THEME: Building the Christian Community in Faith.

BY: Fr. Luke Ijezie


Acts 2:42-47
Psalm 118:2-4,13-15,22-24
1Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31

The readings of this 2nd Sunday of Easter underline the fact that the risen Jesus is ever present in his Community. Belief in the teachings of the Community is essential to growing in the Community life. Common to all the readings is this element of belief in the teachings of the Apostolic witnesses.

1. The first reading from Acts 2:42-47 paints a glowing picture of the first Christian Community, as it sums up four elements that characterised that Community, all based on the virtue of faithfulness: a. faithfulness to the teaching of the Apostles; b. faithfulness to the fraternal spirit or brotherhood; c. faithfulness to the breaking of bread; and d. faithfulness to the prayers.

These were formidable building blocks to the cohesiveness and pastoral effectiveness of the Community. All these brought about great miracles, mutual sharing of food and possessions with accompanying great joy in the Community.


2. In the second reading from 1Peter 1:3-9, the element of belief and faithfulness comes again to the fore. According to the author of the letter, what makes the Christian believers joyful is not necessarily that they have seen Jesus but because they believe and look forward to the hope of the great treasure promised them in heaven. This assurance coming from faith makes them to remain joyful even in the midst of many plagues and trials. This is the power of believing. It makes one overcome all obstacles.

3. The Gospel text from John 20:19-31 presents the enigmatic figure of Thomas to us. His absence from the Community led him initially to externalise his lack of faith in the resurrection. When, eventually, he experienced the presence of Jesus in the Community, he professed his faith in a very remarkable way. What convinced Thomas most was not the touching of the wounded parts of Jesus, which probably he dared not do, but the fact that Jesus already knew of his doubts without being informed. This silenced him. This made him to qualify Jesus as “my Lord and my God”. This became the first and highest Christological expression of the early Church. Jesus himself let Thomas know that seeing was not the noblest condition for believing but not seeing and yet believing. The faith of the Church does not depend on everyone seeing the risen Jesus but on faithfulness to the teachings of the original witnesses. This is why the Church is said to be Apostolic, that is, it is built on the faith and teachings of the original Apostolic witnesses.
4. The great problem in our Christian life today is that of remaining faithful to the teaching of the Church. We live in an age where many people fashion their own faith and call it the Christian faith, becausethey find it difficultto follow the original teaching. We live in an age where many find it difficult to believe unless they experience or see miracles.

Consequently, fake miracles and fake testimonies abound. True faith is linked to the remaining committed to the Christian Community, the Church, and such faith looks beyond the realities of the present world. In fact, if all our Christian hope and faith are based only the joys and breakthroughs and successes in this life, then Christ died for nothing. The present world is filled with frustrations and dissapointments, and most of the time we see evil people triumphing while innocent people suffer. If all our believing is based only on justice and fair play in this world, then we have no faith. It is faith in the treasures beyond that inclines us to bear the burdens of everyday woth joy, to forgive and love our enemies and share our resources with our brothers and sisters in need. It is faith that makes us realise that Jesus is ever present in the Community and meets us in a special way in the Eucharistic breaking of Bread, which is His Body. Such faith motivates us to labour and strive for the building up and strengthening of the Christian Community in every place and time.

May the Lord accompany us with His everlasting love as we strive to remain faithful!


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