Skip to Navigation
 
share

Third Sunday of Easter [B], April 30, 2006

By: John Bucki, S.J.

Readings
Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
1 John 2:1-5a
Luke 24:35-48

Quotes
Our nation has been blessed with great freedom, vibrant democratic traditions, unprecedented economic strengths, abundant natural resources, and a generous and religious people. Yet not all is right with our nation. Our prosperity does not reach far enough. Our culture does not lift us up; instead it may bring us down in moral terms. This new world we lead is still too dangerous, giving rise to ethnic cleansing and an inability to confront hunger and genocide. We are still falling short of the American pledge of “liberty and justice for all,” our declaration to defend the inalienable rights of the person--“life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
U.S. Bishops, Faithful Citizenship: Civic Responsibility for a New Millennium

 

Readings
Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
1 John 2:1-5a
Luke 24:35-48

Calendar
May 1: Feast of St. Joseph the Worker; International Workers' Day
May 3: World Press Freedom Day
May 5: Cinco de Mayo

Quotes
Our nation has been blessed with great freedom, vibrant democratic traditions, unprecedented economic strengths, abundant natural resources, and a generous and religious people. Yet not all is right with our nation. Our prosperity does not reach far enough. Our culture does not lift us up; instead it may bring us down in moral terms. This new world we lead is still too dangerous, giving rise to ethnic cleansing and an inability to confront hunger and genocide. We are still falling short of the American pledge of "liberty and justice for all," our declaration to defend the inalienable rights of the person--"life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
U.S. Bishops, Faithful Citizenship: Civic Responsibility for a New Millennium

To rediscover and make others rediscover the inviolable dignity of every human person makes up an essential task, in a certain sense, the central and unifying task of the service which the Church, and the lay faithful in her, are called to render to the human family.
John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation on the Vocation of the Laity, Christifideles Laici

When the common good is promoted at every level, peace is promoted. Can an individual find complete fulfillment without taking account of his social nature, that is, his being "with" and "for" others? The common good closely concerns him. It closely concerns every expression of his social nature: the family, groups, associations, cities, regions, states, the community of peoples and nations. Each person, in some way, is called to work for the common good, constantly looking out for the good of others as if it were his own.
John Paul II, 1 January 2005

Thoughts for Your Consideration
All three scriptures today speak about "repentance and the forgiveness of sins." The attitude of Christians is not to be one of revenge and violence, but of reconciliation and forgiveness.

I suppose that the early church community could have reacted to the killing of Jesus, their leader, by trying to get revenge or by trying to destroy those who killed Jesus.   They were initially afraid of the authorities; however, Jesus came saying "Peace be with you."  Jesus came giving the power to forgive. Instead of revenge and violence, the early community seems to have adopted an attitude of forgiveness and reconciliation, even toward those who had been so hostile to Jesus and his teaching and even toward those who persecuted the early Christian community.

John writes that Jesus "is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world." Jesus says that this repentance and forgiveness are to be proclaimed to the whole world.

Christians are called to believe that sins can be forgiven.   We are called to forgive other people.   In what way are we also called to apply this attitude of peace and forgiveness to social sins? To groups of people, nations, and institutions?  To nation leaders and various political groups?  To racism?  To situations of economic inequality? To situations of violence and war? 

We are not called to be passive and do nothing in the face of injustice.
We are called to an active and loving nonviolence.
How does this spirit of forgiveness influence our action for justice?

Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
With what institutions or organizations in our world today do you get upset?
Which political leaders upset you?
Do you find it hard to forgive them? 
How does "repentance for the forgiveness of sins" apply to groups and institutions?

Actions - Links
The United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international agreement that requires signing countries to protect the basic rights of their most vulnerable citizens - children.   The United States in not one of the 192 countries that have already ratified the Convention.   Sign a petition online urging ratification.

The Bread for the World 2006 Offering of Letters urges Congress to increase poverty-related development assistance by $5 billion in 2007. The funding would go to the types of aid that most effectively help in reducing extreme poverty, thus directly saving people's lives.   Go to Bread for the World's web site to learn more and take action.

Prayer - Meditation

Loving God, you inspire us with love for all persons
and concern for the well-being of all creation.

Give us today the strength and courage
to transform the compassion of our hearts
into acts of peace, mercy, and justice.

Forgive us for the arrogance that leads to moral blindness,
for desires for vengeance and retaliation,
and for willingness to sacrifice others for our own security and avarice.

Help us to renounce all forms of violence:
prejudice, unfair allegations, intolerance, and injury.

Give us the courage to resist threatening postures,
calls to arms, mobilization of troops and weapons, and
all actions that threaten the lives and livelihoods of innocent people.

Empower us to live out the caring presence
of the merciful and generous persons we claim to be.

Make us channels of your peace, bearers of healing,
women and men who hear and respond with alacrity
to pleas for justice in our world.

We ask all this in the name of Jesus
Who came among us to show us the way.

The above "Prayer for Peace" is from the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Type of content: Lectionary Reflections
Calendar: Lent/Easter