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Are You Feeling It?

Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you (John 20:21) Second Sunday of Easter

The story is told of a certain tribal community which staged a series of endurance tests for initiating their young men into adulthood…

The final event in the initiation is a closely guarded secret. On the longest night of the year, the candidate is taken to a tree in a dense forest, where the moon can not be seen. Stripped of any belongings and weapons, he is instructed to remain standing up against that tree until dawn, without moving from the spot. Left alone, we can imagine the terror that the young initiate must endure -- the fear of wild animals, and in the dark of night, the primal fear of the unknown. We can imagine also the happiness he must feel at the first light of dawn, having completed the initiation rites.

Only then does the young man see something that makes him even happier! From behind the tree there steps his own father who, unknown to his son, has been watching him through the long night.

In today's Lesson, it is the evening of the first Easter Sunday. The disciples are in hiding behind closed doors, as Johns tells us, "for fear of the Jews." (Jn. 20:19). They are still in a state of shock over the Good Friday events. The great adventure has come to a tragic end. Their hopes and dreams are all gone now. Jesus has been executed. Will they be next? They are very much afraid. Suddenly, we imagine that fear turned to happiness as the Risen Christ appears in their midst. He says to them, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you" (Jn. 20:21). And the Power of Christ makes it possible for them to overcome their fear. Knowing now that Christ is with them, literally within them, they go out fearlessly, in obedience to Jesus' command. They begin to turn the Roman world upside-down. No longer are they fearful men and women. They are men and women who have received the Risen Christ.

It has been said that a person who is afraid to take risks has [...]

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Stories you can use...

We've got a million of them (well, almost).

Homelessness

"Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me’.” Mt: 25:34-36. MAN LIES DEAD FOR HOURS IN CENTER OF BOSTON When Joseph Bulens lay on the concrete next to City Hall, no one checked to see if he was breathing or felt for a pulse — not the commuters who passed by or the man who read a newspaper on a nearby bench. After all, Bulens was homeless. No one gave him a second glance. He lay there dead for hours — in busy CITY HALL PLAZA, in the heart of downtown. “This shows that as long as you have a roof over your own head, who cares about the other guy,” said David Solomon, the person who did give Bulens a second look. “I could see him from my office window and I thought he was asleep,” Solomon said. But when the man hadn’t moved more than 45 minutes later, Solomon went to investigate. When Solomon arrived the man was already dead. Solomon tried to get help from three passersby but no one would help until he finally chased down a policeman. Solomon thought it ironic that someone would die on the PLAZA because he had seen so many rallies for the homeless there. The coroner estimated that Bulens, age 49, had died of natural causes and had been dead for four hours when he was found. Associated Press

Children

Two boys went into the dentist’s office one day and waited for him to get through with his patient. When the dentist came into the waiting room, the older of the two boys spoke up. “Doctor, I want you to pull a tooth, but without any needles to make it numb and no gas either. We’re in a hurry. The doctor smiled and said, “Well, you’re quite a brave young man. You want a tooth pulled, and you don’t want any gas, and you don’t want it deadened?” The little boy answered, “That’s right, ‘cause we’re in big a hurry!” “Well, before we proceed I’ll have to take a look at it,” said the dentist. “Tell me, which tooth is it that’s bothering you?” The older boy turned to his smaller friend and said, “Show him your tooth, Albert!” The world is full of people like that, isn’t it? People who want to see things happen and get things done, but who want someone else to pay the price and to suffer the consequences. But that’s not the way it works. We have to get into the dentist chair ourselves.

Word of God

“In the beginning was the Word; the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Generations follow generations—yet it lives ... Nations rise and fall — yet it lives. Kings, dictators presidents come and go — yet it lives. Torn, condemned, burned — yet it lives. Hated, despised, cursed — yet it lives. Doubted, suspected, criticized—yet it lives. Damned by atheists — yet it lives. Exaggerated by fanatics — yet it lives. Misconstrued and misstated — yet it lives. Ranted and raved about — yet it lives. Its inspiration denied — yet it lives. Yet it lives — as a lamp to our feet. Yet it lives — as a light to our paths. Yet it lives — as a standard for childhood. Yet it lives — as a guide for youth. Yet it lives — as an inspiration for the matured. Yet it lives — as a comfort for the aged. Yet it lives — as food for the hungry. Yet it lives — as water for the thirsty. Yet it lives — as rest for the weary. Yet it lives — as light for the lost. Yet it lives — as salvation for the sinner. Yet it lives — as Grace for the Christian. To know it is to love it. To love it is to accept it. To accept it means Life eternal.

History

Aldous Huxley was once asked for his general observations on the nature of history. “Generally speaking,” answered the famous author, “history is one damn thing after the other.”

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