School of the Word
Maria Cristina, April 2, 2013
“THE SIGNS OF THE RESURRECTION IN A COMMUNITY WHO PRAY”
After the Resurrection that most of us we experience… after having experience new life… we were renewed, transformed by the grace of God. We experienced something new. A new door was opened before us…
8 I know about your works. Look, I have opened in front of you a door that no one will be able to close -- and I know that though you are not very strong, you have kept my commandments and not disowned my name.
1. We are… A New Community.
It is not a new community because of the new people, but because Jesus has resurrected in that community. We are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus in the community. His resurrection makes us new. We are a new creation, do you believe that?
21 and he said to them again, 'Peace be with you. 'As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.' 22 After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit.
Just as in the first creation when God infused life into man, so did Jesus’ breath communicate life to the new spiritual creation. He makes us new - a new community. It is the same community, but resurrected. We are the same people, but different.
19 Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges; can you not see it? Yes, I am making a road in the desert and rivers in wastelands».
The Lord is doing something new in our lives; we just need to recognize it. After the Easter Encounter, what is new in your life? What is new in this community?
What’s something new is that Jesus is still among us even if we lose his presence along the way. In the beginning the disciples gathered together because of fear, but Jesus appeared among them; and what did they do? They kept looking at the Lord and were full of Joy (John 20:20). This is the sign of a new community: “the joy”. No competitions, no comparisons, no enmities, but the joy to be ONE in Jesus. To be ONE community.
2. We are… A New Community who Pray.
The new community gathers together in order to pray, and to pray means to be with Jesus, the resurrected one.
12 So from the Mount of Olives, as it is called, they went back to Jerusalem, a short distance away, no more than a Sabbath walk; 13 and when they reached the city they went to the upper room where they were staying; there were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Jude son of James. 14 With one heart all these joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
Prayer is one of the most important means that we have in order to continue growing in our experience of God. I remember my first Encounter: I was really with fire. The next day of the encounter I went to look for the misioneros; even though I was new in that city and I didn’t know where they lived. When I found them, they were surprised and then they invited me to pray. I stayed in the chapel for three hours. But the funny thing was that the misioneros forgot that I was in the Chapel. J But it was great to experience again his love… to be honest, most of the time I was crying, not knowing how to stop.
3. We are… A New Community who Reaffirm his Faith in Jesus the Resurrected One.
In this first appearance of Jesus not all of the disciples were present. Thomas was absent, why? Why was Thomas not there? We don’t know. (Perhaps he didn’t have money to pay the retreat house… we need to ask to Thomas why he was not there) Perhaps he was afraid to be with the others disciples or perhaps he was lacking faith. In Thomas we can see how the Lord confirms his faith as he did with the others disciples.
'Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving any more but believe.'
For the Lord is important that all of us can have the same possibility to experience his presence, his love. It is not because you were not there doesn’t mean that you cannot experience that Jesus is alive in your life. This is my invitation: to experience how much God loves us.
4. We are… A New Community who is sent to proclaim the Resurrection.
'As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.'
Jesus is also sending us to reach others; to proclaim his resurrection, because it’s a pity that many don’t have the experience of God. It’s also an invitation to reach out to the members of the community who are not present or not celebrating in their lives this joyful celebration that we are celebrating: the Resurrection of our Lord, which is so great that we extend it for eight days.
'We have seen the Lord,' but he answered, 'Unless I can see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.'
Many people have the same attitude of Thomas: “I will believe unless…” They will believe that Jesus has resurrected through our experience of resurrection.
14 How then are they to call on him if they have not come to believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard of him? And how will they hear of him unless there is a preacher for them? 15 And how will there be preachers if they are not sent? As scripture says: How beautiful are the feet of the messenger of good news».
Let us continue enjoying the experience to have a new life; to be a new community resurrected in the Lord.
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