Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lectio Divina Meditation for Second Sunday of Easter Year C

Second Sunday of Easter Year C
April 10
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe”

1. Lectio
John 20:19-31
19 In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, 'Peace be with you,' 20 and, after saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord, 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. 23 If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone's sins, they are retained.
24 Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples said to him, '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.'
26 Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. 'Peace be with you,' he said. 27 Then he spoke to Thomas, '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.'
28 Thomas replied, 'My Lord and my God!'
29 Jesus said to him: ‘You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. ‘
30 There were many other signs that Jesus worked in the sight of the disciples, but they are not recorded in this book. 31 These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.

This week’s reading continues the theme of “Seeing” with the “eyes of faith”. Here, the reader is not confronted with an empty tomb as on the First Sunday of Easter but with a broken community. Thomas was not expressing his doubt of the risen Lord. Thomas was expressing his doubt of his community. He did not believe their word that they had seen the Risen Lord. He had lost trust in them. Trust is lost when relationships are broken. That is the reason why Jesus breathes his Spirit upon them so that they may have the power to forgive one another and be reconciled. At the end of the story we are reminded that it is easy to believe that Christ is present in a community when it is perfect. But far more blessed are those who are able to recognise Christ’s presence in a community that that is weak, broken and far from perfection. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

2. Meditatio
1. Are there times you doubt the sincerity of your brothers and sisters in your family, your BEC and community? What has brought about these doubts? Betrayal? Disappointment?
2. Try to picture the faces of every member of your BEC present here. Can you see Christ present in this person? How does Christ appear to you? What are the qualities of Christ that you see in this person?

3. Oratio
Leader: With faith that Christ has risen and is present in our midst, we cry out:


1. Christ our Savior, when you rose again you brought to the holy women and the apostles the joyful news of a world redeemed. Make us witnesses to your risen life. (R.)

2. You promised to all people that we should rise up again to newness of life. Make us heralds of your Gospel. (R.)

3. You showed yourself to your apostles and breathed the Holy Spirit on them. Through the gift of the Spirit, help us to recognise You in one another. (R.)

4. You invited Thomas to put his finger on the mark of the nails in your hands and to put his hand into your side. Strengthen our feeble faith that we may believe even “without seeing”. (R.)

Leader: Father, by this Easter mystery you touch our lives with the healing power of your love. You have given us the freedom of the children of God. May we who now celebrate your gift find joy in it forever in heaven. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

4. Contemplatio
Memorise and use the following verse in your contemplation: ““Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

5. Actio
1. Personal Life: Spend time before the Blessed Sacrament during the week or before mass. Speak to Jesus in your prayer. Address him like this: “My Lord and my God.”
2. Communal Life: Organise an Easter party and gathering. Spend time enjoying each other’s company and recognizing the Christ is in your midst.

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