Sunday Gospel and Question of the Week
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John 20: 19-23
On the evening of that first day of
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
John 14:15-16, 23b-26
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always.
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Those who do not love me do not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.
“I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”
Question of the week
When have you experienced the Holy Spirit's help in keeping Jesus' word?
Peace and forgiveness are gifts from Jesus in the Holy Spirit. Do you need to be a more peaceful and forgiving person?
Forgiveness is not "forgiving and forgetting." It does not deny that a wrong or a hurt took place. When we hurt someone, the bridge between us falls down. Our bond with that person is broken. When we forgive someone, or are forgiven, we allow the Holy Spirit to rebuild the bridge between us, even stronger than before. Because we are limited and human, we may not feel this all at once. But forgiveness is part of God's love. When we forgive, we bring God's love into our lives and into the lives of those who have hurt us. We can cross the bridge to meet again. We may still remember being hurt, but we can recall it with thanksgiving. We can thank God for the new and stronger bridge. Are there any broken bridges in your life? What might be a first step to the Spirit's gift of rebuilding and repair? How could you ask the Holy Spirit for help?
Once again we are reliving Easter night with Jesus and the disciples. He breathes on them, communicating the gift of the Holy Spirit. They gladly receive Jesus' Spirit and his ministry of forgiving sins. At Pentecost the Spirit will send them forth as living signs that Jesus has overcome sin and death.
Reflection and Questions are adapted and reprinted with permission from Harcourt Religion Publishers, www.Harcourtreligion.com , RCL-Benziger: www.rclweb.com and http://www.blestarewe.com/misc/terms.html and William F. Sadlier: www.webelieveweb.com Visit these web sites for additional information and formation resources for adults and children.
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Scripture references for the week: Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
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