2nd Sunday Easter Year A - 2023
Luke describes the early Christians forming a community of mutual support and sharing. A better word for this community is family. Like early Celtic communities, who also regarded themselves as a family or a tribe, it was made of people from different origins and even different ethnic groups. Parishes today are largely made up of different ethnic groups and people from different cultures and traditions but think of themselves as family. Like those early Christians, we listen to the word, receive teaching, pray together and share in the breaking of the bread, in the Eucharist. It is the sprit of God that holds and binds us together as a family and, unlike the early Celtic communities who would often fight among themselves and with other tribes, it is the Mercy of God, the Divine Mercy, that truly binds us together and encourages among us a spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness. It is the mercy of God, breathed into us by Jesus in our baptism and again in our confirmation, that not only strengthens our unity but enables us to be Good News (our Mission) to others who need help. It is the Spirit of Mercy that inspires the parish to reach out to the homeless, to those struggling to feed their families, to support Asylum Seekers who have come to live among us, to offer a warm place for people to meet who cannot heat their homes, take communion to those unable to leave their homes and so many other forms of service. We are a community that live the beatitudes rather than talk about them. God breathed creation into existence with a breath overflowing with love. It is with the same love that Jesus breathes God mercy into us. So that wherever we go, wherever we are, we breathe out the same loving mercy of God on all those we encounter. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
“We do not know… how can we know the way?”
Courageous master of the awkward question,
you spoke the words the others dared not say
and cut through their evasion and abstraction.
Oh, doubting Thomas, father of my faith,
you put your finger on the nub of things.
We cannot love some disembodied wraith,
but flesh and blood must be our king of kings.
Your teaching is to touch, embrace, anoint,
feel after Him and find Him in the flesh.
Because He loved your awkward counter-point
the Word has heard and granted you your wish.
Oh, place my hands with yours, help me divine
the wounded God whose wounds are healing mine.
Fr Thomas O'Brien a.a