Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Chriostai notes for the Third Week of Easter

Followup Meditations from Last week:

1. How do we say Yes to God's call in our daily lives? How do we open our spiritual eyes to see the opportunities that God brings us?

2. When people are in doubt or even get to disbelief, how can we continue to be witnesses to the Gospel?

First Reading
Acts 3:13-15, 17-19

13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant[b] Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.             17 “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,

1. In the history of the Church can there have been human decisions that were made in ignorance? The present day Church has apologized for some decisions. What can we learn from this?

2. Is the point of this reading to lay blame for the suffering servant’s death, or to tell us that sin can be erased and the offenders can be raised to new life by the same power that raised Jesus to life?

3. What do John’s message in the second reading, and this message of Peter’s have in common? How are they different? 

4. Why would these messages be perceived as being “hopeful”?

Second Reading

1 John 2:1-5a

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:

1. John says in this reading that “(Christ) is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.” And Luke’s gospel (Gospel), “ … that repentance, forgiveness of sins, would be preached in (Christ’s) name to all the nations.” From these statements would you guess that Christ came to save forty-four thousand people? Most people? All people?

2. Discuss Pope Francis statement regarding today’s Second Reading from St. John’s letter:
The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists.
Homily at Mass, May 22, 2013

3. Illustrate the role of an “advocate.” 

4. Define “expiation.”

35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. 36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,[b] 43 and he took it and ate before them. 44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and[c] forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

1. He appeared in their midst. But why did Jesus say, “Peace be with you” to his disciples? What was the emotional atmosphere in the group at that time? Are there times in your life when you are distraught and you need some peace? Does it help you that Jesus has experienced trials like yours? Did God take our flesh because he needed to do so, or because it was us who needed him to?

2. What was the disciples’ task, having recognized the risen Lord, and seeing that he “opened their minds to understand the scripture”? Is our task now to preach the good news of God’s forgiveness to all nations? How can we do that globally? What about locally or in our neighbor-hoods?

3. Why was (is) it important to know that Jesus’ body was real? 

4. How can this passage affect your view of the Old Testament? 

5. Give an example of a mind not opened to these things. 

6. What makes being a “witness to these things” most difficult for you?

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