DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY
READ: ACTS 2:42-47
They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
In our reading today, we get a glimpse of what the Christian community looked like after the Resurrection and after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It was a community that was centered around Jesus--with Him as their source, their guide, their sustenance. It was a community of awe and worship. It was a community where wonders and signs were done. It was a community of radical selflessness and generosity, a community marked by love. And we see that this community, formed by the Holy Spirit, was so attractive to the outside world that "every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved." It shone like a light in the darkness. This Christian community was magnetic, attracting the outside world not to themselves, but to Jesus.
And this is what He wants to do in each of our lives, families, and parish communities. He wants to draw the outside world to Himself through the witness of His followers, the witness of people that have been transformed by His love.
As we end this Even Now Lenten Prayer, we want to encourage you not to stop here. Why? Because God has so much more to show you. He has so much more to tell you about His Himself. He desires for you to continue to recognize His insatiable desire for you and to encounter His merciful and steadfast love. But we also encourage you to not stop here because there are people in this world who are thirsting for Jesus, who are longing for the joy, the love, the peace, the freedom, the satisfaction that only He can provide. And the way these people will come to know that Jesus is the one they are searching for is by the witness of Christians who daily find joy, love, peace, freedom, and satisfaction in Him.
St. John Paul II once gave this encouragement which is so very pertinent to our discussion today and is the perfect way to send us out at the end of this Even Now Series: "Let yourselves be charmed by Christ, the Infinite who appeared among you in visible and imitable form. Let yourselves be attracted by his example, which has changed the history of the world and directed it toward an exhilarating goal. Let yourselves be loved by the love of the Holy Spirit, who wishes to turn you away from worldly things to begin in you the life of the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and true holiness. Fall in love with Jesus Christ, to live his very life, so that our world may have life in the life of the gospel.”
This week, will will send out a blog with practical ways that you can continue this daily prayer and resources to help you do that, but for now, let us end by giving thanks to God for all He has done in our hearts. And let us pray that each of us will continue to fall in love with Him, to live His very life, and to attract others to Him--to the life that is found through this Gospel of Jesus Christ.
What has God revealed to you through this Even Now Prayer Series?
How have you grown in your desire for Jesus?
Has has this daily prayer changed you?
How will you continue to let yourself by charmed by Christ, to be attracted by His example, and to be transformed by Him?
R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting. Let the house of Israel say, "His mercy endures forever." Let the house of Aaron say, "His mercy endures forever." Let those who fear the LORD say, "His mercy endures forever." I was hard pressed and was falling, but the LORD helped me. My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior. The joyful shout of victory in the tents of the just: The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
What is your plan to continue with daily prayer, to continue encountering Jesus' love daily?