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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).

Afterlife

St. Peter and Satan were having an argument one day about baseball. With a suspicious grin, Satan proposed a game (to be played on neutral grounds) between a select team from heaven and a hand-picked team from his "hometown" turf. "Very well," the gatekeeper of the Celestial City agreed. "But you realize, I hope, that we have all the good players, and the best coaches too." "I know," said Satan calmly, "but we have all the umpires!" Griffith, J., Henry, R., Robertson, J., Blakely D., "Keep 'Em Laughin'," Rich Publishing Co. (Adapted).

Children

A nun was telling some children about John the Baptist and said that at one time he had lived in the wilderness and eaten wild honey and locusts. When a child asked what locusts were, the nun replied, “They’re like grasshoppers.” “He ate grasshoppers?” one girl said, aghast. “What’s wrong with that?” demanded a boy. “My grandmother drinks them.”

God, Existence of

“God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.” (IJn.4:15-16). In an introductory philosophy course at the University of Mississippi, the professor took almost a full class period to present a carefully constructed argument for the existence of God. At the final summing up, the students were all silent, and the professor was quite pleased with his work. Addressing a student, he asked, “Miss Green, have I proved to you that there is a God?” “You didn’t have to prove it to me,” was her prompt reply. “I knew it all the time.”

Ingenuity

The late Clarence W. Cranford often told the story of a wife’s correspondence with her husband who was serving time in prison for armed robbery. “When is the best time to plant the potatoes?” she asked. The husband wrote back, “Don’t dig in the potato patch now. That’s where I hid all my guns.” The prison mail was censored, of course, and soon the potato patch in question was being dug up by a whole squad of policemen. But there were no guns to be found. Again, the wife wrote to her husband in prison. “They’ve dug up the whole potato patch,” she complained. Whereupon, the crafty husband wrote back, “The patch is ready. You can plant the potatoes now.”

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