Liturgy of the Sunday

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Second Sunday of Easter
Sunday of the Divine Mercy.
Memorial of Saint Stanislaw, bishop of Krakow and martyr (+1079). He defended the poor, the dignity of men and women, and the freedom of the Gospel and the Church.


First Reading

Acts 4,32-35

The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul; no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, as everything they owned was held in common. The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power, and they were all accorded great respect. None of their members was ever in want, as all those who owned land or houses would sell them, and bring the money from the sale of them, to present it to the apostles; it was then distributed to any who might be in need.

Psalmody

Psalm 117

Antiphon

Eternal is the mercy of the Lord.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
for his love endures for ever.

Let the sons of Israel say :
'His love endures for ever.'

Let the sons of Aaron say :
'His love endures for ever.'

Let those who fear the Lord say :
'His love endures for ever.'

I called the Lord in my distress;
he answered and feed me.

The Lord is at my side; I do not fear.
What can man do against m?

The Lord is at my side as my helper:
I shall look down on my foes.

It is better to take refuge in the lord
than to trust in men:

It is better to take refuge in the lord
than to trust in prices.

The nations all encompassed me;
in the lord's name I crushed them.

They compassed me, compassed me about;
in the Lord's name I crushed them.

They compassed me about like bees;
they blazed like a fire among thorns.
In the Lord's name I crushed them.

I was thrust down, thrust down and falling
but the Lord was my helper.

The Lord is my strength and my song;
he was my saviour.

There are shouts of joy and victory
in the tents of the just.

The Lord's right hand has triumphed;
his right hand raised me.

The Lord's right hand had triumphed;
I shall not die, I shall live
and recount his deed.

I was punished, I was punished by the Lord,
but not doomed to die.

Open to me the gates of holiness :
I will enter and give thanks.

This is the Lord's own gates
where the just may enter.

I will thank you for you have answered
and you are my saviour.

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the corner stone.

This is the work of the Lord,
a marvel in our eyes.

This day was made by the Lord;
we rejoice and are glad.

O Lord, grant us salvation;
O Lord, grant success.

Blessed in the name of the Lord
is he who comes

We bless you from the house of the Lord;
the Lord God is our light.

Go forward in procession with branches
even to the altar.

You are my God, I thank you.
My God, I praise you.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good;
for his love endures forever.

Second Reading

1 John 5,1-6

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God, and whoever loves the father loves the son. In this way we know that we love God's children, when we love God and keep his commandments. This is what the love of God is: keeping his commandments. Nor are his commandments burdensome, because every child of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith. Who can overcome the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? He it is who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with water alone but with water and blood, and it is the Spirit that bears witness, for the Spirit is Truth.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 20,19-31

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,' and, after saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord, and he said to them again, 'Peace be with you. 'As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.' After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone's sins, they are retained. Thomas, called the Twin, who was 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 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.' 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. 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.' Thomas replied, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him: You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. There were many other signs that Jesus worked in the sight of the disciples, but they are not recorded in this book. 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.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

This second Sunday of Easter is devoted to God's mercy. It was established by John Paul II who received an indication from the Polish nun Faustina Kowalska, a woman who spread devotion to God's mercy since 1931 and in the following years. These were terrible times for Europe and this nun sensed the need for mercy. She insisted that the Sunday after Easter should be dedicated to mercy. She said: in the death and resurrection of the Lord, God's mercy had reached its climax, its fulfilment. The Gospel passage helps to understand even more the meaning of mercy.
The evangelist John takes us back to the evening of Easter and to the evening of eight days later, as if to mark the time of the Church. In fact, from that day until today - many centuries have passed - the memory of Easter has always been celebrated in the Church. It is not the memory of a faded past. Every Sunday the Risen One returns among his disciples and places himself among them. They struggled to recognize him, as we so often do, taken as we are by ourselves, by our thoughts, and by our hardness. The Risen Jesus shows the wounds of his body. This is the sign that opens the eyes of the disciples. The risen Jesus is marked by wounds. As if to signify the many crucified people of the earth even today. They represent those wounds that are still present. The risen Jesus preserves the wounds, that is, he continues to be moved by the many who are still wounded by evil today. He, the merciful one, allows himself to be wounded by the cry of the poor. There is no resurrection without taking the wounds of men and women on his own body. So it is for the Church: a community of disciples sent by the Risen One to forgive, to heal, and to disarm hearts from violence.
It is the way of mercy that the Lord continues to walk unceasingly. Eight days later the Lord returns, and comes in our midst and speaks also to the part of Thomas that is present in the heart of each of us. He starts by repeating his greeting of peace: "Peace be with you." And he turns immediately to Thomas and invites him to touch his wounds with his hands. Then Jesus adds, "Do not doubt but believe." Thomas professes his faith, "My Lord and my God!" The "seeing" indicates an intense gaze that captures the mystery of that "pierced" body.
Jesus proclaims here the last beatitude of the Gospel, the one that is the foundation of the generations that from that moment until today will join the group of the Eleven. What does the bliss of faith without seeing mean? The episode of Thomas suggests that faith, from that moment on, is not born from the vision of Jesus as for the apostles, but from listening to the Gospel of the apostles "we have seen the Lord!", and from touching the wounds of the risen body of Jesus.