective sign – of its own preaching, even to the point of suffering and death if necessary.

Who was it said, “Fear knocked upon my door. Faith answered. No one was there”?!

Remember the great mystic who said that each one of us is a bamboo flute which is raised and kissed by the lips of God. It is God’s breath passing through us which produces the music of our lives. It is His breath within us which proclaims His Word. It is His Breath within us which enables us to go beyond ourselves in His ministry to embrace the world as a Faith Community which Welcomes, Evangelises, Worships, Teaches, Serves and Witnesses in His Name.

Remember me as Loving you,

Fr. Antony

The parish is part of the Diocese of Portsmouth. Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust registered charity 246871.

© 2019• Immaculate Conception Church, Portswood, Southampton

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