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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Sunday 2nd (A) (B) (C) of Easter

1st Reading (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: 117
R/. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
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.

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.

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.
2nd Reading (1Jn 5:1-6): 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.
Verscicle before the Gospel (Jn 20:29): 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! Alleluia.

Gospel text (Jn 20,19-31): On the evening of that day, the first day after the Sabbath, the doors were locked where the disciples were, because of their fear of the Jews, but Jesus came and stood in their midst. He said to them, «Peace be with you»; then He showed them his hands and his side. The disciples kept looking at the Lord and were full of joy. Again Jesus said to them, «Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you». After saying this He breathed on them and said to them, «Receive the Holy Spirit; for those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained».

Thomas, the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, «We have seen the Lord». But he replied, «Until I have seen in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe».

Eight days later, the disciples were inside again and Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, «Peace be with you». Then He said to Thomas, «Put your finger here and see my hands; stretch out your hand and put it into my side. Resist no longer and be a believer». Thomas then said, «You are my Lord and my God». Jesus replied, «You believe because you see me, don't you? Happy are those who have not seen and believe».

There were many other signs that Jesus gave in the presence of his disciples, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; believe and you will have life through his Name.

«Receive the Holy Spirit; for those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven»

Fr. Joan Ant. MATEO i García
(La Fuliola, Lleida, Spain)

Today, 2nd Sunday of Easter, we complete the octave of this liturgical time, one of the two octaves —along with that of Christmas— that have remained out of the renewal made by the Vatican Council II. During eight days we contemplate the same mystery and we try to go deeper into it by the light of the Holy Spirit.

Pope John Paul II decided to call this Sunday Divine Mercy Sunday. It is something that goes far beyond a particular devotion. In his encyclical Dives in Misericordia, the Holy Father explains that Divine Mercy is the ultimate manifestation of God's love in a history injured by sin. In Latin “Misericordia” (which means “mercy”) comes from two words: “Miseria” (misery) and “cor” (heart). Our own despicable situation due to sin is placed by God in Jesus' loving heart, that is faithful to His Father's designs. Jesus Christ, dead and resurrected, is the supreme manifestation and acting of the Divine Mercy. «For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son» (Jn 3:16) and has sent him to die to save us. «To redeem the slave He has sacrificed the Son», we have proclaimed in the Easter Proclamation of the Easter Vigil. And, once resurrected, He has constituted him into a source of salvation for all those who believe in Him. By faith and conversion we receive the treasure of his Divine Mercy.

Holy Mother Church, who wants her children to live the resurrected life, commands that —at least for Easter— we receive Holy Communion and we do it in the grace of God. The fifty days following Easter is the right time for us to fulfill the Paschal Precept. It is time to practice the sacrament of confession and benefit from the power of forgiving sins the Lord resurrected has conferred to His Church. As he said to the Apostles: «Receive the Holy Spirit; for those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven» (Jn 20,22-23). We shall thus go to the source of Divine Mercy. And we should not doubt either to bring our friends to these sources of life, to the Eucharist and to Penance. Jesus resurrected expects us to.