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April 26, 2015

4TH Sunday of Easter

 

mp 10Hanna Cheriyan Varghese, Malaysia, “Let’s Allow Justice to Prevail”

First Reading: Acts 4: 8-12
“It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone”.

Meditation

At a meeting of an Ecclesial Base Community in the City of Goiás, State of Goiás, a missionary heard Dona Ana tell the story of how her life was until she got to know and experience what an Ecclesial Community Base is.
This lady shared that as she started to attend the meetings, she went to visit the sick, prayed with them and offered them advice, despite her husband’s disagreement, as he always chided her saying she was just losing time.
Most particularly, whenever the Ecclesial Base Community met at her house, Mr. Sebastião went on ranting, and pumping up the television’s volume, trying to ignore everything. But Dona Ana kept saying: “As Jesus was crucified and God raised him from the dead, one day my husband will change.” And so it happened! Thanks to Ana’s persistence her husband has now become a community organizer and a member of the Health Council of Goiás City.
The faith of a woman made her husband “rise again” to a new life, bringing good fruits of peace in the family, and a contribution to society
as he is now paying greater attention to the sick in the region, since Tião took a course in the area of healthcare and, together with his wife is
“giving witness that life is stronger than death”, as Ana keeps saying.

Second Reading: 1 Jn 3:1-2
“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.”

mp 11Italy, “Icon of the Good Shepherd”Gospel: Jn 10:11-18
“I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, and they know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. I lay down my life for my sheep ... The Father loves me because I lay down my life in order to take it up again, No one takes it from me, I give freely; as it is in my power to lay it down so it is in my power to take it up again, and this is the command I received from my Father”.

Meditation

This Sunday Liturgy reading questions us about our way of being “shepherds” and “healers”. While seeing Dona Ana and Seu Tião as
role models, we want to take on, as religious women and as prophets of dialogue and healing in the Church and in the world. We want to be like the good shepherd, because the Word of God invites us to observe more faithfully our own vocation.
Visiting the sick, listening to them, “wasting time” with the poor and suffering, are vital emergency actions today. The suffering of people is very great. We cannot turn a blind eye to the reality of the struggle for survival in our suburbs.
There are many who suffer from poverty, violence, addictions... They are, anyway, the wounded humanity of our time, in need of healing. To follow in the footsteps of Jesus, seeking to meet our brothers and sisters who suffer, just like the Good Shepherd, we go on “wasting time”,
since listening to people and being a presence for them is to heal a great deal of their ills.
By doing so, we can take on what Blessed Frances Schervier once decided for herself: “I offered myself to God for the sake of poor and suffering humanity ...” And so, we do not need to even speak, let alone preach or give moral lessons. Touching people with the healing touch of Jesus suffices for the miracle to happen!

 

mp 12Tarsila do Amaral, Brazil “Favela”In today’s reality, what is it that challenges us the most to be able to recognize the suffering Christ in our brothers and sisters, and what moves us to act as pastors and prophets of dialogue and healing?

How do we, who have embraced the healing charism of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor Congregation, feel the impact caused by our presence on the reality in which we live? What is the impact I make?

 

Closing Prayer

Oh Lord, help us to say as the Brazilian theologian, Father Pedro Casaldáliga, said: “At the end of my journey, I will be asked: ‘Did you live? Did you love?’ And without saying a word, I will open my heart, filled with names.”

 

Contributed by the Brazilian Area

Published: April 24, 2015