Historical Background: (The same as that of the Gospel of Easter Sunday)
Introduction: In today’s passage we have the account of three important post-Resurrection events:
a) Jesus’ apparitions to his disciples (see vv. 19-20. 26)
b) the bestowal of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles for the forgiveness of sins (see vv. 22-23); and
c) the solemn profession of faith by Thomas (see v.28)
The passage ends with the clear statement of John’s purpose in writing his Gospel. (see v.31)
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
and whose sins you retain are retained.”Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
and Thomas was with them.
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
Background: Faith had a tremendous influece on the daily lives of the early Christians. They formed a “special group” which was characterized by certain attitudes and behavior.
St Luke offers us three short summaries of what singled out the Jerusalem community of believers. (See Acts 2:42.46f, 4:32-25 and 5:12-16)
Introduction: Today’s passage is the second of these “summaries.” It emphasizes the close union that bound together all the members (see v.32), and the generous sharing of material goods. (see vv.32.34)
The “ideal brotherhood” has been a constant inspiration for all religious communities all through the centuries.
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.
Historical Background: During the first century of the Christian Era, a number of heresies began to creep into the community of believers. One of them was “Gnosticism” Its followers claimed to have special knowledge of God and refused to accept the reality of the Incarnation. In their moral life, they rejected the close relationship between the love of God and the love of neighbor.
It was in order to counteract the negative effects of such heretical vies that the apostle John (or a disciple of his) wrote that is known as the First Letter of John. Much of its contents, such as the Incarnation of the Word and the primacy of love, restates and emphasizes ideas that are already present in the Gospel of John.
Introduction: In today’s passage St. John links together:
a) love of God with love of neighbor
b) love of God and observance of the Commandments;
c) conquest of the world and faith in Jesus Christ as the one whose mission is testified by the Spirit.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
and everyone who loves the Father
loves also the one begotten by him.
In this way we know that we love the children of God
when we love God and obey his commandments.
For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ,
not by water alone, but by water and blood.
The Spirit is the one that testifies,
and the Spirit is truth.
BELIEF IN THE RISEN JESUS IS THE POWER THAT CAN TRANSFORM
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