Fr John's Reflections 2nd Sunday of Easter
2nd Sunday of Easter – 23rd April
When Jesus met the disciples in the flesh after his resurrection something has significantly changed not only in his life but in ours.
There can be a belief that forgiveness is a task that we can pick up or put down. This belief can focus on the words, "Those whose sins you forgive are forgiven, those whose sins that are retained they are retained." At one level this can acknowledge the importance of the disciples being commissioned as ministers of forgiveness.
However, this is only one important element of the sacrament of reconciliation but it can tend to put the emphasis on our actions rather than an encounter with the person of Jesus Christ. This is acknowledged when we reflect on the meeting of Jesus with Thomas. Thomas has to touch the wounds of Jesus' body in order to be healed of his doubt.
The same is true for us, we need to live out the sacrament as a life-giving encounter which assists us to know of God's forgiveness. Without this touch, we can tend to think that the sacrament of penance is all about us choosing forgiveness rather than an invitation to go deeper into a life-giving relationship. If the focus is all on us rather than breaking the bonds which hold us as people who doubt whether God will ever meet us we simply need to turn to Jesus and touch his wounds. For us, forgiveness is a person, not a commodity.
Fr. John Armstrong
"The intellectual quest is exquisite, like pearls and coral. But it is not the same as the spiritual quest. The spiritual quest is on another level altogether. Spiritual wine has a subtler taste. The intellect and the senses investigate cause and effect. The spiritual seeker surrenders to wonder." (Rumi Wisdom; trans. Timothy Freke)
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