In today’s readings we see how the early church devoted themselves to fellowship: holding things in common – sharing together. There was a wonderful sense of community, of harmony, of belonging to each other. That is the fellowship which is the intended life for the body of Christ. God has designed that his life should be evident through a community. If the body is not operating, then his life is not manifest. That means there is no power because the life of God is always power.
At a time when the world seems to be plundered by such routine violence, we can easily allow fear and maybe even retaliation to remove any notion of gratitude. Whether we are reading about local gang violence, or global terrorism, the effects of our sin is before us. What is there to be grateful for when we see so much wickedness daily? Today’s psalm speaks to those who are on an emotional high as well as those who are down low. It speaks to those who are experiencing the joy of their salvation, as well as those who are fighting to get out of bed. We can always give thanks because of the love of God.
Death could not hold Jesus and fear could not hold his disciples. This is the promise of our own restoration at the end of time, and the reality of reconciliation with God and other people here and now. Like the disciples, we encounter Jesus risen from the dead, freeing us from the fear of death, and freeing us from all other fears that dominate our lives. Jesus often astonishes us, as he did those disciples in the upper room. He may come to us where we least expect him, even the secret depths of our soul. Christ comes to set us free. We can give to him the chains of fear that hold us, and he will break them by the power of his resurrection.
“Jesus makes us see the wounds of our brothers and sisters. In the midst of our own crises and our difficulties, divine mercy often makes us aware of the sufferings of our neighbour. We think that we are experiencing unbearable pain and situations of suffering, and we suddenly discover that others around us are silently enduring even worse things. If we care for the wounds of our neighbour and pour upon them the balm of mercy, we find being reborn within us a hope that comforts us in our weariness. Let us ask ourselves whether of late we have helped someone suffering in mind or body; whether we have brought peace to someone suffering physically or spiritually; whether we have spent some time simply listening, being present, or bringing comfort to another person. For whenever we do these things, we encounter Jesus.” (Pope Francis)
Prayer: Abba Father, may we develop a community of love so that people will be eager to find you. Amen.